The Rubber Biskit Road Show Presents, "Never Say Never: An Epic Journey - Volume One, Part Fifteen: I've Got A Feeling We Are Not In Kansas Anymore
In Part Fifteen of Never Say Never: An Epic Journey - Volume One The Family makes a mad dash out of Kansas to escape having the family torn apart by a petty and spiteful social worker. Jimmy learns an important lesson in the misuse of power.
Join The GYPSY as he takes you on an Epic Journey into his life, the life of his family and the life of his mother; Shirley Elizabeth Hummel, who suffered from mental illness her entire life.
Shirley's story is not an easy one to hear. At times you will be uncomfortable with her situation. Other times you may laugh or fill the warmth that all to often eluded her. You may even find yourself angry and horrified at the situations and tragedies that drove Shirley further and further into her illness. The one thing you will not leave with is ignorance.
The telling of Shirley's story will educate and inform you. You will come away with an understanding of the highs and lows that mental illness plays in the sufferer as well as the family, friends and acquaintances of the mentally ill.
Each Tuesday On The Rubber Biskit Road Show The GYPSY will present a new chapter of his novel "Never Say Never: An Epic Journey - Volume One"
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CHAPTER FOURTEEN – I’VE A FEELING WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE
Jimmy woke up to the smell of coffee and biscuits and gravy; not just any gravy, sausage gravy. Dad made breakfast, DAD MADE BREAKFAST! Jimmy jumped out of bed, he loved his Dad’s cooking and it had been years since he tasted Ernie’s biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were always golden brown and flakey, the gravy smooth and savory with the spicy sausage chunks just the right size and uniform all the way through. Jimmy would be willing to bet that there was exactly the same amount of sausage chunks in each and every delicious ladle of Ernie’s ambrosia gravy. Ernie was standing at the stove when Jimmy came into the kitchen.
“Here you go sleepy head.”
Ernie handed Jimmy a plate he had just prepared. Ernie had not only prepared biscuits and gravy but also perfect sunny side up eggs. Jimmy felt like he had just died and gone to heaven.
Shoveling a spoon full of food into his mouth Jimmy said, “Where’s Mom and Patty?”
Ernie gave Jimmy a look that he knew all too well. Jimmy swallowed and said, “Sorry Dad.”
Ernie shook his head, “Talking with your mouth full, thought you were raised better than that.” Jimmy flushed and Ernie laughed.
Ernie reached for the coffee pot, “Do you drink coffee?” he filled a cup and handed it towards Jimmy.
“I’ve drank it before.” Jimmy took the offered cup and sat his plate on the counter. Reaching into the cabinet Jimmy poured powdered creamer and sugar into the hot dark brown liquid.
Ernie wrinkled his nose, “That’s not coffee, that’s cereal.” Ernie shuddered; he was a coffee purist and drank it strong, hot and black. “Your Mom and Sister already ate and are on their way to the IGA to see if they have any boxes so you can start packing up the house.”
Ernie walked over by his son and looked out the kitchen window. He had an air of seriousness about him and appeared to be deep in thought. “Your Mom and I need to run some errands, I am counting on you to get the packing done. Keep some clothes out for you and your sister but pack everything else. Keep the doors locked while we are gone and do not answer the phone for any reason.”
Jimmy looked at his Dad and said, “You’re worried about Miss Evans.” Ernie turned and looked at Jimmy, “Yes” was all he said.
Ernie and Shirley took off in the old sky blue Rambler and left the children to start packing up the house. Jimmy had just carried the last packed box to the living room when he heard a car pull into the driveway. He knew the sound of the Rambler and this was not it. He looked over at Patty, “Go to the bedroom and be quiet.”
Patty, for once in her life, did not argue with her brother and ran to her bedroom. Despite the warm day the blinds were pulled down over the open windows. Ernie had done this before he and Shirley had left to save from prying eyes. Jimmy pulled back the edge of the blind and could just make out the metallic grill of a Buick.
