Hit the Road
The legend of the Maynard boys is still talked off around here, even if it is nearly sixty years since the events that led to that tale took place. Some still say they were innocent, some say they were guilty as hell - Heck, some still aren’t sure of what is truth and what is fiction.
What is certain is it started with the raid on the drugstore that Friday morning - and that Jimmy Maynard was sitting in Mom’s Coffee Shop when the sirens could be heard.
“Any chance of a refill here Mary?”
Mary Hope smiled as she walked over and poured fresh coffee into Jimmy Maynard’s coffee cup. She was in her early twenties, and wore a grey dress with buttons down the front, a white apron and a little peaked cap. Jimmy smiled and thanked her, as he looked back down at the paper he was reading.
“Where’s that brother of yours?”
“Ken - he said he was going to pick something up from Johnson’s and then meet me here. You know what he’s like.”
Mary smiled - she had been at school with his younger brother, and she knew he was a good hearted kid, if not exactly the sharpest tool in the box. As she put the coffee pot back, she heard sirens, and looked outside to see a police car driving down the street, the lights flashing on the top.
“Wonder where he’s off to,” Jimmy said before he looked at Mary. “Say, are you doing anything later tonight?”
“Why - you asking me out?”
“I was fixing to - if you’re willing,” Jimmy said with a smile.
“Tell you what,” Mary said as she looked at the clock. “I get off in an hour - you give me a ride home, sit with my ma while I get ready, then I’ll go out with you.”
“It’s a date - provided she don’t grill me too much,” Jimmy said. He had on a white t-shirt, leather jacket and jeans, with his hair in the style worn by Jimmy Dean. “I’ll be back in an hour.” Leaving some money on the counter, he walked out of the diner and started to make his way towards his car.
As he opened the door to his t-bird and slipped in, he saw a number of police cars parked outside Johnson’s Drugstore, and an ambulance pull up outside. “What the hell happened over there,” Jimmy said to himself as he drove off and back to his house, unaware of the turn his life was about to take.
“That was a great movie, Jimmy,” Mary said as they walked out of the Bijou theatre, the lighted display showing “Jailhouse Rock” in big blue letters. It was a warm night, and Mary was wearing a white collared blouse, with a pink chiffon scarf around her neck, a black and white hooped skirt and flat black shoes with white bobby sox.
“You’re welcome,” Jimmy said as they walked to his car, “Will you allow me to drive you home?”
“I surely will,” Mary said as she put her arm around his. “Did you hear what happened at the drugstore?”
“I saw the cops - what happened?”
“A couple of kids tried to hold the store up - one of them had a gun, and he shot Mr Johnson in the arm before they ran off.”
Jimmy let out a low whistle before saying “Any idea who it was?”
“None - he fell back and hit his head, so until he comes round they have to wait.” Jimmy opened the passenger door of his car and let Mary sit in, walking round and getting behind the wheel.
Jimmy looked round to see Mary looking at him, a worried look on her face as she said “Someone’s pressing something in my back.” Looking over, Jimmy saw his younger brother lying in the well of the back seat, pointing something at Mary.
“Ken? What the hell do you think you are doing?”
“I’m sorry Bro,” Ken Maynard said in a quiet whisper, “I need a place to lay low for a while - both of us do.”
“Both of...” Jimmy suddenly stiffened as he felt a cold ring against his back. “Ken, what the hell is going on?”
“Just drive, Jimmy - take us to her place, and I’ll explain there. Your dad’s away, isn’t he Mary?”
“Yeah,” Mary whispered, “but he’s back day after tomorrow. Ken, what’s this about?”
“Please, Jimmy, just take us there - I promise we’re not going to hurt them.” Jimmy looked at Mary, who slowly nodded as he started the car and drove off.
“Mary, is that you? I thought you’d be...”
Babs Hope stood in the kitchen, wearing a white dressing gown, as Mary came in with Jimmy, followed by the Ken and another young man, who were holding guns in their hands. “I’m sorry, Mrs Hope,” Ken said quietly, “but Danny and I need a place to lie low for a couple of days. I promise, I’m not gonna hurt you, but I need you to just let us lie low for a while.”
“Ken Maynard, do you know the Sheriff is looking for you?”
“I do,. Ma’m, and I’m sorry to impose on you. Where’s Penny?”
Ken nodded and said “Let her sleep. Danny, get the phone.”
The third young man went to the telephone set, grabbing the wire and pulling it from the wall, as Jimmy said “Ken, what the hell have you done?”
“He and his friend here raided Johnson’s is what happened?”
Jimmy turned and looked at Mary, holding her and saying “I swear, Mary, I had no idea he was going to do this.”
“I believe you,” Mary said, “but the sheriff won’t. You know how he feels about you two.”
Jimmy nodded - he and his brother had experienced a few run-ins with the local law enforcement, and indeed he had been in Juvey for a year when he was younger, but he had been straight ever since.
“Ken,” Mary said as the boy he called Danny came back in, “Why don’t you just go to the police and turn yourself in before things get worse.”
“Can’t do that, Mary,” Ken said quietly, “Let’s just all go in and sit down. I promise, we won’t hurt you, so long as you keep nice and quiet.”
“Boys,” Babs said as she slowly sat down with Mary, Ken and Danny sitting across from them as Jimmy sat between them, “I heard the news reports tonight - Johnson will pull through, so it would be best if you gave yourselves up.”
“I can’t do that, Mrs Hope,” Ken said quietly, “I’ll be sent down to the big house for sure, and I didn’t mean to hurt him - just scare him a little.”
“You play with guns, and people will get hurt,” Babs said quietly.
“I know - I just need to lay low here for a while until it’s safe for me to get out of town. I know it’s an inconvenience, but we need to stay here, and you need to keep quiet.”
“Can I at least go and change,” Mary said as he looked at Jimmy.
“I’m afraid not - not unless one of us go with you, Mary. I mean no disrespect, but I can’t take the chance of you calling the police.”
