“Hello Dean,” Sam nodded in my direction as he walked in the door, “Matthew,” a nod to Matthew. “Good to see you this morning. You’re looking a bit less ratshit that yesterday.”

For those not sure what ratshit is I guess it could be a local term, to be honest I have never been outside the country to hear it but I also hadn’t heard any tourists use the term either so maybe it was ours. Anyway for those who don’t know ratshit in the context Sam used it meant that the day before we looked terrible, which to be fair was probably an understatement by the time he arrived at Gibb Airport.

“Yeah looks like you caught the ratshit this morning.” I said because Matthew didn’t know Sam well enough to smart mouth the head honcho of the local area police command.

“Well thank you for the compliment.”

“No worries, you deserve it!” I said with a smile on my face.

“Maybe you should came back to my office before you give all these guys here the impression I have a sense of humour.” Sam said opening the swinging part of the main bench and inviting Matthew and I back into the bowels of Police Central.

“Oh I’m sure they know that under that big tough guy exterior you’re just a little pussy cat.”

There was a few murmurs and a few laughs from the boys in blue as I spoke but I decided not to encourage them too much. I respect the police and too much smart mouthing does make them look like idiots, maybe not so much in front of the other staff but if a member of the public or a criminal heard me it just isn’t right.

“Keep it up and I’ll show you my claws, now get in here. Can I get you a coffee or something, god knows I need one. Mainline, straight into the artery should do the trick.” Sam said with a smile. It was different when police made jokes about themselves.

“No coffee for me, we are aiming to get to Broome by lunch time not dinner time!” I replied (indicating we’d need more toilet stops in case you were unsure).

“Me either,” Matthew added as we both stepped into the main part of the police station and were directed to Sam’s office.

Sam motioned us through door, grabbed the paperwork we’d left with the desk Sargent, and asked the same Sargent to get him the coffee he so desperately needed.

Inside Sam’s office we engaged in a little small talk about how each of us recovered, how long Sam and his boys were at the scene after we got our orders to take Nick home and other general news until his coffee arrived, then we got down to business.

Sam read our statements, not to make sure we got it right but to make sure he knew what was in them so he could ask any questions while we were in front of him rather than trying to play phone ping pong. Initially I had been a little annoyed that we had to wait for Sam but in thinking about it later I was glad because there was a number of things he wanted clarification with which were done so much easier in person than over the phone.

We spent nearly an hour in Sam’s office, again longer than I would have liked but acceptable in the long run, and as we getting up to leave there was commotion coming from deeper in the bowels than we were.

“That’s good timing. That’ll be the boys bringing your mates up from down in the cells.” Sam said.

“They’re still here?” I asked somewhat surprised. “I thought you were getting rid of them yesterday?”

“Couldn’t get a plane up here so they are sending a prison van from Broome where they’ll get themselves a private chaff cutter to Perth.”

“Four hours in a dog box, and I thought riding in this one’s city chariot was hell!”

“Yep and another three to four in a glorified crop duster. They are really getting the royal treatment!” Sam replied.

Now he wasn’t being particular harsh on Growly man and his mates but we can’t all get first class flights from the regional areas of the country. In truth their bog box, a prison van from Broome, wouldn’t be all that comfortable, plastic seats with little padding and seat belts, but they are health and safety approved and therefore acceptable prisoner transport. The chaff cutter on the other hand could be anything. It would have to be an air worthy plane rated for the right number of prisoners, several guards and the crew but it definitely wouldn’t be a charted Qantas flight.

“You stupid fucking bitch. What the fuck are you doing here? Blowing the fucking pigs so you get your fucking stories straight?”

Growly man seemed as happy to see me as we stood in the open doorway of Sam’s office as he was to see me at the airport. Maybe I should shower more often?

Like is best to do with any loudmouth that can’t control themselves, the same ones that seem to wonder why no one really gives a shit about them, I ignored Growly man’s comments. I’m sure Sam and the boys wouldn’t have been too concerned with me biting back with a comment but there was little point, Growly man didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humour and he was already angry enough.

Instead of getting upset with me he got upset with himself as he walked into the corner of the bench instead of going around it. Of course he claimed he was pushed into it but not one person in the station saw that.

“Good luck with him,” I said to Sam.

“Once I sign the paperwork he’s no longer my concern.” he said with a smile.

A small group of us watched from outside as the prison van took off, a moment or two later Matthew and I bid Sam farewell and we too were on our way.

Previous Outback story here.