Til to Lil

Eric Rudolph's story while on the lam. Recently transcribed from a handwritten copy.
By: Eric Rudolph

  It was the best of foods.  It was the worst of foods.  Whole corn, wheat and soybeans – this was the staple that sustained me for many years.  Easy to store for extended periods of time, as well as being highly nutritious, it was a Godsend; but after living on it for several months straight in the winter, and not having killed any meat to supplement it with, it tasted like crap.  Especially if the weather was rotten, the wind blowing too hard to finish cooking the mixture in a frying pan with a little salt, oil and dried bananas or vegetables.  Generally I would start the process of transforming this mess into edible material by boiling an equal mixture of the three grains in a Dutch Oven (cast iron pot), the kind with a Pyrex glass lid, that can be hung over the top of a fire.  After three hours of boiling, the grains would be soft enough to pound into pancake like mix, and this would be fried with a little oil in a large skillet over the fire.  Acorns were often mixed in with this concoction along with dried vegetables and whatever game I was able to kill; this is what I lived on for the Fall-Winter months from 1999 to 2003.

I acquired these grains in the fall of ’99 at the grain silos off of Airport Road in Marble.  After running out of the food I had purchased from Nordmann, I made my way to Andrews in the Spring of ’00 in the hopes of pulling off another food heist.  Many plans and options were considered, but I finally settled on the idea of waiting for the October grain harvest, and stockpiling enough that could then be hauled back to my camp on Fires Creek.  It was a considerable distance to move such a large quantity of grains on foot, so the idea was to eventually acquire a truck and haul it back in one fell swoop.  But first the stockpiling and preparations for this move had to be made.  This story describes a little part of that process – a little tale called “Lil”

Preparation is the key to success in most human endeavors; but this is especially true when attempting to move two tons of grains twenty miles with no transportation or equipment, and doing this right under the noses of the two hundred F.B.I. agents who were looking for me.

First, I needed the containers to transport it in, and later to store the stuff long term.  I just couldn’t shovel the stuff into the back of the truck and takeoff.  So I hit upon the idea of using Roll-A-Waste garbage cans.  Those large green plastic garbage cans used by most municipalities for private persons or small business garbage.  They are weather proof, have wheels and a nice lid, and can hold a great deal of stuff.  Also I would need plastic bags to move the grains in manageable portions from silo to garbage can, to truck, to woods, and so forth.  Both could be had from the stores of Andrews. For many months, every time I would go to McDonalds, I would get at least ten used garbage bags.  I’d empty out the refuse one bag at a time, making sure to keep the emptied trash on the bottom of the dumpster, and then camouflage this mess by putting full bags back on top so as not to arouse the possible suspicion of a MCD’s employee.  These nasty filthy stinking bags would then be washed in the river on the way back to camp, finally they were hung out to dry in the next day’s sun.  One hundred and seventy bags – this is what I figured I’d need to deal with the situation.  I would need to double them up, and each of the four trash cans would take at least seventeen doubled bags worth of grain.  Each bag would contain a five gallon bucket’s worth of grain; each bag weighed approximately fifty pounds.

The cans could be brought over the river after the harvest in mid-October just before the final move was to be made.  My worry was that if I had taken the cans earlier, perhaps a police report may have been filed and consequently the patrols may have increased to find the trash can thief.  Yes, I guess I could have been accused of over thinking some of the stuff I did back then.

When October finally arrived, most of my plans were completed, and the camp was moved down to the ridge overlooking the silos.  Then the cans were finally brought across the river.  One at a time, they were carried atop my shoulders through the scrotum tightening water.  They were then cleaned on the other side using river water and leaves and rolled the mile and half down to the silo staging area.

Another absolutely essential preparatory measure was securing access to a mode of transportation in order to haul the grains.  After looking around all summer for a truck, the most obvious choice, which is usually the best, was to get a vehicle from the “Bi Rite Motors”.  It was a used car lot out on U.S. 19/74 about a quarter of a mile past White’s Store on the way to Murphy; “Bi Rite Motors” was the latest in a long series of failed businesses that had come and gone in that location.  It was small, isolated, and had a regular assortment of vehicles coming through all summer.  Best of all, they had the keys to all of their lot vehicles inside the office.  In the back of the office was what used to be a door opening, which had since been boarded over.  These boards could easily be pried off with the head of my ax and the keys quickly accessed.  A nice dark blue '96 four wheel drive Chevrolet Silverado was the truck of choice.  I had made a few cursory measurements of the bed using a knotted rope to see if the four trash cans would fit.  They would fit nicely standing up.  A nice “Dealer” tag was then fastened to the back, and it was ready to go – or so I thought.

