By Ted Dewey
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?”
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.”