The Last Time
I Ever Took Anybody's Word
A week later,
the Sheriff drove up in the holler, stopped at our house,
got out, walked up on the porch and knocked on the door. It
scared May's mother half to death when she opened it.
The Sheriff asked, "Is Bill Usher home today?" I was in the
kitchen and right away I walked into the front room and
said, "I'm Bill Usher."
The Sheriff said, "we've found your bus up in Mt. Airy,
behind a skating rink. According to what the sheriff up
there said, they searched through it and found some dead
snakes in it, frozen as stiff as a block of ice. The man at
the rink said that it was left there after the fair was over
and the carnival left town. Here's his name and phone
number." He then handed me a note with the information on
it. I thanked the Sheriff.
He said, "You're
welcome. Anytime that you need help, just give us a call."
He got in his car and backed all the way down the hollow.
What happened, two weeks after Bill failed to bring the bus
back to us, I reported it stolen and the State Police put
out a five state bulletin in order to find it.
Now, with two grand in our pockets, May and I decided to go
to Bristol to see if we could find a walk-in van to make
into a camper.
We found a nice, big, all aluminum used bakery truck. After
road checking it and seeing that it wasn't smoking out the
tail pipe, I paid the guy eight hundred. He filled out the
title transfer papers, put on a ten day tag and I drove it
back home, with May following behind in the car.
In the weeks that followed, we built living quarters in it.
Spring was in sight and my feet were getting itchy, as were
A week later, we
decided to go up to Mt. Airy and get the bus and ready it up
for the season. When we took a look at it, our hearts
stopped beating. Almost every window was broken and so was
the windshield. Two of the tires were flat and when I raised
the hood I saw a big crack in the side of the block.
About that time, a police car came by, stopped and the
officer wanted to know what we were doing, rummaging through
the bus. I explained the situation to him and showed him my
driver's license and the note that the Sheriff had given me.
He said, "It wasn't too bad a looking bus when they brought
it in here after the fair but it sure is a piece of junk
now. The kids around here will sure wreck'em if they're
unprotected. I wouldn't mind having it down at the fish
camp, though, it would "make a good" thing to camp in.
Knowing that with the snakes dead, the tent mildewed, the
windows busted out and the block cracked, I told the officer
that he could have it. He said, "Are you serious?" I relied,
"I sure am. I'll even sign the title over to you."
The cop said that he would like to have it so I signed the
title and handed it to him, saying, "We might see you at the
fair this fall." Then we drove away.
That's the last time I ever took anybody's word or promise
in a business deal. Maybe the guy's intentions were good but
something happened along the way and he couldn't live up to
To be Continued