Calling an agent of the trust

Now I wanted to know everything I could about the Calverts, and definitely about this Calvert Family Trust. I figured that calling Peter Bingham was as good a start as any. I used a pay-phone from one of the forlorn gas stations the Greyhound stopped at. I dialed the number on the letter stationary. It was mid-week, mid-day—there ought to be someone there.

‘This is Peter Bingham.’

‘Peter this is Jackson Calvert.’ There was a long pause. I wondered if I needed to explain but Peter beat me to it.

‘I knew you would contact me at some point,’ he said. ‘How can I help you?’

‘I’ll be in Poscataw in less than an hour. At the bus station. Can you pick me up?’ It felt like a bold question, asking this of a complete stranger.

‘Certainly. I believe I will be able to recognize you.’

‘Oh yeah?’

‘Calverts are easy to spot. I should know—I was practically raised by your grandfather. I will see you in an hour.’

I got back on the bus. This Bingham fellow was peculiar at best, and more likely bad news. I had to think that the Calvert Family Trust had an interst in keeping anything negative about the Calverts at bay.

Poscataw City was an oasis in all that green.  The trees began to thin and through them I could see squat houses tucked back from the road.  Cotton and soybean farms erupted along the road, defying the creeping wildness.  Mailboxes became regular and soon we fronted the supernatural glow of a strip mall.  Poscataw was more of a town than anything I’d seen since leaving the coast.  This was the Calvert seat, the birthplace of my father, grandfather, and a line of Calvert sheriffs.

To my left I saw the Poscataw River.  I knew by looking at the map that you could follow it upstream and it would take you through the Southern University campus and then north of town, where it edged along the county border like a mote fending off northern encroachment.


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