When I got friendly with one of the girls in the bar, Mead also found
a girl, a large, jolly, old Indian lady. After drinking only one beer,
he suggested we go to a different bar. The girl I was with, a student
from the University of Indiana who worked with Indian Affairs in
Browning, Montana, was okay with that, so we piled into the front of Mead’s truck. The large Indian lady sat on my lap. When the lights went out, the Indian lady who was twice my size got roving hands. She took total control of the “situation” or maybe it would be more accurate to say that she had the “situation” well in hand. Either way, I’ll never forget being brutally kissed by an old, drunk, fat Indian lady.
At the next bar, Mead ditched his girlfriend, and wanted to call it a
night. He said he would be glad to drop Bev off in Browning on the way back to Babb. The three of us climbed back in the truck and took off on what I hoped was our last ride. Fortunately, Browning was northwest of East Glacier, so I was kind of heading home. Everybody was quiet during the twenty-minute ride to Browning. I tried to talk to Mead, but he was either too drunk to listen, or he refused to talk. That made me uptight. In Browning, Mead pulled down a gravel road. When I asked him where he was going, he said, “Home. I need to stop at my trailer.” When we pulled up to an old trailer, he handed me a key and told me to see if it would unlock the door. Whatever was going down, I knew it was bad. I told him “No. Why don’t you do it?” He insisted that I go unlock the door. When I got out of the truck, he stepped on the gas. I ran after him and grabbed the door handle of the truck. As I ran alongside, trying to open the door and pull Bev out, he swerved in my direction. I fell under the truck and the rear tire ran over my leg, dragging me across the gravel. As I lay in the dirt motionless and bleeding, Mead kept going. When I forced myself to get up (I thought I had broken my leg), I found that I could walk, barely.
Under a streetlight, when I looked down at my leg, I could see the
truck’s tire tread marks imprinted across my blue jeans at the calf. I managed to hobble over to a trailer where a light was on in a window. When I knocked at the door, an Indian lady answered. She immediately started pushing me in the chest with her finger. I couldn’t understand what she was saying until, finally, I heard the words, “You’re not Tommy. Where is Tommy?” She was becoming unfriendlier by the second. If I could have moved, I would have beaten a path from her doorstep. But, as it was, I just let her push me around. She backed off when a large dude came to the door with an unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth. When I looked up at him (he must have stood almost seven-foot tall), he asked me for a light. I said, “Sorry, I don’t have a match. I’m hurt. I need help. Do you have a phone?” He pointed to the house across the street and said, “They have a phone; we don’t,” and then he shut the door in my face. I limped across the street and knocked on the door of that house. I could barely move; my leg had stiffened. My reception there was less physical, but no more friendly. When I asked
to use the phone the man who came to the door pointed down the road and yelled through the glass window of the door, “Payphone, four blocks.” It was painful, but when I made it to the phone, I called the police.