Betty Wallendorf, Blinky and Indie
Y’all remember me telling you about Blinky Wallendorf? He was Indian Jenkins’s best friend. They were a couple of overgrown kids who loved to ride motorcycles and play cards and music.
Well Betty, Blinky’s wife, never did have much use for Indie. I never could figure it out. Sure, I knew all about the case, and Blinky’s death. I understood some of her anger, but I was never convinced Indie coulda done much about it.
Betty’s hatred of Indie seemed more visceral. I never thought what happened to Blinky explained it all. And I found it peculiar she never had much use for Blinky until he died. I decided to go over to the Nursing Home and talk to Indie about it.
“Indie, how are you old boy?” I checked the skull cap of Barney the skeleton, his constant companion. Two mini bottles of Jim Beam rested there out of sight. “I see the Navajo has been by.”
“No one knows the Navajo, Bibey.” We both laughed. “Who is that guy anyway?” Indie said.
“I dunno, Indie. How’s life treating you?”
“Fair to middling, Bibey. Back gives me a fit. These beds ain’t worth a fart in a whirlwind.”
“Maybe Paig can fill out some Medicare forms and get you a new one,” I offered.
“It won’t make no difference Bibey, I’ve tried ’em all out. Ain’t none of ’em any good.”
I sat down at the bed side. “Indie. I gotta ask you something. Look, if it hurts too much, you tell me to shut up.”
“Hell, Bibey you can ask me anything. You know that.”
“Well, I know Betty never did like you, and….”
Indie motioned towards the skeleton. “Now Bibey, if we’re gonna go there, I need to speak to Barney.” He reached in his desk drawer and retrieved two Dixie cups. “Drink?”
“Better not, Indie. On call.”
“Damn Boy Scout.” Indie poured up one for himself. “Bibey, it’s a long story. Just don’t tell anyone.”
“Dang, Indie. I’m writing a book. And that Internet is pretty big too. A lot of people read that thing.” Indie never went more modern than a cell phone.
Indie sipped his Jim Beam for a moment. “Tell you what Bibey. I want people to know, so go ahead and write. Just don’t drop the manuscript in the mail till I’m outta here.”
“Sure Indie. I’ll always respect your wishes. Anything else?”
“Yeah, you better write it in code or I’ll come back to haunt you. I’ll bet the Navajo would too.”
No problem Indie. I promise. So, what was it about Betty Wallendorf?”
Indie paused. “You better close the door.” I got up and pushed it shut. “Betty Wallendorf was one more mean woman.” Indie broke into a few bars of ‘The Mean Woman Blues.’ Hope you got all day.”
“I’m on call, but yeah Indie, I’m good.”
“Well, Bibey. Now most folks don’t know it but me and Betty went back a long way.”
“You and Betty Wallendorf? I ain’t believing that!”
No, not like that, Bibey. Now Ms. Jenkins could hold out on me every so often, but I warn’t never that desperate. Betty? No way! Besides, she was my best friend’s wife and a patient to boot. Double outta bounds. I’ve been a rounder at times, but I do got some ethics you know. But, I gotta tell you. When Betty Wallendorf was young, she was a looker.”
“Betty?” Ever since I’d known her she’d been ugly beyond skin deep. I couldn’t imagne Betty Wallendorf any other way. “You mean she was young once?”
“Yep, and pretty too. It warn’t long after I came to town and Betty signed up to see me as a patient. Came in for a female exam on the first visit. Blink was already a pal. We picked some music on the first weekend I was in town.” Indie tossed his Dixie cup into the wastebasket. “Boy, that Blink was one hell of a player.”
“Hold on, Indie my cell is going off. Every time I get in the middle of one of your yarns this doctor thing gets in the way.”
“Bibey, before your gig is done, I want you to promise me you’ll take some time for yourself and Ms. Marfar. Like Sammy says, better ‘Howl at the Moon’ every so often.”
“Yes sir.” I took in the call. “Dang a mercy, Indie. Moose has a kidney stone. I’d better go.”
“Sure Bibey. If it was me I hope you’d help me out too. Them stones is some bad sumbitches.”
“Tell you what, Indie. I’ll be back Wednesday. You know those good shrimpies they bring in for Hatteras? Why don’t I bring some of them and some cocktail sauce?”
“Yeah boy, Bibey. Mid-week the Home serves up SOS. Beats that for sure.”
“Anything else you need?”
“Yeah, find that Navajo and tell him to restock my Jim Beam. My friends are gonna drink me out of house and home.”
“Sure thing, Indie. I’ll be back Wednesday.”
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