For My Brother
printed sheet.
    She escorted them back to the front door and opened it for the two detectives. When Jason had stepped outside, he turned to face Mrs. Hughes. Jason looked into the woman’s eyes and saw a pain there he recognized.
    She wasn’t whole. A part of her was missing and her life was out of balance, like a teeter-totter with no one on the other end. She couldn’t make it move, couldn’t do it alone. The fear she might have lost her partner in life visibly weighed on her, and Jason’s heart ached for her.
    “Barbara, we’ll do everything we can to find your husband. Hang in there and we’ll be in touch.”
    Tears started to well up as the stress began to come out the only way she knew how.
    “Thank you, Detectives. I appreciate it.”
    As the door closed, Jason’s face turned hard.
    “We need to find the animal taking these people, and fast!”
     
    *******
     
    Devin James had waited long enough. There was no movement around the farm, but something wasn’t right and he could feel it.
    While he was sitting and watching, he had planned a route he thought would get him up near the buildings without being seen. If he stayed in the tree line until the garage hid him from the house, he might be able to run up without Donnie knowing he was there. He didn’t want another confrontation with the gun.
    Betty Jarvis hadn’t shown up from town, and James was beginning to suspect she didn’t live there at all. That, or something had happened to her.
    He made his mind up it was time to move, but before he left the vehicle, he dialed San Antonio police headquarters.
    “SAPD.”
    “Yes, is this Sergeant Connor?”
    “Yes, sir. Who am I speaking with?”
    “This is Devin James with the San Antonio News.”
    “Afternoon Mr. James, what can I do for you?”
    “I want to leave a message for Detective Strong.”
    “Do you want me to see if he’s in?”
    “No, I don’t have time. Can you just give him a note when you see him?”
    “Sure. Let me get a pen…okay, shoot.”
    “Tell him to pull the file from the Billy Jarvis suicide. It’s from ten years ago.”
    “Okay. Pull the Billy Jarvis file. Anything else?”
    “Yes. Tell him it’s connected with the missing persons.”
    “Got it.”
    James hung up before Sergeant Connor could ask any more questions. He took his binoculars and a small digital camera with him, locked the car door, and crawled under a barbed wire fence. Staying low, and avoiding a small herd of Texas Longhorn cattle, the reporter made his way along the fencerow behind the cover of the trees.
    Five minutes brought him to the spot opposite the garage where he was hidden from the house. He paused and took out his binoculars, searching the property for Donnie. There was still no one moving around, and no sign he’d been spotted.
    He watched for a full ten minutes, catching his breath, before moving again.
    Climbing under the back fence to the Jarvis property, he stayed crouched, and made a run for the back of the garage.
     
    *******
     
    Jason and Nina arrived back at the station and walked through the front doors.
    “Jason!”
    He turned to where he heard his name called, and saw his friend Dave Connor holding up a sheet of paper. Nina continued up the stairs while Jason walked over the sergeant’s desk.
    “Hi, Dave. How’s things?”
    “Good. You?”
    “Not bad. What’s the note?”
    The sergeant handed the note to the detective.
    “Your buddy Devin James called around a half-hour ago and left you a message.”
    “ Buddy is not how I would normally describe him.”
    Jason read the note and his pulse quickened. He walked away without thanking Dave.
    “You’re welcome.”
    Jason turned. “Sorry. Temporarily distracted. Thanks, and say hi to Vicky for me.”
    “Will do.”
    Instead of going upstairs, Jason went to Records in the basement.
     
    *******
     
    Marie Turley had been with SAPD for thirty-eight years. She had moved to Records after three years as a dispatcher, and her

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