Surveillance Pelicana Chapter Eighteen: ‘Super Sleuth and Company Home in on Houma’

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

It is April. Tyger meets Joe in Houma where

Joe shares some insights into the world.

Then, Lana meets them and they go off on various cases in the Houma area.

Tyger kills time along the bayou as the system runs. Joe shows off

some of his electronic gadgetry.

 

CHAPTER 18

“SUPER SLEUTH AND COMPANY HOME IN ON HOUMA”

 

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Tyger has made it all the way to April in his new position.

That just about sets a new indoor-out door-any door

Williams Book of world records milestone for employment longevity.

Hallelujah and hosannah y’all, sigh the bluebirds in Tyger’s backyard who signify good luck.

April the most benign of Southeastern Louisiana months,

contrary to some poet’s emotions,

has blossomed throughout the eager land.

Weather perfect; air clear and awesome,,

uplifting everyones once tired spirits.

What’s more, another miraculous stroke of good fortune stands poised

to strike the rabid baseball fan forced all winter to lie fallow.

The Major Leagues are about to play ball.

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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Therefore, let it be resolved dear comrades

of the longing heart and short attention span,

seekers of truth and lovers of fiction,

that Tyger Williams salutes you and you only

on his way to Houma to meet and greet Joe Fine,

 

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He composes two poems driving through wetlands, bayous,

and finally widening green fields of rising sugar cane.

What time would tell you

sitting on a porch in old New Orleans.

Stop whatever you are doing comrades .

Listen now you starlings:

 

Golden meadows, deep brown shadows

grazing in a sea of yellow-green alongside Highway 1.

 

Curves this silver thread from place to lonely post

stands a stucco laundromat, winds around

 

A faceless ghost, blowing through an open door,

breezy dreamer, thoughts of home.

 

Listen love, my precious dove,

I saw a turtle on the road,

 

Backing into Paradis,

poor frail neck with rock hard shell.

 

Stubborn to the lonely end,

no turning back for noble men,

 

Who choose a path and die,

they are noble for their try.

 

Never does a day half pass,

never does a cuckoo cry,

 

Never does a hopeless heart,

never does a bayou sigh.

 

Without my saying thus,

your eyes immortalize.

 

The flip side of this coin comes up heads, heads; heads up again.

Always comes up heads for it is a trick coin with two heads

Tyger sometimes flips to impress his friends,

sometimes flips to depress a fool.

 

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He is on a roll like the time he flipped the coin and it landed on neither side,

instead lodging upright next to a book on the floor. Hahaha.

Armor’s fell out of his chair he laughed so hard at that

Gravity is such an awesome force to behold.

What the hey, otay, Tyger also composes this poem on the way

to the Houma Holiday Inn where Joe Fine is already waiting with

a cup of coffee,

flirting with yet another waitress.

 

Rain falling by Bayou L’ourse,

rain falling by Bayou Delight,

falling falling falling — slowly — in love again.

 

Recalling golden days while tearing,

feeling all those desperate failings,

while drinking in dark green waters, algae, spanish moss.

 

Hardly flowing, blocked backwaters, pirogues,

lonely rowing orders; always coming, always going, home

where hearts were made to break, and comrades slowly dissipate.

 

Days will pass and rain stop time,

but love of love a dulcet vine, always lingers,

always falling, please be mine,”

 

Enough of the poet for now

a duly inspired Tyger pulls into downtown Houma,

named after the Native American tribe, and over to the Holiday Inn.

 

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Joe Fine’s traditional baseball cap has been removed to

reveal his impressive chrome dome. He has come out of the closet

apparently since his last confab with Tyger, and now proudly

displays the Telly Savalas-Yul Brynner bald penis head look.

Heck, some women think the look is very sexy.

The Super Sleuth wears a blue open neck alligator shirt and

tan slacks. A pair of sunglasses, notebook, and a — what is

that? Tyger is almost afraid to find out — a small device that

looks like a pager, rests on the Holiday Inn Houma Cafe table.

Joe mercilessly flirts with a 30-something semi-attractive

redhead waitress as Tyger enters the near empty restaurant. A

couple of geologists dig in the corner.

Joe Fine probes for something more unfathomable. Or maybe

that is just how he passes the time while waiting. Who knows.

