The Love Potion, Chapter One

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Love Potion


Ted Dewey

Chapter One

The Arizona sun was sinking in the west. Although the month of November was half gone, the temperature was still in the upper eighties.

Sam Bishop was sitting in a rocking chair on the back porch of his old adobe house. Several big Pecan nut trees furnished shade for this area. Tacked to one of them, was a board with lettering on it. It read: SAM’S PLACE.

There was a slight breeze blowing occasionally. The silence was broken by the sound of nuts falling on the metal roof.

Sam’s days were numbered and he knew it. He had just been released from the Yuma General Hospital. They had cut him open once more and took a look. No need for more surgery, the Cancer had spread. They had let him rest for a few days, then sent him die.

“Better get your affairs in order” The doctor told him. “You got sixty days, at the most.”

Sam had not been surprised, and he was ready;  the sooner, the better. He was crowding seventy-five and had lived a full life, a very full life. There had never been a dull moment

A soft hand fell on his shoulder, “Are you comfortable, Sam?”

He turned! and looked up into the pretty face of Laura. His housekeeper and all around helper He nodded “As good as possible, I guess. Maybe a cold drink of water, would help.”

The young woman patted him on the back, then disappeared into the house.

It had been a lucky day for him when she had answered that ad he had put in the newspaper. He couldn’t have made it this far without her.

His beloved wife, Hena had suddenly been taken away from him. She had been coming home from the wedding chapel, where she had just delivered a wreath of roses At the corner of eighth and B avenue, a truck had struck her broadside Killing her instantly

This was a little over two years ago. Laura had been with him since that time.

The back door opened and she came out with a tray in her hands. On it was a pitcher of water and ice cubes. She set them on the small table by Sam’s chair.

She poured the glasses full and handed one to Sam. A folding chair was leaning against the house. She opened it up and sat down beside him.

She took a sip from the tall glass and glanced at the watch on her wrist, “Almost three.” she said. “I hope they get here soon.”

“Maybe they won’t come.”

“They will. I talked to both of them on the phone. They said they would leave El Monte yesterday morning, and should arrive here sometime this afternoon. I looked at a California road map. El Monte is this side of L.A.”

“I know.”

“I’ll bet you will be glad to see them.”

Sam bowed his head. “I don’t know just what to expect. It’s been twenty long years. They were just twelve the last time I saw them.” Sam took a. drink from the tall glass, then set it back on the tray. He closed his eyes and leaned back in the chair.

“They will- be thirty-two, the fourth of next month. Twin boys; we named them, Bill and Joe. There would be no nick names for this pair, we decided.”

“I’ll bet they are handsome boys. They sounded really friendly on the phone.”

“How in the world, did you ever locate them?”

“It wasn’t easy, but I knew I must find them. After all, they are your flesh and blood, and your only living relatives.”

Sam nodded. “And now that I know they are coming, I can hardly wait. You are a very understanding woman, Laura. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And when I pass on, this place is all yours. You deserve it. My lawyer has taken care of that already.”

“But Sam, your boys might expect…”

Sam shook his head. “I was quite a wealthy man when their mother and I were divorced. I gave her and the kids almost everything. I just kept what little cash I had in the bank. The boys should be quite well off.”

“But won’t they think they deserve more?”

A slow grin, come to Sam’s wrinkled face. “Like I said. I have deeded all the property to you including the furniture, the pickup, and now your signature is on our joint bank account. Yes, everything will be yours. All but a few things I would like the two boys to have.”

“Like What?”

Sam’s grin widened. “Just a, few things that I have acquired in my travels. They won’t be disappointed. Anyhow, my will is all made out and recorded at the courthouse.

You can make yourself a good living here, Laura. And God knows you know how to do everything. You have did it all, these last few months.”

Tears came to the young woman’s eyes. “Thanks, Sam. You have been so good to me and I will miss you so much.” she bowed her head.

A motor car pulled into the driveway and stopped. Two men got out and started walking toward the house.

Laura sot to her feet and headed for the door. She turned and smiled through the tears. “I will be inside. Holler, if you need me.” The door closed slowly behind her.

For a moment, Sam Bishop set staring at the two men coming up the path. As they drew closer, there was no doubt as to their identity – Bill and Joe, his sons! The one on the left, was Bill. There was a small dark mole, just over the left eyebrow.

They were handsome pair, and except for this one thing, they were as much alike as two peas in a pod. They were both tall, with slim narrow waists. Their hair was black and cut quite’ short. Their faces clean shaven. Both were smiling, showing white even teeth. They stepped upon the porch and looked down at the old man in the chair. The one on the left, spoke, “Dad?”

Slowly Sam nodded his head. “Yes, Bill.”

The two men exchanged glances The one he had called Bill, stepped forward and thrust out his right hand. “You can still tell us apart!”

Sam took the extended hand. “Yes, son, and welcome home, both of you.” He staggered to his feet and put an arm around each of their shoulders. His eyes were bright with tears. “God bless both of you.”

For a moment the three of them stood there. It would have been a joyous occasion, had it not been for the fathers: illness.

The two men lowered Sam back into the chair. “Take it easy.” Joe told him. “Save your strength.”

Sam wiped his eyes-with the back of his hand. “Grab a couple of those chairs and sit down. God, it is good to see you again!”

“It’s our fault as much as yours, Dad,” Bill told him. “We could have found you if we had tried.”

Joe nodded. “I guess we were a little bit bitter. We didn’t stop to think, that we had never heard your side of the story.”

A faint smile, appeared on Sam’s face. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Especially back when you were twelve years old.”

Bill nodded. “Unbelievable things do happen. And it hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses, for the two of us.”

“You got to get kicked in the teeth, a few times,” Joe added, “before you get brains enough to understand. Very often, things are not what they appear to be.”

Bill nodded. “Strange things happen sometimes. But not usually that strange!”

Sam’s cheeks were flushed. “I didn’t get a chance to explain to you boys. I don’t think it would have done any good, anyhow.”

Joe nodded. “You were quite a hero, to us, Dad. A big shot mining engineer, traveling all over the world making lots of money.”

Bill nodded. “We will never forget that Christmas, twenty years ago. You were working on a project somewhere in Central America. You wrote and said you would be home for Christmas. We were very excited, and wondered what you would bring us.” He hesitated for a moment, then a faint smile came to his face. “To say that we were not prepared for what you did bring home, would be an understatement. Would you like to talk about that?”

“We are older and much wiser now. Maybe we would understand,” Joe added. At least we will listen.”

Sam sighed. “It’s a long story, and I doubt if it will, still, make any sense to you. You will have to keep a very open mind.” He looked from one face to the other. “But I would bet,” he said, “that if either one of you had been in my place, you would of done the same thing.”

“Maybe.” Bill’s voice was low.

“We are listening.” Joe added.

Sam looked from one face to the other. “Before I go into this matter anymore, there is a few questions I would like to ask the two of you. To begin with, are you married?”

The two men exchanged glances. Both shook their heads. Joe answered. “We were both married about ten years ago. Married sisters They weren’t twins, but they were both alike. Our divorce was final this summer.”

“Any children?” Sam asked.

Both men shook their heads.

“And how about your mother?”

Both men bowed their heads. Bill answered. “She passed away about five years ago. Died of a heart attack.”

“Sorry. Then I guess you boys inherited everything. You should be setting pretty. I suppose those two women you married, walked away empty handed.”

From the looks on the faces of his two sons, he knew he had struck a vital spot. “Women aren’t always the most loving creatures in the world.” he added. “How much did they take you for?”

“Plenty!” Bill muttered. “They didn’t give up easy.”

“Too bad. And just what have you boys been doing all this time? What kind of work do you do?”

Joe answered. “About the time we got married, we went into the automobile business. We had several agencies and a half dozen used car lots over in the Los Angeles area.”

Sam raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean, you did, have?”

Bill turned to Joe. “I think we had better tell him.”

Joe nodded. “We might just as well.” he turned to the man in the chair. “We are just about busted, Pop. I guess we weren’t very smart. We got caught with hundreds of big gas’ guzzling cars. No one wants them anymore. We took one hell of a beating. We had so sell everything at auction, to pay our bills. We got one used car lot left, it’s; in El Monte.

“And there went the Bishop fortune,” Bill added.

Slowly a smile spread over the old man’s face. Somehow or other, this sounded like good news to him. Maybe now, these two handsome boys of his, would understand. He would tell them exactly what happened twenty years ago. Then if they believed him, he would start them on a venture that could lead them’ to fame and fortune!

He glanced at his watch. “Four o’clock.” he muttered. “Time for my medicine and my nap. We will go inside and you will meet Laura. She is my housekeeper and a very dear friend. She will feed you and keep you entertained. I must call it a day.”

The old man staggered to his feet. He hung on to the chair with one hand, and pointed with the other. “Out yonder is the green house. In it we grow many things. In the morning when I am stronger, I will show you around and tell you the story that you have been waiting twenty years to hear!”

The Love Potion, Chapter 2

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Love Potion

Chapter 2
The Love Potion
By Ted Dewey

As always, the crowing of the roosters awakened Sam. For the first time in many a night, he had enjoyed a good night’s rest.

The smell of frying beacon and steaming coffee drifted into the room. He rolled off the bed and slipped on his trousers. Time to get up.

Bill and Joe were in the kitchen, talking and laughing, chatting with Laura. It sounded like everyone was having a good time.

When breakfast was over, Sam told Laura. “I feel quite strong this morning. While you are catching up on your housework, I will take the boys outside and show them around.”

Laura nodded. “Go ahead, I will join you later.” she turned to Bill and Joe. “One of you keep ahold of an arm at all times. Sometimes he thinks he is stronger than he is.”

Sam led them down the path, that would take them to the green house. All around them were trees loaded with oranges, lemons and grapefruit. “The family orchard.” Sam explained. “We have about fifty trees. We sell most of the fruit to the winter visitors.”

There seemed to be chickens running everywhere. Off to the left, was the chicken house. Ahead of them, was an open field. Sam pointed with his free arm. “There is about an acre out there. On that, we raise garden stuff and sell most of it to the local fruit and vegetable stands.”

Just ahead and off to the right, was the green house. Its low sloping glass roof, glistened in the sunlight.

There was a door in front. Sam opened it, all three men stepped inside. Long lines of wooden benches, were covered with boxes of black soil. Out of them grew everything from beautiful flowers, to big red, ripe tomatoes.

“We raise a little bit of everything in here.” Sam remarked. “Lots of tomatoes in the winter.” He pointed to the opposite side of the building. “Over there are flowers of every kind. Laura makes: up wreaths for weddings and funerals.”

Bill and Joe stood staring about them. “Beautiful,” they murmured.

“It takes a lot of work.” Sam went on. “We don’t get rich, but we make a good living.”

