BY REX BARTON
Hawk used his patrol unit to do a pit maneuver on John Blood’s GTO. It would be dangerous, especially on such a narrow dirt road.
At 65 to 70 mph, Hawk drove his unit hard into the right rear bumper of the GTO, then backed off rapidly. As he suspected, Blood could not control the GTO any longer. He watched as the GTO spun first left then right, flipping over and over a hundred feet down the side of the cliff. He didn’t think Blood could live through it. He was wrong.
Hawk began looking for Blood’s body in the totaled GTO but Blood was gone. Then he saw a blood trail leading up to and over a little creek further down the mountain face. Hesitating to cross the creek for fear of being shot in the open, Hawk sought higher ground and cover. Slowly backing up, he tripped on a partially covered rock near a boulder and fell backward, hitting his head. At that moment, a large rattlesnake, curled and ready to strike, sprung forward toward Hawk’s neck. The rattlesnake’s nose hit his neck and the fangs went through Hawk’s shirt collar. Hung up and slashing around, Hawk grabbed the snake with his left hand, dazed and blurry eyed. Then he heard Blood casually walking toward him, laughing. As Blood approached he took aim with his 45-cal. semi-auto pistol and fired one shot into Hawk’s left side. Before a second round went off, Hawk fired his 357 Magnum through his holster and emptying it in what he was hoping was Blood’s chest. Hawk could only hear. He could not see. What happened next could only be counted as a miracle.
Blinded by the concussion, panicked by the rattlesnake trying to strike at Hawk’s neck and the pain of being shot in his left side, Hawk did the only thing he could do. He was trained in martial arts. Many times he fought with a blindfold on so he would learn to use his other senses. He point-shot from where he heard John Blood laughing. Thank God, all six rounds found their mark in Blood’s chest, or this story would have a very different ending.