Mountain Home, Arkansas
We're back in Arkansas to see our old friends, Paul and Diane.
The first morning I raid the laundry fund for two quarters and head down to the Wal-Mart to buy a Baxter Bulletin. The news in Mountain Home always has a different flavor.
On the right side of the front page I read that a local lady has been sentenced to three years in the Arkansas State Prison for rustling 20 cows. The left side of the paper has several pictures of a man being wrestled into a police car by five burly state troopers.
The man left the road a high rate of speed, leaped over a culvert and crashed into a fence. When State Troopers arrived on the scene, the man refused to get out of his car and responded to the officers with a stream of obscenities. When the officers attemped to forcibly remove the man from his vehicle he responded by biting one officer on the hand. I prefer biting ears or noses, but he probably couldn't reach one of those. The motorist is now in the Baxter County jail. Apparently local bail bondsmen have declined to help him post bail.
The property next door is for sale. It is 25 acres of woods and pasture with a four bedroom home and a four stall red horse barn. The asking price is only $250,000. Paul says he will give me $60,000 to title over the 15 acres closest to his property. I imagine making a workshop out of the big barn.
It's 298 miles to Big Brutus. The route leads though Webb City, where we know the librarian. I borrowed Paul's library card yesterday. They were updating records and asked my address and telephone number. I had to confess it was a borrowed card. They asked me Paul's wife's name to make sure I really knew Paul. In a less trusting place like New York City, I probably would have been spread-eagled on the ground by armed security guards.