Monte L. Manka 12-14-99
After Harry, Clarence
stood and told his story.
"I rode with my Dad when
he was on a long Haul. I made up my mind that I would buy me a
"Kenworth" tractor and follow in my Dadís footsteps.
"Dad and Mom were
divorced and I could not figure out why. They loved each other very much
but Dad was gone weeks at a time and Mom got lonely. She started hanging
out at the local bar and before long some smooth talking son-of-a-gun
ran off with her to parts unknown. Dad was hit hard from the loss of Mom
but survived and drove from morning Ďtil night.
"My Dad tried to talk me
out of the truckiní trade but I had already made up my mind. In the
fall, I went to high school. I did not ride with Dad so I could get
"I fell in love with
Susie Zimmerman. We eloped and got hitched and settled down in a 20-foot
trailer. The honeymoon was great. We camped out, went to the State Fair
and went to the car races.
"I drove to town to see
the local banker. I finally got a loan for my new Tractor. After I paid
the down payment, bought the necessary licenses, and permits, I was in
debt about $150,000. With hard work and pulling a full load on the
turn-around, I could pay off the tractor in about fifty years.
"With the TV, Stereo and
big sleeper I could take my wife with me and she could spell me off on
the driving. Things were going great. I would no sooner unhook from one
delivery I would hook up to a full trailer and head out.
"After a month, I could
see that it was going to take me sixty years to pay off the truck. The
loads were short hops and barely paid for the fuel.
"Susie got pregnant
right away and decided to stay home and have the kid. I was in New York
when Sarah was born and did not see her until she was thirteen monthsí
old. I was working twenty hours a day just to keep food on the table and
clothes for the wife and kid.
"I blew a front tire on
the Kenworth and it cost $250.00 for a new tire. The profit for the day
was $300.00 this would put me in the red if I blew another tire this
"The first year was a
good year. The second year you could see the wear on the tractor and it
needed maintenance more often.
"On a trip to Alaska I
blew a head gasket and was down for two weeks in a little town outside
Anchorage. With the repair and hotel bill and food, I lost two thousand
dollars. There was no money to send home this month. I hoped Susie was a
good bookkeeper and could make it one month without a paycheck.
"When I got home the
trailer was empty. I went to the local bar to ask if any one had seen
Susie. Jack told me she had run off with some Carney that was with the
circus. They had taken Sarah and gone away. No one knew where they were.
"Things went from bad to
worse. Not only did I lose my wife and kid but also the truck started to
come apart. The money was getting harder and harder to come by because
the railroad was hauling the containers by the thousands. The Railroads
were beating the over-the-road haulers to death with cheaper rates and
all we could was pray for a trailer or container to be assigned to us.
"I was losing hauls
because the old truck was down more than it was up.
"One snowy day on the
way to Rosalia, Kandas, I came upon a car stalled in the snow. I pulled
to the side of the road and walked back to help the driver. When the
stranger opened the door, I saw my wife sitting beside him and Sarah was
asleep in the back seat. This guy had a rat like face, pinched and pale,
and I could not see why my wife went with him. I hooked a chain to the
car, pulled him out of the snowdrift, and went on my way. I did not say
good bye to Susie because of the way she left me. When I checked into
the HOJO Motel in Iola, Kansas I saw the rat faced guy's car in the
drive next to the room I was staying in.
"The next morning I
slashed all four tires on the Rat Faceís car and left town. I knew that
Sarah and Susie would be safe in the motel while Rat face was fixing the
four tires. I laughed to myself while I thought how he would feel seeing
his tires slashed and not know who did it.
"Two days later I pulled
into Fredonia to fuel up; Rat Face pulled up behind me and got out of
his car and came at me with a tire iron. All I had to fight with was my
belt with the big buckle and I hit him upside the head but he kept on
coming. The belt buckle cut him, the blood was gushing down the side of
his head, and I hit him again. He fell to his knees and I kicked him in
the mouth. Susie came up and told me to get out of town before she
called the sheriff. I told Susie Rat Face started it and I finished it.
She started screaming and I got in the Kenworth and drove toward the
"I drove into Joplin
Missouri, stopped at a pawnshop, and bought a .45 automatic and a box of
shells. If I was right Rat Face would try to get revenge and this time I
would be ready.
