Hewey Calloway has a problem. In his West Texas home of 1906, the land of the way of life that he loves are changing too quickly for his taste.
Hewey dreams of freedom--he wants only to be a footloose horseback cowboy, endlessly wandering the open range. But the open range of his childhood is slowly disappearing: land is being parceled out, and barbed-wire fences are spring up all over. As if that weren't enough, cars and other machines are invading Hewey's simple cowboy life, stinking up the area and threatening to replace horse travel. As Hewey struggles against the relentless stream of "progress", he comes to realize that the simple life of his childhood is gone, that a man can't live a life whose time has passed, and that every choice he makes--even those that lead to happiness--requires a sacrifice.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Release date: April 1, 2007
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Print pages: 320
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The Good Old Boys
For the last five or six days Hewey Calloway had realized he needed a bath. Now, in the final miles of a long horseback trip, it was a necessity no longer to be denied. By nightfall he would be eating hot biscuits and brown gravy at his brother's table. Sister-in-law Eve Calloway was not inclined to generosity regarding the social graces.
Ahead of him the red wooden tower of an Eclipse windmill stood almost astraddle the wagon road which meandered casually among the gentle hills and skirted respectfully around the scattered stands of low-growing mesquite trees. The leaves were still the fresh pale green of early spring. Tall above those trees, the mill's white-painted cypress fan turned slowly in the warm west wind which had stuck Hewey's old blue shirt to his skin much of the morning. A vagrant white puff of cumulus cloud drifted over him, yielding a few minutes of pleasant shade before the sun broke free again in the full heat of early May.
The more he thought about it the more he began to look forward to that cool bath, but he didn't want to push Biscuit into a trot. The brown horse was favoring his right forefoot a little. If it got any worse Hewey would have to walk and lead him.
Hell of a note, going lame the last day out. But better here than where they had started the trip three weeks ago in the melting snows of New Mexico high country.
He had known this region for years, and the sight of the red and white windmill confused him a little. Those colors were the trademark of the Two C Land and Cattle Company, old C. C. Tarpley's outfit. Hewey would take a paralyzed oath that the place just ahead belonged to a four-section bachelor homesteader, a former cowboy who had always been glad to provide Hewey a meal or two and let him roll out his blankets on a hard and civilized wooden floor instead of the soft and uncivilized ground.
The red towers and white fans scattered from here halfway to Midland were sign to a traveler that he was crossing Two Cs land, and welcome to it so long as he shut all the wire gates behind him and didn't run the cattle. He was welcome to camp a night anywhere but never two nights in the same place unless he had a broken wheel. One night was traveling; two nights was squatting.
Gradually Hewey realized he had been right about the homesteader. He recognized the layout of the place, the fallow field, some faded, rotting stalks where last year's hegari crop had grown, and last year's cane. By now a good fanner should have plowed it up and started planting anew. The crude shed stood where Hewey remembered it, but the little frame house was gone. Nothing remained but stubby cedar posts that had been its foundation, and a weather-bleached four-by-four privy thirty feet from what had been the back door, a short run on a cold wet night. Somebody had dismantled the house for the lumber, more than likely. By the windmill's color, that somebody had to be C. C. Tarpley.
Old C. C.'s still spreading out, Hewey thought idly, begrudging him nothing, curious as to why he hadn't taken the privy too. It looked lonesome standing there by itself.
C. C.'s water would be as wet as anybody's. Hewey looked up at the Two Cs brand painted in red on the mill's white tail, which automatically held the fan into the west wind to keep the maximum driving force on its angled wooden fins. The slow turning activated a sucker-rod which clanked and shuddered down the center of a pipe reaching deep into the ground. Each stroke of the rod brought up cool water from the dark depths of the earth, rhythmic gushes pumping it into a big dirt tank which long hours of man and mule sweat had scooped from the ground.
Hewey swung his right leg across Biscuit's rump, holding the leg high to clear the rolled blankets and the "war bag" of miscellaneous cowboy accumulations tied behind the high cantle. Over that cantle was stretched a dried rattlesnake skin, supposed by many to ward off rheumatism, which became a mark of the trade for cowboys who survived the other hazards long enough to acquire it. Some said it also helped prevent hemorrhoids, another ailment common to the horseback profession.
Hewey doubted that, because he had them.
