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WELCOME TO INSTALLMENT NINETEEN OF THE SERIALIZATION OF F. SCOTT SINCLAIR'S NOVEL "PANCHO VILLA AVENGED"
Warning: If you are easily shocked with regard to
contrary points of view, conspiracy theories,
offensive language, political correctness, sex, or
anything else that may offend your sensibilities or
lack of open-mindedness, or if you're a minor (but
by no means limited to the aforementioned), please
do not read this novel. It's not for you...
Note: This is a work of fiction. The events described
here are imaginary: the settings, events and characters
are fictitious, and/or are the product of the author's
imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance
to actual events or locales or persons (living or dead)
is entirely coincidental.
Copyright (c) 1999 by F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.
Pancho Villa Avenged: A Novel of Macho Mexico versus the United States
By F. Scott Sinclair
I heard the director say that we'd be on the air in thirty seconds.
At that moment I felt like a movie star, getting my face made
up. The face powder and the swishing of the brush across
my face gave me a certain confidence that words of praise
couldn't. It was nice to know you had the best makeup artist
in the business working on you. Well, it makes you feel like
you're preparing for the Nixon-Kennedy debates because
whoever had the best makeup artist would win. That's
why I was so confident because I had the best in Art Morgan.
"Ten seconds to go," the director shouted.
I could see that my forced guests and the press were
about to feed me to the wolves. There's only one way to
stop that, and said, "Without further ado, I've consented
to having this national forum heard in the East Room...with
the press in attendance. No questions will be entertained
at this juncture, so please bear with me on this one.
Leonard, have we made contact with Mexico on the closed
Director Leonard Snyder nodded his head, and raised his
fist to commence the five finger countdown, and then said,
"You're on, Mr. President."
Instantly, President Mendez' whole face was projected
on the giant fifty-inch monitor. His pockmarked face was
stern from his hospital bed in Mexico. He pulled the
microphone close to his mouth, and began by saying,
"Good evening, President Harding, and your distinguished
"Our pleasure. Thank you for appearing on this telecast
The soft and diplomatic approach didn't seem to agree with
President Mendez, as he retorted, "You're in a bind, senor...
A jam you can't get out of without war. That's why you
invited me to join you this evening. If you think the American
people are stupid, you're probably right... Why is that?
Because that's the way you treat them."
Horrified by the verbal assault, I said, "I beg your pardon!
This is not a forum for attacks of propaganda. We'll have
"A typical American response! If you don't like what the
other fellah says, you simply invade their country
on some trumped-up charge. Or better yet, you grab
the microphone away from your opponent like Ronald
Reagan did during his campaign for the Oval Office. Because
you're too cheap to pay for our portion of this broadcast,
I'll pay for it myself--just like Ronald Reagan did. Hence,
I'll say any damn thing I want to!"
Suddenly, the ghostly sounds of multiple gunshots
echoed throughout the East Room. The President and
those in the East Room were paralyzed. Americans
watching the telecast stopped breathing as President
Mendez slumped over on the hospital bed; then slid off
the side of the bed--collapsing on the floor. The blood
stained sheets got tangled around his lifeless body. A
split screen image was simultaneously capturing the
hospital scene and the horror in the eyes, and on the
faces of those in the East Room.
Out of nowhere, a shout was heard in the East Room,
"Hot damn...! We did it, Mr. President." It was the
new Director of the CIA, James Briggs. I was shocked
at the outburst and the intimidating remark. Briggs
must have thought he was at a football game, innocently
rooting for the home team. His red face showed the
embarrassment he was undergoing.
"I don't believe I heard what you said, Mr. Briggs.
Would you care to repeat what you've just said?" I asked.
Stuttering, he says, "Sorry, Mr. President. I...I...don't
know what got into me. Just upset...you know. Sorry, sir."
"Forget it--," I started to say, as I glanced at the
monitor. The doctors surrounded President Mendez
and were working feverishly. And the police were still
scuffling with the Mexican cameraman who shot him
at point blank range. Jesus, I can't just forget this nightmare.
