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MUSIC CITY MAYHEM
Pat Ruger Mystery Series #7
BY JACK HUBER
Pat Ruger is a retired detective who continues his new life on the road in an RV. Nashville is an interesting city but holds a lot of secrets that Pat must unravel, especially in the music industry, where he grudgingly agrees to help a popular country singing duo, Bobbie and June. A hit-and-run auto accident leaves the women in the hospital and it’s possible that their new talent agent’s disappearance is connected. What the heck is going on in the Music City?
I dropped the country duo back at the hotel and drove to Jamie’s Dog Sitting to pick up Guy, who didn’t seem all that interested in leaving. He and the other dogs, according to Jamie, had gotten along famously and she asked me how soon Guy could return. I told her about our lifestyle on the road and she feigned being sad.
Eventually I was able to pry Guy away and we headed back to the RV resort. When I pulled up to park, Guy began barking and I saw several men rambling around my campsite. I leaned over, grabbed my Ruger from under my seat and clicked the safety lever to the off position with my thumb. I told Guy to stay and got out of the car, gun drawn.
“Hold on, dude,” one of them said while he put his hands in the air. The others gathered around him. “We aren’t here to hurt you or you’d already be hurt.”
The men were of various ages and sizes, from a thin 25-year-old six-footer to the leader addressing me, who struggled to hit five feet tall and was a bit pudgy. All were your typical white, non-Hispanic, street thugs — their wardrobes screamed street gang. I counted eight of them but couldn’t tell if there were others nearby.
“Then what can I do for you?” I continued to point the gun at the speaker of the group.
“I’m Ron-Ron. You heard o’ me?” He had a gruff voice, like that of a 60-year-old chain smoker. It reminded me of the old 60’s radio host, Wolfman Jack.
“No, can’t say that I have,” I lied, not wanting to give away anything. “What do you want?”
“Just a friendly chat. But first, you can see we don’t have any guns out here, right? Why don’t you lower yours. No accidents, okay?”
I lowered my handgun, keeping my tight grip on the handle, and said, “I’ll keep it, Lee, if you don’t mind.”
“Suit yourself. I just don’t want it going off while it’s pointed at me.”
“So,” I said. “Spit it out. Why are you here?”
“Bobbie and June, the country singers.”
“What about them?”
“They don’t need your help. You’re a cop, right?”
“I was. Now I’m an RV nomad navigating the countryside.”
He smiled. “Well, that might be true, but you’re still playing a cop. You took the girls to the station just this morning.”
“You watching me?”
“Them, not you.” Ron-Ron sat down in one of my lounge chairs. “Comfy. I admire your vagabond spirit. It’s time for you to vagabond down the road.”
“Look, I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but I’m retired. Bobbie and June are clients of a friend of mine and I did them a favor. You guys scared them pretty good.”
The little man leaned forward and said, “Your clients, you mean.”
“No, not my clients. I’m not on the job in any way.”
He leaned back and answered, “Great! Then you won’t mind cuttin’ your Nashville visit short.”
I chuckled. “I do mind. I haven’t been to the Grand Ol’ Opry yet. Or to B.B. King’s place.”
“I’m here to warn you,” he said sternly. “Leave town, stop helping Bobbie and June. Otherwise, we stop playing nice.”
I changed the subject. “What kind of name is ‘Ron-Ron’? Isn’t one ‘Ron’ enough?”
He stood up and looked annoyed. He replied, “Ronald Ronhart. Ron-Ron. Get it?”
“If you say so. Listen, I don’t know how else to say it. I’m retired. I’m not working for Bobbie and June. The cops are watching them now. I’m not involved.”
“Just to show I’m a reasonable guy, let’s say you’re telling the truth. You won’t mind us checkin’ up on you until you leave town, right? We came here, what do you call it, ‘in good faith’? No guns, no nothin’.”
“I do appreciate that. As long as it stays that way, I don’t care what you do.”
“Stay away from them.”
“What’s your beef with these nice ladies? What did they do?”
“That is none of your business. We got reasons.”
“So, I have to ask. Why didn’t you bring guns? What gangs don’t arm themselves for a confrontation?”
“Simple,” he replied. “We like money. We don’t like killing people. It’s as simple as that. There are worse things than being killed, y’know? Fingers, toes, electric shock, even … let’s call it ‘relocation.’ Ignore us, you’ll find out pretty fast. It will be out of my hands.”
“So, let me get this straight. You’re the leader of a gang that hurts but doesn’t kill people, but will kidnap, beat up, torture or maim someone that doesn’t do your bidding. You have plans for Bobbie and June and don’t want anyone interfering with them. Is that about right?”
“I’m not the leader, but otherwise, you got it pretty close.”
“You involved in a studio? Is that what this is about?”
“I think we’ve said enough. Leave town or you’ll regret it.” Ron-Ron looked back and nodded to his right. His cohorts followed him out of my campsite and I watched them climb into two older Chevy SUVs parked a few spaces down. They drove away without incident.
I let Guy out and took him for a walk, trying to get a grip on what had just happened. He did his business and I laughed as I picked it up with a baggie. This wasn’t exactly a glamorous life, I thought. Why not move on and leave the girls to the police? Threatening me was risky. I could dig in and work against the Flak Union.
When we got back from our walk, I put Guy on his rope and sat down. I decided to call Mike Ronin to let him know what happened so I pulled out my phone. I found the Nashville PD phone number, called it, then asked to be transferred to the detective. When it went to voice mail, I left a message.
Jack is an RV full-timer, living on the road with his wife, Nadyne, and their two Chihuahua-mixes, Rosie and Sadie. Jack has found a niche in the detective, mystery and crime/thriller genres with several Pat Ruger Mystery Series novels on the market, but also in the RV marketplace, with a several dozen articles posted in travel and RV-industry periodicals and websites, and a lighthearted book published about the RV lifestyle.
Being able to weave mysteries was unexpected but understandable, considering his influences growing up. Jack has always had a penchant for telling stories and he admired this quality in his uncle, Pat. No, Pat Ruger was not modeled after his uncle…
Books by Jack Huber:
Pat Ruger Mystery Series:
RV Life Happens
Adventure and Happenstance Full-Time on the Road
Links to Jack’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Jack’s website: www.jackhuber.com
Amazon author page: Amazon.com/author/jackhuber
Facebook page: Facebook.com/JackHuberAuthor
Twitter account: Twitter.com/huberjack
Jack enjoys receiving email from readers:
Thanks, Jack, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!