Mr. Dobbs spent much of his time chasing after Elizabeth while she scurried to spend money from one place then the other as if the very thought of going a day with out it would be the death of her. Her robust taste would be the death for sure of Mr. Dobbs as he heavily panted for air while he watched her gather yet more dresses from the most elite boutiques.
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She now had the fever for a superb meal as she led her father on. Peering through the window she cupped her hands against the glass to be sure no glare stood between her and any bite taken .One would think her eyes had the better of her but as they sat after the meal both comfortably belching it was clear she could put any men under the table with her love of food.
She like her father had round rosy jaws that shook when she laughed. Having the luck to have her mother’s far set beady eyes only added to her glamorous look along with her bulging waste line and thinning blonde hair. Her age now made it clear she would not ponder long from Mr. Dobbs for many years to come. He in return found himself in a daily panic trying to make up for his having left her mother along time ago. Although by legal terms they were still married he had ran off with a sassy young girl leaving her mother in a state of despair that added to her undoubted strange behavior. Where the effects of his leaving lead her to the commitment of a mental facility while to this day she found herself more interested in how birds flew then what she had or in most cases didn’t wear to the breakfast table.
“Da, I have to say I could have had much better at home.” Elizabeth scorned in her scratch bird voice. “ I found the meat a bit dry.” Am I not right that we should call the Maitred’?” “ I am more then certain he would want to be informed of how the meal was prepared.” Having reached over to snort up the last small piece of meat her father had in his plate she spit it in her napkin turning up her nose as she coldly looked at him.
Sucking air through his teeth to clean them Mr. Dobbs hoisted his hand for service. “ Excuse me.” “ Excuse me!” he raised his voice as he waved his hand in the air. Immediately a young boy raced to their side with a fresh white towel folded across his arm. Seeing the stern look of Mr. Dobb’s he leaned down to whisper, “Yes sir is all well here?” “What can I do for you?” Mr. Dobbs cleared his throat before beginning pushing his plate to the side. “ All well?” “No, Not at all!” “We have managed to eat although the meal was not fit for a dog and I would like to speak to your manager.”
The boy looked down at their empty plates, which looked to have been shined immaculately while his brows arched giving them both an unbelieving look. “May I ask what you found wrong with your food, sir?”
Elizabeth anxious to complain set with her mouth puckered as she verbalized her disappointment. “Well it was hardly worth the wait and had we not both been beside ourselves with hunger we would have said something sooner.” “The meat was barely recognizable from being over cooked and the vegetables as well.”” I was just telling my da, we would have been much smarter to have passed you by for the quant little restaurant next door.” “ Be rest assured, we will not be back.”
The young boy excused himself to fetch the maitred’. A noticeably tall erect standing gentleman dressed in black lapels came swiftly to their side. “ Sir, what seems to be the problem here?” he questioned as he hovered closely over the table. Mr. Dobbs having no time to reply before Elizabeth barreled out shook his head. Clearing her throat as she wiped her mouth with her napkin she snarled.“ This food was atrocious!” “ I am sorry.” She mumbled, “ I didn’t mean to storm out quite so loudly.” She curled up her shoulders placing her folded hands in her lap while a slight color came over her face when she realized the other guest were giving them a stern stare.
Cupping her hand around her mouth she leaned in to whisper to the gentleman as she looked about the room. Feeling she was just in her complaints she went on “ You see as I was explaining before, had we not been just famished we would have told you earlier.” “Not that we are looking for any trouble here.” “ I am sure my da, will gladly pay the wages.” “ We just felt you would want to know how the cook is working out for you.” “ Of course we are use to only the finest restaurants at home.”
She like her father had a bad habit of twisting her mouth to the side when ever finding fault with someone. “ This is our first trip here to your town you see, and thought we would try your restaurant hoping to have some thing good to tell when we arrived home to our family and friends.” The man looked down at the empty plates just as the boy had. The look on his face made it clear he thought they were both arrogant spoiled rich who were use to being pampered. Any other time he would have gladly satisfied the customer’s complaints by a free meal but Mr. Dobbs made the mistake of opening his mouth in protest of the war. Elizabeth and her father were escorted out after payment was rendered. The shame in their misbelieving eyes were pure delight to the maitred’ as he held the door open for them with a contented grin planted on his face.
