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From Chapter Eighteen – Drawing Fire

The door to Elijah’s room burst open suddenly. Ben heard a heavy tread enter the room. The door slammed shut. Ben groped for Obadiah and shoved him behind Elijah’s chair. Ben sat up carefully, holding his eye, which throbbed intensely now.

“Lookit th’ he’p y’ got naow,” Matt Dotter’s voice sneered. “A’ ol’ geezer, a brat, an’ a half a man. This gon’ be easy.”

“Will you let them go?” Ben stood up slowly and held onto the wall for support.

“Shore, aftah ah’m done an’ oan mah way. Ah hit y’, din’ Ah? Ah knows Ah hit y’.”

“No,” Ben laughed. “I fell down the hill and hit my head. You missed, Matt.”

“Y’ lie. Ah doan’ miss a’ thet range.”

“It’s too bad Caleb didn’t get a shot at you. He wouldn’t have missed. Maybe he’s figured out about your friend and he’s on his way back here right now.”

“He’ll b’ late. Y’ jes’ quit turnin’ them wheels insi’e yo’ haid, Carlisle, an’ doan’ b’ fig’rin’ haow y’ kin beat me outta killin’ y’. Ah will hurt these three if y’ gimme trouble.”

“ How do I know you won’t kill them after I’m dead?”

Matt Dotter laughed, a cruel, icy laugh. “Ah c’d kill ev’body in this taown ef Ah wanted t’. Y’ doan’ ha’ no say in what Ah do, ‘spesh’lly since you’ll b’ daid.”

“That’s what I thought,” Ben said, stalling for time and wishing his vision would clear.

Lines in Pleasant Places
Benny and the Bank Robber 4:



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