Chapter 83

March 16th, 2012

The Hair-Cut

With the cherry and plum trees starting to bloom everywhere, I left York on Friday, March 9th, at 16:30hrs (4:30pm) and headed-up I-83 North to the exit for Adam's Junction and The Cabin, both nestled in the snowy northern mountain of Pennsylvania. As soon as I hit the inner environs off of the interstate, I watched the temps drop a quick 10-15°F and light snow begin, as snow squalls worked their way through from the northwest and Great Lakes. Nothing in bloom up here, except the many Winter Witch Hazels, which Tim Swanson and I'd planted, along with the 30 "Princeton" American Elms, last Fall. At least the long road south of Adam's Junction to The Cabin, was clear, and I didn't see any wrecks or vehicles in ditches, as I had on previous Winter trips. My 1,000ft lane driveway, was still snow-covered but I had zero difficulty getting in; William-The-Caretaker most likely had been through recently with his plow, and the Jeep's Selec-Trac AWD made it a breeze. After parking under the carport, I disarmed the building, went in to say hello to the always-happy-to-see-me Jenny, fed & watered her, and began bringing-in my Gear, Equipment & Weapons – several changes of clothes in my old VietNam-service US Army Duffel Bag, Full-Auto, Class III AR-10® .308cal (7.62 x 51mm NATO), with the

new 15½" Barska® 10-36x Zoom w/ 100mm Lens Sniper Scope, and Green Mil-Dots and .308cal ammo in the new 20-round magazines, the Remy® 11-87 Semi-Automatic 12ga Shotgun with devastating (LEO-quality) Federal® 12ga .00 Buck (9 pellets) "FliteControl®" Shells, my Beowulf® .50cal with a newly-fitted Trijicon® TA648-50 6x48 ACOG Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags for .50cal 335gr rounds, a Single Lens 8 x 20mm Spy Scope, my daily carry-piece, the Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, a Galco® PLE Paddle Holster, a special Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazines, my invaluable Satchel Bag, full of "all kinds of survival necessities", Yellow Safety Raingear, my 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots", a multi-caliber Hoppe's® Premium Field Gun Cleaning Kit, a new 16" Bowie® Knife, my Northend® Sport Jackets Co's Style 88651® Men's Sherpa Fleece-Lined, Seam-Sealed Winter Jacket, and Thermolite® Thinsulate Gloves – all fitting perfectly in the Jeep's spacious Cargo Bay and back seats.

I turned-up the heat, called Capt Clay and got right through on his cellphone, letting him know that I wouldn't be available this weekend, due to technical problems and a scheduled equipment service appointment on Sunday morning at the Condo, but said I could help out next weekend. He was appreciative of the call and said he'd look forward to next weekend. Next, I

called William-The Caretaker and told him the same thing, so that he'd be in early Sunday to take care of Jenny. I also said that I'd leave his monthly check on the Kitchen Table, instead of mailing it. I then called and left a message for Tony & Bev's cell, letting them know my situation, but that if "anything" happened, they could reach me until 19:00hrs (7pm) on Sunday evening.

I'd brought some perishable food along, so I stowed that in the 'fridge, checked the Pantry Storage area, armed the building, grabbed a quick shower and some fresh clothes. After lighting a roaring fire, poured a tall, iced glass of Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice and settled-in to continue reading "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America", which was still on the table's stack of books, bookmarked at page 103, where I'd left it from last weekend. It was just 18:00hrs (6pm) and still barely light outside, thanks to DST kicking-in this Sunday morning, at 02:00hrs (2am). It's going to take a little while for my "body clock" to get used to this lighter-earlier/darker-later routine, but I'd survive. Since I had an early Sunday morning Comcast service call scheduled, I decided to do my normal, early Sunday morning food shopping tomorrow, Saturday, at Tony & Bev's General Store, and just take the new foodstuffs back to the Condo, for the week.

After re-stoking the fire several times, I read until 23:00hrs (11pm) and decided to turn-in, since I wanted to get up early and get into Adam's Junction, do some food shopping and see a few friends. It was snowing lightly, but the Weather Station said it'd be a clear but cold day, on Saturday. I armed the building, set the timers and went into bed; Jenny was right behind me.

