Randy Ray Wise
© 2009 Randy Ray Wise
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Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.
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The shrill steam whistle stifled the woman’s cries. Abner swatted flies from her face and stroked her tangled hair. She shook and pushed him off, then stilled for a moment. He tilted his hat, scratched his oily scalp, moved to the sliding door and watched the yellow moon. They would not make it to Wichita. The baby would come this night. He counted the telegraph poles and wondered which part of hell or Texas they were passing.
Strewn hay formed a bed over the rough planks, deep-scarred by the spurs of the vaqueros. There were no animals in the cattle-car, but evidence of their previous occupation filled the air. The locomotive slowed. The hissing, chuffing, seventeen-hour clackity-clack relented to grinding metal on metal as the train came to a stop. The whistle blasted twice, pulling Abner’s attention to the door once again. He craned his neck forward, strained his eyes and read the name of the town on the water tower. Night fog lifted and he said the name to himself—Ocpud.