Monday, July 17, 2017

DEVIL MAKE A THIRD was written by Douglas Fields Bailey and published in 1948. It is a book of fiction based upon the author's family's story in Dothan, Alabama.
 The book describes the rise to power of Buck Bannon in the southeast Alabama town of Aven from circa 1890-1915.

Characters in DEVIL MAKE A THIRD & suggestions as to the actual people they may be based upon:

Joe Bannon (Joe Baker, Sr. 1836-1900, buried in the Baker plot of the Dothan City Cemetery)
"The Joe Baker family came from near Abbeville. Mr. Buck Baker was a big stockholder in Houston National Bank. The Baker brothers built and operated the Martin Hotel, and dealt in real estate. Mr. Dan Baker, of the brothers is the only one living now." from Mrs. A.D. Whiddon's HISTORY OF DOTHAN published in 1945 in the DOTHAN EAGLE

Jeanie McPherson Bannon (Jane Sanders Baker 1849-1918, buried in the Baker plot of the Dothan City Cemetery)

Buck Bannon (Joe "Buck" Baker 1869-1920, buried in the Baker plot of the Dothan City Cemetery)

Mrs. Buck Bannon formerly Lota Kyle (based upon Eula Stagg Baker, Buck Baker's wife) introduced on page 203                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               In DEVIL MAKE A THIRD, one of the most interesting female characters is Lota Kyle, a nineteen-year-old schoolteacher from Georgia who 48 year old Buck takes as his "trophy wife" in an Aven church wedding five weeks after meeting her. The character of Lota is based upon 19 year old Dothan High graduate Eula Stagg who 50 year old Dothan Mayor Buck Baker married in 1919. Eula got her "15 minutes of fame" in 1943 when she was brought before a U.S. House of Representatives Military Affairs subcommittee and refused to testify about lobbying parties where she served fried chicken and cocktails to politicians and military officers who could help her employer land defense contracts. From that moment on in the national press, Eula became known as "the mystery woman of R Street", referring to the large house in Washington, D.C. where the parties were held. Today, I found Eula's burial place in Jacksonville, Florida on the Web. (One of Buck Baker's sisters had a daughter named Lota Cheek who in 1922 was named the BOSTON'S PRETTIEST GIRL. After this event was picked up by the press, Lota was soon dubbed AMERICA'S PRETTIEST GIRL in the nation's newspapers. Although her press clippings say she was raised in Dawson, Georgia, she had also lived in Dothan)
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                                                                     Eula Stagg Baker Smith

Mrs. Buck Baker (Eula Stagg Baker) remained around town for a couple of years after Buck's death. The last clipping from the Eagle where she is mentioned is in 1922 after her brother, Clarence, married a girl from Savannah. (from the May 13, 1922 DOTHAN EAGLE)

        There's an interesting Blumberg connection to the actual people who Bailey used to create the fictional town of Aven in DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. In 1913, a ten-year-old Harold Blumberg was on horseback driving a herd of cows down Washington Street. At the corner of Dusy, a group of boys started chunking rocks at Harold and a fight occurred in which Harold was cut so bad he almost died. The boys were arrested and one of them was third grader Clarence Stagg, brother of Eula Stagg who became Mrs. Buck Baker at age 19 in 1919 and is the basis for 48 yr. old Buck Bannon's 19 year old bride in DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. from the May 23, 1913 DOTHAN EAGLE  

Jeff Bannon (Dan Baker?) No automatic alt text available.

Hearn Bannon (C.F. "Doug" Baker)No automatic alt text available.

Coke Bannon (Colie  Baker, 1886-1937 )

Myrt Bannon

Nance Bannon

Victoria Bannon (name was changed to Christina after Buck's affair with Big Vic) "My grandmother was Ghastie Jane Baker. I was named for her. My mother, Jane Miller Sims, graciously dropped "Ghastie" when she named me." ~ JANE SIMS LONG

Vestacia Bannon (Vesta)

Millie Bannon

Wiley Bannon

Two of Wiley's Children

Earnestine Bannon

Gene, Earnestine's oldest boy, (10 years old in 1907)

Three of Earnestine's children

Titus Green

preacher in Baptist Bottom

prostitute in Mabe's Place


bartender in saloon

Amos Longshore (Bailey was friends with Mr. and Mrs. Sam Friedman while he was at the University of Alabama. Mrs. Friedman's maiden name was Longshore)

Mrs. Amos Longshore

Ivy Longshore: Amos Longshore's daughter

Jake Willis, railroad brakeman and loan customer of Buck

Bascom "Bass" Wooten, railroad brakeman and loan customer of Buck~
"Bass" is an interesting nickname and a google search reveals that nobody's ever seemed to consider it to be short for "Bascom" other than the author of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD but naming a child "Bascom" and calling him "Bass" for short would not be unusual for parents in the Civil War-Reconstruction-era Wiregrass. 
Only thirty miles south of Dothan, one finds BASCOM, FLORIDA.
Bascom, Faye Dunaway's hometown, is named for the Reverend Henry Bascom who engineered the move in 1845 that split the Methodist Church and created the METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH.
Bascom wrote Methodism and Slavery; with Other Matters in Controversy between the North and the South; Being a Review of the Manifesto of the Majority, in Reply to the Protest of the Minority, of the Late General Conference of the Methodist E. Church, in the Case of Bishop Andrew (1845; available free on line at Google Books).

On the Geneva side of my family, I had a Great-Great Uncle named "Henry Bascom Register"
Named after the famous Methodist, Henry Bascom Register was born only five years after the advent of Methodist-Episcopal Church, South. From surveying the local newspapers, it appears Uncle H.B. was pastoring churches in the Marianna District as early as 1896 and for about 25 years, he preached at Methodist churches around Defuniak Springs, Coffee Springs, Dothan, Daleville, Ashford and Wicksburg,

Victoria "Big Vic"       Ellen Dawson (a great-great niece of Buck Baker), describing the comments her grandmother made in the margins of her copy of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD, wrote: "PAGE 64
8th paragraph, the whole paragraph is in parenthesis and it begins with "She's a schoolteacher," and beside it in the margin is written 'Music Teacher'
PAGE 73, right above the INTERLUDE is written: ' The teachers name was Ida and Ghastie was named Ida after her and christened later when she was 2 - 3, she was renamed Ghastie."
In the book, Buck is caught having an affair with "Big Vic" or Victoria, the schoolteacher hired to teach the Bannon children after they moved to Aven. One of the Bannon girls was already named Victoria. After "Big Vic" was dismissed, Jane Bannon, Buck's mother, changed her daughter's name from Victoria to Christina. The real teacher being named Ida fits in with this 1898 clipping from the COLUMBIA BREEZE. If Ida also became pregnant, she may have been the mother of James Baker, son of Buck Baker, WWI hero and accused in 1920 of assault with intent to murder in Moultrie, Georgia. So here we may have two characters the book, Big Vic and Ivy Longshore(Buck Bannon's first wife & mother of his only child) who are based upon an individual, Ida Clark. from the July 28, 1898 COLUMBIA BREEZE  

Gus Blissett and wife

Mr. Early Edgar

Will J. Cumbie (Bailey may have graduated from Dothan High with a fellow named Cumbie in 1930. I'm also kin to the Cumbies. A sister of my Great Grandma Shepherd was married to a Cumbie in Dothan)

Ed Puckett, surveyor

Colt Peterman (My Great-Aunt Lula Shepherd Peterman ran a boarding house located on the corner of North Alice and West Main directly in front of First Baptist. In 1907, THE DOTHAN EAGLE published an article about the history of Dothan and stated that Aunt Lula's husband, my great-uncle J.A. Peterman was one of only four men who still owned the same store located in the same place in downtown Dothan as they did in 1897. The Peterman store was on North Foster Street.)

"Stylish" George Brown (somewhere on Facebook somebody posted that the character of STYLISH GEORGE was based upon former Dothan Eagle editor Nat Faulk's father who was a notorious gambler)

Tobe Parody ( The basis for this character may be former Dothan Chief of Police Tobe Domingus) may contain: one or more people

James Lewis Jefferson "Tobe" Domingus, Sr.

Coot Harper

Joe Manheim

Charlie Factor

colored boy in a white coat from McPherson's Saloon

Reverend Sime Acree

Virgil (The character of Virgil may have been inspired by a Downtown Dothan street personality named Homer White) When Tobe and Buck first see Virgil on Aven's streets, Tobe asks, "Buffalo Bill?" Buffalo Bill brought his Wild West Show to Dothan on October 10, 1907.
"Homer could be found at the Houston Theater every day watching westerns. Homers later was missing a few runs. I don't think he could play that guitar and he could tell some tall tales.He would set on the front row, in case Bob Steele needed a little help with the outlaws.

" Homer would watch the same movie every day They may run them 2 or 3 days. He would tell you what was going to happen, and when they had a fight, he could not sit still. With him sitting on the front row you could see him jumping up and down getting into it.

"I remember a story about Homer. He was known to stretch the truth. He would walk to town every day. One day this farmer was at the end of his row at the time Homer come by. He yelled,'Homer, come here and tell me a lie.' without slowing. Homer said,' I can't. That lady up there fell and broke her leg and I am going to get a doctor.' The farmer left his mule in the field and ran home to find his wife hanging out clothes. He said, 'Well I asked for that one.' " ~ Jerry Walker

the little Tiller girl

Aven's first city engineer

Colie Mellinger (here the author uses his uncle Colie Baker's first name as a name for a character)

Hopson the blacksmith

Naomi, one of Mabe's prostitutes

The Railroad Brotherhood

Miss Kirkland of Miss Kirkland's School

Henry the cook at the Bannon house

train conductor

worried man in the Waycross depot

Negro shoe shine boy in Waycross

Aven city clerk

Wiley who needs 

page 171 little red head boy, "Ernestine's oldest kid" from Ellen Dawson's grandmother's copy,      "Also on PAGE 171, next to the last paragraph, last sentence:
'then he reached out and knuckled the red head, hard,'
This is underlined and in the margin is writtten a single word. 'Tom.'
Chapter 19, Page 195
At the top of this page is written
'Tom was hired by Buck as "water boy" at 5 cents a week.' "

Pet Tolleson, county school superintendent

bookkeeper at the dispensary

Tom, Senator from Alabama

Governor Thrasher

Mrs. Myra Thrasher

Brookie , cook at the Choctawhatchee cabin

colored boy at the Choctawhatchee cabin who shot a pistol every 15 minutes

Mayme Foster

Four little Negros who ran out of a ditch after the railroad engine released steam

Janie Bannon's oldest red-headed granddaughter who meets them at the depot when they arrive from NYC

Miss Edie

the city clerk

two Negroes carrying furniture

T. H. Harrison, clerk @ Harrison House

small colored boy at the ice chests in the Harrison House stair well

bellboy at the Harrison House

Old Spang, the janitor at City Hall

Smiley, Harrison House employee who is to give Virgil the best meal

Charley, chauffeur of Hearn's Great Northern Touring Car

ringbearer at the wedding, son of T. Peyton Sudduth

Angus McTyre, bartender

Stylish George

"Laughing" Bell (In ELLEN DAWSON's grandmother's copy of the book is the notation, "Bush" by the name "Bell".)

The city councilmen "every one of 'em"

Old Cap'n Bottoms

Ed Mercer   Here's a revealing quote from DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. It's from page 221 and Buck is having an internal dialogue with himself during his church wedding. "By God, a blind hog gets an acorn now and then. Old wrinkled-up sawed off Ed Mercer, looking satisfied and secret like a kid wetting under water, and hoping I'll buy the new church chimes so he won't have to put. Brought his chew in with him and too stingy to spit. Country as nursing a baby in the wagon yard." Have no idea who Ed Mercer may have been based upon but he must have had money and we already know a little about "the wagon yard". As many of you know, every time you hear the chimes from 1st Methodist, you are hearing BUCK BAKER'S DONATION to Foster Street Methodist.  from the March 29, 1920 DOTHAN EAGLE    

Lessie Whitfield

Aunt Bee

Uncle Barnes

Regina Bannon and her husband

Vesta's sweetheart

Preacher at Buck and Lota's wedding

 Slappey, a Peachtree Street imported bartender

Reverend and Mrs. Agnew Huff

Longboy Taylor, Tobe's assistant

Abe, the fruit dealer

Big Moses driving Lota's Wescott

two kid boys with knobby knees picking up the oranges Buck threw

Abe, the Greek

Ed Reddick, tax collector

Josie's Hollow Horn girls

C.C. Parish ("that worked for us")

Miz Peterman and her son, Lige

city attorney

old men attending court

Mr. Eddins

Jonus and Arbie Killibrew

B. Stringer who the Killibrews stole a cow from

Adam Tolleson, M.D.

Hosea and Lovely Pryde

limber-hipped Negro boy who asks Buck if he wants the car

Smut, fourteen year old who ran out on a pool game


Wiley and Suzie (Jeanie Bannon's servants?)