Up at 04:30hrs (4:30am), I turned-up the heat, watered & fed Jenny, made Poached Eggs with Grits & Butter, Bacon, Hash Browns/Fries, Rye Bread Toast w/ Keller's® Butter and

French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee, dressed with my Sheriff's Deputy Baseball Cap, requisite Deputy's Badge & ID, Kimber .45cal ACP sidearm (natch), Marlboro® Gear Down Parka, 12" LLBean® "Maine Insulated Hunting Boots" and loading my Beowulf® .50cal with a newly-fitted Trijicon® TA648-50 6x48 ACOG Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags for .50cal 335gr rounds, I warmed-up the Jeep, re-checked The Cabin's windows and doors, let Jenny sleep, armed the building and left for Town. It was 06:45hrs (6:45am) and the light snow had stopped. On the way of out the snowy 1,000ft driveway, I noticed some Black Bears sleeping near a tree just off the lane, turned north of Rt 707 and headed toward Town. It was a cold 19°F and I got stuck behind a AJ-DPW Road Crew plowing, so it would now take considerably longer than the usual 10-15 minutes, at 15-20mph. I had patience.

At 09:15hrs (9:15am), I finally parked in front of Bev & Tony's General Store, went in with my "short list" to get some grocery items and a carton of Marlboro®s (Red Box) and to talk with Tony, whom I hadn't seen since his heart attack, a couple of weekends ago. He looked very good, despite now being scheduled for surgery and a pacemaker, in a week. I'd made 2 Meatloaf wrapped in Bacon w/ Roasted Potatoes dinners, and brought one for Bev & Tony, as a treat for them; I'll have the other one this afternoon, for an early dinner. We talked for a good hour, but I did all the lifting and one of Bev & Tony's young helpers also carried a few things to my Jeep. I paid my bill, left at 10:45hrs (10:45am) and headed for Old Mrs Patagonia's Bakery to get some fresh-baked, crusty Italian Bread to make some Garlic Bread with; then over to Roy's Shell Gas & Service Station, Bed & Breakfast Motel, to gas-up the SUV. After a $136.18 (22gal!) fill-up, I drove to Sam's Barber Shop, and was 3rd in line. Sam recognized me, saw my Deputy's Cap and offered to take me right away, but I declined in favor of the 2 men ahead of me, already waiting-their-turn for the past 15-20 minutes. I wasn't in any hurry, and the few groceries I'd purchased would stay nice 'n cool in the back of the Jeep. I politely declined; the men nodded to me.

The shotgun blast came through the window, between me and the other 2 men, who were reading those ancient "sports magazines" in the chairs, with our backs to the windows and street. I caught some glass fragments, which bounced-off of the back of my head and cap, but wasn't yet bleeding. The other two weren't so fortunate. One had some shotgun blast "flyers" in his left ear and back of head, the other had two chards of glass sticking out of his back and neck. Everyone, including Sam The Barber and the customer in his chair, hit the floor. Another two blasts came through, shattering the barber's 3 huge mirrors and numerous bottles of aftershave and tonic lotions on his work station. I pulled my Kimber® 1911 .45cal ACP, chambered a round and crawled to the door to peek out.

Another blast came through the window just above me, showering me with glass, and this time I was bleeding, although my newly-repaired Deputy Baseball Cap shielded me from much of it. I could feel some warm blood running down my neck and neck. There was a white pick-up stopped in the street, parallel to the building, with a driver and two guys in the back with smoking shotguns. They were reloading, so I quickly-fired 4 rounds at one, through the blown-out glass window in the door. He went over backward and on to the street. I fired and hit the second fat boy with two rounds, just as the truck peeled out of there, and I opened the shattered door, fired 4 more into the driver's side of the cab, eject-dropped the spent 8-Round Wilson Magazine and quickly-reloaded a new one in the .45's mag well. I fired 4 more rounds at the now-careening truck, and again hit the badly-wounded man in back, who tumbled out onto the street, and hit the driver at least 2-3x in the back, neck and/or head. It crashed into 3 parked cars, and came to a rest in the middle of the street, badly-damaged and smoke pouring from under the hood. After securing the double-barreled shotguns from both dead perps in the street, I ran to the truck – this guy was BIG! – as the driver feebly tried to point his 9mm out of the window, I fired 3 more rounds into his neck and head, killing him. The weapon dropped harmlessly on to the street and I secured it. I also turned-off the truck's ignition, so it wouldn't catch fire and explode; I smelled gas and saw it leaking on to the street. My neck and back were wet with my blood, by now. Sirens arrived fast, and "AJPD's Finest" were on-the-scene. So were all 3 Memorial Hospital ambulances with numerous medical personnel and the AJ Fire Dep't Trucks.

