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The Drifters

Table of Contents

About 1936

1. The Drifters

2. The Cook

3. The Preacher

4. The Boxer

5. Wimpy

6. Felix

The "Drifters"  and following stories are fictionalized accounts based on the lives of the men who drifted through the plains states in 1936, seeking work on farms, such as the farm owned by Monte Manka's father. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

THE DRIFTERS

While waiting in the line at the unemployment office, I was offered a job, along with four other men, and told to assemble outside. A fat cigar-chewing guy hired us to follow the wheat harvest and said that we could be away for six months, starting out in Texas and finishing in Canada. He told us he would pick us up in the morning in front of the unemployment office at 4:00 A.M, and, anxious to leave Loredo, I was more than ready to go.

At the hotel, I packed my toothbrush, clean laundry, straight razor, and left for the rendezvous.

We met the next morning at the unemployment office and introduced ourselves: Wayne Dale, an ex boxer; Felix, a big Indian; Wimpy, a fat man; and Curly Amen; the ex preacher; and myself, a high school dropout.

The man that hired us had the fitting name of Tubbs. He told us if we were at work on time we could go all the way with him. He called himself Tubby, which was no surprise.

Tubbs took us to his camp and we met the rest of the gang. We were to be the bundle men and load the racks to be taken to the thrashing machine.

After working all day, we would go to the creek at night to bathe. Tubby would furnish us with soap and towels and we would wash the dayís dust and sweat off our bodies. Felix, the Indian, and Wayne Dale did not agree on anything. Wayne got out of the river to dry off and when Felix started out Dale threw a big rock in the river and splashed mud on Felix and his towel.

Felix reached under his clothes, pulled out a big knife, and started for Dale. Dale grabbed a tree limb, stood his ground, and waited for Felix. Tubby stepped between them and told them to save it for the end of the trip and then they could settle their differences. Things quieted down and we bedded down for the night.

The next morning I harnessed and hitched the horses to the bundle wagons and the drivers started for the field.

At the end of the day, as soon as the horses had been fed and supper eaten the bundle men would light up their pipes. The cigarette smokers got out the Bull Durham tobacco and papers and rolled their own smokes, lit up settled down to tell stories of their lives.

Curley Amen started with "I am a preacher." A farmer has driven me from my flock. I preached the Word every Sunday at the Chelsea church. I am what you might call, on the run.

Every Sunday I was asked by one of our congregation to come to one of their houses for dinner. I am a single man and with my good looks, I was the main topic of conversation between the farmer's daughters.

These farmerís daughters were intrigued by my way with words, my nice smile and I had to be careful because they all fell in love with me.

One night at the Church Social Mrs. Griffith asked me to go out to her car and help her fetch her pies and cookies she had baked into the Church. There in the dark I took her arm, she leaned against me, and I kissed her.

She melted in my arms and we sat on the running board of her Model "A" and continued to kiss.

Her husband came out looking for her and found us locked together in an embrace, grabbed his shotgun out of the rumble seat and told me I had until the count of three to get out of town. I heard "one" and I ran so fast that I did not hear the number "two" and I am still running.

Everyone laughed and Wayne Dale told Curley if that had been his wife that he would have shot first then counted to three.

We were moving to Canton, Oklahoma, in the morning to start our next harvesting project.

We loaded all the machinery on the flat cars, the horses in the cattle cars at the railroad yard, and headed out.

A day later we unloaded the machinery and horses at the Canton Railroad Station and started a job at the edge of town. This farmer had a pretty daughter and we watched Curley closely. We did not want to be run out of town.

This girl would bring iced tea, lemonade and water to the job site every morning and every evening. We found out Curley was not the one to watch, but the broken nosed, cauliflower-eared Wayne Dale was sweet-talking her. While we were drinking he was talking low to her and she would smile and duck her head shyly.

That evening we were sitting in the barn and Felix the Indian told us Canton was his home at one time. Felix was 1/2 Comanche and 1/4 Sioux. He had been sent to school by the taxpayers of Oklahoma and while in college he had a run in with the Algebra Professor.

The Professor told me to quit honing my 'long knife' while he was lecturing to the class. He said that the sound of the knife on the whetstone was irritating to the rest of the class.

