The next morning at 9:00 AM Wilson was in the driver’s seat of his car and Mathias sat in the passenger’s seat. Bea stood next to the car on the passenger’s side.
“You boys be careful,” Bea said. “I won’t be comin’ to bail you out.”
“We’ll be home in a couple of days,” Mathias said. “We just got to blow some stink off.”
Bea stooped to make eye contact with Wilson. “I hope this helps you.”
Wilson smiled. “Are you kidding me, this is all about Mathias.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Bea said. “You don’t have a memory and I trust you more than him.”
“Sure is a crazy world, Bea” Wilson waved. “I’ll take good care of your hubby.”
Bea gave Mathias a kiss on the cheek Wilson backed the car onto the street and drove away.
After a few minutes on the highway and some idle chatter Wilson said, “Tell me about the money.”
“Before I enlisted I worked for an electrician in town,” Mathias said. “He hired me back when I got out, but he was all set to retire. There was another guy working for him. He was going to give the business to the other buy for payments. He gave him that offer because he worked for him longer. He said I could have the business if I paid $5,000 up front. You gave me $5,000.”
“Where did I get that kind of money back then?” Wilson said.
“I don’t know,” Mathias said, “but you handed it to me in cash.”
“Did we right it up in any sort of an agreement?” Wilson said.
“Nah,” Mathias said. “We didn’t even shake on it.”
“Yeah friends don’t need to shake,” Wilson said.
“Yeah,” Mathias smiled. “That’s what you said back then. What else did you say?
Wilson thought for a moment. “A guy who shakes with one hand usually has his other hand in your pocket.”
Mathias smiled. “What’s the rest of it.”
“So never trust anybody with two arms,” Steve said.
“That first night in Fargo we walked into a diner. The short order cook behind the counter had one arm and you said now there’s a man you can trust,” Mathias said.
“I don’t remember that one,” Wilson said.
“We got the beginnings of a great friendship,” Mathis said. “I can blame all the past on you and you don’t have a clue; kind of like being married,”
“Have I ever contacted you over the years?” Wilson said. “Card, letter, phone call?”
“Nothing,” Mathias said. “Always thought you’d call about the 5,000, but nothing. I figured you may have died or something.”
“Yeah,” Wilson said, “or something.”
“Don’t be such a Debbie Downer,” Mathias said, “the ‘or something’ is better than the other.”
“Tell me about our first trip to Fargo,” Wilson said.