Busted Axle Road
CopyrightÂ© 1993, 2001, 2010
Mark was only a little way out onto the lake when he began to feel a little remorse. That was a cruel thing to do, he realized, although he felt good about it. He was still shaking from being mad. That woman just didn't have the good sense to keep quiet, just once, when someone did her a favor. But no, she'd mouthed off, and for once, she'd gotten hers. With all the trouble she'd caused Spearfish Lake, it felt good to be the one to pay her back a little.
Still, he knew that he'd stepped out of line. In the winter, that kind of unkindness could be deadly. It probably wouldn't be right now; it wasn't that cold, and someone would probably be along fairly soon.
He thought about it as he passed along the lakeshore in front of town. Finally, his guilt overcame him a little, and he hawed the dogs onto the shore, right at Main Street.
With all the snow, the streets were getting covered, and it was no real problem to run right up the street. Fortunately, there were only two stop lights to deal with, and both of them were green, so he didn't have to go to the hassle of stopping and starting the dogs. "Just Gee, Just Gee," he told the leaders. He wasn't sure that Ringo knew the command for an easy right turn, but Cumulus nudged him to the side, and they ran down the street right next to the curb.
Mark called "Whoa!" right in front of the Record-Herald office. He ran the picket line out to a nearby parking meter for a tieline, and took the snow hook line, and tied Cumulus and Ringo off a couple of parking meters ahead. "Wonder if they're going to give me a ticket?" he wondered, and bemused by the possibility, he reached in his pocket, and found some pennies there. He walked back down the line of parking meters, and dropped a penny in each one, laughing all the way. When he got back to the sled, he noticed a couple of papers stuck in the basket. He bent over, to throw them out, and then decided he didn't want to litter the streets, so he kept them in his hand as he walked into the Record-Herald office.
Mike was sitting in his office, really bored, now, when Mark walked in. "What brings you down here?" he said.
"Kind of a long story," Mark said, throwing the papers onto the pile on that overflowed the top of the wastebasket. "I stopped to help out a car stuck in a snowdrift. It turned out to be Heather Sanford, and she gave me a lot of lip about cruel exploitation of helpless animals, so I had the teams drag her car into another snowdrift."
"Serves her right," Mike said. "I'm glad you did that."
"Yeah," Mark said. "But she got knocked down when the dogs took off with her car, and she could be hurt. How about hopping in your car and going out to see if she's all right? It was maybe a couple hundred yards up 226 from Point Drive."
"I better not," Mike said. "I'm here by myself, and I don't know that I wouldn't just let her lay there." He looked at the clock. "But," he said, reaching for the phone, "LeRoy ought to be over at the doughnut shop for his evening coffee break. I'll give him a shout, and have him run over and look. That way, if he gets stuck, it's the city's bill."
"Keep me out of it, can you?"
"It won't do much good," Mike said. "She tells LeRoy 'dog team', and he's going to know it was you or me. But, he isn't a heck of a lot happier with her than anyone else in this town, so I suppose it won't matter much."
"Well, all right."
It took Mike only a minute to tell LeRoy that he'd heard that there was a stuck car and a possibly injured citizen out on 226 off of Point Drive. "He'll check it out," Mike said as he hung up the phone.
"Well, that makes me feel better," Mark said.
"How was Busted Axle Road?" Mike asked.
"It wasn't bad when I came down it," Mark said, "But 226 was getting a little bad. I'd better run the dogs home, then take a pass down it with the tractor before you try to get home."
"You brought the dogs with you?" Mike asked.
"Yeah, I got 'em tied to the parking meters outside."
"This I got to see," Mike said, getting up and grabbing a camera.