Penny Hope opened her eyes, stretched and yawned as the sunshine filtered through her curtains. As she sat up, the door opened and she saw Mary standing there, wearing a black cap sleeved blouse and shorts, with a pair of plimsolls on her feet.
“Hey Sis,” the eighteen year old said as she sat up, “How did the date go?”
“Penny,” Mary said quietly, “I need you to get up and get dressed, then come into the front room with me.”
“I’ll explain it later, but don’t be scared. Please, just do as I ask.”
Penny pulled the covers back and stepped out of the bed, heading for the door to go to the toilet. As she did, she saw Ken standing behind Mary, with a gun in his hand.
“Oh my god,” Penny said as she put her hands to her face, “What’s happening?”
“Please don’t cry out,” Ken said as he looked at the younger girl, “Just go and freshen up, and then get dressed like your big sister said. We’re not gonna hurt you - we just need a little time.”
Penny swallowed hard, then went through the door and into the bathroom, returning a few minutes later and going back into the bedroom. “Leave m e with her - she won’t do anything,” Mary said as she closed the door, and looked at her sister.
“What’s Ken Maynard doing here with a gun,” Penny said as she took off her nightdress and pulled on a pair of light tan shorts. “Is he in trouble?”
“He thinks he is - a friend of his took Jimmy and me hostage last night, and now they’re holed up here. The phone is out of the wall, but they say they won’t hurt us if we behave.”
“Cooking breakfast - get a move on and we’ll join them.”
Penny found a striped sleeveless blouse and put it on, then pinned her dark hair back before she and Mary left the room, Ken following them as they went into the front room, where Danny and Jimmy were watching the local news.
“The Sheriff’s office have said to be on the lookout for Ken and Jimmy Maynard, and...”
“Turn that off,” Jimmy said as the girls came in. “You’ve dragged me into this now Ken - and you know I’ll be sent down regardless.”
“I’m sorry, Jimmy - I just did not know where to turn to,” Ken said as Mary and Penny sat down. Danny picked up the gun and said “You going to behave yourself, little girl?”
“Don’t you dare threaten her,” Jimmy said as he looked at the other young man. Kneeling in front of Penny, he said “I’m scared too, kiddo - just do what we ask, and everything will be fine.”
“Breakfast’s ready,” Babs said as she came in, dressed in a dark blue short sleeved blouse, a knee length black skirt, hose and a pair of kitten heels. “If we’re going to be forced to stay in, we might as well have a good meal.”
“That smells real good, Mrs Hope,” Ken said as he looked to the kitchen.
“Well, you’re not a bad boy, Ken Maynard - but you still need to turn yourself in before it gets worse.”
“You know we can’t do that, Ma'm,” Danny said, “but I am real hungry - let’s eat.”
Now, from what I heard from the Hope family about that day, after they ate they spent the rest of the day around the house - Jimmy fixed a problem with their sink, while Ken and the boy Danny played some board and card games with the two girls. They even found time to sit down and have a nice friendly chat, but nothing Mary or Babs could say would dissuade them from their intent to get out of town.
Eventually, Babs cooked them all a fried chicken dinner, and while Jimmy and Mary did the washing up the other two sat and watched Howdy Doody with Penny, while Babs did some darning. Eventually, however, it came time for them to leave...
“I’m real sorry about this, Mrs Hope,” Ken eventually said as he stood up, “but we need to make sure you can’t tell the sheriff where we’ve gone for a little while. You got any rope about the place?”
“You can’t be serious, Ken,” Jimmy said as he looked at him, “I’ll stay with them and make sure you get enough time to get away.”
“But then you’ll be arrested, big bro - and you know what that will mean.”
“We can speak up for him,” Babs said as she sat forward, “We can tell the sheriff you forced him to do this.”
“He won’t believe you,” Danny said with a laugh. “Besides, we need Jimmy to drive the car.”
Jimmy looked at the two young lads, then at Mary. An unspoken word passed between them, before she said “You need to - to keep them out of any more trouble.”
Jimmy nodded and then said “but we can trust them not to raise the alarm.”
“No offence, Mrs Hope,” Ken said as he stood up, “but we can’t take that chance. Now, have you got any rope about the place?”
“Steve keeps some in the hall cupboard.”
Danny went to the cupboard, then to the kitchen as Mary hugged Penny. “We all need to be brave now, all right,” she said as she stroked her sister’s hair. “They haven’t hurt us, and they’re not going to start now, all right?”
Penny looked at Jimmy, who nodded in agreement as Danny brought in the rope and a pair of scissors. Cutting three lengths off, he handed one each to Jimmy and Ken, before saying “tie their hands behind their backs.”
“What,” Danny said to Jimmy.
“Tie their hands together in front of them p- they deserve that much.”
“But then they can raise the alarm as soon as we leave - even if we stop them talking!”
The three women looked at each other, before Jimmy said “We’re not going to hurt them, and tying their hands behind their backs might. Penny, put your hands together like you do at Sunday School.”
Penny did as she was asked, her hands pressed together palm to palm as Jimmy tied her wrists firmly and tightly together. “Give me some more rope,” Jimmy said, and he then tied her ankles together, side by side, before tying her legs together above her knees. He then tied a short length of rope between her wrists, and secured them down to her knees.
“Where did you see that,” Ken said as he watched.
“Detective mag - now, you two take care of Mrs Hope and Mary in the same way. Mary, I have to go with them - you understand?”
“I do,” Mary said quietly as Ken tied her wrists together, “and I’m sorry - will I see you again?”
“I hope so - once I get this mess cleaned up,” Jimmy said as he watched the mother and daughter being tied up.
“I’m real sorry we had to do this, Mrs Hope,” Ken said again as he stood up, “but I’m sure your husband will be back soon - tomorrow at the latest.”
“Ken, please - just give yourselves up.”
“I can’t,” Ken said as Danny left the room, coming back with three scarves. “Now, I’m afraid we have to stop you talking for a while. Open your mouths real wide and this won’t hurt.”