It's being broadcast live on national television! Just too
damn many witnesses. "On second thought, arrest
The Marine guards hesitated, and then proceeded to
where DCI Briggs was seated. They surrounded
him and gently lifted him to his feet.
Associate Justice Swartz asked, "Isn't anyone going to read
him the Miranda warning? He has rights, you know?"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Have they forgotten
that I've declared martial law? "I'm the Commander-in-Chief,
my dear... What I say, goes--is that clear?"
"Good guess, my dear," I said.
"Don't patronize me, Mr. President. This Kangaroo Court has
gone far enough. We won't become a part of your charade
Associate Justice Swartz was putting on another one of her
feminist temper tantrums that have always infuriated me.
Why I ever decided to recommend her to the highest Court
in the land--I'll never know.
She motioned to her colleagues on the Supreme Court to join
her in protesting this mockery of justice. Her suit style dress
showed off her masculine side, a more befitting aspect of her
personality. "Come on, let's get out--"
"Sit down," Chief Justice Rollings advised.
Standing unshielded in front of her peers, and the American
public, she could only say, "But--"
"But nothing. Martial law has been declared, Ms. Swartz. We
are not above the law. Isn't that right?" Rollings asked politely.
His bushy eyebrows hovered over the rims of his spectacles.
Ashamed, she says, "Yes, of course." She watched with
bewilderment as CIA Director Briggs was nearly dragged
out of the East Room.
As Briggs passed in front of President Harding, he asked, "Do
I get to make one phone call?"
"Of course you can," I replied, motioning to the Marine guards
to get him out of my sight.
"Now that that's settled, let's see what's happening in Mexico,"
I said, speaking directly to the director.
There was only the static crackling sound of the white snow
streaming across the TV monitor's blank screen. Leonard listened
to his earphones for a second, and then replied, "We've lost the
transmission from Mexico. It looks like we'd better take a
break, Mr. President.
* * * * *
In the hospital room of President Mendez, a male nurse yelled
in Spanish, "Code Blue...Code Blue!"
The attending physician turned to the young male nurse, and
said, "There's nothing more we can do. Nearly a hole in one,
Jesus--get hold of yourself." The doctor tried unsuccessfully
to console the patriotic nurse, but he continued to sob
Without warning, the male nurse got up off the floor and dashed
out of the room. He dashed out the door muttering something
unintelligible, slamming the door behind him.
"Where's Jesus going?" the physician protested.
Just as the Mexican doctor asked the question, the door flung
open. Jesus stood at the threshold flailing a pair of shining knives.
As he charged forward, he proceeded to start his own style
surgery--not on the Presidente--but on the killer. "You
son-of-a-bitch'n asshole...! Revenge is mine!," he screamed, as
the two policemen who had just finished arresting the killer,
"He's a slippery bastard," the Walrus looking cop shouted,
gasping for breath. He kept losing his grip on the nurse's arm.
Sweat kept pouring down the nurse's body, making it
tough to subdue him.
His partner pulled the nurse's right arm behind his back and
cuffed it. After applying further pressure on the cuffed arm,
he was then able to grab Jesus' left arm and cuff it.
"Got'em...," his partner said, out of breath. He wiped his
sweaty forehead between the shoulder blades of the male
Before the policeman could get the nurse off the floor,
Pancho Villa kicked the hospital door open. His men
dove into the room, rolling to an upright position--the
barrels of their weapons trained on the doctor attending
President Mendez. Pancho shouted, "Don't do it, Mr.
Gomez. Put that hypodermic needle down...slowly."
One of Pancho's men kicked the hypodermic needle out
of the reach of the Prime Minister, then pointed the
barrel of his revolver at his head.
"Trying to finish off our beloved Presidente, Senor
Gomez?" Pancho asked with an intimidating glare.
When Gomez failed to respond, Poncho says, "Get away
from him; a medical team's on the way!"
Just then, the room filled up with emergency personnel
and life support equipment. Instructions were being
hollered in a systematic manner like a finely tuned
orchestra. The responses to those directions just
might save President Mendez's life.