He stretched himself and stamped his feet to stimulate the blood and to steady his saddle-cramped legs. He unbuckled the girth, slid the saddle from Biscuit's back, then led the horse down to the water's edge to let him drink. Not until Biscuit had taken his fill did Hewey tie him to one of the tower legs and prepare to get a drink of water himself. He laid down astraddle the heavy pipe which extended from windmill to tank. He pushed carefully out to the end of it. The pipe was pleasantly cool. He held on with both legs and his left hand, cupping his right hand just under the mouth of the pipe. He drank thirstily from the hand as the water pumped out in time to the mill's even strokes.
It was good water, carrying only a faint suggestion of the gyp common to much of West Texas. Water was a thing to be cherished in dry country. A man prized a good sweet well the way he prized a fine horse. Hewey finally took some of the water up his nostrils and choked. He decided that was enough for a while.
He inched his way back along the pipe, misjudging where to step off and sinking his left boot into the mud. He talked to the boot the way he was accustomed to talking to his horse. "Won't hurt you none. Damn little mud you'll ever get on you in this country."
Inside a small plot which had been the homesteader's garden, green grass was coming up between last year's plowed rows and the fence. Hewey led Biscuit there and turned him loose, fastening the sagging wooden gate to keep him from straying off. He watched the horse roll in the soft dirt, taking up the sweat where the saddle and blanket had been.
Hewey was vaguely disappointed. He had counted on a noon meal from the homesteader, even if only some rewarmed red beans and hogbelly. Well, at least the horse could graze awhile. Hewey would make do with a cold biscuit and dried-out bacon brought from the Two Cs line camp, where he had stayed last night with old cowpuncher friends. He might brew himself a can of coffee too, after a while. Right now he wanted to test the water in that tank.
He emptied his pockets and piled their contents on the bare tank dump. They didn't amount to much…a couple of silver dollars and some smaller change, a Barlow knife, a sack of Bull Durham smoking tobacco and a book of brown cigarette papers, a wallet containing his life's savings of twenty-seven dollars. He set his boots beside his treasure. On them jingled a set of scandalous "gal-leg" spurs, the shank shaped like a woman's leg, silver-mounted to show the high-heeled dancing shoe, the stocking, the garter on a plump thigh. It took a sport to wear such as that. He clutched his sweat-stained cotton socks in his hand and waded off into the tank with the rest of his clothes on.
The deepest part came up barely past his thighs. He took off his faded jeans and washed them out, then his shirt and finally his long-handled cotton underwear that once had been white. Naked except for the hat, he walked out with the wet clothing, squeezed as much water from it as he could, then hung it piece by piece to dry in the sun on the bottom brace of the windmill tower. That done, he waded back into the tank until the water was to his knees, then sat himself down shoulder-deep.
If a bath always felt this good, he thought, I would take one every week or two.
He sat soaking, only his head and his battered old felt hat above the water. By and by half a dozen cows and their calves came ambling out from a thicket, bound for a cool drink of water and then a long, lazy afternoon shaded up beneath the mesquites, chewing cud. The cow in the lead made it all the way to the top of the earthen dump before she noticed Hewey. She stopped abruptly, her head high in surprise. Her calf spotted him at about the same time and turned to run off a little way, its tail curled in alarm. The cow stood her ground but advanced no farther. The other cows came up even with her and joined her in consternation.
Hewey spoke gently, "Don't be afraid, girls. I'd scare you a lot worse if I was to come up out of here."
The voice was not reassuring. Hewey held still, and one cow's thirst overcame her timidity. She moved cautiously to the water, lowered her head for a few quick sips, then jerked it up again to study Hewey critically, the water drops clinging to the hair under her chin. Gradually she decided he posed no threat as serious as her thirst, and she settled down to drinking her fill. The other cows, followers all, took this for a clearance and moved on to water. Hewey watched, knowing that curiosity would sooner or later lead one of the cattle to investigate his boots and his pocket possessions. When a calf warily started toward them, Hewey brought up a handful of mud from the bottom and hurled it at him. All the cattle ran. But in a few minutes they trailed down to the water again. Hewey held still. It was a cardinal principle not to disturb cattle unnecessarily, especially when they were watering. A cow had to drink plenty of water to make milk. She had to make milk to wean off a healthy calf. Motherhood—human or bovine—was a sacred thing.