Mr. and Mrs. Misstledine, Jeanie's tenants

the Ziglar girls

Carmen, Ernestine's oldest girl

gamblers Tom Easton and Charley Cope

Negro porter in a white coat

Amos, Buck's son by Ivy Longshore (Joseph Amos Bannon, grandson of Amos Longshore)

clerk and bellboy Blue Darter in the hotel in Lota's college town

Negro girl dressed in shiny black uniform with a white collar

Mrs. Darby

Judge Alford

Negro hack driver, Numbers

Mrs. Spooner and her family of tenants who don't pay Buck rent

farmer calling "Soo-pig"

Negroes at the cane mill

Sykes, one of Buck's tenants

Pearly Gates

Senator Whiddon

Charley, Negro bellboy

crowd of drummers in the lobby of the Harrison House watching a domino game

old colored woman who wouldn't wash a streetwalker's underwear

Ed who lost $500 betting Buck wouldn't complete the opera house in 30 days

workman at the Opera House site who was rubbing salve on his ankle scar

colored boy in Harrison House jacket with notice of a phone call

small group of men in front of the drug store located between Harrison House and the Opera House.

Festus Young

"the nervous, overdressed people who crowded the lobby and eddied out onto the sidewalk."

Old Mrs. Lamb

Mrs. Lamb's old-maid daughter

Mrs. H. C. "High C" Sidney

Lanky colored boy with a large wicker basket of flowers on the stage of the opera house

City Councilmen on the stage of the opera house

The "eight flurried women" of the Committee on Arrangements

The crowd in the opera house

Pettus, the man standing in the wings waving a yellow sheet of paper

Ben Echols, the man in the opera house crowd who laughed at the beginning of Buck's speech

Ed Jones

Mrs. Jones

Old Man Enfinger and his daughter

Small boys yelling in the balcony

Myra Echols

Ernest King

Walt and Bush, two city councilmen

The fire chief and two half-dressed firemen

Fireman cursing the rotten hose

Three firemen who give up fighting the fire inside the opera house

Location of scenes from DEVIL MAKE A THIRD:

The Bannon Place outside of Aven

Aven railroad depot

Green's General Mdse

Mason's store (work shoe competition)

Tate's Hill

Amos Longshore's house (has a yard with grass)

Mabe's Place

downtown Aven "half a mile from the railroad just to get closer to the spring and the distillery"

The spring

The saloon

Baptist Bottom 

Puddin' House

Bannon Block on St. Simon Street

Corner of St. Simon and Oak Streets

Basin Street (East and West Main Streets? "Main Street" is also mentioned in Aven so that may be Bailey's name for Foster)

Gus Blissett's house

Colt Peterman's place out in the country

Amos Longshore's farm northeast of Aven




blacksmith shop

35 foot piece of property next to Green's

New railroad crossing on Basin Street, two blocks from Buck's new store

New railroad route northeast of Aven

Dean's livery stable (Holman's Livery)

Joe Manheim's store two doors down from Buck's new store

Rose Hill

Buck and Ivy's house on Oak Street

Old Fritter home

Mercy Creek

the steaming bogs on Old Bay

creek bank on the main gravel highway to Albany

Acid Plant Hill on the edge of Negro Quarters


site of the OLD JAIL (lot on which HARRISON HOUSE is built)

McTyre's Place (saloon)

The Bottle (saloon)


Aven Telephone Company

Thacker's Boardinghouse

Lota Kyle's home just over the Georgia Line

Edgemont School For Young Ladies in Tennessee (Fairmont College in Monteagle, Tennessee)

Mayor's office in City Hall (When Jeannie Bannon visits Buck in the Mayor's office (page 164), she mentions that Buck is 38 years old. Buck Baker was 38 in 1907)

Miss Kirkland's School

Big Creek

Spring Creek

Econfina Creek

new police station near City Hall

Dispensary across the street from City Hall

Rosehill Gardens in Montgomery ~ "Page 211 references Rosehill Gardens in Montgomery. Pretty sure this is Capitol's Rosemont Gardens Florist. Not sure when this old flower shop was established but grew roses year-round in glass greenhouses until florist production industry moved to Columbia South America in the 60/70's.." ~ Lorie Felton

from the Sunday, December 12, 1952 MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER
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from the May 5, 1914 ANDALUSIA STAR
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Choctawhatchee River

Wagon Yard one block east of Oak Street (J.P. Folkes had a wagon yard at the NW corner of Crawford and Foster, one block east of Oates St.)
"You mentioned the Wagon Yard in one of your posts, When I was a little girl, (I am 85 now) my Dad brought us to town from near Brannon Stand and we "parked" our two mules and the wagon in the Wagon Yard you spoke of..Daddy brought along a tub of water and a plat of hay for the mules to have while we went to Kress and Newberry's, oh, and to THE LEADER STORE where we got our one pair of shoes a year whether we needed them or not... ~ Nita Hogg

(note: "Oak Street" is probably Oates Street and "the Wagon Yard" owned by Dothan "Founding Father" J.P. Folkes was located one block east where the Carmichael Building now stands on the corner of East Crawford and South Foster)
from page 186 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD
Buck stood on the rear platform of the train and watched the grey-black ribbon of the roadbed shape behind him into a pattern of crossties and cinders as the wheels slipped and jolted and grunted to a stop.
He sniffed the air shortly, once, then he breathed deeply, throwing back his head and holding it a long time. He wrinkled his nose as he let the breath out.
"Well," he said, out loud, "I reckon even a pogie boat smells good to a man who calls it home, but doggone if Aven don't get right high in hot weather."
He leaned over the railing and looked forward along the train. Up ahead, the engine panted and suddenly spewed live steam into a shallow ditch. Four small Negro boys flushed out of the ditch, running, laughing, falling and rolling and laughing again.
Buck waved at them and sniffed once more as he straightened up.
"Fish at the depot," he thought. Funny about Aven. Eighty miles to salt water and none of the close-by creeks big enough to cause such a flux of fish, and still it always smelled like fish. Something from the sea the year round. Winter time, there'd be speckled trout seined from the warm-water bayous and creeks and slews where they schooled to fight the cold. Mullet in winter, too. Mullet herded with cast nets into small slews or onto the shallows. Winter time.
"Oysters," Buck said out loud and grinned to himself. Lord, the way they used to bring 'em when September rolled around. Before the new road inched through to the coast. Wagon trains with croker sack and canvas coverings wetted down at Big Creek, Spring Creek, Econfina Creek, all the streams that webbed the land and drained Alabama into the Gulf.
His mind didn't say the words, but he could see them: Apalachicola oysters with big white clean shells and a taste like they had fed on fresh water; Indian Pass oysters, small and muddy on the outside and as tight against an opening knife as a turtle's mouth, but clean inside and tasting wild with the bay and the brine; North Bay oysters, small and muddy, too, on the outside but darker and sweeter on the inside and friendlier to the knife.
He could see in his mind the old wagons, dusty on top but dripping water underneath, rolling onto the outskirts of Aven and up Oak Street and one block east to the Wagon Yard. He could see the black dust-rimmed mouth of the wagoner yelling, "A dozen free to the first pretty girl." And he could see again, plodding along under the tail gate, the slack hound bitch that kept the cats away.
Now, though, in hot summer, with the trains on a three-hour run, he could see the huge casks, baggagemen rolling them casually on a single rim, guiding with one hand and rotating with the other until they thumped them upright into place. Now, the barrelheads with tight caulking of croker sacking dripped ice water off red snapper, that Florida fishermen had pulled out, unprotesting, often in meek clusters of three. There'd be king mackerel horsed out of the Gulf with a line as thick as a child's finger and flung over the shoulder of the fisherman to a helper who removed the fish and rebaited the hook. There'd be largemouthed bass and bream, either seined from the fresh-water creeks and lakes or dynamited, or poisoned with black walnut or limed upcreek and harvested dead downstream. And, now in summer time, there'd be smaller casks, set aside for hard-shelled crabs, red as the devil and as stubborn to crack, with a salt sweetness inside. Or there'd be shrimp, still tucking their feelers inside the curl of their bodies for protection. Or, the boneless throats and jaws of snappers, wrapped separately from the fillets of mackerel or trout and sometimes pompano caught from the surf.

"Hey, Lord," Buck said, suddenly, and stretched both arms as high over his head as he could, "another mile and there'll it'll be, smellin' like a field hand eatin' sardines, but smellin' good to me just the same."
from the January 26, 1911 DOTHAN EAGLE

This passage is the beginning of CHAPTER 18 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. This chapter is set right in the middle (page 186 of 383 pages) of a novel which spans 25 years (1890-1915) of Aven's (a.k.a. "Dothan's") formative years. CHAPTER 18 (circa 1908) could be considered THE END OF THE FRONTIER chapter in Aven history. Buck and his Mama have come back from New York City and Buck is ready to build a structure architecturally identical to one he'd seen in NYC which had been designed to fit a triangular lot. That building was the Flatiron Building and it would be the basis for the HARRISON HOUSE (a.k.a. Dothan's Hotel Martin ~The opening of this Dothan hotel transformed the town's commercial landscape.) At the end of Chapter 18, the author reintroduces his two Interlude characters, railway brakemen, Jake and Bass, who periodically inform the reader about Buck's progress in Aven. Jake is drunk and can't get Miss Edie down at the Aven Telephone Company. When she finally gets on the line, Jake insults her and she immediately hangs up. Jake then has a fit and tears the telephone off the wall, walks down the street from his location at Dean's Livery Stable (a.k.a. Holman Mule Co.) , goes into Aven Telephone, hollers, "Miss Edie, here's number twenty-five." & tosses the remains of the telephone into Miss Edie's office. So inquiring minds want to know, who had "number twenty-five" in 1908?
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New York City

Masonic Lodge

Old Jail ~ located on the triangular lot that inspired Buck to build his hotel like the Flatiron Building he'd seen in New York City.

Harrison House (Hotel Martin) The author may have gotten the name HARRISON HOUSE from the Gulfview Hotel which stood on the waterfront on the east side of present-day Harrison Avenue in Panama City from 1890-1910. This hotel was also known as the Gulfview Inn, THE HARRISON HOUSE or the Jenk's Place. The Baker brothers were frequent visitors to Panama City from 1890-1910.

new standpipe water reservoir near the depot

Dean's Livery Stable office

McTyre's place

Aven Telephone Company

New police station next to the new city hall

the dispensary right across from City Hall

the Masonic Lodge

Hearn's Great Northern touring car

the red brick church where Buck and Lota are married

Denver, Colorado for Buck and Lota's honeymoon

corner of Basin and Midway (Main & Foster)

wagon yard across railroad tracks from the Harrison House

The Blue Bird (cafe)

Clifton Hall (girl's college~ Brenau)

recorder's court room

Clayhatchie Road

Big Tired Swamp

Sample room/Buck's office in Harrison House

Salvador's Snooker and Billiard Parlor

caves at Marianna, Florida


a small thick cypress swamp

Jeanie Bannon's new farm (present-day Landmark Park)

the Misstledine's tenant house

Kilkare : from HELEN TAYLOR ANDREWS Hi...I wrote an article on Kill Kare Kamp & placed it in the Dale County Heritage Book. I was given the information by Mr. Herbert Jones, whose family owned the property. It was built in 1915 by Spurgeon T. Hones, son of Allie N. Jones. It consisted of a large pool that was fed from frigid water from three nearby wells. A hotel was nearby(also owned by the Jones family), a pavilion with high dive, a dance floor with jukebox, a restaurant, camping areas and cabins were among the features of the popular spot. Families would bring their children for picnics and some even spent their summers in the resort area of Newton, Alabama. Kill Kare Kamp closed after WW11 when the beaches of Florida were more accessible to the average family,. The hotel closed in 1930. There is a photo in the Heritage Book of a part of it if anyone would like to see it. The article is on page 73 of the Dale County Heritage Book if anyone is interested.

Chattahoochee & Gulf Railroad (Hartford & Slocomb Railroad)

 water tank in Dixie

Beulah Creek

hotel in Lota's college town

college building with dining all at Clifton Hall (Brenau)

Hotel Bristol

Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico

wooden bridge over the flooding Chattahoochee

Beulah Church

vacant lot where the opera house would be built

north end of Lee County

new bridal suite in the Harrison House

Room 102 in the Harrison House

B. and B. Cafe


Drug store between the Harrison House and the Opera House

Opera House

Antiquated Terms and Colloquialisms from Chapter 1 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD:

Maccaboy snuff

a dirt road sport

sanded yard

pokeberry red

dun-colored bantam hen

hide-bottomed rocker

syrup bucket flowerpot

suck a meat skin

"hand-hewn bench that had been soaped and scrubbed until little soft splinters stuck up now and then, even against the grain"

"For God's sake..."

"I say you ain't to use the Lord's name while you're in the house, Buck."

"full red beard that he chopped off straight across at the neckline."

"twist a baling wire around a small wooden box full of clothes"

"Don't you go sparkin' in them jeans of mine..."

"shining from fetlock to forelock"

"rootin' for vittles in this here sorry clay"

"cuffed little Coke away from his syrup lick under the table"

flat-bed wagon

"I went to mill and back and made the trade."

