Phooey and the Drug Pushers

by Arnold Nelson

     When he woke up, he was in a strange bed, in a strange room and he had no idea how he got there. There was a girl there looking at him. He had no idea who she was.

     Bout time you woke. She said you have been out almost 18 hours.. Where am I He said. You're on our farm And where is your farm bout 15 miles from Tyler That doesn't help Tyler is about 60 East of Needles or if you prefer about 200 east of Los Angeles None of that means anything to me.. How did I get here? We don't know. I found you yesterday near our rock pile. I thought you were dead. I ran and got Mom and she said you were still alive but just barely.

    She carried you back to the house and put you in my bed . Then we called the Dr and the Sheriff. Doc Jones said you probably got a 'cussion when you fell but you should be alright in a couple of days. Sheriff thinks someone was trying to kill you. Why We were hoping you could tell us. Sorry I took you bed It is alright I like sleeping with Renee any way Who is Renee? My big sister she is 12. What is you name? I'm Sara, I'm 9, What is your name? I don't remember . Doc Jones did say something about you might have trouble 'membering when you woke up. He said in a few days it should come back.

     Whew! that is good because right now I can't remember anything. The only thing I know is I need to go to the bathroom.. Mom said to give you this She held up something that looked kind of like a vase with a bent neck and a handle. What is that for? Mom use to be a nurse she said boys and men use it when they can't get out of bed. She said they put it between their legs put their thingy in the hole and let it go. When you are done put the top back on and push the buzzer on the table and I will comeback and take care of it?"

    Are you serious? Yes Mom said you need to stay in bed today, tomorrow you may get to walk around a little. While you are doing that I will tell Mom you are awake and see about getting you some food. I am sure you are hungry. yes! very hunger. Don't forget to ring the bell when you are through.

     After he finished, he put the top back on and hit the button on the table. A few minutes later Sara came back with a bowl of broth. She gave it to the boy and went to dump the funny looking vase. When Sara came back her mother was with her. Sara put the think on the table next to the bed and said This is my Mom, her name is Joan Thomas. She said call me Joan if you want. how are you feeling? My head still hurts a little and I can't remember a thing and that is scary.

    Yes it is. You had a nasty fall and it will take a while to get over it. You are young and healthy and you should be fine in a couple of days. We will keep you on broth today then tomorrow we can probably put you on regular food.

    Sara here wants to be a nurse when she grows up so we decide to let her take care of you. Looks like she is doing a good job. I don't know what she told you about us. We live on a small farm about an hour SE of Needles Ca. Nothing much grows out here it is all desert country but we like it, it is peaceful The girls have a couple of horses. We have a few other animals. My husband Phil is a Deputy, he and the Sheriff are checking missing person bulletins. Trying to find out about you and your family. So far they have not found anything.

    It looked like someone was trying to kill you. They were a lot of footprints and some tire tracks where we found you. It looks like you got away and were running across our field and fell and hit you head on a rock. They probably thought you were dead and left in a hurry.

     They could still be after you so we decide it would be safer to leave you here and protect you here rather then to send you to a far away hospital. We have men outside watching both doors and 2 men inside 24 hours a day until we know what is going on. We don't have enough of a police force here, so all the men in the town volunteered to take watches.

     You are safe here so just rest and get better. I am a professional nurse and Sara is also a very good nurse so you have nothing to worry about, just get better and get you memory back. Dr. Jones will be back this evening to check on you. Sheriff Otis will be here too, he wants to ask you some Questions, now that you are awake.

     Then Jean said she had work to do and left him in the capable hands of Sara. At dinner time Sara brought him some more broth. He was so hungry he ate it all.

    When he fell asleep Sara went to Renee's room and crawled in bed with her sister. Early the next morning she was right back in the boy,s room and was sitting on her chair when he awoke. He said Can I get out of bed and use the restroom now? I don't like that thing.

