COYOTE’S CORNER: He who laths last, laughs best

COYOTE’S CORNER: When I was young, and my friends were young, we strode boldly across the rugged prairies and brooding mountains of our beloved state. We were fearless, improvident, immortal. We were like a bunch of young coyotes, and pleased to fulfill our purpose in life of serving as horrible examples. Let us tell you some of our stories.

DUEL IN DAKOTA

I haven’t seen my good friend Bill for decades, I have no idea where he is nor what he is doing. But I will never forget him and some of his exploits.

Bill was a short, round fellow with owl-like glasses. He dressed well, wore an expensive topcoat and often sported a derby hat. He had a deep, pleasant voice, was deceptively shy and unfailingly absent-minded. But under that nerdish exterior smoldered a tiger.

Bill had a girlfriend of sorts, Tracy, although it wasn’t a serious relationship in her mind. Bill, though, was mad about her.

Bill was a journalist, and we worked together at the local paper. As months passed, our friendship grew, so I was worried when he didn’t show up for work for two days and didn’t contact anybody in the newsroom. When he did come in, he said nothing; he offered no explanation of where he had been nor why his face looked like raw meat.

Months later, after we had sopped up way too much beer, Bill gave in to my pleadings and fessed up. He had been in jail. Here is what he told me.

“I decided to drive up to the college and see Tracy, maybe go for supper or something. I parked in front of the dorm and was about to walk up there when here she came — on the arm of some big cowboy.

“He helped her into his car and was about to climb behind the wheel when I lost my temper. I jumped out and ran over there. He locked his car door so I broke off the radio aerial and started banging on the windshield. He climbed out and came for me but I whipped the aerial in his face and backed him up. Then he snatched up a three-foot lath that had been sticking in the ground by a flowerbed and started swinging at me. We had a sword fight right there in front of the dorm. My weapon was no match for the lath and he was cutting me to ribbons — there was blood all down the front of my shirt.

“I was backing away from him and backed right into the arms of a cop, who slapped handcuffs on me and hauled me off to jail. It was the weekend, so I had to sit there until I could go to court on Monday.

“I never saw Tracy again.”

 

 

 

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