And Not to Yield
Chapter 10: Parody on Chap. 8
Note to the Unwary
To really understand what is going on here you have to know that some of the characters in the story are actually based on friends of mine: Lucille (aka the 'Duchess'), Norm, and their daughter, Jessica. When the ninth and final chapter was finished I felt so exhilarated that I found it impossible to stop what I had been doing and was only finally able to wind down by writing a separate chapter for them; especially Norm, as I got to thinking that I had dedicated the story to Jessica, written the Duchess in as a semi-major character, but out side of a casual mention had not mentioned my good friend Norm.
You should also be familiar with the old Kenny Roger's song: Lucille. I about cracked up the first time I heard it years ago, since Norm is a big man; he and Lucille live on the family farm; and had four kids living at home at the time. The song seemed written for them, but of course this 'Lucille' never left her man.
Anyway, no one but us - or maybe just me.. may think this is funny, but there you go...
To Yield, But Not Much,
And For A Good Reason, Perhaps...
As Magnum stood looking over the ocean holding the Duchess to his side, there came the sound of scuffling footstep on the trail up to the knoll. Turning his head he saw a big man along the lines of Dick Bukis, wearing a sweat stained Stetson, emerge onto the knoll. The man's eyes glowed as he took in the scene and he strode quickly to where the two were standing. The Duchess stepped aside from Magnum as she turned to see who had arrived. As she did the big man hit Magnum opened handed in the chest knocking him back to the very edge of the precipice. Magnum spun around and wildly waved his arms as he teetered on the brink. The Duchess cried out, and just as it seemed Magnum was doomed to fall, the big man reached out and grabbing him by his shirt collar yanked him back.
However, Magnum's rescue was short lived for the big man quickly fastened his other hand on Magnum's belt and swinging him like a bale of hay tossed him far out over the edge. As Magnum's wails disappeared with his flailing form, the big man turned angry hurt eyes on the Duchess as he towered over her. "You've picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.." he began.
With a gasp the Duchess reached out and grabbing his shirt started shaking him. It was akin to shaking a tree but suddenly he blinked and looked at her with questioning eyes. "Norman! You've been listening to that Oldies station again, haven't you?" She shook him furiously. "Haven't you? After all the times I've told you not to."
"Oh, dang nub it!" The man exclaimed as he spun to peer over the edge of the cliff. "What the hell have I gone and done now? Oh, shee..it!" He exclaimed as he turned a hang dog expression to face the Duchess' shaking head. "I'm sorry, Lucille, its just that I forgot my breakfast this morning, and dog gone it, then Jessica, I mean Lani, gave me a call and asked if it was okay if I could buy my lunch just for today, as she wanted to visit a Rick fellow who was almighty hurt in the hospital, and I said yes... and then dang blast it, Lucille, I went an found I'd forgotten my wallet, too!" He jerked his Stetson off his head and smacked his blue jean covered leg with it. "I scrounged around the inside of the pickup but I couldn't only find a few nickels and a dime, and suffering succotash you now how expensive food is now a days, and all I could afford was a Snickers Bar, and you know I shouldn't have even eaten the damn thing since all they are is sugar, and you know how ever since that there bay mare kicked me in the head, sugar just seems to make me powerfully upset sometimes, and then I remembered how Snickers Bars used to be only a nickel and good for a few bites but now they ain't nothing, and I got to thinking about those good times and when I got in the pickup why I just naturally tuned in that Oldies station, 'cause I just plum forgot I wasn't supposed to and then I got home and jumpin' Jehosophat there weren't no food, and then con sarn it, my wallet was gone!" He rubbed the white patch of hair that covered the steel plate they'd put in after the kicking incident and shrugged his shoulders and grimaced at the Duchess. "Sos I remembered you said you were going to be up here to say goodbye to that freakin' wild man and darn if I don't find you in the arms of another.."
The Duchess shook him again. "Its those damn songs, Norman. This is now!"
Putting out a big hand he hung his head. "I'm sorry, Lucille. I truly am."
"Oh, come on," the Duchess said taking him by the arm and walking them to the trail. "You big silly goose, I know you forgot your breakfast and your wallet. That's why," she reached into her purse and pulled out a big wallet, "I brought it along with me. I was going to go out to the corral after we were finished here and give it to you. I also brought your breakfast but its in the trunk of the Ferrari and I don't guess we'll be able to get it now."