There was the sound of two car doors opening and closing. Jimmy ran to his bedroom and closed his door. He sat quietly on the edge of his bed barely breathing, his heart beating hard in his chest. He made up his mind that if this was Miss Evans she would not take him or his sister without a fight.
Jimmy heard the front door open. Jimmy’s heart jumped into his throat, I know I locked the front door, I know I did, at least I think I did. Jimmy felt sick to his stomach as he heard the footsteps cross the floor towards his room. Doubling his fists he was ready to spring and fight. The door knob to his room turned and as the door swung open Jimmy jumped up from the bed and about tripped over himself as he tried to stop his headlong charge into his Mom and Dad.
“Whoa Champ!” Ernie exclaimed. He caught Jimmy and kept him from crashing to the floor. “I promise that I won’t take you to Juvie.” Ernie and Shirley started laughing.
Jimmy was confused, “But the car…”
Ernie smiled, “We got rid of the Rambler. If they put out an APB on your Mom’s car before we can get out of state we may not make it. So we sold her car to a used car dealer and then I used the money to buy a Buick Station Wagon.” Ernie looked at Shirley, obviously pleased with his plan.
Jimmy furrowed his brow. “But Dad, if they figure out that you have come to get us couldn’t they figure out that you now have a station wagon in your name with Kansas license plates?”
Ernie’s grin grew bigger, “That might be true if it was registered in my name but it isn’t.”
Jimmy was puzzled. “If it isn’t in your name or Mom’s name then whose name is it in?”
Ernie put his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder. “Yours.”
“Dad, that doesn’t make sense. They know my name, they could still find us.” Jimmy was thinking that his Mom and Dad had lost their minds.
“Jimmy, what is your name - your full name?”
Jimmy scratched his head, “James Alan George Stewart.”
Because of a speech impediment when he was younger Jimmy had a hard time explaining to people why his last name was George and his Mother and Sisters name was Stewart. Shirley went to court and had Stewart added to Jimmy’s name keeping the George name also.
“Now Son, when the Evans Whore dropped you into the Juvenile Detention Center what did you tell them your name was?”
Jimmy shrugged his shoulders, “James Stewart.”
Ernie slapped him on the back. “Exactly! They will be looking for Shirley, Patricia and James Stewart, Not Jim George. That Son, is who the car is registered too, Jim George.”
Jimmy laughed, “Very sneaky Dad.”
The family spent the rest of the day making sure they had everything packed. That evening Ernie grilled some chicken on the charcoal grill in the backyard. While the family sat around the table enjoying a meal of corn on the cob, grilled chicken and baked potatoes they talked about what the future might hold for them in St. Joe. All went to bed early that night because tomorrow would be a long day of loading the boxes and furniture into a U-Haul truck.
After a breakfast of Bacon, Eggs and Toast Shirley and Ernie left to pick up the U-Haul. Jimmy walked around the property, he had liked this house.
After Mom and Grandma had their falling out and Grandma threw Mom out of her house they had lived in one dive after another. The cockroach infested 312 West 3rd, the slug infested 433 East High and 1235 Belleview with its stagnant water smell wafting up from the crawl space under the house. A little over a year ago they had landed here at 5541 Southwest 29th street.
With Shunganunga creek running along the east side of the property Jimmy could go fishing anytime he wanted. There were woods behind the south side of the property and to the west was a horse farm where people stabled and trained their horses. Jimmy liked watching the people put their animals through their paces. For a teenage boy of 15 it was the perfect home and Jimmy knew he was going to miss it.
Jimmy walked around to the front of the house and saw his ex-girlfriend Jeanie Baer walking up the road towards the horse farm where she kept her horse stabled. She had broken up with him shortly before the Motel incident and Jimmy did not understand why. She had never told him the reason and each inquiry by Jimmy had been met with silence. Jimmy called to her.
