Zeke and Ned
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Two Cherokee warriors named Zeke Proctor and Ned Christie race, love, and fight their way across the Ozark Mountains in an attempt to stay true to their heritage and elude the white law officers who are after them. 100,000 first printing.
a big old rattler.” “No rattler,” the Judge said, turning his mule. “It was a goddamn copperhead with an egg in its mouth.” 21 TEARS CAME INTO ZEKE’S EYES WHEN HE RODE UP TO NED’S PLACE and his girls came running out. Tears came into Jewel’s eyes, too—she had never seen her father looking so poorly. He was skinny and gaunt and filthy. When he hugged her, he hugged so hard her ribs almost cracked. He hugged Liza, too. Then Liza started yapping, trying to tell him all the things that had
like him,” Ned said. Then they heard a gunshot, and another. To Ned, it sounded like a .44 pistol being fired. He shot .44 pistols himself, and knew the sound. “Ned, there’s shooting!” Jewel said, just as the pig caught its breath and began to squeal again. There was no talking over the squeal, but Ned and Jewel both knew that gunshots could not be ignored. Ned’s rifle stood nearby, propped against a wheelbarrow. He looked at Jewel, and Jewel looked back. Jewel jumped up, as Ned released the
depleting had already begun. Once Tailcoat’s men were well spread out among tree stumps and logs, Tailcoat himself settled down behind a thick oak stump and watched the house for a while. It soon proved to be a boresome tactic. Nothing stirred in the farmyard, except a bloody shoat, a few chickens, and the Miller boy’s colt. No one came out of the farmhouse. Somebody would usually be stirring around on a farm; chopping firewood, mending harness, plucking a chicken. Tailcoat had a spyglass, which
cowbell. I noticed some buzzards circling over the poor old woman’s shack, and was shocked to find her, black in the face, hanging from that post oak limb. I guess coyotes or foxes got the cats. I intended to bring them home for the triplets, but couldn’t locate either one of them. It was old Mother Faulks I had on my mind, as I trotted up the Mountain. It would be a dreadful thing for the triplets if Becca took the hanging path. Of course, it would be a terrible thing for me, too. I hadn’t
drank far into the night. I told more stories about Ned Christie than I even knew I remembered, and the stories multiplied upon themselves as the night wore on. We had some fine times together, me and Ned, in the short years of his life. I was right in the middle of a story about me and Ned on a deer hunt—while hunting deer, Ned always insisted on using the bow and arrow—when, to my surprise, Frank Beck started to cry. “It’s Davie, Zeke. He’s gone now, too,” Frank told me. “If any more of us