Pringle made a point of driving me by the place on the way to County Lockup. He pointed out the window and jeered to his partner driving the prowl car.
“That there patio furniture ought to get a civic medal, catching such a hardened criminal as Joey here,” he snorted. “Tell me, Joey, did you conceive that brilliant robbery all by yourself or did you go to the library to consult?” He laughed so hard he couldn’t finish his sentence.
“I didn’t take to thieving by choice,” I said, defiant. “I’ll plan better next round.”
“Well, you’ll have plenty time.”
The left-side cylinder seized four kilometers from the summit, the troublesome valve finally giving out, the low-gear sewing machine turning into a wretched clanking, then silence.
She pushed the smoking bike as far to the side as she could and looked back toward the valley, the smell of hot oil dissipating in the crisp mountain air. With the heavy panniers she could not push the bike over the mountain. It had to be back, then. Back to the valley. A six-week wait for parts, probably.
If it was fixable at all.
She thought of her father, what he would say.
In the early 1980s Elspeth Beard became the first British woman to complete a solo motorcycle trip around the world. She still enjoys riding her trusty BMW R60/6, the bike that carried her across the globe.
They were boiling all morning, so I wasn’t surprised when she lost it. As usual it was about nothing. He’d forgotten the tickets and had to buy new ones. Big deal. It was only like twenty bucks.
But of course she acted like he’d committed some big crime, and after a couple of swipes back and forth they were red-faced and hissing scorn at each other, old insults and outrages flying. Par for the course, museum or not.
I got out before they started seriously yelling. I stood by the pond and watched the carp calmly swimming around, envying them.