“Ah declare,” Daddy said, “this is some of the finest barbecue ah’ve ever tasted.”
Guests were mingling on the back lawn of the Hall plantation, and the grill was fired up, and Spud and the Big Katt were seated in lawn chairs, holding hands, still wrapped in a warm swirl of everlasting love.
“Look at those two,” Daddy gushed. And the guests looked, and there were smiles all around, and there was warmth and happiness. Even the police, who were in attendance and enjoy-ing themselves, felt nothing but warmth. They had opted not to ask too many questions when Katt summoned them to the shack and showed them the carnage there. All they knew was, he was dead, this murdering fiend -- call it self defense on the part of Spud and the Big Katt, call it what you will. The murderer’s name could be stricken from the books, and that was a blessing for Baton Rouge.
“What now, honey?” the Big Katt asked. “What are we going to do now that there’s no fiend in our lives?”
“We’re going to be happy, baby,” Spud said affectionately.
“But I’m getting restless,” Katt said. “I am growing restless again, and you know what that means.”
“No, it means that maybe my happy home, with Daddy and mama and that great big Eldorado, and this tumbledown plantation, well, beloved though it may be, maybe this home is not quite right for us at this point in our lives. What ahm trying to say is, maybe it’s time to strike out again for new frontiers.”
“Oh honey, let’s stay put for a while. After all we’ve been through.”
“You didn’t know me then, honey, but I well remember my New York days.”
“And there was plenty of hell raising there, you can believe that.”
“You want to go to New York?”
“Not want, baby, because there are many things the Katt wants. But sometimes, deep down inside, she simply needs. I don’t want New York, I need it. It’s something in my blood.”
“But I thought -- well, you know, the high desert. You got that in your blood, you needed that. And then you decided maybe it was better to purge yourself of that, and all the things we learned from the medicine man, and give that up for this.”
“I did, honey, truly I did think that, and here we are. And I hope we’ll be happy here, and find a nice little home of our own and get settled.”
“Do you mean that?”
“Honey, don’t say it, don’t smile that way, I know that look. Don’t say we have to pull up stakes and move on again.”
“I won’t say it, honey, but you had better believe it.”
“Don’t say it, baby, please.”
“I know it and you know it, honey, and I’ll dwell on it night and day until we are on the road again, and until we get there and feel the rush of excitement of the city streets.”
“Honey, please -- ”
“I’ll dream of it in my sleep, and when I wake in the morning. When I’m doing the laundry, and when I’m sipping bourbon at the country club. And I’ll dream about it till I’m blue in the face. Come to terms with it, baby, reconcile yourself, for when the Big Katt gets a notion, she gets a stubborn notion.”
“Don’t say it.”
“But I must. I’ll say it to my dying breath, and we might as well finish our mint juleps and start packing our bags.”
“Don’t say it, baby, don’t, I beg of you.”
“I’ll say it now for you and all the world to hear. So brace yourself, babies. Those two little words that will spell a new and no doubt wild and exciting adventure -- New York.”
“Oh baby,” Spud smiled.
“Oh baby,” Katt cooed.
Oh baby, is right. The thought of the Big Katt loose on the streets of New York was enough to boggle the mind, but boggled it must be. And they sipped their juleps and smiled, and beamed happily among this gathering of guests, and cherished this quiet moment of happiness. For if indeed they made the journey north to the streets of the big city, that big city would never be the same. And the words were still quietly on Katt’s lips as she gazed dreamily into Spud’s eyes and whispered: “You heard it right from the horse’s mouth, baby -- New York.”
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