| Do-Si-Do Di had to be told the whole story. She would find out sooner or later anyhow. I tell those heaving breasts everything. So she side saddles with me down to Tempe to meet with the Gorman Gang. I tell them of a place I know where they can avoid the real law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In the shadow of South Mountain, way off the beaten path, lies the Mystery Castle. Abandoned years ago by an eccentric recyclist, it now stands alone in the desert. There had been rumors that his Daughter has taken the place over but she doesn’t get any news other than what the Indians tell her. A little gold dust would keep her curiosity at bay and the Gorman Gang could shack up there for a while. We arrive only to find her giving a tour to some of local Navajos. After some small talk and bribery, she shows Calico Cathy her accommodations. The house is filled with so much bric-a-brac and knick-n-knack this lady must be Patty Whack! But she goes by the name of Joan Wayne. I tell her of my upcoming nuptials to Miss Do-Si-Do and she insists on showing me her chapel and honeymoon suite. They have some strange customs in these parts, including brides that “leave their shoe so that the groom will be true.” Mesa Mike is more interested in what is in the cellar but no one is going to tangle with that gator to get to it. It is no wonder this is such a great hiding place, with stairs going nowhere and lookout spots that cover the whole valley.
Calico and I do some catching up on the good old days and she tells me of her two boys and how they managed to live the straight and narrow. One of her boys writes for a big eastern daily and covers the exploits of up and coming gamers. She brags that the boy has his own byline! The boy has my dream job and probably still complains! The other boy is, of course, a lawyer. No doubt he cut his teeth on the law by going to the many trials of his mother...or was it his Aunt? I bet it was his smooth-talking soliloquy that got Calico Cathy out of the noose in the first place. The boy had already gotten one murderer off; imagine what he’d do for his Mom!
While Calico and the rest of the Gang tried to blend into the crowd, I was surveying the high plains for Sheriff Joe and his “Posse of Publicity Poodles.” It wasn’t long when word got out that Calico was at the Mystery Castle and Sheriff Joe, one not to miss a photo-op, was on his way! The Navajos scattered like sand in the desert. Sheriff Joe was a cold blooded opportunist who would willingly hang everyone in sight, as long as it got him mention in the newspaper. I told Calico it was high-time we went. So we jumped on the horses and rode into the desert like coyotes after a rabbit. In the mayhem we soon found ourselves lost in the sweltering heat. We rode for miles and miles only to find out that one saguaro cactus looks like the other saguaro cactus! In our haste we had forgotten to bring water and now we were surveying plants in the hope of finding what us desert dwellers refer to as “Liquid Gold.” We hacked at plants hoping they would turn into fountains only to find that this was only an old wives tale. We couldn’t decide which way to go. We were lost in the desert! Finally, Calico Cathy had had enough! She knew which way to the border but knew we would never make it without water. “We are going this way!” I don’t know if she was pointing at water or the border. Banjo Bud had other ideas, “Head for the hills! We can hide up there and bushwhack the Sheriff!” In the hope of saving my own hide, I convinced them to get to Scottsdale and to avoid a confrontation with the wacky Sheriff. After a few more hours of wandering lost we managed to find the pass to Scottsdale. Over the hills and through the arroyo we go to Scottsdale.
Scottsdale would be our last respite before the Sheriff would track us down. Scottsdale is not your typical western town. Run by greedy saloonkeepers and high-priced ladies of the night, it has gained a reputation of overpriced excess. We wandered its broad avenues with a low-profile and high anxiety. Calico & Mesa Mike sit a spell as we try to figure out what to do next. I warn them that they ought to get something to eat at the chuck wagon (The Grapevine Restaurant) before they have to mosey along. We eat heartily and gorge ourselves on fondue. Time seems to pass like a stampede. Calico Cathy, Banjo Bud, Lucky Louise & Mesa Mike pause for one last photo on the streets of Scottsdale. The posse is hot on their trail. Do-Si-Do and I bid adieu. As a now law-abiding citizen and officer of the law, I can no longer be seen with these scoundrels. I wish them luck and good riddance, farewell and hightail, Godspeed and Bye-Bye. There are tears shed and then they fled. Off into the sunset...