"I entered the
Springfield Missouri city limits, looked in my big mirrors, and saw Rat
Face behind me. I could only recognize the old Chevy Rat Face was
driving. His head was bandaged because of the beating I gave him at
Fredonia Kansas and was looking out two slits in the bandages. I saw two
big gorillas riding with him. Sarah and Susie were not with them.
"As they pulled up
beside me, I saw a gun in the front window pointed toward me. I got the
.45 and lay it on the window and as they moved up I fired a warning shot
and the Chevy fell back behind me. Rat Face regrouped and here they came
again this time I waited and as they pulled alongside I shot the
passenger and he slumped over in the seat.
"Rat Face fell back,
pulled over to the side of the road, and dumped the gorilla in the ditch
and the other gorilla moved into the front seat with Rat Face.
"The rest of the story
is too gruesome to tell. I left my truck on the side of the road with
Rat Face and the second Gorilla, hopped a freight car and here I am.
"I will not tell you my
name because if you do not know me you cannot turn me into the police."
Each Hobo stood, nodded
his head and extended a hand. Each said they would be proud to have him
as a fellow hobo. Clarence had found a home and friends. No more
worries, no more debts and no more trucking.
Monte L. Manka 12-16-99
Clarence finished and
Arch started his tale.
"I was once an airline
pilot. I flew a 777 for one of the major airlines. I had a route that I
followed day after day. My home base was Corona, California. I flew
directly to Scoby, Montana and then on to East Mauch Chunk Pennsylvania
and from there to Bradenton Florida. Then back home again.
"The 777 I flew was a
dream. This plane would almost fly itself. I enjoyed flying this plane
because I could get some sleep time between landings.
"In the cockpit behind
the pilots seat was a small room. This room could only be accessed by a
secret code. With the code, you could open the panel and you and the
co-pilot could hide and get a nap. We would put the plane on auto-pilot
and then go into the secret room.
"I had a good friend
that was co-pilot and she and I would spend a couple hours in the "nap
room" between points. We would lock the door to the cockpit, open the
panel, and have a couple cocktails or catnap.
"In the beginning, I
would check the plane over outside and inside but I had such good ground
crews I quit checking. This was my first mistake.
"I was spending so much
time in the Secret Room with my co-pilot, napping and drinking, that I
did not hear the warning buzzer. The fuel warning light came on and I
did not know how long it had been on. When I came out of the secret room
I spotted the alarms and began to assess my options.
"The fuel was down to
10% and I needed 15% to make it to Scoby. We slowed the engines down to
conserve fuel and the passengers knew that something was wrong. While
the co-pilot was making adjustments, I spoke to the passengers.
"íLadies and Gentlemen,í
-- I was shaking in my boots but I was trying hard to stay calm Ė Ďwe
have a problem.í The passengers started to moan and groan and a few
screams were uttered. ĎThere is nothing to worry about. We have just
enough fuel to make it within fifty miles of the airport in Scoby. I
have confidence that we can make it and I want you to stay calm and take
precautions for a rough landing.í The questions were coming fast and
furious but the pilot retreated back to the cockpit and locked the door.
"I asked Mary Ann, the
co-pilot, what she thought our chances were of making it to the ground
safely. Mary Ann told me slim to none.
suddenly dawned on me that I had several hundred passengers to get on
the ground safely. These passengers were depending on me.
"I got out the manual
and started to read the part on what to do when you had a low fuel light
"I read that you should
shut the outside port engine down; this we did. The plane dropped, then
gained the altitude it lost. I could hear the passengers screaming and
knocking on the door to the control room. The manual said to cut the
outside starboard engine, this we did.
"When we shut the two
engines down the two remaining engines were laboring just to hold the
altitude. The fuel was close to 2% and falling fast.\
"As a last resort, we
were to jettison the baggage and we decided to do this. As the baggage
and freight fell toward the ground we could see it falling in the
darkness and hoped we were over a lake and not some farm or town.
"The plane gained
altitude. There were fifty miles left and we were on 0.5 % in fuel.
"The manual said next to
jettison the Steinway piano out of First class this was done and we had
forty miles to go. The manual said if you had forty miles to go to start
jettisoning the third class passengers.
