One More Excerpt

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The cold February air passes through Devin’s coat and chills him to the very bone. He sits huddled with two other men on a flat car carrying machinery. They’re crouched behind a large slab of metal in an attempt to block the wintry wind, but it does little good. Well, at least it’s not snowing. The whipping wind and the clacking of the steel wheels upon the steel tracks preclude conversation.

Devin hugs himself tightly as the countryside slides by. The bare, leafless trees stand as silent sentinels in fields of snow, patiently awaiting spring. Here and there, a lonely cow or horse stares at the train as it passes. But none of that makes the slightest impression on Devin. He’s thinking back to the boardinghouse and the last time he spoke with Mary Callahan.

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Excerpts

Book Cover

The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.

In time, they would prevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.

*****

We rode in under a cloudless, blue-vaulted sky that seemed to go on forever. I glanced toward the arroyo. Sunlight glistened off a dozen rifle barrels. The sight of those guns gave me hope. Maybe I’d live long enough to see Luke Short in prison. I’d sure hate to die in this scrub patch while Luke was down in Las Cruces, drinking and whoring it up.

My Baby

I cain’t find my baby! Looked around and my baby cain’t be found.

I know she’s out there. I know she’s out there strutting her stuff.

I know I gotta find her.

My baby ain’t around.

My baby has to come home to her daddy.

If my baby don’t come home tonight.

I’ll have to go out and find her.

And when I find her,

If she’s with another man.

I’ll just have kill her.

I don’t want to.

I love my baby.

My baby weighs heavy on my mind.

My baby ain’t around and she cain’t be found.

That weighs heavy on my mind.

My baby’s coming home tonight.

Or else, when I find her, I’m gonna shoot her dead with my .44.

I cain’t find my baby. Looked around and my baby cain’t be found.

Searchin’ for You

When the night has come and the town is dark … that’s when I leave my lonely cabin. That’s when I go searchin’ for you, Baby. I walk the streets knowing that one night I will find you.

You have long auburn hair that flows down over your shoulders. Your eyes are green, you have curves that just won’t stop. I know everything about you except your name. Is it Diane? Is it Nadine? Or is it Aphrodite? Are you my goddess of love?

I saw you five months ago walking with a man. You went into Jimbo’s honky-tonk, and I followed. I sat at the bar and watched you. As I looked on, I fell in love. I fell in love with your smile, with your laugh. I fell head over heels in love with your beauty. From that moment on, I was yours. You just don’t know it yet. I should have followed you when you left, but I didn’t. I thought I’d see you soon enough, but I haven’t.

When the night starts its retreat and the beginning light in the East tells me I must stop my quest, I go back to my empty cabin and think of you.

I dream of you while I sleep the day away. I know that if I am to find you, it will only be in the dark of night where I first saw you.

I’m searchin’ for you, Baby, and one day I’m gonna find you.