The Tides of Brewster Harbor; Episode 51 – Ernie Appleton Goes to Jail

Niles sat alone for lunch at The Captain’s Table Restaurant. He had a lobster roll and water. 

“Is there anything else?” Anita, the young waitress said.

“No that will do it,” Niles said. “The water was good. Have I ever told you how good the water is in New York City.”

“Actually,” Anita said, “you have, every time you come in. You must miss New York.”

“Only the water,” Niles said smiling. He reached for his billfold in his jacket pocket.

“No tip today,” Anita said. “It’s on me,” she smiled. “And the boss,” she motioned toward the counter where Junior, the owner, sat on a stole behind the register. “He said it’s on him today.”

Niles smiled. “That’s mighty nice.”

Niles stood and Lucinda burst through the door. She wore no coat, buttons were missing from her blouse, her hair ruffled, and her face beamed red.

“What’s wrong?” Niles exclaimed.

Lucinda heaved a deep breath and swallowed. “That man, Ernie Appleton, just came into pay a fine. He grabbed me and said he was going to take the fine out in trade.”

“Where is he?” Niles said.

“Heading for his truck,” Lucinda said pointing to her right.

Niles bolted out the door and ran in the direction Lucinda pointed.

Ernie grabbed hold of the door handle of his truck.

“Ernie Appleton!” Niles called.

Ernie turned to face Niles. “I paid my fine, what else do you want?”

“You made an unwanted advance towards the town clerk,” Niles said. “I want to talk to you about it.”

“Sure we can talk,” Ernie said.

Niles walked up to him. “Explain what happened when you paid your fine.”

“Don’t remember,” Ernie said. “but I can show you. I went blank.”

Ernie doubled his massive fist and launched it toward Niles’ face. Niles ducked and Ernie’s fist made a mighty thud on impact with the side of his truck. Ernie lost his footing on the patch of ice and tumbled to the pavement. Niles cuffed Ernie before managing to catch his breath and scream out from the pain inflicted on his knuckles.

“You’re under arrest for assaulting a police officer and an officer of the court during the commission of their duty. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. If you wish not to exercise that right, anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand what I just said.”

“Yeah,” Ernie said.

“On your feet and walk toward the police department,” Niles said and helped Ernie to his feet.

Lucinda, Anita, and Junior stood on the sidewalk watching.

“Junior,” Nile said. “Can you get a bag of ice for me and bring it to my office.”

“You got it, Chief,” Junior said.

Niles walked Ernie to the office.

“How long you gonna lock me up for?” Ernie said.

“I don’t know, Ernie,” Niles said. “I’m disappointed in you. What were you thinking?”

“I don’t suppose you want to hear my side of things?” Ernie said.

“First of all,” Niles said as he unlocked and opened the door to the office, “Here’s my side, you assaulted a police officer and, Ernie, if you’d have hit me with that hindquarter you call a fist, I’d be having milkshakes the rest of my days.”

“I want you in the cell on the right,” Niles said. “When you get in, put your hands through the bars and I’ll uncuff you.”

After Niles removed the cuffs Ernie rubbed his fist. “I think it’s broke and I don’t have insurance.”

“You got insurance on the truck?” Niles said.

“Yeah,” Ernie said.

“Well, it’s good to see you’re a law-abiding citizen,” Niles said. “Maybe you can turn a claim into your insurance and pad it a little for your hand.”

“I can do that?” Ernie said.

“I don’t know,” Niles said, “I’m just trying to ease the tension, but it’s worth a try.”

“I’m getting you a couple aspirin,” Niles said. “You aren’t allergic to it are you?”

“No,” Ernie said.

“Then, I ‘ll ask you a few questions,” Niles said. “It’s just booking information.”

After the aspirin and a few booking questions, Junior entered the office with a bag of ice.

“Thanks, Junior,” Niles said and pulled out his billfold. “Couple dollars cover it.”

“On the house,” Junior said.

“Everything seems to be on the house today,” Niles said.

“Some days are like that,” Junior said and reached for the door.

“Wait a second, Junior,” Niles said. “Ernie, have you had lunch yet?”

“No,” Ernie said.

“Get Ernie one of those lobster rolls and an order of fries,” Niles said. “You like lobster roll don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Ernie said.

Niles handed $10 dollars to Junior. “I don’t expect you to take care of the town’s expenses.”

“Thanks,” Junior said. “I’ll get that right over,”

“If it’s not asking too much can I have onion rings instead of fries?” Ernie said.

Junior looked to Niles for approval.

“Get him rings,” Niles said and handed Junior another dollar.

Junior left the office. Niles grabbed the bag of ice. He went to the bathroom and ran water into a small pan and filled the rest with ice.

Niles walked out to Ernie’s cell and placed the pan of ice through a slot in the bars. “Here you go, Ernie, soak your hand in this.”

Ernie grabbed hold of the pan. He sat on the bunk and pushed his hand in the ice.

“Thanks, Chief,” Ernie said.

“No problem,” Niles said. “If you want to use the commode let me know. I’ll pull the curtain and you can have some privacy.”

“Privacy,” Ernie said. “I didn’t know there was such a thing in prison.”

“This ain’t prison,” Niles said.

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