A new model cop car was in his rear view mirror. He couldnít out run it with the tub heíd stolen. So when he pulled over, the cop was asking for trouble.
"Howís that new police car sheriff?"
"Just fine Toni. Toni this is our new county nurse, Beverly Elster. Beverly this is one fine mechanic, Toni Wiley."
Beverly looked through the car windshield at the short haired young woman wiping it down, Toni looked back at the blonde sitting up front with Sheriff Andy Baylor. They tossed helloes back and forth.
The police radio also said hello.
"Hello Sheriff? Iíve got a possible 10-29v out here just north of First Creek Bridge."
Andy picked up his radio microphone.
"Car 1 wait until I join you before you go 10-95 with that vehicle."
"Sorry Andy I already got the light rolling. Iíll be 10-95 just a quarter mile north past the bridge."
Andy heard the radio click off at the other end.
"Oilís fine Andy," said Toni.
"Thanks, how much for the fillup?"
He paid and for a second thought of leaving the nurse at the gas station. Instead he said.
"Got a run to make, hope you can go along. Not really time to drop you at your office."
"Thatís fine sheriff. Iíve got my medical bag in case we need it. I like to see how a lawman works."
"Well weíll probably just be checking on some teenager speeding. My deputy is over anxious. Once in a great while that is."
Spud Oxford stepped out of the car and walked toward the cop that had pulled him over. He saw a figure in a kaki uniform, badge and gunbelt.
"Youíre a dame," he said.
"Deputy Barbi Fites at your service. I need to see your driverís license."
"You look darn cute in that uniform, how about out of it?"
"Stay there please."
"Oh come on."
Barbi drew her revolver.
"Turn around," she said.
"Hey watch that thing."
Barbi fired a warning shot in the air.
To Spud a warning shot meant the shooter wasnít serious about shooting anyone. He was. He leaped and knocked the gun from the womanís hand, she in turn kicked his right knee to the side. He staggered back, then ducked and left hooked the police dame in the stomach.
The air whooshed out of Barbi and she fell over. Spud picked up her revolver and pointed it down at her.
"Iíve got a boat to catch."
He pulled the trigger.
"At first I thought it was a man with extremely long hair back at the gas station, but when they turned around it was a young woman," said Beverly.
"Oh her. Sheís Dagmar Haynes; you can call her Dags. Sheís a big gal all right. Gets that from her daddy."
"Sheís pretty," said Beverly.
"Yeah. She gets along all right, helps on her daddyís farm and does a bunch of wrench work helping Toni," said Andy.
The police radio came on.
"Sherrif Andy Baylor, this is Inspector Charles Maloney of the state police. We over heard the radio transmission between you and your deputy. We request that you let us handle this situation. We believe sheís with a suspect weíve been trailing today."
"Nice of my deputy to help round em up. If thatís who sheís pulled over," said Andy.
"We appreciate it. When we arrive on the scene please stay out of our way."
The radio went off. Beverly glanced at Andy, his face looked like the ones on Mount Rushmore, in a set in stone sort of way.
"Beverly would you mind buckling your seatbelt," said Andy as he stepped on the gas.
Beverly was glad Andy knew the back roads because the speed he was doing didnít leave a lot of time for stopping. He did shift down and roll to a stop after he spotted the police cruiser on the side of the road.
It was a new 1959 Plymouth "Golden Commando" V-8 with a 361 cubic inch engine under the hood. Andy was concerned about the sound coming from the trunk.
He and Beverly heard the thumping noise. Andy had the other set of keys to the Plymouth and unlocked the trunk.
"Arge umgal ump fiffer."
With the lid all the way up Beverly saw a crest of pinned up brown hair, then the head raised and wide brown eyes did a side to side movement from she to Andy.The face was pretty, with a full mouth of white teeth, the incisors of which were chewing on a necktie tied between them. By the looseness of the collar of the kaki shirt the necktie belonged to the woman wearing it for a gag.
Her arms were in front of her, held at the wrists by her handcuffs, and her gunbelt with empty holster was buckled just below her knees. It went around both legs, then between her cuffed arms and around the knees again keeping her curled tight.
"Help me lift her," said Andy.
Andy got her under the arms and Beverly grabbed under the knees and they took her from the trunk and gently sat her on the road. The deputy sat hunched over, staring at Beverly.
Andy leaned in the trunk, fiddled with a switch near the jack, and the back part of the trunk wall folded open.
Andy took the Savage model 720-riot gun from the rack and checked it was loaded, then laid it back in the trunk and knelt behind his deputy.
She twisted her head a bit as he tried to peck loose the knot in her necktie gag. She held still when he got a firm grip. The working end of the knot came loose and he pulled it from between her lips.
"He doesnít have a loaded gun Andy, he took mine after I fired a warning shot. Sure could have used more bullets then," said Barbie.
"He hurt you? Sorry thatís a stupid question."
"No Andy. But he did try to shoot me. Knocked me down and pulled the trigger three or four times. Now right then I was glad you only let me carry one bullet."
"Where you think he took off to?"
"I reckon down to where we launch our fishing boat, I mean if he didnít drive off. Said he had to catch a boat."
"Sheriff let me check her out. Sheís got the beginning of a black eye and there may be injuries we canít see," said Beverly.
"Here come the state police," said Andy.
From the opposite direction where they sat two cars bore down on them.
"Get me up Sheriff and we can go arrumofśśfff!"
Down and back went the necktie again tangling Barbieís tongue. As she made more surprised tongue-tied sounds Andy knotted it at her nape.
"Donít let the troopers see her, and be quiet so they donít notice you Barb."
