The next day, McQueen slowly drove to Ramone's House of Body Art. With all of the excitement going on the past few days, he had almost forgotten about his scraped up cheek and top part of his mouth, which were still showing silvery metal color. Ramone had promised him that he'd fix it up at no cost.
Upon pulling up near the House of Body Art, McQueen stopped and gasped at what he saw. Out in front of Ramone's place of business he could see a massive battle going on between the Impala and Markus. Ramone, this time, was a bright neon orange color that looked somewhat iridescent. However, his precious new paint job didn't seem to matter to him anymore as he clashed with Markus, cheek to cheek and wheel to wheel. If Markus would try to get past, Ramone would swerve over to block him. Once or twice Ramone jacked himself up high above Markus, as if making himself taller would scare some sense into the old Thunderbird.
"If you think I'm gonna feex your scrapes, you gotta another thing comin'." McQueen heard Ramone shout before giving Markus another bash. "And you keep your tires off my wife! If I catch you around my wife again, you're going to see how mad Ramone can get."
McQueen quickly drove up to the battle and pulled to a stop beside Markus.
"Hey, Markus, chill!" he said. Markus pulled back and eyed the red race car. "What is going on here?"
"You wanna know what's going on?" Markus glared at both McQueen and Ramone. "He won't fix my paint damage." Markus gestured towards the low rider.
"Is that true, Ramone?" McQueen turned toward his friend.
"Why should I? He's done nothing but cause trouble here ever since he came. I can refuse to do business with him if I want to. And anyone who keeps flirting with my wife is no customer of mine!"
"So what if I threw a few kisses at her. I didn't mean any harm by it."
Ramone started towards Markus again, but McQueen stopped him. "Listen, guys, we can solve this without the fighting. Ramone, I think it would be nice if you could fix Markus up."
McQueen secretly winked at his friend.
"Oh! Yeah, yeah suuure. Ramone will feex him up nice." Ramone smiled and nodded that he understood. Truthfully, he didn't understand and he had no idea what McQueen had in mind, but he was going to play along with him anyway. He knew McQueen had plans for Markus so he would do anything he could to help out.
"I know Markus acts like a big jerk, but we've all got to be nice to him since he is, after all, our guest. Doc took care of the dents, now you've got to take care of the paint."
"Heeey!" Markus peered evilly at McQueen. "Who are you calling a big jerk?"
"Jerk! Did I say jerk?" McQueen smiled. Markus only glared. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. Erm, Ramone, fix our guest up, will you?" McQueen backed away as Markus slowly rolled forward, all the time keeping his eyes on the race car. Ramone led Markus into his shop and closed the door.
When Markus came out, he looked new. One would never know he had been in an accident. Ramone gleamed with pride at his work of art.
"Good as new!" Ramone smiled. "Now, about the bill,"
"Forget it!" Markus snapped. "I don't have to pay you anything if I don't want to."
"Hey, man, you wanted a paint repair so I gave you one. You have to pay for it like anything else."
"Hah!" Markus huffed. "Who says? Huh? Who says I have to pay for anything?"
Markus gently nudged Ramone's cheek.
"It was just a couple of sprays of paint. Do you honestly think I'm going to pay for something like that?"
Ramone glared at Markus as he continued.
"Listen, low rider, I've been in other places before; places that are more secluded than this town. The folks there," Markus stopped to chuckle. "They got in their heads after awhile that I didn't have to pay for anything. Yeah, it's true."
Ramone remained silent, not daring to say anything. Markus got closer to his face and grinned.
"Do you catch my drift?"
The Impala forced himself to nod that he understood.
"Good." Markus pleasingly smiled. "And this conversation is between you and me. No one else needs to hear."
Not having anything else to say, Markus turned and drove off down the road and out of sight.
"Who does he think he is?"
Ramone turned and was relieved to see McQueen coming around the corner where he had obviously been listening.
"Someone who didn't pay for my paint repair." Ramone fumed. "And where does he get off saying something like that? Is he trying to scare me?"
"Sounded like it."
"I wonder if he was the reason that other town decided he didn't have to pay anything."
"You mean as in scaring and threatening them?"
Ramone nodded. All was silent for some time until McQueen broke the silence.
"Hey, I came in for that repair job you promised." McQueen grinned, changing the subject. Ramone smiled and led the way.
"After what I just went through, it'll be a pleasure, my friend."
"Kinda looks like you need a repair job yourself." McQueen nodded toward the scrapes and nicks in the paint on Ramone's cheeks.
"I'll take care of it after I feex you up."
It wasn't but a few minutes later when McQueen came out of the body art place. His once battered cheek and mouth were shiny red again and a new headlight sticker took the place of the old torn one. He thanked Ramone for the job and proceeded to drive off to see what other damage Markus was doing. He was tempted to tell Sheriff about the little incident he had just witnessed at Ramone's. In fact he would. Sheriff had the right to know what was going on and the threats and scares Markus threw at Ramone were totally uncalled for.