  The Andrews – Murphy valley is a beautiful sight in the day as well as during the night, especially during the phases of the moon.  There is something addicting about the full moon on an early summer of fall evening in the South.  The town of Andrews lies at the Eastern end of the valley, and Murphy at the western end, with Marble right in the middle. The southern lip of the valley is the Valley River Mountains, across to the north is the Snowbird range.  Cutting right through the center of the valley is Interstate 19/74, and running parallel to the Interstate hugging the bottom edge of the Snowbirds is a two land black-top now called the, “Airport Road”.   This was the original U.S. 19/74 in the days before the interstate, and was the major thoroughfare east-to-west.  Between Marble and Andrews the floor of the valley is covered mostly with vast corn, wheat, and soybean fields with the airport right in the middle of this sea of green.  On the Airport Road between Andrews and Marble, just beyond the airport itself, are the five grain silos used to contain the harvest of the vast fields.

The silos sit alone at the edge of the fields, and tucked into the trees just across the road is an old wood framed church.  Except for a few houses, the church and the silos are the only structures between the airport and Marble.  It is a strange place late at night, inhabited by owls and mice. Occasionally the stillness of night is broken by the visitation of humans who pull into the church or behind the silos.    Some come to smoke pot or hunt, and others to make love; and occasionally a State Trooper would be positioned next to the church watching and waiting for speeders hurling down this isolated stretch of the Airport Road.  Needless to say, getting the grains, even late at night, was going to be interesting to say the least.

The “combines” had finished their work; the grains were being dried using large vacuum fans, which draw air through the grains contained in the silos.  These fans send off an ear splitting sound out to about a mile.  I moved my camp to the ridge overlooking the church and started the process of getting the grains stored and ready to be moved quickly once I “borrowed” the truck.

The camp was just above the church which sat at the foot of the ridge next to the road.  Except for a small parking lot and yard to the side of the church, everything on that side of the road was heavily wooded.  On the west side of the church was a small scrubby field that had one been used but had since become overgrown with briars and small white pines.  This little scrub patch was the best location to put the trash cans, for once I got the truck, I could crash through this brambly mess with that truck quickly and load up before anyone happened by.  In the meantime after each night’s work, the cans had to be camouflaged using cut white pines, lest it be spotted by a passerby or one of the many visitors to the church.  The church was under some form of interior renovation and occasionally these workers would come to do a little work.  My fear was that they may cause me a problem, but little did I know they would be the least of my worries.

The first night was not bad work; I succeeded in getting about ten bags in the can.  The process for doing this was quite a chore.  The silos stand about thirty feet in the air, and they were filled to the brim with grains,  so going in the bottom was out of the question.  A steel ladder runs to the top of the silo where a small trap door opens onto the top of the grains.  This was where I had to get the grain from, one rucksack at a time – about 75 trips. I would climb up to the top, steady myself on the dew covered surface, fill a double plastic bag with the requisite grain and put this into my rucksack, then down the ladder and over to the trash cans in the scrubby field.  One at a time,  I lugged these heavy bags, all the while keeping an eye out for the frequent visitors.

The second night started out as usual, with no problems.  The silos were lighted with a mercury-vapor street lamp which bathed the area in a pale white light.  The bats were diving in and out of the light, scarfing the last of the summer’s insects.  The weather was cool and clear with the smell of corn stalks rotting in the field.  The drought had not been quenched as of yet, and as I walked back and forth through the fields a cloud of dust rose in my wake.  The place was crawling with mice in pursuit of the grain accidentally spilled in the process of loading the silos.  And with the mice came the owls who hunted them.  These sat in the trees overlooking the area, waiting for their prey to move through the bare fields towards the silos.  Occasionally as I sat atop the silos between loads trying to catch my breath, an owl would swoop down and nail an unlucky mouse crossing the field, a small dust cloud enveloping them as he struggled to secure his meal.  Once the mouse was sufficiently dead, the owls would fly back to the wood line and celebrate their catch by hooting a little tune.  Every so often a car would come by, the headlights piercing the blackness.  First a steady trickle, then after midnight maybe a car an hour.

