Saturday, December 19, 2009

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 3.3 (William Faulkner)

Faulkner, William
Intruder in the Dust

I think this title came into my hands via the student book depository at LaSalle academy in NYC, where I taught English from 1992-4. The school had stacks and stacks of books that were once used in classrooms, all of which sat in a store room gathering dust (and intruders like me!). No titles there existed in quantities large enough for a whole class, so I plucked the ones I wanted to read out of the stacks and brought them home with me.

This one remains unread. Not sure why I didn't read it -- I think at the time I was so busy trying to read all of the books I had heard of that I put the lesser known titles to the side. The plan was to return to them once I felt I was sufficiently "well read" to bother. I still don't feel sufficiently well read, I guess.

from Intruder in the Dust

IT WAS JUST NOON that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man.

He was there, waiting. He was the first one, standing lounging trying to look occupied or atleast innocent, under the shed in front of the closed blacksmith’s shop across the street from the jail where his uncle would be less likely to see him if or rather when he crossed the Square toward the post office for the eleven o’clock mail.

Because he knew Lucas Beauchamp too—as well that is as any white person knew him.Better than any maybe unless it was Carothers Edmonds on whose place Lucas lived seventeen miles from town, because he had eaten a meal in Lucas’ house. It was in the earlywinter four years ago; he had been only twelve then and it had happened this way: Edmonds was a friend of his uncle; they had been in school at the same time at the State University,where his uncle had gone after he came back from Harvard and Heidelberg to learn enoughlaw to get himself chosen County Attorney, and the day before Edmonds had come in to town see his uncle on some county business and had stayed the night with them and at supperthat evening Edmonds had said to him:

‘Come out home with me tomorrow and go rabbit hunting:’ and then to his mother: ‘I’llsend him back in tomorrow afternoon. I’ll send a boy along with him while he’s out with his gun:’ and then to him again: ‘He’s got a good dog.’

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