young neighbor. “Unless you want to press charges against him and have him brought back here.”
Virgil looked up, light registering behind his thick glasses. “Bigamy charges! That’s it! That’s how we can get him back. We can have him extradited here on bigamy charges.”
“Won’t wash,” Kyle said, remembering some of his civil law classes. “Bigamy’s a misdemeanor, Virgil, you know that. You can’t extradite on a misdemeanor. Besides, if there’s a question as to his competency, the marriage to Annie would be null and void anyway. They’d just say he didn’t know what he was doing.”
Virgil’s pug nose turned up. “Then we’ll charge those fellows who took him with kidnapping! That’s a federal crime.”
“How you gonna do that unless you find ‘em first?” Kyle snapped. “They could be half-way to Kentucky by now.” He shook his head. “Or farther.”
“I can give you a description of them,” Jake suggested. “Will that help?”
“Seems to me,” Alinor Mueller injected, “that those men were probably hired by Gabe’s family to come get him. Is there any kind of legal recourse for that?”
“What’s been done here is kidnapping. Pure and simple. They came into this state and illegally forced one of our residents, against his will, to accompany them back to Florida,” Virgil reminded them all. “If they’d come to us, had the correct papers for him to have been picked up, we’d have had him tested here to see if he was incompetent. If our psychiatrist said he wasn’t, that piece of paper they have on him in Georgia wouldn’t be worth diddle.”
“But they didn’t dare do that if nothing was wrong with Gabe, did they?” Alinor asked. “They couldn’t take the chance of him getting away from them.”
“So where does that leave us?” Jake asked.
“On Judge Terry Lampiere’s front porch first thing tomorrow morning,” Virgil stated.
Andrew R. Tremayne spoke from across miles and miles of fiberoptic line. “Judge Lampiere, I can appreciate your concern, and the concern of my brother’s friends there in Iowa, about his safety. I, too, am worried sick about him, and have been for the last seven years. It had been just that long since we had heard anything from him or about him, even though we’ve been looking diligently all this time.
“You can imagine my delight when I learned he was living in Iowa. And yes, I have sent some family friends out there to try to persuade him to come back, but they haven’t arrived yet. The plane should be arriving later this afternoon.
“If someone has abducted James, and I pray to the Blessed Mother they haven’t, then those of his enemies who have also been searching for him have, without doubt, reached him first.”
Terrence Jean Lampiere rolled his eyes at the tone of voice coming to him from across the miles. Did the man in Atlanta think him a country bumpkin? From the slick, condescending way the bastard was speaking to him, the judge could well imagine the grin of amusement on the fellow’s face.
“We are aware your father has signed a request that your brother be picked up for involuntary hospitalization, counselor,” the Judge stated in a no-nonsense, direct tone. “We’re also aware of your family’s connections to organized crime.”
“That has never been proved,” came the waspish reply from Atlanta and the judge knew he’d touched a raw nerve.
“Be that as it may, your father, and Gabe James’ father—”
“James Gabriel Tremayne is my brother’s name,” Andrew snapped. “He may call himself anything he wants, but his family knows him as James.”
The judge went on as though he had not been interrupted. “...has been linked with crime families all over this country, and the men who abducted Gabe James were professionals. We have composite drawings of two of them. Our law enforcement agencies here will be faxing those drawings all over the state of Florida. When we find