The Famous Aledo Pointing CatMature

College love takes to the field

         The Famous Aledo Pointing Cat

 

The campus of Texas Wesleyan University, in friendly Ft Worth, Texas never knew what hit it. No one saw it coming. No one was prepared. They say that when the conditions are just right, a perfect storm can suddenly form that blows away everything in its path. It comes seemingly out of nowhere. Even those grievously wounded think themselves lucky to have survived. They know only that they were there the day that history conspired against them and changed their lives forever. No one saw the portents in the sky. No alarm bells were rung and nobody took cover the day that arriving freshman Clay Moore and Colt Bonner drifted into their shared dorm room, giving no hint of the bedlam to come from their capable hands.

Clay and Colt knew each other from their High School FFA days. Both had been FFA Chapter leaders and had shared enough fat stock show nights to recognize that they had complementary cavorting styles. They agreed that their college priorities should focus on exceeding their hunting, fishing and “girling” bag limits as often as possible.

Colt’s older brother, Allen, had attended Texas Wesleyan University and Colt figured with all the plans Allen provided he would have it “wired”. Allen was always ready to share with Colt his highly evolved techniques for avoiding academic impediments to high-octane fun.  Allen’s T.W.U. tour-de-force was not all fun and games. Even Allen experienced a low point during his senior year.  As he explained to Colt during a visit home,” This year, 1967, is the year that western culture changed forever,” Allen sighed. “Life as we know it is over. The girls are now starting to wear something called panty hose and by time you get to college it will be the norm. May God have mercy on your soul.” Otherwise, Allen’s tutoring had fully equipped Colt for the good times to come.

Having completed the last freshman orientation session, Clay was already in the dorm room pounding away on the keyboard of his typewriter the day that Colt arrived. “Hey man! Classes don’t start till Monday. What’s with the homework?” Colt inquired. “No homework. God’s work,” Clay said, rising to shake hands. Seeing the unasked question in Colt’s face, Clay continued, “I met this girl at orientation and I’ve fallen for her like a blind roofer. Her name is Nora Leonard and I haven’t been able to get to first base with her,” Clay explained. “That don’t sound like you,” Colt said. “It’s the damned upper classmen,” Clay moaned. “They sniffed her out like a pack of coyotes and have cut her out of the pack. I’m trying to write her a note that will get her attention,” Clay confided.

“Wrong plan!” Colt said confidently. “Trust me. My older brother Allen has equipped me with a contingency plan for every eventuality.  Have a seat and let me describe a solution to your problem, compliments of Allen the Magnificent,” Colt said as he stretched out on his bed. “I’m going to show you a guaranteed plan for Claying Nora away from those Big-Men-On-Campus, Stud Muffin, Cool dude types and the only tool you will need is that typewriter,” Colt said looking over at the Clay’s Smith Corona.

“The key is knowing how women think. There is no way that you can top the ego trip Nora gets when she is the focus of attention by the suave set. You don’t stand a chance trying to go one-on-one with the BMOC’s. However, there is another force far more powerful than anything that the testosterone crowd has to offer and that’s the beauty of the plan,” Colt said warming to the subject. “As important as we think it is for a woman to be noticed and pursued by the guys, it’s nothing compared to how important it is to be envied by other women.” “You may be on to something there,” Clay conceded, “But how is that going to help me?”

“Here’s how it works. Type up a list and title it “Clay’s Top Ten Dressers”. We’ll make lots of carbon copies. Use last year’s Year Book and pick out upper class babes that show some style. Make sure Nora is on the list. Put her in about 5th place, but be sure she is the only freshman on the list. I got a buddy that’s got a job cleaning the women’s dorms. I can get him to post your list on the bulletin board in every girl’s dorm. Every few days we’ll post another list, “Clay’s Top 10 Figures”, “Top 10 hairstyles”, “Top 10 Kissers”, “Top 10 Talent” and stuff like that. Make sure Nora remains the only person that is on every list and the only freshman to boot. In no time at all, every girl on campus will be talking about two things, the identity of the mysterious Clay and how he knows so much about these suddenly popular and highly envied girls.

