With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chapter Fourteen: The Sheriff Comes Back

  "The sheriff, he thought he was looking for pot..."

Ken was in the main house cleaning and Marge was making lunch.  Dan had stopped in to get something when he saw the sheriff's car parking through the window.  He was at the door and opening it before the sheriff and his deputies could ring the bell.

"What can we do for you today, sheriff?" Dan asked.  Marge and Ken were right behind him.

"I'm sorry to bother you.  I have a search warrant for this house."

"Well, if you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in."  Dan stood aside and let the sheriff and the two deputies walk into the place.  "What are you looking for?"

"One of your neighbors claims that you are growing marijuana in a second floor room in this building.  We need to investigate."

Dan looked at Ken.  Ken shook his head and then shrugged.

"Okay," Dan said.  "Let's check upstairs."

Dan, the sheriff, the two deputies, Ken, and Marge, went up the stairs and began looking in the front bedrooms.

They started with Ken's room.  There were clothes strewn all over the place and bits of junk food in the corner, but nothing in the window.

Harry the crested gecko looked inquisitively at the incoming crowd.  When he realized that none of them were going to feed him, he went back to examining the log in his aquarium, in case some tasty insect had appeared there since he last checked.

The sheriff and deputies half-heartedly looked into the closet, through Ken's dresser, and under his bed, but since there weren't any plants in the window, it seemed unlikely they were hidden somewhere.

Cat's room was next.  It was neat as a pin.  There were some old white curtains in the window, but no plants.  And, again, a search of the room turned up nothing illegal.

The third front bedroom belonged to Viv.  As soon as the door was opened, the two tall plants were visible, right in front of a window.

"Okay," said the sheriff.  "Who's room is this?"

"Ken," Dan said, "go get Luna and Viv."

The sheriff and deputies waited patiently while Ken got the two women.  It took longer than Dan would have thought but eventually Viv and Luna came up the stairs with Ken following.

"This is my room," Viv said, "and those are my plants."

"I'm afraid you're under arrest," said the sheriff.

  "Now Luna Lagoon, she left the commune, only to find help that's legal..."

After Viv left with the sheriff, the rest of the commune gathered to be with each other.

"Let's hold hands and breathe with each other a moment," Nancy suggested.  "We really connect with each other right now."

The group stood a moment in silence.  Then everyone started talking at once.

"Well, I have no question which neighbor called the cops," said Marge, a little louder than most of the folks.

"The question is," Luna said, "What do we do now?"

"Get Peter," Sal and Dan said in unison.

"Absolutely," Luna said.

"We don't know what kind of lawyer Peter is," Cat pointed out.  "He didn't talk about his practice.  For all we know he may only know about real estate law or corporate lawsuits."

"True," said Dan, "But if he doesn't do criminal law, I'll bet he knows someone who does."

Nancy looked at Ken, who was the only one who hadn't been talking.  He still looked stunned.  "Whatcha thinking?"

"That could have been me," Ken said.

"I think we'd better get back to work," Luna said.  "I can see customers at the farm stands.  Peter won't be home until after six. I'll walk over to his place around then."

That evening, Luna and Sal went to see Peter.  They got there before he did, but he arrived shortly after they got there.

"This can't be good," Peter said when he saw them.

"What kind of law do you practice?" Sal asked.

"Oh, this really isn't good," Peter said.  "A little of everything.  What happened?"

"The sheriff found pot plants in Viv's room," Luna said.  "He took her away.  What can we do?"

"Well, we can start by bailing her out."  Peter and the two women got into his car and they drove to the sheriff's office.

"What's the bail on this young woman?"  Peter asked the clerk there.

"Five hundred dollars," the clerk said.

"No problem," Peter said and pulled out a check book.  "They're not taking this very seriously if bail is this low," he said to Luna and Sal as he wrote the check.  He handed it to the clerk.

"We owe you," Luna said.

"Don't worry about it," Peter replied.  "I get it back when she goes into court.  She just better show up for her court date."

The clerk gave him a slip of paper and they drove to the county jail.  Peter handed the slip to the clerk at the jail and moments later they had a very apologetic Vivian in the car with them.

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