Sheriff Mac: Day One

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Sheriff Mac: Day One

“I think Raven has his own ways of passing on information; he does it in a casual but informative manner. He chooses his words in such a way that anyone familiar with the topic of conversation would understand what he is saying between the lines. To anyone else, it sounds like the type of comments most kids would make.”

“Sheriff, can you explain what you mean; maybe give me an example for my report.”

Sheriff Mac knew this interview would be an important part of Raven’s background investigation. To answer Foxx’s question, he said, “I think I have a perfect example for you. We were setting at the kitchen table; Raven, his Dad and me. I went to school with his dad. We were in the same graduating class. We’ve known each other all of our lives it seems. Anyway, we were talking about crops; what he would plant; and I told him that plenty of farmers in the area were planting marijuana. Just kidding of course, but his Dad said he thought he would plant okra instead. Raven had just come in the kitchen door and heard the conversation. He poured himself a glass of milk and set down across from me. His dad got up to get the pot of coffee off the stove and Raven said, ‘I just saw the funniest thing’.”

“His dad asked, “what’s that?” and Raven looked straight at me and said “I was coming up from Lick Creek and saw Mr. Mitchell pulling his horse trailer. Mitch was right behind him pulling the other trailer and there was an old blue truck that didn’t have any fenders following them.”

“His dad asked ‘what’s funny about that?’” Raven said, “It just seemed funny to me; a $50,000 horse trailer hauling Tennessee Walking horses worth maybe a million bucks followed by another trailer hitched up to a Cadillac Escalade pulling more of his horses and then a ratty old truck worth maybe a hundred bucks.”

His dad replied, “That doesn’t sound so funny to me. You sure have a strange sense of humor.”

“Foxx, you’re an investigator. You tell me what’s funny about Raven’s comment?”

“Sheriff, I don’t see anything funny about it either. Enlighten me.”

“Well, that’s probably because you’re not from around here and don’t have any knowledge of Tennessee Walking Horses. You see, like Raven said, those horses or worth up to a million dollars apiece. Mr Mitchell even has his own helicopter and airplane to bring big shots in to see the horses. The back of his property is his own private airfield. Anytime you got millions of dollars worth of horses, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of vehicles and trailers mixing with an old beat up truck, it just doesn’t fit.”

“So what are you telling me about Raven? That’s what I need. And how would Raven know the pickup truck was with them; they could have just been on the road at the same time.”

“What I’m saying Mr. Foxx, is that Raven is observant. He knows how to communicate his thoughts without giving the farm away so to speak. What he was actually saying was that something was up. Things didn’t fit. He looked straight into my eyes and nodded his head a bit.”

“Sheriff, maybe I am a dense city boy but so far all I’m getting out of this is that Raven call talk and nod his head.”

“Okay, then it’s time for me to tell you the whole story. I think you’re smart enough to know what to put in your report.”

“I was at home grilling some steaks on my back deck. It was a Saturday. Raven pulls up on his motorcycle and starts making some small talk. Like asking me if the steaks were Angus and why wasn’t I out fighting crime or kissing babies.” Raven always likes to add a little frivolity to his serious discussions.” I told him to mind his own business and he begins to tell me about his visit to his family’s corn field up the road a piece. He and his buddy, Scott, were up there and Raven saw a blue truck on the property. The same truck that is seen at Mitchell’s horse farm on occasion. He told me that he made a quit exit and carried Scott home. Then he went back to snoop around a bit and found marijuana planted between the rows of corn. What you need to take away from that is that Raven recognizes dangerous situations and takes safety into consideration.”

“What’s dangerous about that situation?”

“Well, again you have to have a feel for the area and what’s right and what’s not right in a farming community. It’s a corn field—there’s seldom a need for a pickup truck in a corn field. Tractors do the planting and the harvesting and, and it’s a big deal, the truck was trespassing. You just don’t do that on a farmer’s land. You might as well kick the guy’s dog. Farmer’s don’t like trespassers and they don’t like anybody messing with their dog.”

“Sheriff, I don’t mean to be impolite, maybe I’m just dumb or something, but it seems like you might be making a hero out of Raven on account of nothing. Is that’s what going on here?”

“I’m not through with the story yet. A couple of days later, Raven stops by again and tells me he’s come up with a solution for the trespassers in the corn field. He asked me if I could spare a roll or two of warning tape. I asked him if he needed any help and he said no, that he would handle it.”

“What was he going to do. Why didn’t you get involved?”

“So far no crime had been committed as far as I knew.”

“Weren’t you curious about the tape?”

“Not really. Raven has a good head on his shoulders. I’ve seen him in action plenty of times before. He’s always first to volunteer for a search party. Hell, some hunters have hired him to find their lost dogs. He once came up on a wreck off 31. A guy had fallen asleep and went over the cliff. When we got there, Raven was pulling the guy up the embankment. So when he asked for the tape, I figured he had a good plan. Besides, like I said, no crime had been committed. As far as I knew he was going to pull one of his pranks.”

“How does this story end?”

“I never laughed so hard in my life. Raven’s dad called me to say someone had destroyed a large part of his corn field. He was mad as hell; said the place was surrounded by yellow police tape. I drove out to the field and saw that someone had taken a tractor and pushed over the corn, the marijuana and an old shack up there. The whole place was marked off with crime scene tape.”

“And?”

“We never saw that truck in town again. What’s so sweet about the whole thing is that whoever did it made it look like we did it—the Slokey County Sheriff’s Office. Who you think might have done that?”

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