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Bellaire defended; Crime Story

Hello rodeo fans,
The Mother lode Parade and Round Up is coming Mother’s Day weekend. Sheriff’s K9 Justice, and his handler Dan Graziose, will be attending both. There will be a K9 demonstration at the rodeo during half time. I hope you all enjoy it.

And now, on to our story…

There comes a time in every author’s life, when he feels compelled to produce something moving, something profound. To reach deep within himself and bring out his absolute best for humanity, a bid for immortality if you will. Obviously, for me, that time has not yet arrived.

Phillip DeNytchar, known as D’Night Jar by his friends, considered himself an entrepreneur. He specialized in auto parts, specifically, exterior trim pieces that were extremely hard to find. He wore his thick dark hair in a long pony tail and the prominent gold ring that pierced his nose, was set off by his swarthy complexion.
One night, while looking through the want ads, he saw what appeared to be an almost desperate plea for original trim pieces for a 1955 Chevrolet Bellaire. A predatory smile spread across his face when, jumping to the end of the ad he read, “Will pay TOP $$.” By 11:00 p.m. he was making his way toward his next victim.
The old Bellaire sat on blocks in the middle of a five acre field that was surrounded by high grass, tall birch trees, blackberry brambles and the usual barbed wire fence. As Phillip carefully picked his way across a small creek boarding the field, the night birds high in the trees stopped their singing and watched the stranger below. It was this lack of sound that alerted Gleason, a half Rhodesian Ridgeback and half Great Dane, to Phillip’s presence. He stood beside the car, enjoying the evening and panting lightly. Watching as Phillip came skipping down the deer trail like Dorothy on her way to see the Wizard, totally self absorbed in thoughts of the money he was about to make.
Gleason was a good natured creature and seeing that Phillip was making no attempt at stealth and was carrying a burlap sack, Gleason thought it quite possible there could be food in the sack and he might be given some.
Now, Phillip liked huge hungry dogs as much as the next guy, but walking straight up to them unexpectedly in the dark was another matter. He skidded to a halt and stared, trying to gage if the dog’s intentions were at all carnivorous in nature. Gleason on the other hand, had a heart full of hope and he took a step forward while licking his chops in anticipation. Phillip, now convinced of the dog’s intent, took a rapid step backward and Gleason, not being able to bear any separation from a possible meal, followed in kind. This continued down the trail until Phillip finally lost his footing and landed flat on his back in a fresh cow pie. The sack went flying and Gleason went after it. Phillip didn’t waste any time wondering about this. In a nano second he was running for his life to the edge of the pasture where he plunged into the blackberry bushes and thrashed his way to the barbed wire fence.
Two nights later and partially healed, Phillip stood on the safe side of the barbed wire fence again, looking anxiously into the pasture. His plan was to sneak by the monster dog in the darkness but failing that, he had brought a pound of raw ground beef mixed with a strong sedative that should knock him out long enough to strip the old car of its valuable trim parts. He’d taken great pains to conceal his presence and, dressed from head to toe in scent lock camouflage and feeling very ninja like, he summoned his nerve and with a nod whispered to himself “Alright…run silent, run deep. Looking quickly right and left, he stepped over a low section of fence and planted his right foot into the little creek. Because of the darkness he couldn’t see that he was stepping on slippery, moss covered rock and as he hoisted his left leg over the fence, his right foot lost its grip. The next thing he knew he was face down in the creek with his left leg hung up in the top strand of the fence. It took Phillip about twenty minutes, spitting pond scum and thrashing around in the warm slimy water, before he was able to unhook his pants from the barbed wire. He was sweating profusely now and mosquitoes converged on his exposed hands and face. Once on the move and again, Phillip stealthily made his way at a low crawl through the blackberry brambles on the path he had accidentally carved two nights before. The going was slow due to continuous stopping to pull the thorn covered vines off his clothing but eventually he was rewarded when the darkness lightened slightly and knew he was almost out of the thicket.
Gleason watched all this from his usual spot by the car. He’d smelled the “sack man” even before he heard the first twangs as Phillip stepped over the fence. Curiosity soon got the better of him and he sauntered down the deer path and waited just outside the stickery bushes.
