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an empty bar with a brown-paper-bagged can of beer in his hand. He got into the car, and Billy turned it around and headed back toward the camp while Tumble told them the story of his appearance before the justice of the peace and his subsequent release with no fine, but with an open invitation to dinner and to spend the night in an empty bedroom in the wooden frame home which doubled as the courthouse. Tumble insisted it was true and that the judge just liked him, that's all.

They were all still laughing when they walked into the main cabin where the Hun was just ending his scattered speech, and the attorney sheepishly returned to his seat, glad to be back in the safe milieu of his not-so-serious comrades. The lawyer wasn't even brave enough to ask for the return of his own car keys, so Billy left them hanging in the ignition.

Billy Landout walked over to the far end of the dais table and sat down on top of it, crossing his legs in the lotus position and smiling. He continued playing a low-keyed melody on his flute--which was all he had driven more than halfway across the country to say to these persons assembled in Middle America, and it was beautiful.

The Hun finished, and an older man of fifty or sixty commented very loudly that what he said was negated by the simple and obvious fact that he'd never been a member of the proletariat working class, and therefore had never dropped out of anything because he had always been on the outside, whereas, the man went on, he himself spent the past thirty-five years or so as a rank-and-file member of the Auto Workers Union and had been, and still was, working goddamn hard every goddamn moment of that time to change the capitalistic mentality of his fellow workers and the structure of the union which, he concluded, was a goddamn more important revolutionary role for him to play "than to be sittin' on a table like that fella over there playin' with a toy flute!"

There was a boisterous round of applause by the majority of the assembled for the workingman's brief statement. When the handclapping and backslapping died down, Emmett held back the Hun from making a hip rebuttal, and Tumble stepped forward to take up the gauntlet.

All eyes were on Tumble, waiting for how he was going to answer the challenge, and watching as he removed two cards from his wallet. When he was ready, he struck a heavy stance and stabbed the old leftist dead with his black, shiny eyes.

"You see these two cards, fella? All of you, d'ya see 'em?! Well, a [end page 396]


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