A MYSTERY STORY

Sep. 9, 2014

THE BANK ROBBERY

By Milton Cust
“We did it, we did it,” Jimmy was chanting and bouncing up and down on the passenger seat like a kid.
His antics were getting on Mark’s nerves. I’ll deal with that idiot later, Mark promised himself as he tried to concentrate on his driving. The pair had just robbed a bank, had the police hot on their heels and were approaching a crucial point in their get-away plan.
Every afternoon at exactly 3:10 a long freight train rolled through the town of Springville. It not only blocked the town’s main intersection and brought traffic to a stand still, it also cut the town in half.
It was now 3:07 and timing was critical. It had to be perfect because Mark intended to race his car over the tracks in the last seconds before the train reached the intersection. Too soon and the police car would be able to follow them, too late and that would be all she wrote. He was going to need nerves of steel.
Jimmy continued to jump up and down beside him but his stupid chant was drowned out by the shrill warning whistle from the train. It was going to be close, very close but he expected that. The arm was coming down and the ground began to tremble as the train neared the intersection. He stole a quick glance in his rear view mirror and saw that the cop was right behind him but so concerned about tangling with the freight train, he was slowing down.
Mark flashed his brakes for an instant to make it look as if he too was going to be stopped by the train, then suddenly, with only seconds to spare, he put his foot to the floor and his car shot forward in a cloud of dust and gravel. It crashed through the arm with the train almost upon them but managed to roar across the tracks unscathed.
Mark breathed a heavy sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from the forehead. He slowed the car down and looked back. All he could see was the train but between gaps in the box cars he caught glimpses of the cop car sitting sideways in the middle of the approach to the tracks.
“The worst is over, we’re almost home free,” Mark said. He forced himself to smile as he glanced over at Jimmy. The idiot had the bag full of the stolen money in his lap and was still reciting that irritating chant and bouncing up and down on the passenger seat.
“That won’t continue much longer because soon I’ll be free of him and with all the money,” Mark told himself but right now he’d have to move fast if he intended to carry out the rest of the plan. He realized that the reckless train trick would only delay the cops for a short time and that very soon they would be buzzing all over this part of town like angry hornets.
Despite knowing time was of an essence he managed to drive at a much more sane speed towards a garage several blocks away. After all, he didn’t want to attract any attention. The garage had been rented under an assumed name and paid for in cash several weeks ago. The car parked inside of it would be their second get-away vehicle. It was a non-descript old Chevy with licence plates boosted from an abandoned car in an auto-wreckers yard.
Mark used a remote to open the overhead garage doors. Once parked safely inside, Jimmy managed to stop his chant long enough to pull the doors shut behind them. He then joined Mark who was already busy transferring everything from one vehicle to another. There wasn’t all that much to transfer, but between them, they made sure there would be nothing left in the hot vehicle to identify them. The pair even spent a considerable amount of time trying to wipe down all of its interior so there wouldn’t be any finger prints left for the cops to find. Not that it mattered because they figured it might be several weeks before the car was found. By that time they would be long gone and the trail would be cold.
“Well Jimmy let’s celebrate,” Mark announced when he felt they had done all they could do to cover their tracks. He was standing at the front of the garage lined with cabinets and pulled open a door to pull out a bottle of champagne.
“Saved it just for this moment,” he explained. “We’ll have a quick drink to congratulate ourselves and then be on our way.”
“Okay but not too much, we don’t want the cops to stop us for impaired driving,” Jimmy laughed and accepted a glass of the bubbly drink.
Mark laughed with him and watched him take a sip of the liquor that he had laced with a powerful sleeping drug. This was his plan to get rid of Jimmy and take all the bank loot for himself. By the time he woke up he planned to be miles away with Wanda and he was sure Jimmy wouldn’t go to the cops because that would implicate him in the bank robbery.
Wanda was a waitress in the bar Mark and Jimmy frequented. Mark hit on the pretty red head with the hot body and they ended up in her bed one night. He told her she was too classy to be working as a waitress and urged her to come away with him.
And when Wanda asked,”just how are you going to support me?” Mark confided in her and told her about the plans to rob a bank.
“And what about your pal Jimmy? He gonna be hanging around us all the time and taking his share of the money? We could have it all you know.”
That was all it took for Mark to make plans to ditch Jimmy and take off with Wanda, the new love of his life. It had actually been her plan to give Jimmy the sleeping pills and after a wild bout of sex, Mark had only been too eager to agree.
Now things were happening just as he and Wanda planned it. One glass of the laced drink put Jimmy into a deep sleep. Mark had just finished stuffing him into the front seat of the hot car when he heard the side door of the garage open.
He looked up and saw Wanda marching towards him with a big smile on her face and a bottle in her hands. She gave him a kiss and a hug that felt so good, Mark was tempted to start something with her right then and there but Wanda insisted there wasn’t enough time.
“Later, when we’re long gone from here, it’ll be good, real good, I promise,” she said and then offered him a drink. “Go ahead, have one. It’s the real thing, not like that doped up stuff you gave to Jimmy,” Wanda urged. She smiled as Mark downed the glassful she poured for him and only pretended to take a sip of the stuff in her glass.
Mark’s drink was even more powerful than the one he gave to Jimmy. He had a look of disbelief on his face as his body crumpled to the garage floor seconds after finishing the glass.
Wanda had some difficulty getting Mark’s body into the passenger seat beside his pal Jimmy but she finally did manage to do it. Satisfied with her work, she took one final look at the two slumbering guys, grabbed the bottles and the bank loot, backed the second get-away car out of the garage and boldly drove down the street and out of town. After all, it was two guys the cops were looking for so they never even bothered to stop a woman.