Twice Born A Vagabond
A Novel [Copr. 2008]
By D. DeWitt Thomas
Chapter Thirty

ESCAPE TO HOUSTON

I told them about the bust and they agreed to get me out of Austin as quickly as possible. They said they would drive the distance from Houston and meet me at Hardy's garage apartment in Austin. Mardy, the Cherokee indian, offered to lend me his gun but I refused it. Mardy then made himself scarce and left me with his old lady at the apartment to wait for the arrival of George and Max. They arrived at about 3:00 AM in an old 1953 black Dodge DeSoto that belonged to George's mother. We made our way to the highway and had been on the road only for an hour when what happen next was unexpected. Because I had not gotten any sleep for the last 48 hours I began to nod out in the back seat of the car. Tragedy was waiting just around the bend on the other side of La Grange. There was an all night roadhouse on the righthand side of the road. A car full of people pulled out from the gravel parking lot of the bar into our path. We were traveling in excess of 60 MPH and slammed broadside into the driver's side of that car. We t-boned it, head on. If we had been in a newer model car we would all have surely been killed but that old DeSoto was built like a tank. No one in our car was seriously hurt but I still don't know what happened to the occupants of the other car. I refused to look at it. I didn't want to know. The police arrived quickly along with the ambulances. We were freed from the wreckage and transported to the local hospital's emergency room. As I regained my senses, I found myself on a stretcher. George and Max were standing near by and were unhurt. I sat up and walked to the discharge desk along the wall and we checked out. The whole incident happened almost too fast to remember. Max called his parents and within a couple of hours we were on the way again. When we got to Houston we went to George's house. George had a lease on a big three story white house built in the early 1900's near the center of town. It was in the oldest residential area of Houston. George rented the rooms out to musicians and actors so that the sum of the tenents' rent covered the entire cost of the lease. When we returned to the old house, Max went to the kitchen and began talking to one of the residents, Shelly Duval, a young actress. They were mucking around in the kitchen brewing some herbal tea and making jack cakes with butter and syrup. Shelly was telling Max about this producer, Lou Adler, who was casting for a movie to be filmed in Houston called "Brewster McCloud". Max drove a taxi and was preparing to leave for work and Shelly was going to her audition for a part in the movie.


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