A richard l wren mystery.., p.9
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       A Richard L. Wren Mystery-Adventure Sampler, p.9

           Richard Wren
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  In the garage four black and white motorcycles were lined up for our inspection. They looked like the real thing to me, but I wasn’t the best judge. The gang had a few criticisms but pretty much agreed they’d pass general inspection, particularly in the dark and if it didn’t rain. The four guys who’d be riding them said they thought it’d work, but they too were worried about rain, and the fact that the paint had a tendency to rub off on their legs.

  “So you ride bowlegged,” Smitty said. “What? I gotta do all the thinkin’ around here?”

  The uniforms looked like no city police uniform I’d ever seen. For one thing, they weren’t blue, they were khaki. The pants weren’t really made for boots and cycles, but the guys had adapted them so they looked okay if you weren’t too close up. The shirts and jackets looked pretty good. The helmets were great. They’d painted them uniformly black and white and they looked pretty authentic. The best you could say was they looked like official uniforms of some sort.

  “Not perfect, but I think they’ll do,” Smitty said passing judgment.

  “Okay, everybody, I think we’re ready,” he announced. “We’ve got about an hour before we should leave. Time to break up into our own groups and rehearse what you’re going to do. I’ll check in with each group and answer any questions.

  “You rowdies go downstairs to the garage and see if you can gimmick your bikes to be noisier than they already are.” He told the police group to meet in the rec room and compare notes on how the police had acted the last time they’d been arrested. Evidently they’d had a lot of experience being arrested and thought they could handle that assignment easily.

  When he finally got back to our group, I had questions.

  “One. What do we do if a neighbor or someone accidentally sees us or hears us breaking in?” I read from my notes. “Two. What do we do if there are more guys in the house than we expect? Three. What if Carpenter comes back while we’re there? Four. What do we do with any guys we catch and tie up?”

  “Any others?” Smitty asked. The other guys shook their heads.

  “Casey” he said, “you’re doing okay. I’ve been asking myself the same questions. Alright,” he said, “to answer your question. “I know there’s a lot of ifs in my plan, but you can’t predict everything. Part of the answer is why I chose you guys. We may have to punt if any of those if-things happen, but I really think the five of us have the cool to handle just about anything that comes up. The answer to all your questions, Casey, is I don’t know. We’ll figure it out on the fly.”

  Needless to say, I didn’t know Smitty the way the Devils did. They accepted his plan without a question. I couldn’t do that. However I didn’t have any choice in the matter.

  Smitty paused, leaned back in his chair, linked his hands behind his head and calmly generaled us.

  “The plan’s really simple.” he reminded us. “We leave at five thirty, park close to the course and wait until we get the signal the last foursome’s coming in. We follow the last group to Carpenter’s yard and hide in the bushes. That’s it. The rest of the plan depends on what time its dark enough for us to sneak across the lawn. Everybody straight with that?”

  Several nods of acquiescence and one “no problem” was the response.

  “Now get rid of your cell phones. No surprise calls. I’ll have mine and it’s already on vibrate. I’ll use it to coordinate the ruckus out front, and call for help if we need it. Now, golf clothes on and ready to leave in ten minutes, fifteen tops, okay? And relax, it’s gonna work just fine.”

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