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By Elmer Kelton

An anthology of 3 novellas, through 3 of the simplest western writers of the day past and today.

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The beasts have flesh and experience. guy has anything extra. he's born with flesh, brain, and spirit. brain and flesh die, however the spirit is imperishable. ’ ‘You say it lovely slick and sure,’ remarked Chuck Lane. ‘You quite suggest that? ’ ‘Yes. ’ ‘Well, then, the following factor is: What likelihood have I to slide via without—without—’ ‘What probability have you ever of happiness? ’ requested the minister lightly. ‘That i can't inform. you recognize your individual brain and existence. ’ ‘What distinction does the existence make, rather? ’ requested the pony thief. ‘Ain’t it what’s within the head that counts such a lot? ’ ‘Yes’ stated Ingram. ‘Sin is extra within the brain than within the physique. have you ever something in your judgment of right and wrong? ’ ‘Me? good, now not a lot. I’ve taken my enjoyable the place I’ve came across it, as an individual has acknowledged earlier than me. I knifed a gent in Chihuahua, as soon as. yet that was once a good struggle. He’d taken a move at me with a chair. I shot a fellow up in Butte, too. however the hound had advised every body that he was once going to get me. in order that don’t count number, both. differently, there ain’t been not anything very important. This little activity in regards to the horse—that’s not anything. i used to be simply in a rush. Now, child, the playing cards are at the desk. the place do i am going? ’ ‘You are younger’ stated Ingram. ‘You’re no longer even more than thirty—’ ‘I’m twenty-two. ’ The minister stared, aghast. a lot, a lot of existence have been scored at the face of this younger guy in his few brief years. Chuck appeared to comprehend, for he went on: ‘But the wrinkles don’t set until eventually you’re 40’ he remarked, ‘and you could swap your withstand that point. Y’understand? ’ ‘Did you need to take in another method of—’ ‘I used to be consistently aiming to be a farmer, if i may get a stake jointly. Nothin’ incorrect with my intentions, however the funds used to be lackin”. ‘And how did you are trying to earn it? ’ ‘Cards used to be my leader line. ’ ‘Gambling? ’ ‘Yes. ’ ‘You have been sincere, Chuck? ’ ‘I by no means had the palms for genuine crookedness’ admitted Chuck frankly. ‘I may possibly palm a few playing cards. That was once all. and that i in general met up with an individual a whole lot slicker than i used to be. So my winnings went out the window. ’ Ingram was once silent. ‘Does that make it undesirable for me? ’ requested Chuck ingenuously. It used to be a grim second within which to play the pass judgement on, yet Ingram responded slowly: ‘You’ve been a man-killer, a thief, and a crooked gambler. and maybe there were different issues. ’ ‘Well,’ stated Chuck, ‘I feel that closes the door on me? ’ ‘I don’t know,’ stated Ingram. ‘It relies, within the first position, upon your repentance. ’ ‘Repentance? ’ echoed the opposite. ‘Well, I dunno that i think undesirable approximately th’ approach I’ve lived. I’ve by no means shot a guy within the again, and I’ve by no means cheated a inebriated or a idiot on the playing cards. i attempted to trim the sharks, and the sharks continually trimmed me. ’ ‘Is that each one? ’ stated Ingram. ‘That’s approximately all. other than that I’d definite prefer to get with the best crowd of boys at the different facet. I by no means had no actual use for the tinhorns, thugs, and brief activities that needs to be crowded into hell, Ingram. yet you think that I acquired a robust narrow probability, eh? ’ Wistfulness and manly braveness struggled in his voice. ‘No guy can pass judgement on you,’ stated the younger minister.

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