Friday, November 23, 2018

A Question of Blood


Ernest Haycox, an author I make no bones about admiring, delivers much in this brief tale. We visit a “Squaw Man” and his family and follow them from the early days of pristine love, untouched by the taint of culture, through to the advent of other men “of his kind” and how the inevitable pull of comparison causes some to become unhappy with a lot that formerly provided much happiness.

Often at night, smoking before the fire and watching his boy crawl so awkwardly across the floor, he felt a strangeness at seeing her darkly crouched in a corner, lost in thoughts he could never reach. Sometimes the color and the sound of his early days in Missouri came strongly to him and he wished that she might know what was in his head. But he talked her tongue poorly and she would speak no English; and so silence lay between them.

A sad tale marked by truthful observation.

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