By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 17

Dad called Curley and Spencer Winchester right after we watched Sidney’s lap-top and could see the barn was secure. They didn’t handcuff Dunbar right away, because he just started his dance.  It would take him sometime to calm down. In the meantime there was no hurry. The rest of the men joined them. They all stood around watching the Colonel writhe and shake on the ground. The sheriff was busy arranging for medical transportation for Lamar  and Dwayne. Finally he walked over, lifted Dunbar with toe of his boot, kicked him the rest of the way over with the heel and handcuffed him. It had to hurt. Funny, though, — no one seemed to give a shit. No one cried ‘police brutality.’ The sheriff could’ve taken a baseball bat to Dunbar and those men could’ve cared less.

By the time the paramedics got there, tended to Lamar, got him on oxygen, a good strong shot of Demerol, loaded him and Dwayne into the ambulance, Spencer and Curly arrived. Spencer drove our Bronco over. He left his car at our ranch. They did as the sheriff asked and parked in back. The sheriff sent two of his men back to get their patrol cars and bring them around to transport Dunbar to jail. Once they got Dunbar up and on his feet two of the deputies had to help him with a hand under each arm. He was still groggy and a little unsteady on his feet. He had cowboy piss dripping off his face, his clothes were soaked and his hair was wet and matted with it. He stunk to high heaven. He smelled like a sewer rat; he looked a little like one, too.

“Don’t put that smelly son of a bitch in one of my patrol cars, Tater. I don’t want my patrol car smelling like no damn jarhead shit house! Take him over to that grassy area, cut that damn jump suit, or whatever it is, off a’ him and hose him down real good with the garden hose. That ought a’ bring him out of his stupor pert-damn quick. Whatever you do,— don’t take his cuffs off.”

Tater always carried a sharp Barlow knife in his pocket.  He made quick work of cutting the Colonel’s overalls off; that is, considering he had to run throw up every few minutes from the smell of military shit. Tater only had to cut the shoulders and upper part that covered his arms, but the rest, they pulled off of him. They removed his boots and threw them on the porch.  He wouldn’t be needing military boots where he was going. They hosed the Colonel down to clean the stink off him. Someone found an older pair of his Wranglers and helped him on with them. The deputies put him in the patrol car and left for the jail. The Sheriff and his chief deputy hung around to talk with us.

“We ain’t gonna’ take the time to search the house. Vince you know the drill. You done worked for me before and as far as I’m concerned you’re still deputized.  Ain’t never officially un-deputized ya.’ You’re still on our rolls as one of my posse; inactive. Howsomever, you jes’ been called back into temporary service, brother.” The sheriff made a sign of the cross to my dad like a priest would bless his flock.  Everyone laughed.  Dad was right, this man could be funny.  Dad told me once, if I thought he was bad, I should be around Sheriff Bard for a while.  Dad said he could say some of the damnedest,  most outrageous things you ever heard, and usually, they were slap-your-knee-fall-down-funny.

“Look though everything for anything that might be used as further evidence against him. I want a slam-dunk case out of this, gentlemen. I wanna’ send that son of a bitch so far up the river he ain’t never coming back.  Make sure you get any videos he made and bring them to me. Make a copy for yourself if you want ‘em, just don’t tell me about it, I don’t wanna’ know, and bring me the originals. You said Sadie’s at her sister’s taking care of her,--- right, Vince?”

“Yeah, Lee, she left Friday morning, and she ain’t planning on returning until Sunday evening late.”

“Somebody’s gonna’ have to tell her. She has the right to know what went on here tonight.”

“I’ll do that, Lee, if’n ya’ want me to.” My dad hesitantly volunteered, like it was a task he didn't look forward to.

“Okay,— that’s fine. Truth is, I was kinda hope’n you might. I realize you and Sadie have been friends for a number of years, Vince, and I know she thinks the world of you and Casey.  It’ud probably be easier on her coming from you than anybody else.  Now,— I did NOT tell you this, okay,— but if her sister is still sick, she might wanna’ consider staying there and taking care of her until the end. There ain’t much she can do here right now no ways. Dwayne and all other matters are completely out of her hands. She can’t do nothing about it. If she comes home, to see Dwayne or Dunbar, I’m gonna’ have to arrest her on charges of possible neglect, abuse, abandonment and child endangerment.”

The men looked at one another like they were shocked.

“Look,--- I know what chu’ men are think’n, but I ain’t got no damn choice in the matter,--- it’s the law, gentlemen. That’s what you good folks elected me for was to uphold the law, and that’s what I gotta’ do. Except,— now don’t quote me on this,— once in a great while, I bend the rules a little for the sake of mercy. If she don’t come home right away, I can give her some slack since she’s taking care of her sister. Know’n Sadie like I do, she ain’t going no wheres. She just ain’t that way. Eventually, I’ll have to arrest her until the authorities can decide whether they wanna’ prosecute.

If they decide there ain’t enough grounds to prosecute, they may let her go. It depends on a lot of things, gentlemen. There’s a possibility Sadie might do some jail time. I just don’t know. That ain’t my job. By telling you this, I’m trying to prepare you for the best and the worst that might happen. It will all depend on the recommendations of the social workers and the juvenile courts. Most likely, Dwayne will be placed in a foster home for a while. In the meantime, I know he can stay with you and Casey, Vince.”

“Of course he can, brother, you know he can.”

“Donna and I anticipated something like this might happen.” spoke up Spencer Winchester, “We took Vince’s suggestion, applied and were approved yesterday as licensed foster parents. We’d like to offer Dwayne a home with us until he can get his life straightened out. We got a big home sitting there practically empty, except for Donna and I, and we know Dwayne is one of the finest boys in this community.”

“I think we’re all agreed on that, Mr. Winchester; however, there again, it’s gonna’ be up to the child welfare workers and the courts. If Dwayne wants to stay with you and your wife, you certainly have my endorsement.”

“Thanks, Sheriff.” Said Mr. Winchester.

“No problem, Sir; however,— I might warn you, if you have any problems with a giant, black man,— and I DO mean a giant, black man,— visiting in your home,— don’t even consider it. Biggest damn man I ever saw in my life, and the man is so black if’n he didn’t smile in a coal bin you wouldn’t see him.” We all laughed at the sheriff’s comment, “Lemme’ be quick to add, so’s I ain’t accused of being a racist, I personally think he’s one of the finest looking black men I ever did meet. I ain’t even gonna’ comment about that monster between his legs! Oh, Hell,— what the fuck!  Who’a my try’n to kid here?  Y’all know me better’n 'nat.” he winked at my dad. “I took one look at that damn thing and my old asshole slammed shut so tight, it was a’ yell’n at me, 'Don’t chu’ dare even think about it, Lee!’”

 That stopped the conversation for a minute until everyone recovered. Then the sheriff continued.

“Did y’all get a gander at them muscles on that man? Ho-lee shit! He has muscles we ain’t even used. Any man would kill to look that good. We ain’t that old, Vince, what the Hell happened to us, brother?”  He laughed.

