"Ma, I don't want to you to worry nothing about me as I travel around the 'Verse. I am fineand I aim to be fine for a long time."He hoped so. He was pretty fast with a gun, and he was just about the biggest guy around.Still, what else could he do? No one wanted to hire him; there were too many other people withno jobs here with the war over and all. He hadn't fought in the war. That had sounded like aquicker way to die than this ruttin' gunfight.Still and all, what was there to live for? It's not like anything was coming his way. He staredat the paper, completely at a loss for words."Hey, you!" said a voice.He looked up. "What'dya want?" he snarled.One of the two ugliest men he'd ever seen spoke up. "You any good with that gun of yours?"The other ugliest man he'd ever seen, who was standing next to the first one, said, "Yeah,everyone's bettin' against ya, so we figure to bet on ya."Well, this was confusing as hell. "Why do you wanna bet on me?"The first man spoke. "We think you might be better than everyone thinks. We figure that,even if you ain't, you might get lucky if you're good enough. And we heard how you tracked that[
bear that was takin' the flocks hereabouts. That was some good trackin',what we hear."Huh. "I've always been good at trackin' stuff."The first man said, "We could use a good tracker on our crew, especially if he's good enoughto not get killed. It's a small ship, you'd have to share a room, but we get some good work. With agood tracker, we could get some better work."Now this was even more interesting. "What's the pay?"The answer was quick. "Seven percent of the take."He thought about it. "Just seven?" It seemed a little on the low side."Seven's standard!" said the second man, a little defensively.He looked the two men up and down, thinking about it. It didn't seem all that promising, buthey, a job's a job. "Okay, I'll take it.""Good luck! Don't disappoint us," his new boss said. They walked back outside to placesome more bets.He looked back down at the table, and picked up the pen again."Good news, Ma! I've just been offered a new job." He thought about what to write. After all,there weren't no sense worrying Ma. "They want me to be a tracker like I was always good at.The pay is good so don't worry.""Love, your son, Jayne"