The BMOC’s won’t even know what’s happening while you gain the gratitude of every woman on your list. Each of them will think that your judgment and taste in women is spectacularly accurate. All you gotta do is stay in the game with Nora long enough for the Clay’s List ploy to get full traction. When you’re sure Nora’s envy meter is pegged you can do your Clark Kent thing and show Nora the S on your chest. What do ya think?” Clay just sat there thinking. Finally he looked up at Colt and said, “Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! If this works, I’m going to owe your big brother big time.”

“Speaking of your big brother,” Clay continued, “What plan has he hatched for you?” “My plan is for gratitudenous sex,” Colt beamed. “You mean gratuitous sex don’t you?” Clay corrected. “Nope. The plan is to get me as much gratitudenous sex as possible.” Colt replied. “Help me out here,” Clay said in confusion. “Having grown up on the farm there isn’t a vehicle I can’t fix. I got a trunk load of tools and my plan is to trade a little fixing sweet thing’s cars for a little of them fixing me up so-to-speak. Allen assured me that gratitude is a more dependable source of sex than beer and rock and roll,” Colt said confidently. “Another brilliant strategy from the master,” Clay said in admiration. “Let me also guess a lot of the best looking girls in school are going to experience mysterious car problems that you will just happen to be there to fix. “I do believe that you have grasped the finer points of gratitudenous sex. That’s why they make wrenches that turn both ways,” Colt concluded.

Clay implemented part 2 of Allen’s plan a few weeks later when he saw Nora sitting with a girlfriend food court in the student union building. Clay slid into the booth next to her, moving her books so he could sit close to her. He did not have anything in particular to say. He just wanted Nora to know that he was still very interested in her. That night when Nora opened her English Literature book a carbon copy of the past week’s Top 10 lists dropped out. On it was a hand written note that said “You’re number one on all my real lists. Don’t tell anyone. Call me at 345-0992” Thus a mere three weeks into the school year Clay and Nora became a “thing.” The Top 10 Lists continued for entirely new reasons and became even more provocative because now it was the collaboration of two devious minds instead of one.

One morning over their usual breakfast of Big Red’s and Moon Pies Colt said, “I heard that Nora’s folks have a ranch just outside Ft Worth. If we could get permission to hunt it would save us four hours on the round trip drive to my folk’s place in Hico.” “Nora is from Aledo,” Clay said. “She’s taking me out there next weekend to see if her Dad will let us do a little dove hunting. If he don’t get wind what I got in mind for his daughter, we could have us a hunting spot less than 45 minutes from the campus.” “You better tie a string around it, cause I don’t want to lose an opportunity like this to an inopportune woody,” Colt counseled. “In fact you better practice your pucker and plan to do some major ass kissing because a place like that would be a goldmine if we can get access. Take a mouthful of Yes Sirs and No Sirs cause country folks expect them. You screw this up, don’t come back,” Colt said only half-kidding.

As Nora introduced Clay to her father she said, “Clay wants to do a little hunting.” Big Bill Leonard looked down at his high-fashion, socialite daughter and asked, “You planning on hunting with him?” “Why of course Daddy,” Nora cooed. Big Bill darkened. “I haven’t been able to get you to hunt with me since your tenth birthday. Just what kind of incentive is this young man offering you, darling?” Big Bill said in a dead serious tone of voice. He gave Clay a piercing look that seemed to look into his very being.

The tone of voice was not lost on Clay. So when Big Bill turned his 300lb frame to Clay, took a step closer and glared down from his 6’8” height, Clay’s fight or flight complex quickly ramped up to about 50,000 volts and, not surprisingly, was issuing a strong flight recommendation. Unfortunately, Clay’s feet were paralyzed and were no longer receiving recommendations of any kind.

Big Bill leaned forward and hissed in slow, spaced out words that he tapped out on Clay’s chest with his finger as he spoke, “Just-what-kind-of-outdoor-recreation-do-you-have-in-mind-for-my-daughter, young-man?” Feeling he was coming apart like a double-wide in a tornado, Clay swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bouncing like a tennis ball down the steps of an Aztec temple.  He wanted to say that he had no ulterior motives and was not proposing anything out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, it came out as “Just the usual Sir.”

