Friday, January 19, 2018
Human Interest

Word for word: The Samaritan considers his options

On his way to cover a baseball game in Miami on Oct. 2, Ben Montgomery made an unexpected stop by the side of the road. He wrote about what happened in a series of 15 tweets. Here they are exactly as they appeared, beginning at 9:46 a.m.

1. Driving south toward Miami when I see a pregnant woman on the shoulder by a s----- brown mini van. She's waving her arms.

2. I pull over and she comes up and says she has a flat and needs to borrow a jack. She looks strung out. I can hear a baby crying.

3. I tell her my jack is too small to lift her van. Meanwhile, a dude in a white pickup stops in front of us. I ask him if he has a jack.

4. He does, but it won't fit. That's when I see a man fully reclined in the passenger seat. He sees me and sits up.

5. The guy gets out and starts asking me strange questions. Where are you from? What do you do?

6. I ask the woman to show me the spare and she opens the back of the van and there it is: her jack.

7. I'm fully freaked, but maybe it's not what it seems. The dude from the pickup doesn't leave, thank god.

8. I go to work on the tire and the big guy stays close by. I get it on and I'm sweating and I tell them to drive directly to a tire shop.

9. They're thankful. Me and the other dude walk toward our cars as the couple climbs in their van.

10. Then old boy says to me: Did you see his gun?

11. Christ no, says I. That's why I stayed, says he.

12. I'm feeling very much alive. No idea if it was a trap.

13. The gun was in his waistband. I never saw it.

14.The thing about those brushes with mystery is that it takes about ten minutes before your heart really starts pounding.

15. And then the question: Is it better to lend a hand — with risk — or stay in the line of the impartial. I don't know.

Follow Ben Montgomery on Twitter at @gangrey.

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