Eventually the cattle trailed away to the thicket and lay down in the shade to relax away the warm afternoon and rechew the grass they had packed into their paunches all morning. Hewey began to think he ought to be fixing himself a little coffee and moving on, but the water felt good. He sat lazily watching a hawk make slow circles above the thicket, screaming a vain protest at the cattle. She probably had a nest in one of those big granddaddy mesquites. The cattle ignored her.
Too late he heard the rattle of chains and then the clopping of hoofs and the sand-slicing sound of narrow iron rims along the wagon road. A desperate thought came to him: these might be womenfolks, and they were going to catch him in this tank barefoot all the way to his chin. He weighed his chances of making a dash for his clothes without being seen. They were poor. He sat where he was, stirring the muddy bottom with his hands to make sure nobody could see through the water. The move was unnecessary; there had never been a day when this tank was that clear.
Up to the windmill trotted two matched dappled gray horses pulling a buggy. Two men sat on the spring seat. Hewey's attention went to a gaunt old man with sagging shoulders and sagging mustache. Sawing on the lines to pull the horses to a stop, the old man stared at Hewey with about as much surprise as the cows had shown. He reached instinctively under the seat, where he probably carried a rifle.
Finally he found a brusque voice. "Are you alive out there, or have I got a drowned man on my hands?"
Hewey grinned, relieved that there were only the men. "How's the womenfolks, C. C?"
"Just barely tolerable. That you, Hewey Calloway?"
"It's me. I'm comin' out, C. C."
His surprise gone, the old rancher watched with a measure of tolerant humor. "Damn if you ain't a pretty sight! I don't believe I ever seen a man take a bath with his hat on."
"I sunburn easy, C. C."
Hewey waded out, following a patch of bermuda grass along the water pipe to keep his feet from getting muddy. He felt his clothes, found them mostly dry, then began putting them on over his wet skin. His body was almost white. His hands and neck and face were browned, but the rest was customarily never exposed to the sun. Even his loose collar would usually be buttoned to keep the sun out. The last thing he did was to rub the sand from his feet, then put on his socks and boots.
The other man had never spoken. Hewey decided he probably wouldn't. He was a generation and a half younger and fifty pounds heavier than C. C. Tarpley. His name was Frank Gervin. Behind his back, people referred to him by a boyhood nickname, "Fat," but the tactful and prudent never called him that to his round and ruddy face.
Hewey said, "Howdy, Fat."
Fat Gervin winced and slumped a little deeper in the buggy seat. He gave no more than a nod, a very small and tentative recognition of Hewey's existence, and then he looked away, his eyes resting in the direction of home, shade and cool water. Fat had worked as a cowboy on many West Texas ranches, usually for only a short time at each place. He tended always to be lost on drive or to be sitting his horse in the middle of the gate when other hands were trying to put cattle through. Evidently he was better as a lover than as a cowboy, for he had somehow swayed and won Tarpley's only daughter while the old man's attention had been directed to more important things. This gave him a hold on the Tarpley inheritance, provided the old man did not decide at the end to take it all with him.
Hewey gave Gervin no more of his attention. He said, "I had it in mind to fix me a little coffee. Join me, C.C.?"
It would amount to nothing more than some water boiled with coffee grounds in the bottom of a smoke-blackened can and drunk directly out of that can. Hewey didn't even have a cup. But C. C. Tarpley, biggest cattleman this side of the Pecos River, said he wouldn't mind if he did, and he climbed down. Fat didn't say anything; he kept his seat in the buggy.
C. C. didn't look like a big cattleman was supposed to. If anything, in his frayed old clothes and run-over boots he appeared as if he might have a hard time holding down a swamper's job in a saloon. His wrinkled shirt was pockmarked by tiny tobacco burns. He didn't have to dress up to impress anyone; everybody in this country knew him. If he went somewhere else on business, nobody knew him, so he didn't dress up for them either.
The two men squatted on opposite sides of an economical fire and watched while the water stubbornly refused to boil. Tarpley said, "Boys at the Tule camp told me you spent the night there. I'd decided you left this country for good."
Hewey shrugged. "I've got kin here. Walter and Eve and their boys. I got lonesome to see them."
"How long since you left here, two years?"
"One year, ten months and twenty-odd days."
"I reckon you got lots of money, Hewey."
"I recollect you ridin' away on old Biscuit, leadin' a packhorse with all your stuff on it, sayin' you wasn't comin' back till you was rich and famous. I ain't heard a word about you since, so I don't reckon you're famous. How rich are you?"
Hewey grinned sheepishly. "Had twenty-somethin' dollars, last time I counted."
