Gary fancied himself an artist. He spent hours working in an abstract sculpture medium—he melted “found” metals together using a blowtorch. Few understood the theory behind his art and fewer still saw his finished product.
Gary’s wife, Beth, had a master’s in international relations. Many of her acquaintances declared they couldn’t imagine “why Beth ever married that guy.” Beth, too, had some unusual ideas—especially regarding sex and morality. She’d read a book entitled The Harrad Experiment, set at a fictitious college where students experimented with one another to explore and expand their sexuality.
Beth decided to adopt and apply the book’s tenets in her own life. She began this sexual exploration by pursuing liaisons with Gary’s married friends. One of Gary’s pals, a guy named Braithwaite, profited from the arrangement sexually, even though he didn’t approve of Beth’s adventures. He too was married and certainly wouldn’t approve of his own wife, Joyce, carrying on in this manner.
After Gary learned Beth was not living a monogamous existence, he decided to settle some scores. As mentioned, he had a way with the ladies. Also, his chronic unemployment afforded him ample opportunities to visit his friends’ wives while their husbands worked. Gary pursued the conquests one at a time, seducing the wife of each friend with whom his wife had dallied.
Gary made out pretty well in his affair with Braithwaite’s wife, Joyce—she was a fun-loving, fine-looking lady. People were surprised she fell for Gary. Word was she wasn’t getting at home what Gary was supplying. Additionally, as with most marriages, she and Braithwaite had their bones of contention.
Literally, though, Joyce was getting it at home from Gary. They were able to conduct their love affair in the bedroom at Braithwaite’s house since he worked at a job with predictable shifts.
If more than one person knows something it’s no longer a secret and Braithwaite eventually learned his wife had strayed but said nothing about it.
During a weekend when he was supposed to be squirrel hunting, Braithwaite instead wrote “Joyce” on one small slip of paper and “Gary” on another. He taped the slips around two separate .38 caliber slugs. Braithwaite then crept in his back door and into the dining room while Gary and Joyce slept in the bedroom. He placed the bullets, labeled “Gary” and “Joyce,” in a conspicuous place on the dining room table and left the way he came.
This demonstration had the desired impact because Gary and Joyce ended their dalliance after discovering the labeled slugs. This did nothing, however, for Braithwaite's marriage since he and Joyce separated and divorced soon after that episode.