I put my 'long knife' away. When class ended I walked out into the hall and I heard a scream. I walked back into the room and someone had cut the Professors throat. I leaped out the window and hid in the buck brush until I thought I could leave. I did not kill the professor but I knew I would be a prime suspect. I headed for Texas and am still on the run.

We told Felix we would cover for him while he hid out until we moved to Alva next Saturday.

The next morning the Sheriff came to our camp and wanted to know if anyone from our group had gone to town the night before. We were questioned separately and I found that it was not Felix they wanted but that the Bank of Canton had been robbed. The robber had taken 15,000 dollars and left the bank personnel tied in the vault.

We all had alibis, except Wayne Dale. He finally told the Sheriff that he had taken the farmer's daughter to the Canton City Cinema. He didn't want to tell the Sheriff because he didn't want the farmer to find out. The Sheriff told him he wouldn't tell. The Sheriff checked Wayne's story, got on his horse and rode on down the road.

The next evening we loaded up the gear and headed for Alva for a three-week job.

Pay Day finally arrived and we were paid $30.00 for the month. We headed for the nearest bar. If you were from some state other than Oklahoma, you were not greeted with open arms.

The Oklahoma bar patrons glared at us as we walked in. Some of us were from Texas, Kansas and one from Missouri. The local Oklahoma bar patrons made remarks calling us drifters, bums hobos and other names that I could not print.

When we first walked in, those Oklahoma boys looked pretty tough. As we consumed the rotgut put out by the bartender, we felt tougher. Tiring of the slurs and bad mouthing Felix stood and challenged the biggest Okie to a fight. Wayne Dale stood and said he would take on all comers. Wayne and Felix stood side by side and readied themselves for a fight. The Preacher said a quick prayer and ran out.

As I stood to help, I was hit on the head with a bottle and the next thing I remembered was the doctor saying that he did not think there was a concussion.

The next morning at the breakfast table Felix and Wayne looked terrible, with their black eyes, cut lips, bruises and bandaged knuckles. They were laughing and talking about the beating they got. They also got in a few good punches. The Sheriff of Woods County told Tubbs that he would give him two more days in Alva and he better be gone by the third. We finished in one and headed for Russell, Kansas.

The people of Russell were very friendly and treated us nice. We decided while we were there we would stay out of trouble.

Our first job was on the Thielen farm. This farmer had three thousand acres of wheat and we knew we would be there for quite a while.

This guy and his wife always came out to the thrasher site in the evening when we quit for the day and served fine whiskey to help us unwind. We were brought sandwiches about 10:00 A.M. and later in the afternoon here came the cold tea, water, and more sandwiches. We were all putting on the fat because of the abundance of food and the thoughtfulness of these two good people.

These people were older but it didn't seem to matter they were there every day.

One day Mr. Thielen said something about painting his house. He said he never had the time or always had some good excuse to put it off.

The gang got together that night, talked about the paint job, and decided to do it for him.

The next day was Sunday. When the old couple left for Church, the gang got the paint and brushes, and the crew, 35 in all, painted the house. With 35 men painting, the job was finished before church let out and we cleaned the place up and left. When the old folks came home, they drove by their house twice before realizing that it was their house and was a different color.

With tears in their eyes they thanked us and gave each one of us a hug and a handshake. I found out years later that they wanted to paint the house Yellow; we had painted it White, oh well.

Before we left the Sheriff of Russell County questioned us about the robbery of the Russell State Bank. We were all questioned and allowed to move on.

We packed up and headed for Nebraska. Tubbs had got a contract in Kearny for a week stay. Tubbs called us into the barn and said that one of us was a crook. He didn't know who it was, but the bank robbery's when we were in town were too much of a coincidence. He said someone was lying and if he ever found out who it was there would be hell to pay.

Wimpy was a good worker but he was fat and slow. The rest of the crew had to work harder to make up for his slowness. The grumbling started, and they decided to teach Wimpy a lesson. Wimpy was told if he didn't shape up he would catch hell. Wimpy was the last to get on the wagon in the morning and the last to get on at night. Every one was tired of being held up by this turtle.