Before Clay could extract his foot, Big Bill said, “Relax boy. I’m just jerking your chain. Don’t go having a coronary on me here in the front yard. Nora is my only child and we brought her up to take care of herself. You got a lot more to fear from her than from me. She’s a spitting image of her Mom and that should be warning enough,” Big Bill smiled.

“What kind of hunting do you want to do?” Big Bill asked “Just about anything. Ducks, doves, quail,” Clay was able to croak out from his still dry throat. “I really like quail hunting,” he added. “We got a few doves now and you’ll be able to jump a few ducks off some of the larger tanks come December. We’ve got plenty of quail in the good years. I don’t have a lot of rules young man, so pay attention. Don’t shoot near the house. Don’t leave gates open. If you pull a barbed wire strand loose crossing a fence, fix it before moving on,” Big Bill concluded. “Oh, and I don’t want anybody bothering the two coveys of quail that hang out around the old homestead buildings over in the East pasture,” Big Bill said pointing to the distant buildings.  “I’ve been feeding them for years and they’ve tamed down too much to be a challenge anyway. Other than that, make yourself at home,” Big Bill concluded.

“Thanks for the invitation,” Clay replied. “Where should Nora and I dove hunt this afternoon?” “Why don’t you two set yourselves down at that tank you passed on the way in,” Big Bill replied helpfully.

As Clay and Nora were headed toward the house, Clay turned to Big Bill and asked, “Do you mind if I bring my roommate along with me when quail season starts. It’s easier to flush quail if you’ve got more than one person.” “When quail hunting season comes you and your roommate are welcome. You can even use my bird dog young man, but I consider using the cat for quail hunting as unsporting. He loves to hunt, so you will have to tie him up to keep him from following you. Now I grant you that his hunting, pointing and retrieving skills are extraordinary, but if I were to let folks hunt him, there wouldn’t be a quail left in this county.

Clay was not sure if he heard the sound of another chain being rattled or not. A cat! What the hell was Big Bill talking about?  Clay mulled over the question as they strolled toward the farmhouse. He was pretty sure that the sleek grey shorthaired cat sleeping under the porch rocking chair was just another attempt at more farm humor. “What happened to his tail?” Clay asked. “Once we discovered his bird hunting skills, I decided to give him one of those short bird dog tails to compliment his style,” Big Bill replied in a serious matter-of-fact tone. “What’s his name?” Clay asked trying not to look stupid and swallow the bait that was obviously being dangled in front of him. “Farm cats, even talented pointing cats, don’t warrant a name. He’s just the cat,” Big Bill said as if stating the obvious. “Pointing cat my ass,” Clay thought to himself. “Will he retrieve doves?” Clay probed “Haven’t lost a dove since I’ve been hunting with him,” Big Bill said with a bit too much pride in his voice.

Clay couldn’t handle the tension any longer. “You know this all sounds a little far fetched. No disrespect intended, but are you putting me on?” he asked as inoffensively as possible. “I’m serious as a heart attack young man. It may be hard to believe, but seeing is believing,” big Bill said as he signaled for Clay to say were he was.

With that Big Bill disappeared into the front door of the farmhouse. A few minutes later he walked out wearing his hunting vest. He walked down the steps and took a few steps toward the pasture. Clay turned his attention from Big Bill to the cat that was still  asleep under the rocking chair oblivious to the world. “Keep your eye on that cat,” Big Bill said to Clay and the smiling Nora as he walked back into the house. A few minutes later Big Bill walked out the front door dressed exactly as he had been but this time carrying a shotgun in the crook of this arm. Before Big Bill’s booted foot had reached the porch’s top step the cat was at heal by his side matching him step for step.

With a big smile on his face, Big Bill turned around to get Clay’s reaction as he and Nora walked up to them. “Sit!” Big Bill said to the cat. The cat sat just like a well-trained hunting dog would have. “I don’t know how he did it, but this here cat knows most of the hunting commands that I teach my dogs, but I’ve never given him a lesson.” “I thought cats were supposed to be gun-shy,” Clay observed still hoping to find an explanation for what he was seeing. “This one’s just the opposite. If he hears a shot out in the pasture, he will rip a hole in the screen door to get out in order to join the hunt. That’s the reason you have to tie him up if you’re gonna leave him behind.”

