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The Bounty Hunters

Texas Style

By Joyce O’DayPublished 5 months ago 6 min read
The Bounty Hunters
Photo by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash

Tex and Buck watched the neighbor girl and her friend ride off on their bikes from the porch of Tex’s house in Amarillo.

“How old is Cathy now?” asked Buck as he took a swig of his Lone Star beer. “She’s filling out nicely.”

“About 14 or 15,” said Tex. “She’s a hot one like her mama. I bet she’ll be having sex soon enough.”

“Best keep an eye on her,” said Buck. “We catch one of these young girls leaving state for an abortion, and that’s ten grand in our pocket.”

Tex popped open another can of beer. “Oh, I keep an eye on all the neighborhood girls,” said Tex.

“What about that girl with the big tits and dirty-blond hair? What’s her name? Ashley? Audrey?”

“It’s Ainsley,” said Tex.

“She’s wheeling a suitcase out to the car with her mama. You see that? Her mama’s got a suitcase too,” said Buck.

The men drank their beers watching mother and daughter kiss the younger brothers and the father goodbye.

“Why you think they leavin’ without the boys?” asked Buck.

“That’s a damn good question,” said Tex. “This may be our chance. I think her mama be drivin’ her out of state for an abortion.”

“How do we prove it?” asked Buck.

“We follow ‘em,” said Tex. “Go on home and pack an overnight bag. Tell Bonnie you be goin’ fishing with me in Colorado. We’ll follow those girls.”

“They’ll have a mighty big head start,” said Buck.

“Don’t you worry ‘bout that,” said Tex. “My Blazer will catch right up on them. Get on home and pack that bag. I’ll let my missus know about our fishin’ plans and pick you up in fifteen minutes.”

Buck walked on down the street, and Tex went inside to pack his things. His wife Claudine was working on a quilt for their newest grandson who was expected in March.

“A few days fishing in Colorado,” said Claudine. “You just brought home a dozen trout last month.”

“Buck needs some time away from home,”said Tex. “Bonnie’s been givin’ him hell about every little thing ever since he retired.”

“She’s always been a handful,” said Claudine. “I do feel for that man.”

Tex kissed her on the cheek and went to the bedroom where he threw a pair of jeans, a couple t-shirts, a plaid snap-on shirt, and a few pairs of boxers and socks into a duffle bag along with his toothbrush, toothpaste, and a special brush for his ZZ Top-style beard. Claudine brought his weekly pill container.

“Don’t forget these,” she said. “Doc says if you don’t take them pills everyday, you be looking at another heart attack.”

“Don’t know how I’d survive without you.” He grabbed her ass with his free hand and planted a wet kiss on her lips.”

“You’re a bad boy, Mr. Crocker.”

“You have no idea.” Tex winked at his wife. “Be a doll and pack us up some vittles.” He went outside to the garage where he gathered a couple of rods, his tackle box, and camping gear, and he packed up the back of the Blazer. Claudine came out with two bags of food.

Ten minutes later, Tex and Buck were speeding down highway 40 toward Albuquerque. A half hour later, they caught up with the Madison’s Ford Fiesta.

“That’s them,” said Buck. “Keep back behind a few cars, so they don’t recognize your Blazer.”

Four hours later, Tex and Buck watched Ainsley and her mother Carla pull into the parking lot of the Marriott Courtyard.

The men got themselves a room at the hotel for two nights and made sandwiches with the groceries that Claudine had packed. From their room, they had a clear view of the parking lot, which allowed them to keep tabs on the Madison’s car. Around 6 o’clock, mother and daughter left for dinner; they returned after 8 o’clock.

“I’ll get up at dawn and keep an eye out for them,” said Tex.

The men slept soundly, despite their excitement to shame that young slut, Ainsley. Tex kept his word and was at the window from sunrise until Buck woke up at 7:00. About 8:30, Buck saw the Madison girls get into a white KIA Sportage.

“Must be a Yelp or an Ubster or whatever they call those rides you book online. Watch what direction they head.”