As night fell now having his first chance to be proven worthy to the cause Joe found himself more frightened then he had planned as he crept through the darkened streets. The dead silence an unforeseen dilemma with his clunking large boots slapping the streets as he ran breathlessly to each house and business having been promptly ordered to take letters. He felt honored to be undoubtedly trusted by all with his knowing of names and addresses.
As he spotted a group of British officers standing in a huddle drinking from the same bottle of liquor he eased against the back of a building waiting to exhale hoping for the opportunity to pass with out being seen.
A cold chill ran over his spine while he watched his warm breath escape, leaving a trail of vapor in the cold night air feeling for sure they could hear him as he tried to steady his labored breathing. His mind wrestled with him for thoughts as he tried to think where to run. “ Calm down you silly lad, calm down!” His mind raced on leaving hardly enough room in his head for a plan with the exerting panic.
With a harsh curfew bounding the people he found himself the only one on the streets as a jarring feeling in the pit of his stomach quickened his senses having been comfortable knowing every night someone was out whether it had been friend or foe their presence had made a whole difference in the town’s atmosphere. Now to be facing the world alone made him realize how young and vulnerable he truly was not the brazen lad he portrayed to others who rolled with the punches.
He could not help but wish some one would come to his rescue as he prayed for God’s guidance. “ Heavenly Father, I know I have no right to speak to you so abruptly having abandoned my responsibility as a Catholic but I come not only for myself but my people as you well know who have suffered so greatly.” “ As I find myself in this predicament I hope you will disregard my neglects and help me pass through with out harm.” “ If not dear Father please let me at least live long enough for two things.” “One that I should not loose my soul before I confess my sins and the other sweet Lord to say, I love you to Emma.” “ And if you please take care of poor Frances for he is so weak and needs help to survive.”
A sudden earth shaking rumble over took the streets not being sure what it was he quickly examined the situation to find himself facing an officer’s fuming eyes while several young men with rifles attacked their assailants from every street corner. The crack of gun fire and the scalding yells of men sent him leaping out from under the protection of the building while the officer charged after him with the barrel of his gun aimed at Joe’s head. His body seemed to be in slow motion as he tried to escape. His legs became heavy not able to feel his feet hit the ground he stumbled to his knees frozen in a captured state he lowered his head tightly closing his eyes as his body trembled waiting for the burning blow of a bullet to pass through him.
Mr. Von Hoke and Gertrude paced the floor passing each other in their rounds to check the window for any sign of Joe. Gertrude reached out asking for his pocket watch once again. “ Harold I am worried, it is midnight.” “ What if he has been caught how can I face Emma with the news?” “ She will never forgive me and my God if he should be tortured can he with stand his agony in order to not give us all away?” “Neither one of us were thinking clearly when we sent a child to do a man’s work.” Exhausted she let out a sigh and flopped down in a chair as she lit a cigarette. “ As you well know I am not a praying woman but I feel impelled to pray at this time.” Leaning her head down she rubbed her forehead closing her eyes.
The old grandfather clock standing in the corner of the room had always kept bad timing now seemed to gaily chirp as it rang the half hour. Mr. Von Hoke opened the glass face and stopped the time. “ I can’t take that noise it sends a chill to my soul!” “ Why is it when you want the thing to work it never will but now it seems to be smiling with content.” “ I believe when this is all over I will chop it to a million pieces!” He slammed the case shut.
“ I can’t take this I have to go out!” “ I have to find him.” “ I feel it was me who made this error in judgment and me who should set it straight.”
He raced over to his coat slinging it on over his shoulders while Gertrude pleaded with him clinging to his arm. “Harold you can not be thinking!” “What good would become of you too, being caught out?” “ You know this and you know without you we can’t survive!” “ You have to know that I can’t survive if something should happen to you!” “ I can‘t do this not without you.” “Please Harold think!” “ We will wait one more half hour and if he has not returned then go.”
