“Nice place,” one of the patrol officers said as Tad let them into his apartment.
Tad nodded his thanks as he invited them to have a seat while he went to get the photos. He came back to find one of them perusing his bookshelves.
“I bet you’re a photography major,” the officer commented.
“Yes sir.” Tad handed him the two photos.
The officer looked at them before handing them off to his partner. Once he’d studied them as well he said to Tad, “You’ve made a dangerous enemy here. Mr. Daws and his gang have a bad reputation on the streets for attacking homeless people. I suspect that’s what they were intending to do to the two you were photographing.”
“That’s what I thought, which is why I shouted a warning.”
“And Daws saw you when you did?” one of the officers asked.
“He looked up, yes. Said something like, “You’re dead” or words to that effect.”
“Was there enough light for him to have seen your face? You said this happened at night.”
“It did,” Tad replied. “But,” he thought fast, “the moon came out from behind the clouds right then so I guess he must have.” Tad was not about to tell the officers about what had happened at the bus station and the fact that Daws had undoubtedly seen him there with Roy and Jerry. “I just don’t get how he could have found out where I live.”
“He’s a punk of the first order, but he’s also smart. If he put two and two together, you on the roof with a camera, he could figure you worked for a newspaper or were in school. All he had to do was have his gang keep their eyes open for you.”
“I guess.” Tad sighed. “So now what?”
“You be very careful when you come and go from here. I’d suggest no more nighttime forays to take pictures. Stay in public places. Call 911 immediately if you even think he’s around. From what you said, he knows you saw him tonight. You may be the only witness to what he and his gang did since no one else called the vandalism in.”
The second officer added, “We’ll put out an APB on them but he’s not going to be easy to find. He’s lived on the streets himself and so he knows all the ways to stay out of sight and under radar. According to what rumors we’ve picked up on, and they’re fairly substantial ones, he’s found a place to hole up; something better than a squat but no one can tell us where.”
“Either they can’t tell us or their afraid to,” the other office put in. “Can you give us copies of these two pictures? They’re much more recent than anything we have.”
“Sure, no problem.” Tad took the shots over to his computer, scanned them in and printed the results on photo paper. “This is the best I can do,” he told them.
“These will work just fine. I think that’s all we need from you at this point. If we think of anything else, or hear anything about Daws, we’ll get in touch.”
Tad thanked them. When they left he closed the door and leaned against it, not certain whether to be relieved that he’d been able to keep Roy and Jerry out of it, or terrified that Daws now knew where to find them.