Sunday June 2, 2024 – Chapter Thirty-Four of “The Bad Seed.”

Men had been working around the clock for three days to complete the long delayed make over of a once beautiful and still sprawling mansion out in the flat desert ten miles east of Phoenix.

The house had been built by a visionary who had made a vast fortune in the movie industry and then in California real estate. His name is well known to most everyone of a certain age. He tried his luck in the flat desert of Arizona several decades in the past but outside but unforeseen events had caused his newest venture to fail years ago. Tony Lugano had taken advantage recently of the surviving family members desires to sell the immense property.

A deal was quickly struck and soon a small army of men were at the site at the end if a very long, hard packed, dirt road. They worked day and night to clean and refurbish the once beautiful home. The dry wether had protected the dwelling from the ravages of time. A new roof was quickly installed to replace the original one that had been baked beyond usefulness. All of the necessary repairs were soon finished. The house looked as it had looked some thirty odd years before in just over four days. The nearby yard had been cleaned and replanted with the appropriate plants in a beautiful and artful manner. The house looked like a model home as it had so many years in the past.

David sat in the dark waiting for the sun to rise. He had arrived twenty minutes ago to watch over Sam Cornel’s home. At eight o:clock in the morning two large moving vans arrived in front of his and two other homes. The trucks were longer than the length of Sam’s house plus two of his neighbors wide yards. David called Jay and told him what was happening. David climbed out of the car and raised the hood.

In twenty minutes Jay arrived and parked next to David’s car in his Corvette. Both men then stood under the hood of David’s car pretending to search for the car’s imaginary mechanical issue. They both took turns looking furtively at the house as they worked under the hood.

“Good morning David, how are you this morning?” “Fine Jay, it looks like your plan has finally paid off.” “Yes David, faster than I had ever hoped for.” “Now what do we do?” “I’ll stay here with you until the first truck leaves. Then I will leave as if to buy a needed part and follow them to where ever they are off to. If I don’t come back in an hour or so, just stay here and watch.

The two men walked around the car and pretended to be mystified by the failure if the car. Jay had released the battery cable with an open ended wrench just after he arrived. The two men attempted to start the car. It never started, of course. It wouldn’t turn over. The men moving the large mass of furniture from the house never noticed them. They were on a mission with a firm deadline.

Loretta had all of her personal items stored in large boxes. Some were tall and narrow and filled with expensive clothing. Some smaller boxes contained her large collection of expensive jewelry while other smaller boxes held her many pairs of shoes. Sam’s clothing had been packed as well.

When the first truck left the house after nearly an hour and a half, Jay followed it at an appropriate distance to see where it was headed. He had no idea where the trucks might end up and had filled his gas tank just in case that the journey might turn out to be a long one. It wasn’t.

The first truck turned off of the high way after nearly eleven miles out of town. The wind was blowing as usual. Dust hung low over the red horizon mixed with a hint of early morning desert moisture. The truck turned to the right at an old sign that had faded letters painted on it in blue and red and a phone number now destroyed over time. Only half of the numbers were still visible. It was the landmark that each driver would look for on their first trip to the new home of the Cornel’s. A long line of telephone polls marked the road on one side for a very long distance. A gas line laid under them and reached the house and the large parcel of land.

Sam Cornel had little idea of what his future might hold. He was now at the mercy of his distraught wife’s father, Tony Lugano. Mr. Lugano was widely know in the circles that he traveled in as a very smart and ruthless businessman of ill repute. His products were nearly all illegal and highly destructive to those who used him. He had vast legal ventures as well. He resources were unlimited.

Tony had talked to his many partners and had decided on a plan of action similar to the one he had used so often before. He was a patient man when it suited him and his objectives. He was also cold blooded and had an array of men who would do what ever he ordered them to do. Judges had been bribed or killed all over the world as had prosecutors and witnesses. This was part of what had to be done to stay in business.

Jay watched the truck drive out into the desert with the binoculars that David had used. There were few secrets left at Sam’s home. It was plain to see what Tony Lugano had planned for the moment. The moving of the family away from Jay’s sister and nephew was the first of a few things that Jay had hoped to see happen. He watched the dust float to the west on a slow moving breeze as the trucks arrived at a large home sitting out in the far distance. He made a phone call to the chief and in ten minutes a helicopter was flying overhead taking photographs at what was below it. Sam was at the police station in an hour to see those photos. He then called David and informed him that he could go back to working at his Uber job for the moment.

