The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters – Chapter Three: The General Store

4 01 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Three: The General Store

The stranger steps into the large log cabin. His dog is beside him. Except for a lamp over the front desk and a lamp hanging from the ceiling in the corner, the room is dark. In the corner under the lamp, four men are playing cards. One is an older man, balding, with none of his own teeth. A second man is much younger, almost a boy (he could be his son). He has a mop of blond hair and buck teeth. He seems to be perpetually smiling. A third man at the table is a giant. Part of his scalp has been removed and is heavily scarred. The fourth man, the best looking of the group, sports a thick handlebar moustache and sideburns. All four men are dressed in skins. They could be trappers or woodsmen. Behind the counter, the merchant stands trying to read a newspaper. The stranger puts a coin down on the counter.

Merchant: “What’ll it be?”

Stranger: “What ever you got.”

Merchant smiles. “That’s good. Cause it’s all we got.”

The merchant takes a bottle from beneath the counter and pours the stranger a drink. The stranger throws it back and puts another coin on the table. A second drink is poured.

Stranger: “I’ll need some things.”

The merchant smiles. The stranger hands him a list. The merchant begins to gather the things and put them on the counter.

The giant: “Get that animal out of here.”

The stranger does not reply but continues to enjoy his drink.

The giant puts down his cards and rises from the table. The dog growls. The giant steps over to the counter where the stranger continues to enjoy his drink.

The giant: “I said to get that…”

Before the giant can finish his statement, the stranger has stuck two of his fingers up the nose of the giant. The giant cries out. The stranger grabs one of the giant’s ears and pulls him down to his knees. His dog bares his teeth. Everything has happened so fast that the other men at the table have not had a chance to react.

Stranger: “I’m thinking if I stick my fingers up any higher I might hit your brain. Of course, I could be wrong.”

The giant squirms.

Stranger: “You hurt the General’s feelings, mister. I think you should apologize.”

The giant struggles to speak. The stranger still has a hold of one of his ears.

Stranger: “You’ll look a lot uglier with just one ear. Of course, I could be wrong.”

The giant in a strained muffled voice. “Sorry.”

Stranger: “My dog doesn’t understand English.”

The giant looks befuddled.

Stranger: “Bark!”