Billy Bump’ stepfather asked him to come out to the garage to see what he had purchased for him. When he opened the large wooden door of the, stepdad hideout, he discovered a twenty inch bicycle with large knobby tires and a middle that was made to appear like a motorcycle, and painted accordingly.
Billy had grown a lot in fifth grade, but he still thought that the motorcycle bicycle was very cool! When Demetrius told him to take it for a spin, he happily complied.
Now the gravel road that ran in front of Billy’s house had large gravel. The wide and pronounced tires bumped and and the handlebars shook and, in fact the entire means of conveyance was difficult to keep on track. Between the bumping and swerving that was caused by the combination of the tires and the muscular gravel and the fact that Billy’s legs were too long for the smallish bike…the journey was aerobic and exciting!
Billy began riding his, ‘Harley Davidson,’ bicycle to town every day. The journey was about two miles. Once he had left the gravel road, about a mile of the journey, he pedaled all the faster on the smooth black top surface…as his knees almost reached his chin!
When Billy arrived in town, he passed the Ben Franklin Dime Store and the Orpheum Theatre and Beck’s Drug Store, with a rest stop at the Dairy Queen to purchase a nickel ice cream cone.
Later Billy and Dennis would often attend a movie at the Orpheum and then walk to the DQ to purchase Marlboro cigarettes and barbecue potato chips. They feverishly smoked the Marlboro’s while they walked the railroad tracks and then hurriedly consumed the barbecue potato chips to mask the odor of the smokes! But that is another story!
One day, Billy was riding his usual route when he saw Cowboy Jim laying drunk in front of the Orpheum. Billy stopped his machine and peered at Jim, with his cowboy hat and boots and a thin drool cascading out of the side of his mouth.
Finally Jim looked up at Billy and announced, ‘Jim’s Pool Hall…Jim speaking.’
Billy knew that Jim was not in a pool hall and wondered if he understood where he was. It was not long before the police arrived and helped a grateful cow-hand to his feet and drove him home.
Billy enjoyed the, hard to ride, ‘Harley Bicycle,’ because it reminded him of riding on his dad’s, actual, Harley in Chicago! Every time that he rode it, as soon as he could catch his breath, he was riding with his dad…and he was king of the world!
“Mom, I am going to ride over to Carl’s house,’ yelled Billy as he sped off…at three miles per hour!
Carl was waiting on his front porch with his three speed bicycle primed and ready. They began to make their way to the train track trestle, because it was so scary to ride or walk along it…when there was no where to hide from an on-coming train accept to jump!
When they arrived on the trestle Billy broke out the smokes! Carl had never smoked a Marlboro before…but he was eager to try…if you could tell by his excited wide eyed expression!
As Billy was illustrating to Carl the peculiar artistry of blowing smoke rings…Carl noticed something under the trestle near the pond that was underneath it.
Carl, with his coke bottle lens spectacles…thought it looked like a dead horse. Billy looked, in disbelief, and saw that the the lifeless object was a man!
As they both climbed down the hill that was at the beginning of the trestle…they stopped when they came upon the corpse of Cowboy Jim!
Billy remarked that Jim was probably drunk…but Carl saw the bullet hole in Jim’s left temple.
Both adventurers, suddenly, understood that they had discovered Jim’s murdered body!