“I’ll go first,” Mary said as she looked at Danny.
“I’ll do it then,” Jimmy said a she took a blue silk scarf, rolled it into a thin band and then tied it between Mary’s lips, her red lips closing over it as he secured the ends together at the base of her neck.
“Dntbfrd,” Mary said to Penny as Jimmy then took Mary’s blue chiffon scarf, rolled in into a thin band and used it to gag her younger sister, while Ken pulled a rolled up black headscarf between Babs’ lips.
“Come on,” Jimmy said as he looked at all three women, sitting on the couch, “if I’m gonna get you out of town, we need to get moving.”
“Once again, I’m real sorry,” Ken said as he looked back at Babs and her daughters. Babs looked up and nodded as the boys left, climbing into Jimmy’s car.
“So where were you thinking of heading,” Jimmy said as he looked at his brother.
“North - we’ll take it from there.”
Steve Hope had being trying to call home all day, having heard the news, so it was only about an hour later that he walked in to find his wife and daughters all tied up and gagged. They tried to dissuade the sheriff, but it was no use, as he put out an all points for Jimmy’s car.
As luck would have it, however, Jimmy and the boys had only managed to get about twenty miles out of town before he had a flat - right outside the Claremont house. So Mrs Claremont and little Emma got a right surprise that evening...
Now Mrs Claremont was one of the old gentlefolk of the town - her family could trace their roots all the way back to the Mayflower, and she always carried herself in a way that indicated she knew who she was. That was the attitude that was carried by her twelve year old granddaughter, Emma, who lived with her.
When the Maynard boys broke down outside her house, they felt the only thing they could do was go to the house and - well, they would say they wanted to borrow her car. As it was, they stayed a little while longer than that...
“All right, Ken, for the fifteenth time I should have checked the tires,” Jimmy said as they opened the front gate and walked up to the old wooden house. “I’ll just ask if she has a spare I can borrow, we all stay nice and calm and we get going, all right?”
The three boys stood on the porch as Jimmy rapped hard on the door. They waited for a few minutes until the door opened and Mrs Bell, the housekeeper, opened the door.
“Sorry to disturb you, Mrs Bell,” Tommy said as he looked at the older woman, “but my car’s got a flat. I was wondering if Mrs Claremont had a spare I could use, and then I’ll return it in the morning.”
Mrs Bell was in her fifties, with greying hair cut into a tight bob, and was wearing a grey short sleeved jacket and skirt. “I don’t rightly know, Boys,” she said as she held the door open, “Why don’t we go and ask her?”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” Jimmy said as the three boys came in, and followed her to the front room. Mrs Claremont was sitting in a large chair, wearing a white blouse with tight cuffs and the collar open, a skirt that covered her knees as she sat, and brown leather shoes with white toes.
Lying on the couch reading a book was her granddaughter, Emma. She was wearing a white lace dress with a little bow at her neck and a white underskirt, a thin black belt around her waist, white ankle sox and black Mary Jane shoes. Her blonde hair was platted into two pigtails which fell either side of her face.
“It’s Jimmy Maynard, isn’t it,” Mrs Claremont said as she looked at the young man, “Whatever is the matter?”
“As I said to Mrs Bell, we got a flat tire just outside your place, and I was wondering if we could borrow a spare to get home - I’ll get Bob to run you out a new one in the morning.”
“I don’t see why not,” Mrs Claremont said as she stood up. “Why don’t you come with me and...”
It was Jimmy’s bad luck that the radio news announcer then said “This just in - the local sheriff’s office have issued a warrant for the arrest of Jimmy and Ken Maynard, and one other man, after the discovery of a family held hostage by them. Ken Maynard is also wanted for...”
Emma looked up at Ken and Danny, as Jimmy said “Mrs Claremont, it’s not what...”
“Mrs Bell - call the police.”
“I’m sorry, Mrs Claremont,” Ken said as he produced the gun and pointed it at them, “but I can’t let you do that. We don’t wanna hurt you, but we need that tire.”
“Grandma,” Emma said as she looked at Ken and Danny, who was now pointing a gun at Mrs Bell, “What’s happening?”
“It’s all right, Emma,” Mrs Claremont said quietly, “I think we just have a few house guests for a couple of hours, so let’s make them feel real welcome, all right? It’s what a lady should do at times like these.”
“That’s real good advice your grandma’s giving you, Emma,” Ken said as he walked into the middle of the room. “Now, why don’t you and Mrs Bell have a seat, while my brother goes to the garage with Mrs Claremont.”
Mrs Reed sat with Emma as Tommy went out to the garage with Mrs Claremont. As she put the light on, he saw the new Chevy, the chrome tail fins contrasting with the blue.
“Nice car - new is it Mrs Claremont,” Tommy said as he stroked the sleek metal.
“Tommy, what have you gotten into? I thought you had gone straight?”
“I have, Ma’am - it’s just that Ken and his friend have got into some bother, and now I’ve been dragged into it. I promise you, they don’t want to hurt anyone - I just need to find a way to get them to see sense.”
“Well, they could start by putting the guns down,” Mrs Claremont said as Jimmy looked round the garage, and then said “I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’ve got a tyre that fits my car.”
“A pity,” Mrs Claremont said, her steel grey hair cut around her face, “so what are you going to do.”
“Well, it pains me to say this Mrs Claremont, but I think we may need to borrow your car.”
She let out a sigh, and said “I was afraid you were going to say that. And what about us?”
“Like I said, we’re not aiming to hurt anyone, so let’s go back to the house - Emma must be worrying about you.”
As they walked back into the front room, they saw Ken and Danny sitting in front of Mrs Bell and Emma, the guns they had been holding down on the table where everyone could see them.
“Mrs Bell,” Emma’s grandmother said, “Would you be so good as to fix us all some refreshments? Perhaps one of the young men could help you?”
“I’ll be glad to,” Ken said as he went with Mrs Bell, Jimmy noticing the wire hanging from the wall where the telephone had been attached, and the Bakelite set placed on the occasional table.
