The Legacy Ch. 02bykingkey©
I sat on the edge of my bed, and observed the orderly bringing in a small man. He looked to be in his early forties. He was dressed in a dark gray suit that was about six years out of style, and was carrying a briefcase.
He introduced himself as Mr. Jennings, of the law firm, Jennings, Jennings, and Talbert. They had been told, by my uncle Joe, where I was and that I was about to be leaving the Marine Corps. He said there was business to discuss with me, concerning the will of my father: Jack Thompson. This had me really interested. I'd never thought of there being awill, as my father had died over twenty-three years ago.
"I don't understand? My dad was killed more than twenty-three years ago... while in combat... and I am just now being informed that he left a will?"
"I'm sorry, but we have had to do this, exactly per your father's instructions. According to his will, he left you the deed to a twenty-five acre farm just outside of Wheeling, West Virginia. A sum of one hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred seventeen dollars has accrued from the funds left, after all the taxes were paid. He also left a personal letter for you."
After having me sign receipts that I received everything mentioned in my father's will, he then left.
After he left, I laid back down on my bunk, to read my father's letter.
If you are reading this, I'm no longer alive, and you are either out of the Marine Corps or soon will be. The reason I've done it this way is so that it did not interfere with your time in the service. I'm hoping you got as much out of the Marines as your Uncle Joe and I did.
You're probably wondering what you're going to do now, if you are like we were. The Marine Corps became pretty much your whole life. So after talking with Joseph, we decided that when you got out, you would need some sort of direction to point you in the way for the rest of your life.
Indeed the farm is the one where we used to live. If it is been very long, it is probably pretty rundown. It's up to you to either sell it (which I hope you don't do) or fix it back up. If you decide to fix the place back up, you'll discover things that can lead to whole new adventures. I won't tell you what they are. That something you must discover for yourself. However, at least it gives you something to consider.
After reading the letter, I was more confused than ever. What did he mean by discovering whole new adventures? How would this point me in a new direction in my life?
Four days later, I was medically discharged from the Marine Corps. I would receive sixty percent of my pay, for the rest of my life. With that, plus what I had in savings, and the money I received from my father; I was pretty well set, for a while, as far as money went. I knew I would have to figure out some sort of job. I couldn't just sit on my ass for the rest of my life and do nothing. That would get old, very quickly. I figured the first thing to do, was hop a plane back to West Virginia, and check out the old farm. Then I would make up my mind what to do with the place.
I took a taxi to the airport with just my duffel bag, and small carry-on bag. I went to the ticket counter and told them I needed a flight to Wheeling, West Virginia. Learning that the fare was three hundred-twenty dollars, I just looked at the ticket agent in disbelief. That was nuts! It wasn't like I was flying clear across the country! Besides, once I got there, I'd still be without transportation!
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that it really wasn't that far. Since I was in no hurry, I might just try and find a vehicle, and drive there. It was only about three hundred miles. I would, at the same time, have something to drive once I got there.
Retrieving my bags, I went back outside and found a taxi to take me to the nearest used-car dealer.
Arriving at the car dealership I started looking around just to see what they had on hand. After looking around at some of the pickups they had, I wasn't too impressed.
A sleazy looking salesman came out and started yammering in my ear about what great buys these were. I started to really get mad and told him to take a hike. When I needed him, I would call for a salesman. In the meantime, he should get the hell away from me. He started getting real belligerent, saying I couldn't talk to him that way, and that he would call the police.
About this time, an older gentleman came out, and asked what was the problem. I told him that the slime ball was about ready to let his mouth overload his ass.
The older gentleman turned to him and said, "Ted, go back in the office and wait for me."
"But, Dad! I was just trying to help him make up his mind," he whined.
"I've told you, over and over, not to call me 'dad'. I'm not your father. Whatever my daughter saw in you is beyond me. Now, get into the damned office and wait for me."
Turning to me, he apologized saying, "I'm sorry about that, I've told him over and over that we try to sell quality products here. He doesn't need to try and pressure the customers into buying. I'd fire his ass, except my damn-fool daughter up and married him. He was the big man on campus, and the star receiver of the football team. To me, he's just the asshole she married. Maybe I can help you find something that you would like. What you are looking for?"
"I was just discharged from the Marine Corps this morning, and was going to fly back to Wheeling West Virginia. They wanted three-twenty for a no-frills flight, which I thought was ridiculous. It's only a little over 300 miles, and I wouldn't have transportation once I got there. I decided to come buy a vehicle and just drive there."
