harebrained

Lillian Avila lbwh at bakkal.net
Tue Sep 12 09:51:32 PDT 2006


The men hesitated a second, then turned and fled for the hut,leaving Pete in Reds hands.
McGovern threw the boy down at the door of the humpy.
He was just turning away when his quick ear caught the sound ofmovement in the darkness.
Damn and blast his Ticket, I say, Feeny growled. The dogs lying round the door panted forbreath.
McGovern looked at him, impressed, wiped his forehead, grunted, andwent into the humpy.
See that sod doesnt get no water tillI come in, he called to Cabell as he rode past the smithy. That settles HIS hash, he said, half to himself.
But at this point action became imperative. He ran in front of Cabell and barred his way tothe harness shed, waving his bony hands. Hey, you, Joe,cutthroat; come and strap these boots! There was Jake Henn, a London footpad, with a red hole where hisleft eye had been knocked out. Twice he counted the bags of corn, tested the rum cask, thenscratched his head and frowned. He checked himself on the brink of a rash act.
Suppose they found out theyd only got to stick together?
Echoes threw back a scream more bleak and bloodcurdling. He brought a bucket of water, and in a few minutesthe boy was sitting up.
Pete looked as though he might faint, so Cabell threw the rest ofthe water into his face. I dont know nothin about your sheep, Pete grumbled. The north winds hot and the south winds cold.
The light went out in the lags hut and the tense silence oflistening was over the place.
One word and theyreas good as in the rumbler. Where his jacket had pulled up his white belly was bare, withpurple marks of the lash across it. As he watched McGovern approach the lags hut Cabell began to beafraid. For tis plain as the fingers on your handthat yed destroy yourself to drag him down with ye. These tit-sucking limejuicers,theyll go back home; but well stay. The four figures came through the door again, supporting Petebetween them. Impatience, exasperation, evenfrenzy, were his normal emotions. Cabell rose and went to the door of the harness shed.
Gursey came back and began to do as he was told. Gursey glowered, opened his mouth to speak, but stuffed the end ofhis beard into it instead. 
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