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 May's.


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 the obligation.

To be Continued



Posted here courtesy of Midway Publications - Copyright 1999 William T. Usher All rights reserved


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