“There ain’t no need for beat’n ‘round the bush here, we’re all grown men, and I’m sure what we don’t know them two fine young men, right there, can fill us in on.” He laughed. “Truth is, Lamar and Dwayne done bonded over this incident, and when that happens, gentlemen, there ain’t a lot chu’ can do about it; them two’s joined at the hips. I doubt seriously you could pry them apart with a wrecking bar. Hell, I still got my scar on my hip were Vince and I was separated when we got back from Nam,— you, Vince?”

“Big ole scar, brother!” Dad shot back. All the men laughed.

“We understand, Sheriff. That’s not gonna’ be a problem with my wife and I. The man saved Dwayne’s life for cries sake.  How could we deny him seeing Dwayne? We understand their bond. We’re easy with it. It’s fine with us.” Mr. Winchester looked at my dad and winked.

“Well, personally, I think they make a damn good looking couple. They look jes’ like two keys on a pie-annie.” We all laughed. “Lucky Dwayne, huh?” added the sheriff, “When you see that boy walk’n down the street with a big, silly grin on his face,— you won’t have ta’ ask why.”  

All the men laughed their ass’s off at the sheriff’s remark.

“Well, it just goes to show ya,’ sometimes the old sayings are true. My grandma used to tell me when God closes one door he usually opens another. I’d say that boy could use a grand opening with healthy dose a’ love’n attached, and I think Lamar Bradley jes’ might be the man what could do it for him.” We all broke up again.

“I think Dwayne would be as safe with that man as he would any man here,— except, maybe me. I’ve had my eye on that little round butt for a couple a’ years now!” He roared with laugher, and so did we. It was all in good fun, but the sheriff was making some good points and trying to keep everyone’s spirits up with a little humor.

“I don’t know what the situation is with Lamar, but let’s try’n help the man if we can. If them military types get a holt’ a’ him before I get a chance to talk with him and tell him some do’s and don’ts he ain’t gonna’ do real well. If any a’ you men knows anyone who can help this man in any way, please let me know. I don’t wanna’ see this man hurt more’n he all ready has been. I jes’ have a feeling he’s an innocent victim of circumstances. Does anyone know the story of how Lamar got involved with all this?”

“We got it all recorded, Sheriff, except the audio is low. That’s no problem I wrote a program that can enhance any sound on a video or DVD.  Give me an hour, and I can get either a tape or a DVD to you. On the video Lamar tells Dwayne everything. He had the job of giving our brother enemas to clean him out for the Colonel’s use and the Colonel recorded it. Naturally, we tapped into his signal and made a copy for ourselves.”

“Ah-ha!” exclaimed the sheriff, “So that’s how them two bonded! I once fell madly in love with an ugly army nurse who used to gimme’ enemas when I came back from Nam. I always did blame it on them damn enemas she gimme.’ She sure as Hell weren’t ‘tat pur-tie look’n!”

We were all laughing with the sheriff.

“Okay, Son, either one is fine. I’d like to have it as soon as possible so I can review it and be up to speed and running when I talk to Lamar. I’m gonna’ need all recordings made here tonight. I just know this boy well enough by now to know he’s gonna’ make his-self a couple of copies.” He smiled at Sidney. “H’it don’t make me no never mind, I just don’t wanna’ know about it, and give me the originals,— agreed, Son?”

“Yes, Sir, Sheriff. We’ll get them to you later this evening if you wish.”

“That’ll be fine. Since tomorrow ain’t a school day maybe yore’ daddy and head wrangler would let you stay up a little later than usual.” He winked at big Sidney and Sticker. “We’re gonna’ wrap this up pert-damn quick. We gotta’ get back, but you men look though the house either tonight or tomorrow morning and bring me anything that remotely resembles any evidence against him. If he’s got a computer in there, can you get into it and see what’s on there, Son?” He asked Sidney. Sidney just grinned real big. “I agree, Son, it was a stupid question, and you’re right, I should a’ know’d better than to ask.” he laughed, “See what you can find, Son, but don’t alter any files, passwords or anything else on it. Bring it with you tonight, if you can. If you don’t have time for all of it, get me the video first, and go through the computer when you have more time. Now, understand,— Vince, here, as one of my official deputies will be in charge of all information you gather. If you’re in doubt about anything, check with him. ”

“Yes, Sir, Sheriff.”

“There’s one part of the recording in the barn I’m a little concerned about. It’s when Dwayne gets on his knees, and — ”

“I know which part, Sheriff.” Sidney interrupted him. “Not a problem, Sir.”

“I won’t ask,— I don’t wanna’ know!” he grinned at Sidney. “Jes’ bring me the final disk, Son,— oh, yes, and by the way, Son,— you wanna’ have a talk with your daddy and see if he’ll let you help us once in a while?”

“Thanks, Sheriff, I’d like that.” Sidney replied. Big Sidney beamed with pride.    

“Dwayne’s gonna’ need all our help, gentlemen, but more than that, he’s gonna’ need our love. He’s all ready got one giant, young, black man in his corner, and I jes’ about imagine ever’ man here. We’re gonna’ try’n keep this as quiet as possible for Dwayne’s sake. Now! That brings me to my final question. You all know what it is and why I put it off ‘til last. Who’s gonna’ contact his daddy and tell him what happened?”

“Well,--- he’s my employee, Sheriff. He’s worked closely with me for the last two years.” said Sticker.

We were shocked. We never heard about this before. Damn, if Mr. Wiggins weren’t a cowboy. We always knew it, but you just never knew what to expect sometimes. The sheriff continued.

“Of all people, Rance Harding needs to know what happened to his boy. It’s my considered opinion, he’s been cut out a’ that boy’s life for too damn long, and for little or no good reason. That boy needs his daddy right now!” continued Sheriff Bard, “Rance’s gonna’ need some good, strong counseling. Several of you men know him well and you know what I’m talk’n about. I love Rance as much as any man here, he’s a brother, but I can’t have him riding into town on a pony with guns a’ blazing. This jes’ ain’t the wild west no more, gentlemen; however, as we all know, somebody forgot to tell Rance Harding.”

All the men chuckled, but they had to agree with the sheriff, they knew him well and knew how he could be sometimes. Secretly, it was something they all admired Rance for, as well. He would stand up to the Devil, himself, if he thought he was right.

“How ‘bout, if Frank Mayhew and I go have a talk with him. My rodeo stock company is doing a rodeo this weekend in Valley Center. If we bring him back with us, any man here, who knows Rance, would be glad to put him up. I’ll make sure he has some time off to be with his boy. He ain’t took a day off since he’s worked for me. Since the sheriff wants Dwayne to stay with the Longhorns until it’s decided what to do, can Rance stay with you and Casey, Vince?” Sicker asked my dad.

“You don’t even have to ask, Sticker. He’s family, just like Dwayne and Sidney is Casey’s brothers,— Rance is my brother.”

“That’s a fine idea, Mr. Wiggins. Is that all right with you, Mr. Mayhew?”

“Be glad to, Sheriff. I agree with you, I think the boy needs his daddy.”

“Thanks, Mr. Mayhew.”

