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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Page 24 of Dave Adventure - Episode 2
Scroll to Monday, June 8 to read this tale from the beginning of Episode 1.
Scroll to Wednesday, August 5 to pick it up at the start of Episode 2.

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Pegleg and Inigo stood in the pit area a few feet outside the garage, a place where they could watch the leading cars of the race on Jumbotrons set up for the paying customers.

Coming off his disaster at the river, Dave climbed the second hill, the highest one, with reckless abandon. Just below the top, he slowed into another jigger, hard right then hard left. His speed let him pass three competitors, but he had to body slam one at the right turn, and another at the left turn to stay on track. This knocked both off course, and gave the P5 a couple of fierce scrape marks. The third car he wound up passing due to sheer momentum coming out of the turn. When he reached the highest point on the entire course, he rounded the curve in fifth place, and bore down on the guy in fourth.

A few more hairy curves on the inside lanes, and Dave reached third place coming into the long river straightaway.

"He learns fast. Trial by fire," Inigo said.

"No thanks to you," Pegleg said, and waited for Inigo to tear eyes away from the Jumbotron and look at him. "Are you going to tell him, or should I?"

Inigo stared at Pegleg as if this conversation augured the end of his life. Across his sad expression flashed panic, resignation, and the wistful irony that comes from acceptance.

"I want nothing but the best for him. You know that," Inigo said.

"It's his choice how to race, and what to do about your old buddy Crank."

"He doesn't know..."

"What he's in for? It's still up to him. It's his race, and he has twenty laps to make up his mind."

"It's a ticking clock. A deathwatch." Inigo had kept the CC plug in his hand. He tossed it away.

It bounced off a metal trash bin and skittered into the garage wall.

In his breast pocket, Pegleg had a picture of a chubby middle-aged man with a big round bald spot and narrow glasses. He showed it to Inigo. "Do you know this guy?"

Inigo shook his head no.

"He likes expensive sailboats, and betting big on AC races."

"So?"

"I'd wager he went in for Dave with a sizable stake."

"Why are you telling me?"

"I've met this guy, and he scares me a hell of a lot more than your boy Crank. If he's here, we may have a way out of this."

"Why would he help us?"

"After the race, even if he wins he won't care about us. But during the race, well, let's just say if he's here, and we can find him, we have twenty laps to convince him to take steps to protect his investment."

"That's a lot of ifs and maybes," Inigo said.

"Then let's start looking. Now."

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