Hippy Saves the World Episode 4: Bad

Time and my bike both wandered south. The scenery changed gradually from the small sprouts and vivid greens of the Northern late Spring to the full blooms and deep greens of a Southern Summer. It’s one of those little things you don’t notice when you sit still, but on the highway, nature isn’t just background. No, it’s a full character in its own story.

Speaking of characters and stories, it was closing in on a week since I killed Dexter Green. Saying it more often wasn’t making it easier to swallow. The more I think on it, dream on it, I don’t know how it happened. The parking spot was empty when I turned the truck around. I know it was. It had to be or I’da hit him full on. And I didn’t. I backed into him.

So where did he come from?

I was south of Natchez, Mississippi, following 10 toward Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My heart will always be in Indiana, by my stomach was born Cajun. I don’t claim to know how it happened, with the rest of me being from Blackford County, but my stomach was never happier than when it was working on étouffée, jambalaya, gator, crawfish…

Hear that? My stomach just growled.

The sign on the side of the road announced St. Francisville some miles ahead. I knew my bike was taking me back to some of the best memories Teresa and I had. You see, being in construction has afforded me the opportunity to see a good part of this great nation of ours. I spent a bunch of years working in Louisiana on all kinds of projects. I brought Teresa down here for vacations. Like I said, the eating is phenomenal. The hunting and fishing are world class, just like the people. One of our favorites was a lady named Anne Butler. She runs a bed and breakfast on her family’s plantation: the Butler Greenwood Plantation B&B.

I smiled those next miles, feeling a little like I was going home.

I slowed and turned off US 61 onto a drive lined with big old oak trees with their arms stretched out. Spanish moss hung down, creating a private tunnel where even sunlight couldn’t quite get through.

The blue house with butter cream trim, with it’s long, wide front porch and peaks over the second floor windows, was just as I remembered. A woman was on the front steps, a broom in hand. She’d stopped sweeping to watch me.

I parked at the end of the narrow brick walkway to the house, turned the motor off, and swung my leg over. She watched me and I her as I stowed my helmet. “Beautiful day,” I said, starting toward her.

“It is that. Welcome to Butler Greenwood.” Her smile was broad and welcoming, just as I remembered. “I’m Anne, what can I do for you?”

I told her who I was and when I was there last. She said she remembered me, which I didn’t doubt. I’m kinda a memorable guy. “I’m passing through and was hoping you had a bed I could use for a couple nights.”

“I do, with it being the middle of the week. Come on inside.” She turned and led me into the house. “How long have you been ridin’? You like somethin’ to drink? I have some fresh made lemonade or sun tea.”

Now there was a hard decision. The nice punch of real lemon or the kick of caffeine.

Anne seemed to hear the debate going on in my head. She laughed and said, “Arnold Palmer it is. I’ll be right back.” A man entered from a side hallway. “Hello Wyatt, this is Hippy. He just checked in. Would you like to join us in Arnold Palmers?”

The man was in his fifties, his dark hair just starting to get a little salty. He was average height with a build that said he earned his money behind a desk. “Thank you, Anne, that sounds perfect,” he said in an accent born in these parts.

We made our way to the sitting area and the Victorian-styled couches that were as much as much a part of the décor as they were functional. Wyatt Cambridge was a writer and Butler Greenwood Plantation was his retreat.

“I’m on a deadline. At home, I find all kinds of things to distract me from sitting down and working. Something about this place,” he said, looking around, “it’s like she’s my muse, you know.”

“I don’t know much about muses,” I said, “but I know what you mean about Anne’s place being special.”

“Anne is a writer, too. Her tastes are more varied than mine. Louisiana main streets, cookbooks, children’s fiction, true crime.” He chuckled at himself. “I wish I could do that. My head seems to get into one space and stay there.”

“And where does it stay?”

He leaned forward, his eyes shining. “Thrillers. I absolutely love putting characters in inescapable situations and see what they do to survive.”

It was a look that made me glad he played with words, not power tools.

“Here we go,” Anne said, setting a fancy silver tray down on the coffee table between us. She was an excellent hostess, helping Wyatt and me find things to talk about so the conversation never got dull. Not that I’ve ever had that problem.

People are too interesting for talking to get dull.

It turned out Wyatt had just gotten up and he was hungry. I’d been on the road for hundreds of miles and was hungry too. After thanking Anne for the tea, the writer and me took a short drive to Lawson’s Restaurant. It didn’t have the history Anne’s place did, but it had a reputation locals worked their butts off to keep secret. Lucky for me, Wyatt was local.

