Read Rio Loco Online

Authors: Robert J. Conley

Rio Loco (23 page)

“What do you mean, looked like?”

“Well, it's the right size and all, and it's wearing what looks to me like Chugwater's clothes.”

“What is? Goddamn it, Happy, don't you know how to tell a story?”

“Well,” he said, “just around the corner we found a corpus. It appears that it has shot its own self right smack in the head. Like he stuck the shotgun barrels right up under his chin and blowed his whole face off. But like I said, its clothes and all, it looks to me like it's Chugwater.”

He handed the paper to me. It were really one paper and one envelope already sealed. The paper was a note. It said “Will some kind soul please mail this letter for me?” It weren't signed. I tossed it on the table and looked at the envelope. It were addressed to a woman in Indiana. I couldn't reckanize the name. I tore it open and tuck the letter out.

Dear Aint Sally,

As you are my mama's only living relative, I am writing to you, this my final communication to the world. I made my mama a solemn promise as she was a-laying on her deathbed. I promised that I would always take good keer of little Merwin.
I tried, and I done real good up till now. Just today, they hung him for a killing he done. I tried to prevent it, but I failed. So I'm leaving this world with him, and I hope to see him and Mama in the next world. Forgive me for your sister, please. Good by.

Your nephew,

(This was scratched out.)


I read it out loud to ever'one at the table. “So he did make the hanging,” said Sly.

“The poor son of a bitch,” I said. “Couldn't keep his promise to his mama, so he blowed his face off.”

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