From last time ...
"Don't let me get careless, Sarge."
"I don't think you'll ever have to worry about that, Sarah. After all, you get sick. And as long as you get sick, you'll be fine."
And now ...
"You did a god job, Mackey. This place is gorgeous. And it's a lot bigger than I thought it was supposed to be. What gives?"
"Well, I'll tell ya Sarah. It's like this. Two Feather's uncle was really close to Jake. I guess the people who raised Jake were blood kin of his, and he used to hunt and fish with Jake when Jake was a boy. He wanted Jake to work in the construction thing he had goin', but when he came home from the war his head was all fucked up and they just kinda drifted apart. Buildin' this place was his way of doin' for Jake, I guess. I knew what he was doin', but he'd never let me tell ya."
"But the price, Mackey. He couldn't possibly have built this place for what he charged me."
"Like I said, Sarah, he was doin' for Jake. And he wasn't takin' "No" for an answer."
"I'm gonna have to talk to that man. Meanwhile, did you guys get everything down into the cellar?"
"C'mon, I'll show ya."
Sara and Mackey walked into the adobe ranch house that now stood where the old line shack had once been. The heavy wooden double doors opened to a large open area, floor covered in tile, a low wooden railing separating the foyer from the sunken living room beyond. Beyond that was the kitchen and on either side were hallways off the living room that led to bedrooms, on the right, and the garage and gun room, on the left.
"This place is just magnificent, Mackey. Two bedrooms, like I asked?"
"Four. Two on each side of the hallway over there. And on the opposite side of the room is the hallway that leads to the garage, on one side, and the gun room/shop area on the other. Your Jeep is in the garage."
"Okay, where's the cellar?"
"In the kitchen. C'mon, I'll show ya."
Mackey and Sarah walked through the living room and stepped up into the kitchen.
"This center island has a catch right here ... " Mackey reached down and opened the center doors under the island and reached inside and pulled down on the handle that was up under the granite island top. "You pull it, and it unlatches the island, which is on rails. Push the island to the side and there it is - the stairway going down."
Sarah stood there in amazement.
"That's incredible. Where's the light?"
"There's a switch on the left as you go down the stairs."
"Well. Come on. I want to see this."
Sarah and Mackey went down the stairs into the cellar, turning on the light as they went. Sarah could see the lights flicker on in the cellar as they descended. She turned around to look at Mackey.
"Fluorescent lights. Sometimes they come on slowly. It's okay."
Sarah stepped into the cellar and blinked at what she saw.
"This is just like Jake's. He's even got that flag up on the wall from that "Sons of Nevada" thing that Jake was involved with. Whatever happened with those guys, I wonder?"
"Billy told me all about that whole thing. Talk about a cluster fuck! Those guys are in jail and they're going to stay in jail for a long time to come. I guess they killed some guy out at Jake's old trailer and they're all trying to dodge a murder rap. They've been finger pointing at each other for years. They'll get it straight one of these days - the cops, I mean - and then they'll hang somebody for it. Till then? They're all in jail."
Sarah looked around and all the boxes and crates of stuff jammed into the cellar.
"Wow. You guys get EVERYTHING down here. Where's mine?"
"Yours is up in the gun room. I had it out, today, to test fire. The Skorpion, too. And mine. They're all on the cleaning bench. Wanna get your hands dirty?"
"Sure. That's what I came out here for, ain't it? To get my hands dirty?"
"Good. Let's go up and clean 'em up. Billy will be out here tomorrow with the stuff for the next shot."
"Where's the blanks, Mackey?"
"In the gun room."
"Good. I want to paint up the next one."
"You know, Sarah, it's not going to take too many of these hits before they figure out what we're doin'."
Mackey slid the island back over the cellar opening.
"I know. I've been thinking about that. When the time comes, I've got a plan. But we'll talk about that tomorrow. Right now, I've got to go see Ma. She'll kill me if she finds out I've been here and didn't stop to see her first."