"flicked the lines and pulled the mule sharply around"

"smooth whispering grind of the iron-rimmed wheels on hard sand"

"cotton quilt with the funny frocking on the edges"

"Blue Back speller that cost a quarter bushel of meal"

"pitch pine popping and sparking and scorching some while others froze"

"lunch bucket"

"fatback, syrup and corn bread"

"grabbed the lines to his chest"

"mules unshod feet"

"keep him from rattling the lines"

"a frog thumped a tub"

"a chill in the air that came out of a wet bottom"

"wrapped the lines around his wrist"

"he reached out with a foot and tested his weight on the shaft. He placed his left hand on the mule's rump and began to walk out the shaft, sliding his hand along the rough sweaty ridge of backbone until he felt the up-curved end of the shaft with his foot. He pushed off, dividing his shove between his hand on the mule's collar and his foot on the shaft, and jumped clear of creek water."

"Don't let Papa make you plow the big mule, boy," he said, "Big John'll pure pull yore arms out at the sockets. But you got to quit sleepin' in the cotton rows when you ought to be choppin'."

"some of his mother's cush he could take and eat out of the palm of his hand like it was a bowl. He'd nuzzle into that Thanksgiving cush like a hound."

"fill up on cush before they got to turkey. Corn meal and onions with meat stock were cheaper than turkey."

"the first shining finger of railroad glinted suddenly ahead of him and his feet began to crunch on the new roadbed. Cinders."

"smell of fresh-cut fat pine ties and tar and oil and smoke that coughed shudderingly out of the belled stack of a small switch engine whose firebox glowed line a woodsfire."

"a small corner of Alabama wasn't lying fallow any longer, but was heavy with the germ of a town."

"Aven's first row of tin-roofed shacks with a swing to his copper-toed shoes."

"A brakeman in the new ACL yards"


"pioneered with his shoulder blades"

"baggage truck"

"It's better'n wakin' up with Hearn rootin' from one side and Jeff from the other till they prize me up off the pallet"

"the one curious older girls took behind the privy after school"

"already his eyes would glide over one girl without quickening, to suddenly narrow sleepily at the first sight of her sister."

"sitting on the front porch pleating and unpleating her skirt"

"shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves"

"we got rid o' downright hard shirt sleeves"

"a live creek meandering the year round through the bottom"

"lifting the lid off a mess of greens and fatback"

"the rifle at Chicamauga Gap and slippery ellum bark for dressing"

"ease out of bed so the rustling of shucks wouldn't wake Joe"

"hot smells of side meat and chicory coffee bellied out of the chimney's draught"

"He'd cut a step or two"

"tinka-bell reflections"

"what the sand was for. Floorin'. Floorin' to cover the clay and drain off the bath water."

"creek-bottom sand"

"God's bottom. A hobo on a baggage truck I never thought to see."

"if you're any kind o' hand with a pick"

"but I ain't aimin' to dig in no more dirt"

"He felt the excitement yeasting inside at sight of a small neat buggy with new harness"


"long billed railroad man's striped cap"


"rocking whip of the drive shaft"

"more and more folks here lettin' grass grow in their yards. Mother wouldn't have it."

"It's growin' crazy as a gourd vine flingin' out a creeper now and then and stores and houses hitchin' on whenever they feel like it."

"Jake, them's white girls."

"That's Jernigan on the cord. He gives it that laughin', wheedlin' twist"

"the goods box at one end of his cot"

"dressed up like a travelin' dentist"

"like a scope of timber"

"like a colored woman with a bundle on her head"

"like findin' rock candy in a syrup bucket"

"narrow, black string tie"

"Nobody ever knocked a man in the head for a sack of candy"

"like the eyes of a chicken who wants to cut out some light"

"for some doctorin' in Atlanta"

"began to pare his nails"

"What makes you think I'd rob a man because I had him where the hair is short?"

"You like to make a dollar"

"He wondered if Longshore would rise to that"

"I ain't got time to stop and build bridges when I come to a creek. I've got to jump to stay on schedule"

"Don't whine. A thief's a thief."


"the jangle of the banjo, played day and night behind the thin partition that separated the whites from the colored folks' side"

"louder near the curved slot through which the bartender shoved drinks to the Negro customers"

"It stingeth like an adder and biteth like a serpent." (Proverbs 23: 29, 30, 32)

"the bottle of white corn whiskey"

"like a quick wisp of steam blown across his face from the kettle at syrup-making time"

"the patches of turpentine oozing from the pine looked like blisters"

"I'm a' goin' pi'rootin' "

"kiss all the girls and run climb a tree an' wait for them to cut me down."

"throwing the rain-washed roots of the sycamore trees up high like a sick steer's ribs"

"odors of frying fish, onions and hush puppies"

"kerosene lamp on a goods box"

"Here, Big Time, preach me some hell-fire and alligator teeth"

"Ain't you kinda lit up, Boss?"

"Like a country church."

"Boss, whore ladies like a little something on the side. Now I got a pair o' fine billy goats, Boss, which'd make mighty pretty pets down yonder."

"I figgered even a goat'd ruther live in a house full of ready women that lay in the road."

"corn-shuck mat"

"Hey, Mabe! Company."

"a newel post to put it by"


"rubber-tired buggy"


"I was hasslin' to leave it"

"pickle dish the store had sent from Eufaula the first year Papa had bought big"

"two pound Barred Rock fryers"

"the peas- cooked soft with a split chunk of home-cured boiling meat - the tiny Lady Finger peas, the ones God gave po' folks for dessert."

"forget the grubbin' I been doin' "

"something to make a man's skin crawl off"

"derby hat"

"didn't want to make the nap streak in the wrong way"

"jerked the whip out of the socket"

"eased out a little more slack in the lines and felt the mare take it up in a second with a quickening step and a lunge into the collar."

"Take it, you scaper"

"what she called heavy words"

"looped his lines around the shiny whip socket"

"a long minute"

"his long driving coat"

"knuckled his head hard"

"work like a brag mule"

"circle-foot plow"


"waste pine"

"like beetles on a lampshade"

"Bible says we'll always have pore folks. But how come, by God, it's got to be me?"

"Well, don't blow off at me."

"I'm like a broke-leg mule"

"I cain't carpenter, nor lay brick, nor plow- cain't do a damned thing but brake on the railroad"

"laid a large piece of ham on top of a slab of hoecake"

"that's middle o' the night talk"

"Reckon not"

"A man oughtn't to live over two hoe handles from his business"


"floor joist for every two feet of flooring" (description of Bannon house, page 59)

"mule dealer's badge of office- a cheap walking stick whose blunt end was scuffed and stained with manure and tobacco juice"

"Well, y'all come." "Y'all come, too."

"with places to dress without turning their backs"

"bought brick"

"We run over a cooter"

"I think they eat quail eggs"

"blunt tip of a bone-handled kitchen knife"

"held the reins loosely in his right hand, idly whipping the ends against his legs"

"Boy, you ain't never seen nothin' like the way that land was yeastin' when we sold"

"the mill marks still showed where the planes had scraped."

"We'll put a shuck mattress up there, too."

"There's a big stove comin' tomorrow with warmers and a hot-water reservoir"

"Look at that bank walker's strut Buck's got"

"wrapped his lines carefully before he jumped off the wagon"

"you lazy hound"


"a man 21 years old that ain't got no more sense than me ought to be hung"

"I could a' bought a big lot of them cheap work shoes from that drummer and undercut hell out of Mason's"

"I can jump prices"

"Papa don't know who painted the preacher's horse green and killed it, but I do."

"fighting mulishly against the drug of a full stomach"

"The moon threw things out of kilter"

"When morning came, he could brass it out."

"I'll just go down and man it out."

big wood range

"Little Vic whimpering and sucking a sugar tit"

"her eyes were as black as mulberries"


"the short collar of his overall jumper higher up on the stub of a neck"

"He hauled at the worn and shiny leather strap looped through the buttonhole in the breast pocket of his overalls."

"them damned young'uns must eat like boar shoats. Been here six months and interest gnawin' at me like another conscience"

"I'll be glad when you get that blessed watch back so you can get back on the road. I'm plumb wore out with these piddlin' jobs..."

"Jake put his broad heavy foot on his end of the chain and threw the loop so it would slide freely"

"but damned if he ain't got us suckin' hind tit"

"job helpin' to lay out the town"

"Bass trudged on with chain winding like a hundred-foot snake behind him until it tightened, then he stooped and drove his stake."


"Laying it out too little"

"holes where her kids had dug caves and tunnels"

"Well, we're livin' spite o' all we can do"

"Mother's feedin' whole milk to the pigs 'cause she ain't got time to churn. Wonder if you could run up some milkin' time and kinda spell her at the churn. Reckon, if you're bakin' any cakes, she'd be proud if you'd try some o' her butter."

"he got hurt brakin', and can't go back to the road"

"a pied calf being led by a small colored boy across towards the blacksmith shop"

"I'll work up the papers"

"Pore chance but I'm honin' after both of 'em" page 80

"two doors were nearly wide enough to be called shutters" (Green's General Mdse)

"a large woman whose heavy cracked milking hands yearned slowly over a yard-wide bolt of stiff shiny taffeta"

"Whew! Colder than a hound's nose"

"Hate to be fixin' fence on that high forty back home" (page 81)

"the light beating fitfully through the isinglass window in the stove."

"Papa, it's like you know when to plant. It ain't just knowin'; it's part feelin'. Well, I got that feelin'."

"Boy, ain't we movin' a mite fast?"

"Watch the barbershops, they follow the money. There ain't a one on our street."

"a horseback opinion"

"Hell, Papa, our ox is gettin' belly deep in the mire. And when the ox is in the mire you get him out."

"I've got to light a shuck"

"Papa, I got a right rough thumb and a man don't get hurt unless he's gentlin' a brier."


" and spread the tails of his coat."

"the light of an oil lamp with its rose-colored glass screen"

"Let him ease up on it himself if he was in a trading mood"

"Nothin' but tie-ties and rock ridges that'd ruin a plowshare to ever' half acre"

"He's got a couple of sorry tenants he'd like to place"

"I figure to put a new store downtown and get some o' that silk-stockin' trade"

"you got a lock on me"

"I can't let him think I've run under a log with it"

"I ain't achin' to sell"


"Over his head a wooden sign creaked a guilty message in the chill wind- TOLERABLE FAIR MULE DEALING" page 94

"He ain't after that. Way he dresses up you can see he's out to marry."

"Well, boy, I got to run by an' pick up a jug I got hid out an' get goin'"

"That gal's always got a sweet shrub tied to the corner of a handkerchief. Rubs her face with it"

"Dogbite it!"

"Git, horse, eight mile to Gordon"


"money's a thing to be worked like a hired hand. It's that and it's like a crop, a green thing that'll grow like hell if it's planted and make a mighty pretty stand if it's tended."

"that girl's got me to where I don't know if I'm buyin' beef or beans"

"I see you around, prancin' like a stud horse with a diamond in his halter, but I never saw you hit a lick."

"peepin' at the hole card"

"calm as a settin' hen"

"biggest coon walks just 'fore dawn"

"I'm raw at this game"

"spring-backed knife"

"I got a feelin' we downright gee on that matter."

"Stick around, reckon we can gee on some other matters, too."


"the lines were looped around the whip socket"

"the sun dappled the shiny flanks of Buck's horse with shadows"

"stiff leather creaked beneath Buck's weight as he shifted in the buggy seat and the springs whined gratefully as he stood up on the floor board"

"the sudden urgent stamping of the horse and the jingle of harness metal shook time awake"

"brought low voices through the tie-tie that was so choked with laurel they couldn't see around the bend"

"Buck gathered up the lines and clucked and when they passed the other buggy, he and Ivy nodded as if they were bowing and he said, 'Hot, ain't it?' The man in the other buggy said, 'Middlin' ' "


"driving a wagon six days a week for the express company"

"I gentled his mammy, but he might take a curb"

"He won't take drivin', though. You'll have to toll him."

"We better get goin' or the young'uns'll have cat hairs in the butter."

"Shame the farmers are layin' by, youngster"

"You ain't talkin' like Sunday."

"God don't love ugly and I got to get home and feed the mules to mortify my flesh."

"pushing the bag under the seat of his red-wheeled buggy."

"Come on, Virgil. I'll stake you to supper downtown."

"he let the slack of the reins drop on the horse's rump and drew him around in a tight circle"

"It wasn't until the horse seemed satisfied with its gait and the buggy had steadied into easy creaking motion that Buck dropped the reins carelessly to the floor and held them down with his foot."

"look over to the clouds in the west. They're pilin' up like a million tons o' lint cotton."

"He pushed her knees out of the buggy seat and pulled her close with his arm around her shoulder, 'Well, start sweetenin' ', he said, and picked up the reins off the floor. He slapped the lines down on his horse's back, 'Git up, you!' "

"huge oaks which bordered nearly every street in Aven"

"Little later on, them limbs'll get right white with the cotton they drag off the wagons comin' into town"

"You turn the lamps on," he said thickly, "while I'm puttin' up the horse."


"whittled wooden seat of the wagon"

"seeping through the coal dust that always lay in the air around the freight yards."

