Much like it was everywhere.
My brother's stories always surpassed anything my friends and I could dream up, however.
Our lone constable tried hard to keep order in his town.
By different techniques . . .
1. Keeping a strong presence. Rather hard when you are the only cop in town. And the 'hooligans' (his word, not mine) know that as soon as you've driven past, you can't see them.
2. Locking everything up. Also only effective if one actually . . . locks . . .
But I am getting ahead of myself.
One group were especially rowdy.
My eldest brother's group.
Oh, they didn't do actual damage, unless you count the time they burned down a rickety old shed and, along with it, the power lines to the entire town.
But that is another story.
They just had fun.
One Halloween, our intrepid, lone policeman decided that the best defense was a good offence.
And the only way to do that was to round up the troublemakers before they actually . . . made . . . trouble.
Which he did.
My brother and his friends were escorted, under protest, to the local jail and locked into one of the cells.
Throughout the evening, many more were brought in.
The cell was getting crowded.
Our policeman was quite proud of himself.
He had single-handedly stopped the mischief in our town.
What he hadn't considered was the imagination and daring of this particular group of young men.
And the security of his police station.
With its back door that was never locked.
Something that all of the kids in town knew.
Partway through the evening, one of the mayor's sons sneaked in by that door and gave the 'prisoners', which included his brother, a file.
An actual file.
I am not making this up.
Then he left.
The boys locked in the cell immediately went to work and, in short order, filed through one of the bars.
Turns out it can be done . . .
One by one, they sneaked through the opening and out the back door.
One of them, however, refused to leave.
He wanted to see the face of the constable when he discovered the empty cell.
He got his wish.
The constable came in to collect one of the young men for delivery to a waiting parent.
He found, not a sound cell full of potential law-breakers; but instead, a cell minus one bar and most of his prisoners.
Consternation warred with chagrin in his expressive face. (Ooh! Good sentence!)
The lone young man was laying back on a bunk, both hands behind his head.
He sat up. "Sir! There's been a jail-break!"
And you thought Milk River was a sleepy little town!