Sometime after midnight, I was coming down from the silo with a load of beans when a car appeared in the distance and as it neared the silos it slowed dramatically and pulled in behind the silos.  In this location, a car cannot be seen from the road; I quickly learned that this was one of those locations used to engage in the kind of activities teenagers are wont to try to hide-like smoking pot, sex, and drinking beer. This couple, male and female, were interested in sex, for they had no time for anything else.  I crouched down between the silos and flattened out on my belly as they started to go to town on each other – ten feet away.  “God I hope they don’t decide to take a leak after they’re done”, I thought, as I lay in the perfect place for them to do so.  After fifteen minutes of this, they quietly started the car, wiped the heavily fogged windshield and pulled away.  The things I saw late at night in out of the way places never ceased to amaze me.

   I didn’t like this place.  There are some places that just give me the creeps, and this was one of them.  A bad vibe, a sense of dread, I don’t know what it is, but this place had it all.  On the third night’s work, as I tried to get this thing done as quick as possible, about midway through the night I experienced another close encounter.  I had just dropped off a load at the garbage cans in the field, and turned to walk back to the edge of the road in order to cross back over to the silos, when a little voice in my head said: “Watch out… there is something on the road.”   It wasn’t a strange voice – we’re not talking schizophrenia here – but it was my voice just accentuated.  I was curious about this so I stopped at the edge of the road and sat down in the bushes to listen.  Just moments later I heard a distinct metallic sound and the whirr of bicycle tires coming out of the darkness.  It was a man on a bicycle heading toward Marble.  “A lone bicyclist”, I asked myself, “At this hour?  What are the chances of that happening?" No, I definitely didn’t like this place, and I decided to try to finish this part of the process as quickly as possible.  The weather unfortunately wasn’t cooperating, for rain moved in the following day and threatened to continue into the night.

Generally when it rained there was nothing to do but to stay under my poncho shelter and wait it out.  At any other time the rain would have been a welcomed guest.  The rain, like the dark, was a security blanket.  The choppers, hunters, and the accidental passerby were hunkered down in some form of shelter as well, and this produced a feeling of well being conducive to much sleep.  I laid there listening to the rain murmur on the coated nylon thinking of better times, and the planned move coming up.

Toward noon the rain slackened and I decided that I should cook my daily gruel before the rain returned.  Usually I would cook up on the ridge were the woods were thick and the likelihood of someone stumbling across me was slim.  Cooking the gruel was a time and water consuming affair.  I would usually get my water at night and bring it up to the camp before bedding down, and use this the following day for cooking and drinking.  But since the weather was crappy, and it was a weekday as well, I thought I would go down to the creek and do my cooking and washing.  I gathered up my pot, grains, and dry wood that I had stashed in a plastic bag and headed down the ridge through the dripping forest. The creek runs down out of the woods coming out right next to the church.  There wasn’t a trail of any sort next to this creek; the rhododendron was thick growing horizontal, making it difficult to walk up or down the creek.  I came down off the ridge about two hundred meters above the church in the thick of the rhododendron and proceeded to go through my preparatory cooking procedures.

Cooking in the rain is often problematic, for making fire with wet wood is a drag.  I learned this quick and consequently always kept a load of dry kindling in a plastic bag or under a tarp.  I carried enough wood down to the creek in my rucksack and went to making fire.  The usual method starts with finding or cutting some larger green or saturated logs, laying these parallel to each other about a foot and a half apart.  Then I’d find a few flat rocks and lay these on the ground between the logs and begin to build my fire atop these rocks.  A checkerboard pattern works best, small to larger sticks, until you get a good bed of coals, then you can supplement your wood supply by putting a little of the wet wood taken from the surrounding woods on the fire.  Once I had a good flame, I’d get two or three smaller green lengths of wood and lay them across the two green logs, like a tic-tac-toe kind of thing.  You use the green logs to hold the pot up over the flame, which you continue to feed by replacing the burned wood with new dry pieces placed in between the green ones. Depending on what needed cooking, I would take this pattern up several levels – the higher the level, the more flame is possible underneath.  As the wood burned under the pot I’d replace each stick one at a time.  The green props burn through slowly and require replacing less often, thus allowing you to relax knowing your pot or pan isn’t going into the fire.  It takes some getting used to, but it’s extremely efficient.  At a more permanent camp I used large rectangular rocks for my first tier, and rebar or metal pipe beat flat for my crossing tiers.

