"The man responsible for the abduction and murder of Marcia Stonehurst in Delaware, Jennifer Morley and Deputy Sheriff Baxton in Alabama was wounded in Ohio recently," I blurted out.
The sheriff won't be a happy man.
A female voice he didn't recognize—but definitely not Larkin's—told him the sheriff would be available in thirty minutes.
Mr. Dean here, part time detective and sheriff candidate, tracked down a hot lead on some bones—maybe a long dead villain—up at The Lucky Pup mine.
The retiring sheriff was still officially connected to Ouray County law enforcement.
I remembered the deputy sheriff he killed after his license plate was spotted.
While Dean, a retired Pennsylvania police detective, was reluctant to return to law enforcement, Sheriff Jake Weller's retirement offered an opportunity not easily dismissed.
He said nothing of his visit to Martha's room and busied himself on the stoop taping a "Dean for Sheriff" poster to a wooden stake before adding it to a growing pile.
Larkin certainly didn't resemble the sheriff in any way.
Dean sat in the corner, trying to read up on Colorado law as it pertained to the duties of sheriff, but was drawn by politeness and the darkened room to view the exhibit.
The State of Colorado sent me over, seeing as there's no experienced under-sheriff or deputy.
Now, if you're acting sheriff or whatever the hell your position is, it's your damned job to follow through.
Dean brought Fred and Cynthia up to date on his strained meeting with the new acting sheriff and Fitzgerald's reluctant agreement to check out the skeleton—Martha's bones, as the mine-hidden discovery was now named.
Besides, you've got too much on your minds— running for sheriff, little Martha leaving and all—you don't need to hear about the ghosts in my closet.
Don't feel just because Jake Weller thinks you'd make a good sheriff you have to run.
"Hi, sheriff," Weller said in greeting.
Instead he asked when the sheriff was returning.
I figured this county deserves a more astute sheriff than the current candidate, so I tossed my hat in the ring this morning.
Dean had blanked his campaign for sheriff from his mind, but now it returned with a headache fury.
He could lie and tell them he was a police officer or sheriff and maybe squeeze some tidbit of information about recently released mom Patsy, but surely Fitzgerald would find out and tank his election ambitions, if those aspirations weren't already six feet under.
He hummed, a feeling of mild accomplishment sandwiched between the failure to contact Martha and the trepidation of potentially being made a fool by Seymour "Fitz" Fitzgerald, sheriff candidate.
The next stop on his list was visiting Ms. Lydia Larkin, deputy sheriff, whose presentation of a speeding ticket and general attitude still pissed him off, just remembering it.
Even from this distance he recognized Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald.
"Our temporary sheriff is getting more interesting," Fred said.
Nor, for that matter, would have anyone else Dean could think of, Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald included.
"I certainly hope you do something about teenage drinking when you're sheriff," Cynthia said to her husband.
It would get you a few votes for sheriff, I bet.
Deputy Sheriff Lydia Larkin drove by in her official white Blazer and Dean repressed the impulse to give her a one-finger salute.
Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald was slipping two one-pint bottles of vodka into a paper bag as Dean was about to open the door.
"Dean for Sheriff" signs were being wired on the doors, front and back.
The six ladies-in-waiting of the Dean for Sheriff brigade cupped their hands and booed the competition, to the delight of the crowd.
Dean was directed to spend all available weekend time on a door to door smiling and handshaking crusade, the first of many Fred had mapped out for his full-court press for making David Dean the sheriff of Ouray County, Colorado.
But neither seriously considered contacting the law, especially because the law was Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald.
The date conflicted with the Election Day for sheriff but Cynthia repeated her promise to vote absentee.
Smiling Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald, dressed in his uniform, greeted Dean graciously as he poured charm on the ladies.
The position of sheriff was administrative in nature—his strong suit.
Why do you feel you are better equipped to be our next sheriff than your opponent?
Perhaps the prior sheriff thought that sort of little joke is funny.
The sheriff has a duty to investigate.
Cynthia said, "Fitzgerald didn't even know he was going to run for sheriff until he became irritated at David."
Acting Sheriff Fitzgerald moved out from behind the lights and strutted over to her.
She added, "All but you—and maybe Sheriff Weller."