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Mr. "Bentley's" Second Chance (Part One)

Come Along With Me As I Write Down Many Stories, Ideas, and Some Slightly Interesting Things That I Can't Wait To Write Down!

A Fictional Tale


Mr. Hardin loves a good Bar-b-que sandwich. His team of doctors had warned him against all the fatty beef, the large carbohydrate bun, the rich "Hi-Cal" Bar-b-que sauce, and the spicy onion and jalapeno. Not to mention the bag of chips or potato salad he would eat along with it. Then, swallow it all down with a big glass of Dr. Pepper. What a great combo for your health! And his team of doctors maintained a strict record of Mr. Hardin's diet. They had to. That is what he paid them to do. He had a team of specialist doctors that he met with weekly to make sure he stayed in excellent health.

You see, Mr. Hardin is 75 years old. You wouldn't think it to look at him. He looks around 55/60-ish in his stature and facial features. But, he truly is 75. He feels that age every day when he gets out of bed. He is an old white guy, active, fairly strong, hard-working, and fairly popular (thanks to advertising) , with a large family of a wife, many children, and lots of grandchildren. Mr. Hardin is in real estate. A matter of fact, his name is synonymous with big real estate in the big city he resides in. Mr. Hardin is used to getting his own way. He has always gotten his way in the local real estate market. Mr. Hardin makes huge real estate deals all the time. Perhaps you've heard the saying, "He makes big deals before breakfast." Well, Mr. Hardin made big deals before that. He makes big deals while turning off his alarm clock, first thing out of bed.

And one of his favorite ways to celebrate a big deal is with one of his favorite meals. Mr. Hardin is from Texas and a big city at that. No need to mention the name. All the big cities are all about the same. Well, Texas cities have the added benefit of being in Texas. Other than that, they are all about the same. But, the thing about Texas cities is that they have plenty of Tex-Mex restaurants, Gulf Coast seafood, steakhouses, and, of course, good ol 'Bar-b-que. They have all the other good stuff that a big city has. Well, like, Italian, deli sandwiches, pizza, Chinese, and Mediterranean. I think you get the picture. Mr. Hardin likes to eat at all these types of restaurants despite his team of doctors and his wife telling him to watch it. He likes good food of all kinds, healthy or not. He's made it this far in life eating many of the things he wants. He is not about to stop now.

He takes great pleasure in hearing of a local place that serves up the best food or that has gotten a good rating from a food critic. He practically obsesses over finding new places weekly. This time it was a local bar-b-que stand with picnic tables inside. The place needed paint inside and out, and the inside cement floor was glazed over black from the soles of many feet over the decades. And, it was in a bad part of town. That didn't matter to him. He had a bodyguard, and his chauffeur was licensed as a bodyguard. Mr. Hardin kept a small team of bodyguards around him for occasions where he had to do business in areas that no one wanted to go to or to deal with people that might have a slight criminal nature to them. When it came to his land deals, who exactly was holding on to a piece of prime real estate didn't matter when it came to Mr. Hardin. He only cared about getting the property.

Many times, he needed a strong few guards standing behind him to help close a deal with someone that wanted to use more than a little bit of intimidation. His "Security team" (as he called it) was a big help in those situations. They were his "strong backers" and were very loyal to him. He paid them well and added many benefits to their employment packages, like housing, for instance. He would set up each one of his personal staff members with their own houses, as a benefit for working with him. Not a bad benefit! Plus, he had the usual perks: insurance, retirement, etc. And, with "Security," he paid for them to have all the latest training, expertise, and equipment. This kept his Security team sharp and well respected.

Mr. Hardin sounds like a criminal boss after this explanation. Actually, he was far from it. He absolutely abhorred any type of deal that was not 100% legal. That was not how he liked to do business. He didn't like any deal that could not be tied up neatly with a bow and could then be put up on a shelf for a later day. He didn't like loose deals and "favors" for this thing or another. If you got into the business of doing favors, he would say, "You're going to end up owing everybody something for the rest of your life."

