An Impatient Sheriff

When I got to the hatchery I had trouble finding the tribal sheriff.

His patrol car was there. It was empty and parked in a dark spot rather than under a light post. The pens seemed fine.  They were full of fish.  Each pen held a different stage of life for the salmon, the largest of which were only a few months old.

I wondered why someone would choose to poison captive salmon rather than some other distraction.  If this was indeed a distraction.

(I was pretty convinced that it was)

Either that or the deaths of the salmon were simply a separate and unrelated crime.

“Not likely.” I said to no one.

“WHAT!?” Ransom appeared out of nowhere.

“OH SHHhhh. . . ! You scared the hell out of me.  Where were you?”

My heart nearly stopped.

“Whoa. Sorry Agent.  Didn’t mean to spook you.”

Ransom approached from behind a nearby power shed.

I watched him carefully.  At this point in any investigation, anyone could be the rapist/God wannabe.

“You said something about evidence?”

I sounded completely calm.

I wasn’t.

“I did?”

“Yes.  You sounded urgent.”

“Oh right.  Yeah. Sorry.  I thought I found something but it was just an old tennis shoe.  Wrong size for the prints we found.”

“And you forgot to tell me not to come?”

“Oh, I wanted you to come anyway.  That’s why I didn’t call back.”

“Okkaaaaay.”

“Don’t worry; it’s important you see something.” Laughed Ransom.

“What? What should I see?” I casually let my hand go to my sidearm.

“It’s over there.”  He nodded to an area behind me.

“Ok.  You lead the way Sheriff.”

Next – A Suspect Emerges.