Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Boise Cartel Kidnapping, Idaho City, Idaho


    Lily Louise Morrison had vanished and her prominent Boise, Idaho family feared the worst--- the Cartel had kidnapped her. Rudy Morrison, Lily Lou’s worn and haggard father had hired me to find and rescue Lily Lou. The assignment was dangerous, but the money and the bonus tempting. I took the job.
   My name is Cannon Raspberry and I am a Idaho Private Investigator with an office in the “Pink House” at Eighth and W. Franklin Streets in Boise, which was now an open city. When the headless bodies of the Governor and the Commander of the State Police were found floating in the Boise River, the city officials conceded Boise to the Cartel.
   All of the Southwest was now under the Cartel. California, Arizona, and New Mexico went quickly. Oregon was a pushover. Everything south of Washington State and west of the Rockies, including Southern Idaho was now “Cartel Land”.
   The situation was bleak and there were rumors that Canada was building a 1,200 mile wall on their western border from Vancouver across Washington and Montana to the North Dakota border. The Canadians were chilled by how quickly the vaunted U. S. Military had rolled over. The Cartel claimed they would stop at the Rockies, just retaking what was rightfully theirs with, of course, some interest for time lost. Many citizens from the new Cartel Land had fled east, others had migrated to Canada. Some like me were trying to live and let live.
   I figured there would be a need for a talented private investigator to sort out issues between Citizens and the Cartel. And the Morrison six-figure job to find Lily Lou would allow me to head east or north, if my situation truly went south.
   My thoughts were interrupted by my bell ringing. I got up and went to the door and greeted Ellen May Morrison, Lily Lou’s older sister. Ellen was tallish, slender, with dark hair and very dark eyes. She would make a pretty witch at Halloween.
    I sat her in a chair in front of my desk while I retreated back to my swivel chair. I gave her one of my cards, which she glanced at and tossed into her large shoulder bag. Ellen asked about my investigation and if I had any inkling where the Cartel had Lily Lou. I told her I had just started and would give her father updates, but at this time I had nothing to report.
   Ellen seemed distracted and dug around in her shoulder bag, as if looking for a cigarette. She pushed her hair away from her forehead. “I hear the Canadians are building a wall.” She said absently. We talked about the vaunted Canadian Wall, and then Ellen commented. “Amazing how Texas held on, isn’t it?”
   I nodded. “Tixans came together, put aside their differences and biases; they mobilized at their border standing as one state. The Cartel moved on.” I explained.
   “They want money don’t they? I mean, if we pay, which we gladly will, then they will release Lily Lou, won’t they?” Ellen asked, switching back to the missing Lily Lou. “They are demanding $5 million. That should be enough to free Lily Lou, right?”
   “Honestly? The Cartel’s record is spotty. Many times the family pays, but the victim is vanished for good. In our case, maybe floating face down in the Boise River.”
   Ellen put her hand to her mouth and tears filled her eyes. But my antenna went up, something made me uneasy about Ellen and her tears. She once again dug around in her purse and this time produced a sterling silver hair brush. “You said you needed this.” And she laid it on my desk. I picked up the expensive hair brush, rubbing it gently, and then looked into Ellen’s dark, wide eyes.
   I saw it all.
   Ellen queried me on my approach and my methods, too much for comfort. But I waved her questions away, telling her I would report to the family soon and my results, if any. I watched her leave and get into her expensive SUV and drive off. I smiled as I watched her go.
   I have an odd power: a strong intuition combined with the ability to slow or stop motion.. I could walk into a room full of people, motion with my right hand and they would be dumbstruck. I could move among them, take their belonging if I chose, then with my left hand I could unfreeze them and no one would know I was there.
   My father had passed this gift to me. It was unclear how exactly he had become so endowed. There was a vague story of a twilight stop at an isolated schoolhouse in the Oregon Jordan Valley. And an encounter with a striking woman and her herd of stunted children; one of the children had bloodied my father’s hand. The little girl licked his bleeding fingers, thus transmitting their strange power to my father. The woman had haunted my father the rest of his life.
   It was early November and the weather was clear and crisp. I got my tracking device, my revolver, and went out back to my SUV. I intended to follow Ellen, as there was a nano chip in my name card, allowing me to track her. Ellen headed northeast out of Boise on the road to Idaho City. She took a gravel road just south of Idaho City, then a dirt road and in the distance I could an isolated house on the vast plain.
   The kidnap house was clever as it stood alone, with just a magnificent evergreen towering over the odd looking house. Perhaps at one time it had been a schoolhouse. I left my SUV out of sight and had to crawl through the tall grass until I reached the evergreen. I then made my way to the window where I could see the two sisters with a tall, good-looking black haired man in his late 20s. The three of them were laughing and the sisters were hugging and kissing the good looking guy, sharing a bottle of Snake River Cabernet. I heard Ellen through the window: “…Oh, Marco!”
   My worst fear.
   I sat below the window and planned my move. I could see Marco was armed with a nasty looking automatic, so I had to be careful. I went in through the back door, which was not locked, into the kitchen. The floor creaked and I heard Marco coming down the hall. He saw me and went for his gun, but I froze him with a motion of my right hand. Marco was standing like a statue with his mouth open and his eyes wide.
I took his gun, stepped back and shot him in the head. Then I put the gun in his right hand and fired another shot though the door windows to the outside. The sisters screamed and I quickly confronted them.
   “So it was a scam? How could you do this to your own father?” I asked the two startled sisters once they calmed down.
   Lily Lou, the younger one looked at me with disdain. “He isn’t our father.”
   “Our step-father.” Ellen explained.
   “Still, how could you conjure such a mean plot?”
   The girls looked at each other. Ellen looked away through the window, as if gazing at the evergreen. “He did things.” Lily said simply. “First to Ellen, then to me.”
   It was my turn to look away.


   Three weeks had passed since I had recovered Lily Lou and Rudy Morrison had joyfully paid my fee. First, I had gotten Ellen into her car and she had fled the scene. Then Lily Lou and I went through the story for the police.
   The story went: I had found the kidnap house, approached from the rear. Marco had seen me and taken a shot at me through the back door window. I drew my gun and inexplicably Marco had had put the gun to his temple and shot himself. The police bought the explanation. The press loved the story; one win over the Cartel.
   As I mused over my next more, the doorbell rang and I found Ellen on my steps. She was wringing her hands, distraught, and red eyed. I let her in and asked her what was terribly wrong.
   Ellen shook her head. “The Cartel... and I mean the real Cartel... has kidnapped my little sister. They're demanding $10 million for the return of Lily Lou."

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