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Jack Shows Up
By Gene Williamson
Monday, April 13, 2009

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Installment 26 in the Captain Jack series.

 

 

 
    
    
Marie is kissing Cliff goodnight at the door of her condo. “You know, Tiger, being with you is a never-ending adventure."   
         
     “Well, I tried to warn you that marketing is a risky business.”
 
     She laughs and gives him a love tap on the cheek.  "The only risk you take in marketing is hoping you don't get caught trying to fleece your clients."

     "Had it not been for marketing we might never have met."

     "That's true .  I'd kiss you but you'd have to stay for the night." 

     "So kiss me, you beautiful temptress."

     "No, you said you had to go because Sally is home alone."
 
    "And there's an escaped jailbird on the prowl."

    "That's what I was talking about.  Your life is like something written by Dashiell  Hammett." 
   
     Cliff pulls her close and whispers, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
    
     Marie pushes him away. “It’s late. You’d better take your clumsy Bogart impersonation and leave.”
     
     Cliff kisses her tenderly and says, “I’ll call you when I get home.”
     
     “Better yet, just whistle.” She pushes him out the door.


Days earlier, Jack Walker had attempted to see his Uncle Lew in New York but realized it was impossible to get through the heavy police guard. He decided the bastards were waiting for him everywhere. He turned and walked as far away from the city as he could get; then began to hitchhike west. Two days later he arrived in Cleveland on Route 90, near Lake Erie. There, in the dark of night, he assaulted and robbed a cab driver, and ran away before the police showed up. He continued his hitchhike journey, heading south through the state down Route 75, connecting to Route 71 which led him to Cincinnati’s Mount Adams, the location of Cliff’s house. It was about 10 o’clock at night in late April, when he broke into the house from the rear deck that overlooked the Ohio River. He found that Cliff was away, but that Sally was there in the den, engrossed in a book.
    
     Jack stands at the door for several minutes leering at his cousin clad in in her short polka dot pajamas. She is unaware of his presence until he speaks: “Hi Sally, even by this dim light, you’re prettier than I remembered.”

     Sally is so startled she drops her book and awkwardly tries to cover herself. “What! Who’s there?”

     “Don’t say you’ve forgotten me.”

     “My God, Jack, is that really you? How did you get by the night watchman?”

     “They don’t call me Slippery Jack for nothing.”

     “You’re impossible.”

     “I know. Let’s have a drink and go to bed. It’s been a long time since I’ve been with a chick.”

     “Are you crazy? I’m no chick. I’m your first cousin. Do you want to add incest to your list of crimes?”

     “What have I got to lose?”

     “Me!”

     “Ok, baby, I’ll settle for the drink.”

     “Then, will you call the police and turn yourself in?”

     “Now who’s talking crazy? I can’t spend another night in that goddam jail.”

     “It’s better than being shot trying to run away.”

     “Do you really think so?”

     “Yes!” says Cliff, who has entered the room unnoticed. “Either you call the police or I will.”

     Jack releases Sally and glares at Cliff. “Is that the way you treat family? What would your old man say?”

     “He’d probably say, ‘Grow up and get a life.’”

     “Don’t you mean, Get a job?”

     “Yes.”

     “Hell, Uncle Cliff. I tried that and you and Uncle Lew let me down.”

     “I’m sorry you feel that way, Jack. We tried, which is more than I can say for you. Now pick up the phone and call the police--or I will.”

     Suddenly, Jack pulls a gun and aims it at Cliff. “It’ll be the last call you make.”

     Sally moves toward Jack. “Stop aiming that gun at Dad. He may be the last friend you’ve got.”

     “Stay back, Sally. Nobody is going to tell me what to do. Fix me a damn drink and I’ll go the way I came in.”

     While Jack keeps the gun aimed at Cliff, Sally goes to the kitchen and returns with a scotch and water. “After you finish your drink, please leave.”

     “When I leave, Sally, you and your father's car are gonna go with me.”

     “Sal, call the police.”

     Sally goes to Cliff’s desk and picks up the phone.

     “Drop the damn phone,” cries Jack. As he moves toward Sally, Cliff leaps
at him and they struggle.

     Sally screams.

     “Make that call!” shouts Cliff when he grabs the gun.

     Sally picks up the phone again, but before she can dial she is frozen by gunfire.  She finally turns to see her father with the gun and Jack on the floor, bleeding.

     “Dad, is he--dead?”

     “No, just wounded in the leg. Now please call the police, and tell them to bring a medic.”

     Cliff puts the gun on the desk and examines Jack’s wound. He removes his jacket and shirt, rips a sleeve from the shirt and ties it tightly around Jack’s thigh.

     “That should stop the bleeding,” he says to Jack, “if you’ll be still.”

     “You’re the one who’s shaking,” whispers Jack.

     “I hate guns,” says Cliff.

     “Dad, is he going to live?”

     “Damn right, I’m gonna live,” says Jack. “Now get me another drink.”

     “No, Sal. Go get dressed.”