"What come of the packhorse?"
C. C. turned his head and took a long look at the brown horse. Hewey was glad it wasn't apparent that Biscuit was trying to come up lame. Tarpley said, "Well, if you ain't famous, and you ain't rich, maybe you've come home two years smarter. Ain't you about worn the itch out of your feet, Hewey? Ain't you ready to light someplace?"
Hewey looked at the coffee. "I believe it's finally about to come to a boil."
"Ain't you ever found anywhere you wanted to stay?"
"Just about every place, at first. Then directly I get to thinkin' there might be somethin' better down the road."
"But it's never there, is it?"
"It's always there, for a little while." Using two big sticks as a clamp, Hewey gingerly lifted the can from the fire and set it off onto the ground. "Ought to be ready to drink in a minute. You're company, you can have the first sip."
"No, you're company. This place is mine. I bought out Sam Gentry as soon as he got it proved up."
Sam Gentry. Hewey had been trying for an hour to remember the homesteader's name. Sad, how quickly a man's name got lost. It was hard to make a big-enough track that your name was long remembered.
People here would remember C. C. Tarpley for a long time, of course. He had done well for himself the last twenty-five years, since he had stretched a castoff army tent on the Pecos River in 1881 and had turned loose his thirty-three spotted cows and one droop-horned bull. If that bull hadn't made the first winter, C. C. wouldn't have survived either. But the cattle had been prolific. People used to say that on the Tarpley place even the bulls had twin calves. It was also said that C. C. Tarpley could find and put his brand on more unclaimed mavericks than any three men on the Pecos. In his prime he rode fast horses and carried an extra cinch ring tied to his saddle so he could stop and brand any animal he came across that didn't already have a claim burned on it. That sort of ambitious endeavor was occasionally fatal to other men, but C. C. was tough enough to make it stick.
Now, six years into a new century, if anyone were to gather the whole Two C herd from where it was scattered over four hundred square miles of mesquite and catclaw and greasewood country, he would probably tally out five or six thousand mother cows plus no telling how many yearlings and two-year-olds. All that in twenty-five years from thirty-three cows and a bull.
Hard work and attention to business were the key, C. C. had often preached. But he had always said he was not greedy. All he had ever wanted was that which rightfully belonged to him, and that which adjoined it.
The hard years of acquisition had not let him run to fat. He weighed no more now than when he had first come here. He rode in a buggy more than on horseback, a concession to rheumy bones, but the fire of ambition still glowed in coffee-brown eyes.
C. C. said, "I reckon Walter sent for you to help him out of his trouble?"
Hewey looked up quickly, surprised. "Trouble? I never heard about no trouble."
C. C. had the coffee can, carefully holding his fingers high up near the rim where the heat was not enough to blister. The coffee was only a minute or so past a full boil, but he drank it without flinching. He had always been a man in a hurry.
Hewey waited impatiently for an explanation, but C. C. was busy with the coffee. Hewey demanded, "What kind of trouble is he in?"
"Same as all these nester operators…money. He's stretched thinner than a cotton shirt in a cold norther. Come fall, I figure he'll have to fold up and quit." C. C. stared quizzically at Hewey. "You sure he didn't send for you?"
"I ain't even heard from him since I left."
C. C. shrugged. "Not much good you'd do him anyway. You won't stay lit in one place long enough to wear out a change of socks." The statement was made matter-of-factly, not in an insulting way.
"I reckon you could help him, C. C, if you was of a mind to."
"I've tried. I offered to buy him out, same as I done with Sam Gentry. Walter ain't goin' to do any good on a little greasy-sack outfit like that. He'll just starve that good woman and them kids of his to death. I told him I had his old foreman's job waitin' for him any time he wants it back. When a man's been as good a cowboy as Walter is, it ought to be a penitentiary offense for him to ever take hold of a plow handle."
"What did he say to the offer?"
Fat Gervin had finally climbed down from the buggy. He put into the conversation, answering for Tarpley. "Said what all them shirttail nesters say, that he'll make it all right. But he won't. Best thing that can happen to this country will be when all them nesters starve out and leave it to people that know how to run it."
Hewey didn't look up at Fat. C. C. Tarpley gave him a sharp glance back over his shoulder, a look that told him to shut the hell up. He turned his attention back to Hewey, closing Fat out of the conversation. As if Fat had said nothing, Tarpley answered Hewey's question. "He said he'll make it."
