Precious Cargo

All characters appearing in this story are mine of my own design.
This story is a work of fiction based upon nothing in particular.

Precious Cargo is copyright The Silver Coyote

The Other Side Of Daddy

Some few minutes later, as Joe was zipping up his fly and preparing to exit the restroom at the adjoining Chevron service station, he heard his wife's voice calling for him. It wasn't a pleasant 'where are you' type call either, he could clearly hear the panic and fear in her voice as she called his name loudly. Bypassing the sink and paw wash, he ran out the door.

The first thing he saw was Annie running towards him, fear in her eyes. The next thing he noticed was his seventeen year old daughter struggling with a fur on the ground. Well, maybe not struggling too much, as she had her right knee in the small of his back and her right arm across the fur's throat as he lay face down on the asphalt. Her left paw held his left paw up between his shoulder blades. She was pulling his head and shoulders up and back with her right arm, lifting them at least a foot and a half off the ground. Quickly taking the scene in, Joe decided his wife was in no immediate danger, and he ran towards his daughter. Annie altered her course to meet him en route. When she joined him she was breathless and momentarily at a loss for words. He slowed a bit so she could keep pace.

Within seconds they arrived at the point where Debbie had the now immobile fur face down on the asphalt. Joe stopped and just looked for a moment. The fur under his daughter was a mongrel in his mid twenties, maybe five foot ten, a hundred and eighty pounds or so, black body fur and shoulder length black hair in a pony tail. He appeared to be a local, a Navajo most likely, and he was dressed in dirty, ragged clothes. The soles of his boots had holes in them. In a corner of his mind Joe was quite impressed by his seventeen year old daughter's ability to bring down this mutt.

"What's going on, Debbie?" he asked almost casually. He hooked his thumbs in his jeans pockets.

"This... shit... tried... to take... my purse!" she panted, the tip of her tongue showing just a bit on her bottom teeth. The native fur was struggling, but her grips were true and he couldn't move. He still clutched her purse in his right paw, which was wedged, immobile, under his torso. Joe reached down slowly while saying "Let him give me the purse."

Debbie rolled her weight a little to her left, allowing her captive's right arm some limited motion. Squatting to where he could see the native fur's eyes, Joe tapped his arm and motioned for him to give up the purse. The fur made no move to comply and just glared at him, growling quietly.

Joe stood up slowly. He nodded reassuringly to Annie, who by now had caught her breath but still hadn't said anything. Turning to look down once again, a bare hint of a smile on his face, Joe stepped back slightly. Suddenly and swiftly he stepped forward and gave the mongrel on the asphalt a quick, solid kick in the ribs, not hard enough to break anything, but enough to let him know that the next one would put him in the hospital. At this both his wife's and daughter's eyes popped, but Debbie managed to keep her hold on her captive.

Joe squatted down once again next to the mongrel, who was now grunting and groaning. Joe motioned with his hands, and quietly said something to the Navajo that sounded completely incomprehensible to his wife and daughter. The purse flew a few feet away from them towards their truck.

Annie looked up from the purse and glanced in several directions around them. So far this little episode had gone unnoticed by the locals. Thank God for small favors, she thought.

Joe stood up, fetched the purse, and placed it on the hood of their truck. Still wearing a slight smile, he spoke to his daughter. "Let him up."

"What?" she asked incredulously.

"Let him up!"

"Daddy..." she began to protest.

"Sweetheart," he interrupted, "he's high as a kite. He doesn't know what the Hell he's doing right now. He obviously misread you as an easy mark. Let him up, he'll go away, we'll go away, end of problem." He patted her shoulder. Without turning his head away from the mongrel on the asphalt he addressed his wife. "Annie, please open the truck."

She fished in her own purse for her remote and, finding it quickly, unlocked the truck.

"Put Debbie's purse in the truck, please," Joe ordered. He noticed that Debbie still had not released her captive, or even loosened her grip on him. He heard Annie opening a door to the truck behind him. He backed up one step.

"Debbie, let him up."

Debbie released her grip across the mongrel's throat. As soon as her grip loosened, the native fur moved quickly under her, throwing her off balance to her right and rolling out from under her to her left. He came up with a knife in his right paw and Debbie's right arm in his left paw. His eyes, now looking directly at Joe, were wide and wild. Debbie froze, terrified. Turning to see what the commotion was, Annie stopped breathing momentarily as she froze, then exhaled "Oh my God."

The native yelled something in Navajo at Joe, waving the knife. Suddenly he pulled Debbie's arm up behind her shoulders, positioning her between himself and Joe, and brought the knife up to Debbie's throat and held it there, a scant half inch from her flesh.

For several long seconds they stood there, the four of them, facing each other. The Navajo panted slightly, his eyes shifting from Joe to Annie and back repeatedly. Debbie was terrified, to be sure, but remained composed and quite still. Annie likewise waited, scared to death but showing little outward evidence of her fear. The faint smile was still on Joe's face as he watched the native's eyes for an opportunity.

The opportunity came all too quickly.

The Navajo blinked.

There was a quiet whiff of sound, a slight blur between the two males.

