Beamo’s Gold part 3
Beamo has very different conversations with two very different young ladies.
We woke up with the sun. Birds sang out raucous in the swamp trees and only white wisps floating high in the dry sky again. Little Bit brought me breakfast of cattail pollen pancakes, scrambled pheasant eggs, bacon, and hot chicory in a wooden mug. For a special treat she included a bowl of paw-paw mush that she knew I craved because those tree-fruits only ripened a few weeks in the late summer. We sat down together on a log. She noticed I was looking away from her just like every other man looked away from her because of who her brother was.
“You got you a boo?” I asked.
“No boo, Beamo.” She didn’t explain, knew I knew why. “How ‘bout you, you still tapping Dessie Vall’s juicy?” She smiled sneaky when she talked dirty.
“No, me and Miz Vall are history. Let her go two months ago.” Burgundy-haired Dessie had been my ambitious bookkeeper. I went on, “Des always wanted me to check in and out. Played like she was keeping books on me like she did the business. I couldn’t live like that. I guess I’m too complicated a free spirit to keep a woman.”
Little Bit snickered and then said, “You could have tamped that down if you had concentrated on it.”
“Guess I judged the investment wasn’t worth the payoff, as she would put it.”
Chuckles walked by as Little Bit snickered again. He stopped, walked backwards, stooped to glare at us with his ugly zit-face.
“Excuse me, Lytle,” I said. “I have to go get in more trouble now.” I stood up and hollered, “Quaaack means no!”
Chuckles lunged his entire skinny weight at me, his Bowie coming out of its sheath in his right hand. I met him with a roundhouse to his left ear that dropped him like a heavy sack of shi.
“Let it be known!” I shouted out so all the outlaws could hear, “I’m under contract with the Sawbird Gang now and that means I don’t have to take nothin’!”
Just stood there eyeballing all them outlaw dudes. Respect earned as Chuckles dragged himself up and stumbled away, his greasy dishwater hair covering his acne infested face. I turned around, Little Bit was gone and there was Soosey Journ. Her platinum hair was in a riding ponytail, her long legs inside black leather hip-huggers. She scowled, two dollmoll toadies flanking her scowled too. Eighteen now, her amethyst eyes gave me the same feeling as the white tiger’s twitchin’ tail did right before she charged me. That happened when I rode off west on my own after my mom died the fall of my twenty-second year. The close call took place in the vast, well-preserved ruins of a desert Merican ghost-metro spelled ‘P-h-o-e-n-i-x.’
“You’re the garbage-digger man who snatched the map,” she said. “I told them to cut off your feet so you can’t get away.”
Her eyes had bags under them. Heard from one of the outlaws that she didn’t sleep much. She was still a beauty with her long legs but her face had too much of her fat-cat dad Fank for my taste. Luckily, like Tee said she wasn’t allowed to carry guns anymore but her psycho bloodshot eyes were serious; it wasn’t a joke. I had felt sorry for her after she was snatched, got a warrant to scout for the militia to try to rescue her from my former best friend and his outlaw gang. Started to wonder if the outlaws needed rescuing from her.
I smiled a knowing smile that she read but couldn’t figure out where the danger to her would be coming from. I just kept smiling and gave a fake bow, stepped back to let them pass.
“I don’t trust him,” she said to Packit and Roofy, her two young dollmoll toadies. She started to walk away with chin up high then turned back and pointed at me. “I will be watching you and you better stay away from Tee’s sister.”
The call to ride went out. Felt good to be back on my new custom cycle, my dark brown leather flap-cap on my head and my right hand gripping the wild boar tusk throttle. Little Bit was on the other side of the mob of bikes and bandits, sunglasses on and her hair up wrapped in a blue bandana.
Tee ordered everyone to wear their Sawbird Gang patches out on their leather vests. The patch was Tee’s design, a giant sawbird but instead of a beak it had a panther’s snarling face. The Sawbird swooped up with its left talons full of silver bars and its right talons held a naked ploosh girl.
Somebody yelled, “How kin we ride straight to Migan Lake in broad daylight with our patches on? Thar three different county militias trolling tween us and the big lake in daytime!”
“I bought us passage through,” Tee said. He looked sly at me, wanted me to know I wasn’t informed of everything in order to keep me off balance. He signaled for me to ride up next to him. Probably thought I would try to slip away, which in fact I had been considering.
“Hey!” Soosey shouted as I rolled up beside the bandit leader. “I should be up front riding next to Tee!”
“He’s not riding alone; he’s got me now!” I shouted back and everyone except Tee and Soosey started guffawing.
“Stay back there. It’s safer in back.” Tee looked over at his two men filling up the go-juice–wood alcohol–jercans. Everything else was already packed away in the big tri-cycle. When they finished he raised his right fist and shouted, “We ride!”
Nineteen cycle engines roared together and we rolled down the narrow trail single file. Bonehead was point, me next, then Tee. Started getting a hint of how strong you felt riding with a gang.