Run ‘Bissie’, Run
a short story by Austin Mitchell
We heard that Boyd was sitting on a wall near the school gate and drinking beer. What had really happened was that during morning recess ‘Bissie’ Reid had thrown a stone hitting Boyd’s brother, Lewis, causing a huge cut in his forehead and he had to be rushed to the nearby clinic. Bissie had gotten flogged for it, but Lewis’ sisters at the Goffe Spring’s All Age School had reported it to his older brothers. By lunch time rumors began circulating about Lewis’ gunman brother, Bally, coming to shoot Bissie. Lewis had been mocking Bissie about the shape of his head.
We all thought that Bissie would make a run for it at lunch time as he lived in Nelson about a mile and a half from school. He couldn’t wait until school was over as threats were being sent to him. I was in Jackson Chung’s shop which is next door to school when I heard Lewis’ cousin, Gully and another man, Bam, talking.
“That youth is wicked. He nearly blind Lewis. All he got were some slaps,” Gully remarked.
”They didn’t even call the police, I have to give him some slaps,” Bam threatened.
“When school over we are going to carry him down to Latchmore and let Lewis beat him,” Gully said before drinking some more of his stout. Bam was drinking a beer. Latchmore was a mile away from school, going towards the north, while Nelson was to the south.
I left the shop and returned to school. I saw Bissie and he looked not in the least bit worried. I wondered if he knew what fate awaited him. When lunchtime was over we all went back to class. Rumors continued to fly that all exits from the school were blocked off. Lewis’ relatives and friends were manning them.
“I hope this will teach him a lesson,” David Wilson, one of my classmates said.
“I’ve never liked that guy, Bissie. I hope he gets a good beating,” Marge Dillon, another of my classmate remarked.
I never knew that Bissie had so many enemies. He had his fair bit of trouble, such as when Norma Smith accused him of stealing her lunch money and Danny Gordon and he had a fight over marbles.
I don’t know how he was going to leave school as the headmaster who drove was not at school today and none of the other teachers drove. Bissie was fast, but so were Boyd and Gully. Indeed, before both men left school they were the top long distance runners. Bissie had only recently inherited their crowns.
We also could see men patrolling the school boundaries. Bissie was in deep trouble. He had to somehow find a way to reach Nelson without any of these men seeing him.
Evening recess came around and we all went out to play our various games. I was in a marble game when I heard a shout and saw Bissie bolting towards the southern school gate. I grabbed up my marbles and ran after him. Gully, Boyd, and other man Webster had seen Bissie bolt through the school gate and they started after him. It seemed as if the whole school was running after Bissie as children, both big and small poured out of the school.
Up Market Hill they ran. We heard that men had taken a short cut on Top Road in order the head off Bissie. Several times Boyd and Gully were within catching distance of him, but he managed to keep them off. They approached the steepest part of the hill and Bissie was blowing hard.
Children from Nelson were shouting.
“Run, Bissie, run. Show them that you can run faster than them, for if they catch you they are going to want to beat you.”
Those from Goffe Springs answered.
“Catch him, Gully, catch him, he can’t run faster than you.”
“We must catch you now, Bissie,” Gully shouted in triumph.
“Think you could a outrun us, boy, “Boyd shouted as he made another grab at Bissie. Bissie slipped it and continued running.
Then we heard footsteps above and realized that Bam and some other men were on that road above us, trying to head off Bissie.
“Run faster, Bam. Try fe head him off,” Gully shouted.
Then we looked up and saw that Bam and another man, Juby, were going to head off Bisssie. We heard a car horn blow and saw our former, headmaster, Teacher Notice’s car coming up the road. As the car reached Bissie, he pulled the door handle but it was locked. We didn’t hear what Teacher Notice said to him, but the car sped off up the hill.
Both Boyd and Gully grabbed him, but he managed to push them away. Then Bissie sped off ans caught up with Teaher Notice and again pulled car door. Boyd and the rest sped after him but they only got to the car door when it slammed and the car sped off.
Boyd, Gully and Bam were there cursing Teacher Notice. They knew that they had lost the chance to exact revenge on Bissie for what he had done to Lewis. More than likely Teacher Notice would drop Bissie in New Roads if he was going to Kingston. He would drop him off in Nelson if he was going to Spanish Town. Then two men, Clifton and Bradley, two more of Lewis’ cousins rode up on separate motorcycles.
“You guys didn’t catch the boy?” Clifton asked.
“No, he jumped into old man, Notice’s car and escaped,” Bam replied.
Both men let off a string of bad words and cursed Teacher Notice in the process.
“He must drop him off somewhere on the road,” Bradley said.
Gully and Bam jumped on the pillion of the motorcycles and they rode away.
Then we heard the bell for the end of evening recess began to ring and we all raced back to school. I was going through the school gate when I saw the motorcycles returning.
“Anywhere I see that boy I have to give him a beating,” Clifton threatened.
“He can’t come back to school, but we must catch him,” Bam assured him as they rode out of earshot.
There were other persons who left Goffe Spring's School untimely. Apart from Bissie, I can remember only two of them. The End. Please visit my blog ar: http://stredwick.blockspot.com