He had to almost drag many land owners down to a lawyer's office to finalize a deal. But in the end, it was worth it, and he slept better that way, too. He was sure he had many enemies that wanted him dead. Hopefully, just for some of the land deals that he was sitting on. Not literal people that wanted to come after and kill him. It may be possible. But, Mr. Hardin didn't want to think like that. He held no animosity towards anyone. Even with those he had done business with, he could tell that some of their operations had a criminal element to them.


So after spending all morning and into lunch wrapping up the paperwork at his lawyer's office with a seller, he was ready to try this "new" (to him) Bar-b-que place on the way home. It was getting towards mid-afternoon, and already the day had seemed weirder than most. For such a busy city, it had become almost creepily silent today. Not much traffic. There are fewer than half as many people out and about as per usual. When you live life and make a living going around the city, you notice things like this. As he climbed into the back seat with one of his three bodyguards, of his 2014 Black and White Bentley Flying Spur, he asked his chauffeur to call the whole crew back at his house to come and join them. It was going to be a celebration. And why not? You have to find ways to celebrate during the day-to-day business dealings.

Mr. Hardin's vehicle rolled up to the place and noticed that the business sign said that they were only open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday only. It was 1:45 pm. Mr. Hardin was impressed with their hours of operation. "I need business hours like these folks have," he stated, out loud to the two in his car. Obviously, this place had built a huge clientele. And obviously, it took more than just 3 hours to prepare the food and to clean-up after the lunch run. Mr. Hardin got out of the car in a hurry. His staff knew what he was about to do, so they stayed close behind him for support. They had seen his mode of operandi before...many times.

Mr. Hardin pushed both front double doors open wide at the same time and paraded inside. Some people looked up from eating, some did not. Some recognized him. The people behind the counter looked unimpressed, so Mr. Hardin broke into his Mighty Formal Old Southern Gentleman soliloquy. It was almost too corny for his staff to bear. However, he used it successfully to get his foot in the door of many properties that he walked into and wanted to find the owner so that he could buy the place. "Good Day... to all you fine people of this fine dining establishment! I wonder if I might be able to garner the attention of the proprietor or his/her assistant to plead with him...with great leave his fine operation open for another 1/2 an hour. By adding a pair of zeros to mine and my staff's total bill, I will be able to make it worth his or her while. But only if it does not put the kitchen out or dwindle into the product on hand and prepared for the day, too badly. Oh, and I would like to pay the bills of all your immediate patrons that are seated or waiting for their order." A cheer went out through the whole place. What could the kitchen or the owner do with such a great offer?

An older black lady came out from around the cash register and said: "Hey there, Mr. Fancy pants..." What do you think you're doing? Disturbing these fine folks while they are eating. Did you leave all your manners in that Bentley outside? " Mr. Hardin gulped humbly and replied, "Many Apologies , Ma'am! I didn't mean to be so rude. I just got excited at the thought that I might miss out upon your gourmet features for the day...when I read your sign on the door. And the woman replied: "In other words, you're late." With that, all Mr. Hardin could say was: "Why Yes, Ma'am... I do believe that we are definitely late. all means... we are late! " The old woman had a huge smile, and then she let out a small laugh.

"Well...I was just messin' with you after that big boisterous display you let on about. I recognized you the second that you came through the door. Even if you arrive LATE, you are always welcome at Ma' Tina's Place... especially if we can add a few "zero's" to the end of your bill... ha!" She stated. Meanwhile she laughed to herself a little more, and said, "But..." I have to close in plenty of time to go and get my grandbabies from school. My daughter is a nurse at the Med Center and is working late today." Mr. Hardin was all smiles and said, "That will not be a problem, ma'am. You just kick us out whenever you're good and ready! " He said in conclusion to the big intro that he had put the whole place through.

