139. Body in a Barrel (2)

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Russell closed the tailgate of the pickup and they drove to the dock. It was a cold day, and it was raining. They transferred the barrel into the back of Russell's 25-foot fishing boat. The boat was named "Staci," although it had first been named "Kathy," and then "Beverly," after Russell's first two wives. Russell steered the boat into the gulf. An hour later, after some slipping and grunting and lifting, they managed to dump the barrel overboard. George told Russell that it had become a "three case" job. Russell chuckled and said no problem.

Russell stopped at a supermarket on the way home, and they put three cases of cold Bud into the bed of the pickup. Russell opened a case and pulled out two cans, and they drank them on the way back to the house in the warmth of the cab.

George called Staci a few days later, because he wanted to borrow some money from her. Russell said that Staci was gone.

"What do you mean, 'gone'?" George asked. Russell said that Staci had left him for another man, and she had moved out of the city. George thought that was very odd; but because Russell was a policeman, George believed him. He asked Russell if he could borrow $300 so that he could spend the weekend in Las Vegas. Russell said no problem.

Before leaving, George called his mom to tell her about Staci. When he returned from Vegas, George saw his sister's face on the local TV news. Under her picture was the word "Missing." The TV reporter said that Kathy, Russell's first wife, had been accidentally shot to death while turkey hunting with Russell six years ago. Beverly, Russell's second wife, had accidentally drowned in her bathtub three years ago. George, now suspicious, put down his beer. He called the police. The officer asked if she could put him on hold for a second. George said no problem.


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