The car rolled up to the cabin that was secretly
in the hills. Trying not bring any attention to the vehicle, Ike drove
within the speed limit and made no sudden movements on the road. The
had been deserted for years. Only a handful of people knew about
it. It was about 50 yards from a small secluded lake. Ike had driven
night and he was very tired. The pain in his arm had dulled a bit but
he let go of the pressure on his arm, the blood would run.
Upon arrival, Ike scavenged in the car for anything that may be of some use. He found the nursing home woman's purse behind the driver seat and emptied it out on the backseat. He found a lighter with some money and useless credit cards. Nobody would believe he was a member since nineteen seventy-one. He also found a pager and an address book.
"Probably not enough time for a date right know."
Ike continued to go through the big pile of junk on the backseat.
"How much stuff do women carry in these things?"
Finally he came across something of value. It was a small sewing kit. Ike looked down at his arm.
"Well, if Rambo can do it, so can I."
The glove box was the next place that Ike tackled. Not much of value there unless you wanted to take a trip to Wyoming. There was a beautiful state map folded up neatly along with a replacement light bulb to one of the car's tail lights. He closed the glove box and got out of the car still trying to keep some pressure on his arm. He opened up the trunk. It was empty except for a car jack. Ike slammed the trunk door down in disgust.
Ike walked toward the front of the cabin. It looked dark and desolate. The door was locked but he remembered where his mother had hid the spare key. It was under a rock over by a great big pine tree on the right side of the house. After finding the key, Ike unlocked the front door and entered the cabin. Not a soul had been in the cabin for years. It was in beautiful shape and would be a perfect place to hideout from the police and then finish the job on Troutman.
The cabin had two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a bathroom and a good size living room. Ike walked directly into the house and straight to the kitchen sink. He pulled out the small sewing kit and found a tiny bottle of rubbing alcohol under the sink. He opened the kit and removed a needle and a small spool of white thread. He pulled off a large length of thread and tried, as best as you can with your blood spilling all over the place, to thread the needle.
After fooling around with that for a few minutes and muttering a few hundred explatives, Ike opened up the alcohol bottle and poured a little of the liquid over the needle and then his hands. He turned on the kitchen sink's cold water and tried to clean out the wound as the sweat of pain continued to bead up on his forehead.
The pain was excrutiating as he inserted the needle into his arm. In and out the needle turned. On occasion, Ike felt a little faint but he was able to compose himself. After about fifteen minutes, he was all sown up. He stuck his arm under the kitchen faucet and rinsed off the excess blood from his arm. He walked into the bathroom and found a box of bandages and a roll of gauze under the bathroom sink. He unwrapped one of the extra large bandages and placed it over the wound. After that was done, he rolled the gauze around his arm and taped it down with some duct tape.
After fixing himself up, he noticed that the fireplace had wood in it. He opened the flue and got the fire going by lighting some old newspapers with the lighter that was in the nursing home woman's purse. In a few minutes, the fire was warm and comfortable. Ike grabbed a pillow from the couch and curled up on the floor next to the fireplace. Ten seconds later Ike was fast asleep.
Inspector Troutman awoke a couple of days after
his confrontation with the ax. A nurse hovered over him.
"Where am I?"
The nurse gave Troutman a soft smile as she checked his pulse.
"You are in Holmes Grove General, Mister Troutman."
Troutman looked around the room cautiously.
"How long have I been here?"
The nurse continued to look at her watch.
"Just a couple of days. You were pretty banged up. It took the doctors about eight hours to put your leg back together. You almost lost it entirely."
Troutman pulled back the blanket and noticed a huge bandage wrapped around his leg.
"It was a good thing your partner called for backup otherwise you may have bled to death."
"When can I get out of here?"
The nurse finished with Troutman and headed towards the room's door.
"A couple of days yet. Relax, work will still be there when you get back."
Troutman exhaled deeply.
"But how many more people will die before then?"
Troutman was packing his stuff to go home.
He was being discharged from the hospital. But before he could leave,
Chief had a few questions for Troutman. With the death of so many
several police officers, the search for Ike Crenshaw had reached a
level and the Chief did not want any more losses of life.
"No Chief, this has gone way past the point of becoming personal. I will do whatever it takes to find Ike Crenshaw."
"Don't push me on this again Troutman. If you push this issue, this may cost you your job."
"I have been investigating this case from the beginning. I have been attacked, lead on a wild police chase, had a house blown up on me and have seen my partner killed right before my eyes. I will not let go of this investigation."
"I was a bit leary of putting you on this case in the beginning due to your personal involvement. Now, after all that has happened, I wonder if I made the right choice."
"Give me another week. I'll get him."
"You have one week, Troutman. After that, you're off the case."
"But I have to warn you Troutman, if one more person is found dead because of this boy, I will have your job."
"Don't worry Chief. If I can't find him in another week, I'll resign."
A taxi dropped off Troutman in front of his house. He walked up to the front door and then inside. The room had been cleaned with virtually no signs of a struggle left in the room. After tossing the bag of clothes on the couch, he walked to the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of root beer and closed the door. After twisting off the bottle cap, he wandered around the house thinking about the case and trying to figure out what Ike would do next. There was still a slight twinge in his leg as he walked. The stitches wouldn't be removed for another two weeks but his leg felt good. He wandered into the living room and saw the picture of Peg Crenshaw on his mantle. He stared at the picture and in an instant he had his answer.