The men ran downstairs to the Blazer and headed after the white Sportage. They caught up within a few minutes and followed the Sportage to a nondescript medical health complex where the women got out.

After 15 minutes, Buck walked into the building. On the directory sign, he saw that the Clinic for Women was on the 4th floor. He took the elevator, walked to the door of suite 403 and peeked inside, where he spied on the daughter flipping through a magazine. He went back down to Tex who was waiting in the Blazer. A couple hours later, mother and daughter emerged from the building and got into a tan Nissan sedan.

Back at the hotel, Buck and Tex celebrated their success with a couple of six-packs of Budweiser and more sandwiches.

The next morning, Buck and Tex left early — not waiting for the Madison girls. They went to a favorite fishing spot on their way home, where they nabbed eight striped bass to show their wives.

Back in Amarillo, Tex called his buddy Russ, whose son was a cop. Within an hour, the police pulled up to the Madison home. Twenty minutes later, Ainsley Madison was led out to the squad car in cuffs.

Tex snapped a picture with his phone and sent it to Buck.

“Ten grand, buddy!” said Buck. “We be splittin’ ten grand!”

A few hours later, Tex and Buck watched Ainsley be driven home by her parents. A six-pack and counting, Buck couldn’t control himself. “You’re a slut and a baby killer, young lady,” Buck yelled across the street to Ainsley and her parents. Mr. Madison turned toward Tex’s house and started to head their way.

“Don’t bother with those bastards,” said Carla. “Please, Tim.” Mr. Madison flipped them off and helped his daughter inside.

Claudine came outside. “What’s this ruckus all about?”

The men were laughing like fools. “Neighbor girl got knocked up and went to New Mexico for an abortion.”

“How would you know that?” asked Claudine.

“We followed mother and daughter to Albuquerque. Right to the abortion clinic.”

“You said you were going fishin’. You lied to me.”

“Just to protect you,” said Tex. “Buck and I gonna share the $10,000 bounty.”

“I don’t know how God feels about you profitin’ from baby killin’,” said Claudine.

“God be happy that slutty girl got caught. She may think twice about screwing around with boys. And her folks will think twice about drivin’ their little girl across state lines to end a baby’s life.”

* * * * * * * * *

Six weeks later, Tex called his friend Russ’s son to find out about the $10,000 bounty he was owed for turning in the Madison girl.

“Hello, Mr. Crocker. I’m sorry no one got in contact with you.”

Tex heard the sound of papers rumbling.

“Your neighbor, Ainsley Madison, was not pregnant. So unfortunately, there is no reward.”

“No reward,” said Tex. “We followed her into the abortion clinic.”

“I don’t know what to say,” said the officer. “They did a full gynecology work up, and the girl was a virgin.”

“No way that slut was a virgin,” said Tex. He felt his chest tightening up.

From the kitchen, Claudine heard the fall. She rushed into the living room to find Tex lying face up on the carpet. From his phone, she could hear the officer talking. “Mr. Crocker, I’m telling you the girl was never pregnant.”

Carla and Tim Madison watched the coroner wheel Tex Crocker to the van from their front porch. Carla felt bad for Claudine, but Tim held her back. “Stay out of it. That man tried to ruin our lives.”

“But his wife didn’t.”

“She would have gladly spent any money that son of a bitch got for turning you in for having an abortion.”

“You’re right honey,” said Carla. “I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life and that piece of shit and his dumbass friend followed us out of state to humiliate us and collect this state’s insane reward.”

“I’m just sorry that Ainsley had to be medically violated because of him,” said Tim.

“You’re right,” said Carla. “Thank goodness by this time the authorities can no longer convict me of having an abortion. Our nightmare is finally over.”

innocence

About the Creator

Joyce O’Day

After retiring from teaching world history for over 20 years, I am living every day on holiday: enjoying life with my family, traveling, gardening, engaging with my community in Las Vegas, and reflecting on the current state of the world.

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    Joyce O’DayWritten by Joyce O’Day

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