the old six managed enough speed at one time to make the dirty, old sedan suffer a few dents. Because of those dents, Mike’s buddy had purchased the high mileage car cheaply using cash money he’d saved from working a paper route. He bought it outright… a tired old police car.

 Though motoring through town in that near junk, Mike was glad to be home on leave from his military service. That night, he was to thoroughly enjoy a reunion with our friends. He felt that he needed those moments. His mind was bothered considerably as he got ready to head toward his next air base assignment.

 You see, after enduring a year’s worth of technical school in Mississippi, Mike had come home to find that our friend had gotten a driver’s license. Several years younger than Mike, Harvey had been quite busy while we’d been away. In Mike’s absence he’d managed to quit high school, dated Mike’s sister… and had also tried to enlist in the Army. He'd gotten a job at the local steel mill, which raised his spirits high.

 Thankfully, he failed at only two of those three things. Mike’s sister strictly thought of him as a brother, so they quit dating. He also found that he couldn’t serve in the Army because of a previously unknown physical malady. This last was soon revealed as providential, in that many Army troops were about to go into Cambodia and Viet Nam. Still.., Harvey was disappointed about not being allowed to enlist. So it was on that night so long ago, Harvey pointed the Plymouth’s sailing ship hood ornament westward along Main St. The road paralleled a wide creek that flowed through town. He slowed to about

30 mph as they approached the “S” curve at the entrance of the residential area. Then, rolling ahead just beneath the speed limit, he said to Mike, “Look high up in the trees as we go uptown.”

 Mike leaned forward and watched intently as they motored on. My friend told me that he’d thought to see an owl or raccoon in the trees. He was aided to some extent by a dent in the top surface of the car’s right front fender. The dent caused one headlight to shine up in the air like a beacon.

 After a moment or two, Harvey quietly shifted down to second. The old Plymouth contained a rather primitive Mopar combination… both a clutch and fluid coupling. The unit allowed the shift to happen while staying real quiet… even without tromping on the clutch pedal. The engine chugged the car forward slowly. The old six hardly clicked.

 Suddenly there he was! Revealed in the tree above in the darkness by the elevated headlight beam was the local constable. He sat high in a maple tree with his stop watch in hand. The local law enforcer, he was clocking cars in a speed trap.

 The two young men rolled a block farther up the road, and saw a deputy parked in the old mill’s lot. Had they been speeding, using his Boy Scout flashlight the constable in the tree would have signaled his deputy to stop the Plymouth. They would have gotten a speeding ticket. The trap, you see, was a set up that would have made any

Sifting, cont’d...

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