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Tuesday, September 1

Operation Bravo: Part 2 – Clifford Potter's Home

Androzy led them to Potter's home next. Clifford Potter lived on the extremities of Hellbend near to what was commonly referred to as the “bluff” – a small rise in the land to the northwest of town; approximately a mile from Hellbend. He was the only resident of the area for nearly a quarter of a mile in any direction.

"Potter bought the house in Hellbend in late 1993 at a fire sale price and has lived in the town ever since," said Androzy, all business. Jim-Bean's constant stroking had pumped the deputy up considerably. "He had no friends to speak of, but was known to help out others as needed. He drank, but not overly so, and seemed content with maintaining his house and hiking around the ruined areas of Hellbend recovering pieces of valuable scrap metal to sell in nearby Independence or Beatty Junction."

"When did he start poking around the Hunt Electrodynamics plant?"

"Late 2003," said Androzy, walking to Potter's home. "He began digging up large portions of brass, bronze and copper piping from the site to make some extra money. He was often seen driving off to the ruins of the plant in his old Ford truck with an acetylene torch and other gear in the back. Word around town is that Potter thought the ruins of the plant were a proverbial gold mine."

"Mind if we look inside?" asked Jim-Bean.

"Oh sure, sure." Androzy took down the tacked notice declaring the house a crime scene and warned trespassers not to enter. That and a flimsy lock was all that kept the curious out. Androzy fumbled for a key and unlocked the door.

Potter's small dwelling was a one-story, gable-roofed house painted a sickly, lime green. It had a hand-dug root cellar separated from the main building that dropped approximately twelve feet into the ground, and a small four-foot tall attic.

Potter’s kitchen seemed to be the hub of his life. The rest of the house was military clean—sparse almost— while only the kitchen seemed “lived in”. A sign over the stove read “You don’t have to be crazy to live here, but it helps”. On the table lay gloves, two books, a notepad, a map, a boom-box and a series of tapes.

Hammer snapped on his plastic gloves. "Don't touch anything."

"Sure," said Jim-Bean, ignoring him. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:40 AM


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