We Did What?
By Audrey W.
This takes up after Johnny and Roy realize they missed out on a valid deal for their restored fire engine and ran to find a phone book to look up the man who’d made the offer.
Johnny stood beside Roy, who was seated at the desk in the dorm as he flipped through the white pages of the telephone directory to find the ‘Kurners’.
“Ya know, we’re really lucky this guy was lookin' for a 1925 Paige Fire Truck. What’re the odds we’d actually have exactly what someone would be willin’ to pay twenty-five ta thirty thousand dollars for and it not be a gag?”
Roy stopped at the ‘Kings’ and stared straight ahead. “Yeah. . .”
Johnny noticed his partner was no longer searching and had a bit of a disturbed expression on his face.
“Uh. . .it’s what you said.”
“What I said?”
“Yeah. . .”
“Well, what’d I say?” The younger man couldn’t recall saying anything that could cause Roy to be somewhat uneasy.
“About the 1925 Paige Fire Truck.”
“Oh. . .yeah. . .so. . .?”
“We bought a 1932 Dennis Fire Engine from the junk yard for eighty dollars. Remember?”
Johnny gave it some thought. Suddenly his expression changed to one of confusion. “We did, didn’t we. . .”
Roy nodded, his gaze now on Johnny.
“But then how. . .”
Roy shook his head. “I don’t know. Somewhere along the way, we started calling it a 1925 Paige Fire Truck.”
The two eyed one another, both feeling very unsettled.
“We did fix up the same engine after the front of that building collapsed on it, didn’t we?”
Again Roy nodded. “We sure did. Remember we had it towed. We were off duty that morning because of the parade we were supposed to be in anyway. So we hitched a ride back to the station with the tow truck driver. The engine never left our sight.”
“Except that it was being towed behind us,” Johnny pointed out with a snicker.
“And that evening we both stood outside the building, looking at it. That’s when we decided to fix it up again.”
Johnny furrowed his brow. All that was true. So how did the engine become a different model? Or had it?
The phantom, they each thought to themselves. Then after a few seconds, the two simultaneously verbalized, “Nah.”
The paramedics looked curiously at one another in response to their identical word of denial.
“You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” Johnny wondered.
“If you’re thinking we need to go look at it again, I am.”
Johnny motioned for Roy to follow as he took off toward the exit that led directly into the apparatus bay.
After careful examination of their old fire engine in the rear lot, the paramedics stood staring at it.
“It’s the same truck, Roy. The same truck. It’s gotta be. Look,” he said pointing to the front. “Here’s the same crank handle ta get it started. The same bell,” he added, motioning toward a bell that hung in the center at the back of the open cab. “It’s the same, so how’d it become a 1925 Paige? When did it become one?”
Roy stood quietly looking bewildered. He couldn’t recall the first time they’d called it by a different make and model. Nor why they would.
“Well, however we came to this point, there’s only one way to move forward.”
A puzzled expression remained on Gage’s face.
Roy shrugged. “We don’t worry about the ‘how’ or ‘when’ and just move on to the fact we’ve got a buyer once we find him again. I don’t know about you, but I can get past it all for twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars.”
Johnny gave it a few seconds of thought. “Maybe you’re right.” His face brightened, then his lopsided grin widened as he pondered it a little further. “Man, you are right. Who cares? As long as we sell it, it doesn’t matter.”
Roy smiled wider as well, more confidence in his words with Johnny having accepted them so well.
“So it’s back to the phone book?”
“Back to the phone book,” Gage agreed.
The two paramedics headed toward the rear doors to the apparatus bay, where they’d continue on to the dorm room and the task of finding Mr. Kurner’s phone number.
Just as they entered the bay area, each glanced over his shoulder at the restored engine, both with the same thought although neither would admit it.
When and why did we start callin’ it a Paige?
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