A couple weeks later everyone shows up again and the same thing happens. Both Cora Coulter and Reginald Bogy claim that they have nothing to do with it and are mystified. The presiding judge of the Sevier Country Circuit Court keeps telling the clerk of the court no more postponements but they mysteriously keep happening anyhow. This is all very mysterious because, although postponements might be the rule in courts of law, they are all but unknown to this particular American jurispruance, that is to say, matters before the small claims court in De Queen.
The problem in part lies with W. Collins Dequincy, the Clerk of the Sevier Country Circuit Court. He is now 90 years old and has been reelected to a position he has held since he got out of the Army in 1946. Dequincy came back to De Queen and everyone was very excited that he had won America’s second highest decoration, the Bronze Star. They could do no better by their home town hero than to elect him Clerk of the Sevier Country Circuit Court. Now the men down at the American Legion might have told people that they had it all wrong and that the Bronze Star was not America’s second highest decoration but Dequincy was one of their own and they said nothing. They did not put a lot of stock in who got what medal and who did not, you see. Dequincy himself was much too polite a person to correct all the important people in town who kept saying that he held the Nation’s second highest award. He never spoke much about the war but if you knew what he did back in 1944 you would know his quiet man from De Queen did deserve some recognition from his country. It really was Collins Dequincy's mother and her uncle, the town's newspaper editor (a man who had gotten a deferment for poor eyesight during World War One), who had started people believing that anyhow. Collins' mother, Ann Collins Dequincy, figured that the Bronze Star was the grandest medal she had ever seen and surely had to be America’s second highest decoration. All her uncle ever needed was the semblance of a reliable source and into the paper it went and who was more reliable than his niece. Once folks read it in the paper they knew it had to be true. Anyhow, in his old age Dequincy keeps forgetting that the judge told him to stop cancelling the case and so it keeps happening.
Now, the reason Dequincy keeps cancelling the case is that in the morning when he comes to work, there is this pencil notation on the docket reading, “case postponed.” The judge keeps asking around and no one seems to know who wrote that on the docket. Well, I am one of the few people who know the truth. The truth is that it was written by Clyde Coulter. Clyde is a regular at the Teal Bar and Grill over in Broken Bow and so is Larry Loomis. The owner of the Teal Bar and Grill used his political influence to get his best customer, Larry, the job of janitor over in the Sevier Country Court House. You might think that this was a poor move on his part but when Larry gets off this shift at 10 he turns up at the Teal and keeps the place hopping until closing time. Even better, Larry no longer has any problem settling his bar tab. As far as everyone is concerned, it is a win-win situation.
One night Clyde Coulter had to take Larry home and while Larry was sleeping it off, he lifted the keys to the Sevier County Court House and had copies made. Knowing that he is driving Reginald Bogy and everyone else in De Queen crazy, he keeps sneaking into the Court House at night and writing on the docket that the case is postponed. So far Reginald Bogy is the only one who suspects and his friends tell him he is paranoid.
If Reginald only knew that it was also Clyde who caused him to bring Atlas, the Percheron-miniature donkey cross, to the McCurtain County fair in Idabel that day, would he ever be surprised. William Cowper’s tells us that “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.” There never was anyone who wanted to trade a dairy goat for Atlas, but as events worked out it was Reginald Bogy who had the last laugh or so he might have thought if he only knew. We have not come to the end of this story and when we do we will see that Cowper’s words are only too true.
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