Truth or Lies – Part 3

Posted: January 21, 2018 in 30 Truth or Lies - Part 3, Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS

Leon searched his bag and found a small LED flashlight. He used the narrow beam to walk to the stove in the diner and turned on a gas burner under a metal pot of water and threw a handful of coffee grounds in the water. He lit a candle on the table near the prisoner and pocketed the flashlight. When steam rose from the pot, he crossed the room to the stove and turned off the burner. He watched the grounds settle then poured a cup of coffee.

“Mind if I have a cup?” Henry whispered as he struggled to sit with his hands still bound together around the leg of a bench.

“I suppose it won’t hurt for me to watch you drink coffee.” He poured a second cup of coffee. “Don’t know how you gonna drink it, cause I ain’t cutting the zip ties.”

Henry chuckled softly. “You give me the cup, I’ll manage.”

Leon passed him a cup then settled on a bench where he had a clear view through the front window. He brought the cup to his lips and slurped the hot liquid.

“Not good,” Leon whispered. “But it’s coffee.”

Henry clutched the big cup and leaned close to suck at the hot liquid. “Ah…thank you. I know you don’t have any reason to believe me about the people in the camp. Most are good folks. Just got tangled up with assholes.” He slurped at the coffee again.

“Why didn’t your menfolk step up and do something, man?”

“Only people with guns were Grant’s people. When he didn’t come back, the people he left behind are even worse.”

“Who stands guard?” Leon asked as he poured another cup of java.

“Wilson was the name of the man your boss killed. He only left six men behind to keep the camp in line.” Henry held the cup toward Leon. “I tried to talk to Wilson about making some changes. That’s when he locked up the women and made me come on this raid.”

Leon refilled Henry’s cup of coffee. “My guess is you’re lucky to have survived. Is that why you didn’t have a gun?”

Henry nodded. “Wilson told me if I didn’t get with the program, I was useless. He was right, I couldn’t save that woman’s husband or her son. If I had tried, I’d be dead.”

“We saw what you did to protect them,” Leon answered. “That counts for something in my book.”

Henry looked toward the first hint of dawn shining through the large plate glass window. “I guess we’ll see when your boss wakes up.”

One by one the sleepers awoke and found their way to the coffee pot. Margo poured a cup of coffee and took a swallow then coughed coffee across the counter.

“How can you drink this shit? You make coffee, and it’s filled grounds? Why didn’t you use a filter?”

Margo poured the contents of the pot down the drain, used bottled water to rinse out the last of the ground and then refilled the pot with water. She laid out a filter, poured a cup of grounds then put another over the top. She walked to the counter and retrieved a stapler. She folded the edge of the filter over, stapled the edge, folded and stapled again until she had an enclosed packet. She tossed the bundle into the boiling water, then repeated the procedure for a second pot.

Ten minutes later, coffee was being passed around when Brian walked into the diner. He was given a Styrofoam cup and took a swig. “Not bad…not bad at all.” He nodded at Leon. “You have hidden talents.”

Leon laughed. “Not me. It was her. She’s more resourceful than we thought.”

Brian walked to the pot with the coffee and saw the filter packet floating on the rich dark liquid. “I guess so.” He walked to where Henry still sat on the floor and pulled a knife from his belt. He slid it between the man’s wrists and freed him from the bonds.

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