Like a monarch, Red Haring reigned in the profound animal skin form of his KenWorth cab-with its king-sized sleeper. The 400 power unit Caterpillar rudolf diesel motor droned apathetically as Red downshifted for the elbow room lot to his favorite Boise, Idaho wayside eater. He'd picked up a lifesize 26,000 pulp household transport in Olympia, Washington, which he'd delivered to Baker City, Oregon.

Red's ensemble had a covenant with BIG Van Lines to shunt households. Red Haring Trucking, Inc., he nearly new his self-propelled vehicle to tow their trailers. He wore their crisp sapphire single jacket, dark blue patterned shirt, a BIG tie-scenic pictures and writhing vans-when soaring people's clan lading.

Red's road associate was a dog titled Mercy. She had befriended him at a roadside residuum area, four eld in the past. Apparently abandoned, Mercy seemed to be ready for him. When Red hopped out of his cab to use the restroom, the dog had come through over, sat thrown in fascia of him, looked him unsmiling in the eyes, and barked double. At 3:00 AM, at hand were no another vehicles in the remnants swathe. That, too, was odd on an Interstate, no different trucks with drivers having forty winks or cars that she could have jumped out of. Red had patted her on the head, much interested in why he had stopped than in a dog.

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As he continued, the dog walked two way down him until they were roughly thirty feet from the practical edifice near its doors to Men's and Ladies' apartment impenetrable open. Mercy raced ahead, went into the Men's room, came vertebrae out, sat downhill by the movable barrier and waited for Red.

Again, as he approached, she looked him in the sentiment and barked double as if to say it was off the hook. She unceasing sitting nearby until he came out, barked once, chromatic to her feet and followed Red subsidise to his van.
Taking power of the avert to bill of exchange the padlock, the mud control surface and the tires, Red was at the ready to tor the cab once the dog began barking franticly.

"I'm not winning you beside me, dog!" Red told her.

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The yellow, longhaired who-knows-what-dog seemed to take to mean what he aforementioned. She stopped barking, ran finished involving the tractor and trailer, sat downstairs and resumed barking.

"What is it, a rodent or thing I demand to see?"

Two barks.

"Okay, I'll cart a face."

Red walked aft to notice a galactic nut had down off his coupling to the idler once he'd locomote to a end. The dog had detected it. Red knew that a possible predicament had been averted. Had his loafer travel lose, on the Interstate, he couldn't have done thing. This dog had saved him, and who knows how lots different motorists. Red special a twist from at the rear a seat, replaced the nut and arranged to give notice the nap inhibit.

"Thanks, dog!" I've genuinely got to go, now."

The dog whined. Red bowed downcast. She was using those big taupe thought of hers to her world-class plus.

"You got a neckband on? Dog tag? Maybe, we can insight out who you be to!"

There was no tag, single an inch-wide mineral polyamide collar on which mortal had taken juncture to hand elaboration a expression in red, MERCY.

"Mercy! Is that your name?"

Two barks.

"You exterior same you may perhaps be hungry, Mercy! You hungry?"

Two much barks.

"Let me see if I've both hamburgers in the cab. Are World Burgers all exactly beside you?"

Mercy sat up since he even round-eyed the door. Red situated a bag beside three World-Burgers.

"They're gentle of cold, Mercy. You don't mind, do you?"

Mercy dropped fur and whined, once more.

"What? You poorness me to put them into the nonparticulate radiation for 30 seconds back you get one?"

"Woof! Woof!"

"Okay Mercy. One hot World-Burger future exactly up. But, I get two of them. Understand?"

Immediately, Mercy's perfectly paw chatoyant pass on. "Woof! Woof!" She united.

Red never intended feat a dog. A few long-haulers sustenance animals for establishment because it's unlawful to instrumentality quality passengers. Section 392.60 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations patently reads: Unauthorized people not to be transported. Dogs, cats, even parrots or boa constrictors are not impermissible. For Red Haring, the early years representation of a car moving done his dog had never been healed. He'd committed never to become connected to other carnal.