With their mouths hanging open, the two policemen
were in total shock. The spectacle that was unfolding
before their eyes was bizarre. One of them said,
"Prime Minister Gomez was posing as a doctor?
Damn...! I just can't believe my eyes anymore."
Pancho pointed to Gomez's face, and asked, "Do you
want to pull that phony beard off, or do you want
me to do it?"
"I'll do it," Gomez replied, taking the fake beard off.
Pancho says matter of factly, "Release the nurse.
He's done nothing more that any other patriotic
Mexican citizen would have done under the
Not questioning Pancho's authority, the two policemen
complied with everything Pancho ordered. Then Pancho
says, "I've got another appointment with destiny. I just
hope I'm not too late. Let's go men..." Almost as fast as
they had appeared, he and his men disappeared on some
other important mission.
* * * * *
President Harding stood on the podium while the television
crew desperately tried to reconnect with the transmission
coming from Mexico, but without success. As President
Harding listened to his Secret Service earpiece, he appeared
visibly shaken. Tears began running down his cheeks,
lodging themselves around the collar of his dress shirt.
As he reached for a handkerchief in his breast pocket, the
director asked, "Is there anything the matter?"
Hesitating, President Harding blushed, and said, "Please...please
excuse me for a few moments. I have something personal to
The news reporters and others in the East Room sensed
something was wrong, but couldn't put their finger on the
problem. Harding's morose appearance of gloom had taken
hold of the emotions of those in attendance. Whispers could
be heard throughout the East Room as President Harding
lumbered at a snail's pace towards the Oval Office. "What's
the matter with the President?" they'd say to each other,
looking over each other's shoulders trying to get some
Just as President Harding reached the outer door to the
Oval Office, he appeared to be feeling and touching the
grain of the wood door. As he turned the brass door knob,
the majestic Oval Office of the President of the United
States came into view--like so many other times. Tears
began swelling around his eyes once more as he walked
to his desk. Seeing the Presidential Seal on his stationary
brought further tears.
After he sat down on his high-backed chair, his mind started
drifting from one failure to the next during his administration.
The death of President Mendez was the straw that broke
the camel's back. He would be blamed, he thought. Even
when he honesty tried to do the right thing for the country,
it ended in shambles. Nothing was going right! I'm to blame,
he thought. Even his marriage and personal life had been
thrust upon him, and had become a public spectacle. He
was naked as a jaybird.
Slowly, he got up and ambled towards the water cooler.
When the glass was full, he turned around and took a
long look at the Oval Office. After wiping the tears from
his eyes, he pulled a small pillbox from his suit pocket.
Staring remorsefully at the pill in the box, his eyes flickered
and his mouth twitched nervously. Then mumbling to himself,
he says, "They won't have me to kick around anymore."
He took the pill out. Death was staring him in the face. In
two seconds, it won't matter--wouldl it? he kept thinking.
As he swallowed the innocent looking capsule, his stomach
churned in apprehension of what was about to happen.
He began to feel as though something was sucking his
life away. Hurrying to the couch, he felt the nausea and
pain of death coming on, but he mustered enough strength
to spout out, "Fuck you...America! You bunch of assholes!
This is what you wanted, wasn't it? Well, you've got it..."
As his strength was sapped away, a grimace of pain and
nausea engulfed his face, as he laid in the fetal position
on the couch. Just as he began to lose consciousness, a
wet tongue lapped his face in rapid strokes. Opening his
eyes for the last time, President Harding saw his beloved
cockapoo, Joey. With tears and sobbing emotions, he
hugged and kissed Joey with the little strength he had left.
Talking almost incoherently with Joey, he spoke tenderly,
"I love you, pal. Man's best friend. You're the sweetest
person in the world. The only true friend I've ever had
in this whole goddamn world..."
As he tried to grab the extension phone on the coffee table,
he fell off the couch onto the floor. He lay unconscious and
partially wrapped in the phone cord. The Persian rug
softened the landing, but not much.
In the outer office was Linda, the President's secretary,
who was dutifully going through the day's mail. As she was
sorting the mail into various piles, she heard Joey barking.
