Episode 814c: Honest Injun (Part 3)

by Pat Gonzales - Part 1 of 7

The alarm clock was ringing, ringing, ringing. He'd been up late tinkering with something, and he knew he was going to be late to school again. "Okay, Mom, I'm up, I'm up," he mumbled, and reached for the alarm clock . . .

. . . then reality kicked in as his hand hit the end of a solid bedside table rather than the clock on the makeshift sawhorse-and-boards bedside stand he'd had in high school. His eyes flew open and he turned to the ringing phone, snatching the receiver from its cradle. "H'lo?" he said hoarsely. He rubbed his eyes with his fingers.

"Mac?" came Dennis Bearheart's voice -- low, rough, strange. "You there?"

"Dennis?!?" He jerked to a sitting position. "Where are you? Where the heck have you been? Is Sam with you? What --"

"Can you meet us at Hankinson's?" Dennis interrupted. "That country bar we went to on Thursday night? We'll be in the back courtyard."

"What happened?" Mac looked at his wrist watch. It was just after seven in the morning.

"I'll tell you when you get here. We really need to get Sam to a hospital."

That brought Mac to adrenalin-flowing, heart-pumping full wakefulness. "What happened?"

"We're free. Just get here, okay?"

"Right away."

Mac dressed in record time and was about to rush out the door when he realized that Phelps might want to come. He dialed the other man's room, and after eight rings was about to hang up when the phone was answered. "Yes?" Phelps snarled.

"It's MacGyver. I just got a call from Dennis. He and Sam are alive."

"Wonderful. Good night."

"Did you want to --"

Phelps had already hung up on him. Mac looked in exasperation to the heavens and replaced the receiver.

The early-morning Sunday traffic was light as he headed out to the bar, parking at the farthest corner of the lot. An eight-foot-high privacy wall barred his entry to the courtyard. He was about to pull the car around to help him vault the wall when a section of it swung open. Dennis Bearheart -- naked to the waist, his arms and chest covered with bloody scratches of various depths -- was on the other side. "Mac."

"Good Lord! What --"

"Wolverine." He gestured for Mac to come inside. "Sam got mauled trying to protect me. The animal chewed his arm up. He's going to need stitches."

Mac hurried past the gate and looked around. Sam was sitting on a bench, bare chested like Dennis. His chest and arms were also marked with scratches, and he was hugging his left arm, wrapped with his blood-soaked shirt. Underneath the bench was what was left of Dennis's blue denim shirt, bundled up and bloody. Mac rushed to his son's side, touching his forehead, searching for his pulse, finding it racing. "Sam?"

"I'm okay, I'm okay," Sam said faintly. "It only hurts when I move."

"We're going to take you to the hospital."

"I hate stitches."

"Too bad. You're going to get some."

Mac gently wrapped his own jacket around his son's body, then led him out to the car. Dennis opened the back door and Mac guided him in. "Let me get the animal," Dennis said, and returned to the courtyard, coming out with the denim shirt. "Can we put this in the trunk? The vet will have to see if it has rabies. I seriously doubt it, but it's best to be certain."

Mac opened the trunk and Dennis set the bundle down inside and closed the lid. "Let's go."

"Are you going to tell me what happened?" Mac asked as they got into the car.

"Sure. Just drive. Aitkin County Hospital, I guess, is closest. County 18 to 169 North."

Mac started off. "So talk, Dennis."

"From the beginning." Dennis leaned back in the seat, closed his eyes. "I assume you checked out the spot where we were going to watch Garrett's."

"Yeah."

"I was watching one of the workers putting some supplies in one of the outbuildings when I got there. Very innocent. About an hour later he brought a covered animal cage into it. He left for a while, came back with a cattle prod, went in. I was concentrating on what I could make out about what was happening in the outbuilding when I got bonked and trussed up. They arranged it so that Sam wouldn't notice anything unusual when he came up. He did suspect something right away, but they had a gun at his head before he could really do anything and they knocked him out too."

"Did they have transportation back in the woods or did they take you out down the hiking trail?" Mac asked.

Dennis chuckled. "You looked around?"

"Phelps and I checked the woods back about a hundred yards and didn't find anything."

"Phelps? Where's Monica?"

"On her way back home by now, or soon to be. She stopped off overnight somewhere. When you didn't show we sent her off."

"Good deal. Yeah, they gagged us and carried us down the hiking path to a camper and tossed us in the back. The camper windows were covered so we couldn't see out, didn't know where we were going. We ended up on some land near the Mille Lacs Wildlife Refuge, at what used to be a house or a cabin. About all that was left was part of a wall, the foundation and an old root cellar dug into a hill. That's where they stashed us. It was a very small space. There was just enough room for Sam and I with little room to maneuver, and standing -- hah! Forget it. The door was old wood but solid, and they barred the outside with a two by four."

"So what did you do? Kick the door down?"

Dennis chuckled. "Mac, I'm pretty good at karate, but not that good. Let me finish. They had tied us up with duct tape so we couldn't easily get free, and Sam was out of it so I didn't know about the Swiss army knife in his jacket right away. Just as he was coming around, they came back with the wolverine -- I figure that was the animal in the cage -- and they'd riled it up pretty good, with the cattle prod I assume. They opened the door, threw it in, and closed us up with it."

"Obviously you two won."