Without missing a beat then, “Hey beautiful, how about

another cup of coffee. There’s my guy Tyger. Grab a seat son. Hey

beautiful, looking good this morning. Thanks a lot. ”

Whooo. Tyger feels as though his whole life has passed

before his eyes. He must raise his game a notch because Joe is

the boss and Tyger wants to get along.

“Everything going O.K.?” Tyger asks. “We have some good ones

out here in Yahooland today,” Joe replies. “Love these redneck

cases. Are you ready to play the game?”

“Batter up baby.”

 

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Joe explains the current missions. He has one lowlife in

the Azalea Camellia Gaspergou Trailer Park at nearby Bayou Cane.

The head honcho has another case at the opposite end of town

along Bayou Black. A third case is Downtown off Bayou

Terrebonne, which straddles Houma, dividing the small city on

either side of the larger Intracoastal Canal.

Apparently the demise of Joe Fine, contrary to previous

reports, has been greatly exaggerated. Or maybe this is the storm

before the calm. Who knows?

Tyger has a lot of experience with manic depressive personalities —

just check out MacLandia — and is

highly suspicious of Joe’s behavior. He seems almost too

enthusiastic to be true.

The all — monkey business? — meeting continues with another pot

of coffee and another. Joe eats only lightly buttered toast and

spins a few yarns about his time in military service.

“The U.S. Army is a bunch of losers,” he says. “The Israeli

Defense Forces — now that, dear Tyger, is an organization that

does not fool around.

“No wonder these guys here lost in Vietnam. We would have

blown them to Kingdom Come like we did the Syrians on the Golan Heights.

“Those pussies thought they could surprise us in the Yom

Kippur War, 1973. When we got our shit together we beat their

asses, but it was a bloody battle.

 

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“I have to admit, I felt sorry for some of their young guys.

You know, the tank gunners and poor motherfuckers they

slapped uniforms on to die. I mean those guys are like you or me

in a lot of ways. They just got a rotten government.

Who wants to fight? We should just try to get along as best

we can. I know we could if we tried.

Fucking politicians are the same the world over. They got

to make other people die so they can rip off everyone else and

get away with it.

But in a purely technical military sense, you understand,

the Army of the Galilee kicked some butt up there. I would like

to see the Americans do that.

I am out of that shit forever. I’m an American citizen. God

bless the good old U.S.A. Know what I mean, son?”

“Yes sir,” Tyger replies at attention. “We have to do what

we have to do sometimes, and not question orders.”

“You got that right,” agrees Joe grinning, turning back

to the previous encounter. “Hey good looking,

what ya got cooking. Can we have just one more cup of java. I

don’t know how you do it, babe.”

“Yes sir, coming right up,” the brown uniformed name-tagged

 

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waitress replies as she scurries, retreating to higher ground.

The geologists have come and gone

like the Pleistocene Epoch.

A husband and wife team who are straying at the

motel begin brunch.

“Oh man, I tell you Tyger, you are one lucky son of a gun,”

Joe continues, scratching his chrome dome. “You’re single without a

care in the world.” “Well, I don’t know about that,” Tyger laughs.

“Nah, true dat,” Joe says. “You might think you have some

problems, or whatever, but they’re really nothing. You’re young,

single, and fancy free. You got a lot of life ahead of you.

“Me? I got the little snot-noses at home. Don’t get me

wrong. I love the little bastards. But, noisy, in the shit,

constantly demanding this, that, and

the other thing. Man oh

manna, that stuff can really get to you.

Take my wife. Please. She can be a total bitch. All I hear

is fix this. This is shit. What’s wrong with you. Goddamn. I

mean, sometimes I just look forward to getting the hell out of

Dodge. You feel me, son?”

“Oh,” Tyger says as Dorothy’s recent appraisal of Joe’s

 

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delicate mental condition his condition is in is always on

his mind. “Don’t worry Joe. Everything will work out.”

Tyger understands totally the need to re-assure his — after

all — meal ticket. And Joe Fine is a nice guy, too.

It is tough seeing Joe dissatisfied, considering the hell of

a job he has been doing. That black box/baby seat video

surveillance system is unique in the business, a great leap

forward for sub rosa secret agents everywhere.