At first she thought the President must be playing with
the dog, but the barking persisted. In about a minute or
so, she heard the barking become more intense from
behind the Oval Office door. Joey could be heard scratching
furiously on the other side.
Linda got up, and walked to the door. Hesitating, she
knocked lightly, knowing that President Harding hated being
interrupted in the privacy of the Oval Office. "President Harding,
are you all right?" There was no response, as she repeated,
"Sir, is everything okay?"
Joey continued to bark and scratch as she opened the
door. "What's the matter, Joey? Oh, my God!" she
screamed at the sight of President Harding's body
stretched out on the Persian rug. "Oh, my God!
Mr. President...oh God...my, God!"
Joey continued to bark hysterically. He turned around
in circles as though he was directing traffic.
Wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes, Linda
was paralyzed momentarily. Her whole body trembled
and shook. Frightened and shaken by the sight of
her beloved boss lying helpless on the floor before her
eyes, she gained enough strength to pick up the phone.
She yelled into the receiver, "Help! Please...please
help...it's the...the President. He's dying!"
* * * * *
In the Oval Office, Vice-President Irving was frantically
taking over for President Harding. He yelled at his press
secretary, "You'd better come up with a good story,
or else...you hear me? The American people can't know
that President Harding attempted suicide. You got that?"
Straightening his bow tie, press secretary Adams
answered, "We'll think of something, sir."
"Yeah, and it had better be good--you hear me?"
Startled and afraid, the press secretary apologized and
hurried out of the office. He scurried down the hallway
towards his office, but was stopped abruptly by the
outstretched hand of the Secretary of State, Peter Arnold.
"Where are you going in such a rush?" Arnold asked.
"If you'd take your hand off of my arm, I'll tell you."
"Well, I'm waiting," Secretary of State Arnold said,
removing his hand.
He told him what Vice President Irving had said, then
asked, "Any suggestions?"
"Well, let's get some heads together in your office. We'll
come up with something," the gruff looking Arnold said.
"We'd better hurry, there's a press conference scheduled
for eight o'clock this evening. That only gives us a couple
"Don't worry, I've handled worse problems. See you in
ten minutes in your office."
"Right," the press secretary answered, shaking hands with
Arnold. Each went in their own direction, swiftly--time
being the enemy.
* * * * *
A priest came uninvited into the Intensive Care Unit
where President Mendez was recovering from emergency
surgery. The priest walked compassionately to his
bedside holding only a Holy Bible and Rosary beads in
his hands. President Mendez was resting peacefully as
he was given the last rights by the priest. Still unconscious,
Mendez made no noise or movement. Only the life
support equipment monitoring him could be heard. As
the nurses read newspapers and magazines, not paying
any attention to the priest--the monitor's alarm went off.
The priest casually stepped back away from the bed as
the nurses frantically tried to revive President Mendez.
Looking cross-eyed at the priest, the head nurse bellowed,
"What happened? You're the only one who was--"
Before she could finish admonishing the priest, a doctor
rushed in and pushed her aside, and said, "Oxygen.
Still in shock, the head nurse says, "He's on oxygen already."
"Look at his body color--he's purple. Get the backup
Scurrying back with the oxygen, the head nurse says, "Here
it is for whatever good it will do."
After using CPR to get President Mendez some oxygen,
the doctor pumped as much oxygen as he dared to revive
his royal patient. "It's not doing the trick. His heart has
stopped. Stand back while I try to jump start his heart."
He rubbed the paddles together, then placed them on
Mendez's chest. Mendez's body jumped violently from the
high voltage emitted by the paddles--to no avail. After
several attempts trying to jump start President Mendez'
heart, the emergency physician slumped in the chair next
to the bed, and cried: "It's no use...just no use. He's gone..."
"He was fine just a half hour ago. I know, I checked him
myself," the head nurse said. She kept thinking, "Where's
With blank stares, the other nurses just shrugged their
shoulders. They hadn't seen him.
Still uptight, the head nurse checked the oxygen tank and
the hoses connected to it. She couldn't see why there wasn't
any oxygen, and then she noticed there was a flat impression
stamped on the clear tubing touching the floor. Damn...she
thought, that priest! "Call security!"