"Semper Fi! You say you were just discharged this morning? What'd you do, retire after twenty?"
"Nope, I was medically discharged after twenty-three years with Recon. I was badly wounded on our last mission, and now the Marine Corps says they no longer need me."
"That's too bad. You shouldn't be treated that way, after being in so long. Just what kind of vehicle were you looking for? I can make a good deal, for a fellow Marine."
"I inherited a small farm, and was thinking maybe a pickup... but all I see, here, is cheap 'economy' Jap junk."
He thought for a minute said. "I think I may have just what you want. A couple of days ago I took a 1999 Silverado in as trade. It's not out here, because it had a different color box lid. It's in the paint shop out back, getting repainted. I think you might like it. It has low miles, a crew cab, an eight-foot bed, and four-wheel drive. The lady who had it was a recent widow, and the truck was too big for her."
Thinking this was just what I mind, I said, "That sounds pretty good. How much are you asking?"
"I allowed the widow fifteen hundred as a trade on a small economy car. It seems like a lot for a twelve-year-old pickup, but she didn't have any money, and I felt sorry for her. Basically, I just swapped her straight across on this little Honda Accord I had. Since the pickup has just been detailed and painted, I can let you have it for twenty-five hundred. I'll fill both saddle tanks, too. That will give you a hundred gallons of fuel to get you home."
Thinking this deal little too good to be true, I asked to see it. We went back to the paint shop, and he showed me a two-toned blue Silverado. It looked like it has just come off the showroom floor. Looking inside I noticed that the pickup only had eighty thousand miles on it.
I looked at the engine. It was easy to see that someone had taken very good care of the truck. The engine compartment alone, had more chrome than I'd ever seen put on a work truck. This truck must've been someone's pride and joy. We started it up, and took a test drive.
Pulling back into the car lot, I turned to the gentleman and said, "I think we have a deal."
He said, "That's fine. Why don't we go into the office and do up the paperwork, while my people out here finish the work on the bed."
"More work on the bed? The truck looks great. What more do you need to do?"
"Oh, they're just getting ready to spray the inside of the bed with Rhino Liner. Since this is a new paint job, without the liner the bed would scratch up very easily. The paint hasn't had time to really harden, yet. It only takes about thirty minutes for the liner to set, and it should harden enough to prevent it from getting too scratched up, in about three days. You'll have a fine work truck when it's finished."
This deal just kept getting better and better. What really surprised me happened when we went inside, to fill the paperwork out. The twenty-five hundred included all taxes and licensing, and I wasn't charged for the liner, or anything else. Asking about this, he said that he included the tax and was just giving me a permit, since I would be taking it to another state and licensing it there. He also said that he believed in taking care of fellow Marines.
"I don't see how you can gain business like this you're giving me this truck for just what you have in it and even filling it with five hundred bucks worth of gas! I don't see how you can make a profit like that."
"I don't always have to make a huge profit. Besides, the car I traded for the truck only had twelve-fifty tied up in it. So you see, I actually have a seven hundred fifty dollar profit, by just doing a little horse-trading. Besides, fellow Marines should stick together."
Still not believing my good fortune, I loaded my stuff into the cab of the truck, and headed for West Virginia.
Since I really wasn't in any hurry, I just drove until I started to get tired. I then started looking for a cheap motel, where I could spend the night. Quickly finding a Red Roof Inn, I got a room. After storing my bags, I went to the Denny's next door for something to eat. After getting my belly full, I decided I was tired, but it was still too early to go to sleep.
I asked the waitress if there was any place close to get a beer? She told me about a bar about half a mile down the road. She said that it usually had a country band on Friday and Saturday nights. I hadn't even realized that this was Friday. I thought it might be nice to go have a beer, and listen to some music for a while.
I found the place easily. It was about nine o'clock, and was starting to get busy. I found a nice table in a dark corner. I was sipping my beer and listening to some pretty good music when suddenly this big guy dressed as a cowboy starts yelling at the girl he was sitting with. Suddenly, he backhanded her, knocking her out of her chair. She fell onto the floor, with her with her mouth bleeding. I could see that her face was already starting to swell. This really pissed me off. I walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. When he turned, I backhanded him across the mouth knocking him to the floor.
I said, "See? It hurts, doesn't it?"
