click here for chapter 1
by jason gusmann
visuals by rhoda penmarq
Chapter Three: A Job Well Done
Hap Dixon stands in the morning sunshine talking to cub reporter Rudy Sidelong and Officer Dan.
Tell us how you did it, Hap! Rudy asks excitedly.
Hap looks up at Officer Dan, who nods his approval.
Hap begins, Well, after I found the clues I knew I had to get to the airport.
So I hiked up there and, using my trusty flashlight, I found my way out onto the airfield.
And there I saw the smugglers!
Rudy inquires breathlessly, How did you know they were the smugglers, Hap?
Well, Hap continues, I knew from the clues I found that the smugglers were using an air route and that it was a family business.
So when I got out on the airfield I saw there was only one plane being loaded at that time of night.
And what did it say on the side of the plane but Martinelli and Sons Shipping!
Rudy snaps his fingers.
Hap continues, Another tipoff was that they were swarthy and foreign and I had never seen them in town before.
So I used my trusty two-way radio to contact Officer Dan and the police took care of the rest!
Rudy exclaims, Gee, what a story!
Officer Dan frowns.
I should’ve known from the beginning that they would be crooked, he says.
Without Hap Dixon’s help, the Case of the Swarthy Smugglers would probably never have been solved.
Officer Dan says to Hap, You did a fine job, young man!
Officer Dan tousles Hap’s yellow hair; Hap grins.
The sun is shining brightly down on the town.
Hap walks into his house through the front door, into the living room.
In the picture hanging on the beige wall above the green sofa, it seems as if something has changed.
It is hard to tell as no matter how close or how far you are from the picture it never quite comes into focus.
Mom is a blue dress, blonde hair, a devil mask.
On the green sofa, across from the television in the big, brown console, there is a thin woman in a short black dress.
She has short black hair and long white legs.
Her legs are crossed at the knee and a black high-heeled shoe dangles from her white foot.
She is smoking a long white cigarette.
She glares at Hap and taps a gray ash onto the orange rug.
The television is off.
Bodie is lying behind the green sofa, whining.
Hap Dixon asks, Where’s Aunt Bea?
Dad asks, from behind the paper, Aunt who?