There they were, crouched and crowded in this damp, smelly cave, hiding from the police. The big man was hovering over Jack, with a knife in his huge fist. Jack knew he was going to die right there.
A little lady—a precious, little, old, shriveled-up lady—was holding off the big guy’s arm with her tiny, gnarled hand. “He’s all right, leave him to me. He’s all right, Bear, leave him be.”
As Jack’s petrified mind thought about the name she called the big man, a memory came back to him of one of the braver fellows he knew saying to the fiendish brute, “Man, you stank pal. You oughta go jump in that lil’ ole water hole back there, ‘ceptin the water stanks worse ‘n you.” The big man became “Stank” after that—for a time.
Looking up into those wild eyes as he was being held down, Jack saw the knife coming closer. He wondered what his chances were of surviving with a functional and recognizable face. He was frozen with fear.
Never in his entire twenty-five years of life had he ever been so scared. Where was the shiny man now?
Ready to smash Jack’s face, this huge hulk of a human being hesitated momentarily to check his temper. To Jack, that massive fist looked like a huge boulder ready to finish him off. As he waited, trembling, to see what his fate would be, his life flashed before him.