He set down resting his face in his hands. “ Gertrude I am afraid I have jeopardized everyone.” “ How is it I have became so feeble in my planning?” She swiftly sailed toward him kneeling down beside his chair as she kissed the back of his hand. “ Don’t do this to yourself.” She begged in a soft voice. “ You have always helped the needy that is why I care for you so.” “When I had no where to turn for my young sister and I you were there and I have always been grateful for that.” “ These men know you Harold and they know why you fight so.” He raised his head with a faint smile patting her hand. “ You will always be a dear friend to me Gertrude.” “ I knew you were different then most women the day I first saw you.” Once again the room returned to a deafening silence as they anticipated Joe’s return.
Mr. Von Hoke remembering the evil events which proceeded their return from Germany felt he has some how contributed to Joe’s dilemma as he had his mother’s when the soldiers came for him. She refusing to give them information was later found beaten unconscious only to perish in a make shift hospital bed later. He had escaped German hands through the Underground Railroad along with Gertrude and Emma. Fighting his way back to Ireland for the hope of kindled souls was too much to face as the sickening feeling of yet another unpredictable fight erupted.
The sharp claps of thunder broke the stagnant air as bright orange veins of lightening sketched across the deep black sky. Rain returned in a vengeance as it beat the windowpanes. Gertrude renewed her position where she pulled back the heavy drapes peering out into the nothingness as she prayed in silence with a grim heart. The street were unusually blank and secluded with the only moving bare branches from a few trees swaying in the wind. Each time the heavens light she held her breath hoping to see any sign of Joe. She stood silently watching for a figure to appear but the dead of the night stood fast to hold out the trust passing of even one human soul.
Seeing her own reflection in the glass she wiped at her eyes that were heavy from tiredness. With her fingers she combed back her ruffled hair as she wondered how things could get any worse when glancing up in horror to see a man at the door holding a crumpled small body of a boy in his arms as he yelled out in horrifying anguish. “Gertrude it’s me!” “ Let me in!” “ My God!” Stumbling she and Von Hoke scurried to reach the door at the same time.
The young doctor soaked from rain and blood rushed passed to the table where he lay the lifeless body of the young boy. “ Harold you have to fetch my satchel!” “ He’s been shot!” “ I had a feeling things would get out of hand tonight but had no way of knowing that he was on the streets.” “ Gertrude get clean rags and put water on to boil!” “There is no time to waste he has lost to much blood already!”
Mr. Von Hoke was already out the door before Gertrude could react as she rushed to find clean linen tearing them to small shreds as the doctor instructed. “He pressed on the wound with his open hand until she could make a bandage to secure the wound. The blood swished through his fingers as it seeped on to the table while he grunted to get leverage.” I have got to stop this damn bleeding!”
The whirlwind of the excitement only fueled with the entrance of Emma through the back door. She gasps at the sight of the blood. “ Oh my God Gertrude how can I help?” She called out as she hurried to aide them. Gertrude pushed her back away from the sight screaming “ Go!” “ Get out of here!” “I f you want to help check the water on the stove!” “You don’t need to see this Emma!” Shocked at her sister’s reaction she swiftly ran out of the room. Due to his blood stained face she had left unaware of who the young boy was but the effects of the trauma still shattered her heart like glass.
Von Hoke arrived shortly with a briefcase for the young doctor who by now had given up any hope that the boy would survive his injuries. One side of his face was all but completely gone, as he lies gasping for air. Gertrude a strong woman who had seen many bad effects of fighting now found herself in shambles as she held to his failing adolescent hand.
A terminal darkness fell over the quiet room as if an angel of death breath reeks the room. The souls of them all could feel the morose loss as they said their last good -byes to the poor young boy. When he gave up his ghost his small frail hand released its grip from Gertrude’s as she whaled with heart wrenching pain. The young doctor covered his face with the rest of the cloths gently shutting his eyes with his fingers. For a moment only echoes of agony were heard as they stood in silent prayer for yet another young child who lost his life to the unjust war of the streets.
When would it end? Would it end or would it be a fight until every last soul was taken? What right does one have to take the innocent soul of another only wanting to be freed to live as God had given us? The All Mighty in all his glory still gave us a chose to serve him but yet mere men of hate and anger, greed and self-love found it necessary to control the body and souls of others.
