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Dudley's Story, continued...

Just then, a black one-ton flatbed truck roared out of the McCoy driveway and into the field where we were. Behind the windshield, I could make out a red gash mouth and peroxide hair. A bale of alfalfa bounced on the truck bed. Dudley turned and galloped toward it. The truck skidded to a halt. Christine jumped out, haltered him, and tied him to the truck bed. She drove back to her home, Dudley running behind. Never mind that dragging a horse behind a truck is a good way to kill him should he stumble.

Dudley was now in her possession, on her property.

We went back to the neighbor's house and called the Torrance County Sheriff's office. Within minutes, Sheriff's Deputy Luis Perea met us. He led us back to McCoy's.

Christine stood in the driveway. Dudley was tied to a nearby fence post. "Why, Officer Perea." Christine placed a hand on what passed for a hip on her body and did a bump and grind. "How nice to see you again."

Perea looked at her with a hard face. He turned away and began comparing Marcie's photos with the horse standing in front of us. He looked over Marcie's receipt for Dudley's purchase. I handed him Marcie's request that we pick up Dudley.

"Christine, you need to let them take Dudley."

"They owe me $420. Boarding fees."

I whispered to John and Debbie, "People with the Alliance for Animal Abuse say that once McCoy decides she's keeping a horse, no one ever has gotten it back. I say we pay her. It's a small price to save Dudley."

John scowled. "She's a crook. Don't reward her." He turned to McCoy. "No."

She pouted at Perea. "I'm buying Dudley. Marcie gave me until next April to pay for him. She told me I could have him for $800."

"Can you show me your sale contract?"

McCoy of course had no paperwork. Perea told her again to let us take Dudley.

Christine wheeled toward us. "I'll sue you! Trespassing! Slander!"

Just then her mom came out of their home and walked over to her. "Let them take the horse. Please."

"No." She turned to us. "Now get off my property."

I scowled at her. "You are an animal abuser, and a child abuser, too. How can you let your daughter play in this filth?"

"I am not a child abuser, not, NOT, SHRIEK, SCREAM, SCREAM...." She grabbed Perea and began shaking him.

Perea tried to peel her off. "You'd better leave," he gasped to us. As we drove away, Officer Perea had Christine pinned to the hood of the cop car. Christine's mom was shouting at Perea. Christine was screaming and crying and cursing.

On the way home Debbie finally broke the silence. "What if Christine had been armed? She might have shot us."

Me and my big mouth, I thought.

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© 2004 Carolyn M. Bertin. All rights reserved.