Jay sat in the chief’s office. Some officers had begun wondering why Jay was seen so often at the police station. Most or all knew that he was a retired officer. Some of the newer officers who didn’t know Jay thought that he might have married the chief’s daughter. A rumor spread that Jay was now playing golf on a regular basis with the chief. Many wondered why and some felt slighted.

“These pictures are interesting Jay,” the chief said as they stood on opposite sides of his cluttered desk. The large photos were stacked on top of the chief’s normal debris on his desk. “Yes chief, I see what looks like an airstrip here. It looks newish. There is a clear row of dirt on either side and no plants growing on it.’ “Yes, that is a troubling development. Sam Cornell or others can now land a private plane out there without our knowledge if they come in low enough and from the south.” “Yes, but that’s to my advantage and a problem that you will have to deal with. As long as they sell that house and move out of my sister’s neighborhood and turn over their keys, I will be satisfied. That has been my goal all along. If my nephew gets back into the drug life, that’s on him. I will make sure to be there for him and to watch over him very closely as he goes through rehab. I know it’s a tuff battle but I hope he will make it through the program.

As Jay went to see his nephew that evening, he drove past his sister’s house and arrived fifty feet from the now empty house of Sam Cornel. It was nearly dark. His nephews car was sitting in the driveway as Jay passed by. The motor had been replaced after a bullet had destroyed the car’s motor. The mechanic was surprised to see what had caused it’s failure. It was a first for him, that was certain. He had never seen a pullet penetrate a car engine before.

As Jay sat parked in his car, he saw a for sale sign planted in Sam’s front yard. He wondered how long it would take to sell it and who might end up living there.

After several months, the trial of the three men who had worked for Sam Cornell was over. All three went back to prison. Sam Cornell had disappeared and never stood trial. The shooter of the gate guard was sentenced for the rest of his life for that crime went off to prison and the two others went off for several years. The body of Sam Cornell has never been found.

Jay was satisfied and felt little guilt for his unorthodox methods of police work. He had always been an honest cop and prided himself on that. But this case was a little different. His family was involved and he just wanted to make sure that justice was done.

No judges or attorneys were ever harmed though some were threatened. The system had worked as it is supposed to. Jay was happy about the outcome and felt some pride in the small part that he had played along with his two new friends. He wondered if another adventure might soon come there way.

One day as Jay played golf with his two best friends, nephew, and is wife Julie, a plane flew out from the east and passed low over them slowly as it climbed. Jay was at the tee. It banked slowly to the south and soon was headed in that direction. The five looked up at the beautiful private jet as it passed overhead. Jay watched it closely as it climbed ever higher in the sky.

The police department and the DEA had been watching the ranch that Loretta’s father had bought for her for sometime. It was now in Loretta’s name. The district attorney had checked the tax records and discovered that in their ongoing investigation of Sam Cornell.

No one on the ground new that Sam Cornel was seated in that airplane or that his wife had had him under house arrest for several months and had kept him there until she had exacted her full measure of revenge upon him. But the DEA knew that it had taken off from her ranch.

When Loretta was finally content that she was finished with Sam, she sent what was left of him to her father in Panama. He was still alive, but a shadow of what he once had been. His fate was left to her father.

Loretta was her father’s daughter and she possessed his sense of pride and her own ideas of justice. Sam paid for his transgressions mightily. He not only lost his position of power to his wife who now runs this part of her father’s large drug cartel, he faces an uncertain future in Panama, at best.

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Perhaps there are a few lessons to be learned from this story. One of them, is certainly, that if you are married, you should act like it or pay the consequences. Just a thought to ponder on a sunny day while reading a harmless story like this one.

I think this is the end of “The Bad Seed,” but another story will be up here in a few days.

Buy the way, “The Adventures of the Smith Family,” my first novel will be free on the 5th of this month as an E book. It is an interesting historical fiction tale from the 18th century in England. Come along on the Adventures of Lawrence and meet his new friends as he leaves home on a grand adventure that will lead him into danger, romance and make him mature very quickly. I’m running a big ad campaign for it starting then. Take care, R.C. Hand.