Quickly, word got around how fast the Jeep ran. A 17 year old Brewster Harbor High School senior tried to outrun Niles to the island bridge in Nissan. The kid tried to claim in Mayor’s Court he didn’t know he was running from the police, after all ‘what policeman drives around in a jeep?”
Niles testified to the Mayor the flashers and siren should have been enough warning for the young man to slow down and pull over. In addition, Niles testified the presents of a half smoked marijuana joint and the presence of THC in his saliva sample likely impaired his judgment.
After two additional short trials for traffic violations the small courtroom echoed empty except for Niles and Lute.
“Can we step over to the deck of the Harbor Inn,” Lute said.
“Sure,” Niles said. “Why there?”
“Somehow it just seems private,” Lute said. “I’m not suspicious by nature, but sometimes I feel words just stay in this place to be heard later on.”
“What ever makes you comfortable,” Rich thought. “Five minutes?”
“Sounds good,” Lute said, “as soon as I finish here.”
A walkway stretched alongside the Harbor Inn and another building to the deck “Thus, the deck could be accessed without going by the front desk or dinning room to the inn and Niles used it. He waited at the railing overlooking the Harbor for Lute. Shortly he arrived with a large brown envelope.
“Your new policies are inside,” Lute said handing the envelope to Niles.
“Thanks,” Niles said. “You got the Jeep covered on the new policy?”
“All taken care of,” Lute said.
“So what’s up?” Niles said.
“Have you been looking into the Petit murder?” Lute said.
Immediately, Niles wondered why he’d ask. And if he knew for certain he wouldn’t have ask.
“I just hear talk,” Niles said. “I don’t have an ego tied up in this one. It didn’t happen while I was here and it’s a two year old case. If you don’t have a case solved in 24 hours, the chances of ever solving it seem to evaporate with time. TV and movies make it sound like these deep analytical investigations go on all the time. Most cases, the murderer is nabbed within hours followed by a confession. The lawyer and DA get together and pleas the case to something they can both agree upon and the perp never sees a jury.”
“Do you have something, Lute?” Niles said.
“No,” Lute said.
“Why so secret?’ Niles said. “You could have asked me straight out at the court house.”
“Sometimes I just get a little squeamish about saying anything that might be picked up by Mildred,” Niles said.
“Really!” Niles said. “Trust?”
“Not so much that,” Lute said. “She has a way of keeping things from me and she did the same with Kevin, when he was here. She’s worked at the courthouse so long she really thinks she runs things. She’s not bad, but you know, she sort of sets the agenda and filters things before it gets to me or your department.”
“That’s sometimes typical,” Niles said. “Thanks for giving me a heads up.”
“Just something I thought you should know,” Lute said. “It might uncomplicate your job.”
“As long as we’re talking about it,” Niles said, “I wouldn’t be a good officer if I ignored any information about unsolved cases.”
“Of course,” Lute said.
“If something comes up that needs some clarification can I come to you?” Nile said.
“By all means,” Lute said.
“And likewise,” Niles said, “if you should hear something pertinent or just something new, run it by me, okay.”
“No problem,” Lute said.
“Coffee” Niles said motioning to the Harbor Inn dinning room.”
“I’ll take a rain check on that,” Lute said. “I have a few things pressing at the office that has to get done by the end of the day.”
Lute hurried away and Niles remained gazing over the harbor. “There comes a time when my cards have to be shown. Nobody will play their hand unless I play mine. First, I’ll talk to Tom and Sid. I have to trust my department. If I do all this on my own, they will never trust me. They will always think I’m hiding something from them.”
Niles notified Tom and Sid to meet him at the office at 8:00 in the next morning.