The Bootlegger’s Legacy

The Bootlegger’s Legacy by Ted Clifton

Book: The Bootlegger’s Legacy by Ted Clifton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ted Clifton
Tags: Drama, Fiction, Mystery
to enjoy herself. After the stop in Lubbock, the air was choppier. This was normal as the morning air got warmer, but Sally wasn’t pleased. Pat encouraged her to try to take a nap—that way they’d be in El Paso before she knew it. The turbulence wasn’t too bad, and it finally seemed to lull Sally to sleep.
    The landing at the El Paso Airport was smooth. This was a much larger airport, with both civil and commercial operations. Pat was very focused on what he was doing to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes. They taxied to the FBO area and parked the plane as directed by the ground crew. After a bathroom break and refueling, they took to the air again and headed to Las Cruces. This would only take fifteen or twenty minutes, so Pat stayed at a low altitude. Even though this made it a little choppier, being closer to the ground made Sally calmer. She was definitely enjoying the scenery, looking at the mountains to the east that appeared to be higher than they were. She had turned out to be a good co-pilot.
    “There’s the little airstrip for Las Cruces—do you see it?” Pat was pointing out of the cockpit window in front of them.
    “Oh, yeah, I see it. We’re getting close. This has been great, but I’m ready to be out of this plane for a while. I bet you are too?” Sally gave him one of her great smiles.
    “Yeah, I ‘m ready for some libations and maybe some Mexican food.” Pat was tired, but he wasn’t going to admit it. This trip was right at his time limit for flying. Flying a small plane with visual flight rules wasn’t usually stressful, but it was tiring.
    Pat lined the plane up with the runway and settled in for a slow descent into Las Cruces. The landing was smooth. The small airstrip was well taken care of and had good markings. He followed some flags that guided him to an area where he could park the plane. As he looked out of the cockpit he saw Emerson standing by an old car, waving.
    Once the plane was parked, Pat told Sally he was going to walk over and talk to his man and she should wait there for a minute.
    “Hey, Pat—you’re right on time. How was the flight?”
    “It was good, Jim—no problems with weather and not very bumpy.”
    “Great. I made reservations for you at the Meson de Mesilla—they have a great bar and restaurant right in the hotel in case you’re too tired to go out.”
    Pat had heard of the hotel and had been wanting to try it. That was a plus for Emerson, taking the initiative to make reservations. Maybe he was going to work out after all.
    “That sounds good, Jim. I need to tie down the plane and lock it up, but once I’m through you can take us to the hotel. I’d like to meet with you in the morning to go over some things, but I think for tonight that we’ll just stay in. Maybe tomorrow we can have dinner together.” Pat still wasn’t sure about Emerson—didn’t even know if he was married. He told himself he would decide on this trip if this was the right guy or if he should look for someone else. There was a lot of sensitive information he would have to share, so he needed to be sure.
    Emerson helped Pat secure the plane and load the luggage into the car. Pat didn’t recognize the make of the car, but he thought it might be a late thirties Buick. Anyway, all the luggage fit into the large trunk and Sally slid into the back seat. Pat caught a glimpse of her great legs and wanted to follow her, but he got into the front and carried on a meaningless conversation with Emerson as they took about ten minutes to reach the hotel in Old Mesilla. Emerson never acknowledged, or mentioned Sally. What a dumb son-of-a-bitch. Was he blind, or afraid of offending Pat?
I guess that might actually make him smart.
    Old Mesilla consisted of the remnants of an old town right next to Las Cruces, the original settlement in the region and part of the land acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. The United States had bought the 30,000-square-mile region, which

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