Niles sat at his desk. The phone rang.
“Brewster Harbor Police Department, Chief Quinn,” Niles said.
“Niles, it’s Lute,” Lute said.
“Mr. Mayor,” Niles said, “good to hear from you. We haven’t seen much of each other lately.”
“Have you got a few minutes?” Lute said
“Sure,” Niles said, “what’s up?”
“I’d like to meet someplace where we can talk privately,” Lute said.
“My place or yours?” Niles said.
“How ‘bout the back deck at the Harbor Inn,” Lute said. “Ten minutes enough time to get there?”
“Not a problem,” Niles said and hung up. Niles appeared perplexed by the urgency and seriousness of Lute’s tone.
Immediately the phone rang again.
Before he could say anything, “Niles, this is Mildred, Lucinda’s coming up the drive way dressed like a New Orleans floozie. Through the hallway and up the stairs and you’ll find a door on the other side of the town hall.”
“Thanks, Mildred,” Niles said. He quickly hung the phone, ducked low, locked the door, and dashed out the back exit.
He passed by the hallway where Mildred sat at her desk. “Thanks, Mildred.”
“Watch her, Niles,” Mildred said, “she’s on the prowl.”
Niles waited behind The Captain’s Table restaurant. Ample time passed for Lucinda to make it back to the real estate office. Niles dashed across the street to the Harbor Inn. He quickly passed through the dinning room and out onto the deck.
Lute faced the harbor waiting. Niles stood beside him.
“What’s up Lute?” Niles said.
Lute continued to look out over the harbor. “You really stirred things up,” he grimaced. “I got a call from the county commissioner and sheriff.”
“Why would they call you?” Niles said.
“They wanted me to have a talk with you,” Lute said.
“So, this is the talk,” Niles said.
“They told me to get you in line,” Lute said.
“Why don’t they do that themselves?” Niles said.
“Probably afraid you might take them to court,” Lute said.
“Only if they try to screw us over,” Niles said.
“I wish you’d ran this by me first,” Lute said.
“The police department and the mayor’s department are not linked,” Niles said. “They operate independent of the other.”
“Remember, I hired you,” Lute said.
“That’s right,” Niles said. “You hired me to run the police department and that’s what I’m doing.”
“At least give me a heads up,” Lute said, “I was caught completely off guard.”
“I didn’t give you a heads up for your own protection,” Niles said. “It’s given you plausible deny ability.”
“Crap, Niles,” Lute said. “Tell me and I can lie to them about knowing.”
“Lute,” Niles said, “I’d prefer you be an honest politician.”
“Okay,” Lute said, “I did my part.”
“Your part!” Niles said. “Your part is to tell them to pound sand.”
“Just saying,” Lute said and walked away.
Niles remained, looking over the harbor. He whispered to himself, “They own him.”