The Horrendous Clown Incident - Part Two.
August 13, 1965.
Mabel had moved out of her little white house with picket fence and daffodil garden to the ominous-looking Dixie Nursing Home, a converted cotton mill and warehouse made into a final resting home for sick and aged residents on their way to the world beyond. Mabel sold her house to pay for her medical bills of repeated broken hips and surgeries; the nursing home was her last choice and she had no one else to take care of her.
Mabel, nevertheless, was a lively, full-spirited woman who loved a good laugh and a tall tale. She had made several friends and tried to liven up the old depressing place by discussing the missing clown incident of 1952.
Getting a willing ear, or cornering someone in her wheel chair, she would recount that when the bones were found by the game warden that the police did not jump at an investigation, as if they knew bones were one day to be found. Obviously, this was her spin on what the police may have thought, however, Mabel was none-too-shy to divulge what she thought. Her biggest question was - Why in the world would the police want the bones reburied where they were found. After all, whenever a dead John Doe is found, he is buried in the Potter’s field in the county cemetery.
Her neighbors gave various credible reasons: one being that if the bones were reburied, maybe the killer or killers would return to the scene of the crime. The other reason, more practical, is that the expense of interring four groups of human remains would cost the county four interment fees and other labor costs so they were just dumped backed into the hole they came out of. Mabel, however, still insisted that somehow or someway the police themselves were involved in the foul play.
Cornering another resident in the home, Mabel correctly stated that “. . . to this day, no one, and I mean no one, ever put out a missing person’s bulletin for one man let alone four clowns. On top of that, no one, and I mean no one, ever found the ’48
Plymouth that they supposedly drove off in.
And now, more than 10 years later, no one, and I mean no one, has ever re-dug
and found where them darn bones are!”
Mabel’s “discussin’ and supposin’” came to an abrupt halt when her eyes opened widely as
and Fred entered the room. “Auntie! How you doin’? I missed you soooo much!”
loud enough to wake the dead, perhaps, just those sleeping.
“Oh Vickie! I’m so happy to see you – I think I’m gonna cry – but I won’t, HA!” shouted Mabel.
Then Auntie looked at Fred, with her smile dropping out of sight she glibly said,
“Oh, Fred, so you’re here too.” You see, the truth be known, Mabel never took too kindly to Fred, especially since the last time they saw each other. At that time, he egged her on about the clown story and bone investigation. Mabel had been real sour on Fred ever since.
“Yes Mabel, my arm was twisted so I guess I’m here. Are you still cacklin’ like an old hen about the clown murders?”
Victoria was just about to chastise her husband, like a good wife would when Mabel grabbed Victoria’s arm, winked, and said to Fred, “Yep, I sho am and if I thought you was a little older, you sorry pain-in-the-rump that I wouldn’t put it past you, knowing how you are, that you yourself could’ve had somethin’ to do with it.”
“Oh Auntie please! You’re just throwin’ gasoline onto the fire,” lectured
Too late, for Fred was ready in this match-up. “Mabel, you know nuthin’ about nuthin’. You know nuthin’ ‘bout me, nuthin’ ‘bout how old I am, nuthin’ ‘bout where I’m from, or who my daddy was. And, Mabel, you sure know nuthin’ about any bones or clowns. I ain't even gonna ask you if you know what kind of car I have – well I have a nineteen and forty eight Plymouth, just like the one those clowns had,” he said, giving it to her.
Mabel quickly leaned forward in her creaky old wooden wheelchair and whispered “
“Oh my God! Oh Lord1 Fred, you killed her!” screamed Vickie. Then everyone in the room sat up and took notice and one of the residents rang for the on-duty nurse. The nurse came over, saw Fred who was as white as a ghost and Vickie with tears in her eyes.
The nurse reached for her stethoscope and gently placed it on Mabel’s heart. “Thank God, this woman is still alive”, the nurse said with relief. At that very moment, the ‘dead” woman jumped forward and shouted “Gotcha! Gotcha Fred!”
Yes, it seems like Mabel won this match, although Vickie wasn’t too pleased with how it went, making her cry and all, but she knows how her mischievous aunt is. Fred didn’t take it as well as
Victoria and left the room. He waited
outside for Victoria,
took her to the motel and said he had a few things to do in town.
He headed on over to the bar where the old barkeep told the police about the clowns and his theory. Unfortunately, the old story-teller had passed away in 1960 and the tavern was under different management. Still, Fred, determined to get to the bottom of the story – and get back at Mabel -- inquired like an investigator from Perry Mason.
Lips seemed sealed until Fred made his demand, “I just wanna know where that dang-tootin’ graveyard is!” Then he explained,”My daddy and me were in the bar when that one ugly SOB clown came up to us and insulted us.”
Finally, at this revelation, the new owner, an old timer, stepped forward from the back office. “Listen boy, you better be tellin’ the truth, ‘cause if you ain’t, well there’s the door.”
Fred swore “Honest to God’s truth mister. No one knows anything and the yarns that are gettin’ spinned are gettin’ out of hand. This thing needs to come to a close.”
With that, the old timer gave Fred directions where he believed the grave was, but not before asking for a price for this information. Fred gave him twenty five dollars, which seemed to be enough for the old-timer.
So off Fred went on his graveyard goose chase. He drove out west and looked up and down just about every dirt road he could find. Gas was running low so he decided to head on back taking a dirt road cut-off. Looking off to the left about 200 feet he glanced upon a small wooded area and a sign “No Trespassing”.
With a hunch, he surmised that this is the place. Holding up that sign was a chicken wire fence. Fred thought he hit the jackpot. If this is the “Clown Graveyard”, he thought, he could get back at Mabel, earn some money by selling his story to the newspaper, and make Vickie proud.
He got out of the car, a 48
Plymouth (he wasn’t lying), and walked over
to the patch. In the middle of the patch was an old “Keep Out” sign. Nothing
else looked unusual, just an area overgrown with weeds. Yet, here was what he
needed as evidence: the sign. He wasn’t prepared to dig up any bones as he
didn’t have a spade on him, but the idea of grabbing that sign seemed to lure
him and convince him that that was all he needed right now. Then he can come
back tomorrow morning with camera and spade and photograph his evidence.
One problem: he had to get into the patch. So he decided to try to run and jump over the chicken wire and as he did his pant leg got caught. At that moment he started to feel a little queasy.
Not giving up, he felt he could reach the sign from where he was. He did and he easily pulled it out, weeds and all. As held the sign, he tried to untangle his pants when all of a sudden he heard ominous laughter – coming out of the ground, with a foul odor. He couldn’t believe his ears. He got so nauseous that he soiled his pants.
He looked up and saw ghostly clown faces – in broad daylight! Fred’s salt and pepper hair turned snow white and he couldn’t move. Then, he saw what he didn’t want to see – that ugly clown who insulted him and his daddy. Coldness passed through Fred’s body and his heart suffered a severely painful thump.
There Fred died . . . with “Keep Out” clenched in his hands . . . in soiled clothing . . . in the weeds . . . pants tangled in chicken wire . . . lying on the circus clowns grave.
End of Part 2