The older lady grabbed some Menus and then personally showed Mr. Hardin and his staff to a nice sized picnic table. Obviously, she had workers under her that could have done this, but Mr. Hardin noticed how she had owned this simple gesture herself. It shows a lot of class to stay in charge and still be gracious to your guests. Mr. Hardin was already enjoying this nice place and the obvious hospitality. Everyone around us seemed relaxed, even for a lunch hour crowd. "I have others that will be joining us. I hope that will not be a problem. Mr. Hardin asked. The older lady responded with her quick wit, "Not a problem that a few extra "zero's" can't help!" And, she walked to the kitchen while laughing.

The entire staff (that had made it there) placed their last order after a few minutes. They all sat around the table, anxious for this great meal. Most of Mr. Hardin's Security team was there (even one that was on a day off), one of the housekeepers, one of his Project Managers, one of his Office Admin.'s, the Chauffeur, and his Day Chef (who even tagged along since he wouldn't have to make lunch). And, in another few minutes, the meal was served. Everything smelled great! Mr. Hardin slipped the waiter and the bus boy each a twenty and asked that they keep the cold drinks coming. Before anyone started to eat, they paused and waited for Mr. Hardin. He was going to say "Grace" over the meal. He always did. It was short and sweet, but he always said "Grace". It was his way. "Thank you for everything you do for each of us, Dear Lord, and thank you for this wonderful meal!" Then he said, "Now, dig in!" Everyone at that table wasted no time getting started on the food.


After a long time of eating and very little talking, the group started to make comments about each of the items. Mr. Hardin was very glad to hear that they had enjoyed it all. He surely had. He especially liked the brisket and the potato salad. They all had cobbler for dessert. There was peach, berry, cherry, and apple. Each person picked out which type they wanted. Then, after that, they were very full. They wanted to sit and catch a breather after that great lunch. However, Mr. Hardin told them they had better get a move on: "Ma' Tina has to go and get her grandbabies...let's not keep her any longer!" He said.

"Please Ma'am...the bill and we shall be on our way," he stated. This time he was less formal in his speech, but his drawing and dictation still had an older Texan feel to them. "That was exquisite! Thank you very much. "I think they should fire the food critics who have written a piece about your place for not using enough adjectives for your divine cooking," Mr. Hardin complimented. "You are a slick one, Mr. Hardin, and such a sophisticated man," Ma' Tina said. You're married, right? " She joked, then said: "Anytime they don't feed you well over at your house... Just come by and pay me a visit. Next time I'll cook you something special. I have a gumbo that'll take you close to Heaven with one bite! " She finished. "Such a woman...and a great cook. How does your husband let you out of his sight? " He joked back with her.

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"Jimmy, my husband, has passed on by nearly ten years," she said. Oh, how sad, Ma'am... "I am so sorry to learn of this," Mr. Hardin stated. "He passed on working himself day and night at this place. That man could never take a break. Night...and Day...that man worked! " She said it rather matter-of-factly, but with her head bowed and sad. It really pains me to hear of the loss of such an honorable man. Is there anything I can do to help? " Mr. Hardin said. Ma' Tina must have snapped out of her sad reminiscing moment because she jumped right back to the happy, spry person she was that Mr. Hardin had remembered seeing as he was coming through the front doors. You can pay off the bill...with a couple of extra "zero's"! She laughed.

And so did Mr. Hardin. So, Mr. Hardin handed her his credit the conversation between them went quiet after the mentioning of her deceased husband. Sometimes, it's good to let things just sit and ease on out. Mr. Hardin stated: "Please add a 30% gratuity at the end of the bill for all your cooking and excellent service from your staff!" Ma 'Tina looked a little bit shocked, but then bent her head down, quickly adding it all together. She thought that she ought not to reason with the man since he was being so generous. It will all help her bottom line for the month. She knew that for sure.

