When I got to the pub, I unlocked the front door. The pub was just like I left it the night before. I went to the pub for a least an hour or two every night. I made sure everything was going smoothly. I knew The Brit would never ask for help, but I intended to be there if he needed it. He was the only friend I had left. Plus we were in the Mary Ellen thing together.
The first thing I did to prepare for the evening’s customers was to wash the beer mugs from the night before. The sink was three stainless steel thing. The first sink was filled with hot water. The second was a rinse of hot water and third sink held a sanitizer made with a special mixture to kill any germs left over from the other two sinks.
Next I fired up the coffee pot. Since I would be drinking while I worked, I would need the coffee for sure. I had the glasses finished when Juanita arrived. The pub didn’t prepare lunch they served only the evening meal. Even then it was mostly sandwiches with only a meat pie for those who wanted more.
Customers started to wander in around six o’clock. After six people came and went, until midnight when I turn on the overhead light and shut the door. Shortly there after the place emptied out and Juanita left for the evening. I went to the alley behind the pub to pick up my cruiser van,
I felt a little under dressed during my evening in the cut off jeans and tee shirt. Even so I managed to keep he place running. Not only had I helped build the bar, I had also been on of it’t best customers. I went there at some time everyday. I drank a cup coffee with the Brit every day. Yeah I realized he was my only real friend.
That Sunday I called a lot of my acquaintances and had them drop in for a drink. There were sheriff’s deputies and highway patrolmen. The cops occupied half the bar and the motorcycle guys occupied the other half. Mixed in were a few girls as well.
The pub was only half filled but it was more than I expected. Also more than the Brit had expected. Juanita ran out of food about nine o’clock. So I called the pizza restaurant at the plaza and them bring several pizzas to the pub.
Juanita left before I closed the pub, so I was alone when there was a knock on the door. “Are you alright?” I asked Juanita.
“No a man grabbed me in the alley,” she said crying
I took the .22 magnum out back just as soon I was sure she was okay. The alley was empty I would bet my life that he ran away just as soon as Juanita did. He wouldn’t want to be there when the cops or her family came looking for him.
“Juanita I need to get you to a hospital.” It was obvious that her clothes had been disturbed. She needed an examination.
“No hospital, I can’t go to the hospital. Please no Miss Sylvia we are in this country illegally.” Juanita said to me.
“Juanita had you ever been with a man before?” I asked.
“No never,” she said.
“I’m sorry this really isn’t the way to learn about sex. Did you recognize him?” I asked.
“Yes I know him he is such a nice boy I don’t know what got into him.” She said.
“Was he in the pub earlier?” I asked. Trying to remember anyone who seemed hinky. No one came to mind. I had Juanita agree to meet me the next morning at my house. I told her to tell her dad she was going to help me clean. What was actually going to do was go to the drugstore for the morning after pills. Juanita didn’t want the kid of a rape. She wanted to have a nice normal life. I was determined, if at all possible, to arrange that for her.
She was in my house reading a fashion magazine, which she brought with her, when The Brit got my message. “Sylvia what the hell is it,” he asked.
“You ought to come over to my place. You really need to come alone.” I said.
“I can’t do that Sylvia Jeremy agreed no more holding back when I’m home. We can both come out there if you like. Give me a couple of hours I have to go to the store.” I hung up the phone in disgust.
“Come on Juanita we are going to the drug store.” When we got there we bought a couple of thing each. “Might as well make the trip worthwhile,” I said to her.
We were home several minutes when The Brit and Jeremy showed up. I wasn’t how Jeremy would react to Juanita. He proved to be sympathetic. He tried to be helpful, but there was nothing he could do. I took her home then went back but The Brits new pub.
“Jeremy you might want to wait upstairs. This is not going to be pretty.” The Brit said. Jeremy turned on his heels and climbed the stares. I didn’t think he wanted to know what was going to happen.
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“What we are not going to do is let him get away with this. There has to be a cost to that kind of action. If not society would fall apart.” The Brit said.
“Society be damned, this is about the fucking alley behind your pub,” I said.
“First we have to find him, then we have to decide what we are going to do. I suggest we string him up by his balls while we decided.” I said with what at any other time might have been mistaken for a smile. But it was no smile and The Brit knew it.
“Was it someone who had been inside the pub?” He asked me.
