Well here it is Sunday again. Another week has past and it went by very quick. I have been negligent in note taking so I’m kind of struggling to piece together the past week. It’s all…
As you’ll recall, we ended last week with the slaying of Bandito Benito.
Saturday was the day he met his maker but his body was barely beginning to stiffen when I realized that Benito was no lone wolf. No, no, no; I am very confident that the sighting of this second bandolero was no accidente and in fact may have been an outright challenge.
With Benito’s pelt salted and hung for preservation, we – having been put on notice by his compañero – retreated to the comfort of our own den with the knowledge that a new enemigo was lurking and that this conflicto may be just getting underway.
Only one day would pass before, using the same technique, we would catch the bandolera Bella Juanita. The question again, is that all? Was this a pair of intruders not unlike Bonnie & Clyde; an unruly duo of masked marauders roaming the coastline, pillaging and taking for their own, the treasures of unsuspecting victims? Or could it be a larger gang of organized criminals, one that we would not want to be messing with. At this point it no longer matters, if we have inadvertently stepped into a situation such as that, then we have no choice but to fight.
On Monday we moved Ingram’s food dish into the trap and left only a small amount of cat food in place of where the dish had been. Wendi cleaned up all the dirty little hombre tracks in the area and we shifted back into monitoring mode.
We determined the very next day that indeed there were more and they were still very much interested in the midnight menu. We sweetened the deal by adding bait fish to the trap. Surprisingly, it stayed in the trap for a couple of days. Not even Ingwie was interested in the fish. I was beginning to suspect that there was something wrong with the fish. Possibly a plant… an informant? No! I have to keep it real. Don’t get soft in the head now, Wendi is depending on me to be strong.
Then, Friday night… We had positioned some chairs so that we could watch a movie and periodically look out toward the trap. Early in the evening, about a half an hour into “Poseidon”, I happened to get up to get something to drink. I took the long way around so that I could check the trap and out on the back deck, I saw a masked face. I directed Wendi to her position and crept closer to the glass door. I watched as a new and unknown player in this criminal drama nervously climbed the final step toward the trap. He pulled himself up just enough to reach out and snag the bait fish which had already been pulled from the trap. As he fell back to the lower level with his prize, another bandit appeared from the upper level walkway and as his friend receded to the shadows to consume his quarry, this one carried on into the trap.
He was wary and he was nervous. He poked his head into the trap and was almost all the way in when, just as I was about to give Wendi the signal, he retreated. He paused for a moment, then nervously let his nose lead him in for the morsel. I keyed the mic. Wendi did not react so I keyed it again and listened. There was no sound from the other radio. I waved but still no reaction from Wendi. I am freaking out! Oh no, this can’t be happening! I peered around the corner at Wendi, I could see her in the bathroom window. I nodded sharply! she pulled the trip line and shut the trap. As always, the rising gate under the force of Wendi’s pull, shoved the hind end of the surprised bandito into the trap. With great relief, I opened the door and went out to secure the gate with zip ties.
One more bandolero goes down. This one, “Benedicto” makes it a trio of amigos to have fallen to the ‘Coon Slayers!
Con Benedicto muerto, we reset the trap and then shut down the generator and proceeded to have a fiesta of two by candle light as we watched for our next victim. The unknown fish eating bandit did not return that night.
Shortly before admitting defeat and retiring to our quarters, as we stood in the window looking out over the bay in front of us , admiring the pitch blackness of the sky with brightly lit stars in sharp contrast, suddenly a meteor flashed across the sky in front of us, leaving a glittering trail fading in its wake. “Whoa!”, we exclaimed in stereo.
It was nearly sun up on Saturday morning when we succumbed to the call of the pillow and afternoon before we rose. It was a day of recovery, recuperation and preparation.
We thought we would restrict the bait to cat food this time, for fear that we were no longer cleansing the building of resident gangsters but attracting new interest from nearby neighbours with such delicacies as rotting fish.
By One A.M. on Saturday night with all appearances being that the promise of a free meal was not enough to lure our bandito back, we decided to give him a freebie in the hopes of gaining his confidence and encouraging complacency.
This morning we found his tracks around the trap. He had been back but had not entered the trap — the dish was untouched. This one may be just a little smarter than his mates. I guess we’ll see just how smart he is. Clearly, cat food is enough to attract him but not enough to catch him. Clearly, we are still dealing with the Benito Gang.