Chapter 2

    "The Spir came to town and immediately started to make friends with The Jews and The Muslims.  Within six months they had a
coalition going and for the first time was making real headway against those in the city that didn't care for religious tolerance, for people getting along.  They decided to have a big convention, hired my banquet facilities.  I had a cook...a great cook, but he had a sense of humor.  Nothing serious, he just liked to play pranks.  
    Well, anyway, we got out the hamburger to make the pepper steaks, the meatballs, and, the spaghetti sauce.  And he started laughing saying "Let's have some fun.  The Jew boys and The Muslims don't eat pork.  Let's spice up their burger a little bit!"  So he took several pounds of pork chops, cut the meat off them, ground them up and mixed them in the hamburger.  It was nothing serious, just a little joke.  
    We had a Spir kid working in the kitchen.  He got wind of what was going on, came up to me and tried to convince me I couldn't allow this.  It was a serious violation of these people's beliefs.  Even his people rarely ate pork.  I told him to shut up, it wasn't his concern, it was just a prank, not to worry about it.
    Well, the cook went even further.  He strained some bacon fat and mixed it in all the salad dressings.  Well, the people started coming in for the banquet and the next thing I knew the darned kid had gone out in the diningroom and told the people organizing the banquet what was going on.  The damned little rat snitched on us!  The Spiritist guy, a n----- married white, came back into the kitchen enraged.  I told him the kid was nuts, nothing like that had happened, but the pork bones were still in the trash can by the grinder, and the grinder hadn't been cleaned yet.
    This piece of trash got up in my face and started screaming at me, saying I was a piece of garbage to pull a stunt like this.  I finally got mad and told him off. It was just a damned prank, I screamed, nothing serious.  It isn't going to hurt the people if they eat a little pork. That's religious trash!  I told him to just keep quiet about it, and they'd never know the difference, that a man like him didn't come in my kitchen and scream at me.
    I pointed to the kid and told him to get out, he was fired. He could come back for his paycheck Friday. But he'd caused a big fuss over nothing and I didn't want someone like him in my kitchen.  The Spiritist guy covered the food table, wrote on it with a  marker 'PORK!  DO NOT TOUCH!," had their meeting but made everybody aware of what had happened.  It hit the t.v., and, the radio, the newspapers.  It was all over town!  In a week I had no business.  Even some of the racists in the neighborhood wouldn't eat in my place!  
    The damned kid came back for his check on Friday.  I gave it to him and told him to get out.  I had no use for a little snitch.  The kid said sorry, he just couldn't permit evil like that.  He was walking through the kitchen when the cook grabbed him and threw him on the table.  "I'll show you evil, you friggin' little rat!"  the cook screamed.  "I'll show you what happens to snitches!"  
    Before I could get there he'd stabbed the kid six or seven times with a butcher knife!  "You damned fool!"  I screamed.
    "There's no problem!"  the cook told me.  "We bag him up in the trash bag, put other trash in it and break up the sillouhette, and pack it in the dumpster.  Only you and I were here, nobody else will know. If you don't cover me I'll tell everyone you told me to do it.  The trash goes to the incinerator.  They'll never even find the body!"
    I didn't want any more trouble so I helped him.  The police came and asked questions, but we swore the kid had come, got his check, and left.  That's when it really started getting weird.  The banquet room crew started first.  I couldn't keep them.  They kept saying they saw the kind in the banquet room.  What few customers I still had started claiming they'd see someone standing by the buffet shaking his head and then vanishing.
    Then, one afternoon I was at my desk. I heard something, looked up, and there was the kid standing there, just as plain, as could be, just looking at me sadly.  I blinked and he was gone.  Then the cook started seeing him!  Within a week he was totally freaked.  Finally, the police came back.  The cook had gone to them, confessed, and they charged me with accessory.  Twenty years, all over some frigging ground pork in some hamburger.  Stupidity, damned stupidity!  The cook never went to trial, had a heart attack in his cell screaming the kid was in there and had come for him!  One of the guards swore he saw the guy being led by a kid down the corridor, and they simply walked through a wall!  
    Yeah, I guess like most of us I've got a score to settle with The Spir....a lifetime of dreams chucked down the drain 'cause they couldn't understand a little prank.  I felt bad about the kid, but it was his fault.  It was just a prank, it was just a damned prank."
    Everybody sitting around the fire nodded.  Lt. Morgan kicked the man's feet beside him.  "Hey, Harry," he insisted, "tell 'em about your brother, your brother-in-law, and their wives.  Now there's a REAL good one!"
    The lieutenant looked around.  "Well, I suppose!"  he agreed.  "My brother was a town manager, his brother-in-law was married to our sister and was a chief of police.  Them and the county sheriff had a real good business going, supplying products the government didn't approve of.  They were doing real sweet, not botherin' anybody.  Then The Spir came along, the all honest, the all holy, the all righteous Spir.  
    Well, they exposed my brother's whole operation, set him up, videotaped everything!  Had them dead to rights.  But they had the judge in their pocket.   He liked little boys, and the sheriff let him do his thing as long as he didn't hurt them.  He threw out all the evidence, said it was illegally obtained and a couple of weeks later the sheriff and two of his deputies visited one of the Spiritist families and made sure they wouldn't be doing any testifying.

Page 3

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