The Summer of '62; Episode 45
They peddled their bikes as fast as they could to Johnson’s. Parked in the drive way was Joe’s candy-apple red ’57 Chevy convertible – the envy of every boy and girl in the township.
“Joe’s there,” Sammy said. “Which one of the Johnson girls do you think he’s after?”
“All of them,” Rich said.
“Look at that car!” Sammy said. “I’d like to take a ride in it.”
They parked the bikes and on the way to the Johnson's front door ran their hands over the wax finish of Joe’s car. They knocked and Mrs. Johnson came to the door.
Mrs. Johnson appeared at the door with a friendly smile, however her countenance dropped slightly at the sight of Sammy. “Hello, boys, how are you today?”
“We're fine, thank you, Mrs. Johnson,” Rich said. “Do you mind if we come in and play some pool?”
“Oh I’m so sorry,” Mrs. Johnson said with a frown. “Larry’s here and Joe too and Joe brought somebody with him – house rules, only one friend for each of the girls.”
“Exception,” Rich smiled.
“No, I can’t do that,” Mrs. Johnson said. “Try back later.”
Rich and Sammy walked dejectedly to the bikes. The mounted them and coasted down the drive way into the road.
“Your buddy Joe is a dog,” Sammy said.
“Yeah, a real dog,” Rich said. “I told him yesterday what I was planning, but he said he had to work.”
Sammy was talking about going fishing as they peddled back to Carpenter‘s Market. Rich didn’t pay attention, because of being disturbed by Joe’s duplicity. It was something he did with others, but this, to Rich's knowledge, was the first time with him. Rich thought of all the things he’d like to do, but the most pressing was to somehow get Joe and his friend out of the Johnson’s house.
“Why are we going to Carpenter’s?” Sammy asked.
“I got a plan,” Rich said.
“What?” Sammy said.
“Just do what I say and don’t ask questions,” Rich said.
They coasted to a stop in front of Carpenter’s.
“Just go around behind the store and hide from the road,” Rich told Sammy.
“Why?” Sammy asked.
“Just do what I say and we’ll be racking the balls within fifteen minutes,” Rich assured.
“How?” Sammy asked.
“Just watch,” Rich assured him with a smile and hand on Sammy's shoulder. “The master is about to go to work. Joe has met his match.”
Sammy walked his bike behind the store just as Rich told him.
Rich walked inside the store. Mr. Carpenter was still scribbling plays.
“Back so soon,” Mr. Carpenter said.
“Yeah, I need to use your phone and phone book,” Rich said.
He lifted them on to the counter and Rich looked for the Johnson’s number and dialed it.
“This is Bill at the Texaco service station on Main Street in St Marys” Rich said with a southern draw. “You got a boy there named Joe Deacon. Just tell him that his mama’s car broke down about a mile from this place and she wants him to pick her up, pronto. Can you give him that message. Thank you Ma'am.” Rich hung the phone up and slid it and the book back to Mr. Carpenter.
“What was that all about?” Mr. Carpenter said suspiciously.
“I call it a trap play,” Rich said and walked outside. Rich grabbed his bike and ran it to where Sammy was hiding behind some bushes.