Suddenly Clay realized that he had a way to find out if the cat was for real without risking being the butt of Big Bill’s sense of humor. “Mind if we take the cat dove hunting this afternoon?” Clay asked expecting Big Bill to come up with some excuse why that was not a good idea. “If you don’t mind me saying so,” Big Bill responded, “You’re being a little dense or I’m not communicating. I don’t believe the cat would let you dove hunt without him. Given how much he likes to hunt I don’t want to tie him up and listen to him howl all afternoon.” With that Big Bill walked over to Clay’s car and said “Kennel!” In one leap the cat sailed into the open passenger side window and sat patiently waiting just the way a good bird dog would have, except for the jumping through the window part.

Still not sure what to expect, Clay drove Nora and the cat out to the farm tank recommended by Big Bill.  Sure enough, as they carried their gear to a shady spot under a big oak tree, the cat followed along just like a lab. Before long a dove rocketed overhead going from left to right. Clay missed, but Nora crumpled the dove a good 40 yards away. The bird fell into a thick patch of sunflowers. Clay looked over at the cat. Well, at least he aint gun-shy, he thought as he looked at the cat calmly sitting and staring back at him. From over his shoulder he heard Nora say, “Fetch!” The cat was off like a, well, like a cat. Five minutes later, as silently as a ghost, the cat reappeared with a dead dove in its mouth. “Drop it,” Nora said. “How come you didn’t tell me you had a cat that could retrieve?” Clay asked. “He can do a lot more than retrieve. But to answer your question, I quit talking about the cat because no one would believed me,” Nora said defensively.

Another dove zoomed overhead. Clay fired three times and missed each shot. Even before the last hull had hit the ground the cat rolled over on its back and began wiggling in the dirt. “If I didn’t know better,” Clay said to Nora, “I’d say that cat just shot me the paw!” “You had better get the rust off your shooting eye if you know what’s good for you,” Nora warned, “Cause if you keep missing your gonna frustrate the cat. He frustrates easy. If he gets frustrated with you you’ll be dodging hot cat piss the rest of the afternoon. That cat has high expectations and is a dead shot himself, if you get my drift.”

It was probably the thought of trying to explain the smell of cat piss to the guys back at the dorm that brought sudden improvement to Clay’s shooting. After watching the cat do a water retrieve of a dove in the middle of the big tank, Clay finally suspended disbelief and became a convert. As the cat returned to the bank, it laid the dove on the ground and shook the water out of its coat. It then picked up the dove and headed back to Clay. When it was 20 yards away, the cat suddenly spun 90 degrees to its right and locked on a perfect point with the dove still in its mouth. Its stubby little tail quivered, its little left front paw was raised, its ears were laid back and its little nose was pointed toward a nearby bush. “Quail,” Norma said. Clay walked over to take a closer look and flushed a 12-bird covey of quail in the process. The cat looked up at Clay obviously expecting him to shoot. The cat then spit out the dove in disgust and started covering it in dirt just as he would a load of cat poop. “He’s trying to tell you that he rather hunt quail than doves any day,” Nora said in explanation of her cat’s bad manners.

Back at the ranch house Clay told Big Bill of his incredible experience with the cat as if it was news to Big Bill.  Clay thanked him and asked him is there was anything he could do for Big Bill in return. “Well, there is one thing you could do for me if you don’t mind,” Big replied. “It’s time to give our house cat his worm pill.  He is strictly a house cat and is real friendly.  He’ll come out to greet you as soon as you walk in the door. I’ve got to run to town and I’d appreciate it if you would do that for me.” Glad to help,” Clay said. “The pills are in the kitchen cabinet over the toaster. Just give him one. Thanks for the help,” Big Bill said as he headed for his pickup.

Back at the dorm room, Colt walked in to find Clay covered in bandages and furiously typing away on his trusty typewriter. “What the hell happened to you?” Colt said. “Well, its like this,” Clay started, “I have determined that there are exactly fourteen steps to giving a pill to cat and I thought that I better write them down before I forget them.” After he finished typing, Clay pulled the sheet of paper out of the carriage and handed it to Colt.

1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.  Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call girl friend from garden

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get girlfriend to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8) Wrap cat in large towel and get girl friend to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9) Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to forearm and remove blood from the carpet with cold water and soap.