"Mary Ann said she could
not do this and volunteered to bail out to help lighten the load. Mary
Ann opened the door and disappeared into the darkness and I could see
the landing field in Scoby. I cut the inside port engine and we were on
0% fuel and we started dropping like a rock.
"So as not to slow the
plane down, I kept the wheels up just before we touched down. We hit the
ground hard. We blew twenty tires but we were alive. The inside
Starboard engine stopped on the way to the taxiway and a pull motor
hooked up and towed us to the terminal.
"I walked into the
terminal to make my report. I passed the menís room and went in. I was
sick, I lost the dearest co-pilot I ever had. The Steinway was a great
"I went into the
debriefing room and handed my resignation to the president of the
company and left. I turned in my leased Mercedes, gave away my clothes,
money and anything I had and hit the road. I never wanted to be over
four feet off the ground again.
"Here with you I feel
free, no responsibility and you do not ask any favors. I do hope you
will accept me into your circle. Thank You."
The ring of Hobos
mumbled to each other and decided that the loss of the Steinway was
traumatic enough to let him join their close knit group. They rose and
each shook Archibaldís hand and welcomed him.
Monte L. Manka 12-16-99
Epilogue to the
After Tubbs paid Wimpy
his $500.00 he picked up his case and headed for the bus station. The
bus was ready to leave when he purchased his ticket for McCord Bend,
Missouri. The $12.00 that the bus ticket cost was well worth the trip on
Greyhound Bus lines. He could relax and catch some much-needed sleep. He
boarded the bus and took a seat in the front just two rows behind the
driver. He knew the old ladies always sat in these seats and he wouldnít
have to be worried about being robbed in his sleep.
He sat beside an older
lady. They exchanged nods and he sat down to some peace and quiet. As he
was dropping off into dreamland the lady next to him said, "My name is
Henrietta, and since we will be seat partners for the next 100 miles I
thought we should get acquainted."
Wimpy grunted and the
lady started on a long line of operations. "Last Christmas I had an
appendectomy." "I was laid up for three weeks." "I didnít enjoy the
Holidays at all." He grunted and turned his head. She went on to tell
him about her hysterectomy, gall bladder removal, ulcer operation and
heart bypass. "Why, she said, if you could see my body in the nude it
looks as if WWII was fought on it." He nodded, grunted, and tried to go
to sleep. He tried to ignore her but she kept on.
"My sister, Georgetta,
is one operation up on me she has had a new hip since her birthday."
He dropped off to sleep
and when he awoke, she was telling him about her second cousin Lucretia
and her operations.
The bus pulled into the
station and Wimpy flew out of the bus to get some fresh air. He wanted
to hear about something other than hospital operating rooms.
He got back on the bus
and another lady was sitting where the Hospital Operation Queen had been
setting. This seat partner was quiet and looked out the window. Things
were going smooth so he thought he would speak to her.
"Good afternoon, how far
down the road are you going?" Silence. He thought maybe her hearing was
bad, I wonít try again to break the ice.
Suddenly she broke out
in uncontrollable sobs, the tears streamed down her face. She used two
hankies before she got control and could talk.
Finally between the
sniffs, snorts, and blubbering she told him this story.
"I have three beautiful
children, a fine home and a faithful husband, I thought." I got a phone
call from an anonymous caller telling me I should go to the Purple Sage
bar. The caller said I could find my husband there. I knew my husband
was working late so I wasnít worried. My curiosity got the better of me.
I took a taxi to the bar and when I went in there he was with a blonde
hanging all over him. He had his arm around a brunette and was laughing
and carrying on. When he saw me he turned as white as a ghost and I
turned and walked out."
She told him she had
gone straight to the bus station and was headed for the next town to her
mother. She broke into sobs again and the front row passengers on the
bus thought Wimpy had said or done something to her. He moved across the
aisle to an empty seat and tried to go to sleep.
The bus stopped and the
weeper got off and the bus started to fill. A well-dressed lady sat next
to him and immediately said "Praise God."
She started to preach to
him and was quoting the bible and verses that he hadnít heard before.
She was going to do her darndest to convert him.