The sheriff and his chief deputy took off to get back to town. We did a quick preliminary search of the house and found the Colonel’s personal computer in his work room. Sidney and I quickly tore it down and put it in the Bronco. Sidney found the tapes he made. I went into the bathroom and got the enema bag still hanging on the nail where Lamar left it.

Dad wanted to go home for a while. He left everything in Frank’s charge. He wanted to get big Sid and Sticker back to Sticker’s Humvee. On the way, Sidney and I asked our dad’s if we could go by the hospital to see our brother and give him support. We wanted to know how Lamar was doing, too. I could tell dad was tired, and he just wanted to get home. He had a hard day, and I knew it was stressful for him.

Mr. Wiggins and Sidney’s dad volunteered to take us and bring me back. There might be papers they needed to sign anyway. Dad told me I could go and spend some time with Dwayne but to get back early. I asked Mr. Wiggins if they could get me back before ten. It was still early evening, and we had plenty of time. They agreed. If we were going over to Dwayne’s tomorrow to do a thorough search my dad needed some rest. I also felt he wanted to be alone when he called Sadie. I hugged him and kissed him goodbye. He told me to give Dwayne his love, and he’d be looking forward to him coming to stay with us for a while. He also told me to tell him Lamar is welcome in our home anytime he can get away. If Lamar needs a place to stay for a while, he’s welcome.

* * * * * * *

After we left, dad dialed the number for Sadie’s sister and Sadie answered.

“Sadie, this is Vince Longhorn calling.”

“I’s just thinking about you and Casey, Vince.”

“Have you got a minute to talk?”

“Sure, I put my sister down for the night, and thank God, she’s resting peacefully. What’s going on, Vince? It’s Brad, ain’t it?”

“‘Fraid so, Sadie,— Brad’s in jail, and Dwayne’s in the hospital overnight. He’s okay, don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with him. They just wanna’ keep him overnight for observation, and they’ll release him to me in the morning. Casey and Sidney have gone with Sidney’s dad and Sticker Wiggins to be with him, and I promised Leland Bard I’d give you a call tonight.”  Dad said he could hear Sadie weeping on the other end.

“You, okay, old friend? You want me to go on?”

“I’m sorry, Vince, with all that’s happening to me lately I jes’ fell apart for a minute. I’ll try not to,— just tell me what’s going on.”

“Brad’s been raping and sexually molesting Dwayne for about six months.”

“Oh, my God in heaven, no, Vince! How long have you known about it?”

“A little over two weeks, Sadie. That’s why I wouldn’t let him stay with Brad last weekend. Dwayne finally broke down and told Casey the night Brad called him home to fix his dinner. Casey talked Dwayne into talk’n with me and Spencer Winchester, and he told us everything. Brad gave Frank and Curley the weekend off, and he kept Dwayne tied up in the barn all weekend. He only set him free shortly before you came home. He raped Dwayne repeatedly, Sadie. He wanted Dwayne there for the long weekend, but thank God, you let him stay with us.”

“Oh, my God! Oh, my dear sweet Lord! My baby, how could I have left him with that monster. I should’ve known. The signs were right there before me, but I couldn’t tell if it was just because Dwayne hated Brad, and he didn’t want anything to do with him. Now, the pieces are falling together faster than I can think about them. It’s like seeing a jig-saw puzzle all fall’n into place at once. Why didn’t you tell me, Vince?”

“Brad told Dwayne if he ever told anyone he’d kill you, Sadie. Dwayne believed him. A man mean enough to physically rape him over and over for a six month period, you gotta’ believe he jes’ might do it. Dwayne was protecting you, Sadie. You don’t know how badly I wanted to tell you that afternoon in the kitchen, but if I had we saw some bad outcomes as possibilities. We had no way of knowing exactly how crazy Brad was or how he might react. Supposing I told you, would you have believed me?”

“To be completely honest, Vince, I just don’t know.”
“Well, we took that into consideration. We thought if you saw what was going on all along and did nothing, what would make us think you’d believe us now? What if Dwayne came to you and said, ‘You really wanna’ know what’s bothering me, Mom? Brad’s been raping and sexually abusing me for the last six months.’ Would you think Dwayne make it up to git chu’ all riled up at Brad so’s you’d git rid of him? Do you think for a minute Brad would admit it? He all ready had ju’ believing there was nothing wrong with him, it was all Dwayne’s fault. You knew in your heart Dwayne was a good boy. I told ju’ over and over Dwayne’s a good boy to try to git you to see it wasn’t Dwayne’s fault. If I told you and you confronted Brad, as big a liar as he is, he could a’ made you believe anything, Sadie. Then he’d take it out on Dwayne or worse, to punish him, he jes’ might a’ killed ju.’”

“Oh, dear God! What’a my gonna’ do, Vince?  Should I come home? It’ll take me a while to get someone to care for my sister.”

“Not really, Sadie,— ever’thing’s under control now. Brad’s in jail where he can’t hurt nobody no more. Dwayne’s safe and he’s coming home with us tomorrow morning. I advise you not to come home right now, Sadie. Stay there and take care of your sister until she passes, and then come home. Frank and Curley will take care of the ranch for you, and we’ll take Dwayne over to do the chores and help on weekends.

You know I’ll take good care of Dwayne, so don’t worry about him. I really meant what I said the other day, Sadie. Dwayne has a second home here, if he needs it. The sheriff won’t let him come home to you anyway, until there’s an investigation. If you come back to see Dwayne or Brad, Leland will arrest you on charged of possible neglect, abuse, abandonment, and child endangerment.”

“Oh God, Vince! This is my punishment from God for having thrown out the best man who ever happen in my life. The only man I’ll ever truly love. Dwayne tried to talk to me. He begged me to forgive him. You tried to talk to me. So many others tried to get through to me, but I wouldn’t listen. I broke his heart and kept him from his most cherished thing on Earth, his son. How was Brad caught, Vince?”

“Do you really want to know all the details tonight? Why don’t you let drive up there one day this next week. I can sit down with you and tell you everything.”

“Just tell me one thing, Vince, is my boy gonna’ be like his dad?”

“Sadie, I ain’t even gonna’ dignify that question with an answer. If that’s what you’re most worried about, you’re choosing to fight the wrong battles. Why on God’s green Earth would you care? Are you gonna’ stop loving your son and turn your back on him like you did Rance jes’ because he might be like his dad? That’s almost as insane as what Brad did to him, Sadie. I mean you no disrespect, you know I love you, but if you do that, you never deserved that boy in the first place. You gave up a damn good man, Sadie, because of you rigid beliefs. You took everything that man owned and left him with nothing, not even being able to see his own son. Are you gonna’ gamble two for two? I promise you,— you’ll lose him, Sadie,— if you haven’t lost him all ready.”  Dad could hear her crying on the other end.

“I’m so sorry, Vince, you’re only saying what I said a minute ago. I did give him up. I don’t wanna’ lose my boy, Vince. He’s my world. Can you just give me brief overview of what happened to finally catch Brad and put him in Jail?”

