Eight o'clock one morning, and the night-shift deputy -- a barrel-chested old man with watery blue eyes and a John Wayne drawl -- had been officially off the clock for two hours. The pistol belt gets fairly heavy after a while, so he had been more than glad to take it off while he and I drank coffee and shot the bull as my shift started.
We didn't even get halfway through the first cup when Dispatch got a 911 call from the Housing Complex. Seems that Alphonse Jones was trying to kill his mama.
I'm out the door, with Mr. Ned hot on my heels, jump in the cruiser and tear off for the scene. In the excitement, neither Mr. Ned nor I noticed that he hadn't put his gunbelt back on.
We sail into the neighborhood, and sure enough, Alphonse and his mama are rolling around in the street outside her house, slapping, hair-pulling, and screaming fit to make a sailor blush, much to the amusement of the crowd gathered around to watch the festivities.
Mr. Ned and I promptly parted the crowd and snatched up Alphonse and his mama. I've got the mama over by the back bumper of the cruiser, trying to get a coherent story out of her, when I notice that Alphonse is getting stupid with Mr. Ned.
"Alphonse," says Mr. Ned in that low, slow John Wayne voice of his, "You get over to your Granma's house. I'll talk to you in a bit."
"I'm staying right here," yelps Alphonse, "You got no right to tell me to go nowhere!"
"Alphonse," drawls Mr. Ned, "I'm telling you to get along."
About this time both Alphonse and I notice that Mr. Ned isn't wearing a gun belt. Alphonse has his back up, he's got the crowd egging him on, and I'm not seeing a Good Future for either Mr. Ned or me. I start eyeing the distance to the shotgun in the front seat.
"You ain't got no gun, Mr. Ned!" crows Alphonse, "You ain't got no authority over here!" He starts weaving in on Mr. Ned, hands not quite fisted and not quite up, but getting that way in a hurry.
"Alphonse. I'm not going to tell you again. You get in your Granma's house, and you do it now."
"You ain't got no gun!" Alphonse is crouched now, hands up and open as he shuffles towards Mr. Ned. He jerks his head a bit, feinting. There's a sudden movement, and Mr. Ned has Alphonse by the shirtfront with one hand, and the other hand fisted up by Alphonse's face.
"What's that look like to you, boy?" Still low, still slow.
Alphonse's eyes cross as he tries to focus on the Beretta Jetfire stuffed breech-deep in his left nostril. The silence from the crowd is awe-inspiring, so complete that I can hear Alphonse gulp twenty feet away.
"L-, l-, looks like I'm g-going to Grammas house?"
You know, there really isn't anything you can add to that sort of thing.