"Cur'us, ain't it, how Thad kin sleep with his eyes open?" murmured Rebidee. "That's one thing I cal'late I'd break him of, mighty sudden, if they was any break to him!"
"Shucks! I don't mind it none!" mumbled Alvin around his pipe-stem. "I'd a gret sight ruther have him do that th'n to talk in his sleep same's he doos--mostly 'bout Captoly, too. Seems like he was a-visitin' with her, sometimes; I don't like it, an' wouldn't, not if I set up with him a year. But what common sense kin ehbody expect out of a feller goin' on eighty-six?"
They lapsed into silence for a while. The tick-tack-tick-tack of a square mahogany dock filled the whitewashed kitchen; the pendulum glinted incessantly, playing hide-and-seek behind an oval opening in the painted landscape which adorned the clock's base.
"I hear he's made ye an offer. What was it?" demanded Rebidee abruptly, raking his bristly chin with crooked fingers. He introduced the vital subject with the delicacy of a musth elephant running amuck in a jungle.
"See him through, fer the place," answered Alvin with cheerful brevity. Alvin was eight or ten years younger than Rebidee, but was thoroughly seasoned.
Written when a $400 house was something to envy and "worked like a n-" was thought a harmless comment, this is an okay story of two friends keeping watch over an 86 year old farmer, wondering when he would die. All the conversation is in dialect, with clear descriptive paragraphs dropped in every now and then to give a rest from the near-gibberish.
The writing is very good. I'm not sure the ending was worth it.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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