I climbed in his truck because he wasn’t climbing on my bike. He drove while I took in the scenery, not having to pay attention to the road. The restaurant was small and didn’t look like much. The parking lot was near empty, but it was an odd time between lunch and dinner. Me and Wyatt took seats at the counter. Wyatt pushed his menu away without opening it. “Go with the special,” he advised. “Doesn’t matter what it is. If Louie’s making it, you want to eat it.”

Being a man who believes in the “when in Rome” saying, I pushed my menu away.

The special of the day was crawfish étouffée with a slice of peach pie. Middle of the afternoon, there were only a handful of folks in the place. More than half had the special in front of them.

Wyatt ordered a Pepsi, me a Mountain Dew. The difference ended there. We ordered and those sitting to the left and right of us approved of our choices. The guy next to me, Earl if his shirt was to be believed, pushed his licked-clean plate away.

Me and Wyatt filled the time. I asked what his book was about, and he started telling. I’d been in his character’s position a few times in my life—up shit’s creek without a paddle. I shared how I got out of it and Wyatt, well, he was more than listening. He took out his phone and made notes.

The waitress set a large slice of peach pie with whipped cream on top in front of Earl. “Ohhh,” he said in a hungry growl of appreciation. “Love peach season in Louisiana.”

He dove in like a half-naked man on the high dive in front of Olympic judges.

Then somewhere in the middle, he lost his form and ended up cannonballing into the water.

I slapped him on the back to help clear what he choked on.

“Earl, for goodness sakes,” the waitress said running over. “Small bites, darlin’. Small bites.”

“That ain’t it,” Earl said when he could breathe again. He shoved the pie plate away. “Something’s wrong with the pie. It’s gone bad.”

She shook her head. “Not possible, Earl. Maude just made the pies his morning.”

“Well, you taste it and tell me that’s normal.”

So, she did.

And she spit it right back out. “Oh my. I don’t know what to say.” She removed the offending slice of pie and went to the pie rack behind the counter. The slice she served Earl was the first taken from that particular pie.

A man with the belt size you want in a chef came out carrying two plates with sides of bread. “Maggie, what are you doing out here? Didn’t you hear me ring that food was up?” Louie set the plates in front of me and Wyatt.

“Somethins wrong with the pies,” the waitress Maggie said in a whisper we could all hear.

“Can’t be,” Louie said, immediately rejecting the idea. “You’ve been serving them all day.”

“Earl’s was the first slice from the ones Maude made this mornin’. I tasted it, Louie. Somethins rotten in there.”

Louie grabbed a fork from the tray and, skeptic that he was, took a big old mouthful.

At least he turned away from us before he spit it out.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Maude,” he said sadly. “Take the peach off the menu—”

“But, Louie, it’s peach season!”

“We can’t. We’ll poison half the Parish,” he said, stating the obvious. “Check the apple and the rest first, then change the menu.”

Drama resolved, Wyatt and I dug into our specials. What Louie did in the kitchen would be rightfully described as art. If I was a little disappointed there was no peach pie in my future, the homemade spiced goodness in front of me wiped it away.

“Someone has to do something about Maude,” Earl said, begrudgingly accepting a slice of apple pie. “I would bet you the world the problem with the pie is those kids of hers.”

“Again?” Wyatt asked. “I thought her brother talked to them.”

“Talkin’” Earl said with a snort. “You can’t talk to deadwood and expect the world to change.”

“So true,” I said.

“I’ve a mind to pay her a visit.” Earl’s tone changed to worried. “Just to check in.”

Wyatt elbowed me. “We’ll come with you. Give us a few minutes here.”

In the time it took me and Wyatt to clean our plates, the two gave me the rundown on Maude’s situation. Her husband died about a decade ago. He’d put aside enough for her to get by. They always thought she was the best baker in West Feliciana Parish but then she went and won blue ribbons across the State. Now everyone knew Maude Fontenot was Louisiana’s peach pie queen.

She had two children. Her son, Marc, and daughter, Claudine, were in their forties with lives of their own. Marc was an independent insurance agent with a shiny convertible wrapped in a big picture of his face. Claudine stayed home, being a full-time mother to twin girls who were starting their senior year of high school. Putting it together, Maude wasn’t much older than me, though her kids were younger than mine.

