Chapter 79

February 17th, 2012

Squalls In The Mountains

I was right about the mountains getting the lion's share of snow, as compared to the York-Harrisburg areas. After getting-off rainy, icy I-83 North, and heading east on the long, snow-covered side road, toward the virtual, Historic Adam's Junction and my snowy 1,000ft lane to The Cabin, I felt we were in for a fairly-heavy snowfall, once again. Gut feeling. I parked under the left-side carport, right at the Kitchen Door, unarmed the building, unloaded the Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo", and took my weapons and gear inside, much to Jenny's delight. She knew that I was back for the weekend with her.

I quickly turned-up the Digital Furnace/AC Control, and the heat to 78°F, turned-on the front/rear spotlight arrays, lit a roaring fire, watered & fed Jenny, and unpacked. It was snowing even more heavily than I'd expected up here, but rain and snow squalls always seem to

intensify, slow-down and "park themselves" in mountainous areas and we usually get 3-4x what flatter, plain-like areas get. I stood at the front door's glass storm door, looking out at the worsening weather, and somehow enjoyed it. Being "marooned" wasn't so bad, if that's what it came to. Besides, I'd already called William-The-Caretaker to plow-me-out if it got over 14-16" deep, left a voicemail for Capt Clay at the AJPD & Town Hall that I'd be in town and available, if needed, and also left a message for Bev & Tony that I'd like to see them on Saturday. It was getting on to 22:30hrs (10:30pm) and I had a "serious case of the yawns", so I grabbed a shower, fresh clothes, turned-off the spotlights, left the front porch light on, checked the windows and doors, armed the building, turned-down the furnace to 70°F, and headed to the freshly-cleaned Master Bedroom, with Jenny following closely. My 2009 Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, 3 extra 8-round mags and my "ancient" 2006 Nokia 6060 "Clamshell" Cellphone were on the nightstand, next to the bed. I leave the cellphone on overnight, while it's "trickle-charging", since an emergency call might come-in at any time, and I'd need to respond ASAP. I was asleep within 5 minutes.

I woke-up at 07:00hrs (7am) on Saturday, and it was still dark. Low clouds, light flurries and heavy fog made it seem much earlier than it was. After turning-up the heat to 78°F, I fed & watered Jenny, had a bowl of Del Monte® Red Grapefruit Sections, Scrambled Eggs, Country Sausage (Jenny got some, too), Rye Bread Toast w/ Keller's® Butter, and French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground beans) with my Chemex® Drip System. I lit a fire, sat in my comfy chair by the fire, and Jenny curled-up on her Kodiak Bearskin. From the front door, it looked like we'd gotten 10-14", depending on where one measured. The driveway and circle turnaround had been plowed by William's large truck, but I sure didn't hear anything, during the night. The mountains were frosted in their snow blanket; just beautiful. I took my cellphone

off-charge, and a call came-in from Capt Clay at 09:15hrs (9:15am), asking if I was snowed-in, or could I come into the Station and do my regular 10-block residential area, of Adam's Junction. He was back up to full 6-Deputy strength again, but 2 were snowed-in and it'd take a while to get them dug-out. I said I'd be there within 20-25 minutes.

I gathered my weapons, gear and Deputy garb, warmed-up the Jeep, armed the building and headed for Town. The DPW had nicely-plowed the AJPD's lots, and I parked in Space #7 and went inside. Beth Ann, the cute/nice Dispatcher was alone at the Front Counter; all other available Deputies – Lee, Jon, Arthur and Jeff, except for Sgt Alex and Tim, who were digging themselves out – were out on-patrol. I had a new pile of paperwork, mounded on my Office Desk. The place was eerily-quiet, unlike last week's mayhem and commotion with the Feds and Military, for the aborted Spec-Op. Clay told me that all records were still "sealed & secured", and that no other "go date" had been planned, due to the unpredictability of the weather, up here. Yep, that's about right, I thought. He showed me on the Conference Room's Town Wall Map, an extra 2 block area he'd like me to include on my rounds. No problem, I said. It was a "trouble-prone area" and I needed to be a bit more careful, but he was sure I could handle it. I got a "uneasy feeling" about that statement.