She graciously handed him back the merchant copy receipt for him to sign. He signed it and quickly handed it back to her, putting his credit card back into his wallet. She knew he was cool with money because he never once glanced up at the total on the receipt while signing for it all. He pocketed his copy of the receipt and it looked like the business exchange would be done and everyone would go about their way. "Ma'am..."?!" Mr. Hardin said politely, but as if he was intending to ask something. "Yes?" Ma 'Tina asked. "Here's those extra "Zero's" I mentioned earlier," he said, pulling out many "Zero's" in the form of hundred dollar bills. Now, she was really shocked. She had thought that the 30% gratuity had covered the "Zero's" enough in her estimation. "No sir, you have done enough, Mr. Hardin!" She stated, almost fully flushed from the surprise.

"Oh yes, ma'am!" Mr. Hardin said, while pausing and going through the cash in his hand. "Here's three hundred to help your business," he said, while counting it out, as he went to hold her hand to put the money in. She slowly opened her palm. Then, he folded the last two crisp hundred dollar bills and handed them to her slowly. This is a bonus for you to use...just for you. Whatever the case may be! Because, when was the last time you were paid a bonus for your efforts? Keeping this fine eating place open day after day...and all you've been through without your husband...and taking care of so many staff...such great food and service. You are to be commended! " Mr. Hardin said.

Ma' Tina was speechless (which never happened) by his generosity, but she could not accept it. "Mr. Hardin, this is too much. I was just playin' along with you about all the "zero's". I wasn't serious. You have to get to know that I like to joke about money...a lot. But...that I have always had enough to get by. Thank you, Jesus (she said quickly after that last sentence). Thank you...but please keep your money! " She requested, handing it all back. "Ma'am..." Please know that this is a simple blessing. I would greatly appreciate a way to help bless you and your I have been so blessed. I'm pretty sure that the Big Man, Jesus, would want you to have it. Plus, it wraps up our verbal agreement that we made between us. Verbal agreements in business have to be honored! I'm afraid I'm a stickler for keeping up my end of the bargain, Ma'am," Mr. Hardin concluded. And with that, he handed it all back to her and raised his hands up high in the air, as a gesture that he didn't want any of it back.

Well, it all went quiet again as Ma' Tina was busy smiling from ear to ear. "We better get out of your way and let you close up your shop so that you can go get your grandbabies," Mr. Hardin said. "Ma'am...there is one thing I would ask?" He spoke up, as he had started walking away. Ma' Tina became hesitant. What were this rich man's motives? Was he about to reveal the real nature of why he was so generous...after all? Was he softening her up for some big deal...or something? Did he want to buy the place...or perhaps the land out from under her? " She thought through these things really quickly as she began to answer him.

"Yes, Mr. Hardin?" She replied. Could my chef here just have a quick look around your kitchen? I know that is an awful imposition to ask of a proprietor But he just loves that kind of thing. No cooking secrets here. No recipes No spices are revealed or anything like that. And nothing underhanded is meant by the least. As he walks out the door, he gets a chance to look over the entire operation. Like those people do on those cooking shows where they see the kitchen but no secrets are involved in the cooking. He likes to see how the kitchen puts it all together, like a mechanic wants to know what's under the hood. " Mr. Hardin finished.

Ma' Tina waited for a minute to respond. It all got quiet. Mr. Hardin's staff was busy watching her. They knew their boss had pushed his negotiations too he usually did. The lady probably didn't want Mr. Hardin's personal chef snooping around her kitchen. "He better not try and copy me...or I'll find him and make sure he never bastes again!" She said It really got quiet after that. Mr. Hardin was about to interject a polite bow out and say that perhaps he had gone over a boundary by asking a chef to see another chef's kitchen. However, she did agree to it. "What the heck?" she said. "Has no one ever figured out our recipes up to this point?" And besides, I get the company of this fine gentleman, Mr. Hardin, for a little while longer." She finished.

