One real advantage to Johnny's sedan was the space. And the seats were comfortable - more like lounging on a sofa than sitting in a car. Which was just as well, for Johnny and Mike spent much of the afternoon 'in the saddle'.
First they rode into Pocatello to drop Jay off at 4th and Benton so he could meet his girl at the station. Jay would like to have joined Johnny and the others for the afternoon, but the duties of an I.S.U. freshman were calling - not to mention the pleasures of being with his girl again.
Then it was back to Fort Hall to pick up Cody. Danny and his girlfriend Summer were waiting for them at Blackfoot. His passengers comfortably seated, Johnny showed them there was still plenty of life in the old sedan as he pointed her northwest and put his toe down. Another hour's passing found them sliding in next to a tiny Nissan saloon a mile or two off the highway.
'We're late,' said Johnny.
'Not too late for the game,' said Cody. 'Just late for setting stuff up.'
'Yeah! Nice timing Johnny,' giggled Summer. 'Just in time to eat I'd say.' The smell of a well fired up barbecue hit the nostrils as soon as the car doors were opened.
What was the attraction of the place? Mike was beginning to wonder. Sure it was out of the way, but for all the scenery and points of interest they might just as well be on the moon. Mike turned slowly to see if he'd missed anything - scrubby plants, yellow grasses, black dirt - that was about it.
Mike began to feel a tingling in his fingers. His head started to clog up and sounds ran into one another. Not now, please not now. The first signs of an attack crept up on him. There was never any getting away. Those little white pills used to help, but then you'd get hooked on them or they mix all up with the other junk you took and give you heavy trips. It was hard to say what was worse. The clouds moved up to double time streaking across the sky like time-lapse photography. Won't be long now - must lie - must lie down.
'You okay Mike?' from Johnny, a concerned arm about his shoulders. Mike could have answered. He could have lowered himself gently to the ground before total lights-out. But through the fuzz and confusion of the attack's onset, Mike felt a sense of the dramatic: he allowed himself to collapse into Johnny's arms, and he felt the corner of his mouth turn up in a smile as Johnny's words rolled through the rumble of sound. 'Don't worry Mikey. I won't let the scorpions get you.'