It was only a short drive to the café, but McQueen decided to take the long way around and come around by way of the back, just in case Markus was waiting for him. He turned and headed down a small back road that would take him directly to the café, but was suddenly stopped when Markus came out of nowhere and blocked his way.
"Well, well. I see someone else got a paint repair too." Markus circled around McQueen. "Looks nice."
McQueen was careful, very careful. All the while of Markus circling him he kept a sharp eye on him.
"I guess you think that I wasn't aware of you listening to the little conversation I had with your friend back there." Markus stopped in front of McQueen again and grinned. "Truth is, I knew you were around that corner the whole time."
Lightning's eyes grew wide.
"And I imagine that you're probably on your way to tell Sheriff all about it. Am I correct?"
"You'd better know you're correct!" McQueen came towards Markus. "I'm going to tell him everything and you aren't going to stop me."
McQueen started to go around Markus, but the Thunderbird moved to block him again and started to laugh in a way that sent chills down Lightning's back.
"You aren't going anywhere unless I say so. And I say you aren't going to see Sheriff about anything." As he spoke, Markus eyed a bug that landed on the pavement and then turned his attention back to McQueen. "If you go to Sheriff and tell him it just might make me a little angry."
McQueen narrowed his gaze.
"And believe me, you don't want to see me when I'm angry." Markus raised his wheel and brought it down sharply onto the pavement, squashing the helpless bug into something unrecognizable. Lightning gasped. "I tend to do things that I regret later."
"I know your game, Markus." Lightning smirked. "You're just scaring me to get what you want. Just like you scared Ramone into letting you go without paying for that paint repair you're now wearing. Well let me tell you something, mister. I'm not going to fall for it. It may have worked in other towns, but it's not going to work here. And you want to know why? Because I'm not only going to tell Sheriff, but I'm going to tell everyone what you did to Ramone and what you're doing to me."
Lightning started to go around the other side of Markus, but again the Thunderbird moved to block him. McQueen sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Wait, wait, wait. Hold on." Markus cleared his throat. "Did I just hear what I think I heard?"
"You think you're someone smart, don't you? Just because you're a famous racer, you think you're someone smart and special."
"It's not that at all."
"You're just a stupid, immature, wimp and weakling of a car."
"Excuse me?" McQueen backed up in shock. "Apparently you haven't looked in a mirror lately, pal."
Markus's anger flared.
"I'm warning you, wimp." Markus backed up and turned to go. "You keep what happened back there and right here to yourself or you're going to find yourself lying on a lift in the hospital. And your old doctor friend won't be able to tell which end he's looking at."
After being satisfied that he got his point across, Markus turned and drove off and disappeared around a corner. Lightning let out a long breath and sigh, not fully understanding what all had just taken place. After getting his thoughts back, McQueen started forward. He knew what he had to do and he wasn't going to let some uptight, snobby car like Markus stop him. So what if Markus had threatened him and scared him? The town had a right to know what kind of car Markus was turning out to be and what the future possibly held for them all. Not only were they helpless in fighting Markus off, they were also his friends.
Lightning McQueen pulled into the café where Flo was busy serving a customer. McQueen was more than relieved to see Sheriff lazily relaxing and talking to Doc Hudson. He immediately pulled up beside the police car.
"Sheriff, I need to speak to you."
"Well go ahead, boy, I'm right here."
Sheriff's eyes raised a little and then turned to Doc. Doc nodded and turned to leave, but McQueen stopped him.
"No wait," Lightning hesitated a moment. "Maybe it's best that you hear this too."
Doc turned back around and got comfortable again and waited for McQueen to continue.
"I just got back from Ramone's." He started in a low tone. "And you won't believe what I've just witnessed."
McQueen told Sheriff and Doc the whole story, not leaving out one single detail. All the time he kept his voice as low as possible as if Markus was watching him from every corner, waiting for him to make a move like this.
"And he really threatened to beat you up if you told me about all of this?" Said Sheriff, after McQueen had finished.
"Yeah! He didn't come right out and say it in that way. He just simply said that if I didn't keep it to myself that I would find myself in the hospital with Doc not telling which end he's looking at."
Doc's eyes suddenly widened at the choice of words.
"Sheriff, I thought I needed to tell you. I don't want to see this town and everyone fall into Markus's grasp. If we let him he'll get this town so scared out of its wits that we'll be in his control before long. He'll get anything he wants from us without having to pay for anything. And we'll look like fools to him."
"I appreciate it, McQueen." Sheriff sighed. "You did right by telling me. I admire you for your bravery. You didn't have to say anything, what with Markus threatening you and all."
"That's why I wanted to speak to you in private. I don't want Markus to know that I told you. And I definitely don't want the rest to hear how Markus is shaping up. It'll throw everyone into a panic."
"Believe me; this will remain between the three of us. Right, Doc?"
Doc Hudson nodded.
"So do you still have plans on how to get rid of Markus?" Sheriff asked.
"Yeah, I do." McQueen smiled. "Although I'm waiting for the right moment. It hasn't come yet."
"How will you know when it does?"
"Oh, I'll know." McQueen again smiled. "I will know."