In addition to driving the fastest car in the county, Jack Pardue earned the name as the town drunk in Taylorsville. The Law rarely ever chased him; they just waited for him to come home and arrested him there. Easy for them, tough for Jack. Jack appeared to never figure the game out since he got arrested at home and couldn’t fathom why. He wanted to run his car and show how fast it would go and how easy he could get away from Johnny Law. Especially the law enforcement guys working at the Taylorsville Police Department. He grew up with these old boys.
There was Otis Mangrum, the Police Chief, six foot, bald with a beer belly, wore black western boots and a white, straw cowboy hat and a big gold belt buckle with a chief’s shield on it. His men all dressed alike in a standard khaki police uniform, blue stripe down the side and with a felt, narrow brim, grey hat. All carried a standard, police .38 caliber side arm.
Chief Mangrum kept his deputy, Billy Wayne Kelly close for a good reason. Billy Wayne was a bit slow. His elevator did not go all the way to the top so to speak. However, Billy Wayne possessed traits like Billy Graham. You had to love him; he was so honest, so kind, and so gentle but he was a little slow. He was the kind of guy you could send out for a shelf stretcher and he would spend all day looking for it. The Chief kept him close so folks would not be playing tricks on him for one reason. Another was, he liked Billy Wayne and he had his back.
Billy Wayne took his job in law enforcement seriously. He wanted to do his best and repay the Chief for being nice to him. The latest in equipment for police protection excited him to no end. But he understood the budget would not support extras like mace, batons or slapjacks as they called them, the latest model handcuffs or upgraded utility belts. So he saved up his money and bought his own; a 26 inch folding Steel Collapsible Baton from Self Defense Outlet. It advertised as being the best a police officer could have and came with a brochure on how to use it, when to use it and all the details. Billy Wayne practiced at home for a month with it before he felt relaxed enough to bring it to work with him. In the meantime, he told no one about having one.
The first day Billy Wayne brought his baton to work was a Saturday. Being folded up in his utility belt, no one noticed it. Along about twelve o’clock, a loud rumbling noise from a set of glass packs on a car sounded off in front of the police station. One look confirmed Jack Pardue in his Oldsmobile drunk as Cooter Brown, smiling like a jackass eating briars through a picket fence and daring anyone to try to stop him from his mischief. As the Chief stepped toward Jack’s car, Jack floored it and laid rubber for half the block as he built up speed headed out of town. The Chief called to Billy Wayne and they jumped into the Chief’s car and with lights flashing and sirens wailing went after Jack.
Two miles out of town they caught up with Jack. It seems as though his Olds developed a problem and decided to stop running. It was parked in the middle of the road with the hood up with Jack barely visible lying across the engine cursing like a sailor. Jumping out his car, the Chief approached on one side of Jack’s car with his gun drawn while Billy Wayne approached on the other with his baton extended. Jack heard then coming and retreated to the front of his car. Billy Wayne came up behind Jack while the Chief faced him. The Chief looked around Jack at Bill Wayne’s baton and said,
“Lemme see ya slapjack.”
Without hesitation Billy Wayne whacked Jack up side the head with the baton causing Jack to go to his knees almost comatose. As Jack struggled groggily to get to his feet, the Chief said,
“No, I mean, lemme see ya slapjack there.”
This time Billy Wayne put some power behind his swing and laid Jack out colder than a cucumber. There’s no way Jack Pardue is getting up from that whipping.
The Chief finally got across to Billy Wayne what he meant about looking at his baton. Billy Wayne, finally understanding what the Chief wanted, tried his best to revive Jack.
The Chief liked the batons so well he ordered one for all men on the force. Billy Wayne still rides with the Chief on patrol and has picked up the nickname of “Billy Baton.”
Jack Pardue sold his car to pay his fine for disturbing the peace. He gave up drinking and at last count, not missed a church service in the last two years. There is talk of asking him to become a deacon in the First Baptist Church.