12 APR 10: A Cloud of Dust
TRUE NEWS ITEM: Friday's tree pollen count at the Allergy Center at Brookstone was 3,716.
(SINGERS:) "Here he comes riding high in the saddle, making friends wherever he can....
A hero of the west, in a yellow shirt with vest -- Yella Fella, what a man!"
"There he is! You must be Yella Fella! I'd recognize that outfit anywhere."
"Yup, that's me. And I can tell from that badge you're the sheriff around these parts."
"That's right. I'm the man who called you over here."
"I read that telegram -- only mentioned trouble in Splitwood."
"Just take a look around here, Yella Fella, and tell me what you see."
"Well - looks like a typical Western town to me. You've got a saloon, a church, Mr. Walton's general store...."
"That's not what I mean. Look at the wooden sidewalks."
"Hmmmm. I wonder if they're YellaWood."
"Most of us with good eyeballs don't have to wonder, Yella Fella. They've turned a yellow tint in the last few weeks."
"So they have. Looks nice, doesn't it?"
"Yella Fella, under the powers invested to me as Sheriff of Splitwood, I'm placing you under arrest...."
"Arrest?! What did I do?"
"For endangering the health of the community. People say that yellow dust is making them sick, and they think you're to blame for it."
"C'mon now, sheriff. I've been probably dozens of miles away from here."
"There he is, sheriff. I'm glad you've finally captured that troublemaker."
"Nice to meet you, ma'am. But...."
"Yella Fella, this is our school marm, Miss Mitzi. She's a smart woman, and she's sure you're the one behind all the clouds of yellow dust."
"But Miss Mitzi...."
"'Fess up, Mr. Yella. I'm on to your schemes. You like those wood products made from.... what do you call it?"
"My very point, Sheriff. He chops down pine trees. The dust from those trees blows into town with the western wind It's all a publicity stunt for his business, but children in my one-room school are coughing half the day and rubbing their eyes."
"Sheriff, this woman has been reading too many of those newfangled textbooks. And besides, she's just plain been reading."
"Oh really, Yella Fella? Do you have a better explanation?"
"Uhhhh - hasn't she noticed the blimp?"
"The what?! What's a blimp?"
"It's a big floating thing, like a balloon. Comes across the sky after dark. Somebody inside that thing is dropping yellow dust on this town."
"Yella Fella, do you really expect me to believe that?"
"Look for it tonight, and you'll have your answer."
"Miss Mitzi, it might be worth a try. Yella Fella has a pretty good reputation in this neck of the woods."
"I don't care, Sheriff. Just because he has that posse of singers riding around with him doesn't mean he can be trusted. Instead of that 'neck of the woods,' maybe his neck should be in the...."
"Now there, Miss Mitzi. Calm down your sweet little self."
"Sweet little self?! Sheriff, you're talking down to me like I don't have a formal education."
"I'd say you're getting too big for your britches - but out here in the West, women don't wear britches."
"Well, I never!"
"Didn't think so. Yella Fella, I'll give the sky a look-see tonight for that blimpie-thing. But if it's not there, I'll be looking for you first thing in the morning."
"Thanks, Sheriff. I appreciate that."
"C'mon, Miss Mitzi. Your young'uns probably have a writing project to do -- maybe with some of those long yellow pencils."
"Maybe we all need a science course, Sheriff!"
"Whew! That was a close one, Lemondrop. Let's skedaddle out of town by sundown. Time to split from Splitwood, before they make me split some rails with a chain around my ankles. Trouble is, now they'll call me 'Yella' for a whole new reason."
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