Who are we to trample on others as if objects beneath our feet when God with his enormous power loves the meek and the weary like a gentle rain. Our creator telling us in his words to be as children in our hearts, to love one another could only now cause a boiling of his very being. All men had to be a festering sore that needed to be removed as he looked down .
Gertrude softly spoke up through her tears. “Harold, Emma is in the kitchen.” “ I don’t think she needs to see this.” “ Would you guide her back to our home please?” “ I don’t want her to see me in this state.” He gently put his arm around her as he spoke. “ Of course, I will take her straight away.” “ I’ll be back swiftly to help you with his body.” He left the room feeling silently humbled from the death.
Emma sat in the kitchen with her head on the table, her eyes flooded with tears when she looked up to see him. With a strained voice she questioned. “Why Harold?” “Why can this not end?” “ I feel badly for him and his family. I can’t imagine what they will go through when they find out.” “ I can’t even think of losing Gertrude in such away and I can’t even begin to say how I would feel if something happened to Joe.” “ I have grown so fond of him.” Raring her head up her mouth flies open. “ Oh my God!” “ Joe told me today he is going to sneak out!” “Have you heard from him?” She rose up quickly from the thought. “ Did he work today for you as he said?” The look on his face only leads her fear to race in her heart. “ Have you?” “ Have you heard from Him?”
Von Hoke spoke softly as he tried to reassure her he thought he was fine. “ You know Joe, he always comes out in the end.” “ Right now I need to get you back before we are all caught out.” “ Get your wrap and we’ll head on.” He said with his hand out stretched. “Gertrude is not coming?” She questioned as he lead her along.
Helping her with her coat he replied. “ I’ll walk her home shortly, she is wanting to stay here for a spell.”
Emma shrugged her shoulders nonchalant.“ Well then I guess I will go.” “ Joe sometimes shows up late when he has been on the prowl.” “ I can’t sleep until I hear he is ok any way.”
A faint smile came over her face as they left. She went on about some of the things that Joe had done in the past to make her laugh. The more she jabbered the more strain came over his face. By the time he had her safe at home he had made his mind up he would search until he found him.
Finding the effects of the last encounter Von Hoke felt uneasy about Joe. A fire smoldered in the middle of the street. He cunningly eased passed the lighted lamppost deliberately staying in the shadows as he watched for any sign of Joe. As time past his heart was satisfied that Joe must have been ok because among the dead bodies that lie in the street he didn‘t find him. Hearing the officers as they returned for the corpses he darted behind an alleyway where to his joyous surprise were Joe and his faithful friend David O’Toole hiding behind a heap of rubbish from the destroyed buildings.
Joe in a squatting position rose up like a jack in a box with his famous grin when he recognized Mr. Von Hoke. “MR. Hoke?” he called out. “ What pray tell are you doing here?” Mr. Von Hoke gave out a chuckle. “ It’s Von Hoke son.” He laughed. “ But I am so happy to see you that you can call me okie - dokie if you like.”
They all laughed for a brief moment. “You were due back hours ago and I couldn’t just sit around any more so I thought I would come see for myself if you were ok.” “ Ah, I am sorry Mr. Von Hoke but I’m afraid I was detained for a moment with the fighting you see.” He smiled. Von Hoke shook his head with a grin. “ Yes I can see that and that is why I came.”
Joe pointed toward O’Toole who was still seated on the ground. “This is one of my dearest and oldest friends.” “Had it not been for him I am afraid I wouldn’t be standing here with you now.” “ I never thought I would see the day and old man with one wooden leg could out run me but tonight was the exception.” He laughed heartedly. “ I will ever be grateful for such a friend indeed.” He reached down to help David up.
Mr. Von Hoke leaped to shake his hand as O’Toole shocked at the gesture whirled his head to look at Joe then laughingly bared his pink toothless mouth as he wiped his hand on his pants before shaking.
Joe continued with his story. “ I am afraid I did get caught by the officers but he came to my rescue as one had me pinned to the ground.” “ To my answered prayer God sent David here out of no where.” ‘ He blasted that guy to kingdom come before I had a chance to move.” “ Imagine my delighted shock when I heard the gun go off and it wasn’t me slumping to the ground.” “ I had prayed I wouldn’t die before I made some things right in my life and God saw fit to answer I guess because here I am.” He spread his arms out wide to show no harm had come to him.
