"And your Grillmaster sampler. I should have a few minutes after you guys finish eating to listen to whatever it is you wanted to say..." She said, nervously walking away before either man has a chance to respond.
"She thinks we're cops, dude." Chris said, starting to gnaw on a rib bone as he spoke.
"No way." Darren replied, gnawing on his own sandwich as he spoke
"If anything, she thinks we're stalkers."
"Well, she'd be right."
"Ina manner of speaking... So anyways, as I was saying... Bowman gave a description of the beast. Said it was tall, eight maybe nine foot tall... And it had oddly human characteristics in its movements and attacks. It didn't move like an animal, were his exact words."
"Alright, so a Confederate governor said there was a forrest monster running around here during the Civil War. Why are we here..."
"A few months back, a kid and his dad head up here to prep some land they have for hunting season. It's a family track, so this guy and his kid have been coming up here for a long, long time. Real familiar with the terrain. Turns out, their land butts up with the land that the Cherokee in the area had declared sacred land from that whole suicide I was just telling you about..."
"The Sauntee Suicide..." Dixie's voice again interrupted as she appeared behind Darren as he spoke.
"It's a bit of a local legend in these parts... Not far from here, maybe half hour by car... Another hour or so by foot." She paused, giving the men a quick once over as she tried to figure out what they wanted with her.
"So, I got a free minute... What you guys need me for?" She said, words clipped and hard. She had a thick Southern accent too, but not as romantic as that of the hostess. It made her come off ignorant and ill educated when she spoke.
"If you could please..." Darren motioned, pointing her to the chair next to Chris.
"I'd rather stand..."
"Oh but it will take but a moment and I feel it's better to say such things in hushed tones... Less ears the better..." Darren replied, doing his best to sound friendly and formal. He smiled as he finished speaking, motioning her with his hands to sit. She finally gave way, taking the seat next to Chris (who didn't look up from the food he was working over).
"You got two minutes..." She said, making sure her manager hadn't noticed her popping a squat, crystal eyes burning a hole through the pushy man.
"I'll be brief for now... Later we can fill in the details, if you can be of help...."
"I ain't for sale, if that's what you're leading to," Dixie stated, her voice hard as she shot Darren an insulted look.
"No, no... Nothing like that. We are looking for someone, Dixie. It's really no more complicated than that."
"Me?" She jumped in quickly, eyes widening as she pressed her hand against her ample breast.
"No, my dear.... I am actually hoping to come in contact with a friend of yours, a mister Cletus T. Broshus... Might you happen to know of whom I'm speaking?" He smiled as he finished, hoping to not spook her.
"No... I..." She stammered, her lie obvious on her face.
"We're not cops, Dixie. Not bounty hunters, not bad guys... We don't wanna hurt him or arrest him or serve him papers or nothing. We just wanna talk to him..." Darren continued in a hushed, friendly tone
"Talk to him about what?" She asked nervously. Darren smiled as she spoke, seeing her start to take his bait.
"We're investigators... We do documentaries about strange things and paranormal phenomenon... All we'd like is to meet Cletus and ask him a few questions about a case we are investigating."
Dixie stared at them, more confused now than intimidated.
"And what's in it for Cletus if'n he does give you the time..." She asks, looking Darren coldly in his eyes.
"We'd compensate him, of course... Fifty bucks for his time..." He paused, taking a drink from his soda and picked a few fries before continuing.
"We're also doing some research in the area of the Sauntee suicide... Maybe we could hire him on as a guide..."
"He don't know shit about here..."
"I thought you didn't know him..." Chris finally contributed, speaking in between mouthfuls of smoked meats.
"And I thought you guys were cops... Or IRS or something... Cletus ain't from round here... Wouldn't be much good as a guide. But I know the spot."
"Then I'll hire you on as our guide, if it helps me and Cletus meet."