Wyatt followed Earl, turning off the main road and then off the side road to a narrow strip of worn down ground only locals would consider a road. Maude’s house sat behind two oak trees with long drapes of moss. A large branch had fallen some time ago. It was half sunk into the earth and was in the process of being reclaimed by plants and critters.

The house was similar style to Anne’s main building, though roughly half the size. Most of the living was done on the first floor with two windows framed by peaks on the second floor. The porch was low and wide with a single tall back wicker chair near the front door.

From afar, it was charming. Up close, it needed work. I’m not judging, here, just describing that the home of Maude Fontenot was in need of new boards, some nails, paint, shingles, and the like.

Earl knocked on the screen door and announced himself. “Maude? It’s Earl LeBlanc.” He walked in then, Wyatt and me following. “You here, Maude.”

A woman poked her head into the hallway. “Earl?” She smiled as her small body stepped fully into the hall. “Well, isn’t this a nice surprise? Come in, come in. What can I get you? Coffee? Tea? How about a nice slice of peach pie?”

Earl tripped over a crack in the floor, but Wyatt picked it up smoothly. “If it isn’t too much trouble. This is Hippy, he’s from Indiana. Earl and I were telling him that he hasn’t had peach pie until he’s had yours.”

Maude liked that. She stood a little taller and escorted us into the kitchen. “You come right this way, Hippy. Rest your bones after such a long trip.” Like the outside of the house, repairs were needed. There was water damage in a corner of the ceiling, and something had snacked on some of the baseboard trim. But the room was cleaned ‘til it shined.

I liked Maude instantly. You’d have to be a heartless bastard not too. She brewed coffee made strong with chicory and served it beside four slices of pie. “Fresh made this morning,” she said.

Me, Earl, and Wyatt looked between each other.

“Go on, now,” she said, sitting down herself and taking a bit of pie. The color drained from her face. “Oh, no. How could I make such a stupid mistake?”

“It isn’t that bad,” Earl lied.

Maude glanced at him. A sharp woman, she knew. “The pies I sent to Louie’s. How many people?”

“Just me,” Earl said, not lying. “Louie and Maggie pulled the rest. They won’t tell no one.”

“Us neither,” Wyatt added quickly. “We were worried about you, Maude. That’s why we came.”

She squeezed his hand. “I have good friends. I was filling the pies this morning when Claudine came to visit. She is having dresses made for the girls for a cotillion. Claudine was short this month and needed help with the down payment to the dress maker. I told her no. We ain’t rich. If she wanted that kind of haute couture, she had to pay for it herself.” Maude hands trembled. “Well, that did not go over well, as you can imagine. Somewhere in all of it, I mixed up the sugar and salt. Stupid, stupid mistake.”

Maude aged ten years in telling the story. The happy, proud woman was reduced to embarrassed, ashamed.

“It was a mistake,” Wyatt said. “In a few weeks, you’ll look back and laugh. Mistakes make the best stories. No one wants to hear about the time everything went perfectly like it was supposed to.”

“You and yours stories,” Maude said, stopping when the sound of a performance engine came through the open windows. “That’ll be Marc.” She rose, smoothed her dress, and fixed a small smile on her face. “Well, it’s a day for surprises,” she called when he stepped onto the back porch.

Marc was dressed in a collared shirt and pressed pants and didn’t hide a disappointed expression. “Momma,” he said, coming into the kitchen and going to kiss Maude’s cheek. “I didn’t know you’d be entertainin’.”

“What entertainin’,” she said. “It’s just a few friends. You know Earl and Wyatt, and this is Hippy. He’s here all the way from Indiana.”

“Nice to meet you,“ I said. “Your mother is a charming woman.”

“She is,” he said, already done with me. “Momma, can I speak to you in the other room?”

Maude’s fake smile slipped. “Is something wrong?”

“No, ‘course not. It’s just family business.”

We couldn’t stop Maude from leaving the kitchen and Marc was bound and determined she would. The house wasn’t big and every door in it was open. With the three of us doing impressions of church mice, we heard every word the son-of-a-bitch said.

What a minute. That’s not right, ‘cause than would be Maude was a bitch. Let’s try again. . .

With the three of us doing impressions of church mice, we heard every work the asshole in insurance salesman’s clothes said.

“You promised you’d write the check,” Marc said in a tone a son should never use with his mother.

“I did not. You said I should write the check.”

“Well, I need it. Now.”

“Then go to a bank,” Maude said sharply, standing her ground.

