Sunday, 4 January 2009

04 January 2009

that you wouldn’t be able to see till dawn. After knocking on the door and calling out in the dark for Ed Uhl who was milking cows in the barn I took a short careful walk into that darkness, about twenty feet and no more. Me seems I heard coyotes. Uhl said what I heard probably one of his father’s wild horses whinnying in the distance. Ed Uhl was about our age, tall, rangy, spike-teeth, laconic. Neal had made a great story in the car about how he used to bang Ed’s wife before he married her. He and Neal used to stand around on Curtis st. corners and whistle at girls. Now he took us graciously into his gloomy brown unused parlor and fished around till he found dull lamps and lit them and said to Neal “What in the hell happened to yore thumb?” “I socked Louanne and it got infected so much they had to amputate the end of it.” “What in the hell did you go and do that for?” I could see he used to be Neal’s older brother. He shook his head; the milk pail was still at his feet. “You always been a crack-brained sonofabitch anyhow.” Meanwhile his young wife prepared a magnificent spread in the big ranch kitchen. She apologized for the peach ice cream. “It ain’t nothing but cream and peaches froze-up together.” Of course it was the only real ice cream I ever had in my whole life. She started sparsely and ended up abundantly; as we ate new things appeared on the table. She was a well built blonde but like all women who live in the wide spaces she complained a little of the boredom. She enumerated the radio programs she usually listened to at this time of night. Ed Uhl sat just staring at his hands. Neal ate voraciously. He wanted me to go along with him in the fiction that I owned the Cadillac, that I was a very rich man and Neal was my friend and chauffeur. It made no impression on Ed Uhl. Every time the stock made sounds in the barn he raised his head to listen. “Well I hope you boys make it to New York.” Far from believing that tale about my owning the Cadillac he was convinced Neal had stolen it. We stayed at the ranch about an hour. Ed Uhl had lost faith in Neal just like Jack Daly---he only looked at him warily when he looked. There were riotous days in the past when they had stumbled around the streets of Laramie Wyoming arm-in-arm when the haying was over and this was

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