“Don’t worry , man,” Tyger reassures his boss . “You’re a

survivor. You’ll get by. “Yah yah yah. I know. Just

sometimes … ”

Who should saunter into the restaurant at this low moment,

thoroughbred ankles upturned, long black hair and devil may care

green eyes, but the lovely Lana whom last we met at Baton

Rouge. That entrance perks up Joe Fine’s countenance.

“Lana. What am I going to do with you?” Joe asks. “You’re

an hour late. Where the hell have you been? We have a lot of work

to do today.”

“Oh, I’m sorry Joe,” Lana grins with girlish grace. “I

thought you said 11 a.m.” “Wrong.” “I’m sorry.”

“Never mind. No coffee for you. Let’s go back to my

motel room. I want to show you guys something.”

Joe leaves money for the bill and tip on the table, scoops

up his bell book and candle belongings, and leads his two

 

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associates into the light of a new day. He relishes the role of

mother ducky to a new breed of superior sleuths-in-training. (Or

acronym, SIT’s–how appropriate for many of the missions.)

“Thanks a million, darling,” Joe calls over his

shoulder to the waitress clearing away the sneaky business

meeting’s debris. “See you when I see you.”

“Thank you sir,” she replies, Hill Street Blues style. “Be

careful out there.”

Out into the weirdly colored

hallway — they have not

invented names for those hues yet

and into the gathering

sunlight near noon. The three walkie talkie

a few more feet to a lower motel room.

“Always get a room on the bottom floor away from the main

office,” Joe advises his captive platoon members. “That way you

don’t have to carry heavy equipment upstairs. It’s less

noisy. Just something to keep in mind when you go on the road.”

An open suitcase lies on a plastic table. Various changes of

clothes and baseball caps rest on the extra bed. “Damn maid.

Hasn’t made the room yet,” Joe complains.

 

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“I tell you. The people around here are slow slower slowest,”

Joe continues before washing his face and sitting on the

overly colorful bed cover.

“Let me show you something,” Joe tells Tyger and Lana as

they watch intently. He holds up a plain black contraption that

contrasts strangely with a painted clown portrait on the wall. A

cool sea breeze scene, by the way, adorns the other wall. Those

darn “starving” artists.

“Check this out,” Joe says. “It’s a homing device. You put this in a

safe place under someone’s car and then you take this thing,”

He pulls out a Swiss army knife and removes

the sea breeze motel art painting from

the wall with the Phillip’s screwdriver head.

“Just a little trick I learned in the Promised Land,”

he says, grinning, as he removes a shiny silver object from

behind the pseudo-art object.

“You activate it like this.” He flips a small lever on the

silver companion contraption, “and there you have it. It beeps loudly

loudly, loudest when you are near the vehicle you’re following,

and keeps you going in the right direction without the subject

having a clue in the world. Ahhh, I love technology.”

Joe sets off by hand an annoying buzzing noise, “just so you

can hear what it sounds like. We might have to use it today. I

haven’t decided. But I wanted you to see some of the tools of the

trade for future reference.

“Tell you what though. This is a bitch to put under

 

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someone’s car. You really have to do it late at night because if

someone notices. Believe nobody wants that.”

Joe looks at his diver’s watch. “Tell you what. I’ll

activate the homer in the motel room and we’ll drive around the

area so you can get some idea of how it works. How about that?”

“Sounds bad ass,” says Lana ever so cooly cooly hot.

“You sure about this?” Tyger asks.

Lana in the suicide seat. Tyger in the tank. Joe drives a hard bargain around

the Houma Holiday Inn parking lot and a few blocks away north, then west towards

the bayou.Beep beep beep beep. Sure enough, the device trolls as

predicted. Following about 15 minutes of such frolicking fun, the

terribly terrific trio returns to the motel room to plot the day’s fantastic

journey to the center of the insurance fraud conundrum.

Back at base, Joe divvies up assignments. He has the

baby seat system, which he trades to Tyger for the big bad black box.

“My man in Mobile has some ideas for improving the box

design, making it smaller with an improved remote control,” Joe

says. “Use the baby seat for now and we will swap back in a

week or so.”

