Maggie had no choice. “This town meeting will come to order. There are too many of us to go inside, so I call the meeting right here, right now!”
“We usta have our own town marshal, an’ back then, we almost never saw a deputy,’ Lar Farkleberry said, “They have a policy of not messin’ with a place what has it’s own police.”
“That’s right, when Tug Overbee was deputy, we didn’t need our own marshal, and old Skapanski our last marshal retired.”
“Let’s get us a new marshal!”
“That sounds like a motion, anyone second?” Maggie asked. She was overwhelmed by dozens of ‘seconds’.”
The vote was a unanimous ‘aye’ and the motion carried. “Do we have a candidate?”
They did…and she was hired.
Chapter VIII—Episode 1, Where are the Dogs?
And so the people spoke, and Susie Blackmon answered, she was again the first woman town marshal ever for the village of Danger Bay, and Eagle Point Township, and in the entire state. Considering there were no other town marshals in the state, a few town constables, mind you, but no marshals, this was not a huge surprise.
Collie McIntyre, Susie’s new best female friend, took her down to the closest community college where she completed two years of law enforcement coursework in two weeks, and then successfully completed the POST certification requirements to become licensed by the state (hey, this is my little cyber-world, and if I want something done in an impossibly short time….).
Hiram Silverthorn, Senior and Medlar Farkleberry made obtaining a patrol car happen.
“Hiram, I don’t see why we can’t fix up that old patrol car fer Susie. Jest needs a new motor an’ tranny.”
“It is certain that we don’t have the cash to buy a new one. Do you think you can find a flathead for the car?”
“I kin find one, but they’re too expensive, too inefficient, an’ too hard t’ keep running. We kin get a remanufactured Police Interceptor 4.6 an’ tranny fer th’ car. Jest hafta git some weldin’ done t’ fit them to th’ frame. Charlie Johnson kin do th’ welding.”
“You can’t do that?”
“Charlie’s a horse’s butt, but he’s th’ best welder aroun’ town. Problem is, he won’t donate the time.”
“Not a major problem, I’ll donate the cash for the job.”
At the Moosehead County Seat, the Sheriff explained to his overeager young deputy, Todd McCoy, the new rules for Eagle Point Township and the Village of Danger Bay.
“Son, you’ve been just a little too aggressive with the folks in Danger Bay, and as a result, they’ve hired a town constable. Starting next week, all you are required to do is provide back-up if asked, and drive through once in a while. You are not, and never have been charged with enforcing city ordinances, so that will stop immediately. Do I make myself clear?”
Todd McCoy was not very happy with this turn of events, but there was only one possible answer, he tried, and was almost successful in sounding sincere when he answered: “Yes….sir.”
PawZ No-kill Shelter had not collected a single new dog-person for the past few weeks, and had not successfully placed any of the remaining beagles of the “lost dogs” into new homes. The first was very troubling to Chris, the second?
“But Alpha-Chris, we don’t want to be adopted.”
“We’ve been together for so long, we don’t want to be separated.”
“Besides, we’ve decided to adopt you as our alpha dog-person!”
“I’m overwhelmed by you guys, but you must earn your keep here.” Chris teared up….just a little, “do you guys have any idea why we’ve found no dog-people? Wolves, maybe?”
Wingnut, the eldest of the beagle brothers paused for a moment. “Not wolves, but I think they may know. “I’ll ask Ringo when he stops by tonight.”
“Wolf-king. He stops to visit every night for a few minutes. He watched over us when we were lost.”
Chapter VIII—Episode 2 Bits & Pieces:
A little Housekeeping….
At this point, Gentle Reader, we have a little housekeeping to do as there are a few loose ends to tie up:
Daisy, Ralph & PepperCooper despite their best efforts, were unable to call GotBob‘s Benson to Danger Bay, it probably wasn’t the right time was the opinion of Daisy. The others agreed.
