Well, Jack's daddy had a tract of land back in the mountains, and he decided he'd give it to the boys to work. He gave Will and Tom a good horse a-piece; didn't give Jack nothin' but a little old heifer.
They went on up to that newground, fixed 'em up a pole shanty, and went to clearin' land. Jack he'd work about two hours, then he'd go back in. Will and Tom they didn