Chapter 52

Walker Chapter 52

Copyright 2011 -2012 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Ben – At the bunker

 

I'm hunting like hell for the rifle that fits this cartridge because if I can find it, it will stop anything with one shot. But I'm also concerned about Stacy. She's been a wreck lately (and rightly so) but when she really sees what that fat fuck dope smoking bastard did to her, I'm concerned it will push her over the edge. I'm sure any minute I'll hear her cry from the bathroom or go in there and she will be cowering in the shower. And to be truthful, I have this feeling we can't afford the time for her to recuperate.

 

I take care of one thing then I toss all the gun cabinets in the main room (and find one interesting as hell .275 Rigby rifle1). After my searching I go into the stables, greet Bo and Patches then toss all the gun cabinets in there but still don't find the damn rifle (I put everything back in its proper place, after all I am a Marine). I walk back over to Bo, scratch his neck and I am deep in thought when I'm surprised as hell by the sound I hear behind me. I draw my revolver, turn and discover…

 

1 The 7×57mm cartridge, also known as the 7 mm Mauser, 7×57mm Mauser, 7 mm Spanish Mauser in the USA and .275 Rigby in the United Kingdom, was developed by Paul Mauser of the Mauser company in 1892 and adopted as a military cartridge by Spain in 1893. It was subsequently adopted by several other countries as the standard military cartridge. It is recognized as a milestone in modern cartridge design and although now obsolete as a military cartridge, it remains in widespread international use as a sporting round. The 7×57mm has been deservedly described as "a ballistician's delight". Many sporting rifles in this caliber were made by British rifle makers, among whom John Rigby was prominent. In catering to the British preference for calibers to be designated in inches, Rigby called this chambering the .275 Rigby, using the measurement of a 7 mm rifle's bore across the lands.

 

Present – Stacy – At the bunker

 

I remove my shirt, pull the bandage off my back and turn my back toward the mirror. When I twist my head around…that son of a bitch! That bastard! Right in the middle of my back in crude, vulgar letters it says G U Y! I slightly cry because I know the only way this is ever going away is if I have plastic surgery performed on it. When I catch him, and I will catch him, I'm going to make him pay!!!

 

I take off my pants, and I can see right away there are more pads than I thought. I slowly take them off, and I can't believe what I see. I'm a mass of bruises, welts, tears and cuts! No wonder I'm so sore! I crumple to the floor and begin to cry: Oh why, why, why did I ever do what I did…

 

But the worst thing is Ben had to see all this when he took care of me! I pull myself together, stand up, get in the shower and turn on the hottest water I can stand. Then I scrub the hell out of my skin to rid my body of any residue from that bastard. Yeah it hurts like hell, but for every bit of pain I feel I swear an oath that I will make that bastard experience ten times more pain in reparation!

 

I don't know how long I'm in the shower, but the hot water finally runs out. I get out and dry myself off. Ben must have come in while I was in the shower and delivered new clothes. It looks like he left me some medical supplies. Thank God I can take care of myself because I sure don't want Ben seeing me like this again since I can barely stand to look at myself. I head out into the main room but don't see Ben so I gear up and head toward the stables.

 

I see him loving on Bo and slowly walk toward him. I can't believe I get as close as I do then he quickly draws his revolver, turns and says, "Damn Stacy put your weapon away and don't sneak up on me again like that. I almost shot you."

 

I look down and realize that when Ben moved like he did, I also pulled out my pistol. Wow, I don't remember doing that! I give Ben a serious look and say…

 

Present – Ben – At the bunker

 

I am shocked that Stacy did a damn good job of sneaking up on me - better than she had ever done before. When Bo showed me with his eyes and ears that someone was behind me I thought it might be Guy. When I spun around I was shocked to see Stacy and even more shocked when she automatically drew her weapon! That was a first!

 

I order her to put it away, she complies then explains, "Ben, thanks again for all you've done for me. I know many times I've been a pain and have acted like this is a game. But with what's happened to me, I now know that I need to take more responsibility for my life and protecting it. I want you to teach me everything you know."

 

I argue, "Stacy, what happened to you was terrible but you're overreacting and you're not ready for the kind of commitment it will take." And I think to myself, 'there's no way in hell I can teach you everything I know'.

 

She complains, "Dammit Ben, then make me ready. I'm serious about this and somehow I'm going to make you train me."

 

Suddenly, I can see she's serious about this. I need some way to shut her up so I can continue my search for the rifle. Hey… that gives me an idea! I hold up the cartridge and say, "Okay Stacy, here's the deal. If you want me to 'teach you everything I know', then you need to find the rifle that fires this round."