Big A learned of the marshal’s arrival, and just who she’d been tracking….it was his great-great-grandfather. “So that’s how we ended up here….perhaps I should consider finishing the job ol’ Grampa Aldelbert began….no, not yet, I have more important things to do before the marshal is attended to.”
William Codger, known simply as “the Codger), Ines & Mop-Boy, with some help from their patrons, worked several hours to bring Swig’s absolutely up to code…just in case. It wasn’t as if the place wasn’t kept in good order, but the building was old….and truth to tell, the county codes were nearly impossible to meet even with a brand new building. Besides, they kept changing the code requirements….bureaucracies….honestly!
It was thought that the event that brought Susie to the 21st Century may have damaged DALE.fm’s transmitters, as the station stopped broadcasting shortly after the event. DJ Dale was hard at work to correct the problem….his many fans were clamoring for their tunes, and he simply couldn’t let them down.
The MV Sparrow & crew were on an extended voyage to Whitefish Bay with a load of tourists who chartered the big trawler because they just had to see where the Edmond Fitzgerald went down. The crew rapidly grew sick of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
A gaggle of Canadians chartered the SV Danger Bay for a trip down-lake to Duluth as they wanted to experience the 42º warm water off Park Point, and its snow white sandy beach.
As expected Ringo stopped by PawZ a little after midnight. “Yes, little beagle buddies, there is a reason you’ve not found stray dog-people, a human in a brown & white machine has been collecting them.”
“I know who that is,” Wingnut declared, “Where does he take them, I wonder?”
“He says as he grabs them, something about the county dog pound….whatever that is.”
Chapter VIII—Episode 3 Party at Swig’s:
Medlar Farkleberry drove over to Charlie’s Blacksmith shop to arrange for the frame welding and found Charlie a little reluctant to take on the job. “But she’s a chick, chicks shouldn’t be cops.”
“Mebbe so, but th’ lady’s got th’ job, like it er not. Doncha think you can handle th’ work?”
“I can handle the work alright. Whadda you think ‘bout her being the marshal?”
“I think she’ll do jest fine. ‘Sides, I like her, she’s got a fine humor ‘bout her.”
“But she’s a chick!”
“You gonna take th’ job?”
“Yeah, I need the money. But don’t tell the guys.”
While Susie was away a stable was built behind the Codger Lodge for Josie, done the time-honored method of a traditional barn-raising, the good people of the village accomplishing the job in less than a day. Lysa was more than happy to donate the necessary space behind the lodge.
Hiram Silverthorn provided coffee and food, and after the job was finished, Swig’s a free drink of choice for each of the weary workers. The place was hopping (additional drinks were, of course, not free—there is a limit you understand). One thing was certain Ines knew how to throw a party!
One must wonder…if Boomer had not been away aboard the SV Danger Bay—just how long would he have stayed at the party? Odds-on favorite guess was no later than 8pm. That would have been a winner.
“I bet he’s fast asleep,” Ines smiled wickedly.
“No bets there,” DJ Dale confirmed, “But it won’t be too long before we receive a cyber-tweet with a ‘Good morning late nighters & early risers, It’s insane o’clock and I are here.’ I’d be willing to bet on that.”
Mop-Boy added, “Not all that hard if you go to bed at 6pm.”
“Some of us know how to keep hours,” Sarah chimed in, “I get up early….”
“Yeah, but you manage to stay up late,” Mop-Boy said, “right?”
“[yawn] Sometimes. Has anyone seen PepperCooper? He was just here a minute ago.”
“He and Ralph had some dog-business to attend to,” GotBob answered, “they just left.”
PepperCooper, Ralph and Wingnut (Daisy was away aboard the Danger Bay) decided they must take some action to prevent Deputy McCoy from grabbing any more strays. They decided to patrol along Historic Highway 61, where, unfortunately people dump their unwanted dog-people or cat-people. They believed they could elude the deputy easily enough, but were (rightly) concerned about coyotes, and even wolves not loyal to their friend Ringo. They would need Ringo’s help.
