Clabe Polk Day 5

     In a non-descript warehouse in the Port of Savannah, Milton Davis Lincoln slammed the
lid down on the last crate in the back of a small van, stood up and climbed carefully out. He
looked the silent men facing him in the eyes. They scared the shit out of him, but Milton “Mad
Dog” Lincoln had started his career by making sure his fear was never seen. “All right, it’s all
here!” he said to the silent men. He gestured toward a second identical van parked a few feet
away. “Dere’s da transfer vehicle. Your money be in da passenger seat.” One of the silent men
nodded and another walked to the passenger side of the van and opened the door, then, the
briefcase. Looking up at the first man, he nodded. Everyone seemed to relax a little.
    To the three men behind him wearing black hooded windbreakers, MD said, “Get in and
let’s go. They’re waitin fo us in Atlanta.” One of MD’s men climbed in behind the wheel. The
others climbed in the back; MD took the passenger seat. One of the silent men opened the
warehouse door and both vans sped toward it.
“Ok, Mr. Lincoln,” said Spellman, “I won’t beat around the bush. We have you dead to
rights for gun smuggling and a number of other Title 18 charges we haven’t had time to think
about yet. You’re looking at a large number of years in prison...especially given your record to
MD stared at him. “Ah’m not afraid o' jail!”
“No, so far your worst experience has been five years at a Florida prison farm for drug
trafficking. I’m talking about high security federal prisons for terms of twenty-five years or
“Who is you kidding...Ah’ve heard all ‘bout federal country clubs.”
“Oh...I get it! But, obviously, you don’t. Those are prisons for low level white collar
criminals who are serving relatively light sentences. I’m talking about an extended stay in the
toughest prisons in America...where you’ll become some jolly green tattooed giant’s bitch
within a week...and they’ll pass you around for years.”
“Yo...so, if you gots me dead ta rights, like you said, why ain’t you putting me away
instead o' putting me ta sleep?”
We know a little about the profits in those operations ...that you’ve been the middleman
because you have the contacts with the suppliers. Well, we have contacts with people who need
the merchandise and are willing to pay for it. It’s just that we need to divert the flow of weapons
from the Claws’ buyers to ours. You’ll be a government informant. What you tell us about the
Claws we use against the Claws. You broker deals with your suppliers and we broker deals with
our buyers, your information about the Claws is used by the government to keep them out of the
picture, you stay out of jail, and everybody, except the Claws, of course, is much happier.
“Yo...You’re getting’ rich...ah’m takin’ da risk an' getting sheeit!”
“You get a get out of jail free card, “said Spellman. “We keep your ass out of prison for as long
as you produce...as long as the entire operation goes smoothly. If it doesn’t go smoothly, you go
to prison...end of story!
Donna looked at him questioningly as he accelerated south on main street toward
southeast Sixth. “What?” she asked.
“Just going to bail out an ex-SEAL who’s pinned down, “he answered.
“Is that all?”
MD felt feet land on the table on either side of his head and knew Bearshaw had propped a chair
against a wall and put his feet up on the table. Through the corners of his eyes, he could see the
worn heels of heavy boots on either side of his head. He could hear a grating noise behind
him...a knife being sharpened against a stone.
“A large first order...how will you pay? Cash or U.S. Treasury check?”
Spellman’s gut turned to ice. “Cash...yes, I work for the government, but the
government has nothing to do with this. This is a private transaction.”
“I see...a little side business. How can I trust you? How do I know you won’t make a
purchase and then indict me? It seems you are used to playing both ends against the middle. Are
you a player of games, Mr. Money?”
“And I assume that everyone else you deal with doesn’t play both ends against the middle
as well?”
“Don’t you ever tell me to shut up, boy! Just in case you forgot, I’m the boss here.
Kwan was an asshole!”
“Yo...brainless.boss! If yuh don’t shut up, yuh’re going be de boss wif de cut throat!
Thank God yuh didn’t sit down wif Kwan, yuh’d never got up.” MD said in a coarse whisper.
“He cuts throats like he checks his watch...not inviting yuh ta sit is his way o' making
yuh dig' yuh’re less important than he is...not worthy o' consideration. If yuh had sat in da chair,
he would ‘ave killed yuh fo' presuming.”
She sobbed into her pillow. She could quote the Ten Commandments from memory...the Sixth
Commandment, “thou shalt not kill”. She knew intuitively the commandment was probably
actually “thou shalt not murder” since the history of the Jews as told in the Bible was inherently
bloody, and since people were often forced to kill in self-defense, but she had always been taught
the commandment was “thou shalt not kill”...and she had killed. yes, in self-defense, but she
had killed nevertheless.
Bang! The forks on the dumpster truck slammed home. Jimmy knew now where he had
heard the beeping alarm...the garbage truck. He jumped up and threw a rotten head of lettuce at
the truck’s windshield as it began to raise him for the dump. He quickly followed with a handful
of cold spaghetti. The driver sat the dumpster back on the pavement and climbed out of the
“Help me!” said Jimmy weakly. As he stood he wobbled and almost fell. He grabbed
the side of the dumpster and held on with all his strength until the driver got hold of him and
pulled him out.
“No! Hell no! I’m not homeless,” he told the incredulous driver, “Somebody knocked me out
and left me for dead.
“Ms Thomas?” said Donna, “I believe you lost the stud from your left ear. The back
must have come loose.”
“Oh my...de boys gave me dose studs for muh birthday. Dey worked at Harrison’s Feed
Store loading trucks fo a month to buy dose. Ah wonder where it be?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Donna, “maybe someone will find it. I’m always losing earrings
with loose backs.”
Eiser said nothing. He knew where the other stud was...in a neatly labeled bag in the Sheriff’s
evidence locker...found on Elijah Hollaway’s desktop.

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