The next day composure returned to Gary. He mowed a few lawns and doing so thought about the implications of his deed.
It was important that Old Black Maggie know who had possession of the beret. It was not enough for her to know it was taken. If she thought it was someone else evil still might be misdirected toward Gary. Although disastrous for Old Black Maggie it could be likewise for Gary or any of his friends or family.
Yet, if she became aware she could turn him into the police for breaking and entering and robbery.
Gary finished his lawns by noon. He devised another plan; find another black beret. He could wear it so she would notice. If she reported him to the police they would see it was newly purchased. Old Black Maggie would know that Gary was the one who had possession of her beret but could not prove it. He relished the thought of taunting her.
That afternoon, after shopping in at least a half-dozen stores, Gary found a black beret at Waxman’s Men’s Clothing. It cost him $4.99, but worth every penny.
Gary walked from the store wearing the beret. He was proud of it. He felt protected, but also cavalier and sophisticated, much like Beez. He had to show it to Beez.
Beez lived only a few blocks from the store.
Gary peddled his bike toward Beez’s apartment and on the way hoped he might even see Old Black Maggie. She would know the beret was not hers, but also know that it would be too much of a coincidence that Gary would be wearing one so soon after hers was stolen. She would have to know that Gary had possession of her beret. Her power over Gary would be null.
Gary leaned his bike next to the entrance of Beez’s apartment and sprung up the steps. He knocked on Beez‘s door.
He heard two voices; both men. He was certain the knock was heard. Gary waited for a few moments. Beez opened the door and a man in his mid-twenties left with a polite goodbye to Beez and a cordial smile to Gary.
“Come in, Gary,” Beez said smiling, “what is that you are sporting on your head?”
“It’s my new look,” Gary said. “Don’t you think it’s continental?”
“What?” Beez said.
“That’s what the clerk at Waxman’s said,” Gary said.
“Well,” Beez said, “he ought to know.”
“Tell me the story behind your new chapeau,” Beez said. “But first some refreshment, tea again?”
“That will be great,” Gary said. “Who was the guy who was here?”
“Merely an associate,” Beez said going into the kitchen. “Make yourself at home.”
Beez brought the trey of tea into the room and Gary related the previous evening between sips. Beez was nearly horrified at times.
“You adventuresome little rascal,” Beez said. “You have spunk.”
Gary shyly smiled.
“Let’s go out to the racetrack again,” Beez said. “What do you say!”
“Let’s do it!” Gary said.
“You are such a free spirit,” Beez said. “Nothing holds you back. I see great and good things for you.”
“Really!” Gary said.
“Yep,” Beez said. “And if you will allow me, I’ll guide you along the way. I‘ll not bridle you, only direct.”
“Like how?” Gary said.
“Like at the racetrack,” Beez said. “I’ll point you in the right direction, you drive, have all the fun, and I’ll get a kick out of watching you.”
The afternoon at the racetrack was topped-off by a drive to a nearby town that had a good restaurant.