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They Don't Dance Much

They Don't Dance Much

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
In this Depression Era novel, featuring a new introduction by Daniel Woodrell (author of Winter's Bone), a small town farmer takes a job at a roadhouse, where unbridled greed leads to a horrible mistake.

Jack McDonald is barely a farmer. Boll weevils have devoured his cotton crop, his chickens have stopped laying eggs, and everything he owns is mortgaged—even his cow. He has no money, no prospects, and nothing to do but hang around filling stations, wondering where his next drink will come from. As far as hooch goes, there’s no place like Smut Milligan’s, where Breath of Spring moonshine sells for a dollar a pint. A bootlegger with an entrepreneurial spirit, Milligan has plans to open a roadhouse, and he asks Jack to run the till. The music will be hot, the liquor cheap, and the clientele rough. But the only thing stronger than Milligan’s hooch is his greed, and Jack is slowly drawn into the middle of Smut’s dalliances with a married woman, the machinations of corrupt town officials—and a savage act that will change this town forever.
In this Depression Era novel, featuring a new introduction by Daniel Woodrell (author of Winter's Bone), a small town farmer takes a job at a roadhouse, where unbridled greed leads to a horrible mistake.

Jack McDonald is barely a farmer. Boll weevils have devoured his cotton crop, his chickens have stopped laying eggs, and everything he owns is mortgaged—even his cow. He has no money, no prospects, and nothing to do but hang around filling stations, wondering where his next drink will come from. As far as hooch goes, there’s no place like Smut Milligan’s, where Breath of Spring moonshine sells for a dollar a pint. A bootlegger with an entrepreneurial spirit, Milligan has plans to open a roadhouse, and he asks Jack to run the till. The music will be hot, the liquor cheap, and the clientele rough. But the only thing stronger than Milligan’s hooch is his greed, and Jack is slowly drawn into the middle of Smut’s dalliances with a married woman, the machinations of corrupt town officials—and a savage act that will change this town forever.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Mar 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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James Ross
THEY DON’T DANCE MUCH 
1.
I REMEMBER THE EVENING I was sitting in front of Rich Anderson’s filling station and Charles Fisher drove up andstopped at the high-test tank. The new Cadillac he was driving was so smooth I hadn’t heard him coming. He sat there aminute, but he didn’t blow the horn. I stuck my head inside andsaid, ‘You got a customer, Rich.’I heard Rich push his chair back. ‘Yes, sir,’ he said. Hehustled out. There was a long yellow pencil stuck over his rightear.‘Yes, sir, Mr. Fisher; how many, Mr. Fisher?’ he said.Charles Fisher looked over his shoulder. ‘Fill it up,’ hesaid.Fisher’s wife was with him. She had looked at me whenthey first drove up, but when she saw who it was she turned herhead and looked off toward the Methodist Church steeple. Shesat there looking toward the steeple and her face cut off my view of her husband. But that was all right with me; I had seen him before. I had seen Lola too, but I looked at her anyway.She had on dark glasses and she was sunburned brown asa penny. She had on some sort of short-sleeved jersey and itlooked like she had left her brassiere at home. She was tallerthan Charles Fisher.Rich got the tank filled up and came back to the front of the car.‘Anything else, Mr. Fisher?’ he asked.
 
James Ross
THEY DON’T DANCE MUCH 
Fisher shook his head. He paid Rich for the gas and droveon down the street. Rich came back and stood in the door; he putthe money in his pocketbook, then took out his handkerchief and wiped the sweat off his face. Rich was a young man, but helooked droopy and old standing there. I never had noticed how  bad his teeth were, nor how bald he was getting, until then. Hehad on a dark green filling-station uniform and it made his skinlook green in what little light there was left.‘Been one more hot day,’ he said. ‘Wisht
 I 
was going to the beach.’‘Why don’t you go, then?’ I said.‘Hell, ain’t got the money. You don’t think I stick aroundthis filling station just because I’m crazy about filling stations, do you?’‘I thought maybe you loved a filling station,’ I said. ‘Was your friend Fisher going to the beach?‘To Daytona Beach, Florida. His nigger brought the cardown here yesterday for me to grease it. He said they was goingto Daytona Beach, Florida.’ Rich said ‘Daytona Beach, Florida’like some religious person talking about heaven.‘That’s a long ways off,’ I said. ‘Why don’t he go to MyrtleBeach, or Wrightsville Beach, or Carolina Beach?’‘Cost him more to go to Daytona Beach, I guess. He’s gotso much money it worries him how to get rid of it.’‘He could leave a sackful on my porch some night,’ I said.‘Or mine,’ Rich said. He went inside and back to workingon the books.I sat there warming the bench that was already hot. Iought to have gone on home. I had a cow to milk and a mule to

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