I trailed the woman from what I thought was a discreet distance, keeping back a good fifty feet as she walked among the shops in Fairhaven. The steady drizzle helped me keep sight of her as she had a distinctive red umbrella among all the standard blacks.
I relied on my fedora for protection from the rain, the only person without an umbrella not rushing from the cover of one protected awning to the next.
She veered slightly to the right, straight up to a police officer who was exiting his patrol car while eyeing the bagel shop. She spoke in a rush, then pointed back at me.
The officer marched straight back, his hand resting on his Taser.
“Hey, buddy, you better show me some ID. The lady says you’ve been stalking her for the last three blocks.”
I sighed, then held up my hands.
“Officer, I’m a private investigator, and I’m armed.”
His hand went to his sidearm, which he promptly drew.
“You’re armed. Turn around.”
“Yes, sir. My carry permit is in my left back pocket. My weapon is in a shoulder rig under my left arm.”
I went through the indignity of being cuffed, purely for the officer’s safety. He walked me back to his patrol car where people took a wide berth around us, but watched in curiosity all the same. He proceeded to search and disarm me as he checked on my story. He looked skeptical at each item pulled out, especially the olive wood stake carved with scripture and the silver knife.
It only took a few minutes for dispatch to send word to him verifying both my permit and my status as a consultant for the Twelfth Precinct in the Grind.
He returned everything to me and apologized. I smiled and thanked him for doing his job, though I did sigh into the rain at having lost the woman.
I need to work on my tailing skills.