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bellies of the crowd of hard-working men who lived what was left of their lives only on weekends.

Everything looked like it was going to be all right, when the Hun, for some singular, absurd, irrational reason of his own, walked brazenly over to the rack of pool cues along the side wall, took one out and returned to the bar with it in his hand. Emmett was just as surprised at the Hun's crazy move as most of the workmen who saw him make it. The food hadn't come yet, and it was going to be another five or ten minutes before it did, and then it would take the four of them about five or ten minutes more to eat it all which made it almost a solid half hour before they'd be leaving the place, and "What the fuck are you going to do, just sit here at the bar with that pool stick between your legs to be ready in case you have to beat away someone or somethin', huh! You goddamn, ignorant prick!" Emmett, Billy and Tumble didn't say any of that out loud to the Hun. They just looked at him that way and tried to let their eyes do the talking for them, but he didn't hear them, or wouldn't, being too busy out-hippin' himself which was his usual pose during tight situations.

Some of the men in the joint thought the Hun's action was funny, and they laughed uproariously. But some of the others didn't think his move was hilarious at all, and in fact seemed to consider it downright insulting to the "live and let live" hospitality they were willing to display. It didn't take long before one of them came over to the little, five-foot-eight-inch, l30-pound Hun to see whether he wanted to play out the move he'd just made.

The guy was about fifty with long, stringy muscles and white hair, and he already had half a bag on. He stood next to the Hun who was sitting on a stool at the end of the bar with the cue stick resting on his left leg, and Emmett standing by his right elbow. The guy had a mixed drink of rye and ginger ale in his hand, and he swayed a little bit as he stood looking at the pool cue, and finally lifted his head clumsily to ask, "Wha' you gonna do with that?"

Emmett felt he couldn't allow the Hun the chance to answer the dude with his usual flip-lip, because his answer would set off whatever was going to happen to all four of them. So Emmett slid between the guy and the Hun's back and politely, but soundly, answered that "he ain't gonna do nothin' with it, 'cause I'm gonna use it for what it was made to do. That's what my friend brought it over here for in the first place--to shoot a game of pool. But after he brought it over, he just realized how tired he really was from all the [end page 388]


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