“Yeah, sure, Sadie. Briefly, we knew Dwayne was gonna’ have to stay home with Brad this weekend. There was no doubt in our minds he was gonna’ do it all again. He told Dwayne he was before you left. Thursday, I took the boys over to do the chores early before Brad got home. While Dwayne did his chores, Casey and Sidney got into the barn, and hid three video cameras. Frank, Curley and I stood watch in case Brad came home early.

Brad gave Frank and Curley the weekend off again so’s they wouldn’t be around. This afternoon Sidney, Casey and Sticker hid in the bunkhouse and filmed everything. We got worried because Brad brought a huge, black man home with an enormous schlong to fuck Dwayne. We called Leland Bard in on it. The boys filmed Brad abusing Dwayne for a couple of hours and me, Frank, Sidney’s dad, the sheriff and his men came in the back gate and went to the bunkhouse to check on the boys and Sticker.

The black man was in the house cleaning himself and he came to the barn as Brad ordered him to. Brad told him to fuck Dwayne, but he refused. He’d gotten to know Dwayne and liked him. He told Brad he wouldn’t fuck a young boy. Brad pulled his service revolver and threatened to kill the man if he didn’t do what Brad told him to. The sheriff and his men walked into the barn and told Brad to drop the gun. As soon as Brad figured out Dwayne set him up, he went into one of his rages and was gonna’ kill him, but the big, black man jumped in front of Dwayne to protect him and took the bullet.  They Tasered Brad and took him off to jail. The black man’s in the hospital in critical condition. Dwayne’s all right. His brother’s are with him right now.”

Sadie was quiet for a moment and dad heard a big sigh.

“What’a my gonna’ do, Vince?”

“I don’t know, Sadie. At this point I can’t give you advice. I jes’ don’t have any to give you. All I can do is be your friend and tell you to follow your heart. Do you want me to come up?”

“No,— as long as I know Dwayne’s all right. I know you’ll take good care of him, and he’s happy with you and Casey. He loves you both very much. I’m gonna’ take your advice and stay up here until Janeen passes. Then I’ll come back and turn myself in to Leland. He’s a good man to let me stay with my sister. Thank him for me. I’ll be in his office the day after her funeral. Tell Dwayne I love him; although, I’m not sure he’ll believe me now. Can’t say’s I blame him much. I never told ju’ this, but I tore up all his daddy’s letters?”

“I know, Sadie, Dwayne told me about it. He saw you do it onetime. He watched you take the money out that was meant for him and put it in your pocket. He watched you tear up the letter from his dad. He always took the trash out for you, and he’d go though it every night to find his dad’s letters and piece them back together.  Dwayne didn’t care about the money,  he just wanted to hear from his dad. Finally Rance started sending his letters to our place. I told him he could. I’m sorry, Sadie, I didn’t mean to deceive you none, I just thought Dwayne had the right to hear from his dad no matter what Rance did, and I stand by my decision, Sadie, as having done the right thing.”

“I can’t believe Dwayne knew about that all along, and that boy never said a word to me. Dwayne is a cowboy, Vince,— just like his dad. Oh, God! What a fool I’ve been. No wonder he probably hates me.”
“No, he don’t, Sadie. He wouldn’t a’ tried to protect you from Brad if he didn’t love you. The biggest thing is, Sadie, we have reason to believe Brad planned to do away with both of you to get the ranch. We think he planned to sell Dwayne to white slave traders on the Internet.”
“Oh, my God!” Dad heard Sadie crying again.

“Look, Sadie, I’ll have Dwayne call you when we get him home. You call me if you change your mind about me coming up.”

“I will, Vince,— God love you for taking care of my boy and helping him in his time of need. If he didn’t have you and Spence Winchester, Brad just might have carried off his plan.”

“I have no doubts, Sadie. He was brainwashing Dwayne to become a man’s sex slave, and he planned to sell him to another man on the Internet.”

“I’m sorry, Vince, I can’t hear any more of this. Let me call you when I’ve recovered from the shock. Thanks again, Vince. You continue to be a good friend.”

“Bye, Sadie.
* * * * * * *

We got to the hospital and found Dwayne’s room. He was sitting up in bed and was so glad to see us. He hugged and kissed everybody. He broke down and sobbed in Sidney’s and my arms. He kept calling our little brother, ‘little bit,’ but I didn’t know why at the time. He was kissing Sidney and thanking him for being there for him. He didn’t spare his affections for me though. He was in a two man room with Lamar, but they hadn’t brought him back from surgery. We could tell he was filled with so many emotions it was almost overwhelming for him. He was glad and relieved it was over and he could start living a more normal life; yet, he was terribly worried about his friend.  He even felt bad because Dunbar was in jail. Sticker assured him that was normal, but it would pass. It was sort of like what our little brother advised me about Peacock; however, I’m glad I didn’t listen to him. I hoped Dwayne did.

“I’m so glad to see, ya’ll.  Lamar’s still in surgery; he has been for about and hour and a half. They’re gonna’ bring him here when they’re done, and I’ll get to be with him. After they took some of Dunbar’s sperm out of me, they checked me over and were gonna’ release me tonight. Lamar needed some blood, and I told them to take mine. They took a bit of my blood to test. Turns out I’m what cha’ call a universal blood type; type ‘O’ negative. So they took a pint of my blood jes’ a while ago. Ain’t that romantic, now my blood flows in my buddy.” He giggled like a school boy and we laughed to.

“Thank God for Sheriff Bard. The more I’m around that man the more I like him.” We agreed with him. He’s a no nonsense, level headed, thoughtful, considerate, man and as funny as a car full of clowns.

“Before the paramedics got there and put Lamar on the gurney, do you remember Sheriff Bard told Casey to run to the house and get them blankets. Then he told us to take all his clothes off, his dog tags, and hide ‘em?”

“Yeah.” Sidney and I replied.

“He did it for a reason. He don’t want the hospital to know Lamar’s in the military. His dog tags and clothes would a’ been a dead giveaway. He didn’t know if they would, but he didn’t want some do-gooder nurse alerting the military until he had a chance to go over everything with Lamar. He thinks he can save Lamar’s butt if he does what he tells him. That is if Lamar wants to stay in the Marines.”

“He told the hospital folks they better do what the Hell he told ‘em to,— follow his instructions and keep me overnight for observation. I think he really jes’ wanted for me to be here for my buddy when he wakes up. Later, they probably won’t let me see Lamar ‘cause I ain’t a family member. I don’t know why?” grinned Dwayne, “We certainly look enough alike to be brothers.”  We agreed and laughed with him. “Anyway, the sheriff came in a while ago to talk with me and told me not to let anyone talk to Lamar before he got a chance to talk with him. I told him what little I know and he, said you were gonna’ get one of Dunbar’s videos to him to listen to our conversation while we were in the bathroom.”

“Yeah, he said something about that to us, and Sidney’s gonna’ get it to him later this evening.” spoke Sticker. “Son, I ain’t never told ju’ this before now because, I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do or not, but yore’ daddy’s been working for me for the last two years. He’s head ramrod of my rodeo stock company and he’s doing a fine job. He needs to know what went on here tonight. Frank Mayhew and I are gonna’ drive to Valley Center tomorrow morning where there’s a rodeo this weekend and bring him back with us. He’s gonna’ be staying with Vince and Casey, so you’ll get to be with him. I’m making him take some time off to come be with you. That sucker ain’t taken a day off for any reason since I hired him. We all feel you need your dad right now. We’ve tried to give you as much support through this as we could, but as much as we love you, we can’t take the place of yore’ daddy, Son.”