“So what are your intentions towards us, Jimmy,” Mrs Claremont finally said as she sat next to Emma.
“As I say, we’re not going to hurt you - but we will need to keep you from raising the alarm for a while.” He looked at Emma, who had started shaking, and said “Don’t worry, Emma - it will be like a game, won’t it Mrs Claremont?”
“That’s right,” the older woman said as she looked at her granddaughter, “We’ll make it a game, all right?”
“All right, grandma,” Emma said as she smiled at Jimmy. “So how do we play this game?”
“I’ll tell you later,” Jimmy said with a smile as Ken walked back in, carrying a tray of drinks. “In fact, why don’t I take Mrs Bell and start the game with her, and then we can carry on from there? Danny, go upstairs and see how many scarves you can find.”
Danny nodded and left the room, as Emma asked “why do you need scarves?”
“You’ll see,” Jimmy said with a smile, “why don’t we have a drink for now?”
“All right,” Emma said as she looked at the guns, then picked up a glass of milk and slowly sipped on it.
The grandfather clock was showing eleven at night when Jimmy said “All right - let’s go through to the dining room.” Ken picked up the guns and followed Jimmy with the ladies, as they went into the dining room. Jimmy had placed a large number of scarves on the table, and had put three chairs in the middle of the room, facing each other.
“Have a seat, ladies,” Jimmy said, “and then put your hands by the side of the chair.”
“Are they going to tie us to the chairs, Grandma,” Emma said as she looked at Mrs Claremont.
“I think so, Emma, but they promise they won’t hurt us. Why don’t I go first?”
“As you wish, Mrs Claremont,” Jimmy said as he selected two yellow chiffon scarves from the pile, and used them to tie the older woman’s wrists to the wooden sides of the chair. “See,” he said as he looked at Emma, “it doesn’t hurt, does it?”
“It doesn’t hurt,” Mrs Claremont said as she looked at her granddaughter. Nodding, Emma allowed Ken to guide her arms through the wooden slats at the back of the chair, and then tie her wrists together two red silk squares, one round her wrists and one fixing them to the chair back.
“That feels nice,” Emma said, while Mrs Reed was secured like Mrs Claremont with a pair of black chiffon scarves.
As she watched the older women, Emma swung her legs to and fro. “Sorry, Emma,” Jimmy said as he picked up a large brown scarf with big white dots on it, “I need to secure your ankles now.” Folding the scarf into a band, he tied her ankles tightly together, side by side, and then tied her legs together below her knees with a grey woollen square. She sat there, her legs swinging over the seat edge, and watched as the other two men secured the ankles of Mrs Reed and her grandmother to the front legs of the chairs with smaller scarves.
“Are you all right, dear,” Mrs Claremont said to her granddaughter. Emma nodded and smiled while Jimmy went back to the table and found a long white cotton scarf that Emma had seen her grandmother wearing around her neck and shoulders.
“Now,” Jimmy said as he came back, “we need to stop you ladies from talking for a little while. I’ll get someone to come and free you in due course.”
“Thank you,” Mrs Claremont said as Jimmy stood behind her.
“For what, Mrs Claremont?”
“For keeping your word - you’re good boys really.”
“Tell that to the sheriff,” Jimmy said as Mrs Claremont opened her mouth and allowed him to wrap the scarf twice round her head, pulling it between her red lips as he tied the ends off to the side of her head. As Ken gagged Mrs Reed with a similar blue scarf, Danny picked up the guns while Jimmy selected a green scarf that Emma had seen Mrs Reed wearing round her shoulders earlier that day, and folded it into a band.
“Open wide,” he said as he stood behind her, and pulled the silk into the young girl’s mouth, trapping her pigtails as he tied the ends together at the base of her neck. “And thank you for the loan of the car Mrs Claremont - we’ll take real good care of it.”
“Msrrull,” she replied as the boys left the three of them in the room, and made their way to the garage.
The boys opened the garage door and drove off in the Chevy - only for a patrol car to come by twenty minutes later, see the open garage door and call to see if there was a problem. The officer found the three captive women, and radioed it in.
By that time the Maynard boys had managed to make their way into the next county, and as dawn came up they found themselves approaching Shelbyville, the next big town over. Now Jimmy actually hailed from Shelbyville, and he wanted to stop off at his home, and grab a few things before the boys headed wherever they were heading. As they drove up his street, however, and past his house they noticed that the blinds were still drawn...
“What’s up, Jimmy,” Ken said as they parked a short way down the road, a couple of the neighbourhood boys running past them with baseball bats and gloves.
“I’m not sure,” Jimmy said as he looked back up the road. “Normally I’d expect to see the blinds open, and Mum working in the yard, but neither of those things is there.”
“Look,” Ken said as he opened the door, “Let’s just get your stuff and go.” The three young lads climbed out of the car and walked up the side of the house, but as they got to the doorway they heard raised voices and muffled calls from inside.
“Where’s your dog, Jimmy,” Ken said as he looked at the kennel in the back yard, the chain hanging loose from the rounded hole at the front. Jimmy looked round the yard, then knelt down as Ken and Jimmy walked over to join them.
“Who would do this,” he said as he stroked the head of the sleeping dog. Jimmy slowly raised his head and looked in the kitchen window, then ducked down and said “Danny, I think you need to see this.”
Danny looked in to see two men, dressed in smart suits with gloves on their hands and hats on their heads, standing there looking at his mother and sister. His mother had dark curly hair, and was wearing a beige round collared dress with short sleeves and a skirt that came over her knees. His eighteen year old sister was sat in another chair, her blonde hair pulled right up into a ponytail that fell down the back of her head, and dressed in a white sleeveless dress with a patterned front wither side of the buttons.
The bad thing was both of them were tightly bound to the kitchen chairs they were sitting in, with bands of rope around their waists and their arms, their hands behind the back of the chairs. Danny could not see their legs, but he could see the knotted white scarves that were in their mouths, his mother’s red lipstick staining the knot that sat between them.