The dogs decided what they would do and made their plans. They told Ringo of their plan & he agreed to help with a decidedly wolvish smile. Buttons, who had been listening intently, had something to say about it. “Ok you guys, I want in on this!”
“No Buttons. Alpha-Chris would never forgive us if….”
“That’s right Wingnut,” Pokerchip added, “She’d skin us alive if anything happened to you, Buttons.”
“But, I need to do this!”
“Buttons, you’re too small,” PepperCooper said, “We’d have to watch over you….and ourselves.”
“You are but small, little Buttons….but brave, bravery knows no size,” Ringo said, “My pack will protect you….you may join us, littlest one.”
And so it was decided.
It was late, I mean very late, when the party finally broke up. Both Sarah & GotBob were more than a little concerned their dogs had not returned. Chris suggested they check PawZ, as PepperCooper & Ralph often visited there.
They soon discovered that PawZ was empty….ALL the dogs were gone! Even Buttons. “Buttons! Where are you?”
They would receive no response. The “Danger Bay Dog Pack” had a mission, and were now arrayed along the side of Historic US 61…..waiting.
Waiting for the brown & white machine to show up. And show up it did after only an hour wait. Ralph looked over at Buttons. “Get ready Buttons, this is your moment.”
The sheriff’s car slowed to a stop just a few feet away from Buttons….her white color had been quickly reflected in the squad’s headlights.
McCoy stepped from the squad and walked to the rear bumper. “Well, look what we have here….a lost little dog…oh, and some friends. You hungry? I have some food.”
McCoy had found more dogs than he expected, this would be a good shift he thought.
McCoy began walking slowly towards the little white dog. He got no more than a couple of steps when…..the little white dog backed up towards the beagles behind her: “Yark, yark, yark yark, yark…” Followed quickly by the barking of the black & white dog, and the combined baying of the beagles….an eerie sound to be sure.
But not so eerie as the sound that followed…
Chris, still relatively new to Danger Bay, was worried. Sarah & GotBob understood that the dogs of the village would with some regularity go off on some adventure or another….usually at the urging of PepperCooper or Daisy. “Don’t worry too much, Chris, she’s with good dogpeople, she’ll be quite safe, I’m sure.”
“And when she returns, she’ll have quite a tale, or maybe ‘tail’ to tell over and over, and over.”
“Thanks you two, I’m sure you’re right….but still I will worry.”
“She found her way here, didn’t she?”
DJ Dale, after some hours of hard work, found and corrected the problem….a burned out flux-grid-thingy (technical term—don’t ask). Too tired to begin broadcasting right away, he decided to fire up DALE.fm first thing in the morning. He returned to the Cabin-on-the-Rock.
As he drove along Historic 61, his mind was on tomorrow…wondering which genre of the day would be most appropriate for the first full day of broadcasting. “Acid-rock? Naw, that doesn’t fit the occasion. Hmmm..Hip-Hop? Nope. I know….no, not that either.”
He was jarred out of his thoughts when an emergency vehicle with its red & blues flashing rounded the curve ahead. It flashed by in a heartbeat. “Looks like Deputy McCoy has a real emergency….” He thought as the Sheriff’s squad blew by.
Just about five minutes earlier along that same highway:
McCoy was taken aback a bit by the beagles’ serenade, but undeterred; he would gather these lawbreaking dogs and cart them off to the pound. “Come here little dogs, I have treats for….”
He didn’t finish his sentence….from all around him he heard first one, and then another, and another distinct howl….the howl of the mighty timber wolf.
He looked around as he reached for his sidearm….he was totally surrounded by the beasts.
They slowly approached.
Sidearm or no…McCoy made the most rational decision he could….he bolted to his idling squad car and laid down a most impressive patch of twin black streaks on the pavement as he accelerated away.
He would never again capture a dog for the pound….not ever!
Thus concludes Chapter VIII-Dogs & Wolves.
To be Continued….