"Let me just go first and clear out any tell-tale items that may be on the counters," Ma' Tina stated. Mr. Hardin guessed that meant that he had better stay with them. He was feeling mighty full and actually wanted to get to the car and sit down in its comfy back seat. Mr. Hardin told the rest of the staff to go ahead and leave. Then, he motioned to the chauffeur and the one guarding him to drive around to the back. "We'll leave it out in the they can shut the place down faster," he said while looking over at Day Chef. "She's all yours. Now you can pick her culinary mind, "he motioned to his chef to start walking towards the back kitchen. "Just don't embarrass me and start trying to get any of her secret ingredients, like you did with that place in St. Louis...and almost got us both shot!" Mr. Hardin wrapped up his comments.


They both toured the kitchen. All of this Bar-b-que Place staff were busy putting things away in the kitchen. Mr. Hardin almost felt bad in thinking that perhaps he had played his hand too far, since this place's crew was trying to shut things down. Ma 'Tina immediately took the arm of the chef and showed him around. They both started talking back and forth about everything kitchen and food related. Mr. Hardin was impressed with how neat, clean, and organized everything was. And, with how generous Ma 'Tina was with her tour of the kitchen, even in letting one secret ingredient be revealed to the chef. Welch's Grape Jelly "Guess she forgot to hide the big jar of it on the shelf," Mr. Hardin thought.

But then Ma' Tina surprised him by saying that she would love a cooking session with his chef on some Saturday afternoon when she isn't catering. Maybe she could pick up a few pointers from him, and they could add a brand new item to the menu. "It never hurts to get new inspiration," she e said. He's trained in one of those fancy French cooking schools, so that makes him about half French, like half of my family, who is from Louisiana, so there you go. I bet they all would love his cooking, "she said. "Plus...he's single...and not bad to look at all day!" She laughed. The Chef and Mr. Hardin laughed too.

"Well...I do believe that we have over extended our welcome, Ma'am," Mr. Hardin said. Again, thank you so much for the wonderful food and for your hospitality in showing us around your kitchen. That was more than kind of you. May I use your back door to make a quick exit? I'll leave you two to discuss future cooking meetings. I could sure use a nice seat right about now...and a nap! " Mr. Hardin stated. They both laughed, while he walked over towards the back, where the back door was.

"Ma'am, it sure was a pleasure to meet you and dine at your fine place," Mr. Hardin concluded. Ma' Tina paused her talking with the chef and went over and extended her hand to Mr. Hardin. "Please, Mr. Hardin, come back any time. Thank you so much for coming to see us and for all your "Zero's". You are so nice, such a nice man. You...Your nice Chef and all your staff! " She admonished him with kindness while smiling graciously and watched him turn to leave. It was a little bit flirtatious, since, basically, the young chef was nearly half her age.

Mr. Hardin swung the back door open and realized that his car hadn't made it around here yet. So, he started to walk towards the back edge of the building. He made sure to give the large metal trash bin a wide berth, as he didn't want any smell to disturb the fine essence of Bar-b-que he had just eaten. He made it off the cement sidewalk and around the other side of the trash bin. All of a sudden, he felt what had to be a gun barrel in his backside.


"Are you the owner of that Bentley parked in the front... Mr. Money Bags? I saw you handing out money through the kitchen window. How about giving me your wallet and money clip? " A tall man standing directly behind him mumbled something in a growling tone that was just barely audible enough for Mr. Hardin to hear. Mr. Hardin wasn't phased; he had been through worse things. "Never underestimate your opponent!" Mr. Hardin belted out loudly.

With that, the back door to the kitchen swung open, and Ma' Tina and his Day Chef were standing there with their mouths wide open. They weren't that close as Mr. Hardin had cleared the trash bin that was about twenty feet away from the back door. "Jaylon Lee Menout' better let that man go before I come over there and beat you senseless!" Ma' Tina hollered out instantaneously.

"Shut up, MaMa Tina...and stay out of this," the tall man trying to rob Mr. Hardin said. "I'm calling the cops!" She said, right after he was finished. But, the Bentley had rolled up behind the robber, who was still holding his gun on Mr. Hardin. It had coasted right up to them, quietly. just like a professional driver would know how to do. The only thing that had given the Bentley away was a couple of shells shuffling under the weight of the car as it stopped on the shell portion of the back drive area.