Hewey frowned at the hot coffee. "But you hope he don't make it?"
"I got nothin' but his best interests at heart. I like Walter Calloway; I always did. I wouldn't do a thing to hurt him."
"But you wouldn't do anything to really help him."
Tarpley's eyes narrowed. "Best help for your brother would be to get him onto a steady job where he could do some good for himself and be of use to somebody else too. I never could understand what a man wants with one of them little old starve-out places."
"You started small, once."
"That was a long time ago. There was room in this country then. Now it's gettin' so crowded up that you can't breathe, hardly. You're apt to run into somebody's house every five or six miles. Nowadays everybody wants somethin' for nothin'. That's what's behind all these homesteaders, a hope they can get somethin' for nothin'. Everybody ought to pay his own way, is how I see it."
C. C. hadn't paid anybody for the use of the land here in his beginning years. Nobody else was claiming it, at least nobody as tough as C. C. It was too far from Austin for the state authorities to come out collecting. By the time they started charging lease, C. C. had had many years of free use and was strong enough financially that he could afford to pay. Even so, he had snorted and raised hell.
Hewey said, "Lots of people—I never was one myself—want to own somethin' even if it's small. They see honor in havin' a place they can stand on and say, ‘This is mine.'"
"There's honor in bein' a Two Cs cowboy, too, if you're a good one." C. C. studied Hewey with keen brown eyes. "I've still got a place for you, too, if you're ready to settle down."
"Still payin' the same wages you used to?" C. C. had always advocated a high sense of morality among his ranch help. Too much money being a threat to that morality, he had seen to it that they were never seriously challenged.
Tarpley frowned. "Times've been a little tight. I've had to cut expenses. But I've always paid a fair wage."
Fair but not good, Hewey thought. He said nothing.
Fat Gervin took that silence as a challenge to C. C.'s generosity. He said righteously, "The man that's payin' the money is the one to say what's fair and what ain't. Trouble with the laborin' class is that it's always askin' for more than it's worth."
Fat had been born into that class, though he had labored little. He had started at the bottom and married up. He stood with his round shoulders back and his belly out, inviting Hewey to contest his studied judgment. To his disgust, Hewey ignored him. As the probable inheritor of the Tarpley power, Fat had tried diligently to copy C. C.'s gruff mannerisms, his toughness, his sureness of self. But he bore no more resemblance to the old man than the reflection in mossy water bears to the battle-scarred stallion.
C. C. turned on him irritably. "Fat, I wisht you'd take and water the horses."
Color flushed the big man's face. He turned and started to lead the horses to the tank, pulling the buggy. Tarpley said, in the same impatient tone he would use against an errant hound, "Unhook them first."
He and Hewey then hunkered in silence, passing the blackened can back and forth, offering none of it to Gervin. A stranger, if told one of them had six thousand cattle and the other had twenty-seven dollars, would have had a hard time deciding which was which. More than likely he would simply have doubted the statement. They were alike in as many ways as they were different. They had come from the same sun-warmed Texas soil. Though they had taken different forks on many roads, their roots gave them a kinship of sorts. They had a respect and a regard for each other that transcended the vast differences in their individual codes, their personal goals and their financial status.
C. C. Tarpley had been orphaned at an early age and cast out on his own in a world where orphans scratched or starved. A few years ago, in an uncharacteristic surge of emotion, he had contributed four hundred dollars toward the building of an orphans' home in Fort Worth. The word had spread and earned him a reputation as a philanthropist among those who did not know him well. Hewey Calloway, who had never owned more of the world's goods than he could tie on a horse, gave freely of whatever he had when he had it. Last fall he had given up a well-earned spree in town before it had fairly begun and contributed his only thirty dollars to a collection for a newly widowed nester woman and her four children. No one ever knew of it except Hewey and a half dozen other cowboys who had volunteered in like manner from their own pinched pockets. Reckoned on a percentage basis, Hewey was by far a more liberal philanthropist than C. C. Tarpley.
C. C. said, "You tell Walter I'd sure like to have him back. I miss him over at the ranch. God, Hewey, you've got no idea how hard it is anymore to find decent help. Just the other day I had to go all the way to Sweetwater to get me two good cowboys."
Remembering what C. C. paid, Hewey was not impressed. But he said a noncommittal, "Well, I'll swun," which C. C. could take for sympathy if he wanted to.