“What the hell,” he said as he ducked down, “are they doing to them?”
“More to the point,” Ken said as he peeked into the window, “Who are they?”
“I think they’re Big Mike’s men.”
Now, Big Mike was one of the men who run the local numbers racket - Danny did some running for them, as well as a few other things. Ken and Jimmy knew him by reputation, and the same thought occurred to them both.
“Danny,” Jimmy said “Have you done something to upset Big Mike?”
“Well, I may have taken some money and not passed it on yet - but only because I came to see Ken...”
“Oh great,” Jimmy said as he sat against the wall, “so Big Mike hears the news, and thinks you’ve done a runner? Where’s your dad?”
“Probably at the yard,” Danny said as he looked in the window again, “What am I going to do?”
Jimmy and Ken looked at each other, and then back at Danny. “You don’t want your family to get hurt do you?”
“Of course not - but if I go in there...”
“Then you’ll be the hero for saving them,” Ken said quietly. “Danny, you know you need to do this.”
“But what about you two?”
“Give us ten minutes to drive off, then we’ll call your dad and tell him to get home, because someone just forced their way in the front door. What are you going to say about us?”
Danny looked at the Maynard boys, then said “I parted company form you half an hour after we left the Claremont place. Haven’t seen you since.”
Ken nodded and hugged Danny, before Jimmy shook his hand. “Good luck,” they said as they slipped round the side of the house, Danny sitting there and taking deep breaths for a few minutes before standing up and walking in the kitchen door.
It is a matter of public record that, ten minutes later, Jimmy’s dad got an anonymous call at the yard, and fifteen minutes after that he and his friends came round to the house, to find his wife and daughter tied and gagged in two chairs, and Jimmy having a conversation with the two intruders that involved the use of fist sign language.
The men were soon subdued, but when the police came Jimmy gave himself up and served a short sentence. His grandson now runs the yard in Shelbyville.
As for the Maynard boys - well, this is where things get a mite complicated. Danny never told the authorities the truth of where they parted company, but they knew they were in the brand new Chevy.
So the next sighting of them was a week later, when they tried to sell the car in Montgomery...
“All right, boys - it’s a nice car and in very good condition, but why do you want to sell it?”
Jimmy smiled and said “We just need the cash - will you take it off our hands?”
“Got the pink slip?”
Ken looked at Jimmy as he said “Ah - look, we just want the money. Surely you can cut us a good deal for it.”
They had taken the car to the showroom of Honest Tom Timpson, who had something of a reputation for buying and selling vehicles under, shall we say, difficult circumstances. He was about six foot tall, broad shouldered, and there was still something of the marine about him under the loud check jacket he was wearing.
“I don’t know boys,” Tom said as he walked round the car again, “I don’t think I can go above $50.”
“Come on man,” Ken said in an exasperated tone, “We need $500 at least.”
Tom stared into Ken’s eyes, before saying “Son, you would not be coming to me with a new car like this unless it was not legit. Fifty dollars and not a cent more.”
The three of them turned to see a woman in her late thirties walk over, her chestnut collared hair falling round her face as it was fixed in place with lord alone knows how much hairspray. She was wearing a red sweater, and a checked pleated skirt that covered her knees. With her was a twelve year old girl, her dark hair formed like the woman’s, and wearing a blue round necked sweater in the same style with grey trousers.
“Oh hi Lana,” the older man said, “Wait in the office, I’ll be with you in a minute.” As the two walked off, he turned back to Jimmy and Ken before saying “Well?”
Jimmy was watching the two others as well, before he said “All right - but we want a car as well.”
“Just how much trouble are you guys in?”
Tom nodded and said “All right - fifty and I have an old Chrysler you can take.”
Old was not the word - the car was pre-war, but Jimmy accepted the deal to his brother’s surprise. “What are you playing at,” he said as they drove round the corner.
“Oh we’re going to get our money,” Jimmy said with a smile, “but we’ll need to visit his home to do it.”
“I thought we were going to get out of town!”
Jimmy slowly nodded. “I know - but believe me, this one is going to be worth it.” He watched as the woman and girl came back out of the car lot, and climbed into a white car before driving off. He started the car, and then followed them out of town, and into a new development of gleaming white aluminium faced houses.
They stopped in the driveway of a single storey building, the two of them walking into the house as Jimmy drove past. “So what are we going to do,” Ken said as they looked back at the house.
“Let’s wait a while - see if Honest Tom comes home and what happens next,” Jimmy said as he lit a cigarette. “I’d rather not deal with him...”
It was seven at night when Tom Timpson finally came out of the front door of his house, got into his car and drove off. “Come on,” Jimmy said as he put the last cigarette out, “Let’s go and get our money.”
The two boys walked up to the front door of the house, looking round before they rapped the wood. As the door opened, they saw the young girl standing there as she said “Yes?”
“Hi - is your daddy home?”
“No - but mummy is here. Do you want to talk to her?”
“Yes we do,” Jimmy said as he pushed the door open. Ken putting his hand over the girl’s mouth as he picked her up and carried her with him. They walked into the open front room, where the older woman was sitting reading a magazine.
“Who the hell...” she said, but as Jimmy produced the gun she soon stopped talking.
“We’re sorry to intrude, Mrs Timpson,” Jimmy said, “but your husband owes us some money and we came to collect. We don’t want to hurt you or your daughter, so you just behave and we’ll all get on just fine.”
Mrs Timpson looked at Ken and Jimmy, before saying “All right - just don’t hurt Doris.”
“Is that your name,” Jimmy said as he looked at the girl, who nodded under Ken’s hand.
“I recognise you two - you were at the yard earlier,” Mrs Timpson finally said.
“That’s right, Ma’am - he called you Lana, didn’t he? Ken, let Doris go and sit with her mother, and take care of the phone.”
Ken nodded and allowed Doris to run to the couch, Lana embracing her as Ken left the room. “Doesn’t surprise me - Tom does like to squeeze his clients,” Lana said with a sigh, “Although they don’t normally come to the house to get their money.”