In the confusion, the priest had slipped out the door unnoticed
and vanished down the hospital corridor. He removed his
priest clothing in the laundry room. Then after blending
into the flow of hospital traffic, he disappeared as
mysteriously as he had arrived.
* * * * *
Just outside of the Mexican prison cell of Supreme Court
Justice Rhinehart, the guard on duty picked up the phone
that was ringing off the hook. "Hello."
The voice on the other end of the line relayed the news
that President Mendez had been assassinated. The guard
tried not to sound upset, but he was red-faced. Faking the
conversation, like it was only an ordinary call, the guard
spoke normally by saying, "Yes, sir... I'll make sure
everything's secure in this cell block. Don't you worry."
Rhinehart knew some Spanish, but he couldn't detect
anything unusual. He laid on his flimsy bunk with his arms
behind his head. Thinking about death, Rhinehart assumed
the coffin position on his back. What a bitch, he thought, to
have to lie on your back for an eternity. Knowing where
he was going, he figured he'd better buy some stock in an
ice cream company.
As he continued to reflect on his probable demise, the guard
whispered through the bars, "Senor Rhinehard..."
"It's Rhinehart, or can't you get it through your thick skull?"
"Pardon me, senor Rhinehart. Please come with me. Don't
take anything with you. You won't need it."
"What's up?" Rhinehart asked, suspiciously.
"It's time, senor. You know?" The guard's expression of
innocence irked Rhinehart.
"No, I don't know. How about filling me in while you're at it?"
"Escape. Come with me. Be quiet."
Whispering harshly, Rhinehart barks, "No shit, Sherlock.
Really? Be quiet... I never would have thought of that."
"Shut-up, gringo!" the guard screamed in a strained whisper.
"You're the boss, senorita," Rhinehart jested, flinching
backward, expecting to be clobbered by the irate guard.
Instead the guard glared, then snatched Rhinehart by the
shirt sleeve and dragged him out of the cell. "This way,
"Thanks...sweetheart, I needed that."
The guard shoved Rhinehart from behind with his
nightstick towards the cell block exit, and says, "One
wrong move and you're a dead man."
"Understood," Rhinehart said reluctantly. All he could see
before his mind's-eye was a coffin with his own image lying in it.
As the guard led him onto the prison grounds outside of the
cell block, Rhinehart saw the beams from searchlights
moving across the prison grounds--in his direction!
"You son-of-a-bitch... You've tricked me!"
Smiling from ear to ear, the guard stroked his greasy
mustache with delight, and tells Rhinehart, "Get going
judge. It's now or never... I'd hate to shoot you here and
"You speak damn good English. How come?"
"I've been educated in your country, senor. Why am
I only a guard? I'm not really a guard. I'm one of
President Mendez' secret police commanders. Yes, and
I'm here to personally deliver a message so you
understand it clearly."
"And what's that?"
"You'll never...ever, kidnap another Mexican citizen again.
Your death is like your kidnapping laws: unlawful. But
the reality of the situation--the lesson to be learned--is
that you authorized the kidnapping of our citizens.
"And guess what? Now, you're a dead man."
The blinding beams from the searchlights descended
upon Rhinehart. He put his forearms over his eyes
to block the blinding lights. His entire silhouette was
saturated by the searchlights. Not seeing his executioners,
he began to run in a feeble attempt to escape, but knew
that such an attempt was futile. Feeling the bullets
ravaging his body was the only sensation he could imagine.
Suddenly he heard the fateful sound of bullets exploding
around him, he thought. Is this what death is like? Stopping
abruptly, touching his body all over. No blood? He turned
around and saw the searchlights on the body lying in the
dirt where he had been standing. Wiping his eyes with
disbelief, he recognized the corpse as being that of the guard.
What's going on? he thought.
Out of the darkness, a friendly voice said, "Are you alright, senor?"
"Who...who are you?"
"They call me Pancho Villa, senor. I trust you're okay?"
"Yes...yes, I am...but what's going on anyway?" Rhinehart
"I'll explain later. Just come with me, my friend. You're
in safe hands.