C. C. continued, "I miss that little woman of his too. When Eve was cookin' for the hands I used to like to go by there every so often and debauch myself on her cobbler pie. My wife never could cook worth doodly squat."
On the Two Cs Eve had been expected to cook for the regular bachelor cowboys, plus any extra help, plus any company that happened along. She wasn't paid for it; it was simply part of the honor of being the foreman's wife. That was one reason she had clung so tenaciously to the little homestead, poor as it was. She probably worked as hard or harder there than ever before. But she cooked for her own family and nobody else.
C. C.'s eyes narrowed. "You got an ugly mark across your jaw, Hewey. Fresh, too. Where'd it come from?"
Instinctively Hewey brought his finger up. The place burned beneath his touch. He didn't look C. C. in the eye. "Horse," he said.
C. C grunted. "How old are you, Hewey?"
Hewey had to figure; he hadn't thought about it in a while. "Thirty-eight. Thirty-eight the fourteenth day of last February."
Tarpley mused. "You sure ain't no valentine. I'll bet by now you're beginnin' to feel the arthritis settin' in. About time for the gray hair to start takin' over too. And all you've got is a brown horse past his prime, an old saddle and maybe twenty dollars. Ain't much to show for them many years, is it?"
Hewey thought before he answered. "I've left a lot of tracks and seen a lot of country. I've worked down to the border of Old Mexico. Been to Cuba for Uncle Sam. I've worked cows from the San Saba River plumb up to Wyoming and Montana. I even went north once into Canada and seen the glaciers. You ever seen a glacier, C. C.?"
The old man just stared at him. He probably didn't know what a glacier was. "What's it ever got for you?" he demanded. "Them places are too far from here to ever amount to anything. The man who gets ahead is the one who stays put and tends to business, not the one always fidgetin' around to go, like a horse in an antbed. You've seen all of that country, but how much of it do you own?"
Hewey pondered the question. "In a way, I own it all."
Old Tarpley didn't understand that. Hewey had found a long time ago that most people never did.
* * *
After C. C. and Fat had gone, Hewey squatted to finish the coffee. The wound on his jaw still burned where he had touched it, and he couldn't help touching it again. He had lied to C. C., because this was something else C. C. wouldn't have understood.
He would have to keep on lying about it, for he would not be able to explain it to Eve, either. She was not always an understanding woman. She would not be tolerant of the truth in this case. He had never seen harm in an occasional small liberty with the facts, provided the motive was honorable. The motive in this case would be to keep Eve from raising hell and later regretting her lapse from grace. It had always been his policy to protect her from herself.
The mark on his jaw represented the only bad incident Hewey had encountered on his ride home from New Mexico. He did not consider the morning he had ridden Biscuit off into a snowdrift and had almost smothered them both. That had been a natural hazard, the kind of thing a man had to expect. What he had never been able to understand were human obstacles; they seemed so unnecessary.
He had ridden a little out of his way to pass through New Prosperity, a Panhandle railroad town, thinking he might find something there wetter than windmill water. It seemed natural enough to take a shortcut down a nice wide street where all the houses appeared to be owned by bankers and merchants because every one of them had two stories. Most were decorated by gables and bay windows, and by gingerbread and scallop trim that reminded him of a good brown-topped apple pie. The thought of having to live in one of those houses and take the responsibility for it would have scared him half to death, but they were pretty to look at. Damn few ranches and no cow camps at all had anything like that.
At a corner stood a man who hadn't missed a meal since the winter of '89. He waved his hand sharply and hollered at Hewey, "Hey, you! Come here!"
Hewey reined up in surprise and looked behind him, thinking the man might be shouting at somebody else. He had the street to himself. He sat there in the middle of it, wondering why anybody in this town could be mad at him. He had never been here before.
The man kept yelling, and Hewey kept sitting. Unlike Fat Gervin, who was big all over, this portly gentleman ran mainly to belly. When he tired of straining his voice he walked out toward Hewey, working tolerably hard at his short, choppy steps. The sun flickered off of a small badge on his black vest and called Hewey's attention to the fact that he represented the full majesty of New Prosperity law.
"Cowboy, I told you to come here!"
"I am here."
"What's your name?"
Hewey had heard that tone of voice a right smart in the Army, while he was in the Cuba campaign. It was one reason he had not chosen to remain in the service. "Hewey Calloway."
"This is a residential street, cowboy."
Hewey nodded. "Yes sir, and a damn
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