the Goliard
To No Avail Slaps the Tale - A Jordan Dane Mystery
* Chapter One
* Interlude One
* Chapter Two
* Chapter Three
* Chapter Four
* Chapter Five
* Chapter Six
* Chapter Seven
* Chapter Eight
* Chapter Nine
* Chapter Ten
* Chapter Eleven
* Chapter Twelve
* Chapter Thirteen


To No Avail
      Slaps the Tail - Chapter Eleven


The weak pulsing of blue lights and angry voices that emanated through the trees as Jordan neared the end of the Proud's driveway didn't surprise her as much as they might have were she not already on a mission to retrieve a patrol car. The sort of cop scene she expected to find however, as she came jogging onto the Loop proper, was nothing like the one she found. Chester's ride was not the source of the lights for one thing. And a man Jordan knew to be Montrose County Sheriff Johnson J. Judge, and his strobing, smoking, dirt streaked patrol car were parked just about where Jordan had expected Chester's jeep would have been.

The sheriff appeared to have his hands full, both literally, with a gun in each paw, and culturally as he was interrogating a real estate agent looking character in lime green slacks who, at the very least, was guilty of driving a shiny orange De Lorean. Not exactly an arrestable offence in itself Jordan guessed, but on the mesa's bumpy rutted dirt roads, a cause for suspicion just the same. J.J. Judge, after all, had a reputation for pulling people over for much, much less.

Jordan was familiar with Sheriff Judge more from local legend and the stories Chester had related to her from his childhood then from any specific encounters of her own. Horror stories abounded of the rednecked hassles Telluride locals faced after making the miscalculation of straying into Judge's jurisdiction without proper license, registration, American made vehicle, or hairstyle, and Jordan had heard more than a few of them from some of the folks on the bakery porch.

Colorado's license plating system could be seen as Judge's accessory in these discriminations since the first couple letters on a Colorado car's plate and the last couple on that of a truck serve to identify the county where the vehicle is registered. A person didn't have to be any expert in law enforcement to pull alongside a line of cars and make a good guess who hailed from where. Unless of course a car had vanity plates. And Judge was known to pull cars sporting vanity plates over on general principle.

Over in Montrose County, Jordan reflected, it was a fairly common sight to see a microbus with Colorado VZ plates pulled to the roadside and a lineup of motley youths being spritzed with tobacco juice and systematically dressed down in front of Judge's prodigious belly and flattop. As a person with an eye for such details anyway, Jordan made a mental note as she approached the scene by Mangas Creek that the De Lorean was adorned with California vanity plates (did they issue any other kind in that state?) and recently expired registration tags.

The plates read RSWTR69.

"Now what would a slick So-Cal fella like you be doing driving through our fair county pollutin' the air and offendin' the hard working folks only to 'ventually end up tossin a Government Issue service revolver out the window?" Judge was waving both guns in the air as he blustered into the De Lorean driver's face; a face, Jordan marveled, whose beet red countenance, broken veins, and bulbous honker almost exactly mirrored Judge's own.

"I told you once, you spit dripping hick, that I've never seen that goddamn gun before in my life. Now take a few steps back and leave me be before I get on the car phone to my lawyers and have them fly out here and see to it that your backwoods ass is in one of your own jail cells by nightfall."

"Are you saying to me that this gun just happened to be a'layin here in the water next to this I-talian piece of crap when you finally pulled it over?" Judge gulped and expectorated a stream of tobacco juice into the dirt at RSWTR69's feet. "You expectin me to believe that boy? I hope I ain't that much of a stupid idiot."

"I-talian piece of crap?" RSWTR69 appeared increduled. "This is a De Lorean. And it's got about as much Ity in it as you and that swollen ugly mug of yours got. Boy."

Judge did take the two steps back but pointed both guns unsteadily at RSWTR69 as if they were too heavy for him to hold. He was staring quizzically at the car all the while as if it was a UFO that had just dropped from the clouds.

"You tellin me that's Kraut machine there?"


"Jap then?"

"Guess again Porterhouse."


"Listen, Buford. I don't have time for this horseshit." RSWTR69 made a move at this point to duck under the car's airplane door and climb back in his vehicle but Judge lumbered forward and managed to bulldoze him to one side pinning him to the car with a knee between the legs and a gun behind each ear. The feel of cold steel in stereo caused the slacks wearer's stout body to freeze. His mouth however, kept moving.

