connect to a vehicle
We give the cap’n a hour to make sure he wasn’t gonna double back, then I
hitched Spangler to the wagon and pulled it from behind the shed.
draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
I ain’t sure if it was the way Ma’s face twisted so’s she had the same look that Grandma did the day she died, or if the highness of her shriek was what made me draw up and
with one leg on each side
Sure ’nough, there, sitting
astride his horse not ten yards from us, was Cap’n Buck, his eyes crinkling up in a horrible smile!
the backward jerk of a gun when it is fired
The second shot belched out the barrel with a ball of sparks and a flame that lit up the front of the wagon. It was a good thing Ma was gripping on to it with both hands; the
recoil sent the gun jumping o’er her head.
The sixth shot
grazed my pants leg gentle as a kitten rubbing itself ’gainst my shin.
plumb outta bullets and the click-click-click of the dry-firing pistol echoed ’gainst the trees ’round the cabin.
inferior in strength or significance
I said, “No, sir, that’s kind of you, but we don’t need no help. We’s heading o’er to Auntie May-May’s jus’ up the road for a week or two to try and get Ma better. She been feeling
puny lately and—”
a slight suggestion or vague understanding
Well, I’ve been blessed with what’s knowed as the seventh sense. I gets these
inklings when someone’s plotting ’gainst me, this kind of itching in my skin when plans is getting laid to do me or mine wrong.
characterized by enmity or ill will
Maybe it’s jus’ me, but that do seem to go right past being unfriendly; that go all the way to being downright
a person who is not intelligent or interested in culture
I can see them
yokels debating with one the ’nother ’bout what was the ’mount of shots they could take at the ol’ cap’n without suffering no repa-cussions.
a remote or indirect consequence of some action
I can see them yokels debating with one the ’nother ’bout what was the ’mount of shots they could take at the ol’ cap’n without suffering no
perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
And imagine how
befuddled them...is gonna be when it come to using a double-barrel shotgun?
place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
“How’s I s’pose to let you live after you done
sullied my rep-a-tation so?”
I yelled at him, “They all say you’s the sickest, most
vile piece of white-trash garbage on this earth. They say your ma was a skunk and your pa was a rat. They say there’s a special spot in the bad place a-waiting the day you gets what you deserves. That’s what they say, you stanking piece of human filth.”
an outcome (good or bad) that is well merited
He tolt Ma, “The only reason I ain’t put you down is ’cause if I was to give you your jus’
deserts, this boy would hate me so much that he wouldn’t be no good to me.”
the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle
So I’m gonna be a good businessman and a good Christian and forgive your
transgressions and hope y’all’ll forgive mine.
having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value
Big Charlie bought Spangler back when we was
flush, paid near a hunnert dollars for him.
“That’s what I remembered,
Ma said, “He was
sired by Grand Sha-vois!”
deceive someone about your strength or intentions
“You’s bigger than most full-growed men. If you keep your hat pulled low and your mouth shut, all I really need is someone to
bluff folks and gimme another set of eyes to make sure don’t nothing go wrong behind my back.”
make amends for
“But they ’bout to get a big surprise; justice sleeps but not for long and one day when it wake up, all sins is
restore the honor or worth of
He said, “What you gonna do, boy? How smart is you? Is we gonna settle this right on the spot”—he took the pistol off of Ma and put it on me—“or is you gonna take advantage of this chance I’m giving you? Is you gonna
re-deem your pa’s good name?”
demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
As I’m sitting there trying to figger what to do, my ears got
keen to every sound in the forest, to the birds and the crickets, to the wind in the trees and the toady-frogs and whatever it was that was rooting ’round behind ’em trees.
hit with the hand
I couldn’t walk by the shed without ’membering that it was here that me and him had done this or that together, or that it was o’er there that he’d
cuffed me for being hard-headed...
walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
Plodding ’long behind the cap’n was keeping all ’em worries and thoughts at bay, but it was also giving me a ’preciation ’bout me and Ma’s talk ’bout working in the fields.
I knowed if push come to shove and the boat was going down and the life rafts was full but for one seat and there was a
frail old Virginny lady or some young ’un looking to take it, it would sound a powerful lot like suicide to me if I didn’t get involved in some type of tussling for the last seat.
For the first time since we’d been traveling, the cap’n laughed a real laugh and said, “And with that bit of
mirth I’m gonna read my Bible..."
That means the
righteous, Christian thing about going north with Cap’n Buck is that by bringing thieves back to pay for their sins, we’s helping to right a great wrong.
emitting a smell, especially an unpleasant smell
I couldn’t tell you where that peculiarity come from ’cause don’t neither Pap nor Ma get bothered by being around folk that’s smelling ripish. Or, truth tolt, they don’t get upset by being
odoriferous their own selfs.
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
You best watch yourself boy, I ain’t use to
brooking no sass from no youngsters, I don’t care how big you is.
a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice
We both gived a yell, and Ma reached down to get her
frock with her right hand and, spreading the fingers on her left hand, she put ’em ’crost her chest.
be a mystery or bewildering to
I ain’t never in my life seent no one who ’peared to be so
fortitude and determination
“You think I ain’t seent that look afore? Has you really got the
gumption to stand there bold-face and look at me with pity? Pity?”
group of people related by blood or marriage
You and all your
kin ain’t nothing but a half step better...
a person without moral scruples
We’s looking to get holt of some...
reprobates that run off.
a feeling of anger and animosity
I could see the cap’n’s
hackles raising up.
kindness in welcoming guests or strangers
The cap’n said, “So how much we owe y’all for tending to the horses?”
The man answered, “Let’s jus’ call it good old-fashioned Southern
hospitality being served up a long way from home.”
rip off; ask an unreasonable price
And third, whenever someone starts right off getting false-friendly with you, keep in mind all they trying to do is get a leg up on you so they can know what’s the best way to
any carefree episode
That sheriff who ain’t nothing but a common thief with a badge, would jus’ as soon stab you in the back on a
lark as give you the time of day.
arrogant or self-important
I said, “Yes, ma’am,” but I was thinking what I really needed to do was get back to South Carol-liney, where folk don’t act so strange and
having a strong preference or liking for
partial to jewelry? I knows you is, so I brung a special bracelet for you; crawl on over here and get it, girl.