I have terrible news. Grandpa's grange file is now in enemy hands. True. They came for it last night and were turned back at first. The police came and they fled. But later -- much later -- we had it out again, and they rushed the house from three directions and I couldn't fend them off.
Of course the police wanted to know what was going on. And of course I was reluctant to get into the whole thing about the shadowy underworld the Grange Sisterhood inhabits. If somehow they've been able to fly under the radar for the last 70 years, or whatever it's been, they're not going to believe me now.
What am I supposed to say? There's a vast rural conspiracy to turn the town back into the country? And they won't be satisfied till we're all milking cows and scooping up after horses? It's all true, but you know how it sounds. So I put threw them off the trail. And they gave me a roll of yellow tape as a souvenir and left.
But the truth is this: Town people, mostly young men, who go into the country unwittingly are being systematically killed. All as the result of some kind of terrible test that most town people cannot pass, having loose morals and more eagerly reaching for their zippers. The country folk have trained their horses as assassins, leading them by a grove where sham orgies are taking place between grange people, men and their matrons, and it involves the various allurements of farmers' daughters with cinched up cutoffs and very white cheeks. And apparently overseeing the whole thing is a shadowy network of country women led by a giant Peruvian queen and her daughter.
I know it's laughable. But I had dinner with them and saw the thrones! And I had this one file, that went up to 1963 or so, whenever it was that Grandma and Grandpa stopped taking part in grange events, dropping out in anger or being shunned.
I'm not completely unsympathetic to the grange people. Actually I wouldn't mind seeing a little more countryside around here. The town can be very depressing. Especially areas like Skidrow. And I would like to get rid of fly by night carpet stores. So to that extent, I hear ya, sisters. And the idea of a greater morality on the part of our young people, naturally I resonate with that. But where I draw the line -- and I say this without apology -- is when the guy is simply kicked to death without warning. I think everyone deserves a second chance.
Plus, it's hard to be too sympathetic because of what happened, with my windows being shot out and my doors kicked down. What a terrible night, trying to doze off here and there, sitting there at the windows with my sacred swords and Grandpa's guns. The wind blowing through the shot out windows flapped the curtains in my face. And the coldness made me feel like giving up. But I tried my best to stay up.
Then about three in the morning I heard their cars again. Lights were flashing at the south and the north and there was some activity at the other sides of the house. I shot a few rounds which made them take cover. But they knew it was just me and a sleeping old woman in the house. So they moved in, shooting from three different sides. The windows were shattering everywhere, and pretty soon the doors came in, the north and the south. And in a second they had me covered.
They demanded only one thing, the file! So what choice did I have but to go to the freezer and get it? I moved a pack of frozen pork chops and there it was, in a well-marked freezer bag. I'm really strict about this, making sure the things in my freezer are orderly and used in a way that minimizes the damage freezer burn causes.
But I got off pretty well. They could've killed me. And what I was imagining didn't happen, which is that they would bring in a chain and put it around the freezer and drag it right through the front door. But why would they do that? Since they could just as easily open the freezer and take the file out. They might've done it just to show me they meant serious business. Which I know they did.
Fortunately, I remember enough of the contents of the files to put down the main points.