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                                               <<PREVIOUS CHAPTER
      Slaps the Tail - Chapter Thirteen

"Rhimes! What in the goddamn are you doing in a Jacuzzi with a bunch of butt-necked teenagers?" The voice sounded strange yet, somehow, was as familiar to Chester Rhimes as his own. "You've abandoned your vehicle at the bottom of a creek for God sake?"

Chester, who had finally been starting to relax, snapped his neck around, causing one of Sherman's fine cigars to fly from his mouth into the foam on the top of the tub. He saw that Jordan was approaching, accompanied by, of all people, Montrose County Sheriff and his mother's former chauffer Johnson J. Judge. The sheriff was shouting and red-faced just as Chester remembered him and seemed to be shackled to some kind of stockbroker in green pants. Could things get any worse?

"Yes Chester," Jordan smiled down at him mussing his damp hair. "Why don't you tell us. What is it that you're doing?"

Chester considered going under again at that point but realized just in time that, due to the proximity of the girls, it probably wouldn't be a good idea. The sisters began boxing frantically at the spume to keep the swirling stogie from touching them and eventually succeeded in washing the cylinder, which had plumped up like a turd, over the side onto the deck.

"I'm hardly a teenager," offered a heavily sedated Sherman before his glassy eyes settled reluctantly on his brother in law. "Chuck you old so and so. What in the Hell are you doing here?"

RSWTR69's eyes had locked onto Lopez's breasts, which bobbed near the surface as she threw her head back to guzzle a beer. "Well, I'll tell you Sherm ol' buddy," he said with a lascivious gleam, tugging the not unreluctant sheriff around the tub to a better vantage point. "It looks like I might have got here just in time." He eyed Janet approvingly. "Unfortunately for you, I seem to be bound to the law here."

"The Lopeshes here were kind enough to come by and help air-vac me into this tub after a medical emergency had left me lying flat on the planks," protested Sherman in a stern, if mushy mouthed tone. "Mr. Hacker, who wash their eshcort on a shitesheeing tour, has run down the trail to fetch some gear. Now I shug…"

"Hey," RSWTR69 interrupted. "If it ain't my old drinking buddy from the Nugget."

Judge pried his eyes off the sisters to glower anew at Chester who was looking up at RSWTR69 with surprise.

"Have we met?" Chester asked dejectedly.

"Not officially." Chuck Rosewater said his name and moved with a realtor's instinct to put out his right hand but was forced instead by the cuffage to weakly offer his left. Chester absently slapped him a foamy five. "The sergeant here bought me a couple beers just this morning. Looks like you misplaced your uniform. It's good to see some of the law officers around here know how to air it out a little. You wouldn't happen to have a set of keys to these cuffs in that tub with you by any chance?"

"I'm a Marshall." Chester said.

"Rhimes! Goddammit," sputtered Judge, who seemed at a momentary loss to articulate his feelings and stood waving an encompassing and accusatory hand at the group in the tub. He stopped to chew his lip awhile before finally continuing. "I roll out of my bunk every morning and bust my ass trying to clean the trash up around this county, try and do what I can to keep it moral and civil and you… you're buying beers for people and you're… you spend your days soaking in tubs in an obvious jail bait situation and purchasing alcohol for.."

"I'm eighteen." Blurted Janet just as she noticed the beer bottle in her hand, which she then plunged under the water. "I mean I was. Once. I'm certainly not jailbait. I must be twenty two or something by now."

"And she's one Hell of a nurse." Offered Sherman, emphasizing the point by jabbing his cigar towards the heavens. "My back hasn't felt this good since I was a young boy running free in the hillsh of Virginia.


Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.