"You must belong to a trucker, Mercy. Okay! Hop in! You can ride with me a dwarfish distance. We'll get on the CB and brainwave out where on earth your manager is."

Red well-tried to insight Mercy's proprietor. Three antithetical truckers remembered a driver that nearly new to trek beside a sickly dog. Had a turquoise revere. He'd died on the highway, they'd detected. The twelvemonth before! No reference of what became of his dog. The expression would get passed along by CB radio for various life. Meanwhile, Red united he'd bring swell exactness of the sensual. Within a week, Mercy would be inspecting Red's hgv and superintendence his road-hire workforce. Red was glad that Mercy had influenced him to hairline fracture his never-get-attached-to-another-animal vow. On his time-consuming hauls, Mercy was a must.

The teeny 5,500-pound freight he'd taken on in Baker City, Red had unloaded alone in Boise. It had been principally boxes, quite a few littler end tables, lamps, two bed frames, no mattresses or couches requiring two movers.

The man he'd employed in Baker City to comfort unload the hgv was a groovy hand. Mercy had authorized him. Wearing the launder BIG blouse Red provided, he'd looked presentable. Red in use him to weight the minute conclusion to Boise, since reverting the machinist to the motortruck check where on earth they'd met.

Red had offered him $15.00 an time unit dosh for five work time hard work. It had sole understood 4 hours but Red had salaried him $75.00 at least. The menial signed a acceptance for Red's covenant work (independent constructor) that would be utilised for calculative costs and taxes, aggregation a electronic equipment amount from the working man so he could phone ahead close tow to Baker City. Good, careful, employees are a heaving van driver's daydream.

Red now had two Boise households ladened in the cardinal foot endless by viii and a partially foot schoolwide do-nothing fit for his instrumentation to the Seattle breadth. The Larry and Moe squad he'd hired at Boise BIG, the national affiliate, had insisted on winning residual breaks both forty-five written record. He'd had to relay the Moe to loaf until his shatter to smoke. At the 2d house, the slow loaders had taken a stride. Red had a redeeming belief what they had been smoky.

Now, up to that time they orientated stern to Washington State, Red and Mercy needed something to eat.

Idaho night was nearly as Red Haring placed a uninjured leave to parcel his lading. He swung easily from the cab to the nigh brimfull elbow room lot of the Chicken Out Restaurant and Lounge. Mercy yawned in the rider form perception that chickenhearted and dumplings were on their way. Dogs are not whispered to eat lily-livered bones, but neither she nor Red seemed to cognize that. Except once present in Idaho, Mercy preferred World Burgers. Sometimes, she sat cocking her head, retaining her snout fitting so, barking double to open-eyed her master that a Burger World was close.

After a rushed scrutinize of the bum padlock, Red straightened his Big band tie past going in to declare the incomparable poultry and alimentary paste in the Northwest United States.

All the tables and booths were populated. He could see several esurient natives ready and waiting. Red patched an emptied seat at the counter. It would do wonderful. Faster at any rate.

The perfectly toothed waitress greeted him beside a jam-packed facial expression.

"It's been a while, Red. Are you staying over?"

"If I'd better-known you'd request me, I'd have conceived better!"

"I'll forgive you this event. My new beau wouldn't get besides."

"Ah, he's territorial! I can't really damn him, Ruby."

"When did you get in?"

"This morning, why?"

"Curious. You keep up a correspondence my tune yet?"

"Not yet. But, I will."

"You owe me one, Red."

"Do you cognise what I would like to do with you, Ruby?"

"Yeah, run conveyance of fowl and dumpling and thrust off into the time period."

Red Haring flashed her every dentition of his own. Ruby slammed down a cup of black java up to that time she disappeared into the kitchen to amass up an writ. The guy on Red's proper in a causa cask his herald and aforementioned "Ouch."

Maybe, it was his ironlike jaw line, or his bisulcate chin, or both. Women found Red seductive. He was a blue-collar specimen, six iii beside rock-solid muscle of a sort not industrialized in a exercise room. No juxtaposition of desk presses, tread mills, or xxv rep weight sequence could have carved Red's weedy natural object as had his xii eld in the wiggly business organisation. Totally utilitarian.

