Friday, 2 January 2009

02 January 2009

divorce papers from Carolyn---everything’s jumping Jack and we’re off. Yes!” The faster we left Denver the better I felt and we were doing it fast. It grew dark when we turned off the hiway at Junction and hit a dirt road that took us across dismal E. Colorado plains to Ed Uhl’s ranch in the middle of Coyote Nowhere. But it was still raining and the mud was slippery and Neal slowed to seventy, but I told him to slow even more or we’d slide, and he said “Don’t worry, man, you know me.” “Not this time” I said “You’re really going much too fast.” And just as I said that we hit a complete left turn in the hiway and Neal socked the wheel over to make it but the big car skidded in the greasy mud and wobbled hugely. “Lookout!” yelled Neal who didn’t give a damn and wrestled with his angel a moment and the worse that happened we ended up backass in the ditch with the front out on the road. A great stillness fell over everything. We heard the whining wind. We were suddenly in the middle of the wild prairie. There was a farmhouse a quarter mile up the road. I couldn’t stop swearing I was so mad and disgusted with Neal. He said nothing and went off to the farmhouse in the rain, with a coat, to see for help. “Is he your brother?” the boys asked in the back seat. “He’s a devil with a car isn’t he?---and according to his story he must be with the women.” “He’s mad” I said “an yes, he’s my brother.” I saw Neal coming back with farmer in his tractor. They hooked chains on and the farmer hauled us out of the ditch. The car was muddy brown, a whole fender was cracked. With the speedometer already broken it was only the beginning. The farmer charged us five dollars. His daughters watched in the rain. The prettiest, shyest one hid far back in the field to watch and she had good reasons because she was absolutely and finally the most beautiful girl Neal and I ever saw in all our lives. She was about sixteen, and had a plains complexion like wild roses, and the bluest eyes, and the most lovely hair, and the modesty and quickness of a wild antelope. Every look from us and she flinched. She stood there with the immense winds that blew clear down from Saskatchewan knocking her hair about her lovely head like shrouds, living curls on them. She blushed and blushed. We finished our business with the farmer,

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