Mr. Von Hoke shook O’Toole’s hand until O’Toole felt numb from the motion. “ I don’t know how to thank you Mr. O’Toole.” He happily jolted out while still shaking his hand. David although happy he was thankful shyly slipped his hand away. “Uh, the corker has always been kind to me.” “ I had no reservations in helping when I saw the mess he was in.” “ Although I am a wanted man it seems now.” “But what the hell it’s the first time in my life since the last war that any one has wanted me.” He snorted.
While they fled for safety Joe reminded Von Hoke of his duties as he eagerly spoke up. “ By the way I hope you know I safely delivered every message and here are your answers back.” He excitedly pulled out from under his coat the letters of reply. Von Hoke shook his head in amazement as he patted the boy on the back. “ You want do Joe!” “You just want do.” He said as he sang out a sigh of relief. “ Yahoo!” “ If we had more like you son I am sure we would win this war.” “By the way there is a young girl by the name of Emma who waits patiently for your return.” “ I suggest you don’t keep her waiting any longer.” Joe felt ten foot tall after Von Hoke said that. Feeling he was truly a man after all, he sailed a kick in the air waving his hand. “Yes, sir!” He yelped as he raced ahead to find her.
Having been paid for the first time Joe could hardly wait to see Frances. They had not seen each other for months. Father Jacob had deterred them from being together thinking Joe to be a street bum which Frances had explained to him before. They had left secret messages for months under an old hollow log telling each of their events now that Frances lived most of the time in the convent.
Joe checked the log to see if his last letter had been taken. “ Good maybe he will be here soon”. He smiled to himself. He whittled his name on the dead stump with his old pocketknife as he played havoc with a bed of black ants, tormenting them from their beloved eggs while they scuttled along the dirt. Just as he was about to give up a head popped over the hill. The boy seemed to have the same stride as Frances but much heavier form.
He watched the shadowed stature standing in the sun light wave still unable to see their face. When the figure came closer it was clear Frances was inside somewhere having the same big brown eyes but the spirit seemed to have changed as well as the shell it was in bedded in. He no longer had the frail baby face that Joe remembered but a wider jaw line and round strutted belly. Evident that he could read Joe’s expression he looked down at his tummy and laughed shyly. “Me eat well now!” Joe responded with a big bear hug as they both let out a hardy chuckle. “ Me happy one have the luck for such things.” “ You little corker!” Joe cackled while he tried to lift him finding it would be easier to lift the side of a barn. He grunted as his back strained.” Lad, I would say you have been well fed!” “ How are things for you, I mean really?” “ How is your mum?” “ Do you see her at all or you stuck here?”
They both flopped down on the hollow log as Frances answered. “ Mum has been ill it seems.” “ I worry so for her Joe.” “She never comes around any more and every time I ask to come visit she has an excuse for me to stay here.” “Father Jacob tells me she is just a busy woman but I am not that childish.” Putting his elbows on his knees he rested his face in his hands as he went on. “ I don’t think she loves me at all any more.” “I know I was in her way.” “ He also tells me not to worry that I have a home here and him to be thankful for.” “ He gives me every thing I need!” “ I have to thank God for that.” “I am warm now and fed.” “We do play football after class and gosh you know how I love that!”
His sad eyes watered as he gazed out through the sun soaked field keeping a close watch on a flock of birds landing in the tall yellow grass. Joe could see a slight quiver in his jaw when he turned around to face him while Frances swallowed hard trying to choke back the tears. “ Still I miss me and you and home, even if it was cold and dirty it was home.” Standing he picked up a stick slinging it in the air as he questioned. “Think I can kill ‘em from here?” His voice jolted as he gave it all he had. “Never thought I’d miss that cold old cliff we stayed under but I do.”
Whirling around to show a hopeful face he blurted out. “ America!” “Will we still go Joe?”
