The Long, Hot Summer
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Well, that's all right. I'm a quiet-living man, myself.
Oh, I only know one reason for living quiet; that's if you're too old to live any other way.
In other words, you two girls take your fun where you can find it.
Don't jump to conclusions, young man. We're giving you a ride and that's all.
Where you headed?
I go as far as you go, M'am.
Oh, you sound as free as a bird. Doesn't he sound as free as a bird, Clara?
Well, Clara's wondering what kind of bird. Aren't you Clara?
What happens if a federal man comes by?
Oh, they've been known to come by. Also been known to disappear.
Well, not entirely.
No, not entirely. The missing man's shoes might show up, or his hat; maybe even his suspenders. Of course, somebody else is wearing them.
If you're scared of me, mister, why don't you just come right out and say so?
Sir, why should I be scared of you?
'Cause I got a reputation for being a dangerous man.
You're a young dangerous man. I'm an old one. I guess you don't know who I am. I better introduce myself. I'm the big landowner, chief moneylender in these parts. I'm commissioner of elections, veterinarian, own a store and a cotton gin and a grist mill and a blacksmith shop... and it's considered unlucky for a man to do his trading or gin his cotton or grind his meal or shoe his stock anywhere else. Now that's who I am.
You talk a lot.
Well, yes I do, sir. I'm done talking to you, except for passing you on this piece of information. I built me a new jail in my courthouse this year, and if during the course of your stay, something, anything at all should just happen to catch fire, I think you ought to know that in my jail, we never heard of the words habeas corpus. You rot.
Thousands of acres out there. Millions of seeds put down in the ground, and every year the seeds come up again. Life goes on. Where's my crop, huh? What follows me? What happens when I'm dead?
You'll probably have the biggest funeral in the state of Mississippi.
That don't scare me none, just so long as there are plenty of Varners to mourn me.
Jody and I'll be there.
You and Jody and Jody's kids and yours and their kids, my descendants, sister, a line, a long line with my face stamped on 'em, my blood flowing in their veins.
All of that from the two of us?
Listen, I'm gonna get me some man in the Varner family, some good strong strappin' man Varners. That's what I want, Varners and more Varners. Yeah, more Varners still. Enough Varners to infest the countryside. I'm gonna see that happen, sister, before I die. I'm gonna accomplish that, yes ma'am, by means of that Quick, that big stud horse.
I can see my white shirt and my black tie and my Sunday manners didn't fool you for a minute. Well, that's right, ma'am, I'm a menace to the countryside. All a man's gotta do is just look at me sideways and his house goes up in fire. And here I am, living right here in the middle of your peaceable little town, right in your back yard, you might say. Guess that ought to keep you awake at night.
Put them things down, Miss Clara, 'cause I'm gonna kiss you. I'm gonna show you how simple it is. You please me, and I'll please you. [Attempts to kiss Clara, but she slaps him across the face]
[chuckles] Oh, I know what's troublin' you. It's all those boys hollerin' for Eula every night. And Eula with her hair hangin' down and Jody with his shirt off chasin' her. And your old man at 60 and he's callin' on his lady love. [Bends down to kiss Clara, and she makes no resistance]
All right, you proved it. I'm human.
Yes, ma'am. You human, all right.
Mr. Quick, I am a human being. Do you know what that means? It means I set a price on myself: a high, high price. You may be surprised to know it, but I've got quite a lot to give. I've got things I've been saving up my whole life. Things like love and understanding and-and jokes and good times and good cooking. I'm prepared to be the Queen of Sheba for some lucky man, or at the very least the best wife that any man could hope for. Now, that's my human history and it's not going to be bought and sold and it's certainly not gonna be given away to any passin' stranger.
I went shopping in those Memphis stores this morning and just went wild. Alligator bag, figured print, summer shoes. Which is all a laugh considering we live in Frenchman's Bend and nobody's gonna see 'em but redneck farmers and immediate family. I don't care though. I got my morale to keep up.
That Ben Quick, he sure is a comer.
Yep. Name suits him, alright. First into that farm, then into the store, now int the house. And all he started with was a book of matches.
I wish I was Ben Quick. He's got this h'yere whole state of Mississippi to graze on.
Yeah, but if you should happen to go to see him on business, go out nekkid. That way you won't feel the cold comin' back.
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