Speeding away from her would-be assailant, CarolAnn raced by the snoozing policemen who were sitting idle at the side of the road. She was riding a Triumph motorcycle like a bat out of hell. Two seconds later, they saw a man giving chase on a Harley Davidson and they looked at each other, turned on the siren, pulled onto the road and started after them. CarolAnn knew all the back roads and pig trails and soon she lost them all. When she emerged from the woods, however, she was disoriented and never realized she was close to the lake. As she wound down the curvy lane past Larry’s cabin, it never occurred to her that it would eventually lead to his dock, and in her haste to ditch her pursuers, she flew down the dock and unfortunately, into the lake.
Larry watched from his chase lounge at his sister’s lake house as some crazy lady on a 1963 Triumph flew down the lane, off the dock, and into the lake. Standing up, he hurriedly ran down the dock, flailing his arms and screaming, “Help” to anyone close enough to hear, then plunged into the lake to assist the young lady. What the hell must she have been thinking? Luckily for her, the water was warm and no boats were near this early in the season. It was just the end of May after all. A crowd had gathered on the dock as Larry pulled the young lady to safety, his wife was waiting with towels and a stiff drink, she figured the lady was being chased or in some horrible predicament and probably could use one. All the folks were speaking to her at once, “Are you alright?” “What were you thinking?” “Is someone after you?” but all CarolAnn wanted to do was sit on the dock and cry. “Oh, no! My beautiful bike! What have I done? I’ve got to get it out, can someone help me get it out?” Larry wrapped the waiting towel around her shoulders, ushered her to the lounge chair he had just vacated and put the drink in her hand. “Now, now” he soothed, “Don’t you worry your head about that right now. We’ll get that taken care of…do you need me to call the police? I mean, is someone chasing you?” CarolAnn shakily sipped her beverage, wiped her eyes with the towel and said, “I think I lost them.”
CarolAnn had been born and raised in Alabama, not too far from the lake where she was presently trying to explain her situation to her rescuers. Her parents were pretty well off, not that they had a cabin at the lake or anything, but they lived in a very nice, two story house in Jasper at the end of a mile long, winding road. She was brought up to be a bit of a southern belle, yet she wasn’t pretentious like many of her high school friends were. Snobs, they were really. CarolAnn wanted nothing to do with beauty pageants and fancy parties, she wanted a life of adventure. Her idea of heaven was the wind in her hair and the feeling of freedom she felt every time she rode her bike. She loved her sweet tea, she just wanted it to go please. Well, she had found herself an adventure all right, just not the kind she’d had in mind.
Someone was asking her if she wanted some dry clothes, she snapped out of her daydream and answered them, “Yes ma’ma, that would be nice.” The crowd had dispersed and CarolAnn found herself following Larry and his wife… Beverly she had learned her name was, into their cabin for some dry duds and a phone call. “You really should call your parents dear,” Beverly was saying, but CarolAnn wasn’t sure that was who she needed to talk to just now. She was in trouble, that was for sure, and her mind raced for a solution to her present situation. How had she ever ended up in this mess? Now she had no bike, she was on the run and if they found her, she’d be going to jail…or worse. What she needed right now was a friend, so she asked Larry to show her to the phone.
Larry lead her to the kitchen and gave her some privacy so she could make her call. He and Beverly went back outside and started making plans to feed this girl, maybe that would help calm her down, help her think of a plan. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to be involved, he just hated to see a damsel in distress. Presently, CarolAnn returned and looked a little less green around the gills. “My friend is coming to pick me up as soon as she can, I’m so sorry to have been such a bother.” Beverly looked at her like she’d lost her mind and said, “Bother? No dear, we never have this kind of excitement around here! Let us make you some lunch, and your friend can eat too.” CarolAnn replied that she really appreciated it, but they would need to get going as fast as they could. She would pay for someone to fish the bike out as soon as possible. She thanked them for their hospitality and promised to bring the clothes back when she got this mess straightened out. Larry just looked at his wife, shrugged his shoulders and said, “If that’s what you want. I just wish you’d tell me what’s going on, maybe I could help.
CarolAnn had no idea who could help at this point, she just knew she needed to bug out. She was running from a bad man and she could not afford to let him catch her. She had agreed to deliver one package for him but when she’d been paid for her service, he wanted more. She had refused and fled on her bike. Now she was here, scared he would find her and hoping her friend Gloria would get there soon. She could only hope the cops caught him instead and her only problem now was to get her bike from the lake. She would have to wait until Gloria scooped her up, they’d drive by the police station and see if his Harley was there. If it was, she’d be in the clear-if not, she would have one heck of a time explaining this to her father, who just so happened to be the police chief of Jefferson County in this fine city of Jasper, Alabama.