    Mom said if you felt strong enough, go ahead. It is just across the hall. When he got up he wobbled a little but he made it across the hall. When he got back Sara was holding a deck of cards. Do you want to play Hearts? she said. He said I don't think I know how, will you teach me? Sara just smiled and started dealing the cards. After 6 games Sara said phooey you must have played before you won every game. He said That's it! What My name, I am sure it's Phooey What kind of name is Phooey? It is not my real name it is sort of a nickname.

    Wow that is great. I better go tell Mom so she can tell the Sheriff, it will make it a lot easier to find your people. Sara went downstairs and told her Mom. Joan called the Sheriff right away. The Sheriff said That is great I was just looking at the missing persons reports that came in over night. I saw one about someone named Phooey. Let me find it. Here it is James (Phooey) Balouee he lives in Hollywood Ca. His parents are Bob and Nana and he has a little sister, 5 years old, named Tina. Let me get off this phone and I will call them, I will call you back after I finish with them.

     Sheriff called back in about 30 minutes and said. I faxed them the picture and they said yes it is their son. he disappeared 3 days ago while helping a friend. It seems he is an amateur detective. The friend asked him to get some pictures of a local drug pusher so they can take them to the police and get him off the streets. Phooey disappeared While taking pictures. The friend is so upset he won't eat anything until Phooey comes home.

   Did you get the name of the pusher? Jean asked. Yes they said his name was Cliff Baker I ran his sheet while we were talking he has a friend named Art Patrick. The Patrick farm is only about 10 miles from here and they have a son named Arthur, must be about 20 or 22 now Joan said

    I remember Sheriff Otis said I am heading out there as soon as we are through talking. The Balouee's said they were heading out here first thing in the morning to see Phooey and decide what action to take.

     We will be happy to meet them, whatever they want to do is fine is with us. Sheriff Otis said they are stopping here first and I will bring them out. Ok, bye sheriff, I will tell Phooey the good news Jean said, and they hung up.

     The Sheriff drove out to the Patrick farm and talked to both Art and Cliff. They both denied any knowledge of Phooey's disappearance They claim they have not been in California for a month. The Sheriff left shaking his head, he did not believe a word of it.

    When he got back to his office he called the guards on the next shift into his office, told them he expected something to happen tonight and who to look out for. He also sent two men to watch the Patrick place and call in if the leave the farm.

    After the Sheriff left, Art turned to Cliff and said I thought you said he was dead. Well he looked dead to me Cliff said I am not about to touch no dead body. Now we have to go finish the job before he talks to the sheriff. We will go over there about midnight when everyone is a sleep and sneak in the back door. We will find that kid and finish him for good. Art said. Do we have to Cliff said. It is either that or be on the run the rest of our life or spend the rest of our life in Jail.

     Art said I don't like either of the other choices so we have to do it Ok Cliff said. I guess you're right, but I still don't like it Quit your whining your the one that got us in this mess in the first place

    After Joan got off the phone with the sheriff she went upstairs to talk to Phooey. She said They found your family Your real name is James Balouee, your parents are Bob and Nana, and you have a little sister Tina who is 5. They are coming here tomorrow morning.

     Phooey looked scared. What is the matter Phooey, you look like you don't want to see them Joan said. I am glad to know who I am and I am glad my family is coming but what if I don't know them. Don't worry if you don't know them at first, they will understand. Dr. Jones said you will get your memory back. You just have to be patient.

     After Bob and Nana got off the phone with Sheriff Otis They sat down and had a good cry. They were so relieved to find Phooey and know he's alright. Then Bob started talking I would like to leave before dawn to go get Phooey. Nana said that's fine I will be ready when ever you are. You know maybe we should bring Tommy. He is so upset about Phooey a trip to the desert just might cheer him up. Bob agreed and picked up the phone to call Tommy, Then put it down. I think we had better go over there and tell him in person Bob said.

    So they went to Tommy's and sat down with Tommy and his mom and explained everything. Tommy said he would like to go. Tommy's mother agreed. Bob said stay with us tonight because we will leave about 4 AM. You can sleep in Phooey room tonight. Tommy said I could never do that without Phooey. Can I sleep on your couch? Bob said Sure, the couch it is. So they went back to Phooey's house and all went to bed early.

