Enduring on the Lake

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chapter 4


I had my keys out when Zane Slowthower walked over and said like it cost him a pound of flesh, “I’m … I’m looking for work.  You … got anything you need doing?” 

It was a question I hadn’t expected and it must have showed on my face because he turned with a jerk and said, “Uh, never mind.  I …” 

“Wait.  Look, I’m coming into town on Friday to meet my dad.  He’s supposed to be here by noon so we can go over to the bank and open an account.  They wouldn’t let me open one by myself for some reason.” 

“How old are you?” 

“Old enough that I’m legal to sign a contract if that’s what you’re wondering.” 

“But not twenty-one if I had to hazard a guess.”  I just looked at him and let him know in the nicest way possible that one way or the other it was none of his business.  He grinned anyway and said, “Harmon Bank is small, private … and small and private … and on top of that private and small.  They don’t cash out of town checks and you have to have ten different proof of IDs before they will even accept a money transfer for you.  Don’t’ take it personally, anyone under twenty-one is required to have a second name on the account, preferably a parent or some other related and highly responsible adult.” 

“Uh huh, so my impression of the Bank Manager was on the money.” 

“Stiff necked, old money, and suspicious of anyone under the age of fifty?” 

“Yep.” 

“That would be Mr. Tennyson.  He claims to be some kind of kin to some world famous poet … some Lord or other … and loves for people to ask if he is.” 

“Do tell.” 

He grinned.  “Just tell him who you are.  Your family has been around here a long time even if it is just as a vacation family these days.” 

“I did.  He allowed as how then it might be alright assuming my father was willing to vouch for me.” 

Zane shook his head.  “Small towns are like that.” 

“You’re local … but … not.” 

“I was out for a while, came back.  It gives you a different perspective.” 

“Military?” 

His face closed off.  I told him, “It isn’t the limp … well yeah it is.  It’s just … when you grinned just now I think I remember that you have an older brother too don’t you.  He would be about the age my brother would have been if he’d lived.” 

“Wait … Sam’s dead?  When?  I knew I hadn’t seen him around but … but I just thought …” 

It didn’t hurt like it used to but I still didn’t talk about it too much.  “Yeah.  We just put a ten year anniversary wreath on his stone at the cemetery.  He was one of the ones killed at Ft. Campbell when those terrorists infiltrated the base.” 

“God,” he said in a horse whisper.  “I …” 

“Don’t.  I didn’t tell you to upset you.  I just remembered who you were all of a sudden.  I don’t think I ever knew your last name and if I did I’ve forgotten it.  Sam and I never exactly had the same set of friends.” 

“Sam.  My God.  Your … your parents …” 

“Yep.  Pretty much.  Which is why they always kept me so close when all you backwoods boys were around.  They weren’t being standoffish or snobby … just … protective.  I just wanted you to understand.” 

He was silent for a moment.  “Josh … he still talks about your brother every once in a while.” 

“So he’s around?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Let me guess.  Running tourists down the river.” 

“Right on the first try.” 

I smiled kinda sad.  “I haven’t been rafting since Sam took me the last time.” 

“Why?” 

I shrugged.  “Don’t know exactly.  Just seemed … safer I guess to stick to the lake.  Besides, I’m not sure Dad would have even let me go had I brought it up.” 

“I find it hard to believe he’s letting you stay up here by yourself.” 

“Well, I’m not the child I was. Certainly he’d never let me stay up here if he wasn’t sure I could take care of myself.” 

“And that’s the message you want to get around is it?” 

I half grinned at how well he understood.  “Yep.  I’d rather educate with a message than for me to have to prove it and someone wind up … educated … more forcefully.  ‘Cause you know, sometimes lessons in life hurt.” 

He grinned, then chuckled, then outright laughed. “Girl, they ain’t gonna know what to make of you.” 

“I’m not looking for attention, not really in the mood for any … at least not right now.   I just want people to stay out of my business so I can stay out of theirs.” 

“Your dad really have you staying up here?” 

“He really does.  Like I said … Friday about noon.  Let me give him a call and if you are so inclined I do believe we will be having a bologna sandwich and a frosty freeze at the Bait n’ Tackle before we head over to the bank.  Consider this an invitation if you are so inclined.” 

He gave me a considering look like it was actually him that didn’t know what to make of me and then said, “Let me check my calendar and I’ll get back with you on that.” 

I nodded then got in my car and headed out of town having accomplished only about half of what I had meant to.  But then again I might just have accomplished one of the biggest things on my to do list.  It all depended on Daddy.

1 comment:

  1. Love the new story! Mike this one of my favorites already :)

    ReplyDelete