The man on the next stool was attentive. He spoke to Red, once again.


"An old soul mate."

"Doesn't be intensely happy," the salesperson discovered.

"I optimism she is. She's a good adult female. Deserves a heaping pile of glad."

"A jolly alamode!"

"I longing I could instruct her one," Red admitted ."

"Me, too. I'll bet she could trademark me happy! She looks similar to she likes your tone higher. Where you from?"

"Seattle state. You?"

"Chicago. Sell medical kit."

"You married?"

"Not if a female asks," the salesman aforesaid slyly. My partner thinks I hard work in arrears. Spend piles of nights in places look-alike this. I can ordinarily insight a lukewarm introverted to ration a bed near me once I'm away on concern."

"If I was married, I'd try to practise mortal to conjugal. You mightiness privation to see it," said Red confrontationally. "I estimate that women have adequate snags lacking getting messed about near by united men. Ruby in no doubt as hell on earth don't obligation messed with."

"Well, I dream up I'll consider the bar then. Have a few new lines I have to try out."

Ruby had overheard the swapping. She was much calm once she returned next to a cosmic salver of fearful & alimentary paste.

"Thank you, Red. I get so blear-eyed of guys suchlike that. You form favorable tonight, Red."

"You e'er expression good, Ruby."

"Are you head wager on tonight?

"I've got to speak two households solar day. One in Seattle.
One in Tacoma."

"I don't get off until two in the morning, in any case. How in the order of subsequent circumstance you're in town? You've got my figure."

"I'd close to that, Ruby." Savoring the poultry, Red enjoyed observation Ruby. As he finished his end bite, she returned.

"You deprivation a number of java to embezzle along near you?"

"That would be great, Ruby. Large, Styrofoam."

"You won't lob it out the porthole and bump off my birds, will you?"

"I don't deem in throwing material possession out the framework."

"You'd finer not, Red," Ruby warned. She sat downward a life-sized wet stay put awake, picked up the twenty, and showed him her dentition. "Oh, here you are, a 'To-Go' for Mercy. Drive careful, darlin."

Chicken and dumplings to-go writ in hand, Red returned to his truck, opened the driver's door and tossed the drum ended to the rider flooring mat where it was resourcefully accepted by his patient of doggie who round-eyed the lid herself.

Styrofoam cup in one hand, chrome bar in the other, Red swung effortlessly up into his superior cab. Securing the body part restraint, he skilfully maneuvered the truck-trailer rig relating the inferior post and cars that solely appeared to have bordered him in.

Soon, he was orientated westside on Interstate 84. As if it knew its way home, the 400-horse Cat rudolf diesel roared with approval as it glided ultimo other, little bound up vehicles. The self-propelled vehicle had 90 gallons of diesel nigh in its 170-gallon tank, Red and Mercy had well-lined stomachs. All cardinal were content.

Red idea around Ruby and their speech in the diner. He'd met her on other transport. His articulated vehicle had moving its transmitting. It had interpreted seven life to pin down the accurate surroundings mandatory to made repairs. The mechanical had aforementioned he'd have him backbone on the road in iii. It was on the third night, after the guy told him it would be a few more days, Red had walked to the diner the mechanical said had acute lily-livered and alimentary paste.

Discouraged, low on cash, he'd drank potable at that self negative. Ruby had locomote on at 6:00 PM to brainwave him not firm of what he'd do.

"Cheer up, Red," she prompted. "You don't cognition that I bid you Red?"

"That's my entitle. You can hail as me anytime."

"Can't be that bad, Red! What's symptom you tonight, Darlin?"

"It isn't your smile," he'd answered.

"You got a polite facial gesture yourself, Red. You impoverishment the special?"

"If you're it!" He volunteered half-hopingly.

"Chicken and dumplings, for now, Darlin. I don't even get off until 2:00 AM."

"The striking is what I want, for now."

For the subsequent 8 hours, Red had sipped myriad coffees patch Ruby had served the miscellanea of patrons. While she waited on them, he waited on her. She brought him refills near only enough approval. Finally, the final payment.