The chauffeur was standing right outside, next to the car's driver's seat, with the driver's door covering him. He had a gun leveled right at the robber. Mr. Hardin's bodyguard (for the day) had the rear passenger door open, and was using it to cover himself. He also had a gun leveled on the now "would-be" robber. The security detail person that had been off for the day (and had only joined them all for lunch) casually opened the front passenger door and slowly walked around his car. He did not have a gun raised at the robber, but it was evident. He had it in his hand, holding the gun down at arm's length. It was a SIG P365.

"Boss?" He talked deliberately abound the robber in front of him and to Mr. Hardin. "You want me to kill him or wing 'em?" The security detail guy said Mr. Hardin had his back to his security team and his car since that was how the robber had positioned him. "Take his fool head off if he doesn't lower his weapon in the next two seconds!" Mr. Hardin stated, and it was clearly heard by all.

Mr. Hardin's security detail guy drew up his weapon and aimed it right at the robber's head. Then, he stepped in a few times towards the robber just so he could fully understand his predicament. "One...Two..." The Security Detail Guy started counting. "Okay... Okay!" The robber let the gun drop. It bounced twice. Everyone flinched, waiting for it to go off with such a violent slam into the hard ground. They all looked at it. It was a brand new Kel-Tec P50. "Geez...that's a lot of gun for a criminal to be carrying," Mr. Hardin said after looking down at it. Then, Mr. Hardin pulled out his own weapon. A Kimber Stainless Raptor II 10mm Auto Full-Size Pistol. "Now...I'm going to have that stupid brain of yours removed from your body," Mr. Hardin said, furiously.


No one on his staff said a word. The robber looked at Mr. Hardin face-to-face for the first time, but he didn't keep his eyes on him. All the robber could truly see and think about was the big 10mm gun that was aimed up at him from Mr. Hardin's side of his hip. "You know, one bullet right now would wipe out the long criminal file you are going to stain on the good human beings of this Earth who work and pay taxes and take care of their families. I don't have much faith in our chances of becoming anything better than what I see before me...if we get the police involved. The Day Chef spoke up, "I think Ma' Tina already called them," he said.

"No Sir...Mr. Good Looking French Chef...I have the phone in my hands though...ready to," Ma' Tina stated. Then she said, " I was reaching for my phone when I saw the car roll up on him and all those guns came out. I thought I'd just sit back and see how this all played out, "Ma' Tina said. "That kid is worthless...anyhow!" She said, and then continued: "Y'all looked like you could handle this faster than the police could!" She finished.

You never know when it might pay to have a Security team.

You never know when it might pay to have a Security team.

"Well, there you have it, Bandito el Grande." Mr. Hardin said, very calmly and plainly, "There isn't nothing stopping us from doing what you started." Then, the robber spoke up. He had to in order to save himself, as he saw it. He said, "I just wanted some of your money. That's all. I wasn't going to hurt anybody," Mr. Hardin answered him back right away: "Yeah, with that hand weren't going to hurt anyone? Oh...Bull Potatoes! " (Mr. Hardin didn't like to cuss.)

Mr. Hardin said. "How in the name of Christ Almighty...Himself, do you expect me to believe something like that?" Mr. Hardin finished. "Sir... please... I'm sorry... I... I... I... just... have fallen on hard times and need a whole lot more money. " The robber a pleading voice. " that all? You've fallen on hard times... so stick that Grizzly Killer in my back and get what you're looking for. Oh...well...why didn't you say so? " Mr. Hardin replied, and then said, "HHHmmmm... Let me see how that works. Give me all your that your fancy car I saw out in the parking lot? " Mr. Hardin raised his gun and put it squarely on the robber's forehead. Then, I clicked off the safety.

