Me and the shovel had been on the road for three or four weeks when it happened. I was running a back road headed for the freeway when I saw her stick out a thumb. I stopped.
She said her name was “July, ya know like the month”. But the first thing I thought of was that old John Stewart song “July you’re a woman, more than any one I have ever known”. It sure fit. Blonde, tight cutoff jeans, small tit-top, and a pair of legs that went from the ground all the way to the top.
She said she was headed the same way I was so I told her to bungee her sack to the sissy and we took off down the road. In about 20 minutes I was pulling on to the on-ramp and trying to remember the next wide spot with a motel.
I dropped into second to get some running room when she began to pound on my back. I could hear her yelling to stop and it took a moment to switch mental gears so we were a few yards down the road before I could get over to the shoulder.
I didn’t even shut the engine down before she was off the bike and running back down the ramp. Seconds later she came running back up holding a bright orange backpack.
“Turn off the bike and come over to this side”, she said indicating the off road side of the bike.
I killed the engine, got off, and squatted down next to her. The way we were crouched the bike blocked us from the vision of most passing cars and gave us a view of oncoming traffic for most of a half mile down the road.
She opened the pack and I almost swallowed my tongue when I saw what was inside. Two large blocks of what is commonly referred to as “green vegetable matter” were the first things I saw, right next to a big Colt Python .357 magnum. July reached under the keys of pot and there was more green, only these bundles had the pictures of dead presidents on them. Lots of presidents, most of them appeared to be Grant and Lincoln.
I closed the bag, I figured that somebody had the law on their butt and threw out the bag when they started up the ramp and were out of vision momentarily. A quick chill ran through me but I never was the superstitious type. Well not too much.
We tied the bag on the handlebars and I hit the gears as fast as I dared. Then I got real lucky, that wide spot with the motel was only about 8 miles down the road. I got us a room, pulled the bike inside without the manager seeing me do it, and we settled down for the night.
Well, we didn’t really settle down. We opened the bag and counted the contents. It came to 11,340 dollars, 2 kilo bricks of high grade dope, about 3 ounces of a fine white powder, and a big fuckin’ gun.
When the sun started coming up, we were still up to see it.
When we finally hit the road two days later I was feeling finer than I had since my first wife left with my best friend, whoever he was.
I reached the freeway and was just starting to roll when I whipped passed the highway patrolman parked on the side in the shadow of an overpass.
I saw the lights start flashing so I shut the bike down and pulled to the side as he rolled up behind us. I was off the bike and digging my wallet out of my back pocket.
I keep all the right papers in the same plastic package so it’s easy to find and dig out so there was no problem in giving “Dirty Harry” all the stuff he was asking about. But then I saw the bright orange backpack bungee corded to the handle bars and started to get a little nervous. There were about three life sentences sitting right in front of “Dick Tracy” and all he wanted to do was write me a ticket.
After he got finished with copying my name and stuff, he turned to July and asked for her identification. She slowly pulled a drivers license from her jeans and by the way she did it I knew there was a problem. As “Joe Friday” walked back to the patrol car I asked her,
“How bad is this gonna get?”
“Not too bad I think. I got a bunch of traffic papers out and maybe a criminal if he digs deep enough.”
“Okay, let’s see what he comes up with and we’ll play by ear.”
The Chippy got out of his cruiser, straightened his gun belt in a way that told me he’d found something. He walked up and just handed me my papers. Then he turned to July and said,
“Miss you’ve got 4 traffic warrants and I’ll have to arrest you. Please step away from the motorcycle.”
He cuffed her, walked her back to the patrol car and helped her into the rear seat.
I waited until the door was closed and he could see me walking toward him. I’d hate like hell to spook him and get shot “by accident”.
I asked him where they were going and how much was the bail. He told me to continue straight ahead, take the third off ramp, and the State Patrol office was at the foot of the ramp.
I leaned toward the window, with both hands clear, and said,
“Don’t worry Babe. I’ll be right behind ya.”
She smiled and nodded. Then the patrol car started up and pulled away from the side.
I sat on the bike and lighted a smoke to waste a little time until they could get ahead of me. After I finished I fired up the shovel and pulled away from the shoulder.
As I kicked into second gear, I passed the first off-ramp and I thought about what a great woman July was and how much fun we had
As I hit third and passed the second off ramp, I thought of what was in the bag up front. I had 11,000 dollars in clear money, a shit load of shit,
but no woman.
I was in fourth and doing 80 when I passed the third off-ramp and I thought to myself,
“Like the song says, ‘two out of three ain’t bad.'”