Just as I had a good flame going and was in the act of putting the pot on top of the fire, I turned to look upstream and there walking down the creek, stepping over the horizontal rhododendrons, was the visible lower half of a man carrying a small caliber rifle, wearing blue jeans and a camouflage smock.  Caught off guard, I had only enough time to run up the opposite side of the ridge.  I moved quickly, my ears tightening in an attempt to make as little noise as possible.  “God, I hate this place,” I thought to myself as I wondered if he had seen me.   I made it about a hundred meters up the ridge when I remembered that I had left the pot of soybeans on the fire.  The fire going, a pot of soybeans starting to cook, and a man with a gun now standing over this probably wondering what to make of this strange situation. He would have just passed this same spot a little while earlier on his way up the creek, and now on the way down, this.  “Did he see me?”  I asked myself.  “Will he run and tell?”  A thousand thoughts rush in at these all too familiar times, as your struggle to think in a singular fashion.

After a minute or two, he started to move down the creek at a quick pace; obviously he saw something he decided it would be best to distance himself from.  The sound of snapping rhododendron could be heard in the distance, growing fainter as he moved toward the church.  “He knows!  He will go get the Feds and be back here in less that a half hour,”  I thought.  "I have to get my things together pronto and have a plan of action ready within that thirty minutes.  They’ll have a helicopter over the area within the hour, and I need to get out from underneath their infrared scopes if I’m to have a chance."

I ran down the hill, grabbed the pot, dumped the gruel into the creek, and quickly tore the fire apart putting the coals in the creek and camouflaging the area as best I could with some leaves.  I bounded up the other side of the ridge to the camp where I expeditiously packed and started to consult my maps and compass.  “Think  #&*(%  you!” I demanded of myself as I tried to beat down the monster of fear.  As anyone who has been in this type of situation knows the sooner you can get your mind involved in the action the better.  The best antidote for fear and anxiety is action – one begins to think about the task at hand and therefore loses a quantum of fear because you don't have time to dwell on it.  Your mind becomes consumed by the action.

  The plan that I rapidly put together was to get over the top of the Snowbird Range behind me before, or shortly after dark..  I could then possibly break the trail using the extensive road network on the other side, or perhaps the rain would pick up again and this would help break the trail.  The key to beating search dogs is to create a large enough gap between you and them and allow time, rain and /or hard surfaces to break the scent trail. (Forget the crap you’ve seen in the movies where the fugitive runs to a river and jumps in to beat the dog trail.  They’ll trail you to the water’s edge and if the trail ends there, they will follow the river using both banks until they pick up the train again where you emerged from the water.)

To my front was the valley which was impossible to cross during day light, to the rear was my only hope, the Snowbirds, and on the other side was a large network of gravel and asphalt roads in a sparsely populated area.  And these roads, if I could get to them before dark or before they (the FBI) blocked them, would provide me with many possible directions to choose from.  If I could get there before dark this would give me plenty of night left to break the trail by using these hard surface roads and many changes of direction.   To do this one uses the tire tracks when walking, and if the area is lightly traveled late at night this will prevent you from having to jump off to the side of the road where the foliage will retain scent much longer.   So the longer you can travel on the road without having to jump off to the side the better.  After a day or less no scent will be left on a hard, dry surface like rock or asphalt, especially when cars help in the process by running over the top of it.  Leaves, grass and foliage, on the other hand, will hold scent for weeks, especially when the foliage is moist when the scent trail is left – like dewy wet grass on the side of the road.

The trail through the woods over the Snowbirds would be–unless it rained–long lasting and very apparent due to the foliage being moist and they would be on it quick.  The ever-cautious Feds would probably follow slow, looking out for potential ambushes, but there was the distinct possibility they would get smart and block the road network over the mountain before I could get to it.  So I needed time to move at a furious pace and be up near the top of the ridge when the search got under way.  There, I could move laterally on the ridge trail up or down the valley before heading down the other side, and this might help me beat a possible road block on the other side.

These thoughts ran through my head as I started to plow through the wet woods.  After a half-hour my second wind kicked in, and my breathing became more regular.  Sweat was coursing down my back mixing with the cold rain soaking my clothes as my legs pumped like car pistons.  Briars suck!  This is a timeless truth; I think it’s in the Bible somewhere.  As I made my way down the ridge parallel to the airport I ran into a massive clearcut.  The briars cut deep into my arms and legs, holding the pack in place at times, as I struggled to get to the other side of this wet, green hell.

