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Curley the Last Drifter

Story ID:6066
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:2000
Person:Last Driftin Chelsea Kansas Kid
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CURLEY AMEN “THE PREACHER”

Epilogue of “The Drifters”


Curley shook hands with Wimpy, Felix, and Wayne. He took his $500.00 from Tubbs and headed for the nearest Ford dealer. He purchased a new Model “T” ford for $200.00 and headed for Liberal, Kansas.

He drove out of Carbon Alberta, Canada early in the morning. The sun was just peeking over the horizon and Curley was feeling good because he had some money to take home. He wanted to show his friends that he could make an honest living.

He knew he could fall back on his Preaching profession if he didn’t make it back home. He knew the people of Liberal would stare when he drove in to town with a red car. He chuckled thinking about the people of Liberal that said he would end up in jail. Here he was in a new red “T” to “do Main Street” in Liberal.

Curley turned the mirror so he could admire his face. Gosh he, thought, I am so good looking.

When he drove over the border into North Dakota he stopped at the first mercantile store and bought a new suit of clothes. The black suit looked great. He paid $12.00 to the clerk and started on South toward home.

Curley drove into Bismarck and was stopped by the police. The Missouri river had the valley flooded and the bridges were all out. There was no way out of town so he found a Motel 11 and crashed for the night. He didn’t know that the river would take a month to go down enough for him to proceed on home. The motel bill, $1.00 per night and the cost of the food at the local Café was eating into the $300.00 that was left in his pocket.

Bessie Mae, the waitress in the “Grub and Gruel,” had been serving The Preacher every meal since his stay in town. It was getting expensive eating out every meal. He ordered the blue plate special and coffee and waited for Bessie Mae to deliver his meal. The blue plate special for that day was Dakota Stew. This was a favorite dish at the Grub and Gruel. The leftovers for the past seven days were put in the stew. When he left the café, he went to his Motel to sleep off the stew.

He decided that he would find a small church to preach the gospel in on Sunday morning. He found a church on the edge of Bismarck. On the front lawn was a sign, “Needed-Preacher.” Curley applied and was hired on the spot. He studied his bible that evening. He hadn’t done any preaching since he had been run out of town last year. He was deciding on the message he was going to convey to the congregation Sunday morning.

Sunday morning came and he looked great in his new black suit. As he approached the church, he noticed a large number of young ladies. They were all dressed alike. As he started his sermon, the front two rows were occupied by these young ladies.

After the sermon he went to the door to shake the hands of the congregation and noticed three armored vans with guards. These vans picked up the young ladies and transported them to the local woman’s prison. These ladies were not ladies after all. He decided not to preach at this church again, who knows some of them might be killers.

When he got back to the Motel, he found three messages from Bessie Mae. She wanted him to call her. He called her. She told him she would meet him at the local cinema at 7:00 in the evening.

The Preacher and Bessie Mae sat in the back row and did not see very much of the movie. Kissing Bessie Mae was all that was on his mind. She told the Preacher that her husband beat her and she wanted to run away with him. She was begging him to take her away from it all.
A giant of a man entered the theater. Bessie Mae gasped and whispered to him, “there’s my husband.” The Preacher ran out, packed and left town and headed to Liberal post haste.

The water was still high but he took a chance and drove through the high water. If he made it he would be much better off than if he stayed. He finally made it out of town and he never looked back. Bessie Mae hadn’t told him that she was married.

He did not stop again until he reached Liberal, Kansas. He found out that Mr. and Mrs. Griffith had moved to Wabunsee and no longer lived in Liberal. This was the lady whose husband had run him out of town last year. Curley was the talk of Liberal. He drove up and down the three blocks of Main street every day to show off his new car and new suit. The kids would wave as he drove by and ooh and aah.

Curley is preaching again in his Church in the Vale, by the Wild wood and he has changed his way of living. He now watches his step. He doesn’t want to be run out of town again.

Monte L. Manka 1-26-00

This the last one on the “Drifters” I really didn’t like Curley and I still don’t.
Table of Contents

About 1936

1. The Drifters (Dad’s Hired men for the summer)

2. The Cook (A Frenchman who worked for us)

3. The Preacher (Curley Amen-true name)

4. The Boxer (A short stocky hired Man)(Wayne Dale)

5. Wimpy (A fat slow moving hired man)

6. Felix (A real Indian)(Comanche)

The escapades of Wimpy really happened to me on several bus trips I took.

The only man that gave me a hard time was Curley “The Preacher .” I didn’t like him very much.

These men worked for $1.00 per day and room and board from sunup to sundown.

The Oklahoma towns have my relatives in them, also Missouri “McCord Bend,” Missouri.

I got homesick writing these stories.
Sincerely yours,
Monte L. Manka

A Chelsea Drifter Corp. Production