10)     Retrieve cat from tool shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto its neck, leave head showing. Force mouth open with a dessertspoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11)     Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot, drink. Check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss-back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from the car.

12)     Consider calling fire department to retrieve the fucking cat from tree across the road.  Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13)     Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of  steak.  Be rough about it.  Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash down pill.

14)     Consume remainder of Scotch. Get girlfriend to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture store on the way home to get the price on a new table.

“From the looks of you, I’d say you tried to give that pill to a mountain lion,” Colt observed without the desired amount of sympathy in this voice. “I know. I know,” Clay replied. “They don’t want to know about the storms at sea. They only want to know did the ship come in? Heartless bastard that you are, you will be glad to know that I did bring our ship in. Mission accomplished. We’re good to go for the rest of the hunting season.” Given Colt’s farm-bred cynicism, Clay decided not to mention the famous Aledo pointing cat.

Clay and Colt’s after-hours antics kept them in the cross hairs of the Dean of Men at T.W.U., Dean Beauchamp. Fortunately, the pair had managed to ingratiate themselves with Dean Beauchamp’s wife Gladys. They ran errands for her and did everything they could do to shine where she was involved. They also kept her refrigerator full of game. Gladys was a great cook and her specialty was a quail recipe that she and the Dean enjoyed when they could get fresh quail.

After Clay and Colt had skated out on to some very thin ice over an incident involving a can of shaving cream and a cherry bomb, they knew it was time to rush some quail over to Gladys forthwith before the Dean confided in her his suspicions of the bomber’s identity.  That cold, cloudy afternoon Clay found himself headed out to Aledo on a mission from God.

Along side the dirt road leading to the ranch, Clay spied a covey of quail meandering up the bar ditch. With one shot he bagged 5 of them. “At least I’ve got something for Gladys,” he said to himself. But he knew that given the extent of his and Colt’s misdeeds, 5 would not be enough. Clay put the quail into a plastic bag and tossed them onto the backseat floorboard.

When he got to the ranch no one was around so Clay parked behind the barn and got out his gun and shells.  By the time he was ready the cat was standing at his side. Given that he only had a few hours of shooting light and the critical nature of this quail-hunting mission, Clay decided to take a chance on the two coveys that Big Bill had both fattened and forbidden. Quail that were close, easy to find and slow flying was justification enough for Clay.  With able help from the cat, his plan was to be back before anyone even noticed he was there. Even the nosy neighbor across the road was tucked warmly indoors by the weather.

For quail hunting, Clay attached a little kitty bell to the cat’s collar so he could find him in the thick cover frequented by late season quail. Clay clipped the leash on the cat and off they went to cull a few head from the homestead house coveys.

The closer to the homestead buildings that Clay got the more his guilt level rose. He didn’t enjoy intentionally going against Big Bill’s wishes, but everyone knew that 90% of the quail population dies every year whether they are hunted or not, so Clay’s impact on the future of those coveys would be minimal. Besides, there were grievous indiscretions that Dean Beauchamp did not even know about yet. A grateful Gladys was their hole card.  Clay was so intent on those quail that it never occurred to him that Big Bill might have had other reasons for the homestead prohibition. In later years, as he looked back on the experience, Clay wished over and over again that Big Bill had given him the entire picture.

Clay was rescued from anxiety by a feeling of pending excitement as he set the cat loose. Soon the cat’s bell went quiet. As Clay made his way toward the cat’s last known position, he saw again the incredible sight of a picture-perfect-point, even if it was a cat.  The covey was exactly were Big Bill said it would be. If there were still people living in the old house, someone looking out the side kitchen window would see a crazy college kid following a cat toward the back of the house. As Clay carefully closed in, the cat silently crept forward indicating that the quail had been there, but were running. Clay could tell, as the cat continued its silent stalk, that the quail were headed for a dense weed patch located in the backyard.

They say that at moments of extreme anticipation and excitement people experience something called tunnel vision. They can see the object of their focus with uncanny clarity, while all else becomes a blur. At least that is what Clay thinks happened. As the cat crept forward toward the moving quail, Clay’s tunnel vision prevented him from seeing the old drainage pipe that ran from the feedlot up the hill to the backyard of the old house. Had he been more observant, he probably would have noticed the pipe running from the old house to the same spot in the back yard. It was tunnel vision that allowed him to take three full steps forward onto what looked like solid ground, but was actually the consistency of Jell-O.  At a very instinctive level, deep within Clay’s primitive brainstem, a warning bell went off just before he crashed through the dried surface of the cesspool on which he was standing.