"He put one foot on the spoke of the wagon wheel and caught the seat to pull himself up"

"he rattled the lines to start the team"

"Like shovelin up behind a mule"

"Jake yelled the words and the mules stuttered their step in sudden fear"

"Right when I'm hatin' him enough to cut his tripes out, he gets aholt o' me and tells me he'll knock off two dollars"

"Jake, did you come to take me home so I could help you put up that stove?"


"Damned jackass weather. Three days till Christmas and winter still ain't headed up."

"the calendar would say it was time for the frost to sweeten the persimmons, but the soft winds of the Gulf would tell the possums to wait a little longer near the burdening tree near the fence line, and the hot sun would say there wasn't much use in hilling your sweet potatoes. The farmers would come in the store all out of heart eyeing the meat block and growling, 'By killin' time, the hogs'll've et up all the corn an' there won't be no meal to eat with the meat."

"his mind would roll suddenly like a trout to a rain frog"

"No crop, no pay."

"Unless you've got a note and then there're mules and tools and sometimes land itself coming back for the feed and the seed, the side meat and the salt,  the copper-toed shoes and the kettle that left the store."

"he'd say to himself the ginning was done and the crop had been good, so what the hell if the frost never came to help out the next year."

"The hard money was there to shake loose the big stock of heavy coats and the bolts of fancy woolens that clogged the shelves of the store."

"the storekeeper-furnisher took a chance"

"whichever way the farmer moved, the storeman had him going and coming"

"he crossed the yard under the familiar chinaberry tree"

"bare feet to the unbleached-sheeting drawers"

"She held the below-knee length skirt of her green checked cotton dress out in front of her as if to catch something"

"when she goes to the pantry for somethin' she rolls 'em out the cathole"

"up the steps, and onto the big screened back porch with its two big rockers and its neat stack of soft-pine boxes"

"How you makin' it, son?"

"Common," Buck said,"just common."

"Millie was sitting on the far end of the long breakfast bench with her eyes shadowed and dropped over a clumsy narrow mixing bowl whose wooden sides were heavily floured to keep the bisquit dough from sticking. She held the bowl on the lap of a too-large dress made exactly like Christina's and from the same bolt of cloth."

"color rising about the square-cut neckline of her dress."

"stooped to open and look inside the fire door"

"Aw, hell, let's take the text on somebody else."

"He's dead set on marryin' that little Tiller girl  an' she ain't right for one o' my boys."

"Don't nobody have to tell me what's been goin' on when a girl gets out of a buggy and has to reach down inside her dress to settle herself."

"he's doin' his best to ape you and can't"

"I ain't throwin' off on you."

"the way she makes it down the street with them play-pretties bouncin' "

"Chokin' a cat with cream may not be the best way but it's a good way if the cream holds out. I'll just get him a red buggy and a snappy little gaited horse and a couple good bird dogs."

"a small cluster of stores, planing mill, blacksmith shops and open saloons"

"a private, boarded walk for a few feet, then down again on the public ruts and ditches and bogs"

"a new wagon, perhaps empty of household goods or work tools, but full to the sideboards with a new family, would grind slowly through the straggling streets with old eyes searching and young eyes just as big and as solemn, flaring with excitement. Or it might be an old wagon, piled high with stove and mattresses and chairs and the children walking close to the wheels. Buck always nodded his head slowly at sight of the old wagons. 'That bunch has been through the mill and that kind comes to stay."

"there's goin' to be killin's over land lines"

"Already, its one engineer still afraid of the steam compressor that powered the small new water system."

"all hoping to break first into the blooming new Wire grass trade area."

"And after they came, the drummers couldn't rent buggies or horses"

"front porch of the old Fritter home."

"knob-toed shoes and their tight checked trousers"

"folks from the piney woods and the gallberry lowlands"

"Christmas decorations of small pine trees or cedars, smilax and pine cones and red paper had to be freshened every day, particularly in the saloons."

"jangle of banjo or guitar from the swinging doors."

"unmistakable whine and slap as a drunken mule driver laid on his whip, and as often came the choked-off small scream of the mule driver's wife as the mule lurched into the crowded streets"

"Howdy, Buck," and most of the women would raise their heads so their billed calico bonnets looked like inverted sugar scoops and say,"Evenin', Mr. Bannon."

"Colie Mellinger, where you been? Know you ain't been workin', or the seat o' them pants wouldn't be shiny as a nigger's heal."

"someone else lit the flowered, painted china kerosene lamps which hung from each ceiling or were set in brackets on the walls of each store."

under a swinging sign that read, "The Bottle"

the sign on the open window shutter,
"Joe Kraft, Buy or Sell."
"This is one Kraft who approves of Christmas"

"They acted like two preachers talkin' all buttery with each other"

"if they take battlin' sticks to one another"

"the white wooden safe"

"one end of the wash bench that was built from the wall out to one of the porch uprights. He dipped water from a large washtub and poured it carefully into a small blue-grey pan of baked enamel."

"Whoa." The horse stopped so quickly the buggy nearly bucked where the shafts joined the axle"

"ain't goin' to have any o' my folks doin' somebody else's dirt for nothin'!"

"Virgil checked the horse with a slight pull of the lines"

"He lifted the reins and let them fall back down lightly on the horse"

"He raised up in the buggy again, trying to see, steadying himself by holding onto Virgil's shoulder"

"He sat back down and grabbed the whip out of the socket. He struck the horse smartly and the animal jumped forward in spite of the thick underbrush. The buggy began to rock and thump over small hillocks and its wheels and stiff springs squeaked as they struck small logs and stumps and bounced over them. Virgil held the reins in one hand and clutched the small metal arm on his left with the other."

"Buck leaned back in the buggy and crossed his legs. He put one arm on the back of the seat around Virgil's shoulders and held the buggy whip lightly in his other hand."

"Virgil checked the horse's gait and the noise of the buggy springs stopped."

"the buggy springs squeaked as his weight came off it."

"One of you hide 'n seek heroes ain't got the guts to do his own dirt"

"the yellow hound"

"join a bunch o' sons-o'-bitches that have to herd up to strip a whore."

"the eyes were small and unblinking as a terrapin's in a fold of flesh that was like a long wrinkle"

"feeling the familiar shagginess of the deer-foot handle, wearing off near the jaws, but still thick at the butt end."

"He flipped out the long heavy blade which tapered down to a fine point, stained with dark threads where Joe Bannon had whittled from his tobacco plug."

"the knife blade stuck straight out from the side of his right hip, on which he had braced his fist and the shaggy handle of the knife."

"she was naked except for a pair of high-buttoned black shoes and rolled black stockings"

"Her long brown hair was still piled neatly, held in place by two tight plaits which crossed from side to side and went on around her head to be gathered in the back and secured with a green roach comb."

"He held her by the elbow and shoved upwards as she put on foot on the round metal step"

"so, by God, ever' one o' you toe the mark"


"He stopped beside the buggy with a hand on the shaft. The horse was blowing a little, easily, but with a full pumping that made his ribs show in the bright March moonlight. Buck slapped the horse on the chest and took out a white handkerchief to wipe his hand. 'Sweatin', ' he said, wonderingly, "Old man must a' been hightailin' it, and it dark."

"Papa's big Jersey found a calf tonight."

"Get down to rock and say what you mean."

"Those girls were women before they were fancy."

"They were in the parlor, sitting big-eyed on furniture that was still stiff with newness because it had not been used."

"He says I'm 'bout petered out, boy."

"They (father's shoes) were black, with high tops and knobtoes, and there was a cloth strap hanging limply out the back of each shoe."

"You're going to be the lead horse after I'm gone but your ma is goin' to hold a check rein on you"

"'d let a dollar outshine what it'll buy"

"I don't mean to low-rate you"

"She made coffee several times balancing the big blackened pot on the corner of the grate."

"Bear to the pain"

"how he would lean his left forearm above his head against the crib door and write,"Daddy. Died March 13"


"like a pond gannet feeding off the bottom"

"I'm liverish"

"I never went no further'n high four at Old Columbia."

"Our own distillery, feed mills, fertilizer factory, cotton gins, brick buildin's, and God-blessed courtroom so you won't have to go clean to Abbeville to get hung."

"the damn town didn't have enough cash to buy one day's feed for its mules."

"His pa shore had his mind on it when he got Buck"

"he didn't go and throw the ball over the fence like we'd a'done."

"Hey, Lord, this world, then that last white shirt an' the next world"


"Many times as I've washed the rings from a mayhaw pond off your legs."

"Enough folks hammerin' on me as it is."

"It's hard to watch your tongue when somethin's swellin' in your mind."

"You to straw-boss but me to ride herd but me to ride herd an' use a check rein when I figured it was time."

"They laid around suckin' rum an' gamblin' "

"he sidles around her, savin' string or mighty near it."

"then he dresses up like a barber off duty."

"old enough to grab a handful o' money through the wicket down at the bank an' run like hell."

"you married a dirt farmer"

"you better let me pick out another straw boss"

"I'll show you how you learned to ride roughshod"

"You've played big Ike"

"you get down in the lines and won't move."

"I made more cold-out dollars"

"Papa told me to straw-boss this outfit"

"Steal an' lie an' fight like a tiger and the only way I can whip 'im is to catch 'im heavy-bellied under that bunch of bananas in the closet."

"He bought the fanciest set o' books in the state"


"sanded back yard"

"Nigger an' the white man playin' seven up, Nigger win the money but 'e scaired to pick it up"

"took the sweetgum brush out of her mouth"

"Reckon you're dead set on bein' country, shellin' peas, chewin' a gum brush and sassafras tea boilin' for a spring tonic."

"I am country. Your papa used to say we come from so far in the piney woods that when we rendered a hog we got as much turpentine as we did lard."

"Soon be as hot as a cob pipe."

"an' them wearin' their Edgemont bloomers"

"like she's got a case of heart love"

"Grey's workin' in your hair like weeds in young cotton"

"if it looks like I'll need a new fascinator, I'll get it in New York"

"Buck had lifted his feet too many times away from the small cuspidor banging from the iron framework of the seat."

"Old Ladie's comforts"

"tight fitting dark alpaca coat"

"journey proud"

"one of those pistols full of candy"

"go-devil swagger"

"this here candy gun will col' out decorate him."

"Boss, I'm obliged."

"Then, suddenly, he was smiling and the shine boy started back towards his place against the wall, strutting high-shouldered and sliding his feet, soft-shoeing a dance that was mostly inside him, to music that was all inside him."

"He stopped in the couplings on the square metal plate that had clanged down to cover the steps."

"He watched the sawmill fire glide by."

"staring out at the dim lamplights shining square through the windows of the small passing houses"

"...Mayme Foster saw the boy over here around Easter and she says he ain't got a blemish of Longshore. All Bannon."

(note: "Oak Street" is probably Oates Street and "the Wagon Yard" owned by Dothan "Founding Father" J.P. Folkes was located one block east where the Carmichael Building now stands on the corner of East Crawford and South Foster)
from page 186 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD
Buck stood on the rear platform of the train and watched the grey-black ribbon of the roadbed shape behind him into a pattern of crossties and cinders as the wheels slipped and jolted and grunted to a stop.

He sniffed the air shortly, once, then he breathed deeply, throwing back his head and holding it a long time. He wrinkled his nose as he let the breath out.

"Well," he said, out loud, "I reckon even a pogie boat smells good to a man who calls it home, but doggone if Aven don't get right high in hot weather."

He leaned over the railing and looked forward along the train. Up ahead, the engine panted and suddenly spewed live steam into a shallow ditch. Four small Negro boys flushed out of the ditch, running, laughing, falling and rolling and laughing again.

Buck waved at them and sniffed once more as he straightened up.

"Fish at the depot," he thought. Funny about Aven. Eighty miles to salt water and none of the close-by creeks big enough to cause such a flux of fish, and still it always smelled like fish. Something from the sea the year round. Winter time, there'd be speckled trout seined from the warm-water bayous and creeks and slews where they schooled to fight the cold. Mullet in winter, too. Mullet herded with cast nets into small slews or onto the shallows. Winter time.

"Oysters," Buck said out loud and grinned to himself. Lord, the way they used to bring 'em when September rolled around. Before the new road inched through to the coast. Wagon trains with croker sack and canvas coverings wetted down at Big Creek, Spring Creek, Econfina Creek, all the streams that webbed the land and drained Alabama into the Gulf.

His mind didn't say the words, but he could see them: Apalachicola oysters with big white clean shells and a taste like they had fed on fresh water; Indian Pass oysters, small and muddy on the outside and as tight against an opening knife as a turtle's mouth, but clean inside and tasting wild with the bay and the brine; North Bay oysters, small and muddy, too, on the outside but darker and sweeter on the inside and friendlier to the knife.

He could see in his mind the old wagons, dusty on top but dripping water underneath, rolling onto the outskirts of Aven and up Oak Street and one block east to the Wagon Yard. He could see the black dust-rimmed mouth of the wagoner yelling, "A dozen free to the first pretty girl." And he could see again, plodding along under the tail gate, the slack hound bitch that kept the cats away.

