I’ll get back with more on Mississippi soon, but I did want to pass along this story first.
Bones Robertson was at his desk finishing dictation for the morning when Peg beeped him. “Doc, there’s a young man here to see you, says he’s “Bull” Wilson.”
“Lord, that’s Blinky’s grandchild, send him on back.”
The boy was now a grown man with high cheekbones, jet dark hair and eyes, and a smile like a string of pearls. Bones hugged him around the neck. “My goodness, you’re a grown up young’un. I haven’t seen you since Indie’s funeral. What you up to these days?”
“I’m V.P. of the lease division for Phipsy Motors, Harvey County’s Honest Used Car Dealer, only the best for the best.”
“Well I’ll be. So you work for Phipsy now.”
“Yes sir. I put you down as reference, I hope that was OK.”
“Of course. I’ve known ya forever.You come from good stock; old Blink had his troubles, but he was a good man. He sure stuck by your grandmother. So how’s your Dad?”
“He died of a heart attack in Baton Rouge, only 42.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear.” Bones paused. “And your mama?”
“She’s a waitress at The Waffle House down there. I’m gonna buy a house and get her back home someday.” Bull’s eyes flashed. “Grandma Betty made sure no one in Harvey County heard about it when Dad died.” He clenched his fist. “She always called him half-breed.”
Bones sat silent.
Bull was now 6’3″ and about 240. His neck was thicker than Bone’s skinny hamstrings; a tough kid. His eyes welled up. “Doc, there’s something I want to tell you.”
“Sure. What’s that?”
“Blink wasn’t my grandfather, at least not my biological grandfather.”
Bones sat down and twisted his mustache. “Whadda you mean, Bull?”
“Grandma Betty pretty well kicked Daddy out. He’d a been an orphan, but a Choctaw Indian named Eagle took him in.” He pulled a picture out of his wallet and showed it to Bones.
Bones studied the photo, then looked back at Bull. “Son, he looks just like you.”
“I reckon he would. He’s my grandfather.”
Bones was silent for a moment. “And Blinky?”
“I’m sure my grandmother never told him.”
Bones scratched his head. “You mean to tell me when Betty Wilson got pregnant it wasn’t Blinky’s?”
“Damn.” And put Blink through all that hell? Bones thought. He paused to compose himself. “Why’d she do that, pray tell?”
“Her daddy hated Native Americans. Would have never allowed the marriage to a full-blooded Indian.”
“But Blink was part Choctaw.”
“Old man Langhorne said it didn’t show. Said Blinky might look European, but he still didn’t like him.”
“Dang. Did it not occur to the man the Native Americans were here first?”
“I guess not.”
“Yes. He’s Daddy’s real father; my grandfather.”
“Well, I’ll be.”
“You know what?” Bull said. “I loved Blink too. He thought he was my grandfather. Dad never knew Blinky Wilson wasn’t his father. Betty did her best to keep us all apart. I couldn’t bear to tell Blinky. I thought it would kill him. Eagle thought so too, so we didn’t tell.”
“You’re a good young’un, Bull Wilson.”
Now it all made sense to Bones. Indie made Betty settle with the scholarship so she wouldn’t have any choice. She was forced to be kind. That dadgum Indie was so wise he even figured how to box in Betty Wilson where she had to do right.
“Bull, let me ask you one more thing.”
“Indie always said he and Blink both had some Choctaw blood. You think they were brothers?
“I dunno, Doc. I always thought they might be too. I know one thing. Indie Jenkins was the wisest man I ever knew.”
Bones smiled. “I agree, Bull. I agree.”
Bones shook the boy’s hand, and Bull left to go to work. He stopped at the door and turned around. “You know what, Doc? It sure is good to be back in Harvey County.”
“Good to have you back, kid. Tell Phipsy I’ll be over when I need a new truck.”
Bones sat his desk for a minute and twirled his stethoscope. Who said you can’t go home again? He got up and went to see his next patient.
I dedicate this post to lady mandolin player Beth Tibbitts. She is the bluegrass reader who tracked down Bull Wilson and sent him my way. As more people read “The Mandolin Case” I continue to learn more about the story. (I guess we never stop) I am in the debt of my readers for their research, and esp so today to Ms. Tibbitts.
Explore posts in the same categories: Thought of the Day
Tags: Blinky's child, The Mandolin Case
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