He looked for an empty
seat, the bus was filled, and he had to put up with her preaching for
another twenty-five miles. The bus pulled into the station, a passenger
to the left of him got off, and he took the empty seat. A large woman
got on the bus and sat down beside the woman who had been trying to
convert him. He heard her say to heavy lady "Praise God" and started to
convert the heavy lady.
The heavy said to the
converter, "Shut your mouth or I will shut it for you." The converter
did and was silent for the rest of her trip.
The bus stopped at the
station in Wichita, Kansas, and a couple tough looking characters got on
and moved to the back of the bus. Both had on Army field jackets with
the big pockets. They brushed past the rest of the passengers to get to
the back of the bus. The bus pulled out of the station and once on the
highway the two guys started talking loudly to each other. They were
getting as close to the dirty words as they could and not say them. The
bus driver was black and handled the big bus skillfully through the
traffic. Wimpy noticed the bus driver watching these characters through
the rear view mirror. One of the toughs yelled "Hey N---er canít you
make this bus go any faster."
The black driver pulled
the bus off the road and stopped. He walked back up the aisle and told
the toughs, "These passengers donít want to hear your remarks." "If you
continue I will put you off the bus now." They quieted down and they
went on their way.
The bus pulled into Ark
City, Kansas. When the bus stopped at the station the driver stood at
the door and helped the older ladies off the bus. The two toughs stayed
in their seats mumbling to each other.
Wimpy went into the
menís room and the two toughs came in. They were in a hurry. They looked
into every stall. He heard one of them say if they could find the black
son of a ---- they were going to kill him. As he walked out into the
waiting room, he noticed the black driver driving out of the parking lot
in his car, evidently going home after his run.
He started to board the
bus and when all but the two toughs were on the new driver closed the
doors, locked them and sat there. The two toughs came out and started
banging on the door yelling, "Let us on you @#$%@Z.
An old man, the station
manager, and a young woman cop came out and told them to be quiet, go
back in the station and wait for the next bus.
The two toughs called
the old man a name, inferring that his mother and species of dogs were
acquainted. The old man popped the tough on the nose and blood shot out
of his broken nose. The tough dropped like a rock in a cistern and the
female cop was patting the old manís back and telling the old man to
calm down. The old man was so pleased with himself he was smiling while
the two toughs slinked off into the station. The driver announced over
the bullhorn to the passengers that the show was over and they started
for the Oklahoma border.
They crossed into
Oklahoma and the bus stopped along the side of the road. The driver said
nothing. There was a rustle in the back. Wimpy looked back and all the
blacks on the bus were taking seats in the back of the bus. When they
were seated the driver drove back upon the road and they proceeded on
When they were going
into little cities, with no bus station, the driver would stop at some
house along the road. The driver would go to the door, go in and come
out with a cup of coffee and a package. How did the driver know when to
stop? He asked a passenger beside him, who was a local how the driver
knew when to stop. His seatmate said that they had signals for the
driver. Some were on a tree, telephone pole, or mailbox. A prearranged
signal with the driver might be a white handkerchief that would signal
the driver when there was a passenger or some freight to pick up. Wimpy
started watching and sure enough when he saw a red rag, or white rag
hanging in a conspicuous place the driver would stop and go in the house
and get a package or a passenger.
This made the trip
longer for Wimpy but it broke the monotony and he was getting closer to
They changed coaches in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and headed east for Joplin, Missouri.
When they stopped in a
small town some dirty, skinny man came to the front of the bus, took out
a pipe, and had a small white object that he was placing in the pipe.
Wimpy had never seen a crack pipe before and asked what he was going to
do. The dirty man said he was going to get highóWimpy blew his stack.
Wimpy stood over him and said "Dummy, you heard the driver say if he
found any smoking of grass, rock cocaine that there would be an
investigation and that could hold the bus up for a week." Wimpy said
that, "He was in a hurry to get home." "If you donít put that pipe away
and go back to your seat in the back that he would put him off the bus
himself." The guy said "O.K. if you feel that way." The dope-head moved
back and the old ladies gave Wimpy a hand for his putting this creep
The bus pulled into
Galena, Missouri, and Wimpy hitched a ride to McCord Bend, Missouri and
walked down George Early Street to his motherís double wide trailer
Wimpyís mother had just
come back from fishing down at Table Rock. She had a catch of Channel
Cats and Wimpy knew he was going to eat fine that night. Wimpy hadnít
had any catfish to eat for the whole trip and he could hardly wait for
supper. He thought how nice it was to be home.
