The Tabernacle church was surrounded by flashing blue lights. There were county sheriff’s cars, state police cars, and a couple of black SUVs with dark tinted windows and small blue lights on the dashboard. The FBI had made it to Sommerville from Richmond in record time. After all, kidnapping is a serious crime that requires highly-skilled law enforcement, not hick town sheriffs and their deputies.
Inside the envelope that Tucker had left with the pastor’s wife was a simple note written with a dull pencil.
To the town of Sommerville:
Wire $1,000,000 in to account # 00098970653 at The Swiss Credit Bank in Zurich by 5:00 p.m. on December 21 or Evangeline Goodman and Prissy Montgomery will both be killed.
Call the following voice mail box and leave a message to let me know you have received this message by 5:00 pm tomorrow night, or I will kill Prissy Montgomery just to show you I mean business. The number is 999-708-7675.
Once I know you have received this message, I will call with further instructions.
Don’t piss me off.
Tucker was a good listener and had learned a few things about new identities from his cellmate in prison. He’d also learned a great deal about Swiss bank accounts from Prissy Montgomery. He could disappear in to a big city in the u.s.a. for a while, laying low and living simply for a year before sliding over the border.
He had a new California driver’s license, social security card, veteran’s i.d, and a Swiss Credit Bank ATM card. Soon, Tucker would become just another California beach bum. All he had to do was get to the Standard Iron train depot and hitch a ride in an empty box car.
According to his internet research, the train ran straight across the country to the port in San Diego. On foot, he could be at the depot in twelve minutes if he cut through Saunder’s Dairy, climbed the fence behind the loading dock, and zig zagged through the stacks of iron pipes to the waiting train.
Tucker had timed himself three times before the kidnapping, always making the journey in the darkest hours of the night to avoid being seen. Two of the three times he made it in twelve minutes. Once he made it in 20, only because he twisted his ankle and had to hop the remaining 100 yards, so that time didn’t count.