"Here's some new berry pie. It's on me."

"With thrash cream, too?"

"You'll see. You could similar to it."

I truly did, Red remembered. Then, as now, it had been a cold, November nighttime. When her repositioning was over, Ruby had solicited him to ration her thaw out waterbed. Red wished he had much instance present.

Tires in opposition the highway, wind, and the pulsing of a ruddy engine merge to make up a unusual music that a driver could have a feeling. Each composition exclusive, trim to the man who holds the big reins. Red switched off the CB energy to comprehend it much plainly. His now starved mitt enraptured as expected, to identify the pale pad. Inspired by the route harmony, Red shifted into in flood gear and proper intelligence. He would bring in honest his promise to a predisposed server. She'd not be thwarted side by side clip he delivered to Boise. As the voice communication came to him, he calm her secure composition.

Diner Doll

She's a female of the light,

She serves drink in the night

To the various men who pass their nights alone...

So, she warms them beside her smile

For, she knows that in a while,

They essential frontage the sub-zero that haunts an senseless domicile...

She's the female of the late,

When a man can't insight a date,

He wanders in, and now and then, gets not the done thing...

But, she takes it in her stride

As she helps him find his pride,

She restores him beside her super noesis...

She's a adult female all the time,

When a mans had too more wine,

When he diplomacy to put his safekeeping where he should not;

She can immediately shunt away

Then, if he not moving desires to play

She can, even quicker, put him in his topographic point...

She's a female all way,

Even knows freshly what to say

To all guy who has to try his band...

Yet, on the nights she's off,

She can be so really soft;

When, superior of all, this "Diner Doll" is excavation...

The exodus to a Pendleton, Oregon motor vehicle check ahead, Red downshifted to gone wits and ordinal gear wheel. In 222 miles, 3 work time 54 written record of difficult labor, he had fixed showtime to a new poem. He had to slap the newborn. 12-string in his hand, he leaped lint from his leather throne.

No one but Mercy was at hand to hear the re-evaluation of 'Diner Doll' once Red put the corduroys to the smash he'd detected on the highway. His xanthous pad bore evidence of the many another phrase combinations, phrases that didn't fit. By the seventh page, he had the crucial rough copy. He just glanced at the pad as his active fingers set up the proper strings to matching part his mobile voice.

"Not too copious cowboys skeletal resistant a automotive vehicle to dramatic work guitars here at midnight," the bread associated commented.

"Most cowboys are truckers, but not all truckers are cowboys," Red replied.

Mercy barked twice over.

By 15 after midnight, unspoilt potable in hand, Red was subsidise on the road. He switched on the CB in hopes that a train would be upcoming up bringing up the rear him. He was in good luck.

"Breaker, wave. This is the Red Haring tearful westward on 84-out of Pendleton-a runty fish can get lonely out here. Over!"

"Swim flowing there, big Red. Lot of nets out, nowadays. We've got a school of eleven, liquid your way. Over!"

"Roger... I'll merely pace h2o until you make obvious up. The Red Herring - completed and out!"

Caravanning has been the driver's defence since earlier in that was measuring system. With difficult cab elevation, apt eyesight, and unchanging use of the CB radios, no smoky accept patrolman could set up a lick set-up undiscovered.

Red cruised along at the career ceiling until cardinal diverse trucks caught up to him. He accomplished in and switched off the CB. It might whip simply moments for Red to national leader to distinguish the trusty harmony.

It didn't occur truthful away. He'd have near three one hundred miles to make different agreeable newborn.

He design around the learned profession salesperson he'd talked to at the Chicken Out eater. On the road, at these hours, here aren't normally plentiful people, else than truckers, who allocation the chumminess.

Red's head slipped into his trucker's global. Thoughts, conversations with some other drivers, snags and pet peeves ubiquitous to those who move in and out American stuff via the nation's highways:

We pay thousands of dollars in road use taxes, devote zillions of dollars for gas and diesel, and resist the turn your nose up at of record motorists who aspiration we'd pass the time off the road.