"Okay, I guess," Rhinehart said.
Pancho put his arm around Rhinehart and led him to a
jeep. Once in the jeep, Rhinehart shook his head and then
leaned it against the headrest. He didn't want to know
why or anything else--he was alive, that was enough for
now. The sweet sound of the jeeps engine helped to put
him to sleep; this was the start of the first leg of the journey
back to his beloved America. The second leg of his journey
would be to abolish the use of extraordinary rendition as a
tool of government revenge...and fear. He knew firsthand
the consequences of such a tool in the hands of the wrong
person... His eyes closed with a fear in them that he had
never known before he'd been kidnapped by a so-called
friendly government: Mexico. He thought his own
government no less admirable in their kidnapping tactics
than Mexico. Perhaps even worse: with a pinch of torture
thrown in as a finishing touch on their recipe for truth...not
unlike a recipe for cookies. His mind could no longer function.
Tears began rolling down his cheeks as his mind drew a
blank...and a deserved rest.
* * * * *
"Damn... I can't see anything!" Rick shouted.
"What's the matter?" Judge Marsh asked.
On a dark and rain soaked back road about 150
kilometers from Bangkok, Rick was having difficulty
steering their compact car. The monsoon rains were
overloading the windshield wipers. Without any warning,
the headlights turned dim and the windshield wipers
froze to a dead silence.
"What's the matter?"
"I've got no goddamn lights or wipers... That's what
the fuck's the matter!" Rick was scared as hell. He
knew that with no lights and not being able to see
outside, he would either get rear-ended, or drive
into a ditch. The only shoulders on this stretch of the
road were few and far between: no such animal to be
more precise. Rick brought the car's speed down to a
crawl, then stopped abruptly.
Bumping his head on the dashboard, Judge Marsh
moaned, "Ouch...! Thank God you're not a pilot. What
a lousy crash landing."
Rick turned the interior light on, and said, "Hurry,
let's get out of this death trap."
Noot had her seat belt on, and says, "Honey, get
me out of this thing. The belt's stuck!"
Just as Rick reached back to release the belt, headlights
glared at them through the rear window. Judge Marsh
exited the car quickly and ran around the front of the
car. He dove into the bushes alongside the road.
As the huge bus dowsed their car with water, the bus
passed by harmlessly. Rick climbed out of the car, and
yells, "Come out, Captain Courageous: wherever you are."
Embarrassed, Judge Marsh sat sopping wet in a ditch
beside the road. "Point well taken, Rick. Now, could you
help this old man up. I've not run that fast since the Rose
Bowl game of 1950."
Laughing hysterically, Rick quips, "Enough of that
reminiscence crap. Here... Take my hand if you can see
it in this black hole of darkness."
Just barely able to see Rick's hand, Marsh grabbed it,
pulling himself to his feet. "Thanks."
"Let's get Noot out of her seat belt. She's stuck."
"No she's not," Marsh said, pointing to Noot.
Smiling and visibly shaken, she said, "There are
tigers and snakes around here. Remember, I'm
the one who was born here, don't forget. Believe me
when I say: we aren't safe here."
"What's that?" Rick shouted with the feeling of fright
racing up his backbone.
"Where?" Marsh asked in a panic.
"A snake... Oh, shit!" Noot shrieked, nearly pulling the
car's front door off its hinges.
As if the same thought had entered their minds at the same
time, they all piled into the car--one right after the other.
Frightened to death, the interior windows fogged-up instantly.
Wiping the foggy mist away, Rick looked out into the
darkness; but saw nothing. He rolled down the driver's
side window, and turned on the dim headlights. "My God!
Look at that big momma of a snake!"
All three sets of eyes were paralyzed by the huge yellow and
black banded snake that lay across the road. It must have
been ten or more feet long. The eerie vibrations and the
stoic glare of the snake ran shivers through Rick's body.
Suddenly, Rick felt a stabbing pain in his thigh, and yelled,
"Help...! I've been bit."
