Part V – Conclusion from Storyteller – Courtney Webb
That night Bill and Sam pulled into the dirt lot at the complex at the edge of town. Mr. Sing had given Bill directions and they got there without incident. Both men went in and were greeted by Mr. Sing who invited them to his office.
One of Sing’s bodyguards tried to pat them down and Bill put up a very large hand. “Back off buddy if you don’t want me to break something.”
Mr. Sing waved his hand and the guard backed away. “You have the money?”
“You have the kid?”
“Good faith, gentlemen. Good faith.” Mr. Sing smiled.
“Right, bring him up here now or there is no deal.” Sam wasn’t smiling.
“Certainly, certainly. Can I offer you men something to drink while we wait?” They both shook their heads no at the same time.
“Well, you can at least sit down for a moment.” Sing spoke to the guard in Thai and the guy disappeared.
Sam sat down. Bill took a position in the corner facing the door, arms folded across his chest.
“So, how long you been running this scam, Mr. Sing?” Sam inquired lightly. “This entrapping stupid young American kids in your….” he waved his hand around the room. “Whatever you call this thing you’re running.”
A young Thai girl came in and placed tea in front of Sing. He offered it again to Sam who again shook his head.
Sing poured himself some tea. “Americans, Danish, German, French. We don’t discriminate here, Mr. Sam. Whoever, we don’t care. The operative words are young and dumb as I think you put it.”
“Well, however you put it, someone should close you down.”
“And who would that be, Mr. Sam? The government? No, no. They are too busy with their own cover ups to worry about a little small-time operator like me. Plus,” he sipped his tea and smiled, “they love the taxes I pay them to do business.”
Sam grunted and shook his head.
The door opened, and the hefty guard came in pushing a much skinnier Peter in front of him.
“Ah, here we are. Peter, how are you?” Sing smiled affably.
Peter glared at him.
Sam waved to Peter. “Go stand over there,” he motioned at Bill.
“Now in case there are any problems,” Sam pulled the gun out from the back of his pants. “I have brought my friends Smith and Wesson to the party.” He put the gun on his lap.
“No need, Mr. Sam. No need.” He laughed waving his hands in front of himself. We are not savages here like your wild west. No, no. Just the money and everyone is free to go.”
“Fine, and I want that slip back too.”
Sam pulled up his shirt and unzipped the money belt. He counted out ten one thousand-dollar bills. Mr. Sing reached in his drawer.
“Slowly, Sing. Very slowly.”
Sing put up his hands again in mock horror. “Just the slip, Mr. Sam.”
Sing pulled out a small metal box, opened it and pawed through the contents a moment. He pulled out a slip of paper and handed it to Sam.
“So, there you go. All done.”
Sam nodded curtly and said, “You can have your guy back away from the door now.”
Sing gestured with his head and the guard moved over to Sing’s desk.
“Out the door, boys,” Sam was curt. He walked backwards to the door, went out and closed it behind him. There was a chair next to the door. He leaned it against the door and shoved it under the door handled. “Let’s go!”
Bill grabbed Peter’s skinny arm and the three hustled out of the casino as fast as they could go.
Jumping into the jeep, Bill started it, backed up, did a quick 3-point turn and splayed gravel bits around in an arc as he peeled out of the dirt lot. He hit 60 mph in a nano-second and didn’t slow down for five miles. Sunlight flickering through tall banana leaves as they zoomed by. The lush green was dotted with riots of color and the warm, moist air blew through Sam’s hair as they raced on. He kept one hand on his gun and the other on the roll bar. Glancing back, it looked like they were alone on the old dirt road.
Back at the hotel Sam had Peter call his mother. He could hear sobbing on the other end. Taking the phone away from Peter he said “We’ll fly out tomorrow morning, Phyllis. We’ll see you in the evening sometime.” She was still sobbing when he hung up.
Sam was sitting back in Phyllis’s kitchen having a cup of coffee. It was late, and he was bone tired. He had packed Peter off to bed where the young man had fallen exhausted without argument.
“He’ll have to go to rehab, Phyllis, no question.”
“Rehab?” Phyllis seemed shocked. “But surely this was just a mistake. A foolish mistake like what young people do sometimes…”
“No, Phyllis. Your kid is a to the bone addict.”
“Addict! What kind of addict?”
“You name it. He’s got it. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, maybe sex.”
Phyllis was shaking her head. “I can’t believe it.”
“Believe it, Darling.” He bent over and kissed her on the cheek.
“Got to go. I’m trashed.”
She led him out to the front door.
“Thank you, Sam., I don’t know what….”
“It’s okay. Happy to help. But remember what I said. Next time, I might be…. busy.”
Phyllis gave a little nod as he went out the door.
Sam drove over to Kristie’s to give her the news.
“Kid’s a complete junkie.”
Kristie frowned and shook her head.
“So, that’s taken care of and I need sleep.” Sam yawned.
“Thanks, Sam. I love you.”
“I love you too, Darling. But I wish you didn’t have so many friends with problems.”
Kristie laughed and kissed his cheek.