Finally I made it out of the clearcut only to discover there were more houses to negotiate before heading up one of the spurs that would take me to the top of the Snowbirds.  A few dogs gave me a little trouble, but the weather wasn’t conducive to outside activity, so I moved with a little more confidence that the people wouldn’t come out to see what their frantic dogs were barking at.

Making it to the sharp spur I had looked at on the map, I started up the base of the side thus avoiding the thick brush common to the top of a spur.  It was rough, steep country.  When I was an appropriate distance up the mountain, I moved laterally out onto the spur where I could get a view of the valley and my followers below.  The weather was lifting so any hope of the rain wiping out my trail was out of the question.  They had a perfect trail; moist foliage with fresh scent laid down by a sweaty fugitive.  It had been a couple hours since I started; they should be crawling all over the valley floor like insects.  The F.B.I. headquarters was less than three miles from where I was spotted.  It should take them less than an hour to get their stuff together and start a systematic search.  Where were they?  Where were the choppers?

I pressed the binoculars to my face and got fuzz.  Another timeless truth: looking through binoculars on a rainy day when you are a sweaty, heaving mess produces fogged up lenses.  So I took off my pack, tried to relax and waited for the lenses to clear.  Then holding the binoculars a short distance away from my face, I was able to ascertain what was behind me.  Nothing – not a thing out of place; the F.B.I. headquarters activity seemed normal, for the helicopter hanger was closed up tight, and the normal number of cars in the lot.  Likewise the Airport Road didn’t have an unusual amount of traffic on it.  I couldn’t see the silos, for the smaller ridge below me obscured it, but I could see the road to the west of the silos about where Marble begins, and also I could see the road from the airport all the way into Andrews.  Most important, there was nothing going on at the F.B.I. headquarters. “They were playing it quiet,” I thought.  Bull @&%!... they should be swarming all over the place, every helicopter available should be in the air.”

I still had enough light to get over the top of the Snowbirds and down to the roads on the other side a few hours afterward, but if they were not coming why put myself through the trouble?  I decided to move up closer to the top of the ridge and stay there for the time being.  Then I would wait and see what develops before committing myself to going over the top.  If I had to get over the top in the dark my new position would make it easier.

I sat up watching all of that night shaking like a dog because of the wet clothing.  I didn’t want to change into dry clothes yet, knowing that I may have to get started through the wet woods at any moment, and a fire was certainly out of the question.  Finally it became unbearable so I changed into some dry clothes and unfurled my bedroll.  Then out of the west came the distinctive sound of chopper blades pounding the air.  “This is it.  For some reason the Feds sent this chopper away for maintenance, and they were just returning to start the search, “I muttered to myself.  I readied myself and my pack as I waited for the bird to start the slow spiral around the ridges below.  Then as it passed the area where the silos are located I remembered that this was one of the choppers that infrequently commutes through the valley.  As it slowly made its' way out of sight beyond Andrews, I realized that they weren’t coming.

For whatever reason the hunter didn’t divulge what happened. Or maybe the Feds didn’t believe him.  Perhaps he didn’t see me or get a good look at me.  It seemed to me at the time that it would be difficult to mistake what he saw for anything but me.  The day was rainy, the creek was un-traveled, and he finds someone wearing camouflage cooking soybeans, who took off into the woods after being spotted.  This took place in the fall of 1999, just over a year after one of the most highly publicized searches in the nation’s history.  I was known to be in the general area, living the way that the hunter found me.  You would have to be an extremely stupid individual not to put those clues together and come up with me.  The quick exit that he made, basically crashing through the rhododendron as he made his way down the creek, is further evidence that he knew exactly who or what he was looking at.  Whatever it was, I prefer to think of it as a piece of kind providence.

  After a couple of days upon the spur, I made my way back down to the valley and moved into my old camp overlooking Bi rite Motors which is about 1 ½  miles away from the silos.  On successive nights I crept down the old railroad track just past the airport to scope the silos out for any unusual activity.  There was nothing, just the eerie glow of the street lamp covering the lonely silos.  After a couple more days I resumed my grain loading process.

