MISSOURI STORY #1
By L.T. Fawkes
I walked on down the road, thinking to go over to his place and see if he was there, and if he was, to talk some and see if I could get him to talk about his old man and how long he was in for and exactly what he done this time.
In town they were saying that he got in a fight over in Cairo and tore the bar up pretty bad and that when he came up in front of the judge, the judge got to thinking about all the other times he’d been sent up and all the times he was probably going to be sent up, and he decided to save everybody some trouble by giving the old guy double or triple what he deserved.
Some folks were already adding to this that the old guy killed a man in the bar and he was in for life this time or that the old guy himself was hurt and died right there in the courthouse after the judge had his say and so on, but I didn’t believe any of that.
Probably the old guy got drunk and broke a glass and traded a few with the bartender or somebody and ended up in jail. But still, I was curious and I wanted to hear it right from his son who most likely knew all about it by now.
But I got to feeling sorry for the kid while I walked down the road. It was a lot like a lot of our Missouri days are. In the morning it rained and now as the sun got hot everything was warm and clean. There were blue jays and cardinals chasing each other and singing way up in the trees and there were a couple of old cows up close to the fence hanging their heads over it to get a look down the road and one of them mooed kind of pretty and I guess I liked that but I’m not one of these cry babies who walks around thinking about that sort of thing.
No, the idea that it was a nice day went through my mind. That’s all. And the birds and cows and the sun and the cleanness were what made it nice. That’s all. And I got thinking about my ma sewing on my old britches and my old man mucking stalls back at home, that’s all, and I felt bad for the kid. Seemed like he got cheated.
Anyhow, I didn’t go over to his place. I walked on by his turnoff. But I figure the old man just done a little brawling that was all and now he’s laying around over in county jail, fat and sassy, waiting for his up. That’d be my guess. The kid, back there working their place all by himself again, now, he’s the one serving the hard time.