“I can’t go to a bank. Where’s Daddy’s coin collection?”

“You are not touching your father’s things.”

“I’m going to inherit them eventually. What is the difference?”

“The difference is I’m not dead yet!”

The three of us were standing. I regretted not stopping at the Plantation for the Ka-Bar knives in my saddlebags. This boy needed a lesson.

“I can’t believe you. This conversation’s not over, Momma. I’ll be back for dinner. We’ll talk about it then.” The front screen door slammed shut.

Maude didn’t come back into the kitchen.

Quietly, the three of us went into her front parlor. Maude stood in the picture window, hands fisted, head bowed. Wyatt called her name. She shook her head without turning around.

We knew, we all knew.

She cried.

Maude rode with Earl back to Anne’s. She settled into the room next to Wyatt’s and, between the three of us, she was set for the next few nights. While Anne tended to Maude, Earl, Wyatt and I contemplated her children.

“I know I’m new here but what I see is elder abuse. The sneaky, sleezy financial kind where the people who should be looking out most for Maude are bleeding her dry.” I looked from Wyatt to Earl. “Tell me I’m wrong.”

It was Earl who spoke first. “You’re not, but what can we do about it? She’s not going to go against her kids, and it won’t look like anything to the police.”

Wyatt agreed. “It’ll be our word against theirs and Maude will be stuck in the middle.”

I smiled. “That’s why we’re not going to the cops. We are going to teach those kids a lesson. Where can we find some climbing rope, fifty pounds of raw meat, and a couple of alligators?”

Wyatt was an artist, a creative type. What he lacked in mechanical capacity, he made up for in creativity. More than made up for. His idea was better than mine. More twisted if that’s possible.

Earl, it turned out, was a former ocean freight captain. He had skills that were illegal in some countries. He’d dealt with pirates, real ones. A couple greedy, grown-up children were tiny little blips on his radar.

And then you had me. An old contractor who specialized in getting in and out of tight places.

We split up, each with a shopping list. Earl’s son, Junior, met me at the hardware store. It took less than a half hour to fill the bed of his truck. He pulled around Maude’s house, picking out a choice spot under the thick branches of an old oak. For two strangers, we worked together well, building a six-sided pen that wasn’t sturdy enough to be permanent but would do the job.

Junior took on the job of climbing the tree, moving with the speed and confidence of a man used to being off his feet. He tested the strength of the tree limbs with his weight. I did the figuring and the rigging.

By the time his father and Wyatt arrived, we had our part ready.

“Shouldn’t we have something cooking in the kitchen,” Wyatt asked, shaking his hands to get rid of nervous energy. “They think they’re coming for dinner.”

“You can go ahead and cook if it makes you feel better,” I said, leaning back on a kitchen chair.

Wyatt opened the refrigerator and got busy. “What if Claudine brings her girls?”

“She won’t,” Earl said. “Maude stuck to the script. If we’re right and she is only interested in the money, she’ll come alone.”

A quarter to eight, the sun was getting close to the horizon. Blue was tending toward night to the east while the west was painted in all the colors of the rainbow.

Well, not green. But all the others.

We finished off the pork chops and gravy Wyatt fried up, each of us putting some bills on the table to repay Maude.

Earl put on his hat. “Come on, Junior. Time to get in position. They should be here in ten minutes or so.” Junior pulled on his own hat and followed his father out the back door.

“You know what you’re gonna do?” I asked Wyatt. In some ways, he had the hardest job.

“Not exactly, but I’ll get it done. Y’all just be ready.”

I left him to my own work. I double checked the rigging, making as sure as I could that everything was under control.

An engine approached. It was the same, smooth sound as in the afternoon. Marc Fontenot was in the house.

“Hey, Marc,” Wyatt called from the front of the house. “That is one beautiful car.”

“Wyatt.” Marc spat the name like a curse. “What are you doing here?”

“Maude invited me. Hey, can you help me with some firewood? Your mom thought a bon fire would be nice tonight.”

Wyatt came up the path next to the house, Marc trailing him to the large, neat stack of firewood. Wyatt filled Marc’s arms with wood which was when Earl and Junior set on him. Marc fought, but it was wasted energy. He was got. When he couldn’t overpower the men, well, he made enough noise to wake the dead.

Another engine neared, this one not nearly as smooth.

“Junior, Wyatt, get him in the house,” I ordered, revising the plan on the fly. “Earl, we’ll have to handle her.”