It’s like the time Harry Chiti was traded from the Cleveland

Indians to the New York Mets for a player to be named later.

The player to be named later was himself.

Tyger has no problem with that. What’s the difference.

They both work. Right?

 

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“O. K. kiddos,” Joe says after he and Tyger fix up their

respective surveillance systems in the appropriate vehicles,

“Now, Tyger. I want you to set up your system on Dixon over at

Bayou Cane. Leave the system there. Lana and I will pick you up

outside the trailer park on Grand Caillou Road.

“Stake out the Thibodaux residence just off

Bayou Terrebonne after that. Stay back with the still camera,”

which Joe produces from a locked suitcase under the bed,

“Note any activity, getting some photographs if possible.

Lana and I will take care of other,” Joe flashes fake quote

marks with his fingers, “business around town. We also have to meet

for a while with a client and let him know we are an unstoppable

army on the move with all guns blazing.

Stick with the Thibodaux case until we come and get you. It

should be about three hours. If you have any problem or have to

move to another location, call Dorothy collect. She is at home

all day today as back-up in case we fall out of commos.

O.K Dokee.? Let’s get it on. Let the games begin,” Joe

concludes as Tyger and the beautiful Lana nod their heads in

fired-up agreement. “We are going to have some fun today.”

Good plan, maybe. Tyger sets the baby seat system up on a

gravel patch directly facing a mid-sized white with green trim trailer.

A few probably innocent bystanders stand down the road.

Tyger doesn’t care. He is going to follow orders no matter what.

Set up takes about a minute anyway.

 

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After standard weapons check determines all systems rolling,

Tyger walks away where Joe and Lana retrieve him like a lost

penny, a poor pup wandering along a packed dirt road.

Back to town and the major avenue that straddles Bayou

Terrebonne. Joe lets Tyger roam near a two-story blue wood duplex

apartment with fire escape stairs in the back and the bayou just

beyond that.

Tyger finds a nice restful spot about 50 yards away along

the pleasant waters just behind a fish shop.

Boats are docked nearby as well.

Fishermen come and go from the waterway to the north.

Seafood buyers drive in from East Main Street to the south.

Tyger hunkers in his foxhole for the wary wait. “See you in

a few hours,” Joe says as he drives away. The beautiful Lana

looks ever so appealingly vague on the shotgun side.

Tyger maintains his position waiting like a rock to roll. He

is determined that it will take no less than an act of God to

move him from this zen-like state. Ho-hum–another day, another

surveillance spot.

Not much subject activity to report. A middle aged woman

comes and goes, as do a couple of black apartment tenants. (There

are four units in the complex.)

Tyger whiles away the day throwing dredged sea shells into

the bayou. He speaks briefly to some old bugger who was riding

 

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along on a bicycle.

S-I-T (and wait) first class Williams checks into the seafood store

where they are selling that Cajun delicacy, alligator meat, as well as

hot boudin. Tyger is just there for the Mountain Dew, however.

“Alligator meat any good?” he asks innocently. “Aw man,

it’s the greatest,” a pot bellied Cajun critter at the counter

calls. “Where you from anyway?”

Tyger gives him the waiting for a girl friend story,

pleasantly inquiring about the man’s Saintly desires. No dice.

“I don’t go for dat football stuff,” he replies, “aldough

dat Bobby Hebert. Coonass boy from over in Cut Off, Loosiana. I

hear he pretty good. I like to see dem Cajuns make de grade.

Show ’em what we made of.”

Tick tick tick, tock–tick tick tick, F-me Woodstock. Finally,

Tyger calls up the Thibodaux residence, but that darn rude subject

refuses to answer.

Sub probably sank in some mud earlier in the day. Thibodaux

is kicking back along some bayou somewhere fishing, no doubt. Who

isn’t down there?

Tyger gives Dorothy a ring, informing her of the lackluster

situation. “Haven’t heard back from Joe yet,” she responds.

“You are where Joe left you, right?

“Just stick with it and I will let Joe know when he checks

in. Be patient. Maybe something will happen yet.”

 

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Phat chance, but no matter. Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and

wait to escape.

Even the slightest hint of activity at the apartment complex

sparks a flurry of Tygerian activity as he scrambles into

position, snap snap snaps a few pictures, that kind of thing. He

keeps active for the hell of it.