This really made him angry, and he started to get up. I placed my boot in the middle of his chest, and pushed him back down.
"You better really think before you get up. So far, you're not really hurt, just a little embarrassed. You get up and try anything further, I'll guarantee the next time you wake up, you will be in the hospital. I don't know how you were brought up but my folks taught me that women should be cherished not beaten. So you just lay there and think about it. If you decide that you really want to fight we can take this outside. But before we go, you'd better call for an ambulance.
Turning to the woman I asked," Are you okay ma'am? Do you need someone to take you to the hospital?"
As I was asking her if she was okay, the cowboy on the floor and had gotten up. I saw in my peripheral vision that he had picked up a chair, and was going to hit me with it. Spinning on the balls of my feet I hit him squarely in the nose, breaking it. Then I hit him in the solar plexus. That knocked the wind out of him, and put him back onto the floor, trying to catch his breath.
I said, "You are very lucky that I pulled my punch the last moment. I simply broke your nose, instead of killing you! I told you if you wanted a fight, you would be going to the hospital. Now it looks like you'll need to go there and get that nose set. Don't bother coming back."
He just lay there bleeding as the bartender came over.
"Carl, I always knew you were an ass hole you can consider yourself permanently eighty-sixed from here. You always were a mean drunk. I don't care who your father is, don't come back."
Finally, he said dejectedly. "Come on, Laurie, let's get out of here."
Laurie looked at him as though he was something she had just scraped off the bottom of a shoe.
"Carl, I'm not going anywhere with you. Just who the hell do you think you are? You think you can hit me, and knock me down on the floor, and I'll just go off with you like there was nothing wrong? You can just stay the hell away from me. Whatever you thought we had, its over!"
I was really impressed! This girl had spunk! She wasn't willing to put up with any shit from her asshole ex-boyfriend. Looking at her. I saw the whole side of her face had started to swell and discolor. Her mouth was still bleeding but not as bad as it was.
Turning to the bartender I asked, "Can you get me a couple of wet towels and some ice to try to stop some of the swelling and bruising, please?"
After we cleaned her up. We saw that it looked a lot worse than it actually was, although her shirt was half covered in blood. Seeing that, I took off my shirt for her to wear, leaving me with just a T-shirt. She took the shirt into the ladies' room with the waitress, to try and get the blood out before it was stained too badly.
As she came out, she said, "Damn, that ass left with my ride home. Now what am I going to do?"
After asking her where she needed to go, she said. "I live about five miles south of here."
Even after realizing it was the opposite direction I needed to go, I said, "That's no problem. I can give you a lift home. Are you sure you don't need to go to the hospital, though?"
"You know I'll be okay. I share an apartment with two of my sisters. There'll be somebody with me, in case I get worse."
With her wearing my shirt, we left through the front door. Just as soon as we were outside, I heard a gunshot report. The back window of the car next to us shattered.
Quickly pulling her to the ground, and making sure she was okay, I said, "Stay here!"
I went stalking whoever had fired the shot. I had a good idea it was our friend Carl. This time, he would not be getting off so easily. I worked my way around behind where I thought the shot came from. I saw people starting to pour out of the bar, to see what the gunshot was all about.
It was then that I saw Carl, with what looked like a nine-millimeter automatic, trying to spot me to take another shot. I came up behind him, and placed a nice solid punch to where his neck intersected with his shoulder, breaking his collarbone. This caused him to drop the gun as his whole right arm went dead. I kicked the gun to the side, out of reach. While watching over him, I hollered to the crowd for someone to call the police, as I had the gunman captured. I also told them to also call an ambulance.
This day had started so well with the deal I'd gotten on my pickup. Now it seemed that just because of one asshole, it was all shot to shit. So much for enjoying a couple of beers and getting some sleep, tonight! We spent the next three hours giving statements to the police.
The police told me, quite confidentially, that Carl probably wouldn't spend much time in jail. It seems that poor little Carl's daddy was the richest man in town, with a lot of pull. So the most the deputy sheriff thought that he would probably get, was six month's probation, with time off for good behavior. After hearing this, I was sorry I hadn't busted him up badly enough to make him spend at least as much time in the hospital, as he should have spent in jail.
The thing that really became the clincher to an already piss poor evening, was the deputy telling me that I would have to stay in town until after the arraignment. It seemed things just kept getting better and better.
Edited By TeNderLoin & The Old Fart