The Trial of Dr. Kate

The Trial of Dr. Kate by Michael E. Glasscock III

Book: The Trial of Dr. Kate by Michael E. Glasscock III Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael E. Glasscock III
not going to report you. I’m just curious about why someone who has a steady job would do something illegal. Army said your name is Bobby. Is that short for Robert, or did your mother just bypass that part?”
    “It’s Bobby—Bobby Johnson. I’ve got a brother named Jack and one named John.”
    “That’s Round Rock for you.”
    “How’d you get your name?” Bobby asked. “It doesn’t sound like something you’d stick on a kid born in Beulah Land.”
    “My poor mother was an illiterate third cousin to my father. She found a brochure about the Shenandoah Valley at the Trailways bus station in Round Rock and thought it looked like a pretty name. She showed it to Dr. Walt when he delivered me and asked him to put it on my birth certificate. That’s it. Are you kin to Army?”
    “Army’s my cousin. I grew up in Celina. So, you’re the reporter. How do I know I can trust you?”
    “I have an honest face.”
    “That’s not good enough, lady. This is an illegal business we’re talking about.”
    “Look. Think about it. What would I gain by turning you in?”
    Bobby looked toward Army’s office. He asked in a low voice, “You like cars?”
    “Cars get me from point A to point B, but yes, I do happen to like cars.”
    “Okay, come over here, and I’ll show you what I’ve got under the hood.”
    Shenandoah followed Bobby across the shop and peered under the hood of the Ford. It seemed to Shenandoah that it was crammed full of engine and carburetors.
    “First I pulled the engine, shaved the heads, bore out the cylinders, and put in larger pistons. Then I slipped in a racing cam, fitted her with headers and three two-barrel carburetors. Horsepower and torque are massive.”
    Shenandoah asked, “How fast will it go?”
    “One-twenty to one-thirty.”
    “Jesus, you mean miles per hour?”
    Bobby smiled.
    “Is it safe to drive that fast?”
    “If you need to leave the cops in the dust, you do what it takes.”
    Shenandoah couldn’t believe she was standing in a garage and talking about outrunning the cops with one of the most handsome, grease-smeared men she had ever seen.
    “I’ve got to check out the second carburetor. You want to come along?”
    “I’m not sure. Do you have to open this thing up? I can’t remember a straight road up here anywhere.”
    “There’s one between here and Static. I use it all the time. I was coming back from a test drive when I saw you on the side of the road.”
    “Static is on the Tennessee-Kentucky line, right?”
    Shenandoah glanced into the back of the car and could see into the trunk. “Where’s the back seat?” she asked.
    “We take the back seat and the front of the trunk out so that we can pack the whole area full of whisky. Once it’s full, we throw a sheet over the bottles. Let’s check out that carburetor. You ready?”
    “I don’t know. I’m sure you’re a good driver, but I’ve never been that fast in a car.”
    “Come on, Shenandoah. Don’t go chicken on me.”
    Of course, that was a direct challenge to Shenandoah. No one ever called her chicken and got away with it. She nodded and headed for the passenger seat.
    Bobby slipped off the overalls, revealing his Levi’s, donned his white shirt, pulled on his cowboy boots, and got behind the wheel. As Shenandoah slid into the passenger seat, she noticed a webbed belt with a large buckle sticking between the seat bottom and back. “What’s this?” she asked.
    “It’s a restraining belt. Stock car drivers use them. Holds you in place and keeps you from going through the windshield in a wreck. Army insists we wear them.”
    Shenandoah had worn seat belts in airplanes but never a car. When Bobby turned the ignition, she expected the car to roar. Instead, it had a low exhaust rumble. The engine idled fast, and the whole car vibrated. Bobby slipped the transmission into reverse and backed slowly out of the garage. He turned the vent window on his side inward, so Shenandoah did the

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