“So close to public nudity, this Publius Enigma she called herself,” explained deputy Andy Trailer to sheriff R.V. Fife about the lock-up. “Couldn’t take any chances on her accidentally or purposely removing the rest, see.”
Just arrived R.V. looked over at the cell containing the new prisoner, wondering how he could untangle himself and the department from this latest arrest by his oft bungling and misguided sidekick. “I see,” he spoke as neutrally as possible, checking her out. “Looks like some kind of Indian costume,” he bemusedly said of the rest.
“Mayan, she said. The Mayan Marauder, she also called herself. Said she was on the way to Helicon to perform at a private pool party. Sounds like a convenient cover-up, aherm, to me (sniff).”
“Dancer?” R.V. envisioned the rest coming off, like Andy before him, like Opie the town drunk, happily sharing a cell with the costumed woman and giving her the up and down from his bunk at every opportunity.
R.V. looked again. “The pipe came with the, uhem, costume? I’m mean, you surely didn’t let her into my private stash without asking?”
Andy turned a bit red here. “Sorry — it’s just that she said she needed a smoke to calm her nerves, especially before your arrival. We, aherm, didn’t have any cigarettes.” His voice trailed off. He realized he probably did a bad thing in bringing her here. Should have just let her go with a warning. But the name Publius — so close. No, he had to do what he had to do, he justified again in his head.
“And the Red Dragon?” R.V. further interrogated his deputy and not the prisoner. He’d smelled it at the door before he opened it. He figured a new prisoner was awaiting him inside and most likely a woman. Andy only gives favors to the fairer sex.
“Out of Blue Pennant, sorry (again).”
“This is a *mistake*,” R.V. had to say here, but couldn’t help smiling underneath it all. “A *cardinal* mistake — one for the books, my my (shakes head; looks over again). Can you at least put her in the other cell so that Opie can calm down?”
Andy dare not admit he’d given the second jail mattress to his cousin Goofy to sleep on while he’s staying for the weekend from Fort Braggard. “Um, sure R.V.”
“Opie!” Andy barked, walking over. “Give me the mattress. Give it to me now. And stop bobbing your head up and down like that! Leave the woman in peace.”
“Oh *Andy*,” the drunk said, but got up and helped the deputy tote it to the only other cell in the building. Both R.V. and M.M. smiled at the scene, and then caught each other smiling. R.V. rambled over in his unassuming fashion after the cell had been cleared of the others.
“Helen, actually,” she said, eyes twinkling as if she knew what would happen, could see into the future.
“Helen, yes. Now I’m sorry about this. If I let you go, uhem, then you have to promise either to put some more clothes on or get out of town as soon as possible. Now you’re not breaking the law as far as I can tell,” and he gave her the up and down again, but without lust in his case — not much, or he tried to put a damper on his beastly side. “But you’re close. Andy was bad to bring you in. He should have let you off with a warning.”
“I see.” The twinkle again. She knew he was caught in her lasso.
(to be continued)