As he got close to them, he paused and gave them a grin and a chuckle, a breaking of the intensity. “Pretty fancy horses you got there,” he said. “What's your ride about anyway?” The question caught them unexpectedly, as they were still perplexed at the old man's energy mix. They fumbled a bit as they tried to give the gist of their search, and asked if he had any knowledge of the legendary character they hunted.
“Well, that's interesting that you'd be looking for him on fancy horses like that,” the old timer remarked. “You may scratch them up pretty bad trying to follow his tracks.” After saying that he laughed hard, and then drove off in his old truck still laughing.
Intrigued, the two young men inquired in the store as to who the old man was. He was “Crazy Dan”, they found out, an old biker, recluse and certified local oddball. He had lived up on the mountain at an old ranch, for as long as anyone could remember.
To make a long and complex story shorter, over the following year, through a long and contorted process the young men befriended Crazy Dan. They were fascinated by him for a host of reasons, over and above the fact that he did know a lot about the phantom biker and the bike that he did apparently own. Crazy Dan was like a combination of old biker bard, forest mystic and coyote flavor elder. He carried a wealth of information about vintage Harleys and Indians, about human adventuring in general, and he loved to mess with the two young men's heads with his perverse sense of humor, when he shared around any of it. He was in fact eldering the young men, and carried an undercurrent of testing their true characters, with an array of trickster modalities. He had
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