"Not without difficulty." Dennis glanced back at Sam. "We tried to use our feet and legs to keep the wolverine at one end until we got our bearings, but it was fast. Sam had just told me about the knife in his pocket when I felt the wolverine coming up my leg, snarling for all it was worth, headed for my throat -- that's its best way to defend, topple its enemy and rip out the throat. I knew it could sense us better than we could sense it, and I tried to twist out of the way, but I must have turned right at it, because it was on my chest before I knew it. At that point Sam fell on top of me and the wolverine got to his arm before it got to my throat."

"I planned it," Sam said softly from the back seat.

"Yeah, tell me another one. I have a ski resort in southern Minnesota I'd like to sell you." Dennis and Mac both laughed, knowing that the southern part of the state was mostly flat farmland. "In any case, the wolverine was doing a number on his arm, and I was able to pull myself up into a curl and get my arms around my legs and in front of me. I grabbed the animal from Sam, probably giving him a few more wounds in the process, and held it against me while Sam got his arms in front and found his knife. We freed ourselves and tried to keep the wolverine alive, but the damn thing was having none of it, and we just couldn't keep it contained. I I kept thinking that somehow they might have given it rabies and it wasn't safe. So . . . I said a prayer to the spirits for forgiveness and killed it."

Mac shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry."

"So am I," Dennis replied quietly. He sbook his head as if banishing the memory. "Anyway, I examined Sam's arm and I could tell by touch that it was pretty bad. We wrapped it up in his shirt and I wrapped the wolverine up in mine and set to figuring a way out. I tried to pull out the pins to the door hinges but they were rusty and weren't about to budge. So I ended up using the screwdriver blade on the knife to pry the hinges out of the frame. Thank the spirits that the wood in the frame hadn't weathered time so well. It was not as soft as I would have liked, but I was able to get underneath the hinge and have leverage to pull. It took forever, but we made it out."

"And the place where you were kept was near Hankinson's?"

"Well --"

"No, we hiked all over creation before Dennis got his bearings," came Sam's voice from the back, with a little more energy than before.

"Sam, you were out of it half the time," Dennis replied good-naturedly, "what do you know?"

"I know when someone doesn't have a clue."

"Hey," Mac interrupted, "be nice. We're here." He made the turn for the hospital and drove to the emergency entrance. Dennis took Sam in while Mac parked the car. When he found the two of them, Sam lay on a bed, eyes closed, his arm swathed in a slowly reddening bandage, and a nurse was already preparing sutures while Dennis stood aside. "Bobbi has already called Doc Nelson," he said. "He'll be here shortly."

"Sam?" Mac moved to the side of the bed. "How are you doing?"

"I want some coffee."

"Nothing for you until the doctor's done up that arm, dearie," Bobbi said. She turned to the waiting men. "But it would be nice if you two got out of here for a while. Mary out at the desk will show you down to the cafeteria. They should be open."

Mac and Dennis took the hint and retreated to the cafeteria for tea and coffee. "What now?" Mac asked, liberally pouring sugar into his tea for the energy rush.

Dennis took a long swallow of coffee. "I can identify both of the thugs, and Sam can confirm one of them. One guy definitely matched Phelps's sketch. When we get back to Garrison we'll report this to the sheriff and he can go and get them at Garrett's. Whether or not they'll tie Garrett into all of this, we can only hope. I suspect that they'll squeal once pressure is put on."

"Where's the motive?" Mac asked. "It doesn't make any sense. Garrett has the best of both worlds. He's a resort owner and an Ojibwe."

Dennis swirled the coffee in his cup. "I think that may be the problem. He's never been very popular with the other owners in the Association, and the Ojibwe don't think much of him because he hasn't done much to help them out. At least Vaughn tries to hire tribal members when he can and when they want to work. Garrett never has, from what I've been told. If both sides are at loggerheads they they both suffer. Maybe that's what he wants."

Mac nodded. "This will be a mess that the state will have to clean up."

Dennis sighed. "Unfortunately, yes. Because of the Mille Lacs tribe this becomes a state police matter. And then there's the transformer and the generator. This isn't over by a long shot."

They finished their hot beverages and returned to the emergency room. Mary the nurse kept them in the waiting room while the doctor finished his work. Finally Sam and Dr. Nelson emerged. Sam was now wearing a surgical smock and his bandaged forearm was in a sling. "You two taking care of this young man? Hi, Dennis."

"Hi, Parker. Yes, we are. This is Sam's father, MacGyver."

The doctor nodded. "Make sure he rests for the next few days. He needs lots of fluids to replace the lost blood. And don't get the bandages wet." He handed Mac a few slips of paper. "Here are some prescriptions, for pain pills and bandages. You two aren't staying around here for a while, are you?"

Mac looked at Sam. Sam nodded. "I'm not, but I suspect Sam may be," Mac said.

Dr. Nelson squeezed Sam's shoulder. "Well, if you're here, come and see me on Friday and we'll take a look at that arm."

"It's a date."

End Part 1 - Go to Part 2

Story and original characters are copyright 1998 by Pat Gonzales. MacGyver and related characters are the property of Paramount Pictures Television and Winkler/Rich Productions. This is a work of fan fiction and is not intended to infringe upon those rights.

Reproduction or redistribution of this story by any means, electronic or otherwise, is prohibited. This story is archived at the MacGyver Virtual Seasons Web site at http://macvs.awardspace.com/