They walked down the narrow aisle, and Sam guided them to the rear of the place. Over to one side, was a. long narrow bench. On it, were many boxes. Several of them contained a, long stemmed white; flower, tinted with a delicate pink. Sam picked a couple of them and handed them to the two men.

“Take a close look.” Sam told them. “Did you ever see a flower like that before?”

Each of the men turned the long stem in their fingers. Joe sniffed the blossom in his hand. “Can’t smell anything.”

“There are a lot prettier flowers in here than these.” Bill remarked. “Are they supposed to be something special?”

Sam slowly nodded his head. “Yes, they are very special.” He moved on to the next box. In it were the same flowers, but these were much larger. The stems much thicker. He leaned over the box, selected one and pulled it from the soil. On the bottom of the stem, was a bulb about the size of a large walnut.

Sam pointed with his finger. “That first box, I planted from the seed. This last one, from the tiny bulb that grew on the bottom. The tiny bulb I planted in this last box and out of it, grew this large flower with the cluster of small ones.” He drew a small knife from his pocket and cut the bulb from the stem. He rubbed the thing briskly between the palms of his hands He held it close to his face and blew away the cover that had come loose, then held out his hand. In it, was many small sections of broken-down bulb, each about the size of a kernel of corn.

“But what is this all about?” Bill asked.

Sam glanced down at the objects in his hand. “This,” he said, “or maybe I should say, some just like these, prompted me to do what I did twenty years ago. Now, would you like me to tell you about it?”

Bill and Joe exchanged glances, then nodded.

“It’s getting hot and humid in here.” Sam wiped his brow with the back of his hand. “Let’s go out and sit in the shade and I will tell you all about it!”

The three men were comfortably seated at a table, in the shade of an orange tree. Three glasses and a cold pitcher of orange juice was in front of them. The very efficient and devoted Laura, seemed always to be standing by.

Sam Bishop leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He was going to tell these two boys^ of his, a very strange and true story. One that was long overdue. Just where would be the best place to start, he wondered. He had better make it as short as possible. Too much talking was no good, at this stage of the game. He tired very easily.

He opened his eyes and stared at the two faces in front of him. Both men were leaning forward, patiently waiting.

Sam took a deep breath, then began to speak. “As you know, I was a mining engineer. My work took me all over the continent. From northern Alaska, to deep into South America. I spent very little time at home.

“Your mother and I, had very little in common. It seemed like that all she wanted from me, was the money I brought home. It wasn’t a happy marriage, at least not on my part.

“That spring twenty years ago, I was hired by a large mining cooperation. They sent me to Central America, along with a small crew to run some tests on some placer mining property which they had leased from the Nicaraguan government.

“It was located on the Coco River, near the east coast about half way between British Honduras and the town of Bluefields Nicaragua, an old English slave trading colony which was abandoned after the civil war.

“In the early days of the Americas, the Spaniards had moved in on the Mosquito Indian. Then came the English, who brought the black man from Africa. And there were more.

“So, after hundreds of years of inter-marrying, they become one race of people. Somehow the English language dominated the rest, and is now spoken by everyone.

“They are a handsome race of people. Not exactly white, not black yellow or red, but a dusky tan.” Sam closed his eyes. A smile came to his face. “And those brown skinned girls, were really something!”

“Of course, I was twenty years younger, then. And being a normal human being, with every passing day, they become more beautiful. Especially one. Her name was Nena.

“There were three of us men from the States. A book keeper, a chopper pilot and myself. We hired a crew and ran tests on the gravel bars, searching for gold. We had our own private chopper. We covered quite an area.

“We had only been there a short time, when my partners brought into camp two of the pretty young maidens. Suddenly I become very lonesome. I was alone and I began looking around.

“Nena was one of the girls that worked for us. She cooked, did washings and other chores around our camp. She was a beautiful girl, and had only eyes for me. She was eighteen.

“She waited on me like I was some sort of a king. Her heart was full of love and compassion. Never before, had I met anyone like her.

“I will never forget my last week down there. My job was finished and I was going home for Christmas. I was packing my things and noticed that the girl also had her bags packed. Surely, she didn’t figure on going along. She knew I was married, and we had an understanding.

“I asked her. ‘Are you planning on going somewhere?’

“She put her arms around me and drew herself close. There was a twinkle in her eye. ‘Yes.’ she whispered.

“Where?” I asked.

“She laughed. ‘You will see!’

“Finally, I was ready to go. The other two men, would stay another month. There was still some work to be done. The pilot would fly me to the city of Managua. Here I must wait five days, in order to get an exit visa. They make sure you pay all your bills, before you get on that plane.

“I took Nena in my arms and kissed her. ‘Thanks for everything.’ I told her. ‘And may God bless you.’ Her big brown eyes were bright, but there were no tears.

“‘You will be back soon.’ She whispered.

“I shook my head. ‘No, sweetie. This is it. Good by.’ My eyes were stinging as we took off.

“We landed at the airport and took a cab to the city. Our first step, was to the Nicaraguan embassy to apply for an exit visa. The pilot, his name was Ed Sanderson, would stay and keep me company until my plane departed. We got a room at the Gran Hotel and settled down to wait.

“Time passed slowly. There was a restaurant and bar, just off the main lobby. We had a. couple of drinks and a big dinner. Then back to our room and wait.

“That night, we got very little sleep. I rolled and tossed, reaching for Nena, and she wasn’t there. I thought I must have kept Ed awake most of the night. He also, got very little sleep.

“We got up at daybreak and went down to the restaurant. We drank coffee, until it about ran out of our ears:. Then we had breakfast.

“The day was hot and humid. There was no rain. This was the dry season. We took a stroll through the park. We walked down to the lake and skipped stones across the smooth water.

“It was a good day for drinking beer. We took in all the pubs within blocks of the hotel. And there were many. We must have been quite plastered, when we finally stumbled into bed.

“Along toward morning, I awoke. I was crying out Nena’s name. Reaching for her. I got up and turned on the light.

“I glanced at my watch. It was four o’clock in the morning. Ed, was sitting on the edge of his bed, fully dressed, smoking a cigarette.

“‘Can’t sleep?’ I asked him.

“‘Hell no. And I can’t figure it out. I usually sleep like a log.’

“‘Me too. I should have brought my little Chick with me. I wish to God that she was here. I know Nena wanted to come along and go to the states with me. Now, I wish I had brought her.”

“Ed got to his feet and began pacing up and down the room. ‘Sam,’ he said, ‘I am doing you no good waiting here with you. As soon as it is daylight, I’m getting the hell out of here! Going back to my little Chick.’

“I didn’t hesitate one second. ‘I am going with you.’

“Sam quit talking and poured himself a fresh glass of orange juice. His hands were shaking, as he held the glass to his lips. He set it down and closed his eyes.

Bill broke the silence. “And then?”

Sam slowly opened his eyes. “I am getting really tired, boys. So I will cut the rest of this, real short. Nena was all packed and ready to go, when I returned to camp. There was a sly look on her pretty face. I had a feeling that she knew I would return for her.”

“A few days later, we landed in L.A. We made plans and worked fast. I rented her a small apartment, close to my office. She was badly in need of new clothes so I bought her a whole new wardrobe.. God, she was beautiful, decked out in all that finery! Somehow, I just wanted the world to see this beautiful, creature. I was so proud of her!

“As you probably remember, I belonged to the Elks Lodge. I knew that those old boys in there would sure turn green with envy, if I walked in there with her on my arm. I guess I thought I could get by with it, just once.

“It was just three nights before Christmas, when we stepped through that doorway. I never dreamed that your mother and some of our friends were inside.”

Sam stopped talking and took another sip of the orange juice. He set the glass down and cleared his; throat. “From here on, you know what happened. I gave your mother everything, including the custody of you two boys. All I kept, was the money I had in my personal bank account.

“Nena and I left L.A. and came over here to Arizona. We bought this old place. Fixed up the house, and raised a big garden. We did a lot of work on the green house and started raising flowers. We didn’t make a lot of money, but we were very happy.

“Then one day when she was coming home from town her car was struck by a truck. She died on the way to the hospital.” Sam stopped talking for a moment, and wiped his eyes. Tears made them glisten.

“I was all alone for some time. I almost went crazy. I advertised for a house-keeper. That is how I met Laura. She has been with me since that time. That was about two years ago.”

Sam shifted his weight in the chair. Trying to get in a more comfortable position. The pain was getting un-bearable. Soon it would be time for Laura to bring his medicine.

The flower that he had pulled out of the box in the green house, was lying in front of him. He picked it up and turned it around in his fingers. A faint smile came to his face.

“And now.” he said. “Would you like to hear the rest of the story?”

As though spellbound, the two men nodded.

Sam reached in his pocket and pulled out the remains of the bulb he had taken apart in the green house. He opened his hand and laid them on the table. Both Bill and Joe, reached out and picked up several of the kernels.

“Looks like garlic.” Bill commented.

“What are they?” Joe asked softly.

Sam looked from the flower to the kernels on the table. Slowly he shook his head. “I really don’t know what they are, but I know where they come from, and what they do.”

Laura came walking up to the table. In her hands was a small tray. On it was a glass of water and a couple of capsules. She smiled down at Sam. “Time for your medicine.”

Like an obedient child, he picked up the pills and chased them down with a glass of water. Laura walked away a few steps, stopped and turned her head. “Just holler, if you need anything more.” Once more, she vanished into the house.

“Quite a gal: you got there.” Joe commented.

Sam nodded. “A wonderful girl. I don’t know how I would have made it without her. She is one in a. million.”

Bill rubbed the kernels in his hand. “Let’s get back to these little fellers. I am fascinated!”

Sam picked up the flower by the stem. “When fully matured,” he said. “A flower like this, will produce hundreds of tiny seeds, which in turn, produces thousands of these little kernels. But now to get back to my story. I feel much better, now.

“That night that Ed and I spent in Managua waiting for my visa, about drove me crazy. I knew that something was the matter, but I couldn’t put my finger on the trouble. Neither could Ed. It wasn’t until we had settled here in Yuma, that I finally discovered what had happened.

“One morning Nena was getting breakfast. She was in the process of putting coffee in the perculator.1 was in my bare feet and slipped up behind her. First, she put in the coffee. Then she reached into another container and drew out a couple of these little kernels. With a sharp knife, she chopped them up and dumped them into the pot.

“Naturally I was curious. I asked her. ‘What the devil are you doing? What was that you just put in there?’

“She was rather startled for a moment. Then she turned and smiled up at me. “Just a little love potion, darling. An old family recipe.’

“I was dumbfounded to say the least. I reached into the can containing the kernels and drew out a handful. I looked them over closely, then slowly a light began to dawn.

“‘How long have you been feeding me this?’ I asked. She laughed. ‘Since the first time you slept with me. Also, I have been taking it. It works both ways.’

“My thoughts went back to those two nights in Managua. Was it possible? I took her by the shoulders and turned her around. ‘Were you feeding me this stuff just about the time I decided to go home for Christmas?’

