Cassie and her mother strolled down the street that was crowded with mobs of rodeo fans.
“Mother, I think I need a cell phone. It would be easy for us to get separated and a phone would be a way for us to find each other.” Cassie said.
She had no fear of losing her mother. She could see her no matter where she was in this crowd but this would allow her mother to contact her daughter. As they walked along, someone shoved her mother while a second person grabbed her purse and started to run.
Without really thinking about it Cassie stepped to her right and reached out with her cane sliding it between the runner’s legs causing him to do a head over heel flip. The other person who had been following the first saw what happened and reached toward her behind her back. She squatted as if to pick up something and he stumbled over her. She brought her cane up and rammed it into his solar plexus. Then she stepped forward and leaned on her cane with its tip just below the first man’s Adam apple.
“Cassie!” Her mother screamed. Cassie saw her mother fighting to get back on her feet and rush to her side. The crowd around them got quiet. She could hear the murmur as they talked among themselves. One man lay doubled up, gasping for breath. The second lay perfectly still as she shifted her weight pressing on her cane.
“Cassie, what happened?” Her mother was looking at her and then at the two men on the ground. Cassie shrugged.
“I’m not sure mother.”
She bit her lips. She did not know how she had done what she did. It was like a slow motion movie. She had been a puppet that just moved.
That was as far as she got.
Two police officers arrived and began asking questions. The consensus of the crowd was that the two men had knocked her mother down, grabbed her purse and then tried to flee. One man had stumbled over Cassie’s cane and then fallen. They thought that Cassie had turned trying to help the first man and the other one had fallen over her. Then she had stepped over to help the first and that’s where things now stood.
One of the police officers was examining the scene carefully and kept looking at Cassie. “Who purse is this?” He pointed at her mother’s purse which was still being gripped in the first man’s hand.
“Oh my, that is my purse!” Sarah stated. Cassie looked like she was staring at the man who she was still pinning with her cane. She noticed that the man that had shoved her mother was slowly getting himself together. His breathing was steady and he was beginning to move to get to his feet.
“Where is the other man sir? I think he knocked my mother down.” She asked the police officer who had asked about the purse. He turned just as the one who had knocked her mother down tried to take off running. The police officer’s night stick got there first and the man hit the sidewalk again.
“Cuff him Jeff. I don’t want anyone leaving till I say so.” The officer turned back to her. “Miss, are you blind?”
“Yes sir for the last two years.”
“Do you know where your cane is sitting?” He asked.
She had noticed that he did not sound upset that she was just a couple of pounds from crushing the man’s throat. She raised her cane and tap to the left side of the man’s throat then to the right side. She then tap him right on his Adam apple. She noticed that the man under her cane did a little gagging. “Sir I think I am right on his throat.”
“Would you mind if I cuff him?” He asked.
“Not at all sir I would appreciate it.” She waited until the police officer was squatting by the man and removed her cane. The officer flipped the man over on his face then gathered his hands behind his back and cuffed them together.
Cassie was suddenly being hugged by her mother. She could see the tears in her eyes. “I’m fine mother.” she kept saying to her. Her mother released the hug but then grabbed her hand and held on to it.
The police officer who had been talking to Cassie returned after dragging his prisoner over where Jeff could watch both of them.
“Now madam, I am Corporal Antonio Garcia of the Sonora Police Department, may I have your name?” He asked her mother.
“I’m Sarah Howard. This is my daughter Cassie Howard.”
“Are you residents of Sonora?”
“Well yes and no, we live on a ranch south of town so we don’t live in town just in the county.”
He paused then looked up at Sarah. “The Howard Ranch?” he asked.
“And this is your purse that this man was holding?”
“Yes it is — my id and everything is in it.”
“Could you tell me how much the purse and contents are worth?
Her mother opened the purse and then counted her money. “There is over $500 in cash; the purse was purchased in Geneva Switzerland for like $175. Here in the States it would sell for over $400. There are five credit cards, one an American Platinum with a max of $10,000 on it.”
The officer looked over at the two handcuffed men and smiled. ”Minimum grand theft, or simple robbery with the knock down… are you bleeding anywhere madam?”
“Not really just some bruises and skinned knees.” She raised her dress hem.
“Oh boy, that makes it aggravated robbery.
Are you in town for the rodeo?”
“Yes and no again. We came for the rodeo but first we did some shopping. My daughter has been a home body since her blindness. But when we decide to come to the rodeo we noticed all her clothes were too small. We did some shopping first at the Tripp clothing store and were walking down the sidewalk when I felt a push then my arm was pulled up. That must have been when he grabbed my purse.”
“Did you see any of the tripping and falling that these men did before we got here?”
“No, I’m sorry officer. I was just scared for my daughter.”
“I don’t think you have a thing to worry about Mrs. Howard, I think your daughter was the safest person here.” He looked at her for a minute.
“Ms. Howard, have you had any martial art training?” He asked her.
“What?” My mother shouted.
“No sir, I have had none.” She answered him.
“Well you might think about it. It appears that you are a natural. I can’t think of a single thing you could have done differently and still immobilized two very dangerous full grown men.” He dipped his head.
“Mrs. Howard, we are charging these two men with assault in the performance of theft. That’s aggravated robbery. The Sheriff’s department or County District Attorney will be getting in touched with you later.” He gave her a business card and then he and his partner dragged the two men to their feet and headed down the street to their Police car.
Sarah and Cassie stopped at Radio Shack and got Cassie a cell phone with all the bells and whistles. It featured an unlimited service contract and the GPS that could be triggered even if the phone was turn off.
The rest of the day went without incident. They enjoyed themselves at the rodeo. Cassie had to pretend she could not tell what was happening but she still enjoyed the day. She did not like the bull dogging contest but the roping and barrel racing was exciting. Both still represented the activity on a working ranch. Bull dogging was not used anymore.
The Bareback Bronco riding was just skilled work though bull riding did not seem all that necessary, but the bulls seemed to enjoy it just as much as the riders. They did not break their work horses that way anymore. Her Dad insisted on gentle breaking of all their horses.
As the day wore on, she noticed her ‘vision’ weakening. She could not ‘see’ as far or as clearly as she had at breakfast. By the time they got back to the ranch her range was down to about 20 yards.
She went to her bedroom and changed into her nightclothes after showering. Then she was called to a late snack before going to bed.
“Cassie, you are crying is something wrong?” Her mother gathered her into her arms.
“Not really Mom. It’s just that today really let me know how much I lost in becoming blind. I could not see the colors and shape of the people. That’s not even counting the animals at the rodeo.”
“Oh, Cassie.” With that she could sense the tears running down her mother’s cheek. In no time she and her mother were two teary eyes females hugging each other.
My thanks to Grumpybear for his editing and proofing help. But the final results are mine and all criticism should be loaded onto my shoulders.
© Virgil Lee Fuqua III and vlfouquet.wordpress, 2008-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vlfouquet and Virgil Lee Fuqua III with appropriate and specific direction to the original contents