Joe leaped up and began to sling sticks as fast as he could while his long red curls fell in his eyes. “ Funny you should ask.” “ I haven’t told you about my new job.” “Can’t speak of the details but I can say this, it pays great!” “Ya, little corker!” He ruffled his sweaty hair back with his hand. “You think I would forget about the most important thing in our lives?” He smiled kindly. “Yeah!” He looked up to the powder blue sky spreading his arms wide as he twirled around. “ I’m still saving for that glorious day Frances when we can hear the sharp shrill of the old boat whistle as we leave this world behind and feel the motion of the ocean under our feet!” “Don’t you worry chap, we’ll get there soon!” “I promised didn’t I?” “It’ll be like coming home after a long trip when we receive our welcome home kiss from that great lady who waits with open arms.”
Frances looked at Joe as if he had lost his mind. Dropping his stick he stood still staring with his head cocked to one side while his full red lips puckered in a prefect round circle. Taking a breath then shuffling his feet he stalled for a moment as he grunted a sigh of confusion. Squinting his eyes he finally strained out the question. “What lady you talking about?” With his mouth wide open Joe burst out a belly laugh. “ I wondered what the look was for!” “The statue of liberty Frances!” “ She stands on the shore of New York City for every one to see.”
This is the day of recon, the day when all events of life will be forever altered. Joe pulled out of his back pocket his old faithful slingshot. Keeping his right eye shut he pulled the rubber straps back firmly between his finger and thumb tightening his grip on his tongue that lay loosely to one side of his open mouth.“ Here let’s put a end to the chase and do them in right.” He aimed at the flock of scattered birds deliberately missing them with his shot. With the crisp rattling sounds of dry brush being fired on with stones the birds left in a noisy panic. “ Well sorry about that I guess they’re gone now.” “So tell me then Frances how is it you managed to meet me here today with your secured schedule father Jacob’s has you on?”
Frances squatting on one knee to tie his boot wrote his name with his finger in the dry dusty ground while looking up at Joe with admiration in his eyes the same way he had felt years before when Joe had first came to his rescue.
Joe too had changed from the skinny tall boy he once was to a young adult now forming contour and muscles that beveled out from under his tight white shirt. With his child like grin Frances chuckled under his breath. “ I learn something from you!” “Where there is a need there is a way.” “ Some things will never change.” He smiled.
They both cackled while Frances went on to explain. “ Father Jacobs thinks I will be leaving on a field trip of sorts with the special and talented class today.” “ The Nunn’s who are taking us don’t have our names and faces put together as yet so I have a friend I paid a favor to not long ago who will stand in my place for the day.”
“Frances!” Joe laughed. “ If you get off with this one then I think my work here on earth is done!”
He pulled two tickets out of his shirt pocket flashing them in the air. “Ladies and gentlemen here they are the two most well kept bachelors of Ireland see them in their fine apparel as they wave hello to the over lookers of the game!”“ Oh yes by the way I bought you something.” Dancing stiff legged while twitching his pretend mustache he pointed with a stick he was using as a cane toward a brown paper wrapped package he had placed behind the log.
Frances stirred up a dirt funnel cloud as he huddled to rescue his gift .His eyes were magnified to see a new white shirt almost identical to Joe’s.“ Be Jesus Joe me knows this cost a fortune and you shouldn’t send me such nice things!” “ What about our trip money?” “How then shall we go if we keep wearing such luxury? Joe changed the subject. “ Well we best be off then the game is at noon and we’re catching a ride with Mr. Von Hoke and a few of his friends on their way to a meeting in town. Tossing his stick to the side Frances rushed to change his shirt placing the old one inside the log for safekeeping.
When they arrived at town the streets were quiet not a soul out. In the alley Joe spotted Mr. Von Hoke leaning against an old farm truck while he lit a cigarette. The down spout on the building trickling from left over rain fall sent a chill up Joe’s spine from the dripping echo a reminder of the night he set in fear hoping to pass the black and tans. The man was dressed out of character with a plaid jacket and weathered brown hat leaning into the back of the truck where canvas covered boxes were pushed to one side he looked around catching Joe’s expression. “ Hey chap!” “ You ready for the trip?” “ Can’t say it is in a style becoming to your nice new clothes there Joe but it will get you there.” Mr. Von Hoke stamped out his cigarette as he ran over to hold the door for two men coming out of his place of business carting even more crates.
