Continuation of part 2
Here's what happened when they got to "Al's." It was later described to me at the hospital. Oooppps I'm getting ahead of my story.
Chance went directly to the machines and Rooney plopped that handsome tush at the bar. Sitting next to him was the Professor, a rustic, unshaven redhead from out East. To escape a nasty divorce, he stopped teaching and headed to Montana. Rooney and the Professor began talking and drinking with Rooney's three drinks to one of the Professors.
The evening wore on. Chance ran out of gambling money and said he was going to the truck. He crawled in the back and immediately fell asleep between two large spools of fence wire.
Rooney, still at the bar, was surrounded by local college girls. He kept tossing down drinks and wasn't really listening to the Professor's stories. He was thinking about getting laid, now that he was all liquored up but the Professor was yammering on about his fourteen year old kid who was spending the summer and how he was teaching him to shoot a gun and making a man out of him.
Closing time was announced and people started leaving. The Professor had somehow lost his truck keys but Rooney said they'd give him a ride home.
Out at the truck, the Professor got behind the wheel since Rooney was in no condition to drive. They took off in a typical Montana-bar-closing scene with Chance bouncing around in the truck-bed admid the fencing tools.
When they reached the Professor's trailer, the door was locked and his key was with the lost truck keys. Chance awoke and wondered what the hell was going on as he got out of the pickup. He and the Professor banged on the door but couldn't wake the boy. Rooney was in the drive way puk'n and Chance and the Professor were trying to find an open window. Hurray, they found one small, high-up unlocked window. The only person who would fit in that small opening would be Chance, so the Professor gave him a boost and he disappeared into the darkened room.
There was a muffled shot. The next moment chaos reigned supreme. The kid came screaming out the door with the gun in his hand..... "Pa, Pa, someone's trying to break in and I think I shot him." Rooney stopped puking and was suddenly stone sober. Neighbors came rushing from their trailers. "Call an ambulance" someone shouted. Poor little Chance's body lay crumbled on the floor in a bright red pool of blood.
When my phone rang at 3 A.M. I thought, "Rooney's in jail again." I picked it up and all I heard was Rooney's incoherent blubbering. I finally made out that Chance had been shot.
"Is he alive?" I gasped.
"Barely. We're at the hospital."
"I'm on my way." I hung up the phone, slipped into my jeans and ran to my pickup.
When I got to the hospital, Chance was in surgery. We waited a couple of hours with Rooney pacing like a caged mountain cat, spewing prayers and making bargaining promises to God.
Finally a string bean looking doctor in blood-stained scrubs poked his head into the waiting room. He either had the perfect doctor's non-committal countenance or he played a lot of poker. After the usual bla bla bla introduction, he said simply, "he's going to be OK." Rooney broke into tears and I said my silent little prayer of thanks.
Dr. String Bean added, "He's sleeping but come back around noon."
Rooney and I stepped outside as a thin pink band of light showed across the Eastern sky. We buttoned up our jean jackets to ward off the remnants of the cool Montana night.
"Come on. I'll cook breakfast," I said, as we headed for my pickup.
"Yup, looks like it'll be a fine day for fenc'n," chimed in Rooney.
The ever lov'n End