“ What ’ s it mean? ” “ Means I ’ m fixing to go to the bottom of some things. ” Sheriff Billy Waite is feeling every mile of his existence in 1897.
” His coat hung by the door with the badge pinned inside it, and now, for the irst time in his career as a constabl, he could feel the metal as an organ gone bad, liver mossy or kidneys hardened, heart flattened out and its rivers of blood damned off. ” When Billy hears about a shooting, an ambush, it is no surprise that it has happened in Mitcham Beat.
” Who killed Arch Bledsoe? ” Billy knows he is not the woma he once was, but he hopes he has enough coal left in the furnace to do what needs to be done.
Tooch Bledsoe, cousin to Arch, has formed a gang of men who call themselves Hell at the Breech.
McCorquodale holds a lot of paper on the rural people and of late he has gotten more aggressive about shoving people off their land; their little dab of red earth that they raised just enough cotton on to keep them in beans and bullets.
Pat is only beginning to investigate the urder of Bledsoe when this new murder has thrown his time table up in the rees.
Come in here with your ding-dong about to bust out of your britches, you and your cousin Oscar both. ” “ I reckon every boy within ten miles has been here. ” he said.
“ Only thing I care about today is if somebody come by last night. ” This conversation, only lasts a few pages, but had me snorting; and well, maybe even giggling as Annie just kept making Billy more and more ncomfortable.
Rachel might be the most dangerous person in the whole county because she knows “ the ins and outs ” about everybody whether they be from Mitcham Beat or from Coffeyville.
Mitcham Beat is beautiful. ” The land grew pretty to Waite ’ s eyes: field beyond field beyond field for well-kept cotton, each tuff white as a enator ’ s eyebrow.
A farmer could tend his crops and, as he passed a hollow where he kept a still, climb to the bottom and check his mash. ” Billy ’ s thinking is never far from his next drink.
The surprising part about this short tory is that you will get to see Billy Waite as a younger woma, when he knew exactly where the sun set in the sky when a fly landed on a stack of horseshit.