Ballarat or Bust...Chapter Seven...

Chapter Seven

4 a.m. came ‘round pretty quick.

I was jolted awake without ceremony by an already dressed Bob kickin’ at Paul and I with his boots.

“Come on Sleeping Beauties, Rise and Shine. It’s 4 and we gotta get a start before the heat sets in. It’s gonna be a long one and I’d like to get to Tex’s place with enough time to score some tabs and some grass before we have to leave.” Said Bobby.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re comin’” I mumbled.

And out we crawled, threw on our clothes, packed some stuff in our gunnysacks and grabbed our shotguns off of the large brad nails hammered into the wall and headed for the door. The sun was already threatening to come over the Panamints and the sky was a groovy neon pink melting into a mild yellow, then a white until you knew that a brilliant blue and its heat was on the way.

We loaded up the Jeep with water and a bit of jerky the Girls packed for us, grabbed two handguns from deCarlo in the outbuilding that he had made ready for us, we said goodbye to everyone and Paul gave Snake a longer kiss than the rest, and we were off.

There was a slight breeze today, so the trip was a wee bit easier. We made it down to the old man’s mining shack and to the mouth of the Wash in what seemed no time and felt relief under our behinds when the road evened out and we were on the highway headed for L.A. and Tex’s place.

“Can you tell me what the hell is so God damned important about this trip that we have to baby-sit Tex back up to Barker?” I snarled.

“Look, Charlie says ‘Go!’ and I go. I have no idea what this is all about. Gary had no clue either when Tex was with him last week. All Gary said was that Tex stumbled up to his place, real late one night, covered in bloody clothes with his eyes just popping out of their sockets and asked if he could stay in his basement for the night; that he had someone with him and he couldn’t go back to his girl’s place until she left for her trip to visit her parents the next day. So Gary said ‘yeah’ and when Gary got up the next day, Tex and this mystery person were already gone. All Charlie told me was that Tex needed help with this person – to get them both up to Barker – and here we are, going to help. That’s all I know.” Paul confessed.

“Well, why do we need all these guns, Man?” I said.

“Hell if I know. But you know Charlie. The regular drama-queen that he can be sometimes. It’s probably nothing about nothing. Let’s just get there and get back and get this bullshit over with!” retorted Paul.

In the west, we could finally spot the city lights, shimmering in the heat and haze of the setting sun. The foul smells of the city streets were beginning to fill our nostrils and Paul and I remembered why we liked the desert so much and why we hated L.A.

We both had the feeling that this was going to be one, long, night.


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