One field was five miles from the campsite and while Wimpy was gathering up his pitchfork Wayne whipped the horses and we ran away from Wimpy. It took Wimpy three hours to walk the five miles. By the time he got to the camp the cook had cleaned up and had gone to town. Wimpy went to bed hungry that night, he was never late again.

The town of Kearny was twenty miles from the campsite and when we were paid, Tubbs took us into town in his Model "A" truck. We got to town and found that the county we were in was a dry county so no bars or hard whiskey. We were mad. We got all dressed up in our best Jeans and Overalls, now nothing to do. Wayne Dale told us to wait for him while he went into a snooker parlor. When he came out, he said to follow him. We followed him to a big house on the edge of town and went in.

The owner asked if we wanted some moonshine. We ordered a bottle apiece and left to go next door. Wayne knocked and a woman by the name of Belle opened the door and we went in. Then Wayne, Wimpy, Felix, Preacher and I walked inside. I had never seen so many pretty ladies in my life. There were Elizabethbelle, Clarabelle, Marybelle and my pick Jezebelle.

We found a table, ordered glasses, and opened the moonshine and here came the ladies. The one I picked, Jezebelle, was a little heavy, not to good looking and had a toothless smile.

The more moonshine I drank the prettier she got. The thing she had on was pretty thin and didn't hide much. Two more shots of Moonshine and she got thinner and prettier.

Suddenly the door burst open and the Sheriff said "this is a raid."

We were taken to jail to spend the night. The boss wouldn't bail us out. Tubbs said it was our fault and we should suffer one night in jail.

The next morning the Sheriff told us not to come back in town and to move on. We had terrible headaches the next morning and the heat from the sun was almost more than we could take. Most were so sick from the moonshine that we finished the job that afternoon rather than the morning and the -Sheriff escorted us out of Kearny.

The next day we read where the Kearny National Bank was robbed. Our alibi was we were in jail.

Tubbs decided to skip the Dakota's. We rode the train and moved into Carbon, Alberta.

We had just unloaded and established a campsite and a Mountie rode up and said that the Queen Anne National bank, of Carbon Alberta had been robbed and we were all suspects. We had just arrived and knew nothing about a robbery. The cook came into the camp and the Mountie told him to come with him. It turns out the cook was robbing the banks on the way up to Canada and we were being accused of the robberies.

We needed a cook and we agreed on Wimpy. Wimpy could go slow and still get the meals on time. Wimpy would also be out of our way in the fields.

We set up the tents on Mr. Johnson's farm and prepared to start the job in the morning.

This turned out to be my last stop.

When the thrashing was finished Tubbs and the crew moved out and went back to Texas for the winter. Tubbs told me he would be back next year about this time. He paid me, wished me luck, and left.

Wimpy, Curly, Felix and Wayne took turns shaking my hand and we discussed meeting again next summer and painting the town red. I turned and walked toward the barn.

Mr. Johnson had a daughter, she was cute and my age. She and I decided to go to the movies. She and I decided to marry. I settled down and worked on the Johnson farm and Emy and I lived happily ever after.

Monte L. Manka 12-22-99

A Shir-Mon Corp. Production

THE CLOWN

A FACE IN THE CROWD

Down by the Santa Fe tracks around the bend from the Chelsea Train Station, a bunch of Hobos were huddled around a small fire. They were each relating their life stories to the others while warming their hands.

Joe took a swig out of the "Mogan David" wine jug and stood before the rest.

One night, when I had hit rock-bottom, and was looking for a place to sleep, I was beaten by a pair of thugs and left to die. A Policeman found me unconscious and called for and ambulance and had me taken to emergency. I awoke in the Susan B. Allen hospital in El Dorado, and felt terrible. I sustained a broken leg, two broken ribs and a broken arm. I was a mess and had casts every where I looked.

I was moved to the basement to recover because that is where the people who could not pay were placed. The room was clean but the service was terrible. The nurses were few and far between and it was hard to get a glass of water.

A small redheaded boy was looking into the door of my room. I hate kids and told him to go away. He turned as if to go then waved to me and disappeared into another room.