Monte L. Manka January
These stories are real
only the names have been changed. Iíve been there, done that---
CURLEY AMEN "THE
Epilogue of "The
Curley shook hands with
Wimpy, Felix, and Wayne. He took his $500.00 from Tubbs and headed for
the nearest Ford dealer. He purchased a new Model "T" ford for $200.00
and headed for Liberal, Kansas. He drove out of Carbon Alberta, Canada
early in the morning. The sun was just peeking over the horizon and
Curley was feeling good because he had some money to take home. He
wanted to show his friends that he could make an honest living.
He knew he could fall
back on his Preaching profession if he didnít make it back home. He knew
the people of Liberal would stare when he drove in to town with a red
car. He chuckled to himself, thinking about the people of Liberal that
said he would end up in jail. Here he was in a new red "T" to "do Main
Street" in Liberal.
Curley turned the mirror
so he could admire his face. Gosh he thought, I am so good looking.
When he drove over the
border into North Dakota he stopped at the first mercantile store and
bought a new suit of clothes. The black suit looked great. He paid
$12.00 to the clerk and started on South toward home.
Curley drove into
Bismarck and was stopped by the police. The Missouri river had the
valley flooded and the bridges were all out. There was no way out of
town so he found a Motel 11 and crashed for the night. He didnít know
that the river would take a month to go down enough for him to proceed
on home. The motel bill, $1.00 per night and the cost of the food at the
local Cafť was eating into the $300.00 that was left in his pocket.
Bessie Mae, the waitress
in the "Grub and Gruel," had been serving The Preacher every meal since
his stay in town. It was getting expensive eating out every meal. He
ordered the blue plate special and coffee and waited for Bessie Mae to
deliver his meal. The blue plate special for that day was Dakota Stew.
This was a favorite dish at the Grub and Gruel. The leftovers for the
past seven days were put in the stew. When he left the cafť, he went to
his Motel to sleep off the stew.
He decided that he would
find a small church to preach the gospel in on Sunday morning. He found
a church on the edge of Bismarck. On the front lawn was a sign,
"Needed-Preacher." Curley applied and was hired on the spot. He studied
his bible that evening. He hadnít done any preaching since he had been
run out of town last year. He was deciding on the message he was going
to convey to the congregation Sunday morning.
Sunday morning came and
he looked great in his new black suit. As he approached the church, he
noticed a large number of young ladies. They were all dressed alike. As
he started his sermon, the front two rows were occupied by these young
After the sermon he went
to the door to shake the hands of the congregation and noticed three
armored vans with guards. These vans picked up the young ladies and
transported them to the local womanís prison. These ladies were not
ladies after all. He decided not to preach at this church again, who
knows some of them might be killers.
When he got back to the
Motel, he found three messages from Bessie Mae. She wanted him to call
her. He called her. She told him she would meet him at the local cinema
at 7:00 in the evening.
The Preacher and Bessie
Mae sat in the back row and did not see very much of the movie. Kissing
Bessie Mae was all that was on his mind. She told the Preacher that her
husband beat her and she wanted to run away with him. She was begging
him to take her away from it all.
A giant of a man entered
the theater. Bessie Mae gasped and whispered to him, "Thereís my
husband." The Preacher ran out, packed and left town and headed to
Liberal post haste.
The water was still high
but he took a chance and drove through the high water. If he made it he
would be much better off than if he stayed. He finally made it out of
town and he never looked back. Bessie Mae hadnít told him that she was
He did not stop again
until he reached Liberal, Kansas. He found out that Mr. and Mrs.
Griffith had moved to Wabunsee and no longer lived in Liberal. This was
the lady whose husband had run him out of town last year. Curley was the
talk of Liberal. He drove up and down the three blocks of Main Street
every day to show off his new car and new suit. The kids would wave as
he drove by and ooh and aah.
