By Erik Hare, guest writer & author of the Barataria Blog
Just then, a big figure came out from below. It was Big A, the man who’d been missing! The crowd gasped as he stood up, sure that this is who Susie really wanted. But she addressed him calmly.
“You had a run-in with these Federals when you crossed?”
“A misunderstanding,” Big A was grinning as if he could charm her.
“This was your operation, wasn’t it?”
“We just went to see our neighbors, that’s all.”
“Why were those Federals so upset?”
“I dunno. They get that way, I think.”
It wasn’t going anywhere. It was time for the big question.
“Do you know where Mayor Maggie is?”
“I’m right here!” came the call from the hold.
Another gasp ruffled the crowd as she stood up. Mayor Maggie, looking a little pale, addressed everyone.
“This was my doing. We had to cut the health care for city employees when the state aid was cut, and wouldn’t you know I got sick with something called Malattia Scherzo. I had chills, tiredness, and an overwhelming desire to wander off into the wood alone. Dr. McLean in Thunder Bay is the only known expert on it. Well, that came down to Big A, who got me the papers necessary to get into the Canadian health care system.”
“For a fee!” added Big A, as if to preserve his bad reputation.
“I didn’t think it would be such a big deal, but they wanted an overnight stay and … it all got out of hand.”
“So what should I tell the Federals?” Susie wondered.
“You’ll tell them something,” Maggie added, “I think we’re all going to need this in the near future.”
“I assume you only went to Dr. McLean’s clinic?” Hiram asked quietly, so as not to be overheard.
“I did, Hiram, as planned”
“Then as we discussed, there is no legal problem, Dr. McLean’s clinic is on the Thunder River Reservation, part of the Ojibwa Nation, and the Canadian branch of our own Eagle Point Band. By treaty, those who live on Eagle Point and Thunder River land, may go back and forth without passing through Customs check-points.”
“It’s in the village charter. Your great-great-grandfather when he divided his land, never sold the land, he sold building rights to the settlers. The land remained his, or more precisely, the Eagle Point Ojibwa. In essence, the buildings, roads and all improvements belong to the people of the township, but the land underneath does not.”
“Big A did not limit his visit to just the Res?”
“I suspect not, they dropped me off at Reservation dock. I have no idea where they went after that,’ the mayor replied.
The crowd welcomed back Maggie, who told them she was feeling great and a lot more social, and everyone went to Swig’s for afternoon Mojitos – which everyone knows are the best kind. When the Homeland Security agents came back, they were kept busy until Roscoe could get his beloved trawler smartly out of town for a few weeks.
Although it was said that before he did, Big A was seen unloading many crates of Cuban cigars from the hold.
He was quite happy, he believed had something on the mayor, life will be much better for him from now on….
Thus ends Chapter VII, but our story?
To Be Continued…