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Both parties stared at each other. "Look," the golfer said abruptly, "I'll take barter." What was it the conductor had said? He remembered something about a sheep. He heard a chicken clucking outside the back door. "I'll take a chicken," he said, his eyes staring about wildly. "And a sackful of Pappy's Peach Preserves," he said, pointing. "Otherwise," and there was a bright smile to take the edge off his threat, "why Ah'm goin' to have to lay around just a mite with my Spalding. Foozle Mullins up a bit." He had a sudden inspiration. His voice became tougher: "Mebbe some of my Memphis boys—some of those enforcers up there, the Memphis Foozlers—well, they might take a notion to journey on down here to do a bit of practicing on their skills. Some of those cement-feet boys might like to work Bull Creek...."
"Go on out, boys, and cotch that hen," Hoss Reilly said. "Fetch up a sack of them peach preserves." The hillbillies moved briskly through the store. Outside, the golfer heard the chicken squawk rapidly and the beating of its wings. A potato sack was produced. Into it a shelf was swept clear of cans; the hen appeared amid a storm of feathers, its wings working as it hung from a hillbilly's clutch; it was eased into the sack and offered to the golfer.
Just then a car horn sounded loudly out on the street.
Everybody jumped. The golfer's eyes widened. The horn sounded again. A familiar sound. The golfer stepped quickly to the screen door and looked out. There was his Oldsmobile, the old family car he had painted red, and there was Sleep, his driving partner, looking up at him curiously from the wheel.
He took a quick glance behind him in the store, where the hillbillies were lounging nervously in the shadows as if perhaps the horn had announced that the cement-feet boys from Memphis had pulled up and were about to appear upon the porch, darkening the door, stooped from the weight of the paraphernalia on their backs.
The golfer stepped out on the little porch.
"Well, man, there you are," Sleep was saying. "Been asking for you in every one-horse town since I turned back 100 miles ago."
"A hundred miles!" said the golfer. "That figures."
He slid the big sack and then himself into the front seat. "Stick her in gear and move," he said. He stared straight ahead.
About two miles across the railroad tracks he turned and hefted the sack over the seat into the back. He kept his golf club between his knees.