“Again she laughed. ‘Yes, darling. I doubled your potion those last few days. She put her head on my shoulder; there were tears in her eyes. ‘I had to make sure you would return for me.’

“I had one more question. ‘And where do you get the stuff, here?’

“Her answer was. ‘Out in the green house. I have been growing it with the rest of the flowers. I brought many seeds with me.”

The two men examined the small kernels In their hands.

“Must be potent stuff.” Bill remarked.

“And she called the brew a love potion. Correct?” Joe asked.

Sam nodded, then slowly got to his feet. “Well boys,” he said, “now you have heard the rest of the story. So, judge me, as you may, but I would bet, that if either of you. had been in my place, you would have done the same thing”

Suddenly Laura was beside the old man. She took him by the arm and guided him toward the open door. “Time for your nap.” She told him. “You have had enough excitement for one day.” They disappeared into the house.

The two men exchanged glances.

“Quite a story!” Bill remarked.

Joe nodded “And quite a gal, that Laura. Boy, I could sure go for her!” He glanced down at the small kernels in his hand. “I think I will chop up some of these and try and figure a way to feed them to her. She is something!”

For Chapter One go to this link:


The Love Potion, Chapters 3 & 4

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 3

The Bishop twins excused themselves. Joe told Laura, “Bill and I are going out for a little ride and look the town over. We will be back around five this afternoon.”

They got in the car and drove over to West Eighth. From there they went East to Fourth Have, the main drag of Yuma. Bill was driving, Joe was keeping his eyes open for a tavern. A good cold beer seemed to be in order.

Minutes later, they were seated in one; that Joe had selected. A sexy looking blond, took their order and: set a couple of cold bottles of Bud in front of them. Other than themselves, the place was deserted They poured the beer into the tall- frosted! glasses and took a sip. Bill broke the silence

“Well brother old buddy, what do you think?”

“I think we got here just in time. I don’t look for the old gent to last much longer.”

Bill nodded “I agree with you there, and it makes me feel guilty as hell, that we didn’t try and get in touch with him a long time ago. After all, he is our father.”

“And a very interesting one at that.”

“What did you think of that yarn he told us?”

Joe frowned “Quite a yarn, alright. I wonder just how much of it is true?”

“Hard to tell. I don’t; think he is intentionally feeding us a line of B. S. just to get on the good side of us. However, a person can sometimes let their imagination run away. Maybe he just fell in love with the girl. Anyhow, I don’t think we should blame him for something that happened twenty years ago. He had his life to live.”

Joe nodded, “Right you are, brother. But somehow I have a gut feeling, that his story is true. We were taught that he was a dirty rat for bringing that woman home. Mother never quite lived that down. She had many unkind things to say about him, but I can’t remember her ever calling him a liar!”

“Right you are. So, for the present time, let’s assume that he is telling the truth. What say that all is forgiven. I think that is our best move.”

“Me too So, let’s talk about that Love Potion. The bulb on the bottom of that flower, has to be damn potent and must contain some sort of a drug.”

Bill reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out several of the small kernels. He laid them down on a napkin in front of him. Next, he took a small pen knife from his pocket, then sliced! one of the kernels into thin slices. He picked up one, put it in his mouth and began to chew.

Joe selected a piece and put it in his mouth.

“Not much taste to it,” Bill commented. “Maybe a little bit on the ginger side, more like cinnamon.”

Joe nodded. “It has a pleasant taste, but would sure be hard to detect in food or a cup of coffee. Put two or three of those cut up in a glass of orange juice and one would never know the difference.”

“Sure would be easy to feed a person without his knowing, alright.” Bill commented,

“Evidently there is something about the stuff, that stimulates your love and makes the old man return like a homing Pigeon!”

.Joe grinned, “And when he gets home, then what? What would a few more kernels do to him?”

“I get what you mean. The old man didn’t mention sex… I wonder.”

“Me too. If a couple of these little kernels every day, keeps the love going, what would a dozen do?

“Probably dad has all the answers The next time we have a session with him we will ask. He has been fooling with the stuff for about twenty years. I’ll bet he has all the answers!”

Joe picked up another slice from the napkin, then began to chew, “Not that I need a booster,” he grinned, “but I hate to see it go to waste.”

“Me too; and do you know something brother- dear? I have a feeling that this stuff is not really a Love Potion, but a Sex stimulant as well! And if it is, and has no bad side effects, we may have discovered the fountain of youth!”

Joe grinned. “Right you are And I can tell from the look in your eye, that the stuff is working. That sexy Blonde behind the bar, is getting prettier every minute! Right?”



Chapter Four

The crowing of many roosters, awakened the Bishop brothers. Joe was the first to roll out of bed. He slipped on his trousers and walked over to where his brother lay staring up at the ceiling

“Get up,” Joe whispered. “Put on your clothes, we’ve got work to do.”

Bill yawned, stretched, then sat up and rolled off the bed.

If they were going to stay here until the old man passed away, they had: better make themselves useful. They had decided the night before that Laura, the pretty and attractive housekeeper, could sure use some help.

The two men dressed, then silently sneaked out the back door and” headed for the greenhouse. There was work to be done.

A pair of sprinkler cans were setting beside a water hydrant. They filled them with water and: began giving the dry thirsty plants, a very much needed drink of water. In about an hour all was wet and dripping.

There were about two dozen tomato plants, covered with both green and ripe fruit. Each man grabbed a basket and began picking. Inside a few minutes, six half bushel baskets were piled high with the red ripe tomatoes.

When this job was finished, both men paused and looked around. “Now where do we go from here?” Bill asked.

Joe grinned “I think we had better quit for now. We had better wait for further instructions. But for sure, we haven’t done anything wrong yet!”

Bill nodded, then pointed to the back end of the building. “That door there in the back – I wonder- if the thing opens into another room, or is just another way outside.”

“Let’s go take a look.” Joe led the way

It was a big: wooden door, with no window Bill took hold of the doorknob, twisted it and gave it a pull. The door swung open wide. Only darkness greeted them. He reached inside, feeling for a switch. He found one and gave it a flip. The room was flooded with light.

There was junk piled everywhere Shovels, hoes, a lawn, mower, a small garden tractor and a large cupboard with many drawers and compartments. On each one was a printed cardboard label: Beans, Peas, Onions, and many other kinds of vegetables. Also, many different kinds of flowers.

“I guess this is where he keeps all his junk, but maybe this is the place where he keeps all the seeds,” Bill muttered. “I wonder if the seeds and bulbs for the Love Potion are around here.”

“Probably is, said Joe. “Let’s see. Here on the left he has started with A.”

“Here it is.” Bill grinned! “And sure as hell printed on the card is, LOVE POTION!” He pulled out the drawer and set It down on the table. Inside the box was a cloth bag. A rubber band was holding the bag shut. Bill removed it and both men looked inside. Millions of the tiny seeds glistened in the light.

“Good Lord!” Joe muttered! “Must be four or five pounds of the stuff; enough seeds to plant acres.”

Over on the other side of the room was a stack of red string sacks. Joe walked over and inspected them, “Looks like Onions.” He searched for an opening on the sack.

Bill closed the bag and put. the seeds back in the drawer. He walked! over and stood beside Joe “What you got here, old Buddy?”

“Looks like onions.” The top of the sack was now open. He reached! inside and squeezed something that was hard and lumpy. He pulled it out and both? men stared down at the thing. A large LOVE POTION bulb.

For a moment, both men stood staring at the many sacks of the bulbs “Good Lord!” Joe muttered. “I’ll bet there is a ton of it here!”

“Closer to two tons, maybe three!”

The two men exchanged glances, then slowly nodded their heads thinking there was one thing for sure. The old man sure believed these things to be of great value, or he certainly wouldn’t have raised tons of it and piled it in here

Joe’s hand was shaking as he returned the bulb to the sack. “I think we had better get out of here, Bill. I feel like a spy!”

“Me too. Besides I’m? getting: hungry.”

They stepped back into the hot house and closed the door. As they walked up the narrow aisle, the front door opened and Laura stood there smiling, at them. “Breakfast is ready, and I’ll bet you guys are starved. Looks like you have been busy, and you even picked the tomatoes!”

Joe took her by the arm “Lead the way, we are as hungry as a couple of bears. After we eat we will take the tomatoes to market. By the way, how is Dad this morning?”

“About the same, I guess.” Bill took: her by the other arm, opened the door and the three of them started toward! the house

“Joe and I talked! things over last night, and we decided to stay till its all over. We are not going to impose on you any longer. We are going to help you in every way we can.”

“Thanks, fellows I was hoping you would do just that”

Joe gave her arm a gentle squeeze “And I am damn good at cooking and housework. We will all three work together till Pop tells us goodbye.”

The Love Potion, Chapters 5 & 6

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 5

Breakfast was over at SAM’S PLACE. The old- man, was up and around, but barely. Each day, he was becoming noticeably weaker. The end” was drawing near and he knew it

The three men were seated at the table on the back porch. Laura had retreated to the hothouse. There would be a wedding in town this afternoon, and she would supply the flowers.

Sam cleared1 his throat and looked from one face to the other. “Well, what is the verdict? Am I forgiven?”

Bill slowly nodded his head and answered. “We have talked it over and we can find nothing to forgive. We would see no reason for you to fabricate such a story, and somehow it all seems to add up.”

“It is Bill and me, that should be forgiven,” Joe added. “We took a lot for granted. We were; just kids, and mother was mighty angry. I guess she had a right to be. It was natural that we took her side. We didn’t give you a chance!”

Sam got to his feet and extended a hand to each of the boys. “Then let s start all over again. It’s better late than never!” The three hands joined together – six eyes were brimming with tears. No words were needed. The three men sat down and remained silent for a moment Then Sam spoke: “Boys, I know I don’t have much time left, and now I know that I will rest much better knowing that I have made peace with my two sons. When Laura located you and talked you into coming, I was not only very surprised, but tickled pink. It was my great desire? to make peace with you and once more gain your respect.”

Sam drew a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his eyes He continued “I wanted! to give you both something to remember me by, something good, something that would make you proud of me. For two long nights, I lay awake wondering. What do you give a couple of young men that have everything? I asked! myself. Your mother was quite a wealthy woman. When we parted, I left her a lot of money. You boys would be loaded.”

A slow grin, spread over Sam’s face. “This must sound crazy to you, but it tickled hell out of me when you told me you were busted!”

Neither man answered. They sat staring at the old man. There was a puzzled look on both their faces.

Sam continued. “My will is all made out. Laura, gets most everything. She deserves it. She has been very kind to me and has been a regular little princess, these last two years

But there is one thing, that I have reserved for my two sons. And it might be worth a pile of money!”

He paused for a moment, reached in his shirt pocket and drew out something. He laid it on the table. It was a LOVE POTION bulb.