I drew my Police Gear from the Equipment Room, signed for it and headed to my Jeep. I'd have to put the red suction cup light on my dash, if needed, since the roof was covered with 2-3" of snow and ice. I loaded-up the Jeep, and headed-out to my rounds. The streets were mainly clear, but it was lightly-snowing again. First glitch was a stalled BMW, which had slid-off the road, hit a 6-7ft snow bank, and folded-up its passenger-side like an accordion. I used the red light on the dash, parked 20ft behind it, called-in the plates, and got out to see if anyone was in it. It was empty, except for a nickel-plated 9mm on the front passenger floor. I called that in, and Beth Ann said that Deputy Jon was on his way for back-up.

The 2 gunshots came out of nowhere, in the ubiquitous white snow. I knew it was from my right, but couldn't see anything definitive to return fire. I ducked down behind the Bimmer, called-in the shots to Jon and the Dispatcher. A third shot broke the BMW's rear window, so I scrambled to my SUV, unbagged the Beowulf® .50cal with an EoTech® Red Dot Scope, grabbing and stuffing 5 extra 11-round mags of

335gr .50cal ammo, in my Parka pockets. The shots were coming from the snow-shrouded woods, but I couldn't clearly see the shooter, due to the snow's "white-out" conditions. It was daunting not knowing where he was. Deputy Jon arrived and another 2 shots hit his Cruiser windshield, and then I saw the .357 Magnum's muzzle flash, from behind a conifer (an evergreen bush). I fired 3 tight-spaced-8" triangle shots into the right-of-center bush, heard the scream, and saw the blood and tissue matter splatter all over the snow behind and around the bush. I heard the thud of his body hit the ground, after flying through the air. Bingo: I "hit meat", at least twice. Deputy Arthur arrived, and he and Jon had their full-auto AR-15s out-and-ready by now, but it was all over. I covered them as they went in to check the perp, but I could have told them what they'd find.

Arthur called in a Coroner's Wagon to tag & bag the body, 2 tow trucks for Jon's Police Cruiser and the BMW, and did the Incident Report. The guy's wallet ID'd him as a "Stu Lorenson", from Harrisburg, and one of the Deputies was already running the plates, his license and getting some background info on his past. I gave my recorded statement to Deputies Jon & Arthur, and left to go back on patrol. I now had to cover my assigned area, plus Deputy Jon's area, while he requisitioned a replacement Cruiser, when he and Arthur got back to the AJPD. The damaged Cruiser would need a new windshield, next week. It was almost 11:40hrs (11:40am), and I was getting hungry, despite all the "colorful carnage" from those 2-3 .50cal hits, so I called-in an order to Nell's Kitchen Restaurant & Drive-In, and it would be ready with 10-15 minutes. I headed over there to eat my Pit Beef Sandwich, Fries and Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice, to wash it down, after calling-in a "10-20 Lunch Break". Deputy Jon was back in his newly-requisitioned Cruiser, on patrol, so I took my full 20-minutes at the Lunch Counter. Good eats. I paid, tipped and left.

On the way back to my assigned area, I called Bev & Tony on my cell, to see how late they'd be open tonight. Tony said they were closing early at 17:00hrs (5pm), since he and Bev both had the flu. I decided not to stop and visit, since I was just getting-over-it myself, and didn't need it again, thankyouverymuch. I had quite enough provisions at The Cabin, but needed Marlboro®s, and decided to stop at the local Rutter's Convenience Store in my patrol area, to get one. Just as I pulled into the convenience store's parking space, I saw 2 punks with knives at the front counter,

and the young clerk cowering behind it, handing-over the cash drawer's receipts. I drew my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with its Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine, from my Galco® Paddle FED Holster, with another Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazines, and opened the glass doors. Pointing the Kimber directly at them, round-chambered and safety-off, I ID'd myself – my Badge and Deputy Cap left no doubt – and both dropped their knives. After reading them their Miranda Rights, I cuffed them backwards to each other, on the floor with arms and legs intertwined, and called for prisoner transport to the AJPD Jail. Deputy Arthur arrived within 5-6 minutes, and I handed the two perps and Incident/Booking paperwork and evidence (bagged knives) over to him, for his manilla folder. I calmed the cashier, paid for my smokes and left. It was now 14:50hrs (2:50pm).

