Twin Beeches -- an Illinois Love Story
Author: paul schoaff

Chapter 55
I Choose to Choose Sides

Provisional Agent Darryl Isbell, aka Barney Miller, maybe ex-ATF, maybe not, since he had decided to stick around Woodland until someone came to personally order him back to Chicago, heard the trooper's general call as he monitored their frequency.   “M.J. Gonsalves” was mentioned, and “Twin Beeches”, with some instructions on how to get there from Havana, Lewistown and Beardstown.  Troopers would converge from all directions, but were not to approach the house until the Captain, from Macomb, arrived on the scene.


Miller sped out of town with his siren wailing and lights flashing, retracing the route Mama had used the first day she showed me the beautiful old houses, not slowing until he hit the gravel road that led, three miles further, to the Twin Beeches area.  All of his supplies and clothes, including his camouflage suit,  were piled high in the back seat and trunk, as he had been expecting to have to leave for Chicago, or back to Missouri, at any time.


As he came within a half mile of the houses he could see in the distance, he saw a rainwater gully he crossed in the car turning into a valley further on and running behind the houses.  He stopped then, shut off everything and put his camouflage suit on.  He Rambo'd up, with a rifle, a .45 automatic, and a shotgun.  Binoculars with night vision capability mounted on a riot helmet, a radio and a Kevlar vest.


Fifteen minutes later, he hid in the woods next to a bean field, looking into the porch area of the house with his binoculars.  My car sat abandoned in the driveway.  There was no movement, no lights.


Down the hill, out of sight of the houses, the first trooper on the scene saw a flare beside the road.  Next to the flare was a man, lying quietly, but able, as the trooper approached, to weakly wave an arm.  He didn't know how he got there, and his name was David Baumgartner.  "Please help her, please..." , he whispered over and over.


An ambulance, with EMT's and a transfusion of serum arrived 10 minutes later and rushed him to the Havana Hospital.  Eddie and I just made it to the parking lot of a Wal-Mart to watch the ambulance go by.  “We wouldn't have gotten him to help any quicker”, Eddie remarked.  I sat quietly, as I have had so much practice doing lately, the baby Googling and Burbling.  Finally, I tentatively asked,


“Well, Mr. Bad Guy, what now?”


Eddie was surprisingly ready for the question.  Somehow, he knew I wasn't not on his side, if you get my drift.   “First, WE have to steal another car and trade license plates with something else, so they can't track us easily.  Then WE are going to drive east as far as Rantoul, and WE are going to get a room in one of those motels all the airmen use when their girlfriends visit, and I'm going to tell you a long story about how I got in this fix, and what I'd ask you to do next. Then we’ll see where we go from there, together, or not.”  


Somehow from the hundreds of people he knew or met in his young life, somehow he found himself sitting in a stolen truck with, maybe,the only person who had come to think that he was a man worth knowing and helping.  And you say in your agnosticism, "God doesn't do any favors...."


“At least, Eddie, we don't think you are wanted for murder.”


“Only jailbreak and kidnapping”, he noted, sarcastically.


“Then what keeps me from opening this door and running across the parking lot screaming for help?  Why should I trust you?”




I admit it, now he really had my attention.


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