Thanks for dropping by the Scribbler. I posted Part 1 of this story last week and if you want to check that out, just scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were ten years old and came across a parked car in the field? Wouldn't you be curious too?
Two Boys, One Wagon & a Secret - Part 2.
(copyright is held by the author)
And then Beans says, “We didn’t do very good in school did we? My folks keep telling me I can do better. I hate studying, I only like arithmetic… and comics.”
The topic of school is a tender one for Chops. The new teacher has an obvious dislike for him. He’s not a fast thinker like Beans; he needs to hear complicated things repeated to understand them and their instructor is short on patience. The rural school is one room, thirty-three kids, eight grades. He claims that he cannot devote personal time to each student and ignores those with learning disabilities. There’s no help at home; the Sangster’s as a whole would get a C-.
“I don’t think my folks care; we’re all kinda dumb. I wish I could like arithmetic, but I love reading. And I really like your comics.”
“You’re not dumb. I’ll help you with the arithmetic.”
The offer is sincere, both bashful before the banter continues.
Another time, Chops says, “You like Mary Jane Baker, don’t you?”
The quiet across the road causes Beans to look back at Chops, who stops walking. His face is so red that you can’t see his freckles. He’s so angry, he’s sputtering,
“D-d-d-don’t say that again. It’s not true.”
Beans starts laughing, realizing from the reaction that it is true and ambles through the ditch singing. “Phil and Mary Jane up in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G...”
“And don’t call me Phil.”
Beans is not listening and scurries up onto the road. Waving to his partner, he yells out, “C’mon, let’s head into Mr. Harnett’s. He’ll be expecting us. If we hurry, we can still do the other way – at least down to the old gravel pit, there’s always some there.”
Chops forgets Mary Jane for now and hurries to catch up as Beans heads into the bachelor’s lane.
“Yeah and there’s always some of those soggy, rubbery things – at least one. Did you ask your dad yet what they are? Mine told me to forget about it, that I’d know soon enough, whatever that means.”
“No, but I asked my brother. They’re called condoms, but Dave says everybody calls them rubbers.”
Chops catches up to his friend as he ponders the new information, trying to visualise a pair of boots that small. The lane they’re on is dirt and winds through a dense wooded area for a couple hundred feet until it opens onto huge fields on either side. The rich soil is green with new shoots of wheat perfectly aligned; running parallel to the road on one side while in the other field grass grows will, along with purple clover, white daisies, yellow buttercups, legumes and other herbaceous plants that will eventually become fodder. The ground is still damp from yesterday’s rain; the bouquet of worked earth permeates the air, causing the boys to stop more than once to breathe deeply and comment on how good it smells.
The road eventually splits in two. The lane to the right narrows as it continues for five hundred feet, ending at a neat white farmhouse, two storeys with a verandah in the front and a one-storey kitchen in the back. The yard is thoughtfully groomed, but there are no flowers. Mr. Harnett lives alone. His sister and her husband live down the other road.
A large barn and two smaller out buildings are arranged strategically behind the house. The wooden shingles are weathered as grey as storm clouds; the doors are painted bright red. The property reflects the owner’s pride. A brand new Chevy Apache sits beside the house, facing them as they approach. The truck’s double headlights seem to stare at them. A tall bushy haired man is polishing the chrome bumper. Without turning around he says, “I was wondering what you two rascals might be up to; you’re usually here before this.”
Wiping his hands on the cotton cloth, he stands to face the boys. Mr. Harnett towers above them and if not for his perpetual smile, he might seem foreboding. Instead, he’s a person happy with his lot. The three chat for a bit, the man teasing the boys and the curious boys asking about the new truck. Mr. Harnett soon sends them off to the front steps where he has placed this week’s empties.
“Goodness, your wagon is full. Think you can fit some more in there?”
Chops is toting the bottles to the cart. Beans waves back saying, “We’ll carry them if we have to. Thanks a lot Mr. Harnett; you’re a swell guy.”
Harnett grins as he watches the lads tuck some of the bottles in upside down between the others. Beans ends up carrying three as they head out the lane. Both boys gaze back at him briefly and he gives them a wave before returning to his polishing. Chops tugs on the wagon as they come up the slight rise that leads to the wooded area. When they are about twenty feet away from the woods, the sun that had been hiding behind a cloud bursts out and glints off something metallic at the edge of the field, causing both boys to look up. They stop where the hay field meets the woods. Tire tracks tell them a vehicle has driven across the culvert and through the uncut grasses. The field extends for a good distance, the land is slightly hilly and except for the antenna, the vehicle is hidden from their view. The ten year olds are filled with curiosity. Chops says, “Those tracks weren’t there when we came in.”