The remaining 3½-hours of my shift were relatively uneventful: a few parking tickets, one minor accident and a couple of drunks fighting outside of Milt's Bar & Grille, as I was returning to the Station. Nothing of importance; just more damned paperwork. I had a 2" stack when I pulled into Parking Space #7, went inside to my Office, reviewed the paperwork and turned it in to Capt Clay. He just wryly-smiled, checked his watch, and said he wanted to get out of here, go home and get a couple of cold beers. I knew the feeling, said goodbye and turned-in my Police-issued Gear, and left after telling Clay that I'd be around tomorrow after 09:00hrs (9am), if he needed me. I also wanted to get home, eat, play with Jenny, relax and get some sleep.

By now, at 19:00hrs (7pm), it was 18°F and everything was quickly-freezing, including the slush on the roads, and it was "dicey-driving" at 10-15mph just to keep from sliding-off into a ditch. I pulled into my snowy 1,000ft lane to The Cabin, which looked as though it'd been just plowed again by William, and parked under the left-side carport. It was now 18:45hrs (6:45pm) and Jenny was hungry, so I fed and watered her, turned-up the heat, lit a fire, brought-in my weapons and gear, locked and armed both the Jeep and building, turned-on the front/rear spotlight arrays, and plopped-down in my my comfy chair by the fire, to rest for a few minutes. I was hungry but I wasn't hungry.

Jenny brought her brush over, in her mouth, for me to brush her; it'd been a week since my last visit with her, and she had gotten used to me brushing her coat and rubbing her belly. I did that and once again slumped back into my chair, while she curled-up in front of the fire. I went out to the Kitchen and made something simple: Chicken Kiev, Roasted Red Potatoes & String Beans and had a couple of glasses of Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice, to wash it down. Right now,

I was "thinking" about sipping a 30-year old, Single Malt, Glenlivet Scotch-on-the-rocks, but that was definitely out-of-the-question. Friday, February 10th, was now 10 months since I'd quit all alcohol, and I didn't want to ruin that track record. With the spotlight arrays on, I could see that it was snowing once again, and I turned-on the Police Scanner to hear any news and weather reports. I also fired-up my Cabin's Weather Station, and it confirmed another, even larger snow squall was moving through the area. Swell.

At 22:30hrs (10:30pm), I decided to call it a day, and grabbed a shower, fresh clothes, shut-down and armed The Cabin, and headed for bed. My Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, plus 3 extra 8-round mags and my "ancient" 2006 Nokia 6060 "Clamshell" Cellphone were on the nightstand, next to the bed, as usual. Jenny stayed curled-up by the fire, until it died-down, and then joined me.

I heard the wind howling much of the night, after waking-me-up several times to "unfamiliar noises", twice-causing me to grab the Kimber and my Remy® 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun with devastating Federal® 12ga .00 Buck (9 pellets) "FliteControl®" Shells, and EoTech® Red Dot Scope, leaning against the wall, right next to my bed, and have a look around The Cabin. I left the AR-10; too close quarters for that monster rifle's range. Looking out of the Kitchen window, I could see that it was a small, broken branch banging against one of the side windows of The Cabin, which I'd remove in the morning. No biggie, but Jenny wasn't happy with being disturbed so many times for no reason. I slept-in on Sunday until 07:00hrs (7am), turned-up the heat to 78°F, took care of her water and food needs, dressed very warmly, went outside, removed and cut-up the offending branch with my Professional Felco #9 Pruners. It went on to the "kindling pile", next to the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch, for quick fire-starting. I was shivering when I came back inside – even dressed as warmly as I was, since it was only 13°F/Wind Chill 4°F – to make some piping-hot, French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground beans) with my Chemex® Drip System, and think about what to make for breakfast. I lit a roaring fire and checked the 'fridge.

