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Had me a wagon. Daddy gave it to me.
“Never had me no wagon growin’ up!” he told me. “Take care’a that now. Don’t go breakin’ a wheel off yer first play.”
I went off’n played. Didn’t break a wheel. When I came back from playin’, Daddy was gone. For good this time.
A summer later, I loaded my worldly possessions in that wagon’n left my mama’s home under cover of the night sky. For good this time.
As I walked down the road, I came upon a boy a head taller’n me. “Turn that wagon on its side!” he hollered. He kicked it over, knockin’ it on its side. On the bottom of the wagon, ADAM was scratched near the front axle.
‘I’m Adam,” he said, an’ pulled out a bowie knife from his coveralls. ‘Ah carved mah name there with this.”
I wasn’t what I am now. He woulda whupped me fierce. I picked the wagon up, put two apples in it, and said “This wagon was given to me by my daddy. But it wasn’t his to give. You wanna whup me, I understand. But the wrong I done to you wasn’t by intention.”
Adam looked at me. He looked at his wagon and the apples. Then he pocketed his knife, grabbed the wagon handle and walked on down the road.
I stood there watchin’ Adam til I couldn’t see him no more. I put all my possessions in a towel’n slung it over my shoulder, started walkin’ the opposite direction.
That was the night I became a bounty hunter. That was the night my kin’s fate was sealed.