It must have been instinct that signaled his lungs to draw a giant breath just before he disappeared into what is euphemistically called effluent. It was another instinct that actually saved him. As he descended below the surface, he held onto his shotgun held high over his head. The shotgun spanned the whole created by his falling body as if he had fallen through a whole in the ice. It stopped his decent and gave him just enough leverage to pull himself back gasping, sputtering, cursing and gagging to the cesspool’s surface.

The commotion flushed the quail. When no shot was fired the enraged and totally frustrated cat turned his frustration on Clay. Just as Clay was about to complete his belly crawl across the crusted cesspool surface, the cat fired the ultimate insult. Having regained some of his reflexes, Clay saw the cat spin around. He was able to turn his head just as the cat fired. The stream of hot cat piss hit Clay squarely in the ear as if to demonstrate to Clay that, all things being equal, the cat had quicker reflexes and was a better shot than Clay. Grateful to be alive, Clay realized that getting rid of the smell of cat urine was the least of his problems. In fact, the smell of cat urine did not even make the stink-o-meter move. That was probably because his cesspool coating had already pegged the damned thing on GAG.

It is strange the way adversity can focus the mind. Once on dry land, Clay tore off every stitch of clothing he had on. He did however, have the clarity to remove his wallet and car keys.  He didn’t even feel the 38-degree weather as he sprinted toward the ranch house; gun under one arm and the ball of putrid clothes under the other. Like a gifted halfback following blockers, he jumped over every obstacle in his dash toward the garden hose and relief from the stink that matched him step for step. As he ran into the backyard he ditched his clothes in the trashcan lest projectile vomit overtake him.

It was just his luck that Evelyn Hutchins, the old widow lady who lived across the road, was sweeping her front porch as Clay bolted into the ranch yard, “like some crazed sexual pervert bent on who-knows-what,” Evelyn explained later to the sheriff.  As Clay began his naked wash dance with the garden hose, he saw Evelyn drop her broom and run screaming into her house. Clay could just imagine the story those telephone lines were carrying to the police department over in Aledo. By the time the stink level had dropped from Gag to approximately barf, Clay figured it was time to fire up the car and it’s welcomed heater and make a break for the dorm before the law, or worse, Big Bill arrived. Just before he took the turn toward Ft Worth, Clay could see a long line of cop cars headed his way.  In the formation were Aledo police units, Parker County Sheriff’s cars and a few Texas Highway Patrol cars. All had their lights flashing and sirens wailing as they sped to save poor Evelyn Hutchins from how-knows -what.

Thus it was that Clay found himself in the dorm parking lot waiting for full dark to arrive. He was not sure how he was going to sneak into the dorm naked, but he was sure that dark would help. When all was quiet and there was no longer anyone in sight, when his patience had run out, and with his need to urinate at full overload, the time for the dorm room dash had finally come. In five more minutes they were going to lock the back door to the dorm. He opened the car door, grabbed the bag of quail, and with the focus of his entire being on the back door, Clay started his sprint.

Why Dean Beauchamp, chose to lock the back door to the men’s dorm early that night was never fully explained. It did, however, lead to one of the briefest, most memorable and oft repeated conversations Clay ever had with him. Just as Dean Beauchamp reached to lock the back door, Clay burst through and stopped just short of full body contact with the recoiling Dean.  Instinctively, Clay handed the plastic bag of quail to the Dean. Instinctively Dean Beauchamp grabbed it. The Dean recovered his wits first. “Mr. Moore,” he said as he stepped aside holding the bag of quail like it was radioactive and trying not to breathe, “Let me suggest that you visit the shower before you return to your room.” “Yes Sir! Our best to Gladys!” Clay shouted over his shoulder as he fled toward the welcome relief of unlimited hot water. There would be hell to pay tomorrow, but tonight Clay only cared about scrubbing off everything that remained of his encounter with the famous Aledo pointing cat.

The End

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