Dwayne hugged the big cowboy and started crying. I never saw a more empathetic face on a man as Mr. Wiggins had that night holding Dwayne. Several tears rolled down his face. He held Dwayne and comforted him for sometime.  

“Thanks, Mr. Wiggins.” said Dwayne.

“No problem, Son.” replied Mr. Wiggins.

We visited with Dwayne for about and hour and a half when they brought Lamar back to the room. He was in the operating room for three hours patching him up. He was still unconscious and probably wouldn’t wake for sometime. He had tubes coming out of him all over the place and looked like he’d been run over by a bulldozer. He resembled a good looking ‘Borg’ critter from Star Trek, but thank God, the big man was alive, and his condition was upgraded from critical to serious. Dwayne went to his side and took his big hand in his. The doctor came into the room and saw us.

“Sheriff Bard ask me to bend the rules a little here, and let you men know how Mr. Bradley is doing. Since Mr. Bradley gave us the name of Dwayne Harding as next of kin,— who am I to argue. I don’t think he has any other family anyway. Mr. Bradley came though the operation fine. There was no complications. It was a pretty routine gun shot wound patch up job. The bullet lodged in a rib. A half inch one way or the other and Dwayne would either be dead or right here beside Mr. Bradley recovering. So this big man is officially a hero.

The man is basically very healthy and in top physical condition. He should recover quickly. We removed the bullet and patched his lung. We have him breathing with assistance now and a high level of oxygen to help him heal faster. We’re gonna’ keep him pretty well doped up tonight, but he should be wide awake by tomorrow morning.  He can have limited visitors if you don’t stay too long. That don’t apply to you, Dwayne. You can be here with him as much as you want. If a man saved my life, I’d sure as Hell wanna’ to be by his side when he woke up. We’re releasing Dwayne tomorrow morning and he should be able to return to school Monday. Any questions, gentlemen?”

No one had any questions so he said his goodbyes and left. We needed to leave, too. We knew Dwayne probably wanted to be alone with his friend anyway. On the way back to our place we didn’t talk much. The day collapsed in on top of Sidney and I. We suddenly realized how tired we were. We all ready loaded Dunbar’s computer into the Humvee for Sidney to take home and peruse. I didn’t envy my little brother having to get that recording to the sheriff tonight, but knowing him it would be a labor of love.

We talked a little about how we felt about Dwayne finding a new friend and decided we were thrilled for him. Lamar wasn’t going to take Dwayne away from us, he would only add to our lives. We also decided, jokingly, we were so damn jealous we could cut our big brother’s heart out. Sidney and I roared with laugher at our macabre sense of humor. In truth, we couldn’t have loved our brother more, and we couldn’t have been more happy for him.

* * * * * * *

When Sticker and Frank pulled into the rodeo compound they saw Rance Harding up on top of one of the trucks trying to get a stubborn Brahma bull to go the other way, out of the truck into a corral. Rance was all cowboy from his hat to his boots. He was a little over six foot four, tall, lean and mean looking. His hair was beginning to get salt and pepper around the edges and he wore a full, bushy, black moustache. His face was weather beaten and brown from too many days in the saddle, but his most striking feature was his light colored eyes. The pupils were so striking because they were so pale and a light violet in color. They were heightened and looked lighter still because of his dark, ruddy complection. When he looked at you, you would swear he was looking into your soul; his eyes were that penetrating. Frank Mayhew got a good look at Rance as he waved to the Humvee.

“Shiiit!” Said Frank under his breath. Sticker chuckled.

“That bad, Frank?” Sticker inquired.  

“I’ll carry a stiff dick to my grave for that man.” Frank wasn’t kidding and Sticker knew it. “One look in them damn eyes of his,  my brain turns to horse turds and my old dick takes over. Don’t git me wrong, Sticker,— I love Curley with all my heart, and I’d never consider leaving him for anyone; Rance included. But, that cowboy can still make my heart skip a beat and my asshole,— as old as it is,— still twitch.”   

Sticker roared with laughter. Nothing more was said, but that exchange with Frank was the first personal information Sticker ever got from Frank Mayhew in almost twelve years of knowing him. It made him admire Frank all the more for his honesty.

Rance was wearing a pure white Western shirt with blue striping, Wranglers, a big cowboy hat, boots, and a pair of leather working chinks. He jumped down from the truck and came to greet his boss. He was pleasantly surprised to see his old buddy Frank Mayhew. He shook hands with them, but he couldn’t resist a hug and a kiss for his old saddle partner. For a pair of older, stoic cowboys they forgot the rules for a minute and shared a few tears.

“You old son of a bitch,  it’s so damn good to see your ugly face again. I almost shit my pants when I saw you git out a’ the truck. I’m s’glad you came with Mr. Wiggins.”

Sticker told Rance many times to just call him Sticker, but Rance was the last of the American cowboys, and he would only call his boss-man by his last name to show him proper respect.    

“Mr. Wiggins called me last night and said he’d drop by today, but how did ju’ git away? Ain’t nothing wrong with Curley, is there?” Rance looked worried.

“Naw, Curley’s fine. Do I need an excuse to come see my old friend?”

“Oh, Hell, no,brother! You know better’n ‘nat!”

“If you can git away for a while, Rance, we’d like to take you to lunch and jaw with ya’ fer awhile.” Sticker said.

“The folks are giving the hands a barbecue for lunch today with the works. It’s damn good barbecue, too. ‘Em black folks is cooking it and ain’t nobody cooks barbecues better'n nay can. Ya’ll like to join us?”

“That’ud be great, Rance.” Sticker replied.

Rance showed Sticker and Frank around and introduced them to his straw boss, his next man in command of the operation. Rance called all the hands together and introduced them all. They sat down to eat and Sticker found a table away from everyone else. Rance figured Sticker just wanted to talk business in private. Rance was right, it was damn good barbeque.
They finished their meal and Sticker started.

“Rance, we didn’t come to talk business," Sticker paused for a moment, "we came here on a personal matter. You need to git some a’ yore things together, and let your second take over for a few days; we need to take you back with us. Yore’ boy needs you, Rance.”

“Why? What’s wrong? You know I can’t see Dwayne!  Sadie'll have my ass slapped in jail quicker'n a tick on a cow. She won’t never let me git near my boy. Dwayne’s snuck off a few times, we got together for several hours at a time, but nobody knew about it s’far as I know. Is Sadie sick,--- did she die?”

“No, no,— let us explain. You won’t go to jail, ‘cause Leland Bard told us to come git chu.’ Now,— ya’ think the sheriff’s gonna’ arrest you when he was the one what told us Dwayne needs his daddy right now?”

