….In light of his health and financial situation, Joe was faced with the unthinkable prospect that his soon-to-be widow might end up homeless. The thought of that was almost too much for him to bear. That was the reason—the only reason he was pondering the idea of calling on David.
So, torn between pride and need, Joe, while staring into the bayou below, decided to make the call. With a heavy heart, he turned and walked slowly back up the driveway toward the house. He was grateful for the darkness so Millie couldn’t see him wiping away the tears with the sleeve of his shirt.
The faint shadow of his six-foot frame glided slowly ahead of him as he approached the house. As he made his way up the steps, his thoughts were suddenly interrupted. Millie had stepped through the doorway and was about to call him to dinner when she saw the silhouette walking toward the house.
“I was just about to call you,” she said. “Supper is ready.” Then, in the faint light filtering through the living room window, she saw the grim look on her husband’s face. Millie knew the look. She had seen it many times over the years, but she knew the reasons behind the expression were far more ominous than anything they had ever faced together.
As they stood there in the quietness of the moment, the crackling sound of gravel under the wheels of an automobile driving along the ridge broke their thoughts. The car, a Mercedes sedan, turned off the road into the Carter’s driveway and stopped a few feet from the front of the house. A fat little man stepped out wearing light colored slacks, a long-sleeved white shirt, and a red bow tie. Joe Carter could see the shine of the patent leather loafers even in the dim light of the early evening.
Clyde Bayless always fancied himself a classy dresser, often traveling over a hundred miles to add to his wardrobe. He liked to brag that you could tell a lot about the importance of the man by the clothes he wears.
To Clyde, the respect he received from others was a vital part of his persona. He had few friends, mostly vain men of less prominence who hung around just so they could be seen mixing with the upper crust. This was their way of showing everyone else that they had standing in the community.
Clyde’s awareness that he wasn’t very well liked among the common folk was the underlying cause of why he had decided long ago that if he ever got in a position to wield power over his neighbors, he would have no sympathy for their plight. He had carried this bit of cynicism around with him since he was a young boy when his classmates made fun of him because of his short, physical stature.
On this night, he was feeling especially proud of himself, as he was one step closer to accomplishing a small goal that he had been pursuing for the past five years. He was about to inform an old schoolyard antagonist that he was moving to collect an unpaid debt by foreclosing on the collateral.
As Clyde made his way to the porch, Joe nodded for Millie to go inside. She gladly accepted the gesture as an opportunity to leave the scene. Without a word, she stepped into the living room and closed the door behind her.
“Good evening Clyde,” Joe said.
“Good evening,” Clyde said with an almost giddy smile in his voice.
“What brings you out here this time of night?” Joe asked, knowing the answer before he asked.
Stopping at the bottom of the steps, Clyde said, “There’s something I need to discuss with you, Joe. That’s a nice swing up there on the porch. Do you mind if I sit in it while we talk?” he asked.
“Yes I do mind,” Joe said with a matter-of-fact tone. “You can sit in my swing after it belongs to you, but not before.”
“Very well. If that’s the way you want it, I’ll make this short,” Clyde said, attempting to hold back his anger. “I spoke to my attorney today, and I’m here to inform you that we are foreclosing on the Carter farm. You have sixty days to vacate the premises. “Okay. Is there anything else?” Joe asked slowly.
“No, that about does it,” Clyde said with his usual flair of arrogance.
“Then get your short, little dumpy butt off my land,” Joe said bluntly.
Clyde hated being reminded that he was short, but he knew that he would end up on the unpleasant side of any physical confrontation with Joe, so he quickly retreated to his Mercedes and drove away.
THE LAST FRIEND
By: Darral Williams
Available in bookstores everywhere and on Amazon, Barns and Nobel and all electronic formats.
Born on a small farm in southeastern Arkansas to Jonathon and Madeleine Squire, David Squire was the middle sibling of three children. His older sister, also named Madeleine, was four years older than David. When he was born, Maddie, as she was called, fawned over her little brother for hours at a time just talking to him as if though he understood her ramblings.
The three children were very close while growing up. As David grew into his adolescence he became very protective of both his older and younger sisters, oftentimes vetting their potential suitors. It became a family joke that the Squire parents didn’t have to worry about their daughters getting into trouble with the local boys, because David would step in and take care of the situation no matter how much older the other boy might be.
Young David spent most of his youth working the fields and studying his school lessons. In his spare time he hung out with his best friend, Joe Carter, who lived on a neighboring farm. The two of them had a lot in common, including the fact that their mothers were French, and had taken the time to teach their boys the language. Both David and Joe were fluent in French and oftentimes switched to it during conversations in the presence of others when they wanted more privacy.
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leaving over 2,300 dead Americans in the path of their destruction. David and his best friend, Joe, joined the Army the day after they graduated high school in May of 1942. Because of their French language skills they were recruited by Colonel Bill Donovan into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and they both spent the entire War in the espionage business.
At the end of the War the two friends went their separate ways. Joe went back to the farm and David went to college. He eventually migrated to Chicago after being offered a job as a private investigator with an insurance company. After he had got a handle on the investigation business he opened Squire Investigations, a private investigation firm in Chicago.
In the autumn of 1963 David agreed to help his old friend, Joe Carter, with a financial problem that had been perpetrated upon him by a crooked money lender. The trail of his investigation led him to the very core of Washington D C corruption. The ensuing battle between him and the henchmen of a very powerful United State Senator sent a message to the cesspool of Washington politicians that there is a new cowboy in town and his name is David Squire.
Everybody in DC now knows that David Squire’s pursuit of justice is unrelenting and his resolve is absolute. Even top agents of the FBI have taken notice, and have placed his name at the top of their list of covert operatives that they sometimes hire to do discreet, off the record investigations.
Stay tuned for more episodes of David Squire and his team as they take on the most dangerous cases around the globe.