Keeping his eyes on the ground as he crawled out of the thicket, Phillip was half way to a standing position when he saw Gleason two feet in front of him. A stomach spasm more intense than any giant roller coaster could produce racked his entire being. At the same time, someone started screaming and as panic began to play at the edges of his consciousness, the thought “This is just like the Blair Witch Project” raced through his mind like an electric shock. Seconds or hours later – he wasn’t really sure – he realized it was him who was screaming and he chocked it off with a sharply inhaled breath that sucked in five or ten mosquitoes in the process. A few of them managed to sting his tongue before he spit them out. Phillip had always had bad reactions to insect bites and his tongue began to swell immediately. He turned and ran back through the brambles leaving Gleason standing there with his ears up, head tilted to the side, wondering why “sack man” was always running away.
Back in his recliner, Phillip sat hunched over with his tongue sticking into a bowl of Calamine lotion, plotting his next move.
The next day, six year old Michael Hanson was playing by the creek when he came upon the obvious track through the trampled blackberry brambles. He knew the area well but had never seen this here before. After a thorough inspection he whistled to Gleason and they both trotted down the deer path, past his Dad’s old car to the little house on the far side of the pasture. He could see his Dad was just getting home from work and he ran up to him yelling “Dad, Dad, something big has been going through the bushes down by the creek. I think it’s a pirate!” Jim Hansen smiled down at his son and let Michael lead him down to the creek where they inspected the area again. Because there was so much vegetation everywhere, no tracks could be seen. They went back to the house and settled in for the night and Michael was still prattling about pirates when Jim tucked him into bed. Jim didn’t sleep deeply that night and part of his mind was still on the mess down at the creek. Around 12:30 in the morning he’d had enough thoughts about mountain lions and such stocking his son and decided to go take a look around. He brought an old shotgun along just in case.
Phillip’s tongue was still badly swollen and it felt like a cold piece of sausage in his mouth. His speech couldn’t be understood but he paced around in circles, talking to himself and drooling down his chin, trying to come up with a plan to deal with the beast that barred his way to the old Bellaire. He stopped and stared without really seeing at the wall above his smoke stained fireplace. Nothing came to mind and he resumed pacing. Then, it hit him. He spun around to face the wall again, and saw what he didn’t see before. There, hanging on the wall, was an old set of decorative crossed swords and a fake breach loading pistol mounted on a family crest that looked vaguely like it was from the middle ages. An hour later he was back in his baggy camouflage complete with a doo-rag tied tightly on his head, and moving toward the barbed wire fence that boarded the pasture. He wore two web belts crisscrossed over his chest like bandoliers. Both swords were slid into them and the pistol stuck out of his waist band like a club. This time, he meant business. He didn’t waste time trying to climb the fence but snipped the wires of the three top strands and easily stepped over.
Gleason was sleeping in Michael’s room that night but was awakened by the sharp clicking noises of the wire cutters. He met Jim as he was getting up and went with him out to the pasture. They made their way to the old car where they sat and looked toward the stream for awhile. Jim was just about to walk down to the creek when he just barley made out the little noises Gleason had been listening to since they left the house. He watched and waited for several minutes, noticing that Gleason didn’t seem unusually concerned. There had been a summer rain earlier that night and the clouds were still shrouding a three quarter moon. A few more minutes went by and Jim thought he saw movement in the blackberry brambles down by the creek. He waited, listening, straining to see in the darkness.
Phillip had had it with bushes, thorns, dirt, creeks, huge people eating dogs, and was ready to take a stand. As he cleared the blackberry thicket; hair sticking out in every direction, clothing hanging in strips, he brandished a sword in each hand expecting the huge dog to be waiting for him again. “Not so tough now are you, mutt?” he said to the air around him.
“There!” Jim thought, he definitely saw something like light reflecting off metal as well as movement. He stood still, partially covered by the old Bellaire. In time a dark shape could be seen moving closer along the deer path. At any other time, Jim might have taken the shape for a bear, but this bear was muttering what sounded like threats or challenges to some unseen opponent.
When the shape was about thirty yards away a hole in the clouds appeared and Jim saw Phillip clearly for the first time. The combination of the doo-rag, nose ring, shredded clothing, swords and flintlock pistol made Jim stare in awe. “Holy…it IS a pirate” he thought. When he was over the initial shock, he stood up and pointed the shotgun at Phillip and said “I won’t if you don’t.” Gleason appeared at Jim’s side and picking up on the tense situation, a low rumbling growl drove whatever resistance Phillip contained, right out the window. He ran through the blackberries for the last time and was picked up near the road trying to get back to his car, looking like he had just spent the night in a sack full of bobcats. The swords an pistol were found strewn along the deer trail Where Phillip dropped them.