Marc shouted for his mother and then his sister as Junior bodied him into the house. The screen door slapped shut and that was the end of Marc’s noise. Earl sauntered up the driveway, stopped behind Marc’s car. He waited patiently for Claudine to kill the motor and get out of her vehicle.

“Hey, Earl, what are you doin here?” I couldn’t see her from where I was, but her voice was suspicious.

“Your mom invited me and Junior over for barbecue. I brought some steaks over from my cousin’s shop. We’re in the back.” He turned and started toward me.

Claudine followed him and soon I got a good look at her. She was her mother’s daughter, at least in looks. It was yet to be proven how far the peach had fallen from the tree. “I thought she wanted a private, family dinner?”

Earl shrugged. “Guess she changed her mind. Your brother’s in the house. This is Hippy. He’s from Indiana. Hippy, this is Claudine, Maude’s daughter.”

“Nice to meet you.” I held out my hand.

Claudine was the kind of woman who put make-up on whether she was leaving the house that day or not. She looked nice, and would be pretty when she smiled.

She wasn’t smiling now.

Good manners had been ingrained in her. So, want to or not, Claudine took my hand.

And Earl took her.

His arms locked around her, Earl lifted Claudine off her feet and carried her toward the stage we’d built. “Junior, bring Marc out.”

Marc marched out the back door, his hands up and his mouth shut. The cooperation came courtesy of a Colt .45 in his lower back. Earl stepped onto the stage we made and went to the chairs from Maude’s dining room. With higher backs and arm rests, they were made for the head of the table. Earl tossed Claudine into one.

“The other one is for you,” Junior said, giving him a shove.

I went behind the big tree, started the generator, then stood next to it, control box in my hand.

Claudine studied the four lengths of rope attached to her chair. In the dark shadows of the trees, the black ropes were invisible. “What the hell is this,” she spat.

“I don’t know,” Marc bit out, then looked to Wyatt, who stood front and center. “Where’s our mother?”

“With someone who cares for her. Don’t worry, she knows you’re here.” A small smile played at the corner of his mouth.

If I were them, I’d be afraid.

Marc sneered at him. “Whatever this is about, I’m not playing.”

He went to stand up, but I was faster. The ropes snapped taut and the chairs lifted into the air. It was only six inches, but Claudine screamed like it was a mile.

“What the fuck?!” Marc shouted while Claudine ordered, “Put us down.”

I raised the chairs slowly. Those two weren’t tied in. I did my best to make the lift smooth and balanced but they could be tipped. Junior and I proved it during testing. Lean to far in any direction and gravity did what gravity was wont to do.

So slow was the order of the evening. For now.

One foot. Two feet. Four feet.

Junior and Earl worked quickly, pulling the plywood flooring off the frame. The four gators, each good six footers, twisted and turned, leaping and snapped at the sudden change in environment.

“Holy shit! Holy fucking shit!” Marc screamed over and over, his head and body twisting until his chair looked like one of those swing rides at a fair.

“Stop, Marc! You’re gonna crash into me.” Claudine pulled her feet up and when her brother did swing her way, she kicked out at his chair. Then she glowered down at us. “Why are you doing this? What did we ever do to you?”

“Why do you think it’s acceptable to steal from your mother?” Wyatt asked the question, calm and civil.

“I never stole a dime.” Claudine leaned forward, hands on the front ropes.

“I didn’t either,” Marc shouted, leaning back, less sure of his weight.

Wyatt waved his hand, rolling it as though bored. “Whined. Begged. Coerced. Guilted. Pleaded. Tricked. Implored. Beseeched. She may have given it, but it wasn’t willingly. Drop them down, Hippy.”

I hit the down button, letting it go for one Mississippi of a second before punching the stop button.

They made as much noise as a pair of humans could, but there was noone but us to hear them.

“Shut. Up,” Wyatt ordered. “Do we have your attention?”

“I know where you live Wyatt Cambridge. You think long and hard about that before you do anything else.” Marc’s bravado was as solid as smoke. He barked with authority though, even foaming at the mouth some.

“And I know where you live, Marc Fontenot,” Wyatt said calmly. Then he shook his head. “What would your Daddy think of the way the two of you have been milking your mother? You have a lot to answer for and even more to be ashamed of.”

“Fuck y’all,” he said, pumping his legs to start his chair to swinging. “You have no say in our lives. No say in our mother’s.”

“Marc. Marc!” Claudine screamed over him. “Stop moving. The tree limb. I think it’s cracking.”