 

She takes the round out of my hand, looks at it and questions, "Can you describe what the rifle looks like?"

 

I give her my best guess of what I think it looks like, tell her it might even be in a suitcase looking box. She smiles and I get worried when she agrees, "Okay, it's a deal. Follow me."

 

Oh shit! Don't tell me she actually knows where this damn rifle is. We head toward the kitchen and I hope I didn't screw up again…

 

Present – Stacy – At the bunker

 

Ben thinks he's so smart and knows everything. Well I know he never spent as much time in the kitchen as I did. Otherwise he would have known the exact location of the rifle he's looking for. I walk to the pantry, open it and state, "The rifle you're looking for is in here."

 

Ben peers into the pantry and remarks, "Well I sure as hell don't see it."

 

I grin at him, reach in the pantry and pull a little lever. Ben jumps as the pantry swings open revealing the hidden room I'd found. I smile at Ben and say, "Well go on in. There's a suitcase like you mentioned in there with the rifle in it. So when do you start teaching me all you know?"

 

Present – Ben – At the bunker

 

Damn! I should have known better than to bet Stacy. Women are more curious than a hundred cats. But this time her curiosity paid off. Her find was valuable even if her opening the hidden door startled me because I was sure something was going to blow the hell up.

 

I'm busy looking at how this guy created this hidden door when Stacy clears her voice, "So Ben, when are you going to start my training?"

 

I reply, "First I want to make sure the rifle is in here."

 

I start to carefully walk into the hidden room when Stacy barges past me and says, "Ben stop being such a scaredy cat! I've been in here and this room is just fine. Look, the suitcase is over there and I have already looked and it does have some sort of gun in it that looks like a fancy shotgun. So when do my lessons start?" (Are we there yet????).

 

I do a quick assessment of the room and smile - it's plain that this was Jon's private man cave! The walls are covered with trophies and I recognize the big three: A damn rhino; a hippo; and a pair of tusks standing in the corner. Then I shudder when I see the one animal that was even more dangerous than those three - the Cape Buffalo… Damn! I've heard you could shoot one in the head and it would still keep coming and kill you…

 

Stacy clears her throat and continues to annoy me, "Ben? The lessons?"

 

I look at her and angrily reply, "Right now! You should have never explored this room by yourself. Did you forget about all the booby traps?"

 

She fidgets but answers, "Well I figured it was safe because you had turned off the booby traps."

 

I quickly recognize the training opportunity presented by the 'suitcase' as she calls it. I walk over to it, look all around to make sure it's not wired, and instruct, "Here's one of you first lessons: I'm not going to open this until I'm sure it's not wired."

 

I take my time inspecting the case even though I'm anxious as hell – so anxious my mouth is actually watering. When I’m finally sure it's not wired, I carefully open the lid a crack and then check along the gap I created and continue, "Jon was crafty as hell so I'm making very sure he didn't leave additional surprises for strangers."

 

Once I'm totally sure it’s safe, I open the lid and… yes there's the rifle! It's a beautiful old Jeffery double rifle in the very rare .600 Nitro Express caliber. I view the rifle in its carrying case in reverence and notice - DAMN! There's even a scope for it.

 

Stacy is looking over my shoulder and states, "See I told you the rifle was here. But I sure thought it was a fancy shotgun because of the size of the hole in the barrel."

 

I turn, hold up the round and say, "Yeah that's a common mistake because the sixty caliber is almost the diameter of a twenty gauge shotgun. Do you have any idea what this rifle is worth?"

 

Present – Stacy – At the bunker

 

Ben is treating this rifle like he loves it. No, it's worse than that, he's actually worshiping it as if it's his God. He asks me what I think it's worth so I guess, "Oh, it's not as pretty as your shiny rifle so I would say about a thousand dollars."

 

The minute I say it I can tell it was a big mistake and that I've hurt Ben terribly. He sputters, "Not as pretty as my Winchester Centennial 66? This is the most beautiful rifle I've ever seen and it's probably worth well over twenty-thousand dollars. Oh if this rifle could talk, it could tell me about all the great hunts it had been on. I mean look at all the trophies displayed just in this room."

 

I foolishly continue, "Are you fracking kidding me! That old rifle can't be worth that much! Now when you're done worshiping it, can we get on with my lessons?"

 

Ben turns towards me and orders, "Yes we can get on with your lessons right away. One of the most important lessons is always obeying orders. So my order to you is to go a groom the horses."

 

I start to complain but Ben threatens, "Listen, if you don't want to follow my orders then the agreement is void."