Might as well look like you’re doing something. One never

knows who might be watching the detective watching the scene.

But truly, no one even resembles the sub or his pity parade.

To be perfectly frank, hardly matters what Tyger does this

lazy afternoon by the still waters of Babylon.

Finally, he sits back, settles like a soft rain on a nice

grassy spot along Bayou Terrebonne, and relaxes. Not a bad way to

spend a day, after all is said and not done.

Day starts to forsake its grace, so Tyger checks in again

with Dorothy at Oz. “Joe called right after you did,” Dorothy says.

“He is still working the other cases and will be along … ”

she pauses, “about any time now actually. Sit tight. You are down

by the bayou, right? O.K.–relax down there and Joe will get you

soon.” Sure enough as officially predicted, Joe, Lana-less,

drives along. He wears a Chicago White Sox baseball cap,

nonchalantly sliding open the door for Tyger to enter crouching.

“That seafood place any good?” Joe asks as Tyger sits

 

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inside. “Dunno. They got alligator meat, though.”

“Alligator meat? Well. I’ll be dammed. Always wondered what

that tastes like. Probably chicken, huh?” “Dunno.”

“No time to taste test now. That stuff needs to be fresh

anyway, or so I’ve heard.

“Let’s go get your car. By the way, Pud Hegwood he’s a

local attorney,  just gave us some more cases. He loved the

Bubbicide you pulled down at Cocodrie.”

“Lana coming back?” Tyger asks. “Nah, that bitch is

what we call a ghost. You know what that means?” Joe replies in

his best Socratic method. “No.”

“That is someone you bring down to do a specific job and

then, they vanish forever. Like Casper, a ghost. She is well on her

way back to Alexandria now. I’ve only been using her lately for

assignments like that because she is too unreliable.I can not believe that bitch made us sit around all day at

the Holiday Inn spinning our wheels when we should have been

haunting subjects.

“I don’t know. She is such a knock-out though that I guess

I’ll give her another shot. She’s a quick study when she puts her

mind to it.

“A good looking girl like that is great for some of

these sleazoids. She pops open her hood, tells them she has car

trouble, and they are falling all over themselves like white on

 

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rice to give her a handle; a love handle, if you know what I mean.

“Great set-up. Bang bang, maybe we get a guy with a bad back

changing a tire for her. These subjects are all alike. When will

they ever learn.”

Tyger retrieves his vehicle from the Azalea Camellia

Gaspergou Trailer Park with a minimum of effort. No one seems to

notice, or care. He follows Joe Fine to a nearby rural

drinking establishment where the Super Sleuth checks in with

Dorothy behind the curtain at Oz •

That piece of commos taken care of, neither big city

detective is interested in joining the insider country bumpkin

draft beer drinking crowd. They conduct official IRS Inc.

miscellaneous business on the gravel and sea shell parking lot.

Time to call the roll.

Joe leaves the citizens band radios with Tyger. “Don’t

have room. You take this. We’ll hook up later.” Tyger hands over a

couple of reports he forgot to leave with Dorothy. “You

might as well have these. They’re for you anyway.”

“Oh, here. Check this out,” Joe says, retrieving an oddly

elongated pair of — what? Binoculars? Tank commander

goggles? Opera glasses? — handing them to Tyger.

“Do you know what this is?” “Nope.” “These are night

vision goggles. Take it inside and check it out.” 0.K.

 

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Tyger re-enters the dimly lit establishment for only a

momentary gaze, yet long enough to alarm the redneck apparitions.

See ya,

wouldn’t want to be ya.

Apparently, the goggles differentiate light. Tyger can see

quite clearly through the darkened bar interior.

“What do you think?” Joe asks as Tyger returns,

squinting some and handing back the night vision goggles. “Pretty

impressive, eh? I am thinking of using them on Bingo LeBeouf. I

swear I will get that Moriarty bastard yet.”

A parting of the ways with a handshake and final

salutation. Joe heads north to Shreveport or about as far away

from the “snot-noses” as possible. Tyger blasts off for home to

grand dame N’awlins.

Just another day at the office, comrades. Until we meet

again. For the precious momentary record, however, Joe seems,

well, fine.

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