Jack wrote this in September, 2006:
The past week or so the prowler thing’s creeped back in to things here. He evidently came onto the porch several nights ago and left a few signs to show he’d been here.
There’s been a break in it for several months, so I suppose we all hoped it was over. The last incident was just before Easter, when someone left a beheaded rabbit on the porch of the rich guy up the hill behind me. Prior to that, the bucket of blood spilled across my porch, maybe around Christmas was the next-most early event. All of which I described on this blog.
But after the porch incident a week ago I’d been on the alert, and several middle-of-the-night sorties, darting around the shadows with a flashlight and a government .45 trying to catch this person had me thinking he might decide to take another long break.
But, around 2:00 am the cats woke me, really nervous and agitated. The security light was on outdoors, and the dogs across the road were barking. So I hoisted my poor old arse out of bed, flashlight in one hand and El Palenque in the other, spent another quarter-hour stalking the shadows without much hope of this sneaky fellow still being there.
But, about 4:30 the cats woke me again and I could see on the security camera that a car was stopped, lights on at the gate. So I again hoisted myself out of dreamland and went out front to see what was going on.
“Officer Montoya, Sandoval County Sheriff Deputy. Did you call?”
“I see who you are. No. I haven’t called.”
“What’s the address here?”
I pointed to the long driveway leading up the hill to the house where the rich old guy who’d been blessed Easter by the porch-rabbit. The deputies got back into their truck, spotlight shining around all over the place, and headed up the hill. After a while I saw them leave, and a bit later the old guy came walking down to the road to pick up his newspaper. I was sitting on the porch watching the dawn, so I called down to his grumpy old persona.
“Yeah. Prowler again.”
We’re all middling concerned what this guy’s all about. What he does makes no sense. He leaves his little signs to show he’s been there, rarely steals anything a normal burgler would take, but takes small things of little value when he comes indoors. Evidently he’s a lockpick, because Lee, next door, found a broken picklock he dropped at her back entryway.
But as a deputy told me during one of their frequent visits up here answering complaints, “This guy’s going to have to die. He’s never going to stop until someone shoots him.”
He might be right. The prowler’s smart, gutsy, and evidently really good at what he does. But he’s bound to slip up. One night I was out stalking around with the .45, and Lee’s husband caused me to jump out of my skin, “Jack….. psssst!”
“Huh?” Squatting behind a bush, squinting at the latia fence around Lee’s yard, wondering if it was our man, El Palenque full c*cked waiting for whatever’s about to happen.
“It’s me.” Stage whisper. “I’ve got a 30.06. Let me get him.”
Cheeeeeerist! Yeah, that’s sure as hell what we need.
“Stay calm. Don’t shoot him if he’s over my way, or between you and the village. In fact, don’t shoot him at all with that damned thing! No telling who you’ll kill off over there somewhere.”
One more bug on the windshield of life in the quiet village.