Sitting on the porch stunned, thinking about what Jeb said that old bitch said. I’ve just made up my mind to leave here when the sheriff drives up.
I stand on the porch. He walks up and says, Let’s go.
You better get your ass down off that porch, he says.
This son of a bitch here, the crazy woman says, pointing at me.
We are in the office of the sheriff himself. The crazy woman is the one I’d seen passed out under a tree. She still reeks of liquor and rot.
Where the hell’d you find him? She says.
Is he the one or not?
Well, yes he’s the one, the one…it’s them other two sumbitches I want in jail. This fucker here…She throws up her hands in disgust.
Did you want to make a charge against this man or not? The sheriff says.
What you want to charge him with?
Rape, by God! Salt and battery too, you sonofabitch!
The woman slaps me across the face and starts choking me. When the sheriff breaks the chokehold she kicks me in the face.
When the sheriff has her secured I say, Sheriff, I want to charge this woman with assault and battery. You’re a witness. But I will be happy to drop the charge if she will drop all hers.
The crazy woman looks at me with loathing. Five minutes later I am on the road heading out of these hills fast.