At seven-thirty next morning, Benny left Dolly in Amarillo and headed for California.
As Benny had already learned, Dennis Bright’s Infiniti was capable of triple-digit speeds. It was also equipped with a Fuzzbuster, which appeared to be in impeccable working order. He reached Gallup just before noon.
His regular truck stop was only half full. He discovered that his regular Dolly was on maternity leave. She had been replaced by an older woman, who complained of sore feet. Benny did not greet this replacement with his customary “Hello Dolly!” He did not engage her in his customary banter. He did not bother to order his customary apple pie. Instead he crossed the street to a liquor store to purchase his dessert, which he chose to drink en route.
In Arizona he was greeted by a siren. He glanced in his rear-view mirror and observed a flashing red light. He removed his foot from the gas pedal, pushed a button that caused his right front window to roll down, hurled the bottle of dessert from the moving vehicle, and punished the unfaithful Fuzzbuster with the back of his hand.
Dennis Bright’s Infiniti came rolling to a stop while its driver reached into his shirt pocket and extracted a package of breath mints. He unwrapped the package and threw a handful of mints into his mouth and began to chew rapidly. He pushed another button. Down slid the left front window. Out peered Benny through the mirror. He watched as an apparition approached.
The twenty-something apparition was soon at his side.
She leaned down. “Sir,” she said nervously, “my radar had you clocked at 113.”
Benny looked skeptical. “Have you had your gun checked lately?”