Return To Sender

“Dispatch, 41. See the woman.” When Curt arrived he met Miss Harriet Nielsen, a local high school teacher. 

It seems that Miss Nielsen was not the favorite among her students. As such, she had all too often had her mailbox vandalized by a frustrated student. 

First there was what had been the baseball bat poundings. That had moved on to where a student, disappointed with a grade, would just run over her mailbox with a truck. 

She had tried calling the FBI since tampering with the mail was a federal crime, but they had not been willing to stake out her mailbox. 

Tired of replacing her mailbox, Harriet had built one that would not need to be replaced before the second coming. First she didn’t dig the hole for the post with a post hole digger. She used a backhoe. She dug out a hole six feet deep and six feet wide. Then she got a ten foot section of twelve inch diameter iron pipe with a wall thickness of half an inch. 

Harriet set the pipe in the hole and filled the hole with concrete so that only the top 48” stuck out of the hole. Once that had all cured, she had a half inch thick iron plate, bent into a mail box shape and welded onto the top of the post. Then she slid her new mailbox into this mailbox shaped hole. In the event of some foreign power invading West Richland with tanks and artillery, the safest place to hide would be behind Miss Nielsens mailbox. 

When Curt arrived, Miss Nielsen wanted to report that her mailbox had been vandalized and she wanted the culprit tracked down and charged. Curt looked at the mailbox. At first he wondered what she was talking about because the mailbox was still standing and didn’t appear to have any damage. 

When he went out to actually inspect it he found tire marks leading to the post. It appeared that someone in a pickup had tried to run over the box. The evidence showed that the driver had most likely hit the post doing about forty miles per hour, expecting the mailbox and post to succumb to the weight, mass and velocity of the vehicle. 

They were wrong. 

The pickup wrapped itself around the post and made a “U” shape out of the front of the truck from the license plate to the engine block. 

As Curt inspected the post and box he could find no damage. It hadn’t budged. There was however a trail of anti-freeze and engine oil leaving the scene. 

Figuring that the damage would prevent the vehicle from going to far he followed it down the street for about a block. At that point it was evident that the engine had given out and the amount of fluids in the soil on the shoulder of the road indicated that this was the spot it died. 

During the night, the culprit had recruited help and managed to tow the dead truck away for burial at some undisclosed location. 

Curt went back to Miss Nielsen and explained how he would not be able to find out who had attempted to do the damage. However, she needn’t worry. Once this story had spread around the high school, no one would ever try it again. 

And they never did.


Want more stories like this check out the book The Chief Is Missing which is available in audio for those of us that don’t have time to sit down and read.

Another Book by J A Sliger is Code Name Artist. It’s a World War Two drama based on a man that fought the Nazi’s from inside the German Secret Service The Abwehr.