“Jeanie.” She kept walking. “Jeanie.” She did not turn around. “Jeanie”, Jimmy said as he walked to the end of the drive, “We are moving I’ll never see you again.” Jeanie did not break stride and kept walking up the road. Jimmy felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. “Goodbye”, he said, too soft for her to hear.
Jimmy had known Jeanie since they both had attended Kindergarten at Clay elementary school. They had lost contact with each other when Jimmy had transferred to Sumner elementary school in 4th grade. When Jimmy started at Marjorie French Junior High he discovered that Jeanie was a student there also and they had gone steady until she broke up with him. He did not know why then, he did not know why now and as he watched her retreating form head up 29th street he knew that he would never know.
The rest of the afternoon was spent loading the U-Haul. The first thing that had gone onto the truck was Shirley’s upright baby grand piano. Jimmy hated moving the heavy piano and Ernie wasn’t liking it very much either. But Jimmy knew that his mother would never get rid of it because of the brand on the back of the piano case; Deliver To Long Branch - Front Street - Dodge City, Kansas. Shirley loved to show the brand off to every new person she met. Ernie suggested to Shirley that the piano would be a fine home for catfish at the bottom of the creek. Shirley suggested a place where she would put her foot if he didn’t get the piano loaded on the truck.
Once the truck was loaded Ernie crawled under his pick-up and released the drive shaft. He had taken Jimmy under the truck with him and explained what and why he was doing it. Jimmy handed Ernie the tools he asked for and experienced his first time of getting his hands dirty working on a vehicle. They got the pick-up truck hooked up to the hitch on the U-Haul and went into the house just as the sun was setting. The family had a cold dinner of ham sandwiches and potato salad and went to sleep in the new sleeping bags Shirley had just got a couple of weeks before with her income tax return.
Shirley woke Jimmy and Patty up. “Come on guys, get up, and time to go. ”Shirley was restless and very anxious to get on the road.
Jimmy rolled over and yawned. “What time is it Mom?”
Shirley looked at her watch. “It’s five fifteen, time to go.”
Jimmy yawned again and rolled back into his sleeping bag. “Wake me at seven Mom, OK?”
The next thing Jimmy knew the sleeping bag was lifted a couple of feet off of the floor and then dropped. As Jimmy hit the floor he let out an audible “OOFFF” sound.
“Your Mom said get up.”
Jimmy scrambled to get out of his sleeping bag. “Yes Sir.”
Jimmy helped roll up the sleeping bags and then ran into the bathroom to use the John and brush his teeth. When he came out the house was empty. Jimmy stepped out on the porch and saw his Mom and Dad loading the animals into the station wagon. The two cats Blue Boy and Sam had been loaded first, both in their own pet carrier cardboard boxes. Then the black Labrador Retriever, Nuisance and the black standard Poodle, Zachaline. The last dog to be loaded was Jimmy’s favorite, Buster.
Buster was one year older than Jimmy and had been his dog since Jimmy was a baby. Buster was a registered Dachshund but was a throwback. Instead of weighing in at just a few pounds Buster weighed in at a whopping 65 pounds. Jimmy came out and helped lift Buster into the back of the station wagon. Buster licked Jimmy’s face in greeting. Jimmy loved Buster and Buster loved Jimmy.
Shirley walked through the house one last time to make sure nothing was missed. She turned off the lights and locked the door; dropping the house key under a brick on the front porch. They pulled out of the driveway one last time, Ernie driving the U-Haul and Shirley driving the Station wagon. Jimmy rode with his Mother and Patty rode with her Dad. The mini caravan headed north on Fairlawn Road in the predawn hours of June 2, 1972 and the 9 AM deadline was fast approaching.
At 10th street they turned back east and entered Gage Park at the memorial entrance. Ernie had to go and get gas for the U-Haul truck so he dropped off Patty with Jimmy and Shirley and headed off to fill up the U-Haul. While they waited for Ernie Shirley fed Jimmy and Patty Cinnamon Rolls and Orange Juice. Within 15 minutes Ernie was back and they headed north on Gage Boulevard to join up with Interstate 70. Heading east on 70 they merged onto US 75 North. After crossing the Kansas River they merged onto US 24 East.