“No,— guess not. I heard Sadie was up to Chino way take’n care of her Sis— ” Rance broke off his sentence, “Oh, my God in heaven!  It’s that fuck’n tin soldier she done went and married, ain’t it? If’n that bastard laid a hand on my boy I’ll kill the Goddamn son of a bitch. Hell, yes, I’ll go with ya’ and take my bull gun with me! I’ll blow his Goddamn fuck’n head off!”

“Calm down, Rance! We ain’t taking you no wheres until you simmer down.” Frank said to him. “We know how you feel. We feel the same damn way, but kill’n Dunbar ain’t the answer unless you wanna’ go back to prison.  Let that bastard go to prison instead of you. You missed the shoot out, cowboy, he’s behind bars all ready. 'Em boys got enough evidence on that son of a bitch to send him up for life. So, sit chore’ ass down, cowboy,--- take a load off, and give us a chance to explain before you mount up and go off half cocked ride’n into town with gun’s a blaze’n.”  Frank told him, thankful to Sheriff Bard for that line. It fit Rance  perfectly.

There was only three men in the world who could’ve gotten through to Rance Harding, and two were sitting in front of him. The other was Vince Longhorn. He’d listen to Vince. Sticker picked up and told Rance the whole thing. It took them a couple of hours to tell him between bursts of outrage and calming him down again. They finally got him settled down. When they told him Sadie might have to do some jail time, the big, rough talking cowboy laid his head on the picnic table, and broke down into heavy sobs for the woman he still loved in spite of what she’d did to him. They told him Dwayne would probably be put in a foster home until he’s of legal age, and the Winchester’s have volunteered to take him in. They even got a foster care license in case he wanted to live with them. Rance was pleased to hear that. He knew and loved Spencer and Donna Winchester.  Sticker told him about Lamar saving Dwayne’s life and how they bonded. Rance knew all too well what that meant. He’d been there and back, several times.

“Hell,--- h’it don’t make me no never mind who my boy chooses to love!  I don’t give a shit,--- s’long as he’s happy. If’n the man saved my boy’s life he could be green with pink pokey-dots from Mars for all I care, but he’ll still be my brother. So I’ll have a black man for a son-in-law,— what the Fuck?! Less’n them two’s figured out a new way a’ do’n it, I ain’t gonna’ have ta’ worry none about have’n to explain no little pick-a-ninnies run’n around.”

The three men shared a laugh. It was the first good laugh the men got out of Rance since they started talking.

 “Well, if any good has come of this, Dwayne met Lamar and you can now see your boy as much as you want according to Leland Bard. Dwayne’s gonna’ need you, Rance, and you ain’t gonna’ do him no good by flying off the handle. Yore’ boy needs you, right now, one Hell of a lot more’n you need revenge. ” Frank told him.

“Yeah,— I guess you’re right, old friend. You always could talk horse sense to me when nobody else could.” he grinned at Frank, and his grin communicate his love and respect for his friend. Frank didn’t respond. Rance didn’t expect him to. He knew Frank loved Curley, and he was glad for them.  He liked Curley a lot, and Rance though he was perfect for Frank.

“So you say Vince Longhorn and Spencer Winchester were in on nail’n his ass?”

“Yeah, Spencer and his wife was having dinner with the Longhorns the night Dwayne finally told Casey what was going on. Casey talked him into telling his dad and Spencer Winchester. Casey told Dwayne they all ready figured it out. They suspected what was going on all along. Spencer’s been the main man who’s been talking with Dwayne to get him away from Dunbar. The boys actually planned everything, and if it weren’t for Sidney Wainright’s boy we could a’ never pulled it off. That damn kid’s a genius.” Frank told him.

“God! Vince, Sidney, Spence, and Leland,— what I don’t owe them four men. You, Frank and Curley, too, Mr. Wiggins.”
“You don’t owe them men a damn thing, cowboy! You sure as Hell don’t owe Frank or me nothing. You’ve worked hard for ever’ damn thing you got. You''re fair minded and honest to a fault. We did it, as much for our love of Dwayne as we did for you. Your boy’s a damn good kid, Rance, but he needs ju’ right now; not tomorrow; not next week;— today!” Sticker told him.

“All right,— lemme’ git some shit together. Should I take my truck and follow you?”

“Naw, come on, go with us; ain’t that far. You can use Vince’s pickup. He’ll let chu’ borrow it. He never drives the damn thing anyways. He’s always drive’n the Bronco. I’ll see to it you git back okay if’n I have ta’ drive ya’ myself.” said Sticker. “Ain’t about to lose my head honcho.” Sticker smiled at him.

“Okay, Sir. I really appreciate you men take’n your time to personally come and talk with me about this.”

“What are friends for, Rance?”  Sticker asked him.

“Well,— I tell ya,’— I somehow managed to make me some good ones over the years.  Men I’m damn proud to call my friends.”

“That’s because you know how to be a friend, cowboy.”  Frank told him.

With that statement Frank crossed the gap between him and his old mate. After that afternoon their relationship took on new meaning for them, and it was beneficial for both.
* * * * * * *

Dwayne set next to his friend’s bed all night holding his hand. He wanted to be there in case Lamar woke up and was frightened with all the tubes in his body; especially, the tube down his throat to keep his airways open. Try as he might the excitement and physical activity he went though that evening in the barn caught up with him. He thought maybe if he just laid his head on the bed next to Lamar he might rest for a just few minutes,—

Dwayne awoke up slowly out of a deep sleep. It seemed to him like a giant’s hand took hold of his hand and was gently shaking it. He eyes were groggy as he looked up to see his buddy looking at him. His eyes were smiling, but his mouth wasn’t. He still had the tube down his throat. Dwayne was awake in a minute.

“Oh, Lamar, you’re awake! Thank God!”  He exclaimed.

Lamar pointed to the tube in his throat like he wanted it out.

“Hold on a minute, I’ll get a nurse.”

Dwayne ran to the hall and saw a small nurse.

“Nurse! Nurse! My friend’s awake and he wants that tube down his throat taken out.”

“Go back and tell him I have to get an orderly to do that. I’ll get him right away, Mr. Harding.” She scurried off to find the orderly as fast as her chubby little legs could carry her. Dwayne thought that was strange. Usually people in such low paying jobs don’t hurry to do anything. What he didn’t know was the nurses on the day and night duty were being tipped handsomely by Sidney Wainright senior to insure Lamar got the best treatment anywhere. Of course they were going to bust their butts for Dwayne. Money walks and bullshit,— well, it just sort of sits there, not doing much of anything but smelling bad. Dwayne no sooner told Lamar an orderly was coming when one walked through the door.

“Okay, Mr. Bradley, glad to see you’re back with us. Let me take that tube out. I know it’s uncomfortable and your doctor said it could come out when you woke up. Well, you’re awake so let me take it out for you.”

With one fluid yank, the orderly removed the tube. Now, Lamar could smile at his friend, and he did. He thanked the orderly, but he could barely speak.

“Don’t try’n talk too much, Mr. Bradley, until we get some liquids down you and maybe some food. Are you hungry, Sir?”

Lamar nodded his head ‘yes.’ The orderly was off to make sure the nurse got their breakfasts, muy pronto. Lamar looked into the face of an adoring young man and saw his future in his eyes.

