El Lector by William Durbin

El Lector by William Durbin

Author:William Durbin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction
ISBN: 9780307433329
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: 2009-04-08T04:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 17

The Pop Shooter

A week later, Bella was walking home from work when something sharp stung her from behind. “Ow!” She turned to see Pedro, crouched under a chinaberry tree, grinning. He had a pop shooter in his hand.

“You stop that!” Bella caught him in a headlock and rubbed her knuckles across the top of his head. “Now we’re even,” she said. “I should have known it was time for the pop shooter season.”

Each August when the chinaberries were green and firm, the boys in town hollowed out bamboo stems. Then, holding the bamboo with a thread spool, they shoved a steel rod into the stem and pushed out the berry with a loud pop.

Pedro said, “You were such an easy target.”

“Did you sell a lot of papers?” Bella looked at his sack.

“I did okay, but evening is the best time. I’ll get rid of the rest later on. So what were you dreaming about?”

“How do you know I was dreaming?” Bella asked.

“You walked right by without even noticing me.”

“I was thinking how much I’d like to go to school this fall.”

“The paper said they’re adding a junior college to the Hillsborough High building in October,” Pedro said.

“So you’re reading the papers?” Maybe he was beginning to grow up after all.

“It helps kill the time,” Pedro said. “It’s too bad Mama wants me to go to school. I’d rather work in a factory any day.”

“If only she would see it that way.”

“Race you home?” Pedro sprinted toward their casita.

“No fair!”

“Catch me if you can!” Pedro called.

Bella ran after him. It felt good to run hard. Her shoes pounded the hot, packed dirt, and her braids flew off her shoulders. She and Papa used to race from Ferlita’s to their doorstep. The very last time they’d run home, Bella had lost by only a stride. Papa had panted and laughed at the same time. “I’ll need to get into better shape if I want to keep up with you,” he’d said. Bella had been sad to lose that day, but she’d been glad ever since that Papa had won their final race.

Now, Bella lengthened her stride, knowing she’d pass Pedro before they reached their yard.



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