“That,” he said slowly. “is what I am talking about. There is something in it, that puts the mind at ease and gets it going in the right direction. It takes away hate and fear. Replaces it with love and affection. It could change the whole world!” He picked out one of the kernels and turned it around between his thumb and finger. “Don’t look like much, does it?”

Joe answered. “We talked about that today It must contain, some powerful drug. Am I right?”

The old! man slowly shook his head, “Somehow the word drug has a nasty ring to it. I don’t know whether or not it is a drug, but it sure as hell contains something!”

“Have you had! a chemical, analysis run on it?” Bill asked

Sam nodded. “I have » friend here in town that is a chemist. He ran some tests on it. It contains no known drug, so he says.”

“How about some unknown one?” Joe asked

Sam shook his head “We don’t know. I guess when you are testing for a drug, and you don’t know the make or model, it gets quite complicated, but it contains no known drug, that is for sure “

“How about side effects?” Bill asked.

Sam shook his head. “Nothing bad No hangover, and it is not habit forming. This, I have learned from experience.”

Joe grinned. “One more question Just how far does this stuff go? Does it affect the body as well as the mind!? Does it stimulate sex?”

Sam Bishop grinned. “Sex, is part of love, isn’t it?”

Joe blushed. “I think I understand what you mean, but answer me this. When people get past their prime and slow down, does this stuff give them a boost?”

“Definitely! A couple of these little kernels a day to a woman that is fading like a fallen rose and will bloom all over again. Double the dosage and in a week’s time, look out! If she doesn’t have a man, she will go looking for one.”

“How about the older men? Does it do anything for them?” Bill asked. “Or does It just fill their- head up with ideas? The man has got to have it somewhere besides in his noggin.”

“I know what you mean.” Sam took a handkerchief out of his pocket and; wiped his forehead. “Whatever a man loses to make him potent, this stuff will start up the machinery that will make him like new again I have been experimenting with this for- almost twenty years, and now I have most of the answers. I figured there must be a way to make a pile of dough, out of this project. I was Just about ready to begin when this damn cancer got me.

But I did write a book that tells everything. So, this is my gift to you. This project I leave to both of you, lock, stock, and barrel. And I hope you make a million!”


Chapter 6

Two weeks had gone by, since Bill and Joe had arrived at Sam’s Place. For the last three days the old man had remained bedridden. His face was flushed, his eyes had a glassy look. Everyone knew the end was near.

Bill had taken over the outside chores Taking care of the hot-house and hauling the fruit and vegetables to market. Joe, was playing the part of a male nurse, helping take care of the old man.

It was Saturday afternoon, and the day was sunny and bright. Bill had gone to town after groceries. Joe and Laura were seated at the table under the orange tree; a cold glass of orange juice in front of each of them.

With every passing day, Joe felt himself falling for this pretty young lady. Each day, she was becoming more beautiful Now that she had a couple of good helpers, she had plenty of time to take care of herself.

Joe toyed with the glass in his hand, glancing up now and then to take a peek at the girl in front of him.

Laura’s short cut curly brown hair was neatly combed. Under the big blue eyes was a trace of eye shadow. The pearly white teeth were bright and glistening. The tired look had vanished.

“God, you look pretty today.” Joe told her. “You are a very beautiful woman.”

“Thanks, Joe. Now that I have some help around here, I can spend a little time on myself. I was, getting about worn out.”

“How come” Joe asked, “that a beautiful girl like you, turns out to be a house-keeper? You look more like a model in a big department store. Either that, or a movie star!”

Laure smiled. “Keep talking, flattery will get you anywhere!”

“I am not kidding.”

“It’s a long story.”

“I would love to hear it.”

“I don’t think you would find it very interesting.”

“Let me be the judge of that.”

“What would you like to know about me?”

Joe grinned, “Everything! Start back when you were a little kid. Where were you born? What did your parents do?”

Laura picked up her glass and took a swallow of the orange juice. She set the glass down and for a moment sat staring at the man across the table. “There is some of my past,” she said slowly, “that I am not too proud of. Talking about it, will probably bring back a lot of unpleasant memories.”

“Then let’s talk about something else.”

The girl shook her head. “No, I will tell you. Otherwise, you will think I was really bad.”

“Get going. I am a good listener!”

“Just what do you want to know? Go ahead and ask me a few questions.”

“Okay, how old are you, Laura?”

“Twenty five, coming on twenty six.”

“I don’t even know your last name.”

“Adams. Laura Lorena Adams.”

“Are you a native? Were you born here?”

“No, I was born and raised in Texas – deep in the heart of Texas.”

“I don’t detect any Texas draw.”

“I must have lost it somewhere along the way.”

“How long have you been here in Yuma?”

Laura? closed; her eyes and leaned back in the chair. “It’s been a little over two years. I went to work for your father shortly after I came here.”

“And you have no relatives; here?”

Laura slowly shook her head. “I don’t have any relatives anywhere, Joe. I was an orphan and no one wanted me, I guess.”

“Whatever brought you out here?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Just curious, I guess, but it does seem odd that a pretty young thing like you, would be here all by yourself.”

Laura sighed, “Maybe it would do me good to talk about it. I have kept everything bottled up for so long.”

“Sometimes it’s good to get a load off your chest.”

“I guess I might just as well. I’ll cut it as short as I can. My childhood days weren’t happy ones. I spent most of my time in an orphanage. I got tired of staying there, so I pulled out.

“I was just thirteen. I painted up my face so as I would look older and got a job in a restaurant. It was sort of a roadhouse, far out in the country. The people there sort of adopted me. I was there for two years.

“I bought me a guitar and learned to play it. I practiced singing, mostly country and western. Everyone said I was good and I entertained when I was not waiting on tables.

“As I grew older, I wanted to get out of there. There were very few young people in that neighborhood, and no good-looking boys about my age. Then one day, a big bus stopped there. The big red letters on the side of It read, DARREL GAINS AND HIS TEXAS RANGERS.

“It was a traveling band and they were just passing through. They stopped for dinner. I sang for them. I guess they were quite impressed, for they gave me a big hand

“Darrel Gaines, was the leader of the band. He was young and handsome. I fell for him. They stayed there and entertained for about a week. When they pulled out, I went with them.

“Darrel had a wife somewhere. But getting married didn’t seem too important to me. I guess; I was star struck and had big dreams of the future.

“We had good times and bad. Darrel couldn’t leave the bottle alone. Also he used hard drugs, taking anything that was available. I wanted to get away from them but I had nowhere to go.

“The years; passed. Then one day we came here to Yuma. We got a job playing; in one of the local clubs. We were staying at a motel out on thirty second street. That was our last night together.

“That night I had a terrible headache. I guess I was lucky. I took a couple of aspirins and curled up on the couch. I was watching the ten o’clock news on T.V. and got the surprise of my life. There had been a terrible wreck.. Our bus had left the road, rolled over and burst into flames. Everyone was killed.”

Laura quit talking and wiped her eyes.

“I had about twenty dollars Almost broke and nowhere to go. I bought a newspaper and went through the want ads. I answered the one that; read. ‘Housekeeper Wanted. Board, room and salary.’ I got the job and have been here ever since.”

Laura quit talking for a moment, then smiled. “Anything else you would like to know?”

Joe shook his head. “I think you covered most everything. And thanks a lot! You sure have nothing to be ashamed of.” He stood up and helped the girl to her feet. “You sure haven’t had a very happy life.”

Laura looked up at him. “These last couple of years, hasn’t been so bad. I have had a roof over my head and knew where the next meal was coming from. And your father, Joe has been so kind to me. I love him like he was my real father. I will miss him so much.”

Joe nodded. “I know what you mean. Bill and myself, have also had some tough breaks these- last few years. Maybe it’s about time that lady luck starts smiling down on us. At least let’s hope she does.”

“I am in favor of that. And now that you know all about me, why don’t we talk about something else?”

“Okay, and there is, something else.” Joe reached in his shirt pocket and drew out several small sections of the bulb that grew in the hothouse. He laid them down on the table. “What do you know about these little fellers?” he asked.

Laura picked up one of the sections and turned it around in her hand. “Looks like Garlic, doesn’t it?”

“It sure? does. But you know darn well it isn’t. Pop has told Bill and me all about it. I was just wondering what you knew about the stuff.”

Laura smiled. “Your father told me quite a story about these things. He calls it a love potion that works by putting it in either food or drink. Is that what he told you?”

Joe nodded. “Yes, And it makes quite a story. I can see no reason for him to fabricate such a yarn.”

“Don’t you believe him Joe?”

“Yes, but he might have gotten carried away, a bit.”

“Your father don’t lie!”

“I didn’t mean that. He thinks the stuff is worth a lot of money and could be marketed. I wish I was as certain about this as he is.”

“He should know. He had a very personal experience with it. Do you understand?”

“Yes, and I guess that is about what it would take to make one out of me. Bill and I have had a tough break, these last few years. We lost a lot of money on holding a lot of big gas guzzling cars. We thought they would come back.”

The trace of a smile, crept over the face of Laura Adams. “If you want to make sure, Joe. Why don’t you take some of it yourself?”

“And! what would I do, Laura. Fall in love with myself?”

The smile broadened “I would be glad to help. We could run an experiment.”

“You and me?”

“No one would need to know. Besides I think it would be fun. I do like you, Joe. A lot!”

Joe slid around the table and looked down into the deep blue eyes. He gently kissed the curved red lips. Already, life was more: beautiful!

The Love Potion, Chapters 7 & 8

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 7

Another week passed and Sam Bishop died. The body put to rest in the local cemetery. Bill, Joe and Laura, were seated in the front room of the House. The lawyer, Paul Levie, was just leaving. He had read the will, then explained. “Sam didn’t want to complicate things by dying. That is why he sold this place to miss Laura Adams, for the sum of one dollar and other considerations. He also gave her a bill of sale for the furniture and the pickup and several other items .” He had grinned at Bill and Joe. “I don’t quite understand this, but he says you will understand; You two boys, get all the seeds and bulbs of the. plant, which he calls, THE LOVE POTION. I guess he considered these items quite valuable.”

“What do we owe you?” Bill asked.

“Not a damn thing! Sam took care of that already.” Levie picked up his hat and opened the door. “Good day, folks. And good luck to you!”

After the door closed behind him, Bill broke the silence. “Well brother Joe, it looks like it’s about time for us to move on. Gather up our stuff and head for home.”

“Yes, I guess we must As bad as I hate to.. .”

Laura’s eyes were bright. Tears made them glisten. “Don’t go just yet, please! I couldn’t stand to be alone. Stay for a few days, at least.” Bill turned to his brother. “What do you think? old buddy!”

Joe nodded. “I think we should. We also, have to make plans. We got to decide? what we are going to do with all that stuff in the hot-house. We can’t just run off and leave it here.”

“Please, Bill!” Laura’s voice was pleading.