     “Yeah, Baby, you don’t wanna put on a peep show for the cops.” In a weak attempt to laugh, Jack passes out.

     “Dad, what are we going to do now?”

     “Wait--and hope the medic arrives in time.”
 

In a few hours, Jack is resting on a table in the police infirmary. “The pain killer should keep him quiet for awhile,” the doctor informs Cliff and Sally following their interrogation by Officers Clark and Roberts.

     “What then?” says Cliff.

     “As soon as he can walk again,” says Officer Clark, “we’re shipping him back to the New Jersey police. He’ll be their problem.”

     “I wonder,” says Cliff.

     “Don’t worry, Mr. Walker. He won’t escape again, even if they have to put him in chains.”

     “I tell you, Officer, the kid is a damn Houdini.”

     “Take my word for it. He won’t bother you again.”

     “I hope not, and I hope they don’t hurt him.”

     “Poor Jack,” says Sally. “All he wanted was to be somebody.”

     Cliff embraces his daughter. “Let’s go home, Sal. We’ve had enough adventure for awhile.”

     “Adventure? Is that what you call it?”

     “That’s what Marie calls it.”


On the way home, Sally says to Cliff, “Dad, why don’t you and Marie and Judd and I go someplace nice to celebrate?”

     “Celebrate what?”

     “Judd’s new book, the one he stole from you.”

     “Oh, that book. He can have it.

     “He dedicated it to your mother.”
 

Back at the Mount Adams home, Sally says, "Dad, I miss Mom."

     "So do I."
 
     "I wondered."

     "Why?"
 
     "You never mention her name."
 
     "It hurts too much."
 
     "Will the hurt ever stop?"
 
     "I hope so, Sal.  Maybe when I--"  Cliff decides it is better not to complete the thought."
 
     "You were going to say when you marry Marie."
 
     "Yes."
 
     "Then why wait?"
 
     "Sal, are you sure you don't mind?"
 
     "I want you to be happy, Dad."
 
     "Knowing how your mother felt about it?"
 
     "Mom's gone.  Your happiness is all I care about."
 
     Cliff embraces his daughter, wipes away her tears.  "Thank you, Sal."
 
     "Dad, is this a good time to call Marie?"
 
     Cliff picks up the phone and dials.

     “You woke me up,” says Marie..

     “Sorry, Sweetheart. I have something important to ask you.”

     “So ask.”

     “Why don’t we go to New York next week, see Lew's play, and get married?”

     “Oh, Cliff, are we finally going to do it?”

     “I want Lew to be Best Man.”

     “Yes!”

     “Who would you like for your Maid of Honor?”

     “Sally.”

     “Perfect! Now go back to sleep.”

     “Are you kidding?”
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks 5/8/2009
Quick thought: "Days earlier, Jack Clark had attempted to see his Uncle Lew..." The name is Jack Walker...right?
ch. 1: "Captain Jack Walker lost the boat yard to bankruptcy in 1936"
Hey...I'm keeping your straight :o)
Ok, so I read another chapter tonight, so sue me...
#s 27 & 28 for the weekend, unless you write faster...LOL
B&L - Micke
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 4/17/2009
Really enjoyed a chapter with a happy ending, Gene...as always superb writing.

Carole~
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 4/14/2009
Aaaaannnd it's another winner. The dialogue is riveting and I didn't put on my seat belt. Ouch! Jane's gone, now a new and surprising danger lurks in the bushes. Can't wait for the next episode Gene. Hugs, J'nia
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 4/14/2009
Gene you have taken us into this story as though we were part of it.
Thank you for sharing, looking forward to more.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 4/13/2009
Gene, the dialogue is fantastic! I almost felt as though I were hiding in the bushes somewhere listening to a conversation that I wasn't supposed to hear..........they call that eavesdropping, right?
Reviewed by Jon Willey 4/13/2009
your command of dialogue intrigues me -- you keep the plot moving seamlessly and it is the dialogue that does such a excellent job of supporting it -- another very interesting chapter Gene -- thanks for sharing the story and your fine art with us -- peace and love my friend -- Jon Michael
Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse 4/13/2009
The dialogue that opens this scene is the best. Loved it. Does Jack have any redeeming traits? He's the devil. That bullet should have hit an artery and ended his life. Sally is too soft. Considering how evil Jack acts, she shouldn’t be so forgiving. I have a feeling the next trouble we will see is Jack’s dad and full blood uncle coming to cause problems. Jack could even escape again and maybe kill someone this time. I foresee Cliff getting the blame for what Jack has done from that side of the family. Why does he feel he owes them anything? I’m urging Cliff to cut that link once and for all time. Glad he and Marie are going to tie the knot.
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 4/13/2009
Captivating write, Gene; very well penned! BRAVO!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Reviewed by Chanti Niven 4/13/2009
Once again such a great example of effective dialogue. It is so well written and so believable, the characters really come to life. It's almost as if I am eavesdropping on actual conversations. I also enjoy how you lace your story with wry humour.

Love it!

Chanti
Reviewed by Paul Berube 4/13/2009
Well written story Gene. Very captivating.


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