As the Navajo opened his eyes from his blink the business end of a Beretta 92SBE hovered, motionless, a scant two inches in front of his left eye, just above the top of the young female's head. It was at the end of the big coyote's outstretched arm, the coyote's finger on the trigger. The coyote stood with his feet apart, turned sideways to him, presenting a minimal target for his knife. The coyote's gray eyes stared steadily, unblinking, down the iron sights of his pistol, right at his forehead. The Navajo suddenly realized with a start that he was very possibly seconds from death.

Debbie looked at her father, not recognizing him for the moment. She hadn't seen any motion at all, one moment he was standing there smiling at them, the next he had the pistol held above her. She ducked and moved her upper torso slightly, pulling her head and shoulders away from the pistol as far as she could. The fur who held her captive didn't seem to notice her movement.

She couldn't tear her eyes away from her father's face, even as she tried to duck away from the pistol. His normally blue eyes were a cold steel gray, narrowed to the point where they were barely visible. His stare drilled into the eyes of the native fur, who's eyes in turn now looked straight into the nine millimeter bore of the pistol in her father's right paw. But what most captivated Debbie's attention was the expression on her father's muzzle. Not a smile, although the look of it conveyed a joy of sorts. Joe's fangs were plainly visible in the snarling, angry grin he directed at the mongrel.

Annie had seen this gun many times, but had never seen the side of her coyote now holding it. To Annie, Joe looked for all the world like he was overjoyed at the prospect of killing this fur. For several more long seconds Joe let the Navajo appreciate the situation he was in while Annie and Debbie held their breath.

Finally they all heard Joe speak quietly, slowly and clearly to the Navajo.

"Son, you just made the biggest mistake of your short life. I was willing to let bygones be bygones, but you had to pull an offensive weapon on my daughter. That's bad. Now you belong to me." The coyote who looked like Debbie's father smiled a truly evil smile at the Navajo, continuing. "This weapon is modified to use 175 grain silver-jacketed hollow point rounds. It'll blow a hole in the back of your head big enough for an owl to nest in." The smile became a sneer, the look of pleasure at the anticipation of his victim's execution now unmistakable.

"I'm licensed to carry this weapon in thirty seven states, and you and I just happen to be standing in one of them. The worst your death will mean to me is an hour of paperwork at the Coconino County Sheriff's office down in Flagstaff. I'll be home in California enjoying a cold beer before the buzzards are done feasting on your dead carcass. Now you have only one choice and only one opportunity, you miserable fuck, so pay attention." He leaned forward slightly, touching the barrel of the pistol to the Navajo's forehead just above his left eye. The mongrel flinched slightly, but remained otherwise motionless.

"You can drop that knife, back away, and run. If I ever see you again, I'll kill you, as sure as you're standing here thinking about it." And now Joe leaned even closer to the fur and spoke quietly to the Navajo in his own tongue. "Or I will kill you now. You will not walk in beauty. No sing will save you from your loss of harmony. You will dishonor your mother's house forever." The native's eyes grew wider still, hearing this coyote speak to him in his own tongue. Joe leaned back slightly, switching to English again. "You decide, but if it takes you longer than ten seconds I'll drop you right here, right now, like the sack of shit you are." For emphasis Joe thumbed the hammer back on the pistol, the menacing click it made was so loud that the mongrel and both of Joe's females jumped noticeably.

The Navajo considered this for maybe a full second, then the knife clattered to the asphalt. The fur released his hold on Joe's daughter and backed up a step. Then another. And a third. And suddenly the fur was running, Hell bent for bridge number three. They stood where they had been, the iron sights of the Beretta tracking the fur as he ran, watching him run across the bridge over the gorge and on, north up the highway.

Joe swore quietly under his breath and sighed briefly, at the conclusion of which he slowly released the hammer of his pistol and returned it to it's custom holster inside his jacket. When his hands were finally empty Debbie drew a ragged breath and started to breathe again.

Annie put her right arm around her husband's shoulders, as much for her own stability as to provide him comfort. She stared at his eyes for several long seconds, watching the blue return to them as the evil sneer slowly dissipated from his face. Finally Joe's shoulders slumped slightly, and he sighed once again. Annie turned to her daughter.

"Honey, are you OK?"

Debbie nodded, not trusting her voice just yet. She looked at her father, who was once again looking like daddy, not like the calm and collected killer she had been facing a few moments ago.

Joe stared back at her, a gentle smile slowly creasing his face. Finally he asked her "Where did you learn moves like that? You looked like you had the situation well in hand until I showed up."

"I..." Her voice caught in her throat. She cleared her throat and took a deep breath. "Sensei Mario at church," she finally replied.

"His training quite possibly saved your life today. I owe him a debt of gratitude."

"Daddy, you saved my life. Up until I let him go he was just a purse snatcher." She looked at him, unsure if she'd ever see her father in the same light again, and certain beyond doubt that the side of him she'd just seen terrified her almost as much as the crazy native had.

They stared at each other for a time, neither one moving or speaking. Finally Annie broke the spell by saying "You know, we really ought to get out of here before the Navajo Police show up."

They both looked at her. She made perfect sense. If the Navajo purse snatcher went squalling some made-up story to the Navajo Tribal Police, they would have no choice but to detain the lot of them.

Silently each of them opened a door on their truck and climbed in. The diesel cranked, and within seconds they were accelerating southbound on US 89. They did not stop again until they were off the Navajo Nation, down in Flagstaff.

To Chapter Eighteen: History Lesson.

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