Now, though, in hot summer, with the trains on a three-hour run, he could see the huge casks, baggagemen rolling them casually on a single rim, guiding with one hand and rotating with the other until they thumped them upright into place. Now, the barrelheads with tight caulking of croker sacking dripped ice water off red snapper, that Florida fishermen had pulled out, unprotesting, often in meek clusters of three. There'd be king mackerel horsed out of the Gulf with a line as thick as a child's finger and flung over the shoulder of the fisherman to a helper who removed the fish and rebaited the hook. There'd be largemouthed bass and bream, either seined from the fresh-water creeks and lakes or dynamited, or poisoned with black walnut or limed upcreek and harvested dead downstream. And, now in summer time, there'd be smaller casks, set aside for hard-shelled crabs, red as the devil and as stubborn to crack, with a salt sweetness inside. Or there'd be shrimp, still tucking their feelers inside the curl of their bodies for protection. Or, the boneless throats and jaws of snappers, wrapped separately from the fillets of mackerel or trout and sometimes pompano caught from the surf.

"Hey, Lord," Buck said, suddenly, and stretched both arms as high over his head as he could, "another mile and there'll it'll be, smellin' like a field hand eatin' sardines, but smellin' good to me just the same."

"sodded with St. Augustine grass"

"It was dim, like a stump burnin' in a tie-tie on a foggy yellow night when you can see the scrub oak trunks lookin' like thin grey bones. Well, I got that lobster all right, but it wasn't as much fun as I figured it'd be. Might just as well they ain't got 'em down here. They'd laid that critter open right down the middle and had him dressed up for eatin'. There wasn't any more fight to it than eatin' spare ribs, but a white person just don't know how to eat one of  'em. I didn't get much meat out of it and a Chinaman laughed at me. He left his lookin' like red eggshells after Easter. An' he didn't use a thing but his hands and two little sticks."

soaped and sanded kitchen table

"Shaped like a sad iron."

"The city needs a new jail. Mice won't stay in that old place."

"shaped like a flatiron"

"Papa wouldn't hold to such dealings"

"Don't you know a man is bound to stir up some mud when he kicks off from bottom."

A man doesn't change, he develops. He makes, according to the things that happen to him, like a crop makes with the seasons. You can't cuss the cotton. You cuss the rain and the weevil that fester it. A man-you cuss the time he was hungry and couldn't get food or the time he wanted his wife and she-

"Drummers," Buck said, "they'll spend ten dollars of the company's money to make one for themselves. I found it out in New York. Give 'em a room, a pretty good boy to wait on 'em and a fast poker game every night, and you'll see it'll take 'em two weeks to work our territory."

"the Lord had pity on the gourd"

"Well, sir, I got ready to jump, looking ever' which-away for whatever it was and I'll be cussed if I could find it."

"I was plumb crouched and ready to go one way or the other when the fool thing started shaking the ground around me and then I looked up and there it was, a damned train on stilts right over my head."


below the bell crank against the walnut box

"I'm agoin' to ring one more time," he said, "an' central better damn shore answer or I'll make kindlin' out of this contraption."

"you ought to take that switchboard to the privy with you when-"

"I've watched 'im grow from a little chunk," he said, sadly, "to a big ol' stand-up-in-the-road that owns half them buildin's you see up the street." He paused and took one step up the stairway. "An' I've fostered him," he went over his shoulder, "but now, if the Lord lets me, I'm agoin' to cuss him for a thievin' dog." He cleared his throat as they reached the top of the stairs. "Soon as I get a couple more drinks in me an' find a dammed telephone that works."


"You quit worryin' about anything in the world but your own job and you'll do fine here."

"Give me a shot quick," he said, "I think I swallowed some of that rain."

"Phew!" he said, looking back up at Buck. "I can't do worth a cuss with her. Jeff, he can sit still and look picked on and get what he wants. It looked like I kept her riled up so I came on down."

"Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves," Hearn said, suddenly, without smiling. "That's what she kept saying."

His mind suddenly was back to the first night he had spent in Aven, a night when the fear had found him alone. That fear- part of the fight between man and cotton, or man and land, or man and grass. Bermuda grass, lacing a foot deep into the richest soil, holding it against the heavy washing rains and fattening the topsoil for the day when a man would need it. Bermuda grass, friendly at first, then a part of the fight, dirt banker for the man, then making him earn it, making him go in there with a steel beam and a bull-tongue scooter and a mule that was willing to burn itself out alongside of a man. He shuddered, then looked back up at Hearn.
 "Shirtsleeves," he said, softly,"in three generations."

"She says it looks like we're fixin' to do it in one."

He walked over and sat down and put his feet on the new steam-heat register and leaned back while Hearn followed and sat down beside him.

"Somehow or other, when Jeff gets in a tight folks feel sorry for him and the first thing you know they're blamin' all on the other fellow and tryin' to help Jeff out."

He had a brassy taste in his mouth and he leaned over and spat into one of the huge cuspidors.

"By God," he said, thickly, "I donate more'n anybody else and I go right regular. What else can I do?"

"Mother says it comes of lettin' the gamblin' joints and things stay open."

"They got schools. They got a few paved streets and the city's workin' pretty well out of debt. By God, that's more'n they deserve."

"I'll stand on my record an' there ain't enough churches in Jerusalem to make me change my ways."

"Be hasslin' when you get there, boy. I need it now."

"Papa said there ain't but three things worth fightin' over- a land line, a baseball game, or a woman. They'll cool off. Preacher's got to say somethin' an' it can't all be good. One thing sure-they wouldn't be shootin' at me if I didn't have my head up so it could be seen. I'll worry when they stop shootin'."

Jeff carefully leaned his umbrella against one of the six pillars that supported the lobby ceiling....

"it just makes me fractious for folks not to understand how come I do things."

"Hearn, reckon he's been talkin'. He oughtn't to say so much when he talks."

" 'Cordin' to what you call all right. She went to eatin' just before I left and she had gotten mad instead of feelin' sorry for herself. But she still don't like it. Hearn must have told you some of the stuff she said, but he don't know it all. She plumb wore you out."

"Nuh-uh," he said. "She calls it 'woman.' "

"Mother knows all right, but dammit she ought to leave me alone. The only way to get a woman out of your mind is to have her when you want her. Damn a woman, anyhow. Damn a skinny, yellow-headed woman that never made a rule in her life, and never broke one somebody else made. What I need right now is a drink."

"Ever' time them gamblers out West would hear I was raised in Aven, they'd deal me out."

"Not tonight. I'm workin'. But I'll tell you what. You go on an' get your bottle an' join me later on. I got a couple of drummers up at Thacker's Boardin'house that feel like peepin' at the hole card."

"Good," Buck said. "Table stakes?"

George nodded, "Usual place, I reckon, but danged if I don't get tired of chippin' ever' pot to that Pybus boy."

"I forgot," he said, "I got a place. Meet me at the hotel. I'll phone from the office and tell them to fix up a room and get Tobe down."

"Tobe? I didn't figure a chief o' police could-"

"Whoa-up! Don't ride Tobe about that job, George. He just took it as a favor to me."

"I get you." George rubbed his palms together. "Well, playin' in your place will mean a dollar more in the pot."

Buck shook his head and smiled.

"Unh-unh, that just means Tobe'll be chippin' the pot and passin' it to me later on."

George groaned.
"Well, I'd rather give it to a friend." He lifted a hand and started off down the street. "See you soon."

then he heard Central far away saying, "Number. Number. Who do you want?"

"against the white silk of her shirtwaist"


"Grandpa was so lazy that any crop we made was sure to be a volunteer."

"our city teachers must have some college or normal school."

"Soon be whupped with a piss-ellum club as be whistled in like a dog."

"Grandpa cusses powerful,"

"when Alabama was wooed and won by the United States of America."

"the Senate can't interrupt, but I will"

"throwing back his coattails and sticking his hands deep in his pockets,"you can charm the birds out of the trees, but filibusterin' is just manure on the grave of States' Rights. The big fight is the Pittsburgh Plus freight rate."

Lota was wearing Hearn's coat over her dress, and Buck could see the bold teasing smile on Hearn's face as he spoke to the girl with his lips close to her ear, then helped her off with the coat. Lota glanced over her shoulder at Hearn and said something that Buck couldn't hear, but he felt a quick lurch inside as he saw the gay smile on her lips. Unconsciously, his steps hurried
         Hearn was throwing his coat over his arm when Buck came near enough to see how Lota's eyes widened at sight of the flowers, and the bright-colored dresses milling in the lobby. Hearn suddenly looked cold and pinched around the mouth and his eyes strayed unconsciously past Buck to the bar.

"You got it treed."

"...down past the tight-fitting choker collar, and on down along the sheath of heavy white satin that ended just above the tops of her high-buttoned white shoes."

"First heifer I ever owned was just about that color,"

"Fine-looking girl. Built strong, like a first generation woman."

"Governor, a girl like her is as dangerous at your age as seven-card stud."

"She sounds like a blowfly caught in a lampshade."

The Governor's toast: "To the Emancipation of Woman. Every night,"

"Last one. Supper's about ready."

as if she had slipped down inside the whalebone shell of her pale-green gown and wanted to pull back up.

"You all have got oysters fresh from Indian Pass. You'll get a wild turkey, fattened on the limb of a chinquapin tree; you'll eat quail, roasted in butter; you'll eat a steak from a bear that stole the wild tupelo honey on Dead Lakes; and some of you will finish off on a slice of peanut-fed ham. Good people, you'll eat. But not like I will. I'll eat something that was introduced to me on that camping trip. Something that has haunted my waking dreams ever since. Down there on the red mudbanks of the Choctawhatchee grow cypress trees so tall they look black up at the top. And now and then a cypress will find itself wrapped in the green and tender vines of the wild bullace- muscadine to any city-raised folks here. At this season of the year, the slightest Gulf breeze plunks a heavy purple muscadine into the water. And then, ladies and gentlemen, a long, sinuous blue shape glides out from under the cypress knees, turns sideways in the water and waits patiently for the muscadine to stagger downwards, closer and closer, for he knows it can't get away. As I said, friends, I've been honored-because they didn't forget my tastes. Tonight, I'm going to eat a catfish- a bullace-fed blue cat, rolled in yellow, water-ground corn meal, fried in deep fat, by my personal cook of the night-Brooksie herself. Buck, I'm the first Governor to visit your new hotel, but I'm not the last one. They'll be coming long after I'm gone and they'll be all shapes and sizes because they'll just be men, too. But none of them will ever be as glad to have you as a friend as I am tonight."
from the January 29, 1910 DOTHAN EAGLE


Walk slow now like a pallbearer, or we'll outrun that gar-mouthed kid with the ring. If he's anything like his daddy, the little bastard'll steal it, pillow and all. T. Peyton Sudduth! So damned sorry even his bees won't make honey.

Easy as breaking piecrust.

Godamighty, walks down that aisle, stepping long and free from the hips down, striding pretty as a Tennessee mule. Women! Talking about that spider-web veil and wondering who's going to give her away.

Stylish George, in a collar fit to choke him and a new little bristly mustache that looks like briers growing up around a lime sink.

Old Cap'n Bottoms, talks so soft and sweet and careful, why even says, "Chicking" just to be sure, and he'll steal something he don't even want.

By God, a blind hog gets an acorn now and then. Old wrinkled-up sawed off Ed Mercer, looking satisfied and secret like a kid wetting under water, and hoping I'll buy the new church chimes so he won't have he won't have to put. Brought his chew in with him and too stingy to spit. Country as nursing a baby in the wagon yard.

Go on down, Lessie Whitfield! Sitting two rows from the ribbons. By God, everybody'll think she's kin to me. Fat, and Lord I remember the first time she came in Green's store. "Don't want a thing, just show-casin'," was the way she said it. Thirty years. She wasn't so fat then but what she could get a good price at Mabe's. Looks as respectable as anybody now, though, and sits there mighty calm for a whore in church.

Getting close. Easy now. My Lord, there's Aunt Bee and Uncle Barnes come thirty-five miles. What's he turning around for? Mouth open and red like he's been eating pokeberries, and beard like cotton candy. Aunt Bee ain't turned around and she's the one I'm kin to. Reckon she won't though. I can hear her now. "Well, we'll go, Barnes-we may be needed-but it'll mean a present, an' a weddin' now, to my mind, ain't no more fun than a cemetery hoein'." Both of 'em ought to be bored for the hollow horn.

God, look at that. Inside the ribbons. If there's anything I've got it's kinfolks. Five and a half pews of 'em. Damned if the four big girls didn't marry in, 'stead of out. Regina's! Little old black mustache and a mouth set to blow a flute. Chews the same piece of gum every day and rests in at night in a Phenolax Wafer box. Should have been killed when a grapevine would have hung him.

Almost, now. There's Jeff with Mother. She don't look so peart, but I reckon she's just worn out with that breakfast this morning and going all day. That sawyer sweetheart of Vesta's eating last night. Every time he'd butter a biscuit somebody'd steal it. Said his piece of steak must have come from where the yoke rubbed. Well, he may be right, but I mistrust a man that tells you he's honest. Big sucker, though. Bigger'n me. Vesta, she's too feisty for anything better, I reckon.

...and a whippoorwill preacher. Hard-ankled Baptist. Take my money every month to get to cuss me every Sunday. Twenty-five more dollars this afternoon. God, I ought to get a cut-rate, as many cane-bottomed chairs as I've bought for the Sunday school department.