“O.K. We will stay for a few more days. But at least one of us; had better get our butt over to El Monte, pretty soon. After all, we got a business over there At least I hope we? still do.”

Joe nodded. “We will call Cliff again this afternoon. Cliff Harris. He is our manager over there, Laura. If he says everything is alright, we will both stay awhile. If he needs anything, Bill can run over and help him out. Right, Bill?”

“I guess so.”

“Then It’s all settled. So why don’t we quit grieving and get busy. Bill, you go out and pick the tomatoes and take them to market. Laura and I will clean up this place and get dinner.”

Bill stood staring at his brother-. “Boy, you are sure getting bossy!”

Joe grinned, “Someone has got to take charge around here. Get going, brother dear!”

Bill, picked the tomatoes and loaded them in the pickup. It would soon be Thanksgiving, and the weather was; still quite warm. The mercury climbed to the upper eighties in the daytime, then dropping down into the sixties at night. This was perfect weather, for the thousands of winter visitors that come to spend the winter. Snow-Birds they were called and were mostly elderly retired people who filled the many trailer parks.

A good racket to get into Bill thought If he and Joe had been a little more diversified, and had gone into several different ventures, they would of been a lot better off, but now they had a chance to go into something different.

Yes quite different!

The old man had willed them, two or three tons of those bulbs piled in the storage room and enough seed, to plant acres of the stuff.

Bill wanted to believe the old man’s story, and he did1 believe it, at least to a certain point, but at times, there was that little bit of doubt that kept creeping Into his mind.

The old man had been terribly lonesome, down there in the jungle searching for gold. This pretty young girl had turned on all her charm. Was it her, or this LOVE POTION, that had affected his mind? Or could it be a combination of both? Surely, there was a way to find out.

Then suddenly an idea come to him. It was plain to see that brother Joe and Laura, were having an affair. Why not experiment on them? The bulb was harmless? and had no bad after affects. He could spike the coffee and the orange juice, then he could take Joe back to El Monte and keep an eye on him.

There was a cute little dish over there, that Joe had been courting. He would see that they got together again and watch the results. If Joe couldn’t stay away from Laura for at least a few days, he would be convinced that the stuff was really working!

It would be sort of a dirty trick, pulling something like-that on his dear brother, but what the hell! It would all be for a good cause. Before they invested the last of their fortune on this venture, they had better make sure the stuff worked!

Then another thought come to his mind It was plain to see that Joe was fast falling in love. Was Laura feeding him the Potion? Maybe he was under the influence of it already

Maybe he had better just keep a sharp eye open and make sure! He sure didn’t want to do anything to hurt his dear brother!

Then another Idea struck him. Why experiment on Joe? Why not take the stuff himself? There was that cute little blond bar maid at the tavern on fourth? avenue, that he had been seeing quite a lot of lately. She was sexy, desirable and available.

Bill walked back to the store room, opened the door and turned on the light. He walked over to the pile of sacks and opened one of them. He took out several of the bulbs and laid them down on the table. Each one, he took separately and rubbed it briskly between his palms, then blew away the cover.

He found” a small paper sack in the cupboard, then poured the small kernels inside All but two! These he popped into his mouth and began to chew.

Minutes later he climbed into the pickup and started the motor. He would take the tomatoes to market, then head for the tavern.

He would just play it by ear. But somehow or another, he would get that pretty little gal to swallow a couple of these! Then, the great experiment would be on! In a couple of weeks’ time, he should have a lot of the answers!


Chapter 8

Joe stood watching through the slightly parted curtains as brother Bill pulled out of the driveway, headed for town.

Laura was sitting on the couch, a compact in one hand, a tube of lipstick In the other. She turned her head and smiled at Joe. “Is he gone?”

“Yes, on his way to the market.” he walked over to the couch and looked down at Laura. “Feeling better now?”

Laura got to her feet and slipped both arms around Joe’s neck. “Much better.” she whispered. “Now that I know you are going to stay awhile.”

“You couldn’t run me off with a club, sweetie.” Joe put both arms around her and drew her close. “You know that I love you.”

“And I love you so much.” The red lips were parted. “Kiss me darling!”

Joe pulled her warm body close. Her lingering kiss was soft and sweet. Suddenly he released her. He sat down on the couch and pulled her down beside him. There was a serious look on his face. “Sweetie.” he whispered “I do love you. And this is not the LOVE POTION: talking. This is me.”

Laura snuggled dose to him. Her warm breath was in his ear.

“I know, Joe darling. And this is also me. And let me tell you something else. I was in love with you, long before we started running this test.”

“And I was also in love with you.”

“If I hadn’t been in love with you darling, I sure wouldn’t of volunteered to run this experiment. You know that, don’t you?”

“Yes, sweetie, And it works both ways. I was crazy about you, the minute I set eyes on you. You made my blood boil!”

“Oh Joe, I am so glad. I have never loved anyone like this; before! And I never dreamed that sex could be so wonderful!” Her deft fingers un-buttoned the front of his shirt. A warm hand stole inside.

“You little devil.” Joe whispered.

“Don’t you like me to feel you?”

“I love it! You know that!

“I want yon Joe, I need you!”

“Then what are we waiting for!” He jumped to his feet, the girl was in his arms, he carried her to her bedroom and lay her gently down. He kissed the soft neck and whispered in her ear. “The last one undressed, is a rotten egg!”

Her white teeth, bit him on the ear. “It’s a deal!”

A shower of buttons filled the air.

Bill delivered the tomatoes to several fruit stands and several grocery stores. When he was finished, he glanced at his watch. One thirty.

The Happy Hour at Genie’s Tavern, was from two to five. They had drinks for about half price, and the place was always busy during this period. If he went right over there now, very likely it would be deserted He would get a chance to talk to this pretty little blond, without a lot of people butting in.

He was getting rather hungry, and should eat. But what the Hell That could wait. He reached! into the sack on the seat beside him and popped another kernel into his mouth.

A lot like popcorn He thought There didn’t seem to be a place to quit!

Besides, he thought, that brother Joe was having a ball. Probably right now, he was getting a little! Damn his hide, anyhow!

He reached into the sack and drew out a hand full of the little kernels. For a second, he eyed them, “Better not,” he muttered. “Take it easy.”

He dropped all but two, back into the sack. These, he tossed into his mouth. “A couple more shouldn’t hurt!” He switched on the motor and took off.

Minutes later, he parked the pickup) and crawled out. The parking lot was empty. Very likely so was the place inside. He hoped that Genie was not sore at him He had not been here, or called for several days. He had been very busy. He hoped she would understand.

They had got along great and had a good time There had been no Hanky Panky, and he had been a perfect gentleman… too much of a gentleman!

But now, somehow or other, things looked different! That damn Joe, having all the fun and him doing all the work.

He opened the door and stepped inside. The pretty blond was behind the plank. Bill selected a stool and sat down. He put on his best smile. “Hi, Sweetie. How about a bottle of Bud?”

“Hello Bill. Gosh, it is good to see you.” She set the beer in front of him, along with a frosted glass. “I thought maybe you had left the country.”

“Without telling you goodbye? You know better than that!”

“But you haven’t been in or called.”

“I had a good reason, darling! You remember me telling you that my father…”

“Oh Bill, don’t tell me.”

“We buried him yesterday.”

“Oh, I am so sorry! And here I was, thinking bad things about you!”

“Well, you can quit that now. From here on out, you are going to see a lot of me!”

“I am glad.”

Bill stood up and leaned over the bar. “Come here, sweetie, closer.”

Genie stepped up close, her eyes were big and round. Bills arms reached out and went around her. He pulled her close. His voice was soft and low. “I love you, Genie.”

“Bill, have you been drinking?”

“Nary a drop. Do you think I would have to be drunk to fall in love with you?”

“I hope not, but. ..”

“No butts. Kiss me darling!

“Genie closed her eyes and moved closer. Her red lips parted. Bill put his heart and soul in that kiss. Finally, out of breath he moved back. His face was flushed.

Genie moved forward, “More, Bill, more!”

Bill kissed her gently. “That’s all you get for now, sweetheart. But look out for tonight!”

“I will be ready. Oh Bill, I am so glad! And how could I help but love you. You are so sweet!” Bill sat down on the stool and glanced at his watch. “In about ten minutes, the crowd would start coming in. By the way, have you had lunch yet?”

“Not yet. I have a sandwich and a glass of orange juice, in the refrigerator. I was just getting ready to eat a bite.”

Bill got to his feet and headed for the door. A brainstorm had just entered his head. He turned and smiled1 at the girl behind the bar. “I am as hungry as a bear. Don’t eat a cold sandwich. I will be right back with a couple of big Mac’s and some hot coffee.” He opened the door and stepped outside.

It was only a few blocks to the drive-in window. In a few minutes he was there and placed his order. It would take a little while.

But the time was not going to waste! There was a box of Kleenex on the seat beside him. He removed a couple of the sheets and lay them down beside him. He took his knife from his pocket and went to work. A half dozen or so of these kernels cut up fine, would never be noticed. Besides, he had a big head start on that sweet young thing and he didn’t think that would be fair to her. Besides, time was wasting.

The Love Potion, Chapters 9 & 10

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 9

Joe put away the vacuum cleaner and sat down on the couch. His chore was finished. Laura was out in the hothouse, making up some flower bouquets for the wedding chapel. They had phoned in the order.

“This life can be really beautiful,” Joe thought, “and this woman of mine is really something!”

It was all like a dream come true. Whether or not the LOVE POTION that both of them had been taking twice a day, had anything to do with it, he was not certain. All he knew was that he was madly in love with her, and nothing in the world could change that.

His mind drifted back to the woman he had married. Oh, she was pretty enough, and at times she could be real nice, but not very often!

She really liked to quarrel. She found fault with everything. She delighted in giving him hell for small things like leaving the lid off the toilet seat! She treated this, as a major crime!

She spent hours in the bath tub. Every day, filling it full of bubbly and just lying there! She couldn’t have been dirty, at least, not on the outside!

He had tried to keep up with her, as far as cleanliness was concerned. After a day’s work, he would come home and head for the bathroom.

For a while, he had got by with, this. But not for long!

The shower was just off the kitchen. As soon as she heard the sound of water running, she would turn on the minute minder on the stove. The second the water went off; she stopped the thing.

After a brisk rub-down, he would slip on a pair of shorts and come out. She would curl back her upper lip into a snarl, that would scare hell out of a Doberman Pincher! She would point at the minute minder and shriek. “Don’t tell me you got that filthy hide of yours clean in just ten minutes!”

Sometimes it would be fifteen or twenty, but the results were always the same. And this, all happened in the bath room!

When a woman is young and in her prime she is a beautiful creature. God had meant it to be that way Some of them keep right on being beatlful. Of course they fade and wrinkle, but down underneath, the beauty is still there.

Joe could see no way, that a woman with the disposition of his ex-wife, could retain any of her beauty. As the years passed she would become old, ugly, mean and nasty!

