Pale Horse Coming
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The year is 1951. A smooth talking Chicago lawyer has come to chat with Sam Vincent, a former prosecutor, about a dangerous unknown - a prison for violent black convicts in Thebes, Mississippi, a place of many questions but no answers. Would Sam, a white man and a Southener, be willing to investigate? When Sam vanishes in the mists and swamps, his old friend Earl Swagger packs his gun and heads to Thebes where he discovers sinister secrets that go far beyond the prison walls. The whole town guards itself from nosy strangers with a private army of brutal, gun-toting, klan type thugs and rednecks. After barely escaping, Earl vows to right things and reclaim Thebes from the throes of a sinister conspiracy. But first, he enlists just a little help from his friends.
few days off. The most important thing, Earl knew, was to let them get used to each other, or as used to each other as such a confabulation of ornery, egotistical old cusses could manage. Audie seemed to settle them down, though each little clique sought him out to join up. But Audie was too much his own man, and Earl was happy to see the youngest man avoid the pitfalls of siding with one or the other, and instead work hard to keep on the best of terms with them all. He was also, though he
sky is bright with what you've done. You are a hero. But remember once I told you about the hero's flaw. It's his vanity. Do you know what that means? Self-love. Self-adoration. And that's your flaw. You came out here alone. Where are those other fellows with all their guns? I knew you'd come alone, even if you didn't, for what good's being a hero in a fairy tale if you don't face the beast? That's what's ticking away inside you." "This ain't no fairy tale." "No, it ain't. This is the whip man
career in the law or medicine. It was important to Earl, and when things were important to Earl, it was Earl's force of will that usually made them happen. "Howdy there, Bob Lee," called Sam. "Mr. Sam, Mr. Sam," the boy responded, from the porch where he had been sitting and looking out over the land in the twilight. "Your daddy's still on duty, I see. Is he expected back?" "Don't know, sir. Daddy comes and goes, you know." "I do know. How you got such a worker as a daddy I'll never figure,
the white sands, and small towns fled by, each quaint and cute enough for a tourist trade that was beginning to catch hold. The small cities along the way were white, sunny places, Gulfport and Biloxi, further given over to tourists. He could see young couples on the beach, some of them beautiful some not so beautiful. Beach umbrellas furled against the gulf breezes and homes had rooms to let, many of them with free television as the signs proudly proclaimed. But beyond Biloxi, it changed. No
suitors, was biting. Not for some free dough but for the narcissism of Doing Good and Feeling Good: put that before her and she was any tart in a bar looking for a sugar daddy. He hated himself for manipulating her. He hated her for being so malleable. He hated it all. "Ma'am, what I need to do is disinter your husband's body, don't you see? I need to ascertain beyond doubt that that is indeed him in Green Mount Cemetery, and that you are his legal widow, and with that we can swiftly accomplish