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Blue Moon Trail 56


Suddenly, a door opened from the bank behind Amity, and a man in a worn brown suit and string tie stepped out onto the walkway.

"Amity!  You'd best leave those kids be and quit rilin' 'em!"

The girl's arms were still crossed as she turned around and smiled.

"Mr. Ragsland?  Hadn't you better go back into the bank and pretend to be working?  My daddy might not like it if you boss his daughter around.  This is still the Depression, you know, and you are very expendable.  I'm sure loan officers are a dime a dozen this day and time."

The man fell silent as he turned around and walked back into the building.

Amity laughed aloud and spat.  "Stupid man.  With one word to my daddy, I could have him out on the street." 

Her eyes went again to Mark and Mary Ann.  "You hobos need a few more to join your tramp town?  Old Ragsland has a wife and a couple of kids who might need somewhere to go soon.  I just haven't made up my mind whether to let them stay or not."

Mark gritted his teeth and his fists were clinched at his side.  Brownie looked up at him and whined.

Mary Ann's voice was steady as she whispered to Mark but she did not try to hide the anger within it.  "Let's go back to camp."

Mark whispered back.  "I ain't lettin' her get away with this.  I wanta kick her rich butt down the street."

"It'll just make it worse, Mark.  She'll get that poor man fired for sure then, and there's no telling what she would do to our friends outside of town.  She could lie.  Who'd believe our word over hers?"

Amity frowned.  "What are you kids gabbing about?  Why don't you get out of our town now and maybe, just maybe, I won't tell my daddy about your rude behavior."

She laughed again.  "If you go now, I might even have the butcher at our grocery send some bones out to your shanty, and you and the rest of the tramps can fight over them."

Mary Ann pulled hard on Mark's arm and they started walking back toward the outskirts of town.  Mark stopped and glared at Amity, then resumed walking, her laughter following them.

When they reached the town limits of China Draw, Mark stopped, turned around, and stared at the town they had just left.  "Don't 'member a time I was so damn happy to be leavin' anywhere's like I am a'leavin' that town.  My papa always told me that hatin' was against the Good Book, but I don't know if I can keep from hatin' that there girl.  I ain't never met nobody as mean as her, man, woman, nor child."

Mary Ann gently grasped his hand.  "She'll pay her dues.  A person as cruel as she is will grow up lonely and without friends.  I could tell the girls with her only respected her family's money.  They were embarrassed by her.  They'll finally get enough of her insults and hateful behavior.  Then they'll leave her alone with her demons."

Mark grunted.  "She's got plenty of demons to go 'round, I reckon."


There's a wise head on those shoulders.




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