As they passed the Clover Leaf Drive-in at Highway 24 and Rochester Road Jimmy felt an overwhelming sadness coming over him. He had spent some of the best years of his childhood at the outdoor theater. He knew somewhere deep down inside that he would never see another movie there again. That thought also crossed his mind as the passed Ira Price’s Café. Jimmy did not know how he knew, he just knew that the Hot Roast Beef Sandwich’s he loved so much from the café he would never taste again.
They turned off of US 24 onto K-4 East. As they passed Rees Fruit Farm Jimmy’s mouth started watering for a cider slush. “Mom, can we stop and get a slush?”
Shirley shook her head no. “We have to get out of here, besides it’s too early, they are not open yet.”
Jimmy was disappointed. He understood but that did nothing to appease his thirst for the icy cold treat.
The miles rolled by as they followed the U-Haul across the Kansas Farm country towards Atchison, Kansas and the Missouri border. Neither Shirley nor Jimmy spoke, each lost in their own thoughts. Shirley checked her mirrors often, fearful that the dreaded Miss Evans might have found out what they were doing and send the cops after them.
Shirley had nothing to worry about, it wasn’t even 9 AM yet, the time Miss Evans had told Shirley to surrender herself and her children. God willing they would be in Missouri before the Evans Whore knew they were missing.
At Nortonville, Kansas K-4 ended and merged in with US 59 North. At 9 AM, the Zero Hour, they crossed the Missouri River steel girder bridge leaving Atchison and the Sunflower State and entering the Show Me State. Ernie pulled into the gravel lot of a liquor store that was right by the bridge. Entering the store he yelled over to Shirley that he would be right back. He emerged a few minutes later with Cokes for Shirley, Jimmy and Patty and a bottle of Vodka for himself.
Patty and Jimmy traded places and as Ernie pulled back onto US 59 he opened the Vodka Bottle and took a long pull from it the way a thirsty man will pull from a bottle of water. Ernie knew Jimmy was deep in thought and did not try to intrude on his revelry. Jimmy watched the trees zoom by in the bluff woods that lined the highway.
As they entered Saint Joseph the first thing that struck Jimmy was how ragged it looked. It appeared to be a town just as old as Topeka but in a state of apparent disrepair. The streets were cracked and bumpy, buildings had peeling paint and all the windows looked dirty. Litter accumulated in the gutters and weeds lined the streets. And what was that smell? Ernie inhaled a big lungful of air. “Can you smell that? That’s the stockyards; you’ll get used to it.”
It suddenly occurred to Jimmy that everything Topeka, Kansas was Saint Joseph, Missouri was not. He knew, at that moment, that it would be a long, long time before he could ever call Topeka home again. He knew that Saint Joseph would never be home to him. Jimmy felt melancholy and Jimmy, for the first time in his life and definitely not the last time, thought to himself; There Is No Place Like Home.
Jimmy wandered the streets of Saint Joseph trying to get a feel for the town. Ernie had set the family up at 1008 South 11th, a duplex in one of the oldest parts of the city. Two blocks away the Pony Express stables sat occupying its place in history. Three blocks away the Patee House that had traveled through time as a hotel, an epileptic sanatorium and now a museum sat majestic and stark on one of the many hills that made up the town. On a hill even taller and only one block away from the Stewart residence sat the lot where the home of the infamous outlaw Jesse James once lived and met his end. The house had been moved across town and now sat in the parking lot of a motel as a tourist attraction. A sign outside the house tempted you to “See The Bullet Hole.”