Curley is preaching
again in his Church in the Vale, by the Wild wood and he has changed his
way of living. He now watches his step. He doesnít want to be run out of
Monte L. Manka 1-26-00
I really didnít like
Curley and I still donít.
Epilogue of "The
When Tubbs paid Wayne
his wages, $500 bucks, he decided to hitch hike back to Texas. Wayne had
placed his money in his socks. The twenty-dollar bills made his ankles
look swollen. He tried to keep his pants pulled down over the bulge in
He had his clothes
packed neatly in a cardboard box with a rope around it to loop over his
shoulder making it easy to carry.
While he was thumbing a
ride on the road, it started raining. The cardboard box got wet and
started to come apart. A farmer stopped and asked Wayne where he was
going. He told him home. The farmer told him to get in. The soggy
cardboard box fell apart in the pickup. The farmer said he had a gunny
sack that he could use to carry his clothes in. Wayne thanked him and
transferred his clothes in to the sack.
The farmer entered a
small town and told him that he was going no farther. Wayne thanked him
for the ride and got out in front of a small cafť.
He went inside the
"Honey Bee" cafť to stay dry and get something to eat. When he entered,
he saw three stools and one booth. The small cafť was really small. The
waitress, Honey Bee, asked him what he would like. He ordered the blue
plate special. When the food came, he couldnít recognize the chicken
fried steak from the mashed potatoes. The food tasted good and when he
finished; he ordered a piece of apple pie. The apple pie looked like the
chicken fried steak but tasted good. He paid Honey Bee and started out
to look for another ride.
As he stood waiting for
a ride, a car with a couple guys inside pulled up. Before he got in they
jumped out and started to take his sack. Wayne having been a boxer
knocked them out without breaking a sweat. The sheriff pulled up and saw
the two toughs lying on the street. He asked Wayne what happened. He
told him they went for his sack and he stopped them. The sheriff thanked
him and drove him to the city limits where he could go on his way.
A huge truck started
slowing when he saw Wayne and stopped and asked if he needed a ride. He
got into the Peterbilt truck and settled back for a long ride. The truck
was roomy and comfortable and he wished he could make it to Texas in
This driver was a big
man and he was a talker. He told Wayne how he got lonesome riding the
highways alone. He had his CB radio to keep in contact with the other
roaders but it got boring in the truck during the long hauls. The driver
told about how his wife had died and how his 12 children depended on him
to send money for their board and keep. The driver got all teary eyed
and blew his nose a couple times while telling the story. He said that
he didnít have enough money to send a birthday present to his youngest.
Wayne felt sorry for the guy and gave him $50.00. The trucker thanked
him as they pulled into the truck stop.
The trucker went inside
and Wayne looked for another ride because these sob stories were getting
to him. Some gal in a Kenworth asked him if he wanted a ride. He said
yes and got in. The truck reeked of cheap perfume but it was dry and
She asked him if he had
gotten out of that red Peterbilt and he said yes. She told him they
called the driver Weepy because he was always crying. Wayne told her he
had a right to weep. He told me the story about the 12 children and the
dead wife. She laughed. "He has never been married and has no kids." The
guy used this guise to get someone to loan him money. "He is a liar."
Wayne didnít tell her that he gave him fifty bucks.
She showed Wayne how to
shift the fifteen-speed transmission and he got behind the wheel to
drive to spell her off. He started three times and killed the engine all
three. She told him what he was doing wrong and he made it onto the
When he got up to 80
miles an hour, she disappeared into the sleeper. He started to relax and
enjoy the view. Sitting this high off the road, he could see for miles.
The hum of the tires and the purring of the engine lulled him into a
thoughtful mood. He thought about home, his girl, his old mother and how
he would like a big piece of Momís peach cobbler.
He could see why driving
a big rig was exciting, as cars with kids passed him the kids wanted him
to blow the big air horns. When he did the kids would clap their hands
and wave to him. Amber, the owner of the truck, never woke up.
As they moved through
the Dakotas, he was glad to get such a long ride. Amber came out of the
sleeper and asked him if he wanted to catch a few winks. They exchanged
places and Wayne crawled back into the sleeper and went to sleep. When
he awoke, they were at a truck stop in Nebraska. They got out, showered,
ate dinner and climbed back into the rig, and started south again.