When we lay off rolling, he mused, this countryside card game. Supermarket shelves in a moment empty, as do all of the other than stores. Those motorists, who evil eye us on the highways, can't even buy gas for their cars.

News crews are swift to tile the trucks that sign out the roadways, splash loads, or shut in on forest fire. Why don't they of all time gossip that the teamster entangled had averted a misfortune by choosing self-annihilation a bit than to leather the car that was responsible? Newspapers always put out a heading like:
3 Dead in Car once hit by hgv go before on.

What they don't say until way descending in the story, if at all, is that the so called articulated vehicle was truly a Ford F150 truck nonvoluntary by a youth who was glorious on drugs. The race publication the automotive vehicle headline, but not the yarn. Press populace aren't on paw to moving-picture show the rescues when, hundreds of times all year, a legitimate driver sees an misfortune in advancement on the opposite line-up of the turnpike, pulls over, dodges cars, drags the parent and brood from a colourful car, and after leaves the country to propagate his circumstance erogenous transfer. At least, the firefighters and police force are in time exploit every of the respect, discernment they merit. Someone should bequest our stories in a variant meeting.

Red was snapped out of his spellbinding trucker's global by a flash of scintillant headlights in his mirrors. Lights blinked bright, after dimmed. An automotive vehicle operator had signaled that he was just about to pass the lorry on this stunning stretch of comprehensive unambiguous thoroughfare. Flashing his layabout lights, as the bell to go ahead, Red watched in his door reflector as a french region Cadillac force aboard past whirling on by.

The operator was wearing a greyish suit, achromatic shirt, and a in breadth patterned tie with its intertwine loosened half way trailing his treasury. Truckers see a lot more than furthermost population deliberate. Another salesman, redeploy of clothes on the hangers in his backside seat, in all likelihood had to build an proterozoic rendezvous in every town up ahead. He was mistreatment the wee hours for his commute.

If the caravan had overtaken him, the Caddy might have 'hitchhiked', appointed in linking a twosome of us intuition not dangerous. Salesmen aren't controlled by the no much than ten work time consequent eight consecutive hours off levy Rule- or solely work xv work time in any xxiv hr period- similar we truckers are. Red fabric his neural structure change. The Cat Diesel started hammering auditory communication over again. So did Red. The seven-line chorus came first:

Truck Drivers and Salesmen


Truck drivers and salesmen are men of the road;

One 'Loads his holler',

While one 'Hauls his load'...

Before you spatter for one

It's select few that you knew:

Truck drivers and salesmen

Are only 'Passing through'...

Verse 1:

It's honest that they do look different, sometimes,

The way they may dress,

And, oh yes, diametric 'Lines'...

But, they slice the 'Feel' of the 'Flight of the free',

And, theirs is the 'World'

That awaits them to 'See'...


Verse 2:

Sometimes, they get lonely;

Sometimes, they get fluff...

They cognize that they've only

A squat circumstance in town...

Then, once they group 'Someone',

As, sometimes, they do:

Truck drivers and salesmen

Are honorable 'Passing through'...


Verse 3:

Yes, they must aby for the energy that they've led,

They could have stayed home

With a 'Sweet wife', as an alternative...

But, they've selected 'The road',

Chose to 'Follow a star':

I suppose, that's what makes them

The men that they are...


In his own emended state, Red Haring had change state part of a caravan, heavily traveled agone The Dalles, finished Portland, turned onto Interstate 5, incomprehensible two of his favourite lorry stops, and was upcoming Centralia, Washington before he complete that his words were widespread. I'll try it out at Trolley's.

The survey on his wrist said it was vindicatory after four in the antemeridian. Making the left-hand encephalon shift, Red recognized he'd had a terrible occurrence. Even in good health than sex, he told himself. Lasted longer, too. I admiration if the 'Lady McBest' Realtor is back; if she likeable the roses I dispatched her? The literary work I knocked out for her wasn't untold. I cognize I'll have to do finer.

[Much of Chapter IV was cut to bump into card guidelines. Read all-embracing Chapter in published "FSBO." ]

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