“Well, this is rather an unusual day, Mrs Timpson.”
“Call me Lana,” she said with a smile.
“Well, Lana, all we want is our money and then we’ll be on our way. Where does your husband keep his money?”
“He has an office in the back, and a safe in there.”
“Keep an eye on them,” Jimmy said token as he came back in, “I’ll be back in a minute.” Ken smiled and sat in a chair, facing the two women with a gun on the table between them, while Jimmy went to the rear of the house and found the office. There was the safe, with a large keyhole.
“Where does he keep the key,” Jimmy said as he came back in, but before he had a chance to answer they all heard the front door open, and a female voice call out “Lana, are you in?”
“Not a word,” Jimmy whispered as he picked up the gun and stood behind Lana and Doris, while Ken stood by the door. “We were passing and thought we would come in,” the voice said again, as a blonde haired woman walked in, removing a pair of tan leather gloves from her hands. She was wearing a black knitted bolero style jacket over a grey dress, a thin black belt around her waist, and black shoes.
She also had a twelve year old girl with her, who was wearing a similar jacket in white, over a plain white pinafore style dress and flat white shoes. “Hi Doris,” she said as she came in, but then she saw Jimmy standing there, and turning she saw Ken with his hand on the older woman’s arm.
“I’m sorry, Marilyn,” Lana said with a small smile, “it seems we have some uninvited guests. Tom’s been up to his old tricks.”
“My brother up to no good? Never.” The new arrival looked at the two young men, then said “Nancy, go and sit with your cousin please.”
“All right, mama,” the black haired girl said, as she went and sat with her cousin. “So he bought a car off you for a pittance, right?”
“That’s right Ma’am,” Jimmy said, “and we’re right sorry for the intrusion, but all we want is our money.”
“I see,” she said as she removed her jacket and sat down, her hands on her lap. “You’ve seen his safe?”
“I have - I was just asking Lana here for the key.”
“You don’t need it - give it a sharp hit on the side with a mallet and it opens.”
“You’re kidding,” Lana said as she looked at her sister in law.
“Used to be dad’s - I always used to get money that way. Try it and see.”
“Do I have your word you’ll sit quietly here?”
“Well, your friend here has a gun, and there are children here - we’re not going to do anything.”
Jimmy nodded as he said “Keep an eye on them,” to Ken, then went back to the office. On his way, he looked in a cupboard and found the mallet, then gave the iron box a good hard whack - watching as the door swung open. Looking in, he found a number of bundles of money, but he only took $500 and left the rest.
He also found a box of photos, and as he looked at the contents he whispered “Dirty old man...”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” Jimmy said as he came back in, looking at Doris and Nancy as they played on the floor.
“Would you like a drink,” Lana said as she stood up, “before you leave?”
“If you have coke, that will be fine,” Ken said as Jimmy went with Lana to the kitchen.
“I’m sorry my husband is such a jerk,” Lana said as she opened the icebox and took out two frosted bottles, “but you’ve been kind, and you haven’t hurt us.”
“Well, we don’t want to hurt you, or even scare you - all we want is our fair share, Lana.”
“Sure you boys can’t stay around a while,” Lana said as she stood in the light from the ice box, the cool air making her sweater seem to tighten. Jimmy licked his lips, then said “Right tempting, but it would not be fair on the kids, would it?”
Lana smiled and closed the door. “You’re a good boy, whoever you are,” she said as they walked back into the room, Jimmy passing a bottle to Ken as he sat down.
“So are you going to tie us up?”
“I’m sorry,” Jimmy said as he looked at Nancy.
“Well, you’ve got guns, and you took something from Aunt Lana - it’s like my Nancy Drew books, so are you going to tie us up and hold us hostage?”
“We’re not kidnappers or spies, kid,” Ken said quietly, “we just want to be on our way.”
“Well at least stop us from raising the alarm,” Doris said as she looked up. “We like to play that game, don’t we mum?”
Lana blushed a little and nodded, before Ken said “Well, we’ve had to do it before...” Jimmy was thinking of the photos he had found of Lana bound and gagged in various outfits, and said “All right - you girls go to the toilet. Got any rope, Lana?”
Lana looked at him, then stood up as Marilyn shook her head. “So you found the photos,” she whispered to Jimmy.
“I did, Ma’am - right nice photos, but I can see why she likes it. Don’t worry - we’ll keep you nice and close with the kids.”
Lana walked back in with a box of lengths of soft rope, as the two girls came back in. “Right then,” Jimmy said, “We’re going to tie your mum’s ankles first - you’ll see why in a little while, all right?”
They nodded and sat cross legged on the floor while Lana and Marilyn sat on the long couch, watching as Jimmy and Ken tied their ankles tightly together with a length of rope each.
“Nice and tight,” Lana said with a smile before Jimmy said “Now girls - kneel and pray like at church on Sunday.” They both did so, smiling as their wrists were tied together side by side. Jimmy made sure the rope sat over the cuffs of Doris’ blue jumper, while Ken made sure the ropes did not hurt Nancy.
“Now girls,” Jimmy said as he helped them to stand up, “I want you to go and sit on your mother’s laps, and then they are going to give you a great big cuddle.
“Yippee,” Nancy said as she jumped onto Marilyn’s lap, and her mother wrapped her arms around her tummy. Jimmy then used some lengths of rope to tie her wrists together, so that she held Nancy tight, and then did the same for Lana.
“I like this,” Lana said as Doris wriggled on her lap. The two lads knelt down and tied the ankles of the girls side by side, and then wrapped some rope around their mother’s legs to keep them in place.
“This is fun,” Doris said as she looked back at her mother. “Are we going to be gagged as well?”
“Hang on a minute,” Jimmy said as he went back to the dining room he had passed, and picked up four linen napkins. He rolled tow of them into bands, and used them to cleave gag the younger girls, while the other two he pushed into the mouths of Lana and Marilyn.