Laughing uncontrollable, both Noot and Judge Marsh cracked
up at Rick's reaction and pale face. Marsh tried to calm him
down, and says, "Rick, it's only us. A practical joke. Sorry, but
you looked so mesmerized by the snake. I just couldn't help it.
Will you forgive me?"
"Thanks a lot, judge. You took about ten years off my life.
What are you snickering about, my dear girl?" Rick said,
looking squarely at Noot's guilty face.
"Honey, don't take life so serious. You'll never get out of it
alive. Enjoy yourself...! Life's so brief...take it easy,
After Rick's heart left his throat, he smiled shyly. "Okay,
"That's my husband. That's why I love you so much. You're
a nice guy no matter how much you try to deny it."
Tongue tied and embarrassed, Rick ignored her remarks,
and asked, "Did you bring that damn cellular phone with you?"
Noot tried to control her anger, then replied, "What have
you got against my cellular phone? All rich people in Thailand
have cellular phones, you know that."
"Yeah, if you want to show your arrogance and conceit,
and that you're rich; just buy a necktie, dress shirt, slacks,
and a cellular phone. Be sure to talk to all your friends at bus
stops, shopping malls, airports, while crossing the street in
the middle of traffic, at the Post Office, the bank or wherever.
Conspicuous consumption and arrogance--nothing more or
less. It doesn't matter that most of the owners of those cellular
phones and nice clothes live in shacks. At least their ego is well
nourished. Bunch of damn ego maniacs if you ask me. I'm better
than you are...as they talk to the dial tone. Nobody could
afford and have as many friends as those cellular phone addicts
pretend to have. I've even seen a beggar on his knees with
his hands out having to interrupt his begging to answer his
cell phone," Rick said, defensively.
"Bull," Noot snapped.
"Okay...so I lied. But that is about how crazy the cell
phone craze has become."
Noot was infuriated and recklessly rummaged around in
her purse for the damn phone. Rick would never let her
carry it in her hand like a normal Thai and talk up a storm
in view of everybody and their great grandmother. "Here
it is... Take the damn thing."
"Thanks." Rick said curtly, as Noot shoved the phone
angrily toward him. Rick tried not to look upset, though
he was that--pissed.
The headlights were so dim that the snake was out of sight
or gone, he didn't know which. He reached into his shirt pocket
and pulled out a wad of paper that had the television station's
phone number hastily written on it. Putting the wrinkled
paper near the car's interior dome light, he managed to
read the numbers. As he dialed the number, Rick comments,
"I hope we reach'em before it's air time. I've heard the
president is a stickler for promptness."
Marsh replies, "Now I know what people used to say behind
my back when I was on the Supreme Court. Must have
been some awful dicey remarks if you ask me."
"Christ, a busy signal. Guess I'll try the redial button on
this thing," Rick says, as he returns the receiver to his ear.
"Using this phone is like needing a policeman--they're
nowhere to be found when you need them. When you
don't need them, they're everywhere...!"
"Hello," came a voice over the phone.
Rick was so surprised, his mind went blank, then stuttered,
"Is...is this...chan...channel 13?"
The sweet voice on the other end said in Thai, "Chay, kha."
"Do you speak English? I need to talk to someone about the
upcoming teleconference with the President of the
The receptionist said, "One moment, please." She pressed
the intercom button into the director's booth. Speaking
in Thai, the receptionist tells the director, "I think it's
the American you've been waiting for. He's on line 2."
With tears in his eyes, the director said, "Put them through."
"Hello, who am I speaking with?" Rick asked, sitting
idly in their rain drenched compact car--the humidity
was stifling. There was only silence coming from the phone.
The illuminated dial indicated to him that the receiver
Speaking loudly, Rick asks, "Anybody there? Hello there?
Somebody...please, answer me."
"I'm here," came a weak voice.
"Who am I speaking with?" Rick asked frantically.
Sniffling could be detected at the other end of the line, and
then the voice says, "I'm the director, B.J. Ritkin. I've
got some bad news."
"President Harding has been rushed to the hospital.
Nobody knows what the problem is. You might as well
return home. The telecast has been cancelled."
"Sorry to hear that... Thanks for the information. Perhaps
we'll have a chance to meet each other at some other time."
"Such a fine young man. President Harding was a fine
man," the director moaned.
"I'm sorry. He is a fine man. Oh, by the way, President
Mendez of Mexico was assassinated earlier this evening.
I didn't know if you'd heard or not?"
Thunderstruck, Rick could only say, "I've got to go." He
turned to Judge Marsh who sat on the passenger side, and
repeated the conversation solemnly.
Both Noot and Judge Marsh were shocked beyond words.
Seeing the moistness swelling up around Rick's eyes made
"But they were okay just a couple of hours ago," Noot
exclaimed, with signs of disbelief emerging from her face.
Still dazed, but outwardly angered--his depression had
gotten the better of him--Rick cried out, "Snakes or no
snakes. Lights or no lights, I can't just sit here and listen
to myself think. I've got to get the hell out of here no
matter what! You two push this old Junker, and I'll jump
The car's motor turned over and they hopped inside, as
Rick quipped, "Ready or not, here goes nothing." They
just drove off into the Thai darkness without any
headlights--testing fate and trusting the Lord Buddha
to deliver them home safely.
* * * * *
At eight o'clock sharp, in the East Room, Vice President
Irving walked up to the podium and began to speak. "My
fellow Americans, we are gathered here this evening to
pray for a swift recovery for President Harding. After
sustaining a concussion from a fall in the bathtub earlier
this morning, President Harding was found on the floor
of the Oval Office. Apparently, he became dizzy and collapsed
on the office floor. His faithful dog, Joey, alerted his personal
secretary who called for medical help. He will be fine
with all the prayers he's been receiving."
"On the other hand, we thought President Mendez of
Mexico was recovering nicely after the attempted
assassination. I'm sorry to report that a second assassination
attempt took place in the ICU unit where he was recovering.
Attempts to revive President Mendez failed. He died
shortly after or during a visit by an unknown priest. It is
thought that the oxygen supplied by the life support system
had been blocked off by the priest's shoes. We'll help the
Mexican authorities to apprehend the culprit.
"Our government, at my direction, will send a letter of
apology to both the Mexican and Japanese governments.
Our arrogance has caused grave problems to ourselves, our
people, and the citizens of Mexico and Japan. Any unanswered
problems that remain will be taken up at a summit meeting
to be scheduled within the next few weeks.
"Congressional hearings will be setup in the near future
to find out the extent of the involvement of the CIA, U.S.
Customs, or other agencies had in these affairs of State.
We'll get to the bottom of things like the assassination, Rick
Olson's false imprisonment, and Chief Justice Rhinehart's
kidnapping. But I must say one thing, Pancho Villa and
his men shall be given pardons by me. Why? Because
they saved the life of Chief Justice Rhinehart who
was about to be killed by Mexican authorities."
"But as far as we're concerned, we'll prosecute those who
have committed these heinous crimes to the full extent of
the law. Rest assured, we will not rest until justice has been
served; here at home and abroad."
* * * * *
As Vice President Irving continued, Rick Olson was listening
to the speech on Voice of America at his home in Thailand.
With his trusty shortwave radio beside him on the bed, Rick
listened intently, and then said out loud, "I'll believe that
shit when I see it. Another cover-up...! They'll save their
own political asses, is more like it. More propaganda for the
masses, I suspect. Lies. We'll never learn...will we? I don't
think so. I'll never forget what happened to me in that Japanese
cell block. Never...! And I believe with all my heart that
Thomas Jefferson would advocate a revolution if he were alive
today and saw the state of his precious American experiment:
torn to shreds by political and religious fanatics! An Orwellian
Noot was in the living room with Judge Marsh, and asked,
"Did you say something, darling?"
"No. Just talking to myself, dear." It's all the same no matter
where you live in this world: history repeats itself because
nobody listens anymore. In one ear and out the other, he thought.
A preview of Novelist F. Scott Sinclair's latest
published book"Political Instincts: A Novel of
Amazing Thailand" is available at:http://tinyurl.com/239anaa
I sincerely hope you enjoy reading my latest published novel.
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