Wondered when he'd slip in a side door, grinning like a mule eating briers...

That fool Hearn, said this was the kind of marriage where the bride lays her dental work over till after the wedding, so the husband would pay.

Teeth that'd crack a hicker nut.

More time than a forty-eight-year-old man needs with a nineteen-year-old wife.

Who in hell's that woman in a sun bonnet? Can't even see her face. Like a possum in a sack. Probably stopped in to rest. Sure, that's it. Saturday afternoon and the town's full o' folks from the country.

Sun's slanting mighty low through that vestibule window, pretty, too, all different-colored.

Straight Pullman and Montgomery by pure dark, then a whole damned drawing room to Denver

Better save that rice till you see how the crop comes out.

I'm cold out in a rush to put some work on that Peachtree Street imported bartender myself.

"Hold 'em in the road," he said, and spun the glass across the bar.

"She's coming down," Hearn said, grinning," And, man, is she frocked out?"

Buck saw her trying to stride across the lobby, but having to take short steps in a dark-blue tailored suit with a hobble skirt. The white collar of her silk blouse was soft and not high around her neck, but was held together at the hollow of her throat with a blue polka-dot tie with flaring ends. Her shoes showed black and shiny and the buttons seemed to dance in the bright lights of the lobby.

"Damned if that country out there is worth a shirt tail full of oats."

 "Killjoy."...."Well, I'll go to Washington without you and I'll eat nothing but fried chicken and champagne."...."You'll go to Aven," he said, "and eat nothing but sowbelly and collards."

Dammit, I wired him plain as day that I was just tired of wearing an overcoat and drinking whiskey that ain't got the roshineers in it.

"Said the blackbird to the crow,
'What makes white folks hate us so?'
Said the eagle as he flew,
'If I was a young man, I'd kiss you.' "

"Ought to be hung by his nose with a cotton hook..."

"Aw, Buck, you know what was happening when you left. Preachers and deacons and sisters and Epworth Leagues. Like a bunch of wood lice eating at a tree, and you can't see them until the tree falls down."

"No way for us to shut 'em up but they cold out know how over at Pinetown. They burnt a Holy Roller out, tent, seats and all."

Chapter 22

"Got a jaw like a Chattanooga middlebuster"

"Mrs. Huff saved only her hippings"

"You and I are darklings, Mr. Bannon."

- a long square high-built Wescott with the top down, shiny with brass over the radiator, a solid glisten from front to sweating colored boy whose right hand held the wheel and whose left hand caressed the red rubber bulb of a Klaxon horn.

Lota in a dark-green had with a lime-colored willow plume stiffened to curl over the top of her head and on around back of her right ear to sweep over the dark-brown velvet collar of a lighter brown suit

"Light and set, stranger."

"playing Mrs. God"

"we can't act like the big dogs"


"Anybody can whup a nigger if the nigger's scared to fight back."

"Here we are givin' them police protection, streets, schools, an' a brand-new fire truck, an' they ain't payin' a dime. Legal places are totin' the whole load."

"More like pimpin'  "

"I can just see little old Ed Reddick collectin' taxes from Josie's Hollow Horn girls. Fussin' at 'em when they want him to trade out."

"It's a good gamble. We can pay the city out and the high cost 'o livin' will run some of the weak sisters out o' business."
from the January 1, 1916 DOTHAN HOME JOURNAL

"I'd quit, if I didn't know you'd have me framed and throwed in the strong house."

"You-anybody like that ought to be dosed out careful."

"I'd rather be a hound under a fish wagon than a judge, even a leetle old city recorder judge."

"how 'bout payin' him ever' third strand."

shaggy-handled deerfoot knife

a rain crow begged up into the night

Godamighty, its just like I furnished a farmer-gave him land to work, seed to plant, and mules and tools. He'd do the best he could, I reckon. Looks like I got furnished with whatever I am, and it's up to me to do the best I can with what I've got. I don't go behind and look up a farmer tryin' to furnish him with some more. After I've set him up, the rest is up to him.

"If God had figured for a man to know what God was doing, He'd have made it that way. I reckon He's able to do it, but He don't. He just sticks them here, looks like, and tells them to work it out the best they can. So that's what I'll do. I'll go along, using what tools He gave me the best I know how, and if I manage better'n some, or worse'n some, it'll be my own crop. Hell, I ain't a man to change."

"I talk like a damn circuit rider."


Jake laid the reins over in Bass's lap and started fumbling in his pocket.

He bit off a small chew and rolled it with his tongue until it was comfortable, then held the plug out to Bass. "He cussed me for a widow robber," he went on, somehow proudly, "an' made me load it again an' start right back."

"I believe in schoolin', he said, bitterly, "but damned if I don't wish I'd never learnt to sign my name."


"That's a poor make-out but my hands never did fit a scoop too close, not at daylight anyhow."

She hitched her cut-down chair closer and leaned over to look into the hole.

...careful to tuck her workaday skirts under her knees."

He didn't speak until he had calmed his wind.

"Wonder how come it's getting hard to find these things. I can remember when everybody that was anybody had a banana shrub or a sweet shrub one. Now you've got to comb the county to buy three banana shrubs."

"Sweet shrubs is sickening. Cape jessamines, too. A colored boy about twelve got burnt up near the old home place and there was a Cape jessamine close by. I don't reckon anything sweetens up a place like a banana shub."

(this is the block bordered by North Foster, Powell, North St. Andrews & Newton ) from page 262 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD: "He looked critically at the small white house set neatly in the angle of the corner lot on which they had planted the shrub, then his eyes wandered back and forth to the the other two corners where houses exactly like the nearest centered corner lots that were each one-fourth of the block. He could see Jeanie Bannon's home-the first house he'd ever built- still reared two stories above the fourth corner and in his mind's eye he could see the barn and the meat house and the chicken runs and the cow lot all sprawling back to the strict edge of the parcel of land that went with the house behind her. His eyes squinted along the precise white shine of smooth sidewalk that bordered the block. He frowned at the roots of the sycamores growing between the sidewalk and curb, where already big roots had pried up slabs at the foot of each tree. He followed with satisfaction, though, the same type of slabs formed wide walkways leading up to the four green steps of each house. His upper lip curled a little as he thought about those walkways, and he hoped nobody would notice that they were made out the same stuff and laid just exactly like those the city had used for sidewalk. He leaned  over suddenly and spat for luck at the trunk of the small shrub as his mother pushed back, sighing."

"Son, if just one of them acts like she don't like her gift house, we'll cut her throat with a salty meat knife."

She held on to his arm as they walked across the yard towards the fringe of chinaberry trees that hid from view the small outbuildings- tool sheds, farrowing pens for the few hogs she insisted on raising for winter meat, pump house- all seeming to burrow closer each year to the big home Buck had built.

"That shows you how much I notice, I've been looking for some mullen leaves to make me some tea."

"Give me a good smooth-mouthed mule, I'd plow under every stalk of mullen in the county."

"Take a powerful hurt to make me drink that stuff."

"Kinda gaspy in the stomach lately..."

"Lota stands near a head over Christina and Millie and they're half a head taller'n Vesta."

"...Christina's long, tight-waisted blue skirt with the white peekaboo blouse could be the quality it was, and that Millie's middy blouse and skirt could replace the heavy, built-for-service clumsiness she had worn before, ..."

He felt it now and leaned far back in the round-backed wooden chair to free his watch from his pocket without breaking off the small gold Masonic emblem that was the facing for his black silk fob. He held the watch aslant towards the two casement windows that opened onto the railroad tracks back of the hotel, then he yawned and shook his head and shoulders as a wet dog shakes off water.
from the January 8, 1910 DOTHAN EAGLE 

"Good friends as we are, anyhow, he knows damned well I ain't going to sit here strong as homemade sin and get doctored. Not and him too weak to pull a sick whore out of bed."

"Whew." Tolleson breathed deeply, easing into the chair. "I wish Hosea Pryde would get sent to the Federal pen. Lovely just had her fifth in five years and Hosea's already licking his lips."
"Sending Hosea off won't stop Lovely," Buck grunted.

"All, all of a piece throughout;
  Thy chase had a beast in view;
  Thy wars brought nothing about;
  Thy lovers were all untrue."

" 'Tis well an old age is out;
    And time to begin a new."

"I've heard that same thing for twenty years, sometimes in the Unknown Tongue, but damned if this ain't the first time anybody rhymed it."

"She's just got a one-way fare, Buck, but she's routed right."

Chapter 25

"Sally, I got you a suspended sentence for braining that cousin of yours, because I didn't see much wrong in one Greek killing another, but damned if I don't put you in the big jail next time I catch a kid boy in your joint" his mother's hands in troubled times, but drew themselves to the chores, a basket of garden peas, a churn, or the old wooden butter mold whose sides and top were pulpy from use and hot water.

"like a blue-gum midwife mumbling and running her hand over the greasy little sack hanging around her neck. Kind of a juju."

Buck told her how things were downtown and they talked comfortably for a while in the manner of country folks who know each other well, making one word do for a sentence, a grunt giving the condition of the crops, or a frowning shake of the head sympathizing with cholera in the hogs.

"but the last few months I been missing him like when you was a baby and he'd leave and go off to Eufaula to get furnishings for another year."

"but don't sit on the bed. I never felt like saying it before, but it makes me nervous as all get out for somebody to bounce all over my bed."

"Vesta," Jeanie Bannon said, tasting her slow words, "get me a slop jar. I want to spit out my snuff."

"Millie," she said,sweetly, "you've got the prettiest teeth, if you haven't got the cleanest mind. I want you to chew the sweet out of a piece of gum for me and then wash it off pretty good."


Two months later, Buck's huge black Wescott Six muttered to a jolting stop on the still-unpaved street in front of his mother's home.

He held his hard straw hat with the wide brim carefully between his knees and watched the back of Lota's head.

He looked carefully to see if he could tell how much weight she had lost in spite of the long tan duster she wore. Her face was still full enough, he decided, though her color was bad. Or maybe it was the color of the driving bonnet.

"Sweep around your own backyard."

"Neither do I, but somebody's got to make you see light. There's a time for everything, but the day's worn out and gone when you could allow open gambling dens and sawdust saloons and-" she glanced sharply toward Lota, "them other houses."

"That'll be all for now," he said, flatly, then looked off to the left, watching the small shotgun houses slide by, growing scarcer and scarcer with every lurch of the car in the hard-baked ruts.

"Always makes me feel mournful to see a bunch of hands picking over a field that's already been stripped."
"Nothing like it, though, when the fields are plumb busting white, to see 'em scrambling after it while it's still heavy with dew."

Buck laughed. "I'd scramble, too, if I was picking at thirty cents a hundred."

Neither spoke again until they reached the shade of a small thick cypress swamp whose usually slimy wet soil was baked dry...

"Hmm!" Jeanie Bannon said, and shivered, "it's like an old springhouse with crickets on the wall."

"It's a right pretty house, but it'd wear out two brush brooms a day to keep that yard swept."

shiny new blades of the windmill

She was standing near the rickety, grey stone chimney where it leaned stubbornly away from the body of the house to leave a crack two inches away from the body of the house in the unsheathed sidewall.

"Hey Lord, it's a queer feeling to find yourself old and troubled and right where the string peters out, then look back and see the trail you've left. But it's a pretty good feeling in some ways- take this house and all. Buck just heard me say I wanted to be back to the farm before I died. And here I've got a thousand acres and a big white house with a dozen rooms and big stores and barns and tenant houses and folks to do my work. Poor Buck. He didn't know and I don't mean for him to ever know. What I wanted was what you've got. You got peace that can come from the things you know every day and the things you work with. The only peace I can get now is from the inside. I don't reckon that's Buck's fault. He couldn't know what I wanted. And even if he did, he couldn't give them to me. My Lord, nobody can give them to me now. The things I want wouldn't be any good to me now-I'd have to be twenty again." ~ Jeanie Bannon from page 289 of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD

...Buck heard a chair scrape and he heard a small ring of metal on the hearth. He knew someone had poked at the fire and in his mind he could see the blackened coffeepot set aslant on the uneven stone near fluffily whitening oak ashes.


the splattering of the faucet on the back porch

"Whose boar serviced her?"

"If you want to go to Kilkare with me an' the Ziglar girls,..."

"Where the hen scratches, there be the bug also."

"You come over here an' get my mouth all set to nuzzle that oldest Ziglar girl, an' now I aim to nuzzle her, if Buck starves."


"The eight-ten to Hartford,"

"Makes me feel like my score is being added up."

"Never back out- always finish what you start, good or bad, because a memory of something you didn't do is as galling as a saddle sore."

"He can't think about a thing but liquor and women and they cost like the devil."

He dressed slowly, in a dark-blue suit of thin silky material. His coat was loose over a white shirt with wide flat pleats and a stiff removable collar.

The long triangle of the mezzanine floor was empty and dimly lit by small bulbs that fringed the overhanging narrow corridor running along the three sides of the building. Some light came from the open transoms of rooms on the third floor, whose doors opened onto the banistered corridor. Other globes shone along either side of the three stairways which led from the mezzanine floor into each third-floor corner of the triangle.

