Lonesome Dove: A Novel by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove: A Novel by Larry McMurtry

Author:Larry McMurtry [McMurtry, Larry]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Historical, Literary, Westerns
ISBN: 9781439195260
Google: GXYH1C_esq0C
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 2010-06-15T05:01:55+00:00


55

MONKEY JOHN HATED IT that she wouldn’t talk. “By God, I’ll cut your tongue out if you ain’t gonna use it,” he said once, and he knocked her down and sat on her, his big knife an inch from her face, until Dog Face threatened to shoot him if he didn’t let her be. Lorena expected him to do it. He was the worst man she had ever known, worse even than Ermoke and the Kiowas, though they were bad enough. She shut her eyes, expecting to feel the knife, but Dog Face cocked his pistol and Monkey John didn’t cut her. He continued to sit on her chest though, arguing with Dog Face about her silence.

“What do you care if she talks?” Dog Face said. “I wouldn’t talk to you either, you goddamn old runt.”

“She can talk, goddamn her,” Monkey John said. “Duck said she talked to him.”

“It’s her business if she don’t want to talk,” Dog Face insisted. He was a thin scarecrow of a man, but he had crazy eyes, and Monkey John never pushed him too far.

“By God, we bought her,” Monkey John said. “Give all them hides for her. She oughta do what we say.”

“You get your damn money’s worth,” Dog Face said. “Most of them hides was mine anyway.

“You old runt,” he added.

Monkey John was old and short. His hair was a dirty white and he was under five feet, but that didn’t keep him from being mean. Twice he had grabbed sticks out of the fire and beat her with them. There was nothing she could do but curl up as tight as she could. Her back and legs were soon burned and bruised and she knew Monkey John would do worse than that if he ever got her alone long enough, but Dog Face owned half of her and he stuck close to be sure his investment didn’t get too damaged.

Though she had seen Dog Face and Monkey John give Blue Duck the skins in trade for her, it seemed they weren’t full owners, for whenever the Kiowas showed up, every two or three days, they drug her off to their camp for their share, and the two white men didn’t try to stop them. There was no love lost between the white men and the Kiowas, but both sides were too afraid of Blue Duck to get into it with one another.

Blue Duck was the only man of the bunch who seemed to take no interest in her. He had stolen her to sell, and he had sold her. It was clear that he didn’t care what they did to her. When he was in camp he spent his time cleaning his gun or smoking and seldom even looked her way. Monkey John was bad, but Blue Duck still scared her more. His cold, empty eyes frightened her more than Monkey John’s anger or Dog Face’s craziness. Blue Duck had scared the talk completely out of her. She had never been much for talk, but her silence in the camp was different from her old silence.



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