I finally was able to get up and walk around the halls outside my room. There were kids everywhere, in body casts, head bandaged, arms and legs in traction and the some swathed in bandages covering bad burns. I said something to the nurse about the kids and she told me that they were all wards of the state. Their parents had left them. Some had been beaten, some scalded, and some had been starved. I hate kids but I would never hurt one. I just did not want to be bothered with them. The nurse told me that I was the only man on this floor. She asked me if I would dress up as a clown and put a few smiles on their faces. I told her no way, I do not like kids.

The doctor came in and told me if I would entertain the kids, it would help pay my big hospital bill. I may be a Hobo but I have principles. I did not owe anybody and I did not want to owe the hospital.

I agreed to play the clown and the nurses came in and painted my face, found some baggy red plaid pants and a yellow plaid shirt, and my own shoes with the worn heels and holey soles. The nurses provided the balloons, rubber balls to juggle and various props to help with the entertainment.

The nurses had placed all the children in a large room where they waited breathlessly for the Clown.

While he was being made up, his knees were knocking. Why am I scared? I have faced many things that were worse but appearing before kids, I was scared.

Joe needed a name Jocko, Socko, Bumper, Popper, Hoppy, what could he use as his headline name? His broken leg left him with a bad limp so he decided on Limpy for his Clown name. My, gosh! I hate kids and here I am trying to think of something to entertain kids.

Limpy was ready. As he approached the room where all the kids were, he wondered if he could pull this clown thing off.

He limped into the room, all the kids stared at him, and his knees got weaker. He picked up the rubber balls and as he tried to juggle them, he dropped all three on the floor. The kids smiled and some laughed. He picked up the balloons and tried to shape them as animals. He was a total failure.

The kids thought this was part of the act and clapped for him. He felt something come over him and he picked up the balls and juggled them perfectly, never dropped one. He grabbed the balloons and found he could make all kinds of animal shapes. The kids loved it and showed their appreciation by yelling "Limpy, Limpy, more, more." The little red-headed kid in the back never smiled or laughed but watched Limpy carefully.

Limpy tried Pantomime and found he had no trouble making the kids laugh. He was surprised at what he could do. He even started liking kids

Limpy could never get the little redheaded boy to smile or laugh no matter how hard he tried.

Limpy ran out of things to do. He took a bow and limped out the door to his room. The kids clapped their hands and all but the little Redhead were laughing or smiling.

The nurses were so happy to be able to see the kids smile and now have something to live for.

Limpy gave a performance each week while he was getting better and the day he was able to leave the hospital, the nurse told him the little redhead wanted him to come to his room and see him. The nurse told Limpy the little redhead was dying with cancer and begged him to go to his room before he left the hospital.

Limpy dressed up in his clown garb and headed to room B-3. He limped into the room and the little redhead lay quiet on his pillow and showed no emotion. The Clown went through his routine for the little redhead.

When Limpy finished the little redhead held his hand out and Limpy took it in his own. The little redhead squeezed Limpyís hand, smiled, closed his eyes, and stopped breathing. The tears poured down Limpyís cheeks as he gently lay the little redheadís hand on the bed. Limpy felt that he had accomplished a great feat by getting a smile on the little redheadís face.

Limpy walked out of the hospital headed for the railroad tracks to be with his Hobo friends.

As Limpy walked across the parking lot, he met his doctor. The doctor asked Limpy if he would come to the hospital once in a while and entertain the kids. The doctor told Limpy the kids were doing so much better because they were happy and he was responsible. Limpy told the doctor he would and went on his way to Hobo City in Chelsea.

"Fellow Hoboís," Limpy said, "of all the things I have done in my lifetime this has been the greatest experience of my life. Thank you for listening."

Silence followed. Then the Hoboís all stood, in unison, and gave Limpy a standing ovation.

Monte L. Manka 12-14-99

HOBO HARRY

After the ovation for Limpy the Clown, Hobo Harry stood and started his tale of how he became a Hobo.

"First of all, I was not always a Hobo. I was once the President of a large import/export company. I started out as the janitor for my Fatherís business. I listened intently to all the conversations that the sales men and businessmen had. I have a photographic memory and can remember anything I hear and can recall it immediately. I was the top of my class in High School and College and received all kinds of awards for my ability to learn.

