Pat Arnold: Storekeeper


Tell us about the armed robber.

MR. ARNOLD: The lunch rush was over and I was gettin' ready to paint the floor. This joker came in, had on this V. F. W. jacket, Veterans of Foreign Wars. And I was back by the meat case stirrin' this paint. I wasn't gonna get any more business until the school kids got out of school at 3:00, that'd be the next busy period.

He was awful friendly, "Hi old timer, ol' buddy," and all that jive they like to hand ya. And then I'd never seen him before and I just figured right then that this guy's too friendly.

I had this money in my pocket. It was two or three hundred dollars, so I took it out. And where the original meatcase was, I just threw it in there 'cause I was in the back. He had pulled around that side by the townhouses. I didn't see the durn car there. So he run on out and went around the side. And I just stood there and had a funny feeling and boy, next thing I know here comes three of 'em in the door.

One of 'em got out in front of me, he had this durn hood on his head. He was real soft talkin' and he said, "All right, this is a holdup." Got his gun in there and he got hung up in his jacket. He was pullin' it in and pullin' it in, he finally got it out and laid it on me. And he said, "Put your hands up," so I put my hands up.

What was I gonna do, I was gonna give him the money. Let him have it out of the drawer rather than him tearing the cash register up where I would have to buy another one. He said, "NO, no get out of there.' And I started to walk out from behind it.

There was this other one, he had a gun and his handkerchief tied over his face. He put that gun on me and this other one he was in front of me. He put his gun upside my head and made me lay down on the floor back there. Took my own rope, clothesline, I sold clothesline, clothespins and everything. And he tied me up in one minute flat, and of course I helped him. I didn't fight him! He had my hands tied up and my feet drawn up behind my head and he had me tied up just like you'd throw a steer and then tie him up.

There was another one in there, he's the one that went through the cash register and took all the money, I had a coin collection, they took that. And the funny thing about it. I had money in my billfold. And he touched my pocket, that billfold one time or another he must of touched me a hundred times, and he didn't take that durned thing out. So that helped me to get out of the store business. They didn't get the $300 I threw in the back, but I had about $160 in the cash register and the coin collection. Oh yeah, and I had a gun that one of the customers got for me but I never got to use it.

MRS. ARNOLD: He just laid there on the floor until --

MR. ARNOLD: The mailman came along and untied me! Then the police came down but they never caught 'em. That was 'bout 1965. It was a year and a half after that, that I left the business and leased the building.

Volume Two, Table of Contents
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