Summaries, We’ve Got Summaries
Bobby/Billy is on the hunt, but without a weapon, thanks to a promise he made to Genna, his common-law wife. No weapons, that’s her demand, and Bobby/Billy is determined to keep up his end of the bargain. It might be tough, though, because he’s on the trail of a blackmailing mean sonofabitch, Max Piceen, and as any hunter knows, you don’t wrestle a grizzly bear without making sure you have a big club handy.
Shall we continue?
- Bobby Fix-It Devises a Non-Violent Plan: The Billy the Kid Chronicles Continue
New day, new problem for Billy the Kid
Jackson Hole Real Estate
Piceen’s fiancé, Patty McLain, worked at Jackson Hole Real Estate, and that testament to capitalism was located in a strip mall on North Cache Drive by the banks of Flat Creek in north Jackson. I parked Matt Stair’s vintage Porsche, a 1968 911 which I had borrowed for this dramatic display, in the lot and walked in the office.
I was greeted by the receptionist, Janice, early twenties, bright teeth that must have cost a fortune, breasts that cost even more.
“A friend of a friend told me Patty McLain is the salesperson I need to help me find just the right house here in Jackson. Would it be possible for me to meet Mrs. McLain?”
“Of course. May I have your name, sir?”
“Mr. Graham, let me see if Patty can see you now.”
It was enjoyable watching Janice walk down the corridor, her young body selling what truly beautiful women never have to sell. I thought of Genna and just how lucky I am.
Two minutes of daydreaming and I was joined by a petite blond sporting a dazzling smile, her handshake telling me I was the most important person in the world. She was about my age, mid-thirties, not an ounce of fat, the type you see jogging alongside the road early in the morning with headphones and workout clothes that cost more than you pay in rent. She had a diamond necklace around her expensive neck. Business had been good for Patty McLain.
“Mr. Graham, I’m Patty McLain. I hear you’re new to town. How may I help you?”
Once the niceties were out of the way, Patty promised me she could find exactly what I wanted, a newer home, out in the country, fairly isolated and in the three million price range. In fact, she knew of just the right home and would I like to see it now?
Sometimes it’s just too easy.
She asked if I’d like to ride with her. I said I’d follow, and I did, her Mercedes SL gobbling up the road as we drove into the foothills east of town, the Porsche having no trouble keeping up.
What a Lovely House
And it was a lovely house, all huge logs and panoramic views of valleys and snowcapped peaks, open concept and the best gadgetries money could buy, divorces can be so sad, can’t they, and the wife just wants to unload this and you can have it all for the ridiculously low price of two-point-nine million and anyone will tell you what a wonderful bargain that is, and Patty was absolutely breathless with excitement over the prospect of selling that lovely home until I pulled out a knife and placed it on her lovely throat, just above that diamond necklace. Suddenly selling the home wasn’t too terribly important.
There is something very primal about a knife. I’ve seen stone-cold killers face down a gun without blinking, but flash some sharp-edged steel at them and they pee down their legs. It has that kind of effect.
I looked into her eyes as I pressed her against the stainless steel refrigerator. She had lovely eyes.
“Patty, let’s you and I play word association. You know the game, right?” She nodded. “I’m going to say two words and you’ll tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. Are you ready?” She nodded again.
“Max Piceen are the two words, Patty. Now what comes to mind for you when you hear those words?”
“Who are you?”
I pressed the knife a bit harder against her throat.
“Come on, Patty, surely you know how to play this game. I say Max Piceen and you say…..?”
“What do you want to know? I haven’t seen Max since he was sent away to prison.”
I may not have been gifted with a great amount of good looks or intelligence, but I have a whole lot of quick. I slapped her hard, right hand, snapped her head to the side, grabbed her throat and placed the blade of the knife right next to her eye, all in the time it takes to lie to a stranger.
“I saw you with Max the other day so Patty, I’m going to ask you one more question, and if I don’t like the answer, things will get uglier. Where is Max Piceen?”
Bluffs don’t always work. I was betting the ball game on this bluff but I liked my odds. A guy is engaged, goes to prison, gets out and what’s he been dreaming about all those years in the solitude of his cell, pounding his pud under fluorescent lights? Seeing his girl, and Patty was worth seeing.
She was crying now. Her perfect little world had just turned gutter-ugly. I didn’t feel good about it, but the thought of Piceen hurting Mike’s girlfriend eased my guilt a bit.
“He’s living in a motel just outside of town. He wants to move in with me, in my apartment, but I don’t know if I want him to. Prison changed him, made him mean….he’s not the same guy I knew. Now please, that’s all I know. I don’t know what else I can do for you.”
“Thank you, Patty! There is just one more thing you can do.” I smiled my best smile, hoping she would feel the warmth of friendship. My gesture failed miserably.
Back Home Again
I steered Matt’s car down our driveway, pulled up to the side of our cabin and shut down the engine. I listened to the sounds of the forest for a few moments until Patty’s muffled cries ruined the moment. She was tucked down on the floor on the passenger side, her hands taped behind her, tape over her eyes, tape over her mouth. She didn’t look terribly comfortable. Porsches are pretty small.
Genna was eating a salad when I dragged Patty into our cabin.
“I see you kept your promise so far,” she said to me. “I mean, she’s living, so maybe it is possible to reform you. Did you get the answers you needed?”
“I did, hon. Now, Patty is going to stay with you for a couple hours, while I go work my charm with Max. I couldn’t really leave her alone. I was afraid she’d call Max and warn him, and that just wouldn’t do. You two have a fun time getting to know each other, and I should be back in three hours at the latest. Keep her taped up, keep the tape over her eyes so she can’t see you, and everything should be okay.
“Patty, you just get comfortable on the couch. As soon as I take care of your boyfriend I’ll take you back to your car and your life can get back to normal and you’ll never see me again….unless…and this is important, Patty, so pay attention. If I even get a sniff that you’ve gone to the cops about me, I’m afraid you and I will meet again, some night maybe, when you are home alone, or during some open house out in the country, or a dark parking lot late at night. You’ll never know when, Patty, and you’ll live your life in fear.
“But that won’t happen, will it, Patty, because after today you and I will never see each other again? Isn’t that right, Patty?”
Her muffled affirmation and frantic nod of the head was all I needed.
I kissed Genna and left the cabin to finish what I had started.
Lesson from the Past
Does the end justify the means? I felt horrible about slapping Patty. I felt horrible about the nightmares she would have and the fear-shakes she would experience when loud noises startled her or creeping shadows announced the arrival of imagined monsters, but her boyfriend had to be stopped before he did the unimaginable to Mike’s wife. And I was the one who would stop him.
My old man, God rest his Irish soul, would have understood. Nothing was more important to him than family and friends. You did anything for a good friend, and “anything” meant just that. There was no wiggle room in that statement. It was absolute and not open for discussion.
Max Piceen was about to gain his own understanding of that truth.
And I’ll See You All Next Week
Yes, Billy will ride again, in the exciting conclusion to this chapter. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week of writing, living and loving.
© 2016 Bill Holland