I took the truck on five deliveries in six weeks. After a couple of trips the arrangements were simple and seemed to work. I picked up the truck in a parking lot in town. I loaded the trike in the back of the truck, then drove it to the still site. At the still sight the cases of hootch were loaded.
I left from the still site on a drive into the mountains. At 3AM when I got to a specific side road, or a particular out of the way parking we would make the exchange. I would pull over facing the highway for an easy exit in case of trouble, so far it had been just a precaution. After a short wait someone would put beside me.
From that moment until the he handed over the money, I kept an old double barreled shotgun handy. The buyer was almost always a stranger. The friend of a friend network was dangerous for all of us, but It had worked so far.
I wasn’t really enjoying the fruits of my labor. I discovered that it really didn’t matter how much money came in, my spending habits varied only slightly. I ate out more often, but I still ate in roadside diners or fast food restaurants. I just didn’t fit in with the other patrons at fancy restaurants or pubs.
I also had no desire to own an automobile at the moment. My house had been paid off before I retired, so there were no large items for me to purchase. I did make two large purchases, large by my standards. I bought a new washing machine, since mine died two weeks into the new year.
I spent almost as much on a plastic storage box. It was hard to find and even used it cost me over two hundred and fifty bucks. It was also six foot long, four foot wide and four foot high. Very large for a plastic packing case. It came fully assembled and delivered to my door. I had to tie it down to prevent it blowing away, otherwise it was ready to be used. It wasn’t meant to be a garage, but by turning it upside down I could make it work. It simply needed hinges on the rear, then a handle to lift the front end. Then I simply rolled the trike under it. Since I set it at the end of the drive, the hinges were just attached to posts driven two feet into the yard.
That seven hundred bucks was spent on my complete large ticket purchases. Even with all the extra spending and eating out I squirreled away three grand. I didn’t buy a safe, but I did switch to buying my coffee in metal cans. I stored the cans of cash inside the bottom drawer of my computer desk.
It wasn’t very secure or original I know. I was counting on no one knowing about it. I did purchase an alarm system to protect the doors and windows. I named him Jed.
Jed came from the animal shelter. He didn’t know it of course, but he was a one year old Pit Bull scheduled to be put down the same week I adopted him. I guess it appealed to me to save his life.
Since there was no rear porch or deck, the back yard became Jed’s. I rigged safe cable run for him to do his business. He also liked to lay in the sun now and then even on cold days. He slept in a crate, which also taught him to do his business outside. He might have been house trained before I got him since he took to it immediately. I just knew that I was thankful that he was easy to convince.
Since I was a bit of a hermit, Jed became one as well. I did build a trailer in order to tow his dog crate. I did that to help socialize him. I towed him to the local hiking trail a couple of times a week. It was still cold out, but he liked the variety of sniffs and people we met. It also gave me a chance to get some badly needed exercise. With Jed along I didn’t worry about getting mugged by other hikers.
Since I had been planning to build a trailer anyway, I considered it a win, win. The only thing I had to do differently was enlarge the bed of the trailer. Even then it was only and inch or two larger.
Jed even as a yearling was formidable. His brindle coloring made him appear even more dangerous. In truth if outside our house, he was most likely to lick you to death. Inside the house was a different thing. Jed terrified our postman. The ups men and anyone else who walked up to my door was visibly nervous. He earned his kibble, and bites of my diet meals for sure.
The bonus was that he was also just plain good company. The sofa’s center cushion became his home away from the kennel. Even small sized dog treats lured him into his kennel at night. It also worked when I went out on a road trip or for some other chore.
Truth be told I was beginning to build a small, but satisfying life. It was a solitary life for the most part, but I was beginning to accept that it was okay to be alone. Most mornings I rode my three wheeler to a fast food restaurant for a take out breakfast. Then usually it was on to the city reservoir to eat it. I could look at the lake even when the temperature was thirty five degrees. Even then I always removed the egg from my breakfast sandwich for Jed. it was probably why he allowed me go out alone.
My first ever glitch occurred on my sixth delivery. New customers, I had been told were the most dangerous, however that night the customer had done business with me before. I was parked at the rear of a one gas pump country store. The parking lot was about half asphalt and half loose gravel. I parked in the very rear of the lot facing the road. I had the engine off even though it was cold. The quiet night may have saved my ass. Two men tried to sneak up on me from out of the woods.
They had to be the stupidest hijacker I ever heard off. Both of them approached the truck on the drivers side. I just laid flat on the seat till I could slide to the passenger’s door. I opened it and rolled out in the same motion. I walked around to the front of the truck where I bumped into the two would be hijackers. They had small hand guns. Their guns looked like toys when compared to the double barreled Ithaca shotgun.