Now, Dick Barrymore, like I said, was nothin if he wasn't johnny-on-the-spot. He knew just about everybody in town. In fact he knew everybody in town, come to think about it. It was his business to know. After all, he was the Sheriff, and a darn good man ta boot. Nothin happened in our town without Dick knowin about it. He had a way of knowin things about people that was outright frightenin sometimes. Why I think Dick knew things about people that he wouldn't dare speak about in public. Everybody trusted Dick. I guess a Body had ta.
Come this one day I was settin in May's Cafe havin myself a good cup, when Dick walks in with a very serious look on his face. You could count on Dick to make your day with a warm smile and a friendly how'd ya do. So anyways, Dick walks over to May and they're havin themselves a real close chat so's nobody could hear what they were sayin. There isn't anything more frustratin than whispers and low conversation in my book. It got me painful curious. I probably wouldn't have bothered at all if they'd been talking normal, but this set me crazzy. I figured May'd fill me in after Dick left. She wasn't one, as you know, for keepin things to herself, if ya know what I mean. Anyways, after a few minutes Dick about faces, passes me a quick nod and strides out of the Cafe. Now May's got this serious look on her and I'm about to split with curiousity. She sure didn't do her usual and rush right over and spill the beans, if ya know what I'm sayin.
Well, doesn't she just go about her business and leave me high and dry! I called her over and she just acted like nothin happened, like Dick had never been there. No amount of cajolin would get her goin. So I hoisted myself up & got comfy knowin there was more than one way ta skin a cat. I'd get it outta the horse's mouth if I had ta, if you know what I mean. I paid May for my coffee and with a thankyou very much look I exited the Cafe. No May Jones was gonna have it over me. Good Coffee or not!
Wasn't I just so curious that I was shakin my head and talkin to myself all the way down ta Main St. Imagine them two thinking they could put blinders on me. What in Holy Name was up I was thinking. I got down ta Main St. and realized I wasn't goin anywhere. I mean I was just kinda wonderin without a destination, not the usual for me, if ya know what I'm sayin. This sure was drivin me to distraction. I figured I'd better turn tail and go home before Dick had ta pick me up for loiterin. On the other hand maybe I'd make a personal visit to Janice Buzzy's and set myself up for a New Do, I was just about needin a trim and curl. Her shop was just down the street and it was a real nice day. I had ta pass Hank's Florist Shop too and so why not pop my head in there too I thought. Justa be neighbourly, if ya get my meanin. Might even buy myself somethin if it took my interest I thought, smilin like I'd never treated myself. And, I thought, if I had the time and the slightest interest I might just make it a day and kinda wander down to City Hall and see what kinda day Dick was havin.
Well, Hank had a jovial and surprised look on his face as I walked into his Shop. Just not expectin ta see the likes of me at an unscheduled time I supposed. It was darn nice seeing him. He looked married I thought, then I chuckled to myself for thinkin such a thing, if ya get my meaning. He greeted me with a smile and seemed a little tense but I wasn't about thinkin he'd swallowed any canaries. His Florist Table was covered with all sorts of small white boxes. This got me curious but I figured he musta had an out of town order or something. Just about then the phone rang & he saw me lookin and blurts out that it was an out of town order & smiles. Musta been a real impatient person on the other end of that phone cause he was wincing and checking his watch like he was late for a date. Anyways he hangs up & starts small talkin but I could tell he had somethin on his mind. Just poppin my head in ta say Good day I offered. I left with a smile and thinkin the world has its priorities and it didn't seem ta be me today. Funny I thought how people get so used ta other peolpe's habits and one thing outta the ordinary can throw them a dozen ways ta Sunday. Chucklin again about how I'd effected him I wondered as I left how Janice Buzzy was gonna take my unannounced visit.
I was kinda feelin a little tingly, felt like a kid playin hookey. On I went to Janices. I was still hankerin ta know what in the world Dick was being so secretive about. May Janice'd have an idea. After all Janice had the ear of most of the gals in town at least. As I walked into the Shop Janice was equally surprised ta see me. That was natural I supposed being unannounced an everything, if ya know what I'm thinking. She sure looked busy. All the chairs were filled and the magazines weren't in their usual neat array on the table. Everyone in the shop turned and looked at me with a surprised, what's she doin here look. Been real busy I guessed. Well she kinda looked at me and gave me this awkward howdy do and weren't I just not being my usual self and what did I want. Well, wasn't that a nice howdy do I thought. She took me at an angle if ya know what I mean and I just said I was in the neighbourhood and couldn't I make an appointment. It was like askin for the world, the look I got, so I just said maybe I'd mosey along and call her later, if she knew what I meant.
Well, I was so pleased at myself for turning the town upside down with my little walk, that I decided I'd just better go home. Didn't wanna shock the World by doin somethin a little different. In Holy Name I was feelin kinda put off. Not the kinda feelin I was used to or liked, if ya know what I'm sayin. I just better go home and put my feet up was what I was thinkin. As I was turning the corner at Main, on my way to West, I noticed that there were more than a few cars lined up outside City Hall, but I sure wasn't gonna be anywhere else and feeling I was disturbing the Order of Things. Off ta home was the best place for me. Dick Barrymore and his secret would have ta wait. As I got to West and turned down towards Third and home I figured I'd at least had a good walk and wasn't I ready for a quiet lay down on my Sofa. I'd deal with May and the gang tomorrow. Enough was enough.
Well, Bowser was nowhere to be seen. Gunderson wasn't on his porch and didn't the neighbourhood look deserted. Oh well I thought, a good rest would make me feel better, I guessed. Gettin up my porch steps I looked around and thought all's well and weren't I just so silly thinking somethin was up. All's well in our little Kingdom, and days would be days, ain't nothin gonna change that. As I opened my front door and stepped in I was ta have the surprise of my life. There standin in front of me was Billy, June and Norm Brown and Bowser lookin like they'd swallowed the canary. Hurry up they said or we'll be late. They hauled me back out and into Norm's car and well, I was in shock. They weren't sayin a word. We pulled up outside City Hall and hurried inside. While I was tryin ta catch my breath they were herding me in ta The Great Hall all cheery and grinnin ta beat the band. Where was the fire I thought and what in Holy Name'd got into them.
Well, I've never seen such a crowd! Everyone was sittin or standin and grinnin and lookin at me. There was Hank and Janice and May. Dick was standin at the front just smilin and grinnin at me too. As I was pushed to the front of the hall I saw a sign saying, CITIZEN OF THE YEAR...All our Love...Your Harmonyville Friends!....We Love You! ...Well! Didn't this beat all! I almost fainted on the spot. I looked at all those grinnin, happy faces. All those beautiful people I cherished as Family. What in the world were they doin presentin me with such an award. All I could think was just how much I loved them all and just what a ninny I'd been thinkin they were hidin something from me. I guessed they got me this time! I guessed I knew Harmonyville was about the best place in the world. If ya know what I mean...
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