Amber said that some car
was tailgating them. The car pulled alongside. The guy in the front
rolled down his window and yelled something obscene to Amber, and she
turned red. Amber was a pretty blonde but the obscenity was out of
order. The car pulled alongside again and Amber told him to hold on. The
car came along beside us and she started crowding him off the road. The
driver fell back and when he got even with the wheels on the 40-ft.
trailer, she jerked the wheel, the trailer hit the car, and it went off
the road into the ditch.
He told Amber that
knocking the car into the ditch was uncalled for. She stopped in the
middle of the road and told him to get out. He did.
As he watched the
Kenworth disappear down the road, he wished he had kept his mouth shut.
It was cold and damp. It
had stopped raining but there was a chill in the air. A pair of
headlights came toward him. He stood up with his thumb out. The car
stopped and he got in. It was warm and he could smell coffee, he thought
how good it smelled. The guy behind the wheel said he was a traveling
salesman. He said that the stories about the traveling salesman werenít
true especially about the farmerís daughter. The salesman asked him if
he would like a cup of Joe and he said yes. He poured him a cup with
cream and sugar. He liked it black but it was delicious and he started
to warm up.
The salesman pulled into
Salina, Kansas, and he stopped at a Motel 12 on the outskirts of the
city. He told him he could share a room with him and Wayne declined. He
took the room next door to the salesman. After he showered and shaved,
he hit the hay. Wayne woke up early in the morning and noticed the
police outside the motel at the room that the salesman had taken. With
the lights out he cracked the door and heard the coroner tell the
sheriff that the salesman had been killed. They were discussing the guy
that rode in with him. He dressed took his sack and left out the
bathroom window and headed for the road.
He walked into the all
night cafť and stashed his sack under the booth. The waitress came to
him and said "my name is Ezmerelda" "May I take your order." The sheriff
came in and ordered a cup of coffee and Wayne was scared that he would
take him in for the murder. His tongue was glued to the roof of his
mouth, and finally he said "Apple pie a la mode."
He didnít remember
eating the pie, he was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. Ezmerelda
noticed and gave him his ticket. She pointed to it with her pencil and
he could see scribbled on it "my place is next door, the key is under
the door mat." He left his sack, he paid and walked out. He went next
door, found the key, entered and sat down on the floor and wondered what
to do next. He knew they would think he had killed the salesman and he
was sick with worry.
The door opened and the
waitress had brought his sack with her. She drew the blinds, turned on
the lights and asked him what the matter could be. He told her his story
and she believed him.
She made coffee and they
sat up and talked the rest of the night. She told him she was a farmerís
daughter and not to believe the stories about the traveling salesman and
the farmerís daughter. They just werenít true. She told me living on the
farm was the pits. She said she could make more money in tips per night
than her Daddy could make in a month on that farm.
The sun started to come
up and she said she had to get some sleep. She only had one bed and he
would have to sleep on the divan. She went to sleep right away but he
had trouble falling asleep in the daytime. He couldnít leave until it
got dark that night so he had nothing to do but sleep.
He could hear Ezmerelda
snoring in the next room. It sounded like four young pigs drinking slop
out of the hog trough. It was so bad he almost left in the daylight but
he sweated it out. The snorting stopped in the next room and Ezmerelda
came out in an old chenille robe, hair down in her eyes and breath that
would stop a freight train. Any thought of getting to know this woman
better just faded away.
Ezmerelda told him to
take the keys to her car and head on down to Texas. He couldnít believe
his ears. This woman trusted him with her car for a seven hundred-mile
trip how nice. One catch he had to take her along.
He told her he could not
do this, but thanks anyway. She said to him if he didnít take her, she
would call the Sheriff.
They left that night and
drove all night. They stopped at a Motel 13 in Amarillo, Texas and he
was so tired he did not hear Ezmerelda snoring. They ate the next
morning and he got home the next day. Ezmerelda fell asleep in the car.
He parked the car and started to sneak out and take a city bus to his
Momís house. He felt guilty and got back into the car and drove to his
Momís house. When they arrived, he introduced Ezmerelda to everyone. His
Mom started planning the wedding and he had to go through with it. After
all Ezmerelda had saved his bacon and he owed her. They lived happily
ever after. He had her nose worked on and she doesnít snore anymore.
