Castle Roland

The Odd One Out

by Gary Conder


Chapter 21

Published: 15 Aug 16

The Odd One Out

Copyright © 2015
by Gary Conder
All Rights Reserved

Odd Man Out Logo

It was a cool sunny winter's day, a most perfect day for a wedding. Judy, as tradition would expect, was late for the church but looked a picture. Charlie arrived with Judith's friend as the wedding party was entering into the church, finding Colt waiting for him at the church door. Charlie quickly joined Colt on the steps and instantly broke into an acre of grin on seeing his friend in a hired suit, appearing as uncomfortable as he obviously felt. As for Charlie, he looked most handsome and Colt, with a whisper of complement close to his ear, told him so, bringing a smile to both their faces.

Colt's complement didn't go unnoticed by Eric bringing up the rear. Tapping Colt on the shoulder, Eric spoke in a soft voice, "you two behave yourselves." In unison they turned but didn't respond. Close behind Eric, Maddy Ferguson arrived, with one of the lads from the Bacon Factory hanging of her arm, appearing nervous and scared, somewhat like rent a date. He in his brother's hand me down suit, with pinned cuffs, Maddy with her tight fitting dress in dark pink leaning towards red and standing out from the gathering. No one appeared to notice. It was Judy's day and all eyes were on the bride to be.

On entering into the church Maddy flashed a smile towards Eric, who released a slight nod of the head and quickly turned away to speak to his partner and long time girl friend in Sandra but unfortunately for Eric, both Maddy's smile and his nod had been witnessed by Sandra who quickly displayed her displeasure with a thump to Eric's ribs. Eric exaggerated his response as they found their seating.

"What's the go with Eric and Maddy?" Charlie whispered to Colt, noticing the interlocutory.

"I don't rightly know. Eric's been somewhat coy on it. I recon it's more from Maddy."

During the reception, Colt happened to be in conversation with Anne Hastings, Judy's bridesmaid as Judy approached to show off her wedding ring. Both bride and bride's maid went into raptures.

"It's lovely, who chose it?" Anne asked turning the gold band in circles around Judy's wedding finger.

"It was my Grandmother's" Judy proudly announced. "Aunt Mavis gave it to me."

Some time later Colt caught up with Mavis who in true spirit of the woman, was in the reception's kitchen controlling the procedure and laying down the law to the catering staff. He Approached.

"Mavis you've done yourself proud." He complemented.

"Thank you East, didn't Judy just look a picture." She declared.

"She did and I liked the wedding ring. Was it Grandma's?" Colt asked. Mavis flashed him a disapproving glance.

"It was and don't you dare say anything to Judy about Harry." Mavis growled.

"You know I wouldn't but in spirit Harry was at the wedding after all."

With the reception at an end and the married couple left for their honeymoon and Eric drove the boys back to the farm. Turning from the main road he spoke. "Have you told Wysie about the," Colt cut him mid sentence with a loud 'shush.'

"Told me what?" Charlie asked.

"You'll see."

"Oh I forgot. You have a surprise for me." Charlie said but had not forgotten and his friend's surprise had been foremost in his thoughts all day.

"Tell me what Eric?" Charlie begged.

"I can't rightly say mate." Eric answered with a broad grin and crossed the bridge.

Eric dropped the two at the stairs and was gone, leaving Charlie in wonder what he was about to see.

"Coffee?" Colt asked.

"No I want to know what the surprise is."

"I think you should have coffee first." Colt repeated.


"Then how about a beer, you do look a little thirsty?" Colt suggested.

"You are really pushing your luck."

"Alright come on around the back."

"Why around the back?" Charlie asked. He had already mounted the stairs.

"Come on," Colt replied and took Charlie by the arm to guide him towards the rear of the house. Charlie innocently followed.

As they turned the corner of the house the cherry red of the vehicle glowed even more brilliant in the fading light. Charlie's face lit with surprise.

"At last you've exchanged your horses for a car." He assumed. Colt opened the door and invited Charlie to join him in the leather bucket seats but Max beet them both, seating itself behind the wheel and lolling happily.

"Out Max!" Colt demanded. Max feeling somewhat dejected obeyed but remained with its head between Charlie's legs unless he missed something important.

"Do you like it?" Colt asked as both sat within the cabin; Charlie seated behind the steering wheel.

"Do I? I even like the colour."

"I don't," Colt objected.

"Than why did you buy it?"

Colt gave an urgent smile, he couldn't contain himself any longer and passed the registration papers to Charlie, who accepted the folder but could not see the relevance in his friend's action.

"What do you want me to do with this?" Charlie asked.

"Open it?"

Charlie opened the folder to the registration papers, "So?" He said mystified with his friend's action.

"Read the name." Colt prompted, Charlie did so and his puzzlement turned to disbelief.

"It's registered in my name, why?"

"It's yours so now you don't have any excuse not to visit."

Words were lost. Charlie fell silent and tears built; he fought them away. "Colt this is too much, what about yourself, you often said you would buy a car." He protested.

"I have; its white, or grey or something and not bloody red but won't be turning up for some weeks."

"I can't accept it, it's too much."

"Don't be silly I can well afford it and you deserve it besides, if they were here, it would really crap my parents to think I was spending their investments and that alone would be worth it."

Both sat in the utility for some time, pressing this, pushing at that, reading the manual and getting everything wrong, until at last there was nothing left to press.

"So what do you think?" Colt asked.

"I really like it and as I said I love the colour. I'll be the talk of Mt. Oakey with this beast."

"Want to take it for a spin?" Colt asked.

"Tomorrow, I have other things on my mind for tonight."

"What would they be Mr. Wyse?"

"You'll see,"

"Then do you want to go to the club for a couple and show off your new car? Not that they haven't seen it and already know it's yours; Eric made sure of that."

"Nope, I have everything I need here. Come on it's been too long as it is."

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