Then suddenly a pleasant thought entered his head. Maybe it was all for the best! Maybe now, he would appreciate this wonderful woman, „.Laura Adams

Bill drove into the driveway and parked: the pickup. He got out and walked up the steps to the back door. Joe was there to open it for him. “Come in Bill. How goes the battle? Get rid of all the tomatoes?”

“Sure, no trouble.” he reached in his pocket and drew out a hand full of crinkled bills and laid them on the table.

Laura came out of the living room into the kitchen. “I will fix you some dinner. I’ll bet you are starved.”

Bill shook his head. “Don’t do that. I got hungry, so I ate a bite uptown,” he grinned. “I stopped in and had a cold beer at Genie’s. We were both hungry, so I slipped out and got us both a hot sandwich.”

“Is that the pretty blonde’s name where we had that beer when we first got here?”

“That’s the one. Do you approve?”

Joe laughed “Naturally, brother dear. I think that is great. And now that you are home and can look after things here for awhile, we have a little job to do. Got to deliver some flowers to the wedding chapel. So if you will excuse us.”

“Go right ahead. And Laura. How about borrowing your kitchen while you are gone? Want to use your juicer and blender, for a little bit. I am invited to a party tonight and I am supposed to bring some fresh orange juice.”

“Sure; anytime You don’t need to ask!”

The couple walked outside and got into the car. Evidently the flowers were packed and ready to go. Joe started the motor and they took off.

“Sure make a lovely couple,” Bill murmered. “That girl is blooming like a rose ”

He had made plans of his own and didn’t waste any time. He headed for the hothouse and picked up several of those lumpy bulbs. Next, he picked a basket full of oranges from a tree that bore a fruit that was juicy and sweet. Then he headed for the kitchen.

He found a gallon jug and went to work. With the electric powered juicer going, it didn’t take long to fill it to the brim. He poured some of it into a glass and tasted it. “Great.” He muttered “Just great!”

He cleaned up the juicer and put it away. The next step, was the blender He plugged it in, set it on high then turned to the bulbs.

He ripped two off them apart and counted the kernels Twelve in each, twenty-four in all.

He did some fast figuring: eight pints to the gallon, a glass would hold about eight ounces – about sixteen glasses to the gallon.

Genie told him that she always drank a glass; of orange juice for breakfast as well as one with her lunch at noon.

Pop had said, “Two or three off these little kernels a day, and a woman will bloom like a rose. If you double the potion and she didn’t have a man, she would go looking for one.

Bill did some more fast figuring. This gallon would last her, eight days. That would be three kernels a day – a mild Potion

He rubbed the cover off another bulb for another twelve kernels. He put them in with the others. They didn’t seem to amount to that much.

Pop said this stuff had no bad affects and was not habit forming. He had better use enough of it to give it a good test. He reached for another bulb!

He put the lid on the blender and turned on the switch. In a few moments the bulbs were as fine as powder.

His next step was mixing the powder and the juice. He put the mixture in some big bowls and stirred with a spoon and then poured it in the blender. Minutes later, he poured it back into the jug. It was full to the top with a little bit left over. He wondered how it would taste. Well, there was only one way to find out!

He went over to the frig and popped a couple off ice cubes out of the tray. This would cool it down a bit. He rattled the mixture around for a moment then took a sip. “Not bad! Not bad at all. He took another taste. “In fact, it’s damn good!”

He set the glass down, cleaned up the mess and poured another helping into the glass. Then he filled the jug to the top with water’. The stuff was too sweet anyhow.

Bill had a date tonight with Genie. He would pick her up at seven O’clock. She lived in a small house across the river on the California side in the town of Winterhaven.

He had better take it easy, watch his step and not let himself get carried away. Once was enough living with a woman like the one he had taken for a wife.

She was very much like the sister Joe had married. Yes, she even growled when he left the toilet seat up. He couldn’t figure out why a little thing like this, would upset her so much.

And that snarl. The upper lip rolled up and back… and those terrible sounds that went with it.

Yes, she was a mean one alright. And to top everything off, she was a nocturnal! Would sleep all day and prowl around all night. She would never go to bed until the late late show was over on T.V. Then usually she turned on the short wave radio and listened to the truckers.

When she gets old she would be an old bat for sure. A ding bat!

When she was awake in the daytime there was always that cigarette in her mouth and a cup of coffee in her hand. No wonder she couldn’t sleep!

In the evening when he returned from work, he would open a bottle of beer and sit down for a moment. “You are a regular damn drunk!” she would yell.

Yes, she was; full off all kinds off nasty tricks. The last and latest was that snoring bit. When she would finally come to bed, she would lay there and cough for about an hour, a result of smoking too much. When sleep finally came, she would snore, and snore, and snore.

By this time, he would be wide: awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. He had tried rolling her over gently, to see if that would help. Usually, this backfired. She would be all elbows and claws and would scream, “That damn snoring of yours, keeps me awake! I can’t stand it!” Then she would get up and head for the couch.

Bill set down the empty glass and looked over at the full jug. He was still thirsty and got up and picked the thing up and put it in the frig. Better not drink any more, he thought. A good cold glass of water, would have to do for now.


Chapter 10

Bill Bishop, parked the pickup in front of the twelve wide mobile home and got out. In his left hand was a beautiful bouquet of flowers that he had cut and wrapped in a damp piece of newspaper. In his right hand, was a gallon jug of orange juice. He glanced at the watch on his wrist. Seven O’clock; right on time.

Genie had the door open wide. “Come on in, Bill. What in the world have you got here??” Bill grinned and handed her the bouquet. “Flowers for a very beautiful lady.”

The girl un-wrapped the flowers and stared at them for a moment. Her eyes grew big and round. “Oh Bill, I have never seen anything so beautiful! Where in the world did you get them?”

“Cut them myself. Right out: of the hothouse.” He set the jug off juice on the table. “Also for the prettiest girl in the country, who told me she likes orange juice, I squeezed this out all by myself.”

“Oh Bill, you are a darling. I could kiss you.”

“Why don’t you?” He held out his arms.

The girl came into them and snuggled close. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted. The tantalizing smell off the perfume she was wearing, seemed to enhance her beauty. He drew the slender body close and kissed the soft red lips. She responded to every touch. Suddenly a warning signal flashed through his brain. Take it easy. Don’t get carried away.

He released the girl and smiled down at her. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes bright and shining. His own blood felt like it was about to boil over.

He glanced at the gallon jug setting on the table. He had chewed up several of those little kernels today, plus a glass off the juice. Did that have anything to do with this sudden passionate feeling that he had suddenly acquired for this lovely creature?

His eyes moved back to the girl standing in front of him. The pretty, naturally blond hair parted in the middle, hung in shimmering waves. The sky-blue eyes were full off shining stars. From the top of her head to the tip of her shoes, she was a thing of beauty. Probably that stuff in the Jug, had nothing to do with his feelings toward her. Why let it spoil everything! Once more his strong arms encircled the slender waist and; drew her close. He kissed her gently and whispered.

“Darling you are the greatest. And I think I am falling in love with you.”

“And I feel the same way.”

“I feel like celebrating. Where shall we go tonight?” “I don’t care. Shall I mix us a drink and we will talk this over?”

She stepped back and picked up the flowers, “I must put these beautiful things in water.”

“Sounds like a winner.”

“So you just make yourself at home, and I will do just that.”

I have a bottle of Vodka and can stir up a couple off screwdrivers. How does that sound?”

“Great. I see you got a nice stereo and lots off records. Mind if I take a look?”

“Not a bit. If you find something you would like to hear, put it on.” She picked up the flowers and the juice then disappeared into the kitchen.

Bill was a great lover of music. So was Genie, it appeared. About a hundred’ albums off long playing records were in a metal rack. Right at the head off the list, was one of his favorite recording stars. Kenny Rogers. He put it on the turntable and adjusted the volume.

Hanging on the wall between the two speakers, was a framed diploma. Bill stepped up close and looked it over. It said Genie Louise King was now a Certified Public Accountant. Just under it was another. A license to practice in the state off California.

Genie came walking back in and placed the vase full of flowers on the table. “Got them in water now. Aren’t they beautiful?”

“They sure are. But not nearly as pretty as you.”

“Thanks, Bill. Now I will go fix the drinks.”

Bill set down on the couch and closed! his eyes. Kenny was now singing one of his old favorites. “The Gambler.”

Genie brought in two tall glasses filled with cracked ice, orange juice and vodka. She set them on the end table and sat down beside Bill.

He picked up the glass and stared at it for a moment. The bright red color was a dead! giveaway. It was the LOVE POTION!

OH well, he thought Another glass or so shouldn’t be too much. He would get this test over with. God hates a coward!

“Here’s to you, sweetheart.” he grinned.

“And the same to you! “

They clinked glasses and each took a swallow.

“I see you looking at my diploma and license on the wall. Were you suprised?”

“I guess so. Just a little.”

“Did you read the dates on them?”

“I didn’t look at the fine print.”

“I hope you approve. I am real proud of them. I just got the license a few days ago.”

“You must be a Californian.”

“Yes, I was born and raised in L.A. I went to college and took up bookkeeping. When I graduated I got a Job keeping books for a guy that called himself, The Crazy Trader. A used car dealer.”

“You worked for The Crazy Trader?”

“Yes, for about three years. I went to school nights, and worked days. Did you know him? You mentioned something the other night, about you and your brother being in the automobile business over there.”

Bill shook his head. “I have never met him personally, but I have heard about him.”

Genie smiled, “Nothing good, I would bet. He is as crooked as a snake I was glad to get out of there. I hope I didn’t get contaminated. But let’s talk about something else.”

“I like to talk about you. I am curious. Whatever brought you over here? Did you buy that tavern in Yuma?”

Genie took a drink from the tall glass, then set It down. “I am flattered that you are Interested in me, so I will tell you. Mother and dad, split up years ago. I don’t know where she is now. My dad, was a bartender. That is the only business he knew When I was twenty one, he sold out and moved to Yuma.

That was five years ago. He bought that tavern and ran it until he died. That was this last spring. I was the only heir.

Business was very slow at that time of year when all the Snow Birds; pull out.”

“And you have been running it since then?”

“Yes. And now that I have my license, and business in the tavern has picked up, I think I will sell the darn thing and go in business for myself. What do you think?”

Bill picked up the glass in front of him. “I think it is time for a drink.. Here’s to your success.”

Both glasses were raised. “Here’s to both of us!”

Genie sat her glass down and licked her lips. “Boy, that is sure good orange juice. A lot different than that canned or frozen junk you buy out of the stores.”

Bill took another sip and! nodded his head. “Sure Is good, alright. I made it from those little Keno oranges There Is a couple trees of them over there. They have a lot of seeds, but the juice is great . I threw away the seeds, then added some LOVE POTION for flavor.”

The” girl moved closer. “And what is this love potion?”