“I still love you this morning.” he whispered.

“Oh, God, Lamar, I love you so Goddamn much. Listen to me, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

“That’s all right, boy, I love's that part of the record. I could listen to it over and over.” he said.

He got a smile out of Dwayne, and it warmed his heart. He couldn’t remember seeing the boy smile the evening before, but now he was. Lamar thought Dwayne to be quite handsome, but he was even better looking with a smile. When Lamar smiled back he showed Dwayne a row of perfect teeth which were magnificently white. Dwayne wondered if it was because his friend was so black his teeth looked more white by contrast. He wasn’t going to worry about it,— it was the smile of his buddy, the smile was for him, and his teeth were like the rest of his giant,— beautiful for him to look upon. Lamar was perfect to Dwayne like he was.

“I was awake for a while before I woke you up.” Lamar whispered. “You looked so peaceful and handsome laying there holding my hand, I didn’t wanna’ wake you.”

“I’m glad you did. I can sleep later, but if my buddy’s awake I wanna’ be awake to be with him.”

The nurses brought breakfast in for them, and they ate in silence.  Lamar’s voice was still not coming around; however, after breakfast he could speak a little louder and was taking to Dwayne about all sorts of things. Sheriff Bard walked in and was glad to see Lamar awake and feeling better. The sheriff took his hand and gently shook it.

“Do you feel well enough to let me talk with you for a few minutes, Lamar.”

“Sure, Sheriff, I’m a lot better. I think I’m gonna’ live.”

“That’s damn good to hear, Son. We were all pulling for you. A lot of prayer were said last night on your behalf.  I won’t take up too much of you time. Sidney, the smaller of Dwayne’s brothers, brought me a DVD made from the tape the Colonel made of you and Dwayne in the bathroom. He enhanced the sound until it sounds almost perfect. That kid is a wonder. Anyway, aside from keeping my dick hard as a rock while watching it, I got most of your story about the Colonel. Oh, and by the way, there was a couple of places I sat there and bawled like a damn baby at your tenderness and concern for our boy here.  There’s no doubt in my mind why he fell in love with you, Lamar.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Lamar said softly.

“I only have a few questions before I give you some advice about what to tell the military. First of all, I’m not submitting the bathroom tape as evidence. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t exist; however, you can bet chore’ ass, that DVD is gonna’ be stored in the bottom of my safe in my home for my old age.” He roared with laugher.

“Even though you were ordered to give Dwayne the enemas and insert the plug in his butt, it could be taken the wrong way and be used against you. We don’t want that to happen. We know why you did it, and that’s enough for me. To be honest, it might have been different if I looked at the DVD and saw a meanspirited man willingly enjoying hurting a young boy. That’s NOT what I saw on the DVD, Son. I saw a concerned, generous, loving man with a good heart, who was trying to make it as easy on the boy as he could. Oh, by the way, that last hug and kiss was the most powerfully moving thing I’ve seen in a long time; it moved my come right out a’ my dick.  I felt like a damn fool,--- I had to go'n change my pants.” The sheriff roared with laughter.

“Beside’s that nonsense, Dwayne here, would have to testify against you. Jes’ look at that face, Son! Look at them big cow eyes ever’ time he looks at chu.’’  Does that look like the face of a man I could get to testify against you?”  Lamar and I laughed at the Sheriff.

“So, that’s out of the way. Now, anything the Colonel says will not be taken as truth, so your word is as good, or in this case, much better than his. Now the questions:  How many months was he fucking you?”

“Almost ever’ weekend for two months, Sheriff.”

“Okay,--- did you tell any of your fellow Marines he was fucking you in the butt?

“Naw, Sir, but they all knew. They told me not to volunteer ‘cause the Colonel would fuck me in the ass. I thought they was jes' making it up until Sergeant O’Malley ordered me into his apartment to clean me out and plugged my butt.”

“Did you ever tell any of them,--- even one,--- that’s what happen to you?”

“Naw, Sir, Sheriff, I was too damn embarrassed. I might a’ like it, but I was still embarrassed. They didn’t say nothing, but I think they knew.”

“Doesn’t matter what they think, it’s what you might have told them that’s important.”

“I didn’t tell ‘em nothing, Sheriff.

“How many times did you volunteer for one of the Colonel’s special assignments?”

“Eight times, Sir.”

“And did he fuck you every time?”

“Ever’ time, Sheriff.”

“When you volunteered seven more times after the first time, did your fellow recruits say anything or joke about you liking to get fucked in the butt.”

“Naw, Sir, I’s too big. They’s scared of me.”

“I don’t blame 'em a bit, Son.” The sheriff laughed. “ I have a healthy respect for you myself.” he laughed. “Okay, did any of them ask you why you kept volunteering?”

“A couple, and I told 'em they lied to me. It was a special assignment after all, just like Sergeant O’Malley told us. I told ‘em I did some clean up work for the Colonel and moved a bunch of boxes and things. I told ‘em it wasn’t much work, it wasn’t hard, but I always got a good meal out of it, and the Colonel always tipped me.”

“Did he actually give you money?”

“Yes, Sir, ever’ time when he got through with me and sent me back to Sergeant O’ Malley, he’d slip a twenty in my pocket.  The last time, after he got through fuck'n me, he let his two officer buddies fuck me, and he gimme' a fifty dollar bill.”

“Did you brag about it to your buddies?”  

“Naw, Sir, I figured I’d better keep my mouth shut about what was going on; the less anyone knew the better.”

“Well,— you’re exactly right about that, and it just may save your butt. Do you wanna’ stay in the Marines, Son?”

“I have to, Sheriff.”

“Yeah, okay,--- I heard you tell Dwayne on the tape you got charged as an accomplice to a auto theft simply because you were in the car? You say your buddy told them you didn’t know about it?”

“Yes, Sir, but the judge wouldn’t believe him. He sentenced me anyway.”

“Well, we’ll look into that, Son. I know some folks who might be able to help. If we could get you cleared of that would you still wanna’ stay in the Marines?”

“I’ve come this far, Sir, and my graduation is only two weeks away.  I don’t wanna’ give up now.  I like being a Marine, Sir.  I ain’t never found nothing to do I could be as proud of myself as becoming a Marine.  I got in under a special deal with the military by the judge. I’d only have to do minimum time in the Corps to satisfy the sentence of two years and they agreed to it. Even if you got the conviction overturned, Sheriff, I still wanna’ do my time in the Corps.  I’d like it off my record, ‘cause I didn’t do nothing wrong. I’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“I believe you, Son.  After seeing that DVD last night I knew you were telling the truth. Don’t worry about that. You got a couple of good men in your corner. Okay, only a couple more question, Son, and then I’ll tell you what I have in mind. This Sergeant O’Malley, is he a nice guy or a hard nosed asshole like the Colonel?”

“Naw, Sir, he’s a real good man. He treated me right, Sir.  He fucked me about five times, but he was damn good. I enjoyed it ever’ time.” The sheriff almost fell off his chair laughing at Lamar.

“That good, huh?” the sheriff asked with tears running down his face.