“Have a nice game,” Jimmy said as he smiled, Doris waving to him as the two boys left.
Now, Honest Tom returned home to find his wife and sister, and their kids, trying to gag talk to each other as they giggled into the damp linen. He also found the safe door open, and the box of photos had been looked in, so for some strange reason he looked no further.
As for the Maynard boys, they found they liked this line of work, but they knew they could not stay around for too long, so they did the sensible thing and drove a fair way away, hiding and spending the money wisely. So it was that, over time, the events in their hometown were quietly forgotten, by most people.
They did a number of jobs in the small towns they visited, and kept their noses clean - until the event that sealed their reputation took place. By this time they had made their way to Kansas, and were working as garage hands when they had a surprise.
“Jimmy, how long until you get that engine finished?”
Jimmy looked out from under the bonnet and said “Twenty minutes, boss - I just need to put the oil in and turn the engine over.”
“Good work,” Bert said as he looked at Ken. “Little tighter with those wheel nuts, boy,” he said as Ken nodded, then looked out to see a car pulling into the forecourt.
“What can I do for you. Miss,” he said to the girl sitting behind the wheel of the open top. She had a blue and green scarf wrapped round her head, and was wearing dark glasses.
“Fill her up and check the water,” she said as she stepped out, looking round in her white sleeveless blouse and matching skirt. She saw the two men in the garage, and walked over, smiling as she removed her glasses.
“Well now, this is an unexpected surprise,” she said as she looked at Jimmy and Ken. They looked round, as Jimmy gulped and said “Mary? Mary Hope?”
“The same,” Mary said as she pulled her scarf off her black hair. “Long time, Jimmy. You look well.”
“So do you,” Jimmy said as he wiped his hands on a rag. “What brings you out here?”
“Oh I moved out here - I go to the local college, learning to be a high school teacher.”
“What about your mother and Penny?”
“They’re fine - I spoke to them on the phone last night.” Mary looked at Jimmy, then said “We heard about the Claremont house as well - what happened to the car?”
“Sold it a year or two back - God you look good.”
“Thanks,” Mary said with a smile. She then whispered “You can come home any time, you know - all is forgotten.”
“Not by the sheriff.”
“I know - but I have missed you,” Mary said with a smile.
Jimmy blushed, then said “So, got a boyfriend?”
“Nope - I room with a family out here, nice couple with a daughter a year younger than me. Listen,” she said as she put her glasses on and refixed her scarf, “If you’re free tonight, meet me at the town square - we can talk then.”
“Sure,” Jimmy said with a smile, “I’ll be wearing the checked shirt and jeans.”
“Funny,” Mary said as she paid Bert and drove off. “Do you think we can go home now,” Ken said as he stood with Jimmy.
“Maybe,” Jimmy said with a smile, “but I may have something to keep me here now...”
Jimmy turned to see Mary standing there, in a blue and white checked shirt with white cuffed short sleeves and a white belt around her waist, the skirt flared out as she stood there with white lace gloves on.
“Hey, Mary,” he said as he stood up, “What would you like to do?”
“Let’s go for a malt.”
“I thought you would have had enough of them,” Jimmy said, but they walked to the malt shop and ordered two drinks, talking and laughing for the next few hours.
It was nearly eleven as Jimmy walked Mary down the rows of houses, talking and giggling as they did so.
“Well, this is the place,” Mary said as she stopped by a white picket fence, “Can I see you again?”
“I’d like that,” Jimmy said with a smile as he hugged Mary, then waited as she opened the gate and walked up to the front door. She turned and waved at him, then he made his way down the sidewalk as the door closed.
He turned to see Mary running down the path. “JIMMY!! COME BACK HERE!!”
Jimmy turned and ran into the house with Mary, to see the floor strewn with papers and cushions, and the furniture turned over. “What happened here,” Jimmy said as he looked round, “and where is that thumping noise coming from?”
Mary looked round, and then said “It’s coming from the hall cupboard.” They both made their way to the door, and opened it to find a fifty year old woman staring at them over a grey scarf that covered her lower face. She was wearing a white cardigan over a dark blue dress with a peach coloured panel, and a pair of slippers. Her ankles had brown twine wrapped tightly round them, and her hands were behind her back.
“Mrs Blake!!” Mary and Jimmy helped her out of the closet and stood her up, and as Mary went to fetch some scissors Jimmy untied the scarf and removed it, then took the handkerchief out of the older woman’s mouth.
“Thanks, son,” she said as Mary cut away the twine from her wrists, and then her ankles. “The two hoodlums trussed me and Joan up, then stuffed me in here after they ransacked the place.”
“Where is June?”
The older woman looked round, and then said “No,” before she ran up the stairs. Jimmy and Mary looked at each other, and then heard her scream “NOOOOO” Jimmy led the way up the stairs, as they looked at what was obviously the daughter’s room.
There was a note on the bed, which Mary picked up and read.
“Don’t call the police - we want $5000 in a plain paper bag, and we’ll tell you where to leave it. Don’t do it, and Joan gets hurt. We’ll be in touch.”
“Did you recognise the boys, Mrs Blake,” Mary said as she put her arms on the older woman’s shoulders.
“No, but they told us their name - seemed right proud of it. They said they were Jimmy and Ken Maynard.”
Jimmy looked at Mary, as Mrs Blake said “Who’s your boyfriend anyway?”
“Oh,” Mary said quietly, “this is...”
“Richie - Richie Cunningham,” Jimmy said quickly. “Do you want me to call someone?”
“Call my husband - 5468,” she said as she started to sob into Mary’s shoulder.
“What the hell’s going on here, Mary,” Jimmy said as Mr and Mrs Blake sat in the kitchen. “You know I can’t have done this.”
“I know,” Mary said as she looked at a family picture, showing Mr and Mrs Blake with a young girl in a green skirt with white crosses and a thick patterned band, and a white scalloped jacket. “June had been running round with a bad lot recently...”
“Do you know where they hang out?”
Mary nodded, then said “Why?”