    A little before midnight the officers at the Patrick place radioed in that Cliff and Art were leaving and going in the direction of the Thomas' farm. Sheriff Otis said Follow them, but keep you headlights off, We don't want them to know they have a tail.

    Cliff and Art stopped about 1/2 mile from the Thomas' and started walking. They tried to be quiet and stay in the shadows as much as possible. Pretty soon the men in the yard radioed someone is coming. Sheriff said don't do anything until they get inside Then there was the sound of glass breaking. Art broke a window near the door and reached in and unlocked it As soon as they got 2 steps inside the lights came on. Art and Cliff were staring at 2 men pointing guns at them. They started to turn and run but there were 4 guns behind them. They knew they had nowhere to go, so they just laid down on the floor.

    When Sheriff Otis got them back to the station they were both trying to get a plea agreement and put the blame on the other.

    When the Balouee's got to the sheriff's office Otis said I am suppose to take you over to the Thomas', Joan said she would have breakfast for everyone. Let's talk a few minutes first. Otis explain about nabbing Cliff and Art and laughed and he told them how they were both singing as loud as they could trying to cop an agreement. Otis said It will be a long time before they see daylight again.

     Then they drove to the Thomas'. When they walked in Phooey was sitting with Sara watching TV. As soon as Phooey saw her he jumped up and cried Mom! and ran to her and they both cried. Then he shook his father's hand and hugged his little sister. Then Bob said Phooey, there is someone else here to see you. He is waiting on the porch. He wanted to talk to you alone first. Phooey had a strange look on his face and asked who, Bob said go see. So he went to the porch and Tommy was standing there very nervous. Tommy said with tears in his eyes I am so sorry I almost got you killed. Can you ever forgive me. Phooey said It was not your fault you gave me a job to do and I tried to do it, but I forgot one important rule, a good detective always has someone watching his back, and I didn't have anyone. If you need to hear it, I forgive you Tommy. Then both boys hugged and cried then they wiped there eyes and went back inside.

    While they were eating Phooey told them most of his memory was back when he woke up this morning. Phooey explained he was taking pictures and someone came up behind him and put a cloth on his face. When he came to he was riding in a trunk. It was a pretty bumping ride too Phooey laughed. While we were traveling I felt around for a way out of the trunk and I found the latch you told me about, Dad. When the car stopped I waited a couple of minutes then pulled the loop and the trunk opened. I jumped out and started running, I was getting away too. Then I tripped over a rock. Next thing I knew I woke up in Sara's bed

     Sheriff said we have their car. We will go over it and I am sure we will find some evidence that you were in the trunk. Oh and Tommy you won't have to worry about them for a long time, they will be in jail for many years.

    Then Bob said Nana and I were talking on the way out here. Next weekend is a three day weekend we are going to have a welcome home party for Phooey and we would like all the Thomas' to be our guest. we will put you in a hotel and Sunday we can all go to Disneyland.

   CAN WE GO? both Renee and Sara said at the same time. Then Sara said We have never been to Disneyland. Ted turned to Jean and said Let's have a talk in the other room. So they left, 10 minutes later they returned.

    Chief do you think you can spare me for 3 days? Otis thought it over for a few minutes and looked around the room at all the long faces, then smiled,and said we can manage, you have not taken a vacation for a while anyway and you need to use some of your vacation days. Then there were big smiles all around the room, Ted said there is one more thing. We can't accept that much Bob, if you want to pay for rooms, fine, and we would love to go to your party, but we will pay for our own way to Disneyland.

    Bob agreed then he turned to Tommy who looked kind of sad and said Tommy would you like to be our guest at Disneyland too. Tommy nodded and got a big smile on his face and said yes Then Sara said I am staying close to my patient in case he has a prelapse. Renee you and Tommy can keep each other company. Everyone laughed, Bob said all 4 of you kids had better stay together at Disneyland or else. All 4 kids nodded ok

   Then Tina said What about me? Can I bring a friend too? Nana said Who do you want to bring? Tina said How about Carol she is my BFF Nana said ok we will call her when we get back. Then they were all taking at once about what they were going to do at Disneyland.

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