The Mentor

The Mentor by Pat Connid Read Free Book Online

Book: The Mentor by Pat Connid Read Free Book Online
Authors: Pat Connid
mass transit system in the Atlanta area is about as useful as a rainbow fright
wig at a Klan rally.  
    It seems
the only place you can really get to is, strange enough, the bus depot.
 All lines lead to the bus depot but, as far as I can tell, nowhere else
you'd care to go.  I’m pretty convinced the only people that ride the bus
are transit employees going to work.
    Luckily, my
walk was short because the Cobb County sheriff building is just a couple blocks
off the Marietta Square.  Even though I’ve never been busted for anything,
at least not in Georgia, it felt strange walking into the cops’ hive.  
    After a few
minutes inside, I noticed everyone just waits in line for the lady behind the
glass, just like at the post office.  And just like the post office, some
of these folks are armed.
    The desk
sergeant wasn’t happy to see me.  Her mood did not improve once I began to
tell her my story.  Once I got to the part about waking up in the
submerged van she held her hand up.
more,” I said, leaning my forehead against the glass.
    “Yeah, I
don’t want to hear it,” she said and motioned over to the wall where blue,
plastic seats were linked together like huge, discarded ice cube trays.
 Three chairs were occupied.  “A detective will be out in a while and
call your name.”
    “He’ll be
able to help me?”
    She looked
me up and down and said, “He’s a cop, not a barber.”  
    Next to
her, an officer built like a fire hydrant with a gray military-style buzz cut
laughed, looked up from the accordion file he was sifting through, and shook
his head.
    I asked
him, “Is she always this nice?”
    “Why’d you
think she’s doing this job up here?”  The seated woman punched him lightly
on the hip.  He plucked out a single sheet of paper and began walking to
an open door at the rear.  “We’re too scared to have her back there.”
    Two of the
people sitting near me were filing complaints about their neighbor’s dog, as it
was a bit of a night owl.  These guys lived on either side of Ol’ Yeller
and, they told me at length, had been down here twice before.  Third time,
the dog’s owner gets a fine.  Nice neighbors.  If I’d had a dog next
door it would have gone ape-shit when the black ninja came to visit me; seems a
fair trade to give up a few sleepless nights to not end up in a cargo van at
the bottom of a lake.  These guys had no idea how good they had it.
    The third
person, an older woman, said something about Jay Leno having a wicked mind and
blue sense of humor, and she wanted to see about getting Johnny Carson back on
television.  She thought maybe the proper authorities could help that
along.  After explaining to her I was pretty sure Johnny was dead, she
said that would still be an improvement over Leno.  Couldn’t really argue
with that.
    After about
twenty minutes, I heard my name.  Looking up, I saw Detective Firehydrant,
again.  Strangely, this time he’d come from the opposite end of the
building… and since there was glass on both sides of the waiting room—one side
looking out to the parking lot, the other to a small garden atrium— I had no
idea how he’d gotten over there.  Cop voodoo.
    The two
anti-doggites had been called but the Leno woman was still there as I walked
away.  I wished her luck but had a feeling she’d be waiting for a while.
 Too bad because I was pulling for her.
Clower told me he was a CAPers detective, Crime Against Persons, as he wound me
around through clusters of cubicles. I was surprised, for some reason, to see
cops have knickknacks and pictures at their desks like everyone else.  A
glass-encased memorial laden with metals and a badge was on the far wall, a
modest shrine for a cop who’d worked there.  This being Marietta, though,
he probably went down in some squabble over baked goods or off-day water usage.
    I’d gone
over the previous evening in my head a couple times, yet as I

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