THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter I

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter I

The sun’s early light emerged from behind me as I faced out toward the large rolling Pacific swells that came in so innocently and inexorably to rise, form curls with white frothy water, and then smash themselves down on the sand as they approached the beach a quarter...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter II

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter II

I opened my eyes to see Mary sitting next to the bed I was lying in, leaning forward, her face only inches from my own. The bed was tilted so I looked a bit down at her worried expression. “Do you know where you are?” she asked, her expression serious and verbal...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter III

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter III

I didn’t remember whether any mention had been made by Richard about the Chevy having positraction. I learned that it did when Mary took off to head for the store. I watched the back end of the car disappear up Lobos Marinos until she took the corner heading north on...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter IV

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter IV

I drove the Volks down to the Dana Point Marina entrance and, after working my way through the ruts of dried mud, up to  Butch’s front door. It was closed, with a note taped to the handle: “If you sell vacuum cleaners or Encyclopedia Britannica’s then come right in.”...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter V

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter V

When I arrived at Galloways, it not being my usual pre-seven a.m. visiting time, the place was half full. Mike Manning sat at my table, so I walked right over and took the seat next to him, which was also usually the chair I occupied. “Want your chair?” he asked,...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VI

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VI

I walked to the front door of the modernistic throwback of some ranch-style, but not, home, noting that it had a screen door. The sweep of central air conditioning being installed around the country had just about put an end to such doors, at least as part of the...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VII

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VII

Saturday morning came early, as I gently climbed out of bed, knowing Mary would awaken but not stir enough to let me know she was. I didn’t require nearly as much sleep after the Nam as I had in my younger years and also had some form of sleep apnea my wife took full...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VIII

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter VIII

I left Butch’s trailer and headed back toward San Clemente, but not before stopping back at Straight Ahead just to see if Paul might have showed up since I’d been spending time with Butch. The place was open like it always was, but Paul was nowhere to be seen. I’d...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter IX

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter IX

Unlike the Jeep that’d been waiting for me when I flew in on the C-130 the security people would not let Tom’s Blazer out onto the tarmac. I got out, thanked him for helping me with my plan, and grabbed my bag and new briefcase. Tom had found a used Hartmann case of...
THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter X

THE COWARDLY LION, Volume Four, Chapter X

Regret for my conscious decision to let the artifact lie in the shattered mess of the overhead heater on the garage floor grew, as I headed for home. Down deep I realized the motivation for such a potentially idiotic decision. I didn’t need any more complications or...