The robber trembled and couldn't talk to save himself, and he really needed to speak up. "Well...what's it going to be for your money or your life?" Mr. Hardin demanded. "I'm sorry. Please don't shoot me... Please just call the police... Don't shoot me! " The robber started bawling. It was messy. Snot was running out of his nose. His eyes looked like someone had turned on a waterfall. The tears were soaking his dark black shirt up so much that the whole shirt was dripping wet. "I don't think I've ever quite seen a man cry that much...that my whole life!" Mr. Hardin said out loud and over to his staff, who were all standing close by him. They all nodded their heads in agreement, one by one, very calmly. The tension in all the air around the whole group began to lift.

I tell you what...there Mr. Punk Robber, I'm going to do you...but not the world...a favor and let you live. How about that? Is that acceptable...and on your terms? " Mr. Hardin said, as if he was concluding a business meeting. Then, before he asked Ma' Tina to go ahead and call the police now, he had an idea. He tossed it around for a few seconds. The staff knew he was up to something, but they had no idea what he was going to say or do next.

Ma' Tina looked puzzled by the brief pause in all the action, too. Mr. Hardin had proposed a hypothesis in the middle of his little recent exchange with the "Robber". Now he wanted to see if his hypothesis could be even remotely true. You appear to know the name of this young man. Does he come by your establishment often?" Mr. Hardin said. But, before she said anything, Mr. Hardin thought it might be better to leave his name out of it for now.

"Please, call me Mr. Bentley going forward. So, this nice criminally minded individual remains clueless as to who I am." He stated. he thought of this name rather quickly so she could refer to him as "Mr. Bentley" until he figures out what to do with this new problem that has presented itself. In other words, he didn't want this criminally minded individual in front of him to know who he was...for the moment. His name is easily identifiable throughout the whole city, and could prove to be too much information at this time. Especially for what Mr. Hardin had on his mind.

"Yes, Mr. Har-...I mean Bentley. This young man comes by every afternoon when we are closing and we give him a nice big plate of food from the kitchen," Ma' Tina said, in her nice motherly voice. With that, Mr. Hardin got beet red in the face. He was angry, all over again. "I think I will shoot you after all!" Mr. Hardin said. And, this time, he pulled the slide back on his gun and checked to see if there was a round still loaded in the pipe.

"What... What?" The Robber Guy blared out, thinking they were past this part. "This nice lady has been feeding you food from her restaurant...FOR FREE...EVERY DAY...and you go and rob her customers? I am going to kill you after all! " Mr. Hardin screamed out in anger. Really, it was very unbecoming of him. He had never acted this irrationally over anything.

The robber was totally freaked out and started screaming and crying once again. He put his pistol back in its inner waistband holster and came up with an uppercut to the kid's jaw. Then, he followed it up with a left jab to the kid's lower nose. The left wasn’t his strong arm, so he sprained his older wrist upon impact. "Oww!" They (Old Man and Robber) both said it at the same time. Then, the robber thought it would be best to lay down and make the hits count before the old man kept hitting him. Mr. Hardin went to kick the kid on the ground, still in anger. But then, he gathered his composure and began to push back his own hair which had become wild about his head with all the commotion.

"Ma' Tina...would you mind terribly getting me a small bag of ice from your kitchen? I might've done something to my wrist," he asked politely, gritting his teeth and giving solace to his wrist. The staff had all re-drawn their guns back up again...not knowing what was about to come next when Mr. Hardin started swinging. "Kid...just stay down or I will have to shoot you," The Security team guy who had been doing all the talking said.

"We can't let our boss start swinging at you again or it'll get his heart rate up!" that same guy working security detail (who was suppose to be off this day...I think I mentioned that before...many times) said. Mr. Hardin laughed. All his staff started laughing. They all had a good laugh out of it...all except for the kid (Robber). He didn't know what was going on or what was going to happen next. He just lay there looking at the ground and kept his mouth shut. His jaw hurt from the upper cut of the old man. His nose...not so much.


Part One comes to an end.

Please stay I am committed to bringing you the Second Part and Conclusion...full of surprises. Just like Mr. Hardin, who is always full of surprises.

Thanks for reading Part One. Best regards to you!


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