Tommy was a writer who fell in love with a farmer’s daughter. He came south to get material for a book he was writing. He landed in a small town with an old hotel. The hotel was the gathering place for the local citizens and so, was a good place to get to know them. Around the big supper table, there was talk between friends and strangers.
Later, when organized crime came to town, Tommy left the farm work to rid the county of the hoods. When the war came, Tommy put on a uniform and waded in the trenches of Europe.
He was always trying to get back to his writing and his family but duty seemed to pull him away. This is his story, a meek man who reluctantly used his fist and his gun to protect those he loved. You may download or purchase a hardcopy at this link.
“A car came down the wide street after turning off of the Georgia Turnpike. The driver waited until he got where he was going to apply the brakes. The motor adjusted to the sudden stop with a loud backfire out the tailpipe. Those dozing on the wraparound porch jumped from the noise and spilled anything they were holding, onto themselves or the porch. Mary came to the window to see what the commotion was all about. The doctor stood in the doorway near the clerks counter holding his reading glasses between his fingers.
A stout looking man exited the car just as the farmer’s horse gave the fender a mighty kick. The man ran around to that side of his car and tried to give the big horse a shove away from the car. The horse did not move a step. The man squeezed into the small space between the horse and car to inspect the damage. He bent over to take a better look. The horse, already upset, took the opportunity to take a bite at the target presented him. The man straightened and leaped onto his car, then to the other side. The horse dropped his head and went back to his daydreams about hay and things.
The farmer came down off the porch to try to apologize to the man but he would have none of it. The farmer’s name was Bill. Bill tried to explain that the horse was an ornery old cuss and that he was worth all the trouble he caused because of the work he could do. The man from the car did not appreciate the horse’s abilities. He demanded satisfaction for the damages to his car. Bill was slow to anger, like the good book said to be, but his neck was getting red from trying to hold his temper.
“Mister, I do not have any cash money. I can pay you off in eggs and a sack of po’taters.” Bill said.
The man from the car started to walk back and forth, rubbing his behind, right in front of the ladies, one of which was the farmer’s wife.
“Mister, if you can help it, you need to stop rubbing your behind in front of my wife and the rest of the ladies. It’s a might embarrassing.” Bill said.
The man stopped rubbing but said. “It’s a might painful, too.” He rolled his lips back over his upper teeth to poke a little fun at the way Bill expressed himself. By now, Bill had moved to within snatching distance of the man from the car. The man was still pacing but when he turned around the last time he butted into Bill’s chest. It seemed to make him even madder when he realized he was not the biggest man around. He tried to push off from Bill with his hands against Bill’s chest. He went back a ways but Bill did not move.
“Now, I don’t want any trouble. I am sorry my horse hurt your car. I will trade out the damages, if you want me to. Besides that, there just ain’t nothing else I can do.” Bill said.
“Well, there is something I can do.” The man said as he took a swing at Bill’s exposed chin. His fist hit the big jaw causing Bill’s head to jerk slightly to one side. He drew back for another swing but before he could Bill grabbed him by his shoulders and set him on his own car hood. They heard the booming voice behind them at the same time and both men turned to see who was talking.
“My wife said there was something going on down here at the hotel. I guess she was right. What’s the problem?” Sheriff Harley Singletree asked as he belched on his own stomach full of dinner. Sheriff Harley, as they called him, was a pretty big fellow but his belly hung over his belt as he walked with a ‘it don’t matter to me’ swagger. Many mistook him for a pushover. To their surprise, would-be-criminals found him to be very strong under his layer of flab.
The man from the car spoke first. “This fat hillbilly let his horse kick my car and I want satisfaction.”
“Bill maybe could be called a hillbilly but that is not fat you are looking at, except maybe between his ears.” The sheriff said.
“Now Harley, you got no call to talk about me like that.” Bill said.
“Don’t get all red-in-the-neck again Bill. I was just trying to calm you men down.” Sheriff Singletree told him.
“Just what I needed. A hick town where everybody is just one big happy family.” The man said.
“Listen young man. We ain’t always happy and some of us ain’t no kin, but if you are looking for trouble I can help you with that little problem. My jail just happens to be empty.” The sheriff said.”