The EMTs took me to an ambulance, where they picked the small glass chards out of my scalp and back, cleaned the minor wounds and closed them without any stitches; just antiseptic pads and tape. I stripped-off my coat, shirt and t-shirt; they were soaked with blood. But I had spares in my red BOB, always stowed in the Jeep's cargo bay, with a crate of equipment & tools. The 3 perps weren't so fortunate: they were now DOAs in bags. None of the dead men had a wallet or ID, so Clay and the Medical Examiner (ME) would have to identify them. The other Barber Shop customers, who'd been hit with the first two "shotgun blast buckshot flyers", were taken

to the nearby Memorial Hospital and were treated, okayed and both expected to be released in a few days. Good news. Capt Clay and Sgt Alex had taken full-control of the incident scene, while Deputies Tim and Jon had both ends of the street taped-off to civilians as the EMTs worked, towtrucks removed the damaged vehicles, and an "incident crew" began their clean-up work. It was both colorful and a mess, I mused. But it suddenly dawned on me, that I was the intended target! Retribution for all the (justified) Holtzapple and Grove etc shootings, over the past 2-3 years? Could one of them have been the "guy on my porch at 2:15am", last weekend? If one of them was, I'll never know now, except for the digital boot print pics I'd taken then, in the fresh snow. Now, I was really angry and curious. I mentioned this to Capt Clay, for his report. But without any "hard forensic evidence" right now, it was mere speculation on my part. I'd find out, soon enough, after we matched the pics to both of their boots' soles, as soon as the Coroner was finished. They sure wouldn't be needing the footwwear, anymore. Clay said he had the pics which Deputy Jon had submitted with the Incident Report, and would have Forensics try for a match; he'd call me either way. I stopped at the Drycleaners and picked-up Jenny's Kodiak Bearskin, which had been repaired and cleaned; I knew that she'd be happy to have it back.

By now, it was 12:00hrs (12noon). With Sam's Barber Shop out of commission, and only 2 "Beauty Salons" left in Adam's Junction to choose from, I decided to wait until I got back to York for a haircut, and go to my old standby, Walt's Barber Shop, in Red Lion. I decided to go back to The Cabin, get cleaned-up, some fresh clothes, put away the groceries and other purchases, get Jenny squared-away and then head back into the Adam's Junction Police Station & Town Hall, to see what Capt Clay had turned-up with the bootprints; my interest was really piqued.

I'd no more than pulled into my snowy 1,000ft lane to The Cabin, when the cellphone rang; it was Clay telling me that there was a match to the pictures I'd taken. He checked that point first. Damn, Clay was fast on that one. All three of the dead perps were Holtzapples; cousins named Jerome (aka "Bubba"), Charlie (aka "Drifter") and Matthew (aka "Sweetness"), and that it was "Bubba" whose prints who were photographed by me, in the fresh snow on my porch. "Sweetness" was the pick-up driver I'd killed; "Drifter" was the other back-bed shooter. Good news indeed, and good riddance to all of them. That would save me a trip back into town and any immediate future worries about nighttime intruders. The medium and long-term is what still bothered me, as there was a seemingly "endless supply" of both Holtzapples and Groves in these mountains. After unloading the Jeep, taking

