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(Excerpt from The Legend of Dynamite George) Chapter IX – THE MISSING TEETH

  • July 13, 2010 9:38 pm

As he prowled around the change room, he discovered a crack above in the eaves where steam was escaping. He climbed up the outside of the building and stuck his nose into the steam. With his whiskers as a measuring device, he poked his pink button nose into the crack. The hole was too small. His body wouldn’t fit. Dynamite George chomped with his four front incisors on the wet wood and spit chunks to the ground. In an agitated state, he enlarged the
small crack enough to tightly squeeze his body through. Frozen and exhausted from the difficult task, he crawled into the cloud of warm steam down to a ceiling crossbeam. He surveyed the area of the change room. His attention focused through the mist to the line of white sinks. His eyes brightened when he saw a shiny pink object in a glass of water on a sink: Billy’s new upper false teeth.

Relaxing in the shower’s steamy haze and enjoying their harmless banter, none of the miners noticed Dynamite George slyly creeping down the wall into the shower room.

Not to be denied his new found treasure, Dynamite George’s glittering black eyes never left the shiny trophy on the sink. Billy’s pride and joy had cost the outrageous sum of $775.00. Even his four children knew they would bring down thunder if they fooled around with Pa’s new store-bought teeth.

Dynamite George sensed the coast was clear. He sprang to the sink and grasped the teeth inside the glass of water. The wet teeth slipped through his paws and fell into the sink bowl. He pounced on them like a coyote jumping on a prairie dog. Clutching the dentures with his needle-sharp teeth, he jumped to the floor and landed on the cement where one of the front teeth broke loose. He dragged his pink-and-white prize to the foam wall and, with effort, struggled up the wall to the crossbeam. He labored with the teeth until he reached the hole in the eaves. He tried to push them through, but they were too large for the hole. Carrying the teeth, he ran back down the wall to the floor to search for another exit. He was alarmed by the slapping sounds of bare feet approaching from the showers, and his fur bristled in fright.

Without hesitation, Dynamite George clutched Billy’s uppers tighter and ran back up the opposite wall to one of the crossbeams. He crossed the slippery beam to his familiar hiding place. He found the loose grate and forced the teeth into the exhaust fan box. He slipped through the grate and paused to search for an exit by the ice-covered fan. He grappled with the hole caused by the melting ice between the blades and the wall. He gnawed with his razor sharp teeth, spat out small pieces of ice and jerked away larger chunks with his paws. At last the hole was enlarged, but the uppers would not go through to the outside.

Dynamite George was startled by a miner shouting and bellowing in the shower room below. The pack rat stopped struggling with the ice and turned from the fan to peek through the grate below.

It was Billy. Scantily wrapped with a towel around his waist, he started yelling and charging around the shower room. Frightened by Billy’s wrath, Dynamite George frantically tore more pieces of ice loose in the fan box. He squeezed his way through the small hole of sharp ice to the outside and scurried down the side of the building.

He left his prized possession by the frozen fan blades. In the pink light of dawn, he jumped over the mounds of snow and raced up the mountain to the safety of the explosives magazine. In the watchman’s shed next to the mine entrance, Wyatt, the dozing night watchman, was awakened by the commotion. He bolted out of his chair and stumbled over the logs stacked for the wood-burning stove.

“Someone’s being murdered,” he mumbled to himself, as the earsplitting yelling boomed from the change building.