I decided on Eggs Benedict & Hash Browns, a ½-lb of Bacon (Jenny got some), Rye Bread Toast w/ Keller's® Butter, and more coffee. Since most of Adam's Junction would be at Church today, for either of the 2 services, it would be a slow day for the AJPD, due to the cold weather. I had the Police Scanner on, but called into the AJPD Dispatcher and asked Ruth, "the grouchy one", what was happening. She asked if I was snowed-in and said it was a slow day, so far. Capt Clay and his family were at their Church, Sgt Alex was in-charge and there were 3 Deputies were out on-patrol. I asked her to leave a message for Clay, and that I'd be at The Cabin until around 17:00hrs (5pm), if he needed me. I could also stay overnight, since I didn't have any pressing appointments or meetings, until early Tuesday morning.

I needed to clean the Beowulf® .50cal from yesterday's shooting, so I laid-out 7-8 sheets of newspaper on

the empty Dining Room Table, used the .50cal Hoppe's® Premium Field Gun Cleaning Kit, then cleaned-up the breakfast dishes, letting them air-dry in the double-sink rack. Also, time for a load of laundry, some light vacuuming, and a re-make of the Master Bedroom's bed's linens. I also cleaned-out the fireplace and its ash-trap, throwing the paper bag of ashes on to the backyard, snow-covered compost pile. I'd take those tasks off of William's "list" for the week, which I always leave on the Dining Room Table, every Sunday after I depart. I next carried more firewood from the Firewood Storage Shed in the Backyard, to restock the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch, and a few more armloads into The Cabin to stack by the fireplace, for next weekend's use.

I spent a good hour brushing Jenny, after walking her down the snowy driveway to "do her business", and then changing her 2 litter boxes on the rubber tarp, in the 2nd Bedroom, also taking that one off William's "list". Yes, I was bored and "chores" were a sort of "relief valve" for me, to keep busy, for now. It was getting on to 13:45hrs (1:45pm), and I laid down on the couch after re-building and stoking the fire. It was snowing again as more squalls moved through the area. My cellphone and Kimber .45cal were within easy reach. The cellphone woke me up about 50-minutes later; it was Capt Clay returning my call to the Dispatcher. All was okay in Adam's Junction, and I wasn't needed to patrol; Deputy Jon had that area covered. He asked when I'd be back and ready for more Volunteer AJPD Duty. I said that I'd be back next Friday evening, but didn't want another stack of "cold files" and other crap on my desk, like I had yesterday. He needed to buy another filing cabinet and stow them in a special "Cold Case Drawer". There'd be no way I'd ever get around to all of those cases. He agreed to get a new filing cabinet for them.

I bundled-up and went out to check the 3 1,000gal LPG Tanks: the meter read only 45%, so I added a "refill call" to Suburban Propane Co, to my "to-do list". With all my "chores" done, I began packing-up my weapons and gear, loading the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee "Laredo", going through my "7-step procedure" of closing-down The Cabin, and readying myself for a trip back to York and my Condo in East York. I'd make some light dinner when I got home. I also refilled Jenny's 4 water/dry/wet food bowls, put a voicemail into William to take-over on Monday morning, armed the building, reset the front porch light on its timer, and headed-out the snowy 1,000ft driveway, to the long, snow-covered side road, west to I-83 South, toward York. It was already 16:50hrs (4:50pm) and getting darker-by-the-minute, as more snow squalls rapidly-approached from the west. With a little luck, I'd just miss them and have a quick, clean trip home.

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