"I moved up to office boy with a substantial raise. As I looked over the invoices and sales presentations, I would memorize them. I moved to junior sales clerk and was given the award for selling the most of the entire older salesman. It came easy for me. I was appointed sales manager, with a substantial raise and was called in on all the Board meetings. My Father retired and I rose to the top at 27 years of age, with a substantial raise. I had no idea that a human could make such a high salary.

"I was never one to sit on my behind and let someone else do my work. I had my own plane that I used to fly all over the world. I would fly to Tangiers for tangerines then hop to Cordoba, Spain for Cordage for Jean materials. On to Limoges, France for Limes and to meet Mimi. I would take off for Helsinki, Finland Vanuatu airport and take a hop to Bekola for the ingredients of Koko Kola. Olga the blonde beauty was my escort while there and would show me a good time -- then to Russia to Kamchatka to purchase some fine Kameras and to meet Katrina and party heartily.

"The next day I flew to Seoul Korea for Sole material for fine shoes. Mai Chong Lee was a beautiful Korean maiden and was my personal secretary and tour guide while in South Korea. This beauty was a trained Masseuse and could make my tired body come to life, I hated to leave but on to Hong Kong. We landed in Hong Kong and took a short flight to the Island of Lantau. I ordered several crates of Chinese Lanterns and was escorted by Mai Tai a Chinese beauty and she was at my disposal.

"I arrived back in Eureka, Kansas, to buy wheat and moved on to Wichita, Kansas to my office building. I made this trip once a month for years.

"While back home I would go to my Palatial Mansion where my live in maid (Barbara) awaited my return.

"On my return, Barbara would invite fifty or sixty of our friends and top men of the Import Export business to a sit down dinner and cocktails.

"I had one of my boats on the El Dorado Lake and moored it at Manka Point. It was a thirty-footer and was just right for some good bass fishing. I caught the most bass at Becker Cove and Paulsen Cove. There was always a bevy of beauties on board. The upper deck was used for sun tanning for the ladies and the lower deck a bar. The fishing was just an excuse to get away from all the traveling.

"I am telling you this because I had forgotten where I came from. I, at the age of thirty-five, was burned out. I started hating to go on the buying trips. I hated the idea of making money, paying taxes and keeping up a front. I had everything that any man could want but peace.

"The women were fickle and would use me. My friends were friends as long as I was footing the bill. The people that worked for me were only interested in how much sick leave they could use. The Union never let me alone and was always threatening to strike.

"The Union talked my employees into striking and that was the last straw. I sold the business and fired all 1200 employees and closed the doors.

"As the workers left the building they cried, not because of me, but because they had lost their jobs. I tried to compromise with them but the Union said "no" so I had no alternative.

"I sold my house and boats, and gave the money to several charities. I was left with nothing. I found a staff and hung my bindle on the end. Now I am free and at peace with friends that I know care less whether I have money or not.

"Fellow Hobos thank you for accepting me and letting me share your warm fire with you. I consider it an honor to be in your company, I thank you."

While Harry stood silently, each Hobo rose, shook his hand and patted him on the back, welcoming him to their Hobo Circle.

Monte L. Manka 12-14-99

CLARENCE

TRUCK DRIVER

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 educated.

"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 month.

"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 Missouri Line.

"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

Archibald Quinlin Armstrong

Ace Pilot

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.

"The responsibility 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 loss.

"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

Wimpy

Epilogue to the "Drifters"

Goin Home

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 their way.

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 home.

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 down.

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 home.

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 30, 2000

These stories are real only the names have been changed. Iíve been there, done that---

CURLEY AMEN "THE PREACHER"

Epilogue of "The Drifters"

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 ladies.

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.

2

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 married.

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 town again.

Monte L. Manka 1-26-00

I really didnít like Curley and I still donít.

The Boxer

Epilogue of "The Drifters"

Wayne Dale

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 his ankles.

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 rig.

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 warm.

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 interstate.

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 Drifters"

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 Comanche tribe.

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 forever.

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 stone.  

"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 his stone.    

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" were next.

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 his stone.

"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  


Monte Manka can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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