“Your dad does a lot of work here at home?” it’s pretty obvious he lives down here in the basement.
“He carries a load of papers and insects every evening and carries a pile out every morning. My mom says he comes home because we feed him.”
“And he carries them in the Honda,” it’s the only connection I can think of. “He’s doing something with insects that’s important. He keeps some of the information in his head but he’s carrying a lot of it back and forth in the car. But why not just grab him and his stack of papers? Why go to all the trouble of taking the car?”
I’m just thinking out loud but Rick answers immediately. “That’s easy! The papers and bugs are all locked up! He spent several weekends building a box that just fits in the back of the Honda. The only way to get into it is to unlock the back deck lid and even with that unlocked each drawer has its own lock.”
“So why not just grab the whole box?” I figure it can’t be that big – the car is tiny.
“Cause it’s bolted in! That’s why. He had me hold a winch on the top of the bolts while he crawled under the car and put nuts on.” Ricky’s thinking now, “he knew someone might want to get at his notes. When he had me helping secure the box I just thought he wanted to make sure it stayed put while he was driving but now I see that he was making sure no one could easily remove it from the car.”
Still just thinking out loud I add, “If it were just simple notes about bugs he would have just laid them on the passenger seat. He knew he was going to start transporting information people might want to get at and built that box especially for the project he’s working on.” I stare at the tiny monster on the computer screen and wonder about what kind of trouble a bug so small it lives in eyebrows could get a person into.
“Friday night he brought in several stacks of papers,” Ricky was already looking around for the papers. “I think he brought in quite a bit of the stuff because of the car show. You know, so he could show off the car. He keeps them in brown folders and there should be some kind of external storage device lying around here.”
The door at the top of the steps opens and my mom pokes her head in, “Jimmy, time to go!”
“Two minutes!” I holler back.
I look at Ricky and he waves without stopping his search. “I’ll call when I find something.”
At the top of the steps I have an uncomfortable thought, “Ricky,” I keep my voice down so that Ricky needs to come to the base of the steps to hear, “the information they wanted wasn’t in the car.”
Ricky nods. He’s already figured it out, “what they want is down here. I know what to do, I’ll call you.”
But Ricky did not call,