An hour out from Gilroy, Rosemaria’s hands began to shake. She had to tighten her grip on the steering wheel to maintain control. Perspiration broke out on her forehead as doubts and questions began to assail her brain. What if Sidney Robbins wasn’t at the family trailer? If she did catch him there, what if he wouldn’t talk no matter how aggressively she threatened him? Should she just have let the cops handle him? And even if he did tell her where her father was, maybe it would be too late. She felt her usual self-confidence begin to dissipate.
She knew that there was little chance of street cameras being used to track her down. Once they had Sidney, they wouldn’t waste hours of time trying to trace the movements of an unknown car and person, not even knowing where to start. But if her father were to be found alive, would the cops somehow figure out she’d been the person who coerced the information out of Sidney and then arrest her? Would her father forgive her if she caused him to lose the job that he loved? She took one hand off the steering wheel and wiped the perspiration out of her eyes. This kind of second-guessing was unacceptable. She had to pull herself together and keep her mind on the job she had set out to do. Concentrate. Focus. She had always been good at that.
Rosemaria hadn’t wanted to push her luck by asking to talk to Mrs. Morgenstern’s nephew to find out exactly where the Robbins’s trailer was. She wouldn’t want her having second thoughts and decide she’d better tell the police about the trailer after all. Not knowing where it was located meant Rosemaria would have to ask around for directions. She hated doing that, because the more people she talked to, the more chance there was that the police could track her down afterward. She wanted to avoid that at all costs.
She pulled off the freeway and headed toward downtown Gilroy, her heart pounding. If Sidney wasn’t here, she would be devastated. Still wearing her now very wrinkled black suit, her black wig, and her sunglasses, she parked her car up the street from a 7-Eleven and its cameras, where she figured there would be some foot traffic. She stood by the side of her car, pretending to look at her phone, and waited for people to walk by on their way to the 7-Eleven. She questioned three passersby about where the Fillmore garlic-picker trailer park was before a nice, elderly Asian couple gave her directions.
She drove past the empty fields and easily found the trailer park. She parked on the side of a gravel road and changed into her baggy skirt and sweater. She added more dark makeup to her face and hands and put on her big straw hat and sunglasses. She wandered through the trailer park, trying to figure out exactly how she would find the right trailer. There weren’t a lot of people living here in the off-season. Nevertheless, a Latino man whose face was weathered by sixty summers of hot sun knew the Robbins and where they lived. He told her there was no one in the trailer now, and she acted disappointed. She thanked the man and headed off in the direction of her car then doubled back and made her way to the Robbins’s trailer.
As the Latino man had told her, it was the most run-down trailer in its row. She gasped as the trailer door opened and she found herself staring at a man who matched the photo of Sidney Robbins on his driver’s license. He stepped down and turned to lock the trailer door. She made a quick about-face and walked between some trailers to another row, hoping he hadn’t noticed her startled expression. He must be heading out to get something to eat close by. He couldn’t risk driving his car on the freeway. She almost ran to her car. She needed to prepare.
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