Old Black Maggie – Episode 13


Gary walked in the back door of his home. Supper was on the table.

“Where ya been?” Mrs. Tanner said.

“I was downtown,” Gary said.

“What were you doing there?” Mrs. Tanner said.

“I went to the library,” Gary said. “Spent nearly the whole afternoon there.”

“You see Old Black Maggie?” Mrs. Tanner said.

Gary went to the sink and washed his hands. “Yeah, I ran down the street and that’s why I ended up at the library.”

“Be careful of her,” Mrs. Tanner said.

“I will,” Gary said.

“Go get you dad for supper,” Mrs. Tanner said.

Gary walked into the living room. Mr. Tanner sat in his chair reading the paper.

“Supper, Dad,” Gary said.

“Hey, Gary,” Mr. Tanner said laying down the paper. “Where you been all day?”

“I told Mom I was at the library about all afternoon,” Gary said.

They sat at the table and the food was passed.

“Library,” Mr. Tanner said.

“Yeah,” Gary said feeling and inquisition was coming on.

“You have sure taken an interest in reading lately,” Mr. Tanner said.

“Going to the library?” Gary said.

“That, and the book you got,” Mr. Tanner said. “What’s the name of it?”

The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” Gary said.

“Hemingway, right?” Mr. Tanner said.

“Have you read it, Dad?” Gary said.

“Years ago, it was in Esquire,” Mr. Tanner said, “and a movie.”

“Who was it that gave you the book?” Mrs. Tanner said.

“A guy at the drugstore,” Gary said.

“Do you know his name?” Mr. Tanner said.

“Walter Beasely,” Gary said and told them only the circumstances of how he got the book.

“He sounds like a very nice man,” Mrs. Tanner said.

“He seems nice,” Gary said.

“What do you know about him?” Mr. Tanner said.

“He drives an Austin-Healy,” Gary said.

“What is that?” Mrs. Tanner said.

Gary felt as if his mom and dad knew the whole story, but he wasn’t sure. He had to remain calm. “It’s a sports car.”

“Two-seater, right?” Mr. Tanner said.

“Yeah,” Gary said. “Just two seats.”

“Do you know what this Walter Beasly does for a living and where he lives?”

“No,” Gary said. “I don’t known anything about him except he travels a lot.”

“Did you guys get the new contract?” Mrs. Tanner said to Mr. Tanner.

“We’ll know Monday,” Mr. Tanner said.

And the conversation drifted away from Beez and to the mundane.



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