Unformatted text preview: or could be seen inside, clinging fiercely to the cord. He had only one leg though, and I worried that it would quickly give out. Behind him I could see two figures, probably Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html Wobble Tackett and Chick Elliot, the usual poker gang. Wiley began laughing, a low suppressed laugh that shook his entire body. With each lull in the shooting, the town took a breath, peeked around, and hoped it was over. And each new round scared us more than the last. Two shots rang out. Baggy lurched as if he'd been hit—though in reality there was no possible way the sniper could even see him, and the suddenness evidently put too much pressure on Major's leg. It collapsed, the cord sprang free, and Baggy screamed as he dropped like a cinder block into a row of thick boxwoods that had been planted by the Daughters of the Confederacy. The boxwoods absorbed the load, and, much like a trampoline, recoiled and sent Baggy to the sidewalk, where he landed like a melon and became the only casualty of the entire episode. I heard laughter in the distance. Without a trace of mercy, Wiley recorded the entire spectacle. The photos would be furtively passed around Clanton for years to come. For a long time Baggy didn't move. "Leave the sumbitch out there," I heard a cop yell below us. "You can't hurt a drunk," Wiley said as he caught his breath. Eventually, Baggy rose to all fours. Slowly and painfully, he crawled, like a dog hit by a truck, into the boxwoods that had saved his life, and there he rode out the storm. A police car had been parked three doors down from the Tea Shoppe. The sniper fired a burst at it, and when the gas tank exploded we forgot about Baggy. The crisis stepped up to the next level as thick smoke poured out from under the car, then we saw flames. The sniper found this sporting, and for a few minutes he hit nothing but cars. I was certain my Spitfire would be irresistible, but perhaps it was too small. He lost his nerve, though, when fire was eventual...
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