Bill slipped an arm around her and drew her close. “Darling, it is a flower that grows in the hothouse. It comes from Central America Legend has it that adding the root to food or drink, stimulates love and affection.”

“Oh Bill, you are so sweet. Bringing me flowers, and even some in the orange juice. How romantic!”

 Both glasses were dry. “Would you care for another?” Genie asked. “Hadn’t better drink any more and drive. They are getting mighty tough, here In California.”

“I know.” “Would you like me to take you out to dinner? Or maybe to a club and dance a bit?”

The girl snuggled closer. “I guess I am not in a dancing mood, darling. And as far as something to eat, I can make some sandwiches right here. If we want to dance, we have music. We can take off our shoes and dance on the rug.”

Bill took the girl in his arms and kissed the red lips. Her slender white arms were wrapped around him, drawing him closer. Her voice was soft and low. “Oh Bill, I love you so much! I don’t know what happened, I guess you just swept me off my feet! Let’s not go anywhere!”

“If I drink anymore.” Bill whispered. “I will stay till morning.”

Her hot breath was in his ear. “Is that a promise?”

“I mean it.”

The girl broke away and picked up the two glasses. As she glided toward the kitchen, she turned her head. There was a big smile on her face. “Stay right there, I will be back in a flash!”

The Love Potion, Chapters 11 & 12

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 11

It was ten thirty the following morning, when Bill pulled into the driveway. He shut off the motor and got out.

Joe and Laura were sitting at the table on the back porch. This was a favorite spot, these chilly mornings. The sun’s rays found their way under the high celling of the roof.

Bill walked up the steps and greeted the pair. There was a big grin on his face. “Good morning, folks.”

“Grab a chair and sit down!” Joe growled

“And where the hell have you been!”

“None of your business, of course.” He sat down and leaned back in the chair. He closed his eyes; the smile grew larger.

Joe turned to Laura. “Look at that grin on his face. He looks like the cat that swallowed the canary.”

Laura laughed. “And look at the lipstick on his face.”

Bill opened one eye and looked down his nose. “I don’t see any.”

Laura got to her feet. “I will go make some coffee and leave you two guy’s alone. Maybe you have something you would like to talk over.” She opened the door and went into the house.

For a minute or so, both men set there. Each waiting for the other. It was Joe that broke the silence. “Brother dear, I think we do have something to talk about. In fact, quite a bit.”

Bill nodded. “Yes, I think it is about time. You go ahead and report. I will follow up later.”

Joe cleared his throat. “Laura and I are in love, and one of these days we will tie the knot. We want your blessing.”

“You will get it.”

“Now what I really wanted to talk about was Pop’s LOVE POTION. Laura and I got to talking about it the other day and we decided with us already being in love, there would be no harm in running a test. This would remove all doubts in case we decided to merchandise the product.”

A knowing grin was on Bill’s face, “I thought so.”

“So after several days and a lot of happy nights, we came to the conclusion…”

“You need to say no more, brother dear. I also, have Indulged. Genie and I tried it out.”

“Pop sure didn’t lie.”

“He sure as hell didn’t. And he seemed to think that there was a fortune to be made.”

Joe nodded, “Last night after you left, Laura and I found the book Pop had wrote. He kept a record of everything, and now I believe every word of it. We’ve got to do something, Bill. If we can figure out a way to merchandise the stuff, I think we should give it a whirl!”

“Me too. But what the hell are we going to use for money?” He pulled out his check-book and thumbed through the pages. “I got a couple of thousand left, and that’s all!”

Joe nodded. “And I got about the same. Sure not much to show for the fortune we inherited.”

“We still got that one car lot over in EL Monte. Maybe we could salvage something there.”

“Maybe. There was about sixty cars on it when we left there. They should be worth something!”

“We sure goofed when we went into the automobile business – not knowing a damn thing about it. We should have our heads examined.”

“I know it. And those two women we married, got away with all the cash.” The two men stared at each other for a moment; then both of them burst out laughing.

Joe wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “I have been thinking,” he said. “about that car lot in EL Monte. There is barely enough capitol in our corporation’s bank account, to keep the thing going. At least that is what Cliff says. I called him last night.”

“I think we should close it up and save what we can!”

“Sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should take a run over there, in a couple of days. Maybe we can salvage something!”


Chapter 12

The day passed quickly. Bill was humming a merry tune.

Maybe he and Joe were about broke, but where could you find two happier guys? Each of them had a good woman, and love was grand. This LOVE POTION sure works wonders, he decided. It really does something to a person to make them understanding the meaning of the word.

Pop had said that it could change the whole world, and he was right. Good old dad! Thank God they had listened to his story! They were both broke and bitter when they had arrived but now the world looked bright! Everything was rosy.

The world needed a product like this, he thought. Find the one you love, take a little of this every day, and you will be the happiest person in the world!

There should be a fortune in raising and marketing the bulb, he thought. They must figure out a way to go about it. There were so many different laws governing the sale of a product of this kind so they had better be careful. They had better get a lawyer.

Bill glanced at his watch. Six-thirty. Genie got off work at seven. He would be there to pick her up. He got into the pickup and headed for town.

It was three days, s.1nce he had ground up the bulbs and blended it with the orange juice. Three wonderful days, and what wonderful nights!

He had been honest. He had told her about the LOVE POTION. She had laughed and cried. “Whatever it is that makes me love you so much, don’t change it! I am so happy!”

The girl wanted to sell the tavern, then go in business for herself. The town was now full of winter visitors and business was good so it seemed to be the proper time to sell for a good price. She was running an ad in the local newspaper, but so far, no results.

Bill parked the pickup and went inside. Genie was behind the bar, checking out the cash register, turning it over to the hired girl, for the rest of the day. She turned and smiled at Bill “Be with you in a minute, darling.”

Bill found a vacant stool and sat down. The place was quite crowded and business was usually good this time of the evening. Genie finished checking out and walked around the end of the bar, the money sack in her hand. “Ready?” she asked.

Bill took her by the arm and they stepped outside. He slipped his arms around her waist and drew? her close. He kissed the soft lips. “How about taking you out to dinner, tonight?”

Genie looked! up at him. “Sounds great! And tonight, I am buying!”

“Oh no, you are not!” Bill opened the pickup door and helped her inside. He walked around to the driver’s side and slipped under the wheel. Genie moved over close, “Oh yes I am, darling! Oh bill, I have good news. I sold the place!”

Bill was surprised. “Sold out? And you got the money?”

Genie’s eyes were shining. “Sold out and got part off the money down. Will get the rest, when he takes over tomorrow!”

Bill grinned. “In that case, I guess it will be alright. Where shall we go?”

“There is a good Mexican cafe up the street a few blocks. They also stir up mighty fine Margaritas.”

Bill switched on the motor. “Sounds like a winner!”

The Loved Potion, Chapters 13 & 14

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By Ted Dewey

Chapter 13

The board with the name, SAM’S PLACE printed on it, had fallen off the pecan tree. Laura had picked it up and took it in the house. Using fresh paint, she had worked over the letters, making them bright and shiny. Although the old man had willed her most everything, she insisted that the board be put back. As far as she was concerned, it would always be SAM’S PLACE.

Bill and! Joe had just finished hanging it back in place and retreated to their favorite spot, the back porch. “Well how is your love life coming along?” Joe asked.

“Great. Just great. And you?”

“Couldn’t be better. Genie sold the tavern, yesterday.”

“Oh yeah? Did she get a good price out of it?”

“I guess; she got what she was asking for it.”

“What does she intend to do now?”

“Going into business for herself, I guess. She is a C.P.A. and has a California license to practice.”

“Oh yeah? I wish we had taken up something like that instead of that damn car business. Either that or not doing anything would have been better. We just kept right on being a couple of playboys. We were good at that!”

“You can say that again. We shouldn’t have let that smooth talking Harris get us involved.”

Bill nodded. “The way he made it sound, we couldn’t lose. Form a cooperation, we supply all the money and let him run the show. Thanks to him we had to keep putting money back in the business, which was supposed to grow, and we would have to pay very little income tax.”

“It sure sounded good, alright. And I guess we weren’t doing too bad, until we got stuck with all those big gas guzzling cars?”

“I suppose we should blame the Japanese. Everyone seems to be buying their cars. Detroit sure wasn’t on the ball!”

“You can say that again.”

“But it is not only cars, brother dear. Everything else, is going to hell. Looks like we are headed for a big depression.”

“Right you are. And I think we had better take our beating and sell out over there. Then we can take what’s left and give this venture, a whirl! What do you think?”

“I agree with you entirely. We own everything; including all the stock, so there won’t be anyone to vote against us. We will get rid of all the cars, divide the money and will bring this nightmare to an end.”

“Let’s get the four of us together and make plans. How does that sound? “

“Great.” Bill grinned. “To make sure everything is on the level, we will take along a C.P.A. We will be Genie’s first customer!”

Laura had gone to town to pay the beauty parlor a visit. She wanted to look her best. She wanted Joe to be proud of her, when they arrived in EL Monte tomorrow.

Bill had explained to his brother, how he had ground up the bulbs in the blender. This had sounded like a good idea to Joe. They had better take along some just in case. They took down the blender from the shelf and got busy. In a short time, a two-pound coffee can was full to the brim.

Each man took a small amount in a spoon and tasted, “Got just a little bit of a cinnamon taste,” Joe smacked his lips.

Bill nodded. “It would go good in pumpkin pie.”

“It is sure potent stuff. Maybe we should dilute it a bit and mix something else with it.”

“Like what?”

“Well, powdered sugar, for instance. .” He eyed the row of labeled cans on the lower cupboard shelf. He took down the one that POWRERED SUGAR was printed on the side, then removed the lid The container was full

Joe grinned. “Well what do you think?”

“Let’s just mix a couple of spoons off the stuff, then taste.”

“A good idea.” Joe put a spoon full of each in a glass and stirred. When they were well mixed, each took a sample. “Just the same, only a little bit sweeter. Dump them together. That way we will have twice as much. A can each.”

“I wonder how a tea spoon full would go in a glass of ice cold lemonade.”

“We had better find out. We want all the answers before we start this business.”

The lemonade was delicious. Joe found another empty coffee can and filled it with powdered sugar. A cup full of each was put into the blender. In a few minutes both coffee cans were full of the mixture.

“Is Genie going along?” Joe asked.

Bill nodded. “She will be ready and rearing to go. She says that we should have the books examined by a C.P.A., which is her, in case something crooked has been going on.”

Joe nodded. “Agreed! Also, we must keep a record off the loss we have taken. When we get in the chips again, we can deduct this; from our income tax.”

“Right you are.” Bill took, a sip from the glass. “Boy, this is? good “And brother dear, I think we have a winner here.”

“Me too. And I wonder what in the world is in there. It would sure solve a lot of marriage problems if all people in love would take a spoon full of this in their coffee every morning.”