Monte L. Manka 1-29-00
P.S. The next morning he
was reading the Morning Bugle Herald. The headline was "Murder Solved."
The story was about the traveling salesman. Some farmer had found him
and did him in. Maybe it is true about the Farmerís Daughter.?
Epilogue of "The
While sitting in the Greyhound bus station in Carbon Alberta, Canada,
Felix wondered if he should go home. He had five hundred dollars,
his wages for the work for Tubbs. He was thinking about the
meeting in the Long House where he was told that he was outed from the
He was thinking since he
was one quarter Sioux that he could appeal to the Sioux Tribe for
reinstatement into the Tribe. Just being accused of a crime was enough
to be shunned by the Comancheís, maybe he could get back into the good
graces of the Comanche tribe.
He remembered the day
when he was called into the "Long House" and how he dreaded walking into
the room. Chief "Sittin Duck" told Felix to sit in the center of a
circle of his peers. He saw a big earthen pot so he sat behind the
pot facing the Chief. He was blindfolded and told to keep quiet
during the meeting.
There were 11 men that
had to vote whether to ban Felix or not. The way to vote was each
man had two stones one White and one Black. Throwing the white
stone in the pot meant he could stay. The black stone meant
banning him from the tribe and to wander on the prairie of unworthiness
The Chief called on "Runnin
Scared" to stand and speak. "Runnin Scared" told the council
that there was no room in the Comanche Tribe for an accused man. He said
I cast my stone now.
The Chief called on "Standin
Tall" to stand and speak. "Standing Tall" said "this man should
fall into the pit of darkness." "I cast my stone now."
"Fallin Down" was called
on next and he said, "This man should burn in a prairie fire forever. I
cast my stone now."
"Walkin Thepark" stood
and said he could not in good conscience condemn a man without more
evidence, Chief "Sittin Duck" called for a point of order and ordered
him to cast his stone. Felix heard the noise of the stone as it
hit the bottom of the pot.
The Chief called on the
Cloud Brothers next.
"Black Cloud" stood and
said that Felix should be struck by lightening twice and then cast his
"White Cloud" stood and
said Felix should climb the never-ending slope of despair. He then
cast his stone.
"Gray Cloud" stood and
said that this accused man should ride in darkness forever. He then cast
Felix knew that there
were seven stones in the pot and he hoped that they were all white but
he knew he could be wrong.
Chief "Sittin Duck"
called on the last Cloud to stand and give his testimony.
"Thunder Cloud" stood
and said that Felix should hear only silence from now on. He cast
his stone and as it hit the pot Felix shuddered.
The "Feather Brothers"
Chief "Sittin Duck" told
"Bird Feather" to stand and give his story. "Bird Feather" said
that Felix should have his feet prodded with an arrow from now on.
He cast his stone.
"Chicken Feather" said
he couldnít be sure what punishment should befall Felix. He cast
"Turkey Feather" was
last to speak and said for a punishment he should have to eat turkey
forever. He cast his stone.
The chief thanked the
eleven braves for their participation and told them they could leave.
After they left, the Chief told Felix to remove his blind fold.
The Chief told Felix if there was one white stone in the pot he could
stay. Felix rummaged around the pot and all the stones were black.
Felix stood with his head bowed and walked out of the Long House.
The bus pulled into the
station and Felix was told to sit in the back of the bus. Felix
liked to sit in the back of the bus because the seat was wide enough to
lie down and get some sleep. He had taped his money to his bare
chest to keep from losing it until he got back to Canton, Oklahoma.
He fell asleep. He
woke up when the bus pulled in to Fargo, North Dakota. He sat up.
A young pretty Indian Maiden got on board and was told to go to the back
of the bus which sounded good to Felix.
Felix introduced himself
to the Maiden and she said her name was Sioux City Sioux. She was
the daughter of Chief "Talltale" of the Dakota Sioux tribe. We
talked until we got to Musk Rat Flats and she got off. I thought
this might be a good place to try to settle down. Felix got off
the bus and went into the station and she was waiting. They moved
into her Tee Pee and lived happily ever after.
Monte L. Manka 01-21-99