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Chapter 13: Scene 47: Randy's planning to run


       Finally, Dan calls it a day. Back by the bus, I sit down on my log and eat an apple I saved from lunch. Neil comes up and sits down next to me. He's a skinny little kid. My age, but you can't tell that by looking at him. Pimply face, greasy hair, puny looking, but he hangs in there, working as hard as anybody. I think he wants to get home as much as I do.

       "Whatcha looking at?" he asks me.

       "The waves out there."

       Neil grunts. "Waves, huh?" He leans in closer and talks low. "I got to talk to you, quick, while Randy's off somewhere. Next week, while he's crew chief, he's planning to go on the run."

       "You serious?" That'd be something, getting Randy out of my hair that easy.

       Neil picks at a zit on his chin. "He figures on Monday we'll be working on that piece of trail over near the state highway. He's been sending kids up to look for a way down to the road that's out of sight and easy to get to."

       "How'd you find out so much about it?"

       "Randy thinks I'm going with him." Neil darts a look around to see if Randy's going to pop up out of the sand. "He's taking three or four guys. From the highway he figures they can get a ride into town."

       "If you're splitting , why're you telling me?"

       "You kidding? I'm due to go home in a couple of weeks. I don't want to be on the run." He looks at me funny. "You gonna snitch ?"

ThinkLink: What is a snitch? Have you ever been asked to tell on someone? What did you do?

       "Nah, you know I wouldn't do that." I give him a poke in the ribs. "Besides, you'd miss the rafting trip." The big thing staff's going to do for us after four weeks of building trail is to take us white water rafting. I been looking forward to it, but Neil looks seasick every time anybody mentions it.

       "You won't catch me bouncing around in any boat. Besides, my PO says I might even go home on a pass next weekend, or the one after. I don't want nothing to get in the way of that." He smiles, just thinking about it. "Maybe I'll be gone before you guys go."

       "What about Randy's hike?"

       "Why? You gonna do something about it?"

       "Are you kidding? Me?" Like Red would put it, Randy's escaping would make me no never mind. I'd like it if he was a million miles away. But then I think how great it'd be to cork Randy's bottle . I eye Neil. "You going to turn him in?"

        "Not me. I just want out of it. " He gave me a funny look. "I thought maybe you'd ... you and Randy ... you have this beef going all the time."

       "I'm not going to snitch on him, if that's what you're getting at."

       "Course not. Didn't think you would. I figured you'd come up with something ... maybe. I didn't mean to make you mad."

       "Don't sweat it. We got three days. Maybe I'll think of something." I look out over the ocean again and Neil scoots away when he sees Randy coming out of the outhouse at the end of the meadow. That leaves me to come up with a plan to back up my brag.

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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