A friend of my brother's shot a deer and had it processed. Then my brother called me and asked me if I'd be willing to pick it up and get it to him so he could help deliver it.
As it turned out, it was more complicated than it sounded. Not only did this deer get hunted in a field, it managed to elude us in the locker.
The hunter had paid for the deer processing with a credit card and all I had to do was go by and pick it up. When I arrived at the locker, the deer had apparently escaped. Despite the clerk flipping through the receipt book and making a couple of trips back into the cold locker, there was no deer.
Finally we heard the lady loading a deer into grocery sacks and coming to the counter where she said, "You still owe $41.50 on this deer."
Now all my information was second hand, but I repeated that the deer was paid for in full with a credit card. She was looking at a ticket and said, "No he still owes $41.50." I paid the $41.50 and she dropped the ticket in one of the sacks and I took it home and put it in my freezer getting ready to make a transfer later in the week. When I pulled out the ticket she had placed in the sack, it had no resemblance to the one I had asked for.
I decided my brother needed to get involved in this mystery, so I called him and he said he would take care of it. He called the locker and got nowhere trying to find the missing deer. Then he called them again during the weekend and for all they knew, that deer had never been shot.
He finally called again on Monday and talked to the manager. He told him that, yes, the deer was paid for and in two sacks with the name stapled on the outside and both sacks were marked. All I had to do was come and get it.
This involved another trip to the locker and all the while I'm telling my brother I'm thinking of charging you mileage for all this running around I'm doing for your friend.
By mid-morning Monday, I had made the drive, picked up the deer, double checked the ticket again, and received my $41.50 refund. Sure enough they got it right this time.
Now the hunter lives in Salina and the deer is in Fort Scott. Fortunately, we are taking a trip west after New Year's Day and if all goes well, the elusive deer will end up with his owner.
Editor's Note: Dick Hedges is the former mayor of Fort Scott and former president of Fort Scott Community College.