Vernon Tried

Maybe that’s all that matters.

He took a train to St. Louis with a thousand silver-dollar notes in his pocket. He worked a slaughter house in Chicago three years for that money. His hands are still stained red from the effort of slicing fat from skin and meat from bone.

He wears a new pair of thick brown-leather boots, blue-jeans and a red-flannel shirt.

On his head is a ten-gallon hat. It’s supposed to be good out West to keep the sun off one’s face.

Vernon’s fair, mainly from working at night, but also from a family history.

His biggest worry is the sun.

Once in St. Louis he immediately buys two oxen and a wagon. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for in terms of quality, pretends he does and buys quick for fear he’s going to, ‘miss out on the deal,’ the guy’s offering.

He loads his goods, a rifle, a pound of flour, beans, coffee, a shovel, some seeds and sets off.

Twenty-five miles later his axle breaks and he is home.


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