As Labadie sped towards Claiborne Avenue he keyed his microphone. “Patch me through to the Lofourche Parish Sheriff. … Sheriff, I found that big oaf you’re looking for but he refused to come with me even for questioning. I’m going to need a warrant. … Really. You’ve already gotten one. That’s great. Fax it to me as quick as you can. I want to take that SOB myself. … Thanks, Sheriff.” The second he disconnected from the sheriff, Labadie keyed his mic again. “Send a plain car to the corner of Broadway and Freret. There’s a bar there that I want you to keep an eye on. Have him park on Freret. Not too close but with a good view of both doors. The front door is on Freret and there’s a side door. Those are the only ones, I think. You’ll be looking for a behemoth of a man who is likely going to try to run. He might try to leave on foot but more likely will drive an old red pickup parked in back. Don’t try to apprehend him. Just follow him wherever he goes. There should be a warrant for his arrest waiting for me at the station house by the time I get there. Ten minutes. Then I’ll catch up to you and get him. Got it? … Good. Be quick but no sirens. With any luck I’ll be back there with the warrant before he even tries to leave. Out.”
“What am I going to do?” Biggy asked Miss Sophronia as soon as he was back up in the apartment.
“Don’t know, Hon. If that is yore mama’s body they found in the bayou you could be in real trouble. Don’t know what the penalty is for doing what you did but I’d say they’ll put you away for awhile when they catch you. Got any place to go?”
“That old boat in Lafourche is all I’ve got. Got no relatives or anyone I know anywhere else but right here. And don’t have no money to speak of, neither.”
“Don’t worry about money. We’ll take care of that. Let Miss Sophronia see what she can do. Hand me that towel over there, Hon.” Miss Sophronia hoisted herself up in the tub, bubbles slithering down over her bosoms, dripping off her nipples. Her black bush glistened. Despite having spent hours in bed with her the last few days, Biggy still felt a tinge of embarrassment and a tinge of arousal as well. He averted his eyes as he extended the towel to her.
Miss Sophronia chuckled. “Lord, boy. You act like you’re thirteen years old.” Miss Sophronia felt a twinge of arousal as well. She considered a quick roll in the hay before letting him go but knew there wasn’t time for that.
She dried herself before slipping her peignoir around her shoulders, not bothering to close it as she moved out into the room. She picked up the phone and pressed the button for the extension in the bar.
– Page 139 –
“Jacques. Your cousin still own that joint down in the Lower Ninth Ward? … Yeah, that’s the one. Don’t he have a room above it that he lets folks use sometimes? Sleep off a drunk or whatever else they might want to use it for. Just for awhile? … Good. Can you call him and describe Biggy to him. I’m gonna send Biggy over there to hide out for awhile. As quick as you can let me know if it’s worked out. I’ll pay him, of course. We’ll talk about more details later. I want Biggy out of here as soon as possible. I’m guessing that policeman is gettin’ a warrant as we speak. … Thanks.”
She hung up the phone and turned to Biggy. “Get downstairs and pack up a change of clothes. You’re going out to the 9th Ward to a place I know where you can hide out til Jake and I get together and figure how to get you out of the city safely. You ever been down to the Lower Ninth?”
“Don’t think so. Don’t even sound familiar.”
“Shit. You’ll never find your way down there by yourself. I’ll have Jacques take you in the cab. That’ll be better anyway. But you’ll need to leave here in your truck and leave it somewhere. Go down and throw your stuff in a bag. Leave it by the back door. Jacques will get it. Drive the truck out to Claiborne. Turn towards the CBD. Drive until you come to a block with lots of cars parked and find a place among them. Park and get out. Walk on to the next cross street. Turn and walk down it. You’ll be going towards the river. Jacques will be behind you in the cab and watching for your truck. As soon as you’re out of the traffic, he’ll pick you up and take you to his cousin’s place. You’ll be okay there until we figure out what to do next.”
As Biggy started down the stairs, Miss Sophronia called after him, “Gonna miss you, Big Un.”
Five minutes later Biggy pulled out of the parking lot and turned onto Broadway. As he was approaching the light at Claiborne, a nondescript gray sedan with two men in the front seat pulled in behind him. He thought nothing of it until he stopped at the stoplight. An arm extended out the driver’s window and placed a flashing blue light on the sedan’s top. A siren sounded momentarily and a voice said over a loudspeaker. “Mr. Bigeaux, pull over into the lot at that convenience store. Get out and put your hands on top of the car. Now!”
The next morning, Jake and Miss Sophronia were having coffee in her apartment discussing what to do. Miss Sophronia wanted to send Missy Allison down to represent Biggy.
“I wanted to do that, too, Sophie. Until I talked to Missy last night. Right after Biggy got caught. She said if we send her down there, we might be making ourselves accessories after the fact. Said she would go if I insist but I agree with her. I think we should steer clear. She said the most he can be sentenced to is three years.”
Biggy’s adventures in New Orleans were over.
– The End –