care of Jenny, a much-needed shower and fresh clothes – blood-stained ones in to the sink to pre-soak – I made Creamy Broccoli and Cheddar Soup, a Hamburger & Roasted Potatoes, a bowl of Grilled Red Onions, Mushrooms & Bacon and a couple tall glasses of Ocean Spray® Diet Cranberry Juice. It was now 14:30hrs (2:30pm), I built a fire and settled-back in the Living Room, to do some reading with "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America" until I got tired enough to sleep. Jenny was in a playful mood, once again, and I caught her enthusiasm for it, playing with her and the doggie toys I'd gotten for her. After a good romp, a brushing and some water, she settled-down and slept on her bearskin. I made an Egg & Olive Salad Sandwich, grabbed a glass of iced Ocean Spray® Diet Cranberry-Pomegranate Juice and went back to reading. By 19:20hrs (7:20pm), I'd nodded-off and must have been snoring loudly; Jenny was licking my hand and woke me up. Past time for her feeding/watering. It was already dark and temps had dropped to 27°F, and continuing to fall. It would be another cold night with snow squalls moving through the area. No early Spring here in the mountains.

I skipped dinner, checked The Cabin's windows and doors, reset the building's thermostat, light timers and alarm system, and armed it. The fire had died-out and I closed the flu to prevent heat loss. Jenny stayed-put on her bearskin, while I climbed into bed, after putting my cellphone on-charge, next to my Kimber .45cal and 3 extra mags, on the nightstand. I had a list of chores for the morning and, since it was Sunday and everyone would be in Church, I wouldn't be going into Town. I planned to leave for York around 13:30hrs (1:30pm). I took an Rx 12.5mg Ambien® CR™, and slept well.

At 03:45hrs (3:45am), I heard the noise at the The Cabin's left-side door as Jenny was out-of-bed like a shot and into the Kitchen, where I caught-up to her. I had chambered a round and brought 2 of the 3 mags with me. I saw the big cat sitting in the snow, just off the porch. It was a big one; probably close to 200-lbs. The alarm hadn't yet gone-off, so I wasn't expecting either the security company or the AJPD Dispatcher to call. Nothing to worry about, but Jenny was sure hyped about it all. If she only knew how deadly that mountain lion was. I got her calmed down and back into bed, and myself back to sleep. Morning would be here in a few hours.

And it did come, sure enough. At 05:45hrs (5:45am), I was up, splashed some cold, well water on my face, turned-up the heat, fed and watered Jenny and had a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ. I was hungry, mainly from skipping dinner last evening, so I made Eggs Benedict & Hash Browns, a stack of Pancakes, fried sliced Pancetta, Grits w/ Keller's Butter & Sea Salt and French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground beans) with my Chemex® Drip System. I finished my coffee in the Living Room, with a nice fire to take the chill off of The Cabin, as the sun came up. Jenny wanted to go out, but remembering the "visitor" we'd had earlier this morning, I'd have to be with her and have my Beowulf® .50cal along, just in case. Oh, the Remy® 870 12ga Pump would work, too. But I just wasn't "in the mood" for that, right now. I wanted to relax for a few minutes.

But not for long; too much to do. After doing a load of laundry in the washer-dryer, I

bundled-up, grabbed the Beowulf .50cal and 2 extra mags of 335gr rounds, put Jenny on her leash and took her out to the front meadow and walked her around in the snow. She "did her business", and we headed back inside, without me having to shoot the large black bear, near the woods, who was watching and moving toward us. I hate killing any animal, unnecessarily. After drying Jenny off, I continued my chores.

By 11:30hrs (11:30am), I'd finished everything, made-up another "list" for William-The-Caretaker – taking care of Jenny 3x/day, vacuuming, restocking the back porch firewood stack, inside window cleaning, plowing, mail pick-up etc – and left it on the Kitchen counter. My Weapons, Equipment & Gear was now packed and loaded into the Jeep's Cargo Bay, windows and doors checked, timers reset, Jenny brushed and cared for, and building armed. It was now up to 29°F, as the Jeep's Jeep's Overhead Console & Outdoor Digital Compass/Temperature Gauge showed and I pulled out of the carport, on to the snowy 1,000ft lane, to the road. It was clear as I turned left and headed south to I-83 South, back down to York and a whole 'nother world. I had a full plate waiting for me.

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