When class was over, I remained seated, waiting for the axe maybe to fall.
Captain Wintermeyer, however, pulled over a chair to face me and sat down.
"Son, I realize you've lost a best friend and I know he would want you to succeed in becoming a policeman. He was one that could be depended on to do what was right. You may not know this, but he led me to know the Lord, just like he did you, but I was much older. You've had your time of getting accustomed to his passing, now you need to buckle down and do your best. I'm pulling for you, Zeeb. Oh, yeah, I know all about the nicknames, and that one will stick with you, believe me. I believe the new kids call me Frosty; it's an old name and will no likely continue. Do you have a place to stay? I know you were living in Fin's quarters."
Well, the surprises just kept coming! He actually took an interest in his students beyond what they did in class.
"Yes, sir. I've made arrangements with friends. Thank you, sir, for asking. As for knuckling down and working to pass the course, I will, sir. Thank you for understanding. You won't need to remind me again."
"Very well, then, O'Hanlon! See that you do. I'll see you back here in about 45 minutes; and you'd best be ready."
He stood and we left together.
Odie was waiting around outside for me, and we took off for the diner.
When Frosty got out of earshot, Odie asked "What did he say? Did he tell you to clear out and not come back? Have you washed out?"
"No," I smiled at Odie. "He told me to buckle down and get with the program or else I would be gone. That was it. He also paid a special personal tribute to my friend, Jackson Finley. That's all. Now, let's hurry and get to the diner. I'm starving!"
After lunch, the class took up being instructed in how to make a proper apprehension and arrest without the use of a weapon. We role-played the action of a chase and apprehension. Wintermeyer had us set up barriers in the shooting range area for the role-playing. We took turns in two against one and one against one doing the chasing and being the chased.
The Captain gave us some actual tricks that the fleeing criminal would use, but gave them only to the ones playing the criminal in order to make it more difficult. We soon realized that we really had to think about what we were doing, rather than depend on being more fit than the criminal.
By the end of an hour's worth of that practice, we were ready to come back inside and work on another chapter of the police manual. Each day, after we worked on the manual, we took a short exam over what we had learned (or not learned) on the day before. It gave us a chance to review the manual at home before we had the actual test on it. It was a good method.
On the next Friday, an idea came to me. I was going to get the guys who beat up my friend, and see that they were brought to justice. I was sure it was the three who had beaten me. I would need help to do it, though, and I figured my friends would help me.
(To be continued)