He left an astounded Beverly alone with his now again gagged and bound deputy and went up the road to where the Black and White Plymouth State police cars had halted.
Two troopers in uniform got out of the first car and made way for the occupants from the second, a blonde woman in a pale blue dress and a man in a suit and hat.
"Inspector Maloney long time no see," said Andy.
"What happened where is he?"
"The fella youíre looking for?"
"Spud Oxford, is that the car he stole?"
"I suppose. He roughed up my deputy."
"Your female deputy of course," said Maloney.
"Sheís all right. She says this Oxford fella is heading down to where local folk set boats out in the lake nearby. You know the spot?"
"Take us there quick. Bring the shotgun, but when heís spotted let us handle the scene. You already messed it up once," said Maloney.
"Always happy to help the State Police," said Andy.
"You can go along for once Batten," said Maloney.
"Right sir," said the blonde female trooper.
Andy led as the five trotted off. Beverly watched from behind the Bindberry police cruiser standing over the belted and gagged Bindberry female deputy.
When the cops entered the woods Beverly kneeled next to Barbie.
"Harg gell coff mumph," said Barbie.
Beverly took the tip of the gunbelt, and pulled it back out of the loop, took the tongue from the punch hole and removed the knee binding.
"Your sheriff is different," said Beverly.
"Is there a key for your handcuffs?"
"Hugrer humpf," said Barbie shaking her head yes.
Beverly unwound the necktie gag and tossed it in the trunk.
"Thanks, the keyís in a secret pocket inside my uniform shirt.
Beverly had to unbutton the top four buttons on Barbieís shirt to reach inside. She noticed the deputyís lacy white bra.
"One key unlocks most brands of handcuffs, these are Hiatts. Just stick the key in the hole on the underside of the cuffs."
Beverly unfettered her and Barbie rubbed her wrists and flexed her fingers. Then she buttoned her shirt.
"Thanks a bunch."
"Now let me take a look at your eyes, with a blow to the head you always worry about a subdural hematoma."
"Sounds like what a nurse would say."
" Call me Bev. Let me get my bag. Hereís your cuffs back."
She went back to Andyís car and Barbie took the chance to check the hidden gun rack in the cruiserís trunk. She was loading a Scoped Springfield 03 rifle when Bev came back.
"Whatís that?" said Bev.
"Case they come back and want me to go along. You got any cotton gauze and medical tape you can put on my conk on the noggin?"
"Right here. Sit on the bumper while I get them out."
Barbie put the rifle back in the trunk and sat on the bumper while Bev laid aside the gauze and tape to examine the deputyís head.
" No blown pupils so thatís a good sigh."
Barbie cuffed Bevís right wrist and spun the nurse around and cuffed the left one.
"You BindBerry police are a strange pair."
"Iím glad youíre so calm about it. Youíre doing a great job as a nurse, now I need to get back to my job as a cop."
"Why the handcuffs?"
"You can tell by the way Andy left me bound and gagged he doesnít want me near this Spud Oxford. But the guy was ready to kill me. Guess after he noticed my gun had only one bullet I was a joke and left me bundled in the trunk. Iím better at my job then that."
"You still may be injured , not able to shoot straight."
"Yeah Iíve got a headache, but I can see all right."
"Thereís five cops chasing him now," said Bev.
Barbie tore open three packages for the big gauze bandages. She wadded them up in her left fist.
"Youíre going to talk me out of this if I donít gag you."
"The important thing for me to say is thaśś Fuffab."
Barbie thumbed all the wad in the nurseís mouth then tore two strips to leave an X-pattern over Bevís lips.
"Iím begging you not to tell Andy about this. Really Iíll make it up to you."
Barbie got the rifle from the trunk and picked up Bevís medical bag.
Andy had led the others far down the trail to the river, too late to stop Spud Oxford from floating away in a longboat.
"Heís out of pistol range! Sheriff try your shotgun."
"Hate to tell you Inspector, but this hereís just loaded with scatter shot. Good for close range but only the sound might scare him enough to tip over."
"If your weak sister female deputy had stayed away, we would have had him driving right into our roadblock. Why we have female police is a great mystery," said the Inspector.
Andy took a quick glance at the female state trooper. Nothing showed on her face. Until the shot rang out.
"Whatís! Said Inspector Maloney.
There was another shot.
"I got it Andy. Two right at the waterline, heís torpedoed for sure."
Further up the riverbank from the five law officers Barbie stepped from the trees holding the rifle.
The officers all turned their attention back to the getaway longboat with Spud Oxford. He was paddling furiously but the boat was taking on water.
"Half way over like he is, heís going to have a tough swim," said Andy.
"We wanted to catch him not drown him," said Inspector Maloney.
"Well I reckon he can swim all right, least heís starting to now. Iíd say he should be glad to have a hand out of the drink donít you Inspector," said Andy.
They left Andy standing and went closer to where Oxford would be wading ashore. He looked to where Barbie had been and she was gone.
Beverly Elster sat with her back to an Ironwood tree. Barbie had taken her pants belt and crossed and belted Bevís ankles. Bev moved her mouth around under the X of white tape. She "mummphed!" at the sudden reappearance of Barbie.
Barbie got on her knees and put her forehead on the ground.
"Oh please oh please donít tell Andy about this. I beg you really."
Bev grunted, shrugged her shoulders and bobbed her head yes.
Barbie laid aside the Springfield and unbuckled Bevís ankles, then leaned her forward and uncuffed her wrists. Beverly pulled the tape off her lips and tongued out the bandages.
"Iíll make it up to you," said Barbie.
"That should be interesting."
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