“There is just no way to tell. He might have been inside or he might have been outside just watching the people. It next to impossible to tell what he was doing.”
“You did get Juanita taken care off?” The Brit asked.
“Yeah I got her all taken care of, at least I think I did. She shouldn’t get pregnant now anyway. I don’t know how she will make peace with it. She isn’t like me.” I said.
“No she isn’t, or she would have scratched his eyes out,” Jeremy said.
“Thanks for that vote of confidence,” I said smiling at him. Jeremy could definitely do without me around so much. But then I could do without him around so much too. Unresolved excitement just festers and this one did just that. It was always just below the surface.
My guess was that The Brit had a ton of money, so it might be years before he was desperate to make a profit. Still he had to wonder if he ever would make a profit. The town was too small for a pub. Country seat hardly had a downtown at all. Still there were the lawyers at after work for a quick pint before going home.
They had five of those video games that are so popular on the web. No it isn’t a black kind of game its more a happy game. I think its programed to let you win the first time, then not again for a hundred times. People sit in bars and play those things for hours. You just know when you look at them the aren’t going to win. Still they sit there for hours flipping flippers or whatever they do.
We snooped around all that Monday and didn’t get a lead. I tried again during the week and again over the weekend. Nothing, I was about ready to give up when The Brit called me. “Sylvia you should come down here. I got somebody you should meet.” he said.
“Oh my don’t tell me you have him?” I asked.
“We do,” The Brit said. “He came in a couple of hours ago, sat at the bar and confessed everything.”
“Well did you absolve him?” I asked.
“He needs a church for that Silvia,” he said.
“Do you know who I am?” I asked him when I was seated across from him..
“Yes, you’re Silvia the Brit’s friend.” he said dumbfounded.
“How much do you know about me?” I asked.
“Not much,” He said.
“Well let me tell you something right this fucking minute, no one does to me what you did and lives.”I said angrily.
“I didn’t do nothing to you,” he said indignantly.
“Bullshit you raped me. I’m going to call the sheriff and have you arrested. Twenty years at hard labor.”
“Please no I can’t to go to prison. I’ll do anything please,” he said.
“Will you leave town and not come back?” I asked.
“Let me say this we are giving you this chance to get out of town and live. Take it, never come back here.” My look said more than the words had. If there had been any confusion The Brit made abundantly clear. He made an imaginary gun with his fingers and shot the man in the face.
The guy jumped up and ran to the door and right through barely bothering to open it. I stood up and walked to the coffee pot. The Brit looked at me and asked, “Should we follow him and end it once and for all.”
“Mostly likely yes, but I have bagged my limit for the year,” I said with a smile.
“Yeah, probably best that we don’t,” but he deserves as much as the other one,” The Brit Said.
I stayed for dinner at the pub since I was there. I had the meat pie and I had no idea what I was eating. It looked a little like one of those chicken pot pies but it tasted much better. It probably wasn’t beef, but I didn’t care I enjoyed the hell out of it.
“Okay we can change the subject now. Jeremy wants to go to one of those storage locker auctions,” The Brit said.
“Why on earth would he want to do that?” I asked.
“He’s been watching on TV and he has to see what one is like. Come on, it wouldn’t hurt you to spend a little time with him. “ he said
“Brit you don’t know that,” I said.
“Come on Sylvia do it for me.” he said.
“Alright but there is one scheduled two months from now in Dobson,” I said.
“Sylvia, you can do better than than,” he said.
“Okay there is one on Gold Hill this weekend. They only got ten units but who knows.” I said.
“You two will be gone all day. I don’t know about that,” he said.
“Make up your mind Brit do you want me to take him, or not?” I asked.
“Will you try to get along?” he asked me.
“I will do all I can to get along with Jeremy I promise. Now will you back off a little. I solve one problem and you create another. I’m going home call me, if you make up your mind what you want me to do.” I didn’t say it to The Brit but I was almost positive Jeremy didn’t like sitting around the pub all day. He was probably going to have to find a way for Jeremy to amuse himself.
I was in the cruiser van headed back to the box house, when I realized that life really wasn’t filled with grand gestures, it we really filled with ‘taking Jeremy Shopping’. It was storage lockers this week, next it would be horses or something else. Life wasn’t exciting when I wasn’t with swamp thing but I stayed occupied, Let me get an offer from the swamp and see how fast I drop the day to day BS.