In which (okay, we’ll come back to Jerry later)…
Captain Nwin was waiting for her coffee maker to finish perking when the call came.
She answered and listened for a moment, frowning. “You what? How do you know that? He…” Captain Nwin glanced at her watch. “Yeah—on my way.”
The captain set the phone down and sighed. “That idiot.”
About half an hour later, a gray SUV pulled up beside the two police cruisers, and Captain Nwin got out. She glanced at the train station.
The rain had stopped, but puddles ran across the gravel lot, and more water dripped from the trees along its edge. Captain Nwin could see the tops of the factory towers beyond the trees, but nothing else around the old train station—only the woods, the twin tracks, and the gray walls of the station.
The three troopers were combing the area around the platform. With a sigh, Captain started toward them. They got up as the captain approached, and one of them handed her a flashlight and a cellphone.
Captain Nwin examined them briefly, and then looked around. “What else have you found?”
“Nothing,” one of the troopers answered. “Absolutely nothing,”
“You have footprints, don’t you?” Captain Nwin demanded.
He grimaced. “Sure—one pair of footprints. An average-sized man, came around the train station on that side, got up on the platform, got down on this side. We can’t track much on the gravel, but there seemed to be a struggle or something over here. Except that we’ve only got one pair of footprints coming or going. We only noticed them because Mike found the phone when we stopped by on our rounds.”
“No—nothing like that.”
“So you know Jerry was here last night, but you’ve no idea of what he was doing or where he went?”
All three troopers shook their heads.
“Any idea where Jerry is now?”
“Dispatch asked for a report on that address,” one of the troopers offered. “I think the patrol unit said it was normal—car with his license plate in front, a light on in one of the rooms.”
“What is this?” another trooper asked. “Not that new case you got a couple weeks ago?”
Captain Nwin didn’t answer. Slipping the flashlight and phone into her pocket, she stepped carefully around the yellow flag that marked a footprint and bent to study the ground.
They had just spread out across the parking lot when one of the troopers called the others’ attention to an old man walking toward the station. The captain straightened up to look. Then she got up, wiped off her hands, and hurried forward. “Silas!” she called.
The old man waved to her and came on. “I heard you had something happen last night,” he said as he reached her.
The captain smiled wryly.
“Another incident?” Silas asked.
“Sort of,” Captain Nwin answered. “It’s ridiculous—telling the police to investigate something that doesn’t exist.”
Doesn’t it?” Silas asked.
She shrugged and showed him the flashlight. “We find clues that something happened, and then no one remembers what it is.” She paused and Silas was silent. “Guess I’ll have to check it out anyway,” Captain Nwin finished. “Want to come along?”
(Next post—Night Shot 9: Morning.)