The two of shut up. All of our eyes were on the branch Marc hung from.

It was creaking all right.

Wyatt took advantage of the break to interrogate the witnesses. They didn’t deny what they did, siphoning money off their mother. But in their version of the world, this waan’t a problem. Their father had left a nice amount of savings, it was their inheritance. The house was paid off and between her pies and social security, their mother had enough to pay the bills.

What more did she need?

But them? They had needs.

Marc was over-extended on his business. Oh, he called it re-investing but, in plain English, he spent money he didn’t have. He already went to the bank. They were one of those knocking on his door for payment.

Claudine was under the delusion that she was re-living her teen years through her daughters. She talked in the ‘we’. When we do college visits…it matters what dress we wear to the dance…we can’t be seen in clothes from big box stores. We have standards to live up to!

The sky had been fully night for some time when Wyatt looked to Earl and then to me. “Shut her down, Hippy. We aren’t getting anywhere.”

“Finally, you’ve come to your senses,” Claudine said. “When the police hear about this stunt, your next chair is in a jail cell.”

I did shut the generator down and I locked the gear into position on the winch, leaving their feet hanging about four feet above the gators.

“You boys meet me back here around seven,” Earl said. “I promised I’d have these guys back home by ten tomorrow. Come on, Junior. Let’s go home.”

And then there were two. Wyatt and me.

“You’re gonna let us down, aren’t you Wyatt?” Claudine asked, infusing charm in her drawl.

Wyatt took a deep breath and shook his head. “I knew your father. He was a good, hardworkin’ man. Your mother loves you both, somethin’ I’ve come to know you don’t deserve. You’re gonna spend some time, now, thinkin’ about how to make this right.”

Marc decided to try a little sugar, too. “Be reasonable, Wyatt. You can’t leave us danglin’ over a gator pit.”

The two of them sat up there, on their chair swings, looking like they were auditioning for a circus or something. They twisted, swung, and turned. A breeze came in, rocking the branch.

I chuckled. “It’s like that old nursery rhyme. Rock-a-bye baby in the tree top, when the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and Maude won’t have to worry about no one messing up her pies any more.”

Wyatt, he laughed. “I think you got something a little wrong there.”

“Seems to be about right to me. Let’s go check on Maude.”

“What about us,” Marc shouted to our backs. “I’m sorry. Claudine is, too. We’ll…we’ll figure out a way to repay Mom.”

Promises followed us as we walked down the driveway. Then they turned on each other, blaming, complaining, and denying as we climbed into Wyatt’s truck. His engine finally drowned them out.

“That was intense,” Wyatt said, grinning ear-to-ear when we were on the road. “Woo!”

“You did good for a writer. Nice and calm.”

“This is going in a book. Hell, yeah, it is.” He backed off the speed when we bounded hard enough to hit our heads on the dirt road. “You think they’ll be there in the morning? They fall out of those chairs and the gators aren’t going to be happy.”

I shrugged, not that Wyatt could see it. “It’s in their hands. Just like it always has been.”

Before turning in, I gave Teresa a call. Told her where I was and how the Butler Greenfield Plantation was everything we remembered. She told me about her day. I did the same.

“That’s all you did today? Rode, ate crawfish, and saw some gators?”

“Why do you sound suspicious,” I asked.

“That just sounds too normal for you. I’m not going to go online tomorrow and find you at the center of some fantastic story, am I? Did you try wrestling those gators or something?”

“That hurts, Teresa. I’m rubbing my heart to take away the sting.”

“Uh huh.”

“I met a coupla guys down here and helped them teach a lesson to adult children who never learned the one about not stealing. They were bad peaches, Teresa, and they were ruining the pies.”

“Do you hear how much sense you don’t make?” She sighed. “It’s been a week Hippy.”

“I know. I’m figuring it out.”

End Stuff

You probably can guess, but no alligators were harmed in the making of this episode. Can’t say the same for nasty children who steal from their parents.

The Butler Greenwood Plantation B&B is a real place and Hippy highly recommends it. Anne Butler is a real person and remarkably brave to let me and Hippy write her into this story. Thank you, Anne. Below are the links to Anne’s website. Check out her B&B and her books.

B&B Website: http://www.butlergreenwood.com/index.html

B&B Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063647916807

Books from UL Press: https://ulpress.org/search?q=anne+butler

Welcome to February, Josh. Remember Red Bull is not a food group. Godspeed.

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