It took weeks. They had to start with the widow Brenner, the only connection they had. The Watkins family still had friends in Barlow Creek. Spies who told them that every few months, the widow took her kid and went to Los Angeles for a few days. Los Angeles, where the A-Team lived, according to the newspapers. So when they got the word she was going again, they waited at a rest stop near LA, on a road she had to drive down. They watched for her car and followed her into the city.
Harold had suggested they grab the woman and her kid, use them as the hostages. But Ma said she wasn’t visiting him in jail too. No, they needed one of the A-Team. One of the fugitives.
So Harold, Deke and CW followed Trish Brenner into Los Angeles and watched her drive to a VA hospital. There they saw her walking in the grounds with a man. A man they all recognised at once.
Just grabbing him was out too, Ma insisted when they called to report. Even if he was the mysterious fourth man the newspapers sometimes mentioned in the stories about the A-Team, he wasn’t a fugitive like the rest of them. They didn’t want to have to deal with the cops as well as the team.
Ma had clippings of all those newspaper reports, and she’d made Deke, CW and Harold study them. So they knew, she said. So they could be prepared for the kind of men they’d be dealing with. They’d been taken by surprise last time and Curly and Logan were in jail now because of that. This time would be different.
But first they had to wait again. If this guy was part of the A-Team, but he lived at this hospital, then the rest of the team must come and take him out for their jobs. Or he must bust out. If he did they could follow him.
The waiting took another ten days. The brothers were not patient men and were already tired of each other’s company, and of living out of their van. But still they waited.
Because it was for family, and you’ve got to do for family.
"Quick!" Deke ordered. "Grab him 'fore he comes around." He and CW untangled themselves from each other and the two of them jumped over Harold and pounced on the unconscious Face. They held him down while Harold sat up, rubbing his battered gut. But then he jumped up quick, his aches and pains forgotten for a moment, as he crowed over the downed Face.
"You guys see that? I took him out! I took out the Green Beret."
"Sure, Harold," CW said. "You took him out by laying on the ground till he fell over you." He and Deke sniggered.
"No, see that was intentional," Harold said. "I let him think I was out of the fight, you see."
"Oh yeah," Deke said, "You lulled him into a false sense of security, huh?"
"Yeah, yeah, told you, that's how I did it." He puffed out his chest. "Wait till I tell Ma I put him down."
"Shut the hell up, will you," Deke said, as he and CW heaved Face up. "Just give him the sedative, before he comes around and you gotta protect us from him again."
Harold reached in his pocket and came out empty handed. "I musta left it in the van."
"Well get it! Come on, we gotta get out of here before someone spots us. Move it!"
Harold ran back to their van and rummaged on the dash, tossing aside candy bar wrappers, beer cans and empty potato chip bags. He came back to find his brothers dragging Face along the ground by his arms towards the van. Harold gasped as Face suddenly started to struggle in their grip. His head came up, his eyes opened.
"Hurry!" CW yelled. "He's coming around!" He and Deke dropped Face and held him down.
Harold ran back to them, with a small plastic case, almost falling over Face's feet. Deke and CW glared at Harold, as Face struggled against them.
"Now, Harold! Give him the goddamn shot!" Deke ordered.
Harold grabbed the hypodermic from the case, and squirted it, like Ma had shown him how to, to get the air out, then he jabbed it down, into Face's thigh. Ma had said stick him in the butt with the needle, but Harold didn't think this was the time to ask Deke and CW to turn him over.
Within a minute, Face's struggles weakened and subsided, leaving the three brothers sighing with relief.
"Right." Deke stood up, and gave Face a swift kick as payback for the fight he'd put up. The guy had plenty more payback coming, but that would have to wait. "Let's dump him in the van and tie him up."
Deke and CW manhandled Face into the back of the van, then CW climbed in and started tying him up. CW was the best at knots because he'd been in the Boy Scouts the longest of any of the brothers. Almost two hours, before he'd set that nerd's hair on fire.
Still high on their triumph, Harold grabbed the last beer from a six pack on the front seat, cracked it open and took a big drink.
"We kicked his ass, huh, brother?" He said to Deke.
"Yeah." Deke grabbed the can of beer from him and took a drink. "We showed pretty boy." He passed the can back to Harold. Harold took it and wandered over to the Corvette, while CW climbed out of the van and closed the doors.
"Hey," Harold said. "Why don't we take his car?"
"You think you can drive a sports car, Harold?" Deke said making CW snigger.
"It's a car, ain't it? I can drive."
"Sure, brother. Gonna cruise along Hollywood Boulevard picking up chicks, huh?"
Harold grinned. "Where's the keys?" CW held them up to glint in the moonlight, but pulled them away, smirking, when Harold made a grab for them.
"We ain't taking the car," Deke said. "That ain't part of the plan. We gotta stick to the plan. And it's too flashy. Too noticeable. Some cop would be on us in a hot second."
"Well this Peck guy drives around in it," Harold said, waving a hand in the general direction of the van and their prisoner. "And he's wanted."
"Yeah, well I guess he just ain't as smart as us," Deke said. "Right, we gotta leave the number for his friends to call. One of you gimme a paper and pen."
CW scowled at him. "What am I, a stationery store?"
"You never said to bring no paper and pen," Harold said. "I'd have brought 'em if you said. But you never said –"
"Shut up!" Deke snapped. He glared at the Corvette for a moment, then he held out his hand to CW. "Gimme those keys."