|By Alias ||
Posted 05-04-2004 at 10:47:29
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Old Tom - Part Two
On one particular day, Tom and I went to one of our most favored spots and with all due deliberation we skillfully threaded our worms onto the hook and taking our rightful positions, tossed our lines into the water. Now the hole we were fishing was about fifteen or twenty feet from the bank where the water eddied just below a giant rock that jutted out of the water. Old Tom took up his usual position seated at the base of a large sycamore Tree with his back against the trunk. And, I was seated on a large exposed root from the same tree, which intertwined with other roots, (all washed and bleached white from rain and erosion), to form a kind of canopy over the water below. As we sat there waiting for the fish to bite, I asked Tom to tell me a story. For, he loved to recount his earlier days in the form of storytelling. And I purely loved listening to them. Cause, just from his words, I could picture everything he described in my mind.
Well sir, Old Tom started by saying, humm let me thinks what it is I should tell about. Oh, I know Iíll tell you about the time me and Cleo went up north to Toledo.
It wasnít long after we got married that I was working fo old man Bratcher at his farm down near Milligan. And, Cleo, she help Mrs. Bracher with the house work and de canning and de washing and sech. Well, de old man took to his bed with Pneumonia and never stood on his feet again. About fo or five week later, the old woman jest up and dies of loneliness. They say it was from a heart attact, but, evabody seemed to thank she jest didnĎt want to go on no mo. Well hit werenít no time atall till their youngens sold that old manís and womanís stuff and the house and land and ever kit and kabittle and took off to spend the money.
Now. I got to point out that I had to listen real keen cause Tom talked very, very quietly. He allus said iffn a body talk too loud, itíd scare the fish away.
So, he continued, Me and Cleo had to move out of the tenant house on the Bracher farm. Now we donít have jobs and no home to live in. So, we moved in with my brother Wilbur fer a spell but wilburís wife was not happy over us being there. I looked every day for work but they jest wasnít nothing to be had. Cleo did find a day here and a day there working at cleaning peoples houses. but hit didnít pay enough to keep us in groceries much less give Wilbur anything. So, one day, Cleo was walking home from working down to the Yadkins place when she happened to see a shiny object peeking out from the dirt in the road. Well sir, she reaches down and picks it up and it turned out to be a twenty dollar gold piece. And, she keeps it a secret from everybody until I get home later that day.
As soon as she see he acoming up de road she runs out to tell me the news and to show me the money she find. I swear, I never in my life seen a woman so excited over anything. Well she pulls me off behind a big tree and kisses me and say, now donít you tell ennybody about this money. Cause we are going to use it to go to Toledo, Ohio. Then she went on to say that they was a company there thatís set up to make rubber tires for automobiles. They say itís hard work but they pays good. And, weíre going up there and shed the dust of this old town, she concluded. And so, thatís how it was that we went off to live and work in Ohio.
All the time Tom is talking, Iím sitting there trying to concentrate on what heís saying and at the same time keep an eye on my pole.
Anyway, Tom starts tell about when they arrived in Toledo when all of a sudden I hear a loud swish as Tom swings a piece of driftwood right over my head and scares the living daylights right out of me. I screamed and jumped up a running and yelled, Tom whatís the matter with you? You trying to kill me or something? I stopped about twenty feet away and looked back and Tom was striking the roots with that piece of limb to beat the band. Then I looked down to what he was striking and saw the biggest old water Moccasin that I had ever seen. Boy, I said, Tom you saved my life. And then I started trembling and a cried a little over what I had said to Tom. Then the Old man came over to me and held me in his big old arms and conforted me and said itís alright child, itís alright.
To be Continued............I wish I had more time but this was written on my lunch break. Right now I have to work on my Carburetor Iíve got soaking in Cleaner........gfp