The ride rough and quiet as they traveled the bumpy back roads all the way to the next town while the only scenery a few old emaciated cows grazing in pasture and a jackrabbit or two leaping out in front of the old rattle trap truck. Frances now ill watching the tall blades of grass whiz by in such a state it blinded into a green blur while a brown haze of dirt followed them close behind as they sped on.
The wind danced about Joe’s long red curls, as he held tight to his dress hat. He had only purchased it a few days before with much encouragement from Emma. She had convinced him to be someone you had to look like someone first before people would take him serious. Frances kept his head down for a moment when Joe noticed his color had turned to ash, right in time to miss the whirl of this morning breakfast as it flew by. “Oh be Jesus, Frances why ya go and do that for?” Joe squalled out with his face twisted. “ You know you can’t watch the road like that!”
Poor Frances leaned over the edge of the truck as the two men in back with them gave each other a sour look trying to avoid any contact with him. His voice weak carried little in the wind as he faintly squeaked out with his mouth a pale blue. “ I’m sorry Joe.” then rolling to the edge of the truck bed holding his stomach daring not move he slept until their arrival.
The weekend a welcomed change as the crowd hustled in to see the game. While the bleachers on both sides were full they found themselves parked at the edge of the field. It was obvious they were unhappy campers as both stood arms folded frowning while watching. “ Damn nation!” Joe stormed out “ We never meant to be all this way to stand.” “ We will find us a place to rest you just wait until some of these men decide to go for a cool drink and see what happens!”
He kicked up a puff of dirt as he wiped the sweat from his frowning brow with the back of his sleeve. “ Damn again!” he raged, “ Just look what me did to my new shirt with all this dirt on me head.” A brown streak ran down the sleeve of his white shirt where he had wiped his face. “Me gets one good shirt and ruins it!” “ Damn sun too!” It has never been so warm, wouldn’t know it would be today just for me I suppose!”
When he looked over at Joe Frances couldn’t help but laugh as his shoulders shriveled inward. Trying to keep Joe from seeing his chuckle he turned his head covering his mouth with his hand as he cackled like a hyena.
The hot afternoon sun deliberately danced over their heads as if to say curse me why don’t you for their wasn’t a cloud in the sky while they watched the crowd with their shaded spot still fan at the heat. It boiled Joe” s soul that they were left standing.
Mr. Von Hoke having delivered his goods to the appropriate people now stood in the quant kitchen of one of his dearest and fondest friends who was so willing to help the cause. She how ever was kept a silent partner for her sake as well as for others. He set cross-legged at the small breakfast table sipping a hot cup of coffee as she counted money out on the table.
Her jolly laughing voice was keen to his ears but he knew in her heart she meant well. Having met her several years back during his stay at London, which lead them to becoming friends after bumping into each other on several occasions .She, still lived in London but was here on vacation from the hustle of city life and wanted to visit family she seldom had the chance to see. Her enormous breast swished across the edge of the table like a large dishrag sweeping up crumbs as they raked the money to one side when she leaned over to count it. Placing it in satchel for safekeeping she again giggled childishly from the sight of her finding loose money stuck to the breast of her dress.
Mr. Von Hoke ever grateful found it better not to look a gift horse in the mouth never ask where all the money came from although he knew she originated from a family who were fairly well off he also knew she worked as a seamstress and made little on her own.
He looked away pretending not to notice the money stuck to her chest with that her expression changed to an almost child like disappointment. She never gave out any information this time either for her means of money and as usual he never asked. Their conversation was kept quite airy and light.
She a robust lady no doubt loved to eat as well as feed. She had a mother hen look about her with her white clubby hands she reached over to fill his plate once again with the delighted effects of yet more sweet rolls as he quickly called out. “ Oh no I couldn’t!” He waved his hand across the plate. “ You feed me too well.” He had a way of flirting with his soft bedroom eyes without being aware of it which was a blessing at times and sometimes a down fall.
Seeing the dreamy look in her eyes as she stood over him hovering her enormous breast on the tip of his shoulder like a hawk on the wings of a sparrow he squirmed around in his chair trying to get some control of the situation without hurting her feelings. “Clearing his throat he choked a bit knowing that she would immediately run over to the kettle for more coffee.