The Tides of Brewster Harbor; Episode 78 – Probable Cause

I’m a cop,” Niles said. “Those aren’t the backpacks you walked in with.”

They looked at each other.

Don’t go crazy on me,” Niles said. “I’m prepared for it and so are the two officers across the street. I would say smile and wave, but they’ve been told any strange movements come running with your weapons drawn.”

They squirmed.

So it’s Val and Vance, white trash from Goose Pimple, Oklahoma and Butt Wipe Mississippi,” Niles said. “I know some about you two. So here’s the deal, folks; you answer some questions. You leave your bags behind. You get in your boat and try to make it into international waters before the Coast Guard catches up with you. How’s that for a deal?”

We have no idea what you are talking about,” Vance said.

Son,” Niles said, “don’t play games with me. I’m in no mood.”

Here’s your first question,” Niles said. “Who killed Sam Petit.”

How do we know you’re a cop?” Vance said.

Fair question,” Niles said. “I have to apologize for not thinking this out more carefully, but if my officers see me reach for my pockets, they come running. So here’s what we’re going to do; slide your right hand very cautiously inside my left coat pocket. Pull out my ID and examine it for yourself. Is that fair?”

Vance slowly did what Niles asked. He placed the badge with the ID on the table and looked at it. He slid it across the table for Val to examine.

He’s a cop,” Val said.

Okay,” Niles said. “This is a biggy, who killed Sam Petit.”

Shouldn’t we have a lawyer,” Val said, “and aren’t you going to read us our rights/”

You are not under arrest,” Niles said, “and may I add, this is starting to annoy me. We were just starting to develop some trust and you want to put a lawyer between us.”

Don’t you have to have some probable cause?” Vance said. “I mean, you just sit here.”

Okay,” Nile said, “You’re starting to really get under my skin. This is the last time I explain the facts of life to you. I see you come in with black bags yellow stripes and you are given navy blue with gold stripes. Close, but not close enough. That’s probable cause, especially since at least a half-dozen lobster boat captains have told me you meet up with a seaplane. That all adds up to probable cause. Just so you don’t think I’m blowing smoke up the ole wazoo, I spent most of my 30 years on the NYC police department as a homicide detective, we made our bones on knowing probable cause. I going to let that sink in.”

They looked at each other.


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