"I'm warning you now you foul breathed sack of country ham. If you think you can spend a morning tailgating and hassling me and now planting evidence just because you've run out of farm animals to fondle then think again. Remember, the cops where I'm from invented evidence planting. In fact, one of my attorneys worked with De Lorean himself when.…"

"There's that Ity name again."

"It's not an Ity name you goat plugger."

"Spaniard then?"

"See here you lunatic. I will not stand on the side of a dirt road and be pistol whipped by Buford P. Justice. I need to get to my sister's house and don't have time to…"

"You will remain silent you asshole." Judge interrupted. "What you've said will be used against you sure as you're a dirty dick bag. I arrest you for being a sleazy, West Coast numbskull and attempting to outrun an officer of the law in this foreign piece of shit here. I know an American car when I see it Goddammit and whatever country this orange slice is from is along way from here. Now I.... " Judge continued to sputter his version of Miranda as he holstered one of the pistols and fumbled along his belt for his cuffs.

The series of maneuvers that followed would be as hard to duplicate as they were to understand. Jordan, who was standing ten feet away during the production, couldn't explain later how the sheriff managed to get one end of the handcuffs snapped around his own wrist and the other around that of the belligerent and struggling RSWTR69 while also stringing the cuffs through a loop in his own gun belt. The two men ended up joined together and all but holding hands with one another down in the sheriff's crotch. As a finale to the skit, in the scrambling melee that followed as the sheriff attempted to rectify the gaff, Judge managed somehow to send his set of keys arcing across the hood of the De Lorean towards the stream. The two stopped bellowing and sucked in breath together as the likely destination of the cuff key became evident and the audible kerplunk confirmed their fears.

It was at that point that the two of them first noticed Jordan Dane standing in the road observing them, clapping her hands with glee as if she watched two carnival performers. As they listed against each other wheezing and blinking at her, like a two-headed ogre on the verge of some cardiac episode, Jordan's eye drifted down to the firearm hanging at the Sheriff's side. She thought she recognized the piece as the same one she had been helping Chester practice shooting recently.

"Good morning gentlemen." Jordan offered pleasantly. "What's the situation here?"

The two tugged at each other but were momentarily silent.

"Situation Normal All Fucked Up" Judge finally blurted inexplicably. "Yep we've sure enough got us a classic snafu. If you'd lend a hand by…"

"Oh, is that what SNAFU stands for?" Jordan said conversationally. "I always wondered."

"You run along now missy." Judge used a waving pistol to direct her down the lane. "This is no place for anyone in a jog bra with a rack like that to be horsing around in the street. Just move down the way and let us finish up our business." The sheriff caste a disgusted, sidelong glance at RSWTR69. "I've got my hands full here with this piece of sh…what the goddamn hell!"
Jordan had relieved the sheriff of Chester's gun and, after noting that the safety was on, reached behind her to tuck the pistol into the back of her jogging shorts. At least Chester hadn't tossed his gun down in the muddy road with the safety off.

"Here now, that there weapon is a key piece of evidence in this case which I will ask you to return..." Judge was fumbling now for his own sidearm but was having trouble navigating beneath the stomach of his captive who was not cooperating at all. Jordan stepped quickly behind the grunting pair and lifted the second weapon as deftly as she had the first.

Clicking this safety on as well, she leaned against the side of the De Lorean and placed the pistol on the hood behind her.

"Hey hey, let's watch the paint there titsy," said RSWTR69 gyrating about with a series of exacerbating tugs and twists that succeeded only in getting them further tangled and forced a contorted Judge to one knee. RSWTR69 had banged his own head on the car door and stood, bent at the waist by Judges weight, rubbing it and looking at Jordan sullenly.

"If you two are going to be joined at the hip you're going to have to learn to cooperate a little better," Jordan said, folding her arms across her chest. When Judge lunged at her with his free hand, she reached behind her to grab the gun and stepped nimbly out of reach. She walked around behind the car and leaned her elbows casually on the roof, a gun in each hand pointing at the sky.

Jordan had to smile as she waited for the two of them to calm down and surveyed the scene before her. The smile faded when her eyes passed curiously over at the pond hoping to see where the cuff key had settled. She realized suddenly that there wasn't normally a pond there at all. She also realized that she was looking at Chester's submerged patrol jeep glinting up at her from just below the surface.

Chapter Twelve

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.