"Well, that's another thing, Lucille. The guys at the house been razing me about you having a visitor driving a whore wagon and well, I know there ain't nuthin' to that, but, well, you know how I always wanted one of those fancy pickup machines but con sarn it even if I could afford one there ain't no way I can even get in the damn thing. I was breakin' horses for one of those rich mucky mucks who liked to drive one and by Jove if he didn't tell me to go ahead take it for a spin one day, so I jumped over the door like I seen everyone else do and damn it to hell if I didn't end up stuck in that thing with my feet up in the air, my elbow jammed in the steering wheel, and the damn gear shift like to goosin' me to death.. and well, any way when I drove up here and didn't see your car but saw that whore wagon all I could think of was that we'd been through some hard times, lived thru some sad.." he stopped abruptly as the Duchess grabbed his belt and shook it.
"Norman, its that damn song again. Okay?" The Duchess looked at him and shook her head reprovingly, before starting down the trail again.
"Dog gone it, I'm sorry, Lucille." Norman hurried to catch up with her. "Its just hard to describe. Sometimes I feel like electricity is just a shooting thru that damn plate and then there's this rosy glow to everything and I remember the good ole days like it was just yesterday." Catching up to her he wrapped a big arm around her as they reached the bottom of the trail. "Why I remember when we first met, you were a beautiful filly, by god." He grinned as she squealed and slapped his hand.
"Now, Norman, behave yourself. We're out in public after all." The Duchess smiled over her shoulder as she jumped away from his reaching arm.
Norman laughed and nodded his head. "Okay, okay. I'm too famished anyway. What with getting up 'fore daylight and breaking horses all day and no breakfast and no lunch, I'm feelin' a mite peaked."
Suddenly the Duchess stopped and turned with a frown on her face, and looked up with concern. "Now, Norman. I'm a little confused here. Its only ten twenty, so why are you talking like its the afternoon?"
"What? What do you mean its only ten twenty?" He stopped and shading his eyes stared up toward the sun in consternation. "Why it can't be."
"Well, it is." The Duchess raised her arm to show him her watch, and then pointed at the sun still on its journey towards high noon. "Its not noon yet." As he stood peering around the skyline she came up next to him and wrapped her arms around him. "You got your directions mixed up again didn't you, sweetie?" She said softly.
"Well, golly be. Dang if it isn't so. You know this is the most confusing place I ever been. Why back home you look up and there's Mount Rainier big as day over there in the west and Mount Adams asticking up south of there, and north and south the foothills are forming brown walls rolling east, and off toward the east is nuthin. Why a man knows his place there without even thinking. But here, well there's mountain side, and there's ocean side, and they can be north, east, west, or south or all mixed together, and its all enough to get a man so confused..."
Suddenly he got a disgusted look on his face and taking the Duchess by a shoulder in each big hand stepped back and bent down to look her in the face. "Now just wait a dang blasted minute, Lucille. This ain't my fault. Think about it."
"Why, whatever are you on about, Norman?" The Duchess blinked in confusion.
"If it ain't evening or even afternoon then how the hell am I supposed to deliver my Exit Line?" He gave a little nod of righteousness and bit his lip. "How am I supposed to do that, I ask you now?"
"Oh.." The Duchesses eyes grew round and she put a hand to her mouth. "Why, you're right, Norman. You are absolutely right."
"That damn writer, he screwed up again." Norman exclaimed as he stood back and shook his fist while looking up out of the page.
"And did you notice he also forgot to have me say something about how maybe that big lummox Magnum knows how to swim, so the reader might have an idea that he wasn't going to be dashed to pieces on the rocks and make me out to be a loony tune killer like that wild man friend of yours. I ask you, Lucille. What kind of cheap story have we got ourselves into where I can't even ask you, 'What's for Dinner?', without being made into a crazed killer, eh?" Norman turned narrowing speculative eyes up out of the page. "You know I'm thinking that..."
--- Dissolve ---
Magnum's flailing arms wind milled in the air as he fought to control his scattered wits and body. Just before he plunged into the heaving waves he gained enough control so he hit with his hands together, his arms slightly bent and extended.
As he plummeted blindly down into the green depths he felt blessed for each split second that passed without smashing into a rock and being turned into crab food. When his hands did hit, it was a gravely bottom and he turned his plunge into a controlled roll as he absorbed most of the impact with his arms. Getting his feet under him he pushed off toward the surface and with a gasp broke thru into the sunlight.
Catching a retreating wave he swam out past the breakers and then turned to follow the shore line until he could make a safe landing on a sandy spit. Pulling himself out of the water he shook his head and swiped the water from his face with wet hands.
"Well, that was just great," he grimaced as he looked up out of the page. "Thanks a lot."
--- Fini ---