Beans sets the bottles he’s carrying down beside the wagon.
“And we know it isn’t Mr. Harnett.”
“Could be his brother-in-law.”
“Naw, his truck was at the house, I saw it across the way.”
The boys are given to wild imaginations; rumours they hear are given more credibility when something mysterious enters their energetic minds. Chops is the reader, his thinking more creative.
“Suppose it could be whoever stole Jason Lawson’s horse?”
The fact that it would be the unlikeliest of hiding places did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm. Instead, it fuelled on the possibility of intrigue. Beans is the action one.
“We should go see.”
“I don’t know, Beans. What if it is a thief or worse, thieves?”
“C’mon, we’ll just sneak along the woods and see. If it’s strangers, we’ll come back and tell Mr. Harnett. He’d want to know.”
“Okay, but you go ahead and be quiet.”
They pull the wagon closer to the tall spruce that borders the road. The boys enter the woods, keeping the field on their right. Watching where they step so as to be quiet, they approach to the edge of the field. A womanly shriek stops them dead. It sounds like she’s in pain. It startles the two so keenly that Chops almost wets himself. He quickly turns around to head back, but is stopped by a Beans’ hiss. “Wait! It sounds like a woman and she could be hurt.”
“I don’t care. I’m scared. Let’s go.”
“Don’t be a sissy.”
Beans moves forward slowly, Chops reluctantly following. When they hear voices and groaning, they drop to their knees. Crawling toward the sounds, they come to the rim of the field. A white Pontiac is parked at the crux of the right angle of field and woods. The nose of the car faces them, both doors wide open. From below the passenger’s door, tangled in the long grass, are four legs. The two feet pointing up have coloured nails and something pink and lacy hangs from one ankle. The feet pointing down are shod with black shiny shoes, dress pants scrunched about the ankles, toes digging in the dirt. The car rocks with the same rhythm as the thrusting of the heels. The boys don’t understand what is happening. They are shocked at what they see yet mesmerized by the moaning.
A piercing yell almost causes Beans and Chops hearts to stop, scaring them so intensely. They hold their breath. They want to hug the earth but are frozen by what they see. The car is heaving back and forth more rapidly. A man’s head appears in the windshield, bent unbelievingly back, his eyes tightly shut, lips stretched into a grimace, spittle flying from his mouth as he exclaims, “Yes baby, yes baby, yes baby…”
Suddenly everything stops, the head disappears, the feet stop moving, the car settles down. They boys stare at each other in total disbelief. The two innocents have yet to experience an orgasm and for the life of them cannot fathom what they have just seen. There is mumbling coming from the car, nothing they can discern. Chops stares at Beans now, wondering what they should do. A womanly voice urges softly but commandingly, “Okay, get off me now.”
The lads are stunned when they see the man stand up before bending down to retrieve his trousers. It’s Horatio Glendenning, their schoolteacher. A young lady sits up in the car, tugging at the pink fabric around her ankle, placing the other foot gently through. Standing behind the man, the woman wiggles the tight panties into place. When she moves aside to straighten her dress, her face is in full view. It isn’t Mrs. Glendenning. They don’t know who it is. Chops is started by a soft blow to his shoulder. Beans begins to creep away. “Let’s get the dickens outta here.”
They are almost running when they get to the wagon. Beans tosses the three empties he’d been carrying into the ditch. “We’ll get those next week.”
Standing behind the wagon, he gestures for Chops to start pulling while he pushes. The boys are soon scooting down the wooded lane. Veering to the left the two head directly home, ignoring whatever empties might be had along the way. There are too many questions. Their innocent minds can’t understand why the woman had her underwear off, why the car was shaking, or why the man was repeating himself. They figure that their teacher was punishing the woman for something.
The conversation drifts when they turn into Beans driveway and head for the garage. Unloading the wagon in silence, each boy is preoccupied with his own thoughts. Looking to Beans for the answers, Chops asks, “What are we going to do?”
“Nothing right now. I’m going to talk to my brother Dave about this.”
Even though he was only fifteen, Dave, like his brother and father, is big for his age. He made it a point to “run into” Mr. Glendenning at the Farmer’s Market one Saturday morning in July. And when the boys started back to school in the fall, they never failed an exam. Chops is the first one in his family to get an A.
Thanks for visiting the Scribbler. Hope you enjoyed meeting "Beans & Chops".
Please watch for details of my newest novel coming soon.