Thread: Utopia Bound
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:59 AM
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joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
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Location: Sarzana,Italy
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Default Re: Utopia Bound

Chapter eight
Welcome to the Lone Star State
On the fifth day, after crossing the Texas border they came upon a large brightly painted wooden sign advertising the Antique and Collectables Exposition at the fair ground in the city of Texarkana.
“Tom” Billy said as he drove into the parking lot. “I am tired, my neck and shoulders ache and I need a break. We are stopping here.
Tom, who was glad to stop, was quick to say “This is one of the best ideas you have had since we left Kentucky, Billy my boy.
They put Gimpy on her leash, locked the truck, and went exploring amongst the tables and stalls stacked high with antiques, jewelry, furniture, tools, books and bric-a-brac. Everything one could imagine was to be found somewhere within the expo center.
Billy found a copy of the book “Dogs for Dummies” and Tom bought a good pair of second hand boots for one dollar...They ate fried chicken and coleslaw. Then when Tom gave Gimpy some of his chicken and said. “Billy, it has been four days now that I have been completely sober and I feel better than I have in over five years. I still would like a drink of whisky but I can control the desire.”
As soon as Billy heard this, he decided now was the right time to tell Tom about the packsack, the money and the gun.
With a long sigh of relief, he said, “ Tom In the truck under your seat is a backpack that Gimpy found. When we get there, I want you to pull it out and then we get into the camper and open it.”
Tom did just that. He bent down stuck his hand under the seat and pulled the dirty black pack out. He looked at it and then asked what was in it.
Billyīs hand was shaking and his voice was strained as he said. “ Money, a lot of money, and a big black gun." Now please letīs get into the back where no one can see us.” Once they were seated on the bunk. Billy locked the camper door and told Tom to open the bag and dump the contents on the bunk,
“Holy Shit” Tom cried as the money poured out. “It looks like Saint Joseph has really paid you back for taking in Gimpy”. With excited shaking hands they started counting the pile of cash in front of them. The money was an assortment of U.S. dollars and Mexican Peso notes.
It was obvious that it was drug money and now it was their money. By the time it was counted and stacked. It totaled five hundred and sixty thousand in U.S, Currency, and forty thousand in Mexican Peso bills. They put the money back into the bag closed it, and put into the box of Salvation Army clothes.
Tom picked up the pistol, examined it, and pulled back the slide. As soon saw it was loaded, he removed the magazine and the cartridge from the chamber. Saying as he did so “Billy boy we need to get rid of this pistol as soon as we can. It may have been used to kill someone! The Sulphur River is near here. I think we can find a public park near it. If we were to take Gimpy for a walk there; we will find a place out of sight where it can be safely tossed into the river along with the ammo and the magazine. Then there will be nothing for us to worry about except how to spend the money.”
Twenty minutes later the pistol was covered by ten feet of muddy water and they were on the way to the next town... While he drove Billy asked if the money would be enough to open a water bottling plant. “It is more than enough Billy”, Tom said, “But we have to watch how we spend it and we need a good reason for having it. I don’t want the townīs folk or the IRS investigating our newly found wealth. We have two more day of travel to Utopia, I am sure we can figure out a plan by the time we are there. The next town is forty miles ahead, we will stop there. Spend the night and decide what to do.”
As they were approaching the town of Eddy it began to rain heavily with a mix of hail stones...When Billy looked in the rearview mirror he saw a cloud of thin blue smoke, then the engine started to make loud noises... Tom awoke and told Billy to pullover off the pavement. When they stopped a cloud of oily smoke poured out from under the hood and the engine died. “How far are we from Teddy?” Billy asked, as the engine gave one last death rattle and died.
They got out of the old truck and went to look under the hood. Oil was pouring from somewhere under the motor and it was obvious that the engine was shot... They climbed back into the cab soaking wet as lightning split the sky and when thunder shook the ground Gimpy crawled under the seat. They were waiting for the downpour to pass when the Highway patrol car passed them. It, slowed down, then made a U-turn and pulled up beside them with its flashing lights on.
The patrol officer motioned for Billy to roll down his window. As he started to, Tom said. “Your Yankee accent is going to inform him you are not from Texas. If he asks you about it, tell him I am your uncle, and don’t panic Billy. We are in Texas, and Texas cops are friendly, just tell him that the engine has blown up and we are glad to see him and would he please call a tow truck to take us into Libby”. Suddenly Gimpy was against the window, barking furiously, her eyes were wide in anger and her fangs were bared.
Tom immediately took advantage of the situation….He put on his sombrero and stepped out into the downpour, put on his most charming smile and walked up to the patrol car as said. “Howdy, glad to see you officer, we were just fixing to walk to town soon as the rain let up.” The State Highway Patrol man motioned for Tom to get into the cruiser. All the while Gimpy continued to bark and scratch the glass window. The police man could smell no booze or marijuana on Tomīs breath and relaxed, as he looked in amazement at the skinny dog with murder in her eyes.
He smiled at Tom, and then he said. “Howdy! Nasty little storm for this time of the year, and that is a nasty little dog. He pointed at barking Gimpy; can you tell me what in the hell breed of dog that is? Is it a cross between a coyote and a Tasmanian Devil?”
Tom laughed loudly, feeling the tension between him and the patrol man evaporate. “No sir! Itīs worsen that. It is a female Boston Liberal that belongs to my Democratic nephew sitting in the truck over there. I am taking them down to Utopia in hopes of rehabilitating them into good Texan Republicans, and then the dammed truck kicked the bucket and died. Actually my nephew is a fine young man, and the dog is loyal to him but she doesn’t cotton to strangers at all.” The Highway patrol officer laughed as he said “Looks like you got your hands full .I hope you succeed, Texas needs all the good Republicans it can get.
Tell you what. I will call dispatch and have them contact a tow truck for you. I know quite a few folks in Libby Itīs just a wide spot on the road, with a good place to eat tacos, not much else there. I am sure you can get some help there. You have a good day anyway, and welcome back to Texas.” They shook hands as Tom got out of the patrol car, and then the highway patrol man made a u-turn and drove away.
By the time the tow truck arrived, the tempest had move on. Billy and Tom had opened the packsack and removed four thousand dollars and, put them under the trucks floor mat out of sight, and then Billy put Gimpy back in the camper where she was safe.
To be continued.
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
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