The garbage cans were in place; nothing was out of the ordinary.  I did decide not to move my camp down to the ridge above the church.  And I would finish this process as soon as possible and finally be out of this star-crossed place.  To deal with the new situation, I would walk the one and half miles down the railroad track each night and work most of the night hours, loading my rucksack one five gallon bucket at a time.  Through the next three days I had no dangerous run-ins with the frequent nocturnal visitors; however, each time a visitor would arrive I had to put the work on hold and wait for them to leave.  One night I had to wait atop the silo for a few hours as a State Trooper set up across the road at the church to lay in ambush for hapless speeders.  He would race off and catch one, and after writing his ticket he’d return to his spot next to the church.  Another frequent visitor was a couple of (I’m guessing) teenagers who would come by almost every night and smoke a joint behind the silos, and drive away leaving a cloud of sweet smelling grass in their wake.  The place was a magnet for surreptitious behavior.

Despite the frequent visitors I was happy with the progress I was making.  At this rate I should be ready to make my move by Halloween.  One garbage can was left and that should take another night at least.  This night was beautiful with the first quarter of the moon shining down in a cloudless sky.  I had just completed a two hour stretch of nonstop movement and was resting on top of the silo watching the owls queue up for their nightly buffet of mice, when off to the right coming down the road was a small truck with a busted muffler.  It was after midnight so the likelihood of a guest stopping by was small.  As it neared the church the truck slowed and turned into the church parking lot.  I peered over the top of the silo and said to myself, “No – it can’t be the same ones,” but after a closer inspection I realized that it was the same vehicle I had seen here before and I was in serious trouble.  “Coon hunters-stinkin' coon hunters!”  I cursed under my breath.

A couple of weeks before I started the garbage can loading I had come down to do some reconnaissance of the area when I had run into these same coon hunters engaged in hunting the ridge and creek area above the church.  I had watched them for about an hour as I sat out in the fields by the railroad tracks.  When I started with this process a week ago I feared that I might have to deal with them again, but because their hunt had been unsuccessful I didn’t believe they would return.  Wishful thinking – especially in a place like this.  Now, because I was in the midst of loading grains I had removed the cut white pines used to camouflage the garbage cans, and anyone walking back through the field would easily spot the exposed cans.  Once they got their dogs out and snooping around, the chances of finding the cans were high if not certain.

Their truck was a small beat up four-wheel drive Toyota with dog boxes in the back and a blown muffler.  They shut the motor off, got out and walked around to the back of the truck as I lay flat and hugged the top of the dew covered silo.  “They would find it for sure if the hunt was anything like the previous one, but what would they think if they did?”  I asked myself as I attempted to keep them in view.  I had no idea what they would think, and after the experience of the last week I was starting to care a little less than I probably should have.

“Gettum Lil,” yelled one of the coon hunters in a heavily accented voice as he unlatched the dog cage.  “Go gettum Lil,” he yelled again as the dog jumped down and started to canvas the area wagging his tail vigorously.  The men (there were two of them with one dog) tuned up their “Wheat Lights,” shining them into the trees and off the desolate church building.  I strained to look over the top of the silo, for I was on the opposite side and could only see the church and half of the parking lot.  The road to my front was obscured but I could see traffic coming from the left or right.  The dog was still roaming about the parking lot as they started to move toward the back of the church and the field where the garbage cans sat uncovered.  Off to the left I could see the headlights of a car coming down the road at a high rate of speed, when just as it disappeared behind the silos to my front a loud bang accompanied with the yelp of a dog broke through the night air.  The car momentarily slowed, but then picked up speed and continued on its’ way.

A few moments of silence passed as they moved toward the road out of my view, and then one of the coon hunters spoke: “Is he dead?”
“Yep,” said the other voice, “He’s dead alright.  And the son-of-a-#@#^  never even stopped.  A five hundred-dollar coon dog and he ain’t never had a chance to tree a coon. How do ya like that son-of-a-#@#^ never even stopping?”

One of the men walked back to the truck, turned off his Wheat light, got in and pulled the truck back out onto the road.  It paused briefly as the other man threw the dead dog into the back with a dull thud, and then the truck puttered off into the direction it had come from.

I often wonder about the synchronicity of that, and the seemingly impossible combination of events that produced not only the dog incident but the squirrel hunter and bicyclist as well, but I’m unable to come up with a rational explanation.  So I’m inclined to believe it’s beyond reason and simply leave it at that.  But just wait until you hear about the time the cops took me to get some gas for my stolen truck.   Maybe next time.

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