By Larry Watson
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Extra info for American Boy
The muscles of his slender body were smooth and undefined as well, and he had a childish habit of bouncing and squirming if he had to sit in one place for long. If anyone in town did believe we were brothers, they likely would have assumed that Johnny took after our delicate mother. Johnny stopped abruptly ten yards ahead of me in the woods, and when I looked questioningly in his direction, he smiled and pointed up at the low branch of a tilting oak tree. Many of the boys in our town—and even a few of the girls—grew up in these woods.
One Sunday a few weeks after that Thanksgiving Day when Louisa Lindahl was brought to the doctor’s clinic, we gathered for a game. There was no wind at all, and snow was falling at a rate of over an inch an hour, covering the drifts that had been on the ground since Thanksgiving. The flakes fell straight down like a heavy veil, but Dr. Dunbar was not to be deterred. He and a few other men brought out snow shovels, cleared the ice, and the game was on. A few wives, girlfriends, younger brothers and sisters were on hand as spectators, the snow gathering on their coats and hats faster than they could brush it away.
Huston was living in a shack on this side of Frenchman’s Forest, and when the deputy visited the scene he saw some blood on the ground. Greiner tried to follow the blood trail, but he lost it in the woods. Then he came here. He wanted me to know that Miss Lindahl is likely still out there bleeding from a gunshot wound. Or—and we certainly have to consider this possibility—she might be dead already. And now I need to decide whether to stay put, ready to treat this young woman in case they bring her here, or to join the deputy and the other men he’s rounded up for the search party.
American Boy by Larry Watson