A Black Bear Killer in Castaway County Chapter 1

I looked over at the digital clock on my bed stand and read the time to be 3:07 A.M. and simultaneously picked up the phone and said hello.

“Hi, Sheriff, its Polly, sorry to wake you.” The caller was Polly Hand who was a night dispatcher for the Maine State Police, who also provides my office with coverage when we don’t have our own person on duty.

“Oh, hi, Polly, what do you have?”

“Well, it looks like you have a multiple homicide scene out at the old Irving Truck Stop. We have a trooper on the scene and another on the way to help.”

She called it the old Irving Truck Stop because, although it was so owned in the past, the Grohe Corporation now owned it, and many long time citizens still referred to it by the Irving name. Mr. Thurston Grohe IV, who owns a huge all-year cabin on a hill above the head of our lake, and the current CEO of the corporation had decided to purchase the truck stop. He had since renamed it the Black Bear Truck Stop in homage to the local citizenry. I’m not sure the name change and purchase helped his image with locals much anyway. Last year Mr. Grohe had called us to respond to his big house because some kids had thrown a couple of eggs at his front door. He is the type of guy who wanted us to take fingerprints from the eggshells left behind so we could catch the kids. Like it was a heinous crime. Anyway, he had become known as someone who had entirely too much money and too little community spirit. But maybe buying the truck stop and re-naming it would help his image some, who knows.

“Ok, has anyone called my Chief Deputy yet?”

“Yes, Sir, he’s on his way as well. I’d expect him to be there in about 15 minutes.”

“Ok, Polly. I’ll get dressed and be right over there. I’ll call you when I get to my Tahoe.”

I hung up the phone and rolled back over toward Suzi. Even at this time of the morning she was a beautiful picture. Her lovely skin, beautiful face and, lucky me, she sleeps without clothes most of these summer months. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again! While I was wishing I had more time, I knew that my duties called and I needed to go.

She took a look at me and asked if I had had that nightmare again. I told her I had, but this was the first time in six or eight months, so it wasn’t recurring as often as before. I just hope it eventually ceases to exist in my nights at all. I told her I would be ok and that I was leaving to go in to work.

As I gave her a kiss on the cheek and toldher to go back to sleep her cell phone began to ring.

“Well, Dell, it must be a big crime, I expect they’re calling me to come in to the studio.”

Suzi’s station, Channel 4 News, wanted her to come in so she could coordinate with the on-site team they were sending to the crime scene to ensure she broke the story on her 6 A.M. broadcast. They would have a truck on the scene sending photos and reports via satellite to her production office and staging area and it would be her responsibility as the lead news anchor to review it, consolidate the pieces into a reasonable three or four minute piece and prepare it for final tape presentation. And she would have to discuss with the on-site reporter if they were going to provide a “live” segment to augment the taped portions, which I suspected that they would. In more metropolitan areas there would be various production managers and editors who did these jobs, but here, in rural Maine, Suzi had to do a lot of that stuff herself. They were lucky to have the mobile report truck in the first place. I think it was a grant or donation from one of our more wealthy summer homeowners.

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