“Damn, good, Sir!” Lamar smiled at the sheriff, “He’s got a much bigger dick than the Colonel, and it shore’ felt good up my big, black ass. He didn’t fuck me as good as the Colonel though, but he gimme’ a damn good fuck’n, Sir.”

The sheriff couldn’t stop laughing at Lamar’s blatant honesty. He was about to roll on the floor. He laughed so hard he made Dwayne and Lamar laugh with him. He finally got himself together and went on with his questions.

“Would you like to see Sergeant O’Malley get into trouble or not.”

“Oh, no, Sir. I like Sergeant O’Malley, Sir. He always treated me with respect. When he cleaned me out, he was firm, but he was kind and considerate. He never tried to hurt me. If it weren’t for him talking me through it, like I did with Dwayne in the bathroom, I'd a' never got that damn plug in my butt. He’d work me up until he could tell when I was jes’ about ready to swallow that huge thing with my butt hole. It didn’t hurt me none, Sir. It was jes’ a little uncomfortable but that’s about all.

He was ordered by the Colonel to clean me out and plug my butt ever’ time. He was just following orders, Sir. I know it ain’t a good excuse for doing wrong, and he knew he was doing wrong. Fucking me wasn’t in his orders, but I don’t care about that, he fucked me real good, Sir. When Sergeant O’Malley fucked me, he wasn’t like the Colonel. The Colonel would bust my ass wide open the first thrust, and ride me like a mad man. Damn, he was good!”  The sheriff started laughing again, but this time Dwayne was, too.

“Sergeant O’Malley was more of a kind, gentle, and considerate fuck. He’d always let me jack-off after he got done fuck'n me. He’d keep fucking me nice’n easy, slow and deep. He got me off ever’ time, Sir. He wouldn’t try to hurt me none. He was considerate of my feelings, and he wanted it to be good for me, too. It was good for me, but it just weren’t as good as the Colonel. I’m glad he’s where he is, but I’ll miss him fucking me.” I though Sheriff Bard was going to have to leave the room he laughing so hard.

“I’m sorry, Son, I mean you no disrespect. I’m laughing because I’ve never run across a man so openly honest about what happened to him and his feelings about it. Most men wouldn’t even talk about it. Hearing you tell about it is wonderful. I’m laughing because you’re being completely open about your experience and what it meant to you. That’s good, but we’re gonna’ have to curb your enthusiasm jes’ a little bit. No,— I take that back.  We’re gonna’ have to curb it a lot!” The sheriff got up out of his chair and walked away he was laughing so hard.

“You know,— I’m beginning to see more and more why this young man is so taken with you, Son. If you’re always that open and honest with ‘most’ folks, it will take you far in life. Notice I said ‘most’ folks, Son. There’s some tight-ass’s in this world you can’t afford to be honest with. They’ll crucify your butt and hang you out to dry if’n they get the chance, and they will butt fuck you harder and meaner than the Colonel ever did; however, I promise you, you won’t like their brand of fuck’n. The Marines is one of them tight-ass’d groups you can’t be honest with if you wanna’ stay in Corps. The two other Marine Officers who fucked you, do you see them around the base regularly or were they from some other place?”

“Naw, Sir, they was from somewhere else. I ain’t never seen ‘em before that night, and I ain’t seen ‘em again since.”  

“Now, I’m just gonna’ outline everything for you, Son. I’m gonna’ get Dwayne and his buddies to coach you on what to say to the military. Let’s take the easiest first; the two officers. That was probably a one time thing the Colonel cooked up to impress a couple of his buddies. If you should run into them again, just ignore them. Don’t tell them anything. If they confront you, or order you to tell them what happened or what you told the authorities, you tell them you mean them no disrespect, but you’re under court order not to discuss it. Believe me,— if you tell them that, it will put the fear of God in them, and they ain’t gonna’ push it further with you, Son. Same with Sergeant O’Malley. He probably won’t be your drill instructor by the time you get back to finish boot camp. If you do run into him, don’t tell him a damn thing. Tell him you’re under court order not to say or tell anything about the Colonel’s case and that’s an order from a higher rank than anyone in the military. Don’t worry about all this information because I’m gonna’ get the boys to drill you about it.

Now, when the military comes, and they will come to take you back, do NOT tell them the Colonel ever fucked you in the butt. He NEVER fucked you in the butt! Got that?” Lamar nodded, but looked puzzled, “The reason why is, the Marine Corps will look upon your passive participation with the Colonel as a homosexual act, even though he ordered you to do it. You will be given a dishonorable discharge as a sexual deviate; an undesirable. Do you understand that, Son? It’s important.”

“Yes, Sir, Sheriff, I understand. I guess it’s my word against his.”

“Exactly! Now don’t worry about the trial. We will go to trial with him, but I’m going to ask the attorneys to have the trial be made completely private. No one but the people involved will be allowed to be there, not even the military. Because of the sensitive nature of this case, Dwayne being a minor, and in his home town, it won’t be a problem. In the trial, you can tell the truth about the Colonel forcing repeated acts of sodomy on you by his orders. The military will never find out. Actually, we may have enough on him to get life in prison on other charges, like forcing sex with a minor, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. We may not even need your butt fucking testimony.” The sheriff chuckled. “Dear God, I hope not!” The sheriff said as he fell out laughing again.

“Your story to the military will be, you volunteered for a special assignment for the Colonel. The Colonel said he needed some help on his ranch and he ordered you to go with him. You’d done other small jobs for him so you didn’t think there was anything unusual about it. After you got there he ordered you to strip and fuck a young boy while he made a movie of it. You refused, he pulled his gun, told you he would kill you if you didn’t fuck the boy. That’s when the sheriff and his men walked into the barn and told him to drop the gun. He knew, at that moment, the boy, his step-son, Dwayne, set him up to get caught. He went into a rage and said he was gonna’ kill the boy. You could see he was gonna’ pull the trigger, you jumped in front of Dwayne to protect him, and you took the bullet. That’s all you need to tell them. We’ll fill in the rest of the story. You don’t know anything else, jes’ what happened in the barn, understand, Son?

“I think so, Sheriff. I’m still a little foggy from the medication, but my buddy here will go over it with me.” Lamar grinned real big at Dwayne. “Thank you, Sheriff, I think your idea is a great one. I think it jes’ might save my ass, and I really appreciate it, Sir.”
“That’s all right, Son. Glad to help you. It’s all the truth, we’re just leaving out a little to protect an innocent man. I done figured you suffered enough from the system. To put you behind bars for something you know in your heart, and we know in our hearts, you were honestly innocent of, would be wrong. I couldn’t be more convinced you had no malicious intentions toward Dwayne. If’n you had, he wouldn’t be a' sitting here right now with them big cow eyes look’n at chu’ like you was his hero. You are his hero, Son. You’re a hero to several people in this town. Sheriffs and lawmen sometimes bend the rules a little if they see some injustice is going to be done to a man they know to be innocent. Besides, you done the most unselfish act of all, you were ready to give your life for this boy. There ain’t no greater gift of love, Son.”

End Chapter 17 ~ Texas Longhorns                            
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