As Jimmy wandered the streets he found nothing to change his original impression of this decaying industrial rail town. He was thankful for the days when Ernie would take him junking because it got him out of Saint Joseph for a while. Wathena and Elwood, Kansas had the best dumps and Ernie and Jimmy would, in a day’s work, collect plenty of copper and brass to sell at one of the local scrap yards. Ernie always carried a .22 caliber rifle with him and he would take turns with Jimmy picking off the large hairy rats that scavenged through the maggot infested, rotting piles of garbage.
Shirley got a job as a seamstress at Big Smith Coverall Company. When Ernie’s mother Mary Lou came to town Shirley got her a job at Big Smith working the machine next to her. The two women did not get along together and it was not long before Mary Lou was gone from Big Smith and Saint Joseph. The fighting between the two women caused Ernie to fall off the wagon which led to an epic fight between Shirley and Ernie.
Ernie disappeared for two weeks and when he returned Shirley told him, “You disappeared when your daughter was born, you disappeared when me and your mother had a disagreement; if you disappear ever again do not come back. Three strikes and you’re out!”
Early one morning Ernie woke Jimmy up, “Let’s go fishing son.” was all he said and was all the coaxing Jimmy needed. Ernie and Jimmy headed north on US 169 out of Saint Joseph towards Rochester Falls. Jimmy liked the name of the falls; Rochester, it reminded him of the cemetery where his ancestors were buried in Topeka.
As they started across the Platte river bridge Ernie suddenly exclaimed, “Shit, bait!” Ernie stopped the truck in the middle of the bridge and jumped out. A recently flattened Raccoon, its guts hanging out of its ripped open stomach, lay festering in the sun. Ernie grabbed the dead Raccoon by the tail and flung it into the back of his pick-up truck. As they continued across the bridge Ernie said, “Best fish bait ever.
The dirt road leading under the bridge was rutted and bumpy yet with the skill that comes from years of driving to obscure fishing spots Ernie maneuvered the truck down the embankment. When they stopped Ernie instructed Jimmy to get the fishing gear out of the back of the truck. Reaching into the bed Ernie retrieved the Raccoon carcass and flung it up under the bridge. Taking his pocket knife out Ernie walked over to the Raccoon and with surgical precision excised the liver. Ernie cut off a piece of the liver and handed it to Jimmy to bait his hook. Ernie cut an identical piece from the liver and baited his hook. Father and son sat on the bank of the Platte River waiting for the fish to bite.
They had started fishing at 7 O‘clock. They had a couple of channel cat on the stringer as well as a wide mouth bass. It was now 9 O’clock and Ernie was just getting ready to tell Jimmy that it was time to go when the Game Warden came walking down the embankment. Ernie did not hate many things in the world but of the few things he hated, Game Wardens topped the list.
“How’re ya boys doing today?” The Game Warden drawled.
“Fine”, said Ernie, “Boy pull out your fishing license.”
Jimmy reached for his wallet as Ernie produced his from his back pocket. Ernie and Jimmy handed the Game Warden their fishing licenses. The Warden looked at both licenses and then looked towards Ernie’s pick-up truck.
“That rifle in the back window loaded?”
Ernie shook his head, “Nope, bolt is in the glove box, you can look if you want.” The Warden looked in the window of the truck and could see that there was no bolt in the rifle.
“What do you use the rifle for?”
Jimmy spoke up, “We shoot rats at the dump.”
The Warden eyed the boy and asked, “What have you caught today?”
Jimmy retrieved the stringer from the river and held it up. The Warden walked over, looked the fish over and said, “Nice Catch.”
Handing the fishing licenses back to the Father and Son he said, “You gentlemen have a nice day.”
Ernie was pleased; the bastard had not been able to find anything amiss. Ernie’s moment of satisfaction was soon to dissipate. As the Game Warden headed back up the embankment he spied the Raccoon carcass under the bridge. “What’s this?”
Ernie walked over to the Warden. “We found it flattened on the bridge.” Ernie smiled, “Some of the best fish bait there is.”
The Game Warden picked up a stick and poked at the flattened roadkill, “This animal’s been shot.”