"He'll furnish you money for women and liquor and fine bird dogs and you'll come in now and then and leave a dozen birds and them not even gutted."

"And, by God, when I get to where I have to be serviced like a damned brood mare, I'll get a man. It won't be a spineless dog."

"I'm going to put Lota on the 11:05,you be gone when I get back."

"Cotton's up three cents."

He sprawled in the back seat and stared at the big silver-painted water tank whose single adornment was a small guide light, shining like a steady star at the top of the ladder.

"It'll be thrown out less'n a wagon greasing out of town. A shoe-box lunch is too country nowadays."

"You have it packed at the hotel in a wicker hamper with an ice container."

"Tom Easton and Charley Cope are taking their game chickens to the fights in Mexico City."

"They'd pick me like a robin."

"Board, suh," he said without smiling or looking at them.
"You a preacher, boy?" Buck handed him a dollar.
"Nossuh, ef I is anything, I reckon it's a crapshooter."
"Well, boy, you take care of my womenfolks.'
"I gotcha, suh."
"And here, if they don't eat this lunch, make 'em give it to you-fried chicken and cake."
"Now you's got me, boss."

"Just let him root hog or die."

"Man, you're drunk as a goat."

"I'm drunk and I'll tell you how it feels. It's like when I was a boy lying on the bank of Beulah Creek, half-nigh asleep and barefooted with an acorn hung between my toes-too damned lazy to get up and not able to flip it out with my toes."


"A hack'll do, but I want a clean one with a dressed-up driver."

"Light that fire, boy, and open some of these windows. I want this room to smell as fresh as new ground."

"Wheeoo! little bitty baby Jesus."

"Keep the fire going till I get back. Have me some supper up here about eight o'clock. Two fried chickens, hot bisquits, plenty of butter, some little potatoes baked in the jacket, and lots of coffee.

"Boss, you's hongry."

"Fix a table for two. Straighten up the room after I'm gone, with clean towels, soap, everything. And when you see my hack hit the front of this hotel tonight, scat up here ahead of me with ice and anything else you can think of."

"They calls me Blue Darter, boss."

"a suitbox packed full of sliced pound cake, still hot if you can find it."

"For this much money, I'd rob a fresh grave."

...Buck's clumsy two-seater hack rolled swiftly behind a fast-trotting team of roans, through a heavy stone arch that was covered with ivy. Its rubber-rimmed wheels ground lightly over a driveway that sounded in the dark as if it had been thickly padded throughout most of its curving passage under heavy oak limbs."

"Must have toted pine straw out of the woods," Buck thought as the carriage swept stylishly up in front of a large grey-stone building whose white-pillared porch jutted like a firm chin onto a lawn that was still green and thick. The carriage tilted far over when Buck stepped out on the narrow iron footrest and its springs creaked as if they'd never been greased.

"Just hold your horses"

short a stout like a pouter pigeon

"not much use in me knowing the rules, unless you're figuring to enroll me."

He glanced down for the first time at her long heavy blue skirt and the severely plain white shirt-waste with black bow tie.

He began to walk towards her with the same slow deliberation he would use trying to harness an unbroken colt.

"Finger bowls, girls. Finger bowls. Come, Carmen. Stomach in, girls, walk from the hips."

"I'm stealing your hack..."

"I knowed it, I knowed it. Minute I saw that lip hung out. I knowed it."

He pushed her farther over and bounced himself in with one foot on the small iron footrest. He jerked out the whip and unwrapped the reins and rattled them over the backs of the horses. The team reared a little in surprise. "Git," he said, and slapped their rumps lightly with the whip.

"If that same bunch of mullets is still playing poker next year, I'll make another trip and build you a college bigger'n this one."


"You're a woman, all right, but for God's sake don't hunt trouble. It'll come."

"My head started working like a boiling of syrup."

"What I thought was rich was poor and what I'd felt was good was bad and it began to eat in me like a shanker and all because of a damned little doctor that hadn't read to Salts."

"Just about dusk when I was a kid I used to lie out between the rows and there wouldn't be a breath of wind and I could hear it cooling off and crackling and not a blade would swish, but you'd swear you could see it stretching up and hear the ears firming and the stalks straining."

"Those pouting little men envy you straddling a whole town-and when their belled cats of women see you, they envy me. And I like it."

"And I know Mrs. Spooner, about them not paying you rent for years because he's worked down, and the younger girl never will be right."

"I know that when you get ready you fasten your hands upon your heart."

"Could man be drunk forever
  With liquor, love or fights,
  Lief should I rouse at morning
  And lief lie down of nights.

"But men at whiles are sober
  And think by fits and starts,
  And if they think, they fasten
  Their hands upon their hearts." LAST POEMS by A.E. Housman

Liquor, love or fights, the words would come and nothing would follow but confusing memories of corn whiskey drunk from a common gourd near the boiling spring with its dancing grains of sand- or Lota, and he'd grasp the mantel harder to keep from turning to touch her- or fights; that time he'd broken Coot Harper's arm.

"Chop cotton through the sun with a limber-handled hoe that whips and never hits the right place. Shovel manure into a wagon bed and shovel it out again on a garden that's got to be fed before it can feed you. Then plow in more of the man than the manure. Do you know what it means to take a chance and leave before your hands get crooked in a mold to fit a plow stock-to leave and not care, just because nothing can be worse than what you've got?"

"That nightgown got my mind off my business."

"Good God A'mighty!"

"and back again-from anybody that had more money than they had sense."

"Why some of those fools don't know better'n to let a man study their discards."


He knew it by the dead leaves rustling before the wind across the yard, scuttling on their five-pronged legs around and over each other like lifeless and dried brown crabs.

She would have had the sanded yard swept until nothing showed but the short slanting scratches that followed the stroke of a homemade yard broom. The cold warning had been in his chest during the screaming baggage hunt at the Aven station.

Now, though- the yard wasn't right, hadn't been swept since a rooster's jerky strut had left a wake of starfish patterns in the coarse dry sand. He could feel it stronger in the late afternoon chill-could sense it in the lonely winter's sound of a farmer calling "Soo-pig" across the narrow swamp that bordered the big field. Jeannie Bannon was down and something inside said, "Soon." He could hear the Negro hands at the cane mill near the seed house laughing and hollering, "Look out, nigguh," and he knew there were no white folks at the mill. Then, suddenly, a sweet and steamy fragrance billowed around the house from the old-fashioned syrup kettle- a homesick odor, just as train smoke and burning leaves and ham frying far away were lonesome smells-and he could feel it stronger.

He came down the steps, slowly and watchfully, long and too thin in a faded pair of overalls with the jumper buttoned high around his reddened neck.

"Won't have nairn. Said she don't need no help to die."

"Naw. She was out back at my place when she was took yesterday and nothin' would do but she was goin' to stay there. Sweet wife, she ain't left her a minute hardly, 'cept to  gether eggs, and your sister Millie's out there now. She run me up here."

He could see her eyes all right, still black and shining like chinquapins in moonlight, but they were bedded down in flesh that sagged and folded.

He could feel the veins, fine and too fragile, standing out like pale-green, new-growth curls on a creeper.

"Here, they said you'd got sick."
"Well, if I get any worse, I won't argue about it."
"Drag up a chair."

"Here, don't put a Jonah on me."

"Go catch her and ease her off, Lota."

"It won't be long before you'll be in single harness for sure- and nobody to use a check rein."

They didn't have to be right, but they must be words that she could roll and shape in her memory until the picture would come clear- as clear as the tiny field-stone, foot-washing pool would flash with the words, "Beulah Church."

"Waking up in Mexico is like when you were a young'un, and had been a long time under a scuppernon' arbor where everything is shady and cool and speckled a kind of rusty brown and even the edges of the leaves look blurred-and all of a sudden you step out into the bright sun. Then everything sharpens. Seems like every blade of grass stands out by itself instead of being just a part of a mat, and if you look close at the scuppernon's in your hand, they aren't fuzzy any more, and every little freckle is plain and rusty brown, and where you pulled it loose, the juice doesn't leak, but kinda pouts through the hole and glitters in the sun. Down there, you can see better, or something. White gets so white it looks frosted, and red gets redder. And all the smells will mix up if you want them to, but you can pick them out one by one, like if you were feeding the hogs and wanted to, you could catch down the wind the smell of sassafras from the new clearing."

"There ain't no stylish way to die."

The dreary thud of a  mule's hooves endlessly circling the grinder in a hock-deep trench, never escaping the long peeled boom of the mill. Now a sudden faraway and quick-yelp of a feist dog chasing in the swamps something he was afraid to catch. Then the high-pitched yell of Mr. Mistledine to his wife down in the hog lot. "Turn 'em, Sweet Wife, turn 'em. Whoa-up! Head them hogs, Sweet Wife, 'fore I knock hell out of you!"

"Crank," she said.


Only occasionally would he give up to a sweeping desire for a simpler loneliness, one that would come of being the only man in a big scope of woods, or perhaps, a deeper loneliness, standing on the edge and looking over a naked and shamed slash of land where timber had been and where the stumps of pine were fresh cut, still ugly and not yet dignified by vines or decay. Now and then he'd run into one of his tenants and force himself into bluffness. "If you eve get beef hungry, Sykes, knock one of those yearlin's in the head, but bring me a quarter so I can keep count." Mostly, though, he sank himself into the woods without company, for an hour or so, then he'd suddenly shake his head from side to side like a mired oxen and plunge back towards town and work.

His eyes had seen it for years, rain-washed and rutted, so that hardly a stalk of dog fennel would fight its way up though old buggy axles, tin cans, jars and bottles half full of brackish water, and his mind had only said, "That lot ought to be cleaned up."

His high-heeled cowboy boots with castoff hickory-striped trousers tucked in, his too-small had dented four times in a cavalry peak, his flowered vest, and his ever-present guitar were all there to laugh at.

"Can't sleep in but one bed at a time. Can't eat but three meals a day and be comfortable, or wear more that one suit at a time. Reckon if a fellow stretched that thinking out, he'd figure anything above what he needs is like a mill rock that he's got to drag along. If that's so, I'm toting a load."

"By God, you reenus me one more time and I'll hit you in the face with a double six."

"You must figure to quit bathing."

She blew again at the feathers, angrily, and her hand reached up automatically to pull the boa to one side.

"Saw one of those once on a fish-and-bread whore."

"Put that pond gannet around your neck again and come look at yourself."

He started to pick it up without looking and fumbled for a second with the head and shoulders of a large French doll with flaring pink skirts.

"Harrison, get hold of the shade-tree carpenter that did this and have him undo it. Tomorrow."

"I heard an old colored woman say something once. She wouldn't wash a street-walker's underwear and all she'd say was that they just 'wasn't her nation o' people.' "

He held the key in his teeth and its fibre tag dangled out of the side of his mouth.

"Right nex' do', Mist' Buck,"


"Durned little old chinquapin of a place growed up like a toad-stool after a rainy spell."

"God, at the tripes that've been spilled over nothin' but a little spit o' dirt."

His thoughts ran on, disjointed and lazy, through the center of Aven where the symbols of the early times-overhanding balconies to dignify the second story of each business house- were being razed to widen the streets and sharpen the lines. And the neatly spaced street lights- nothing out of the ordinary to the traveler, but bright miracles to the old-timers, who knew it had been only a blessed whim that Aven had survived at all after the glutting labors of its birth as a sawmilling town.

They saw instead the slow picture of high-piled cotton wagons grinding slowly down limbs whose weight dragged them down into tired arcs. And they saw the now even alignment of the homes on each side of the streets as new builders took sight of their neighbors' fronts before they laid foundations for their own. And the flowers- azaleas blazing a dusty reddish orange against the white of a low fence, forsynthia hedges throwing bright yellow bells up in challenge to the sun, Cape jessamine shrubs dotting green lawns and mellowing the night, a pansy-bordered walkway dancing with velvet browns and purples and yellows, dogwood trees and redbuds teasing with white and pink petals the salty southwest wind.

"Hey, Lord, they're puttin. silk stockin's on a reg'lar whore of a town."

He picked up a thick white cup from a wire rack. He blew into the cup to clear it of any soot or cinders that might have seeped through the ceiling from the bull-voiced switch engines lumbering up and down in the near-by yards.

He poured coffee from a grey-flecked enamel pot that stayed hot over a small kerosene stove.

"Lot o' rattlin' o' the dishes for the fewness o' the victuals."

 "Damn pore retirin' I did. Got pensioned from the road where I worked all day, then opened  a cafe where I work day an' night."

...the tiny triangle of grass  which surrounded the city water tank.

"Me, I'm a damned mule. I just drag along, gee or haw."

"I tell you now, there'll come a time when folks won't let a man be treated like a mule- work all day for nothin', then have some dressed-up bastard come throw him his fodder at night."

"Mules don't quit an' they don't get fired. They just die."

"Fifty-seven's on time."

"Most folks give too late. Good Book says a man can get right in the last minute o' his life, but mostly that just makes folks wait too long."

"Buck ain't waitin', though, Durned if he didn't get that opera house up like the devil was after him."

"Might'a been. Would a'been if he'd ever found out how the city got that property."

"Well, you shore can't get around that jail house alongside of it, or the fire station, or the trucks inside, an' the pavin', an' the danged graft on all of it."

