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WRITER'S BLOCK, Vol. 2, Issue #10 GLORY TRAIL release info, Paperback info, Crockett updates
October 01, 2016
How I Got This Way…
The Tenacity of a Rookie Cop
Unvarnished and Untarnished
When I first met Billy O’Neal, I was just 21 years old, a rookie cop with less than one month on the job, full of high hopes and lofty aspirations as yet untarnished by the darker realities of my job. One fine June afternoon I rode with another officer to the city garage to pick up a repaired squad car and return it to the cop shop. The lieutenant who dispatched me on the errand probably assumed that even a rookie such as I could carry out the task without incident. Silly man. The ten block drive from the city garage to the police department should have been simple. Neither one of us counted on Billy O’Neal.
It was my first time alone in a police car, a heady experience. Me…top cop, super trooper, piloting my own official vehicle. Bad guys were in deep trouble. Lewis was on the street. So was Billy O’Neal, literally, walking down the middle of a six lane street about four blocks from my destination, with cars swerving, horns honking, traffic snarling. Billy was filthy in grubby coveralls, white haired under a feted sock cap, and looked to be at least 60 years old. I pulled up beside him and made what I thought was a reasonable request.
“Get out of the street, will ya?”
He turned, told me to go to hell, made a comment on my mother’s morality, ripped the left rearview mirror off my squad car, and ran away. Stunned, I could not believe he had so flaunted my authority. I advised headquarters of the situation, pulled the car over, and set off in foot pursuit. I sprinted a block or so to catch him and did, at the base of a twenty- foot hill leading up to the railroad right-of-way. I grabbed his collar, turned him around, and advised the suspect he was under arrest. He punched me in the mouth, made another reference to my mom, and chugged up the hill. I couldn’t believe it. This old man hit a police officer! I needed to use a little more force. I caught him again at the top of the hill running along the tracks, and I applied a come-along hold. He countered with a hip throw that left me lying in the cinders, then he loped off down the hill. I struggled to my feet, drew my trusty can of mace, and lurched down the slope in his wake. When I caught him again I turned him about and fired the mace directly into his face and open mouth. Billy never blinked. He did mention my mother again, punched me in the lip, and ran back up the hill. The mace had no effect on him at all.
Wheezing from the airborne spray, I staggered back up the hill and chased him for some distance before I closed the gap. As I reached for him, he dodged back down the hill. To hell with it. I launched myself in a screaming dive onto his shoulders, and he and I rolled together into the flat of a backyard. My blood was up. I slammed him into the sidewall of a shed, grabbed him by the throat, and felt a terrific pain in my right calf. The source of that discomfort was a female Dalmatian, aggressively protecting her property. I began to belabor the canine with my hat, or cover as it’s known in uniformed circles, while Billy began to belabor me with his fists. I released him and devoted my entire attention to the dog, who, after repeated non-damaging blows to the face from the cloth crown of my cover, removed her fangs from my leg. Again, I set off in pursuit.
I caught Billy a block later behind a Standard gas station. I slammed him into a parked car, and when he turned to fight, punched him in the mouth for a change, stunning him into submission and breaking two of my fingers. I then dragged him a block and a half to the cop shop, threw him into a holding cell, and collapsed into a chair. Sitting there, a lowly rookie, bleeding from face and leg and holding broken fingers, I was subjected to a steady stream of veteran officers, dropping by to giggle and abuse me.
It seems that Billy O’Neal was a repeat offender and, despite his appearance, only forty years old. He walked fourteen miles each day, round trip, to visit his sister, and was as crazy as the proverbial loon. I was merely the latest victim in a long line of uniformed officers who’d tangled with him. As the adrenalin wore off and I began to shake, I realized that I had ruined my uniform, lost my cover, and my first arrest had made me a laughingstock. I don’t believe I had ever felt more miserable. Close to tears, I looked up as the shift commander, Lt. Edmund Schweighart, colloquially know as “The Bull Of The Woods” walked in. A thirty-year veteran, he resembled a cross between a middle linebacker and W.C. Fields. He sat and looked at me with something near pity in his eyes.
“When ya stop shakin’, I’ll take ya over to the emergency room and git ya fixed up. By the way, Rook, the last time Billy O’Neal got arrested, it took three cops to do it, and two of them went to the hospital. You nailed him all by yourself. Good work. That was probably the hardest bust you’ll ever have to make. Don’t let nobody get to ya. You’re tough, and I’m proud of ya.”
The lieutenant then walked out and left me to collect myself. A simple act of kindness to a kid trying to be a man…at least half the man that Edmund Schweighart was.
(An homage to Calvin and Hobbs creator, Bill Watterson.
the TRAIL seriesGLORY TRAIL should be available for pre-order in eBook format around November 11th! We just thought you would like a little bit of warning since we have never done the pre-order option before. Keep Watch! We will have the blurb ready to publish, all the details worked out, and the specific date for release established by the November newsletter.
DEER RUN TRAIL is nearly ready for publication in paperback format. As of today (9/26/2016) we are impatiently waiting for the proof copies to arrive in the mail. If all goes well, the paperback should be for sale on Amazon sometime in the middle of October. Watch for some special opportunities being offered once that happens! (Yep, we know, we mentioned that we thought the paperback would be available by the end of September, but we didn't count on some of the challenges we ended up facing. New frontiers...they never quite cooperate as one thinks they should.)
the CROCKETT series
Plans are coming along nicely for releasing the 7th book in the CROCKETT series, Behind the Badge: Small Town Troublemakers in early 2017!
Behind the BadgeCrockett takes a part time job as a small-town cop and becomes suspicious of a local nightclub. With the help of the Missouri State Police, a cute undercover operative, and the ever-present Stitch, Crockett begins an investigation that leads to murder, mayhem, and more when he goes BEHIND THE BADGE.
To get you in the right mood for Crockett and the gang, here's a link to the latest YouTube video...it just happens to be from SITUATIONAL FLEXIBILITY, the 3rd book in the CROCKETT series. Ole Clete is giving Crockett a little lecture on relationships versus committments.
AND MORE NEWS: The 8th and final book in the CROCKETT series is SIX CUT KILL. David has finished the script, but the book is not ready for release yet. Though plans are a bit on the "iffy" side right now, it could be out by late 2017 or very early 2018.
We named the channel David R Lewis. So, you can just type in David's name, and the YouTube search engine will pull it up, or you can click on the link below.
AND, HERE'S A DIRECT LINK!
The Crockett Series
The CROCKETT series:
Remember: eBook #1 of the CROCKETT series, FEAR OF THE FATHER, is still free everywhere. Here's the links:
As we mentioned last time, David has written a total of 8 Crockett books. At present, 6 are out.
Take to the TRAIL
DEER RUN TRAIL is free on Amazon and other distribution sites in eBook format. CUTTHROAT TRAIL was released on March 15, 2016. That makes 7 books in the TRAIL series.
Passing that information on to all your friends would sure be appreciated. Below, we've included a few of the links.
See ya again on November 1st! And, if you enjoyed this newsletter; please tell all your friends to visit our website and sign up for the fun.
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