We checked into a Best Western in Barstow late at night. We snuck Poe up to the room, drew the curtains and considered our situation.
It was basically no different than that of all the other criminals holed up in Barstow that night. We’d done wrong, had a kidnap victim in our possession, and were high on junk food.
No sooner had we passed Kingman when Kerry started getting the calls. The rehabilitator, upset and frantic, had been on the phone, accusing Kerry of having stolen the bird. She didn’t even have to waterboard him, and within minutes he was already pointing the finger at me. A century of abolitionist roots and Maine tenancy down the tubes. Sorry, Kerry.
And the rehabilitator had set to calling our house. She worried that I would release him to the wild and that he wasn’t ready. And I think she was just plain ticked that we had taken him from right under her husband’s nose.
Anna insisted that I call the woman back, but Kerry and I concurred there would be little utility in doing so. She was nice enough and had done her part, but there was little point in looking back at that phase in Poe’s life.
Besides, I didn’t want her to have my cell. And if she was really hot under the collar, she could use it to trace our whereabouts.
And lastly, we had bigger fish to fry. We were camped out in the Mojave with this dang bird that we needed to keep alive. The first priority was just getting to our destination and getting him out of the dog carrier. His life had already been hell enough.
We set Poe so he could watch us sleep and shut our eyes for the night.