"I ain't never an' never will believe a man ought to steal a dollar so he can give back fifty cnets in charity."

"Listen to that man. Hoggin' a manifest freight an' glad of it."


"That 's high-ballin', Hog."

"So, step up, friends, and shell down the corn."

"I'll drink only with my host and I'll pay no broker."

"The Queen, God bless her."

"This charity business must have gone to your head- got you on a dry drunk."

"Give him one bottle but make him drink it all himself."

"Rabbit ran over my grave."

"Your cut."

"Speakin' of leavin', you never asked a word about your boy."

"None of it's his fault and I don't reckon they'd ever save a dime, even out of what I send them. If you don't mind messing with it, draw up a new will for me. Leave him one pretty nice store building. Take it off Lota's share and I'll make it all right with her. The rest of it can ride as it is."

"Nope, but if a fellow can't figure these things out, he ought to learn, somehow. Remember, he's a Georgia contractor? Remember how long he'd been on the foundation when I place the bets?"

"That's right. Well, on that day I happened to see one of the workmen rubbing salve on a scar on his ankle. It went all the way around his leg."

"I checked up then and found out he was using convicts for common labor. Then I called Montgomery. He didn't have a license and the state won't grant one to a private contractor using convict labor."

"Anyhow, it's a mighty cheap way for him to learn that a crook has got to stay smart all the time."

"Mr. Montgomery on the phone for Mr. Buck."

He hurriedly  pulled the long cord of a small blue pilot light...

"Better tell Smiley to set aside a couple barrels of beer and scrape up a few cheeses and things."

"He ain't feelin' so good, but he said if you had an old throwed-away girl down here to take her along for him."

"The Lieutenant Governor and that damned Black Belt bunch fought it. By God, here I supported him right along on the Governor's ticket, and now he says I'm apt to be crowdin' at the trough. One thing's for certain-I'll show him how quick I can fatten up the ones at the low end of the trough."


He straightened the knot of blue tie into his high collar...

"Ever look down a well and see little sidelights of the moon on dark water? That's how your hair shines back here. Except it's got some red darts in it."

"I'll get mine all right, even if there are more face cards in the deck nowadays."

"Good God! I believe you mean that."

"You can see the lights of the opera house spreading like just before the sun comes up."

"You can understand. I'm big winner in the game and the big winner don't quit till the others have had their chance. If I quit, somebody else will quit bucking the dice, then another one'll drop out, and first thing you know, the whole damned town'll lay down in the sun like a wormy hound.'

"Besides, there's always that next milepost, and the one I'm seeing now is the prettiest little thing I ever looked at."

"Sure as I'll ever be. If it wasn't for the Governor, though, the Lieutenant Governor and his pressure hounds woulda beat me out."

"Keep getting frisky and we'll be late for your own speech."

"Bit uf the new meat looks as good as the old."

She pulled up her skirt and leaned over to see her new silver-colored pumps, with their narrow vamps and sharply pointed toes, sticking out from under crisp white bows, whose transparent material was dotted with silver sequins.

"You bring my wrap."

Buck threw the long black velvet evening wrap over his arm and arranged it so that its white silk lining would show.

They were down the corridor and almost to the stairway before Lota had worked the bell-mouthed gloves above her elbows, freeing her hands through the unbuttoned slits at the wrists.

"Cool for this time of year," he answered automatically, with his eyes on the small knot of men standing under a faded canvas awning fronting the drugstore.

"Big doin's, Buck. Gon' tell us who's the big he-coon tonight?"

"Boys, I'm going to give 'em both barrels and the breechin'."

"Tell 'em 'bout it, but don't keep us till the saloons close."

"Goin' to tell who sold the city that land the opery house is on?"

"Festus, if you got the guts, which I doubt, I'll call on you to tell 'em yourself in open meeting."

He cleared his throat and looked away, down towards the bright flair of lights from the opera house in the middle of the block.

"Hell no! That's illegal, me being the mayor. Think I'm a crook?"

"Well, dammit, I reckon it was Millie and Christina."

"Buck, you're harder to break than a suck-egg dog."

"Now listen here- By God, it's something I can't help. It just looks like a sin not to make a little profit out of something this big."

"Hiyuh, Buck"

...the dark-flecked marble of the lobby.

"Scared of what? You folks ain't goin' to eat me, I don't reckon."

"Damn, it's crowded i here. Like fightin' through cat's-claw briers so thick you can't pucker your lips to whistle in the dogs. Hey, look out! Push that fat little wife of his much closer and I won't be responsible. Old Mrs. Lamb- Lord, I thought she was dead. That old-maid girl of hers scrubbed clean as a hound's tooth. She'll slip off from her ma one of these days and break some poor drummer's back with those thighs of hers-would have done it already if the old woman hadn't hollered sin and Leviticus when she was freshening."

"Uh-uh. Here comes old 'High C' Sidney."

He looked around until he located Mrs. H.C. Sidney trundling her heavy bosom ahead of her through the crowd, glaring intently at him out of popping, agitated eyes, and making one whole side of the lobby seem to bustle. He wanted to move away but couldn't. She was pressed so tightly against him by the crowd that he could feel with his arm the stiff whalebone of her corset.

...towards the two wide doors that opened into the foyer separating the lobby and the three banks of orchestra seats.

The figure at the foot of the stairs stood in silent dignity that seemed to Buck even more complete because of the costume- the same cowboy boots and wide belt, the same checked shirt and frayed, thrown-away vest, the same guitar slung by a strap over his shoulder and the same large black hat. And a new feature- a large cardboard sign fastened across a spindly metal frame, held so that all who entered could read the sprawling red letters: "Repent ye. The number of the beast is 666."

"Virgil? What in the devil?"

"Besides, he's carrying the gospel."


He followed Mrs. Sidney and Lota down the dim left aisle to the narrow steps which led from one side of the orchestra pit to backstage, sniffing all the while the newness of paint and pine and trying to read in the gloom the boxed advertisements on the canvas drop. "Billy Boy Flour," one sign read, under the flat picture of a chubby blond boy whose eyes had been painted impossibly blue.

"What in hell am I whispering about?"

"I'll be damned"

"Hell, I wasn't a farmer but I farmed, and I wasn't a grocery clerk but I sold a power of grits. I wasn't a politician but-"

"Goddammit, Buck, come here."

"Hell, if I don't go, he'll wet his pants."

"Shoes pinchin', Pettus?"

"Is that what you said when you were courtin' the people?"

"Why, I never-" He stopped. "I damned shore did, too," he went on, "but you ought to know the way you look at a girl when the corn's flowering ain't always the way you're going to look at her when it's fodder."

He looked down at the words as he reached the footlights, but the lights reflected into his eyes from the bright covered metal shade.

Then, suddenly, the silence came, heavy and hot, and with it the clear, wrenching thought that he was going to make a fool out of himself, that another old friend had died and that there was never a time for death, but death always found the time.

"God Almighty, am I really marked? Is everybody I touch going to die?"

He threw back his head and laughed, and it turned something loose inside, something that was warm and full and prancing.

"You all know, anyhow, that the deeds are already signed and delivered.'

"Well, it's not. I see it more like a repayment of a loan. And one that's long overdue."

 "This town has meant a lot to me- it's been my friend and it's been my good companion. It's given me more than a man deserves, and in giving it, it's come a long way. All the way from a cold-water spring in a grove of poplars to paved streets and a power plant. It's come to fine homes and flowers brought in from Mobile- azaleas to bring something besides work to all of us. I hope this opera house will do the same thing the flowers did for us- make us forget for a while that we're building a town and then remember stronger that we are growing with it, and be thankful to the town. I'm grateful to Aven because it took me along for the ride."

"You in the middle just stand right still until that bunch of wild Indians clears the balcony."

"Go slow down those stairs, you fools, or somebody'll get stomped in the rush."

"Don't worry, downstairs. I'll keep you posted and you know damned well it'll be the truth because I'll be leaving, too, when it gets too close."

"Clear that space under the booth first."

"By God, if that fire don't give enough light, I'll build us another one on this stage."

"By God, if they don't hurry, there'll be a new crew tomorrow."

"No, I don't-Yes, Lord, it is. Now it will raise hell in those plaster laths."

"Left side's pretty well in shape, too. Well, boys, the free act is about over. Let's get out of here."

"Fight? Look at that stuff coming through the roof. Won't do no good to fight this fire."

"To hell with it, then. Let's trot on around front and see if anybody got hurt."

They stumbled at a fast walk through the littered alley between the burning opera house and the one-story building that served as city hall and police department, finally running fast into the street to escape the shower of sparks and small chunks of glowing char.

The crowd was backed off from the front of the opera house, some of them against the walls of the buildings across the street and others milling around on the brick-paved street on both sides of the fire.

He motioned for Lota to cross on over with the crowd, then cut over towards the fire chief, striding angrily and letting his heels hit hard on the pavement.

"What the hell took you so long?"

"We been here, Mr. Buck. Plenty long."

"Rotten hose, Goddammit!"

"Can't do nothin' in there with a hose that's leakin' to hell."

"Won't be long in there, an' as far's I'm concerned, you bastards that bought it can fight with that hose.There they come now."

Three firemen came running out, clumsy in their long rubber coats, and shiny with water.

"No pressure, boss. Spraying us more'n the fire, and the damned thing is coming down pretty soon. All of it's up front, but the back's catchin' fast."

"Well, let 'er rip, and just thank the Lord nobody got-"

"God Almighty,"

The figure came inching around the corner of the building with its back to the wall, cowboy boots teetering dangerously on the narrow stone ledge which ornamented the front and marked the beginning of the second floor. His hat was gone, and his long black hair hung lank and wet down over his eyes, but his checked shirt showed gay under the open vest. His right hand was splayed against the brick, never still, but working as if it were no longer a part of his body, to test and lead like a feeler on a caterpillar. His left hand was outstretched, too, holding his precious guitar.

"He's the one broke that window, sure as hell, and climbed out."

...its  curved grapples caught over the ledge...

"Not me. I got kids."

"Hold my wife."

"Too damned much sand in this mortar. That Georgia crook must have slipped it in when I was asleep. It won't hold long in this heat..."

"Take it easy, boy..."

"Hell, I'll buy you another one"

"Like a horse in a burning barn. No more sense-"

"Dammit, jump!"

His elbows automatically drew in and caught against the shallow rise of the coping...

"I don't reckon either God or the Devil wants me today, 'cause they had a damned good chance right then."

"Wonder if the damned fool jumped off,"

He leaned against the wall with his hands pushed hard against its smooth red-tile waterproofing and tried to see down into the street.

"Damned fool had more sense than me. I'd plumb forgot that trap door and I had it put there myself."

"Good God!"

"God bless you, Buck. By God, Buck, by God!"

"Give a woman somethin' to do and she'll make out."

"Proud,of course. Why, everybody on the streets was saying-Why, good gracious, one man said, 'Many a man would go up that ladder for his brother, but damn few would do it for an idiot!"

"Virgil's no idiot."

"Damned funny. All my life, I'd figure out to skin somebody, or even work out a little graft, and spite o'me it would turn out and do some good. Now , here I try to do somethin' specially good, all my tools seem to turn in my hand and the whole job goes wrong."

"As long as I've got you that close, I'll never have any trouble because, God knows, I never had much of a brain and- Damned if I know what's gone with any heart I might a'had."

 A comparison of the FIRST FORTY FAMILY NAMES OF THE DECEASED CLASSMATES OF THE DHS SENIORS '68 to the FIRST FORTY FAMILY NAMES OF THE CHARACTERS IN THE NOVEL, DEVIL MAKE A THIRD. (There are some interesting comparisons and when you see the lists, it's obvious that Dougie Bailey did his homework before writing his immortal work of literature. There are two "HALL"s in the DHS list and two "Tolleson"s in the Devil Make A Third list. There's a "Parrish" in the DHS list and a "Parish" in the Devil Make A Third.)

THE FIRST FORTY NAMES OF THE DECEASED CLASSMATES OF THE DHS SENIORS '68: Benton, Williams, Ballentine, McCarty, Gellerstedt, Kochis, Wells, Wheeler, Barrentine, Doster, Cannon, Parmer, Barton, Parrish, Hall, Meeker, Harden, Bolick, Taylor, Miller, Henderson, Jones, Tucker, Sudge, Halstead, Johnson, Schroeder, Miller, Bowling, Bryan, Nelson, Whitehurst, Collins, Smith, Crocket, Crowder, Rhodes, Ricketts, Wise, Newton

THE FIRST FORTY  NAMES OF THE CHARACTERS IN THE NOVEL, "DEVIL MAKE A THIRD": Bannon,Green, Longshore, Willis, Wooten, Blissett, Edgar, Cumbie, Puckett, Peterman, Brown, Parody, Harper, Manheim, Factor, Acree, Tiller, Mellinger, Hopson, Kirkland, Tolleson, Thrasher, Foster, Harrison, Sudduth, McTyre, Bell, Bottoms, Mercer, Whitfield, Barnes, Slappey, Huff, Taylor, Reddick, Parish, Peterman, Eddins, Killebrew, Stringer, Tolleson