“Something I saw recently on that new Desilu channel,” Jimmy said, “given me an idea.”
The bar was in a darker corner of town, the red lights shining above the windows as Ken and Jimmy got out of the car. “Mind telling me what we’re doing here?” Ken said as they fastened their jackets and walked to the door.
“Saving our rep,” Jimmy said as they walked in, the customers turning to look at them in their jackets and jeans while they walked up to the bar.
“New in town, are you,” the bartender said as they sat on two stools.
“Yeah - just passing through though. Friend of ours said to check this place out.”
“Oh yeah - who?”
“Big Mike from Shelbyville.”
The barman nodded, and said “Good enough for me - what will it be?”
“Two beers - and a bit of info. We’re looking for someone called Mickey D - want to put some business his way.”
Two beers appeared before them as the barman pointed to a screened alcove. “You’ll find him in there with his girl,” he said, “but if I was you, I’d wait for him to come out.”
“Much appreciated,” Ken said as they sat and started to drink their beers, one eye on the alcove the whole time.
After an hour or so, the curtain parted and a tall, thin man came out, dressed in a sharp suit with a string tie and black shoes. The girl with him was wearing a black strapless top that left her belly exposed, tight black pants and high heeled sandals, with a black chiffon scarf round her neck.
“Nice looking girl,” Ken said as he took a drink from his glass.
“I’ve seen her picture before,” Jimmy said as he placed his empty glass on the table. “Come on - we need to follow them.”
The two men left some notes on the bar and followed the couple out, keeping a discrete distance as they walked down the street and into an older house. Jimmy motioned to Ken to stop, as he walked round the back of the house and knelt under the window he could see the light out of.
“I never thought it would work,” he heard the woman say as the sound of a chair being scraped came to him.
“I told you it would work, baby - your parents will pay up, and then we can skip town and be on our way.”
“Yeah - and they’re just about dumb enough to believe I had been kidnapped. Where did you and Donny get that name anyway?”
“Maynard? My cousin told me about them - couple of guys who thought they were in big trouble, and skipped town. This may just enhance their reputation - but it takes the heat off us.”
Jimmy stifled an angry cry as the man said “I need to call your folks - tell them to bring the money to the park in the morning. You be all right here for a little while?”
“You got it, Babe,” she said, as an acrid smell started to come out of the room. Jimmy slipped back to where Ken was waiting, then stayed in the shadows as the man came out of the house and walked down the street.
“There’s a drug store down there,” Jimmy said, “wait here until I get back.” Ken nodded and watched the house as Jimmy walked down the road, and entered the drug store.
“Got a phone,” Jimmy said to the white coated man, who nodded to a booth in the corner. Jimmy took out some dimes, dialled a number and waited.
“IT’s me - how are they Mary?”
“Worried sick - her dad has gone to get the money from the company safe.”
“All right - listen carefully. I want you to call the police.”
“No, listen. They’re going to get a call in a minute. When you hear the time for the drop off, you call the cops. Don’t give your name, but say you’ve heard of a rumble going down at the park tomorrow at the time they give.”
“What about June?”
“You’ll see her soon,” Jimmy said as he looked at the shop. “I’ll call later.”
“All done,” the clerk said as Jimmy came out.
“Almost - you get any rolls of Elastoplast?”
“What happened,” jimmy said as he came back beside his brother.
“Not much - he got back just before you, and they’re talking by the look of things.
As they watched, the lights went out, and Jimmy nudged his brother. “Come on,” he said, “We can wait in the house just as well as here. We’ll get in and wait in the cellar.”
Jimmy opened his eyes to see the light coming into the cellar, and then heard voices at the top of the stairs. Slowly climbing up the stairs, he listened at the door.
“We’ll be back with the dough soon, June - think you can keep yourself hidden until then?”
“OF course I can,” he heard the woman say, “and then we can go off to New York together.”
He heard the door opening and closing, then went back to the window as he watched the car drive off. Nudging Ken, the two brothers climbed the stairs and waited as Jimmy slowly opened the door.
The girl was sitting with her back to the door, wearing a white baby doll nightie as she drank from a coffee cup. Jimmy put his finger to his lips, then motioned for Ken to go before him. His younger brother slipped past him, walked up behind the girl, and then grabbed her arms.
“What the...” she called out as Jimmy tore the end of the roll of plaster free, and then taped her wrists tightly together. “Hello June,” he said as he picked up a discarded stocking, “We’ve come to take you home to Mummy and Daddy.”
“Who the hlllryuuuu” she said as the stocking was stuffed into her mouth, and Jimmy covered her lips with strips of tape.
“You’ll find out soon enough,” Jimmy said as he grabbed her ankles and taped them together. “Go and get the car, Bro, and bring it to the friend.”
“Mckeeendnnelklu,” June shouted out from under her gag.
“Oh I don’t know - they might have their own problems with the local cops,” Jimmy said as Ken came back in. He took June by the shoulders, as Ken grabbed her feet, and then they carried her to their car, leaving her on the back seat as the boys climbed in the front.
“Now, you just lie nice and quiet, Miss,” Ken said as Jimmy drove off, “We’re going to put you back on the straight and narrow.”
Mary was looking out of the window of the Blake house, at the assembled police, as Jimmy sauntered up the garden path and knocked on the front door.
“Oh hello Richie,” Mrs Blake said as he came in, “the police have just told us they found the kidnappers, but they... They...”
“Have you looked in June’s bedroom,” Jimmy said, and as Mrs Blake went off he winked at Mary. There was silence for a few moments, before they heard Mrs Blake call out “OH MY BABY!!!!”
Mister Blake ran past, followed by two detectives, as Mary whispered “What happened?”
“Tell you later,” Jimmy said, “if you’re free?”
Mary smiled and nodded, especially as Jimmy said “I think we’ll be sticking round a while anyway - we like this town.”
Now, it did seem for a while that Jimmy and Ken were settling down, and with Mary in town there was some happiness. Of course, things conspired to make them move on - but that is another story...