Sunday, December 26, 2010

When the stampede cleared there was still the dust. I walked in the dust and yelled his name. I saw one foot of ground ahead of me. It must have been a nightmare I thought. That one minute I'm in the same country I've known for ten years and the next it's an unrecognizable dusty hell should not be allowed. The hell with the cattle. I hope they stampede over whoever finds them next.

I found old Joe when the dust had cleared. His mangled sorry shape could've laid anywhere in that field but it happen to lay there in front of me that moment. I wasn't happy to see him dead. That life alots a man opportunities to make a fortune shouldn't be doubted, he used to say. Every day there comes a means to make a living and your ability to find it is called sense. That is sense.

I find sense to be that which keeps a man from finding opportunities to die. I find myself the one who decides what to do with old Joe's corpse. It is I who will either round up the cattle and drive them to Texas or take what money he had and make my own way. I have the sudden urge to take old Joe's young wife in as my own and play family with her, though as yet I do not know what to do with a woman.

Sense creeps across the fields over the raging cattle and the trickling rivers and finds the boy and breathes my new identity into him. I hear old Joe take a breath. He takes another one. He turns over. He lays there with his mouth open and his eyes closed, but he knows I'm here. I take his revolver out of his holster. I take a bullet off his belt and put it in and shoot him in the chest. Dust kicks up from underneath him. I expected more recoil. I load in another and shoot him in the forehead to make sure.