“It sure would. And do you know something? 1 I’ll bet there is something like this that some animals and birds feed on!”

“Like the wild goose? He never looks at another.”

“Right. And the coyote and the wolf. They mate for life! Even if the mate is killed! They go right on living alone.”

Joe nodded his head. “And there are plenty more. This life is sure a puzzle, isn’t it?”

“Sure is. But if we can figure out a way to put this stuff on the market, and at the same time stay out of jail, we will have it made! Right?”



Chapter 14

It was almost sundown, when Bill pulled the car into the driveway of the trailer court. Minutes later he stopped in front of a Holiday Rambler, With the name Bishop, on the mail box. He shut off the motor and turned to his passengers.

“We’re here we are safe and sound, and It looks like everything is still here.”

The four of them got out and walked over to the door. Bill took out a key and unlocked it, then swung it open wide. Everyone stepped inside.

“Make yourself at home.” he told the two girls. Joe and I will bring in the luggage.”

Back before the Bishop brothers’ money had started slipping away from them, each had owned a fancy house over in Long Beach. Also two twenty seven foot Holiday Rambler trailers, and a Cadillac to pull them around.

When life had become unbearable living with those two women they split and made settlements. The women got most of the cash on hand as well as the houses. The men received the automobile business and the trailers.

Then the market too a dive on the cars. To keep from going entirely broke they had closed everything but the lot here in EL Monte. They sold most of the cars at auction at give-away prices. They moved out of their swanky apartment, pulled Bill’s trailer over here and moved in. Another one just like it that belonged to Joe, was moved to the used car lot. It was now being used as their office.

They carried the luggage inside. The two girls had given the place a good looking over. They were all smiles.

Genie put her arms? around Bill’s neck and drew herself close, “Oh darling this is wonderful. I never dreamed a small trailer could be so nice. It has everything!”

“Glad you like It. Joe has the twin sister to it. It is up on the car lot.”

Laura’s eyes were shining “Oh Joe! you said; both of you had trailers, but I never dreamed they would be so nice. Just one question. There are twin beds in the bedroom, but the four of us can’t all sleep in there! Where…”

Joe grinned. “We will have our private room, darling.” he pointed to the couch, “That pulls out and makes a wonderful bed.”

Laura blushed. “I don’t know why, but it seems like I can’t keep my mind off going to bed. Can’t wait for night to come.” Her cheeks grew deeper in color. “And I’m not a bit sleepy.”

Genie giggled. “I know what you mean. These Bishop twins are really something, aren’t they?” “I don’t know about yours, but mine sure is. He is as sweet as honey, and as horney as a Texas toad!”

Bill and Joe exchanged glances. They grinned and nodded. Time was wasting!

Genie was nodding her head. “Mine too! And as he grows older, I hope the horns get bigger and bolder.”

“And; he gets sweeter and sweeter.”

The Bishop brothers had gone into action. All the windows were covered with heavy drapes. Quickly they pulled them; shut and Joe pulled out the couch. It was now a full-length bed.

The kitchen light was burning, Bill switched it off. Both men groped around in the darkness. The girls were on their feet, going around like sleep-walkers, their hands out in front of them.

“Where are you darling?” a voice come from out of the darkness. “Come to me!”

Suddenly each man had a girl in his arms. Their lips met. The only sound was that of heavy breathing.

The voice of Genie broke the silence. “Is this you Bill?”

“Yes, darling!”

Laura’s voice came from out of nowhere. “Is this you, Joe? You guys sound just alike in the dark!”

“It’s me alright.”

“O.K. if you say so. Let them have the couch, let’s head for the bedroom!”

The Love Potion, Chapter 15

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Love Potion

By  Ted Dewey

Chapter 15

It was nine o’clock in the morning. Cliff Harris, was sitting at his desk in the trailer. A big loose-leaf book was in front of him. In this one was a record of all the cars that were bought and sold as well as the make, model and serial number of everything on hand.

There was four of them out there in the lot that he hadn’t got around to changing yet. Cars that, he had sold, pocketed the profit, then replaced with another which he bought wholesale.

Yes, Cliff was doing alright, and he had quite a bundle put away. Those Bishop playboy twins were just too trusting.

Not counting those four cars which he had taken the profit for himself, the lot had about broken even this last month. Joe had called and said they might be over in a few days, He had better get these books straightened out.

A familiar car pulled up in front and stopped; it was Bill and Joe. There were two women with them. He had never seen them before. The four people got out and looked around. The two women got into the front seat and closed the door. Bill and Joe came to the door

Cliff opened it and greeted them with a big smile. “Come in boys, it is sure good to see you. Wasn’t expecting you so early in the morning. In fact, I didn’t even know you were back.”

“Well, how goes the business?” Bill asked.

Cliff glanced down at the loose-leaf folder in front of him. “I was just catching up on the bookkeeping. For a change, I think we are going, to show a profit.”

“How much of a profit?” Joe asked.

Cliff shook his head and waved his hands around. “Well, you know, maybe not big, but a profit. Times have been tough, you know.”

Bill and Joe had made up their mind. And there was nothing that this man could say, would change them. “How much?” Bill asked.

“I was just catching up on the books Got a little behind.You know how it is. You know.” Cliff had a way of using the expression, you know, whenever anyone tried to pin him down for an answer.

Joe spoke up. “We are closing the place, Cliff and going out of the automobile? business entirely.”

Cliff’s face was pale, “When?”

“As of right now.” Bill walked over to the door and waved at the women in the car. “Come on In! We brought along a C.P.A. and her assistant. They will go through the books and take a complete Inventory.” Joe’s voice had a positive ring.

The two women stepped through the doorway. Bill motioned them to a chair. “Sit down please, we will get started in a minute or so.”

Cliff looked the women over. There was some doubt in his mind. Neither of them looked like any C.P.A. he had ever seen. Maybe the Bishops were bluffing or just plain firing him.

“And which one of you is the C.P.A?” he asked.

Genie drew a white card from her purse. On it was her picture, name and business address. She handed one to Harris. “Here’s my card. Would you like to see my license?”

Cliff stared at the card for a moment, and his heart sank inside him. He was trapped Like a spider caught in his own web!

He cursed himself. Why hadn’t he changed those1 titles before! He had waited until the last minute, and now he was trapped! The first thing they would check, would be the cars and the serial numbers! When they found the cars that didn’t match the ones in the books, they would dig deeper. Probably go back over a period of several months or even years!

Cliff began to sweat. He had gotten careless, and now he could end up in San Quinton! He must do something and do it fast! He had quite a sum of money stashed away. “And what are you going to do with all the cars?” he asked.

Bill answered. “Sell them, of course. We’ll get rid if every one, and take no trade-ins. Either that or go to the auction.”

Cliff’s nimble mind was working fast. The thoughts of spending years behind the bars, terrified him. He must find a way out! At least he would try!

He forced a smile. “Maybe I could buy you out. My uncle John kicked the bucket while you were gone.” he lied. “He remembered me in his will.”

Joe frowned. “I didn’t know you had an uncle John.”

“He lived over in Phoenix and was my mother’s brother.”

“How much money did he leave you?” Bill asked.

“Quite a bundle. I haven’t got It all yet, but I think I can raise enough if the price is right. What do you want for the works? Everything!” The Bishop brothers exchanged glances. “We haven’t arrived at a price.” Bill answered. “We will have to talk it over.”

Cliff was on his feet. “I’ll step outside for a few minutes and let you talk. If the price is right, maybe we can do business.” He stepped out, closing the door behind him.

Joe and Bill exchanged glances. This was unbelievable! Cliff was always telling how hard up he was. Did he really have an uncle John?

“Well what do you think, brother dear?” Bill asked.

“I think there is something funny going on, but as far as I am concerned, I’ll be glad when it’s all over.”

“Me too. If we could get wholesale price for all the cars on the lot, we would be lucky, don’t you think?”

“Indeed I do.” Joe answered. “I want to keep my trailer. He can find something else for an office. Also my Cad, which is parked In the back row.”

“I think we should insist on all cash, don’t you?”

“By all means. Shall I tell him to come in?”

“Yes. And you do all the talking, Joe, and don’t back down one bit. I got a feeling about that guy.”

Joe opened the door and looked around. Cliff was polishing one of the cars in the front row. He motioned for him to come in.

Cliff stepped into the trailer and looked around. Joe was sitting in the chair behind the desk, just like he owned the place. Harris felt his temper rise! His ears turned a deep red. He felt, like he was going to explode! He closed his eyes for a second. “Better take it easy,” he told himself. The thoughts off that Greystone Hotel, with steel bars over the windows once more rose in front of him. He was shaking like a leaf as he slowly sat down in the chair opposite Joe Bishop. He felt like a convicted criminal about to be sentenced. He opened his mouth and the words just seemed to slip out. “Well, what is the verdict?”

Joe felt like he was sitting in the drivers? seat, and he intended to keep it that way. He answered. “As you know, Cliff, we got rid of all the bummers at the action sale. All of those out there are nice clean cars. Bill and I have talked it over and decided to let you have them for low book. Wholesale. This, as you know, is the going price to dealers.”

“You expect me to pay that price and take them all?”

“Yes Cliff, and that is a bargain. Gas has been going down every week. People are discovering that a good big used car is a better investment than one of those high-priced little Japanese coffins! And they can buy a lot of gas for the difference in the price.”

Bill looked over at his brother and grinned. He was quite a car salesman at that! “We checked the book prices for the past few months and the prices are going up.”

Cliff was sweating. He was on the wrong side of the desk! He felt helpless. There was only one way out. After all, he could make a pile of money on the deal. “How much do you want down?”

“All cash!”

Cliff sighed. “I got to keep doing something, and the car business is all I know. And if I didn’t take you up on the deal, I would have to find a lot and start all over.”

“We will turn our lease over to you. The rent on this one is quite reasonable.” Joe’s voice sounded mighty final.

Cliff got to his feet and walked over to a small safe, that was setting in the far corner of the room. He twisted the handle and swung the door open. He drew out a large leather wallet and walked over to the desk. He opened it and took out a thick stack of bills and handed them to Joe.

“Here Is ten grand, count it. I will pay you this now, and the rest before the day is over.” Joe nodded as he counted the money. Lying on the desk was a piece of white poster board. Cliff picked it up stared at it for a moment, then handed It to Joe.

“Here.” he said. “Is a list off every car on the lot with the make, model and serial number. I just checked them out this morning. So, if you will take my word that the list is; correct, we can save a lot of time.” He reached in his pocket and pulled out a small blue book and handed it to Genie. “This book will give you the wholesale price off everything on the lot. With this and that cardboard that I just handed Joe, it shouldn’t take you long.”

Joe handed the poster board to Genie. “Sounds like a deal.”

Cliff glared at Joe. “Now, if you will, get your ass out of my chair, I will call my banker. You will have your money, in about an hour.”