This is the beginning of a short story about one of my detective characters. Well, he’s really a Deputy Sheriff acting as Sheriff while the real sheriff recuperates from a car crash as the result of a felon fleeing across county lines. This is my Tuesday’s Tale. I give you, Bootin Up Like a Boss.
BOOTIN UP LIKE A BOSS
“What are you doing?” she demanded.
He stopped tying his laces to look up at her.
“I’m bootin up like a boss,” he replied.
“What does that even mean?” she said, exasperated.
“It means, ‘I’m bootin up like a boss,’” he said evenly.
“But you are the boss!” she said loudly.
He went back to tying his laces.
“Funny how that works, ain’t it?” he said.
She paced around the room impatiently.
He finished lacing his boots tight and stood up slowly but gracefully and then he stomped both feet to see how they fit.
“Yeah, that’ll do…” he said out loud to nobody in particular.
She turned to look at him.
“Can we go now?” she pleaded.
He looked at her patiently and then walked to the coffee pot and poured himself a cup.
“When I’m good and ready. I ain’t really finished bootin up yet,” he said. “When I’m proper ready then I’ll let ya know.”
He sat down at his office desk and drank slowly from his cup of coffee. To himself and to all appearances he was alone in the room. Lost in his ruminations.
After five minutes or so he had completely drained his cup. She had tried to interrupt him several times during this interlude but he had silenced her with a single wave of his hand each time. Twice he had raised his hand an instant before she spoke, anticipating her attempts.
When his cup was empty he placed it before him on the old and weather-beaten desk, both palms cradling the still warm ceramic mug.
“Yep,” he said. “That was mighty gratifying.”
Then he stood, walked over to the high-rack and took off his field hat. He twirled it around in his hands a couple of times, running his finger along the brim as if testing it for something. Seeming to be fully satisfied with his investigations he finally placed the hat on his head, slightly askew, then took it back off, ran his fingers through his hair and settled it more evenly upon his head.
“I reckon that’ll work,” he said as if to himself.
Then he turned and looked at the woman as if seeing her for the first time.
“You ready to go now,” he asked, both casually and impatiently.
“What in the hell are you talking about!” she replied heatedly, her face reddening.
“I’m talking about doing my job,” he said as if her reaction puzzled him.
He brushed past her in a long legged stride and as stepped outside he said, “Lock up behind yerself. I ain’t yer housemaid ya know.”
He strolled out into the bright sunshine, looked around him a bit, and then crossed the street once he heard her hurrying up behind him. That’s what bosses did…
(to be continued)