 

Damn him anyway! I storm out of the room to 'follow his fracking orders!'

 

Present – Ben – At the bunker

 

Stacy throws up her hands, storms out of the room and leaves me with my new rifle, and she is a real beauty! I take both pieces out of the travel case, assemble her and smile. It looks like right before Jon retired her, he sent her back to Jeffery to have her refurbished. Because unlike American rifles which are bought, never used and put on the shelf for show, British rifles were used and then sent back to the factory to be refurbished.

 

I swing her up to my shoulder and she fits perfectly! Yes this is the nicest rifle I have ever touched. I bring her down, lay her across my lap and take some time to look around the room and smile…

 

I see a writing desk against the wall with some papers on it. I head over to it, look and on top is a manuscript titled, My Hunts In Africa.

 

I sit down, with the rifle across my lap and begin to read…

 

Present – Stacy – At the bunker

 

Damn him! Groom the damn horses as part of my training! He must have fracking forgot that I'm the one that taught him how to properly groom a horse! And do it because if I disobey his orders he will refuse to teach me. Who does the think he is, a fracking king? I should fracking crown him with a hammer!

 

As I begin to groom the hell out of Patches, she reaches back and lightly bites me. I yell, "What the frack is wrong with you?"

 

She neighs, I look at the brush and realize I was so angry I accidentally yanked out some of her mane. I hug her and cry, "Sorry Patches, I was just angry at Ben."

 

She nickers and noses me. I continue much more gently.

 

Then I get ready to groom Bo and he starts fighting the heck out of me!!!

 

Present – Ben – At the bunker

 

Damn, when he retired, Jon did the sort of hunts that I always dreamed of: Big game in Africa. Of course now those options are almost extinct and even with my money you can't legally hunt most of the animals…

 

Wait! Now I remember! I've already bagged two lions and sort of bagged a rhino. If I had this Jeffery, then I would have really bagged him. I continue to read, look at the trophies on the wall and…

 

Ben - Dreamland

 

I am crouched in a little depression and hear the slight sounds of many people. I look over at my hunting partner and what the hell is she doing here? Plus her clothes aren't right: They are khaki shorts, a khaki form fitting shirt, an Aussie style hat with one side folded up and worn as hell boots. But she looks hot as hell in them – a much sexier and fit female hunter than Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa. She smiles at me, her violet eyes glimmer as she whispers, "Ben can you smell the elephants?"

 

I shake my head because I can't believe it! She scolds as only she can scold me, "Ben get your head out of your ass. Now's not the time to be daydreaming. But don't worry, I've got your back."

 

I look and she's holding the Jeffery double rifle that I thought I would have, I look down and I'm holding the Rigby Mauser. I check the rounds on my belt and they are .275! – Shit! This is just like the rifle W. M. Bell used to take his 1011 elephants back when there was a booming ivory trade out of Africa.

 

Jens gives me a love tap in the shoulder (okay it's a bit more than a tap) and once again scolds, "Listen Ben, we've tramped after this herd for three days. Don't tell me that now when they are close enough to almost touch, you want to call off the hunt. The only way we're stopping this hunt is if you take me back to our tent and make mad passionate love to me for a week. So get your head in the game mister because this herd will give us enough money to buy our house."

 

I smile at her. Yeah, that's my Jens! She is the only woman that ever 'had my back', loved the recoil of big-assed rifles and was practical as hell. But it was shocking that we were a couple again - when did that happen? I didn't want to risk another 'love tap' on the shoulder so I grin at her and agree, "Hell yes I'm ready."

 

And I knew what I had to do from reading W. M. Bell's books. He specialized in taking elephants with the small .275 Rigby round using perfectly placed shots. He studied the hell out of elephant anatomy and knew the precise angle to fire in every circumstance so the round penetrated the eye socket, traversed the optic nerve canal and destroyed the brain. He didn't use the .275 Rigby to show off. Hunting was a business to him and this cartridge was the most cost effective round he could find. And it worked for him because he averaged 1.5 shots per kill.

 

I nod my head and question, "Ready?"

 

She returns my nod, we both stand up and this herd of elephants is fucking huge – I wish I had a Gatling gun! I begin to fire my perfectly placed shots until the magazine on my Rigby is empty. The elephants are charging us while our porters begin to yell and take off running (damn cowards)! I begin to do a tactical reload (thank God for stripper clips) when Jens yells, goodie you left some for me this time. I glance over, see her fire the Jeffery, there's a big assed boom and I hear, "Beeeeeennnnnnn!"

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