Ernie’s jaw dropped, “Are you out of your fucking mind? That coon is flatter than a pancake.”
Jimmy walked over, “Dad picked it up off the bridge, and there is a big greasy spot up there where it was laying.”
The Game Warden hooked his thumbs in his belt, “I just came across that bridge and I saw no greasy spot. I say that coon’s been shot. Let me see your hunting license.”
Ernie reached down and picked up the dead Raccoon whose guts spilled out on the ground, “Do you need fucking glasses Moron? This coon was run over!”
The Game Warden shook his head, “I see it differently. Throw the coon into the back of your truck and follow me into Savannah and we’ll let the Judge decide if you shot it or not.” Ernie threw the Raccoon in the back of the pick-up.
“Stay here boy, I’ll be back.”
Jimmy knew Ernie was angry. When he was angry he always referred to Jimmy as “Boy” and he had done it twice. Jimmy was just glad that he was not on the receiving end of that anger.
Jimmy looked at his watch, three o’clock; where is Dad? Ernie had been gone 6 hours and Jimmy was thirsty, hungry and worried. Jimmy was no coward but he did not relish the thought of being abandoned on the banks of the Platte River overnight, especially when he didn’t have any way to start a fire. Jimmy walked along the bank of the river watching the schools of minnows dart in and out to the edge of the water. Here and there Jimmy had noticed the human like paw print of a Raccoon in the mud along the bank. He wondered if it was the last mark on earth of the carcass that his Dad was falsely accused of shooting.
Jimmy was deep within that thought when the sound of tires crunching on gravel grabbed his attention. Looking up the embankment he saw the nose of his Dad’s pick-up truck. Ernie seemed to appear out of nowhere and yelled down towards the river. “Cut the fish on the stringer loose and get the gear up here.”
Jimmy yelled back, “Cut ‘em loose a couple of hours ago Dad so that they wouldn’t die.”
Ernie motioned for Jimmy to hurry. “Good, now grab the gear boy and let’s go.”
Crap, Dad is still angry.
“That Son of a Bitch has left me sitting outside the fucking courtroom all day waiting on the Judge while he took off to whom the Hell knows where. A little while ago he shows back up and tells me I can come back and get you. What a generous Mother Fucker he is. Anyway, we have to go back to Savannah and wait who the fuck knows how much longer to see the Judge about that fucking Raccoon.”
Ernie was no stranger to four letter words but Jimmy had never heard his Dad use so many at one time before. Ernie was way beyond angry and Jimmy decided the best thing to do at this point was just to remain silent.
Ernie ranted and raved non-stop all the way back to the courthouse in the town square of Savannah, Missouri. The courthouse was a remnant of the 1800’s, built from limestone and brick which was abundant in the area. The large gothic structure dominated the downtown area of this small county seat. Ernie paced in front of the stately building muttering and smoking non-stop while Jimmy sat quietly on one of the stone benches that lined the sidewalk leading up to the courthouse steps.
Around four thirty the Game Warden came out of the court house. “Well Mr. Stewart, the Judge had a full docket today and won’t be able to see you until tomorrow.”
The smug look on the Game Wardens face caused every ounce of blood Ernie had in his body to rocket to his head.
“I’m not coming back to your piss ant town to waste another day playing your fucking game.”
If smugness has a life of its own then the Game Wardens smugness was thriving and growing in leaps and bounds. “Oh you won’t have to return tomorrow Mr. Stewart because you’ll be spending the night in our jail.
Ernie had tried to keep his temper in check but enough was enough. Jimmy saw his Dad clench and unclench his fists. Ernie was a barroom brawler and Jimmy had seen his Dad break the jaw, with his Popeye like forearms, on many a man who was fool enough to challenge him.
“AND WHAT THE FUCK ABOUT MY SON!” he exploded.
Jimmy saw the smugness die on the Game Wardens face as he took a step back from Ernie.
“Well Mr. Stewart”, the Game Warden said trying to gain his composure and regain control of the situation, “You can pay the seventy five dollar fine and be on your way.”
The following silence hung heavy in the hot August air. Finally Ernie broke the silence and said through gritted teeth, “I knew there was a racket here, I knew you were a crooked Son of a Bitch. Do you even fucking care that I have to work for a fucking week to make seventy five dollars?”
The Game Warden did not respond, just held out his hand. Ernie stared at the outstretched hand for just a moment then reaching into his pocket pulled out a roll of bills.
As Ernie separated each bill from the roll he spit on it before dropping it into the Game Wardens hand. The Game Warden acted as if he wasn’t fazed by Ernie’s statement of displeasure.
As the last bill hit the Game Wardens hand he said, “Thank you Mr. Stewart, enjoy the rest of the day with your son.”
Ernie balled his fists and turning on his heel walked away. As the Game Warden laughed Jimmy walked up to him looking him in the eye. The Game Warden stopped laughing.
“What do you want punk?”
Jimmy held his gaze for a moment then turning to follow his Dad said, “Oh nothing, I just never saw a walking piece of shit before.”
Ernie entered the bar and grill across from the street from the court house. Ordering a beer for himself and a Coke and a Burger for Jimmy. Ernie had downed two beers before Jimmy’s hamburger arrived.
“I saw you over there with the Game Warden.” The bartender said. “How much did he steal from you?” Ernie took a pull from his mug of beer. “Seventy five dollars.”
The bartender wiped his hands on a bar towel. “Yep, that’s about normal for those two.”
Ernie looked at him. “Two?”
The bartender chuckled. “Yep, him and the Judge, those are the two biggest crooks in northwest Missouri.”
Ernie downed his third beer and told Jimmy, “Finish that burger, time to go.” Jimmy stuffed the remainder of the burger into his mouth and grabbing his Coke bottle followed his Dad out the door.
Ernie drove slowly around the courthouse.
“What are you looking for Dad?” Jimmy asked.
Without answering Ernie brought the pick-up truck to a stop behind the Game Wardens truck which sat in the sun in the hot courthouse parking lot. Jumping out of his idling truck Ernie grabbed the dead Raccoon out of the back of his pick-up bed. Ernie also grabbed a jimmy bar that he kept in his truck's tool box. Dropping the Raccoon on the ground by the driver’s door of the Game Wardens truck he quickly and deftly used the jimmy bar to pop the lock on the truck.
Opening the door Ernie jammed the dead Raccoon under the seat of the Game Wardens truck. Pulling a bandana out of his back pocket Ernie pushed down the lock on the door taking care to make sure that his thumb did not slip past the bandana and come in contact with the door. He then wiped off the door handle after closing the truck door. Jumping back into his truck Ernie got him and Jimmy out of Savannah and heading back to Saint Joseph.
As they headed south on US 71 Ernie said, “Son, I want you to always remember that the Government is not of the people, by the people and for the people. Government is against the people, destroys the people and hates the people.”
Jimmy said nothing and looked out the window watching the farm fields roll by. He was thinking about how the hateful Miss Evans had abused the system to try and control his family. He thought about the Game Warden and how he had used the system to rob his Dad. Jimmy was wondering when justice would prevail and those that harmed others would have to pay for their crimes when the pick-up suddenly swerved.
Jimmy was thrown against the passenger side door then into the dash as Ernie brought the truck to an abrupt stop in the middle of the highway. “GOT HIM!” he yelled.
Ernie jumped out of the truck and running back up the road picked up the body of the squirrel he had just deliberately ran over. He threw the dead animal into the bed of his pick-up and as he climbed back behind the wheel of the truck. Ernie said, “Son, tonight we will have the best seventy five dollar squirrel gravy and biscuits you have ever had in your life.”
Though Jimmy had never eaten squirrel gravy and biscuits before in his life later that evening he had to admit; that was the best seventy five dollar squirrel gravy and biscuits he had ever had in his life.