The door opened, and a woman ran toward me. “Oh my God!!! I almost hit you!!” She knelt beside me.
“Not your fault.”
“Here, let me help you..” She held my arm, and I hated to admit it, but harder to get I liked.
She steered me to the passenger side, then hurried around to the driver’s side and slipped behind the wheel. “What happened to you?” I could hear the fear in her voice.
“Best to say, I was no longer welcomed by some dudes in the car I was riding in.”
I expected a barrage of questions and a commentary about the dangers of life today. Instead, she started the car, got back into her lane, and kept going, mentioning the next town, some miles away. I was grateful for the silence. I didn’t want to answer the questions I knew were floating around in her mind.
I leaned back in the seat and closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep. In town, I thanked her and tried to give her some money. She refused and instead shoved her business card with her number into my hand.
I disappeared as quickly as I could down a back street, and dug my phone from my pocket, and tapped a well-used number. As I waited for him to answer, I looked at her business card—Karen Cox, Investigator United States Treasury.
“It’s her. She bought it, even gave me her business card. Not very good at this. I let her think I was running from the mob. She has the money. The case is on her back seat.” I listened to my contact. “Yeah, it’s ours. My tag’s still on it. She’s at the dinner on Main Street getting a bite. Time to close this case.”
I walked into the dinner and flashed my bag. “Ms. Karen Cox, I’m Agent Randal Reed. of the Secret Service. You’re under arrest for possession of counterfeit money, with intent to distribute.”
As I heard my fellow agents enter the diner behind me, I opened the case sitting at her feet and found it full of brand-new bogus bills, stolen from a vault at the Treasury department and marked and banded by the Secret Service.
I smiled, satisfied. My fellow officers who were tracking her never believed I could get her to stop by lying across the road. A huge risk for her, but she did and allowed me to verify she had the goods and arrest her. I won the bet. Tonight, my drinks were free.