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This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Incident at Walter’s Creek

“Y’er just plain crazy,” Andrew Jackson Thomkins said, “if y’er think there’s anything out at the old Fetter’s place except for a couple scrawny goats and maybe a corn-mash whiskey still er two.”

Zacharias Neil spat a huge wad of chew and ducked low. “Andy, you're always thinkin’ you're so smart. Maybe ‘cause your momma named you for a president? You don’t know shit, though.”

“Aunt Jane named me right after the inager... inauguration, Zack; shows how much y’er—”

“Nobody, done give a piss... here, look!” Zacharias pulled up behind a big oak. He took a deep breath and peered around its wide trunk. A handful of sinewy willows stood before him, all spaced out along an old dirt road and a barren orchard. Momma always said willows made her feel like crying, Zack thought. Made her feel downright sad, she said. I guess that’s why they call em weepin’. Zack motioned the other boys forward. “C’mon Aaron, move!”

Little Aaron Neil pushed his spectacles to the bridge of his pug nose and tugged his suspenders. “I don't know ‘bout this, Zack. Momma told us not t'get in none trouble. I ain’t in a mood for no whopping.” Aaron rubbed his butt.

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