Jim’s car breaks down on the ‘eight mile grade’ while on his way to Pastoria. Luckily Vern Soper is in his mechanics truck and tows Jim to Pastoria. On arrival, Jim poses as Larry Metcalfe of Great Western Casualty, as part of his skip-trace case. Jim eats at the Dinner and meets former Sheriff Emmett Byrd and then checks in at the motel, where Officer Kolodny misinterprets Jim’s concern when a photograph is taken of him with Rita, the motel helper. Jim also finds a strange suitcase that is not his. Vern Soper checks the Firebird and charges a fortune so Jim checks it and finds the car was tampered with at his last stop, so reports the crime and Kolodny’s behaviour to Sheriff Gladish. That night Jim’s room is burst into by some drug dealers who want their money, and are about to kill Jim when Rita arrives telling him that Kolodny is coming to get him for reporting him to the Sheriff. Jim makes his escape in Rita’s car, is forced to dump it and walk to Emmett Byrd’s house. There, Byrd hears on the radio that Jim is wanted and arrests him; Jim hits Byrd and runs right into the Police. In jail Jim is charged with narcotics smuggling with intent to supply, misrepresentation, grand theft auto, assault and criminal damage. Jim tells Beth he has a witness: Rita – but her mother, the Mayor Karen Saunders does not want her involved and threatens Jim with a charge of Statutory Rape. Prosecutor Gilbert Univaso offers Jim a plea bargain, but Jim refuses for his day in court. Pleading not guilty, Jim is bound over for trail by Judge Russell Cline. Byrd then refuses to press charges on the assault and damage, telling Jim, Beth and Rocky that something that Soper said was false. Jim works out that the Pastoria authorities are all in it together and that they must have been tipped off about his coming Jim calls the last hotel he stayed in and poses as ‘Gerald Creekmore’ – the man who sent him to Pastoria, to learn the telephone number in Pastoria he dials – it is a answer machine. Jim breaks into the Prosecutor’s office, steals his file and tapes an answer machine dialler tone. Kolodny spots him so Jim hits him and escapes. On trying to leave town Beth and Rocky are arrested while Jim breaks away to his only sanctuary; Emmett Byrd. Byrd takes Jim to Judge Cline and explains to him that the Police people with made up crimes, and the Courts have them pay a fine and because the charges vary and most people plea bargain. The next victim will be lead to believe he killed someone and that he will arrive very soon on the eight-mile grade…moreless
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