Wade received a call from Hollis Sadler, "Wade, you thirsty?"
"Yeah, but I thought we were dry?"
"Not anymore, I managed to find some?"
"Really, where from?"
"Questions will get you in trouble. I'll call you later with details."
"Hollis, you have made my day!"
"Just between the 2 of us for now."
"You and me and the door post."
"Later", and they rang off.
After some thought of how to handle distribution of his stash, Hollis had come up with up a brilliant plan. About 10 am that morning, Hollis walked in Dot's. The bar was not officially open, but Ike always kept the front door unlocked when he first came in just in case a local had an emergency need of solace or nerve.
" 'Morning Ike."
"Dr. Hollis, want can I do for you?" Ike asked as he dried some wet glasses sitting on the bar.
"Well, Ike, I have a proposition for you."
"I'm all ears," said Ike as he sat a small glass of the Doctor's favorite single malt Scotch in front of him.
"Ike, we're old friends, right?" Hollis took a swig of the Scotch, "If you are not cotton to my proposal, it will not got any further."
"Haven't seen you in a while and if I did, all we talked about was the weather."
"OK, here is proposition."
Hollis' idea was that he would deliver the moon shine to Ike one case at the time. Ike could keep all the profits from the sale - a carrying fee.
"So I just add 'Moon Shine' to my list of libations."
"No, only a few folks will know about this. When they come in, they'll just ask you for 'What the Dr. ordered'. When you hear that you know they have access."
"How do they want it? Straight up, neat, with a mixer?"
"Well, you'll learn that perty quickly. You're smart Ike. That's what makes you our favorite bartender."
"How much do I charge?"
"I'll leave that up to you or Dot or whomever. Personally this is between me and you. If you want, I'll be glad to talk with Dot about it."
Ike continued drying the glasses and thinking. "Sounds like a plan. Don't worry about Dot. But I need something else?"
"I need a back up phrase - in case someone comes in I don't recognize. 'What the Dr. ordered', is not sumpem' I hear everyday, but I have heard it before."
"OK, If you're not sure when they give you the phrase, just ask 'Bad Day?' If they reply 'You know, women and money' (or 'men and money'), you'll know they are legit. And if they don't know the right response but give you a look like they know what they asking for, just call me."
"I do not want to know where the elixir came from. I can just assume, it wasn't made in a radiator somewhere back in the swamp."
"No, this is prime, smooth as silk." Hollis took another sip of Scotch. "Know the 'Cookies that are made by little elves in a hollow tree'?"
"Yes, sir," said Ike not knowing where this was going.
"Let's just this was made by little gnomes in a wooden shed."
Knowing exactly what Dr. Sadler was referring to, Ike started laughing,"Say no more."
"I'll drop a case off tomorrow morning before you open."
"When you get low, just call me and in the conversation drop the line,'The hollow tree is about to fall down".
Ike just shook his head and smiled.
Hollis pulled out some cash to pay for his drink. Ike said, "No, sir. This is on the house, business you know."
Hollis reached his hand across the bar,"Thanks Ike, you're good man."
"An old man," Ike said as he shook the doctor's hand.
With that Hollis got off the bar stool and walked out the door. When he got back to his office, he started making calls. He had a list of everyone who's supply of home brew had been cut off thanks' to the Eldridge's unfortunate run in with the law. Needless to say, everyone Hollis called was thrilled. He made sure they knew the magic words and that it would not be available until the following day.
Several asked where he got it from. He told them it was a long story and they did not need to know the details. However, he assured them this was first class stuff, as good as the Eldridge sisters'. No one questioned anything else.
While Dr. Sadler was taking care of his business, the Sheriff received a frantic call from the Haney's, Mrs. Barker's neighbors. "There has been a shooting."
"Next door at Widow Barker's?"
"Have you seen anyone?"
"Stay in place, avoid windows, we are on our way."
Mike and the Sheriff made their way over to Mrs. Barker's home. When they arrived nothing looked askew. As they approached the front door, they heard another shot. "That's a shot gun," said Mike.
The Sheriff motioned for Mike to go around the right side of the house and he would go around the left. Silently they made their way slowly toward the backyard. It wasn't 30 seconds before they heard this blood curdling scream. This was followed by another shot.
Mike and the Sheriff had dealt with some bad situations, but a shooter with a shotgun in a backyard, was not one of them. What if they had some serial killer on their hands? What if the shooter was waiting for the two of them to show up?
Mike took one more step and the shooter, covered with blood, stepped out from the backyard aimed the gun at Mike and fired. When the Sheriff heard the shot, he knew it came from the other side of the house. He moved quickly into the backyard. The first thing that he saw was blood everywhere.