I parked at the rendezvous, waited for my relief and logged surveillance data. Private detective work consists of observing people, looking at your watch and writing time and activities on a tablet. It is very boring except for moments punctuated by intense fear or excitement. It is something like the excitement you feel when deer hunting, except you don’t fear the game. It is true in hunting and in surveilling neither the subject nor the deer realize you’re there, but when they do, the deer always runs away, not necessarily the person. Thankfully, those moments seldom happen, but when they do, you instinctively react and cope as best you can. While underway, you are acting on instinct alone. The real fear comes afterward with relief the event is over. That’s when it hits you.
The place where the others were to relieve me was across a subdivision road, abutting a drainage ditch. I parked across from a house and watched the apartment door with field glasses. In a heavily populated area, I used a good set of opera glasses that were smaller and less obvious. In my rear-view mirror, I saw my relief coming up and pulled away toward the main highway. I rounded a curve two blocks away when a car almost crashed into my side and I swerved deep into someone’s yard to avoid a collision. A man got out of the car pointing a pistol at me. Thinking it was the policeman boyfriend. I drew my revolver and cocked it but held it below the open car window. I could feel my heart pumping. I thought if he wanted a fight, I would shoot first through the car door. I couldn’t miss him, but as in hunting, I would have to prepare for a quick follow-up shot. When he came closer, he began cursing me. Relief swept over me. There was no reason for me to shoot. The man was mad and venting. He was not the ex-convict policeman, just angry. His wife called him at work, about me being parked across the road and he left work to confront me. When he took a breath, I asked him to lower his gun because it could go off and we would both be in big trouble. He did; and, never knew I was armed, but threatened to shoot me if he saw me parked in front of his house again. I explained who I was and showed him my card and I.D., he didn’t care. We both left. When I got home, (there were no cell phones then) I called George and he said the man went back and ran off the husband and wife team telling them if any other detectives parked there, he would kill them.
George told me he would take care of it and called me the next afternoon. He drove over, parked on the street where the man said not to. An elderly lady came out and walked to his car, a green Volkswagen that he completely filled. She told him her son was inside with a shotgun and if he didn’t leave immediately, he would come out and shoot George, whereupon George reached over and opened the glove compartment. When he did, a .45 Cal. Semi-automatic Pistol came into view. He pointed toward the weapon, and told the lady to tell her son what she saw, and said, “If he comes outside the door with a weapon, I will kill him.” She went inside. A few minutes later he emerged with his empty hands raised, walked to the car and told George he or any of his people were welcome to park on that city street. The crisis averted, the case went on unimpeded until the woman left in the middle of one night for the environs of Nashville, Tennessee, and Tennessee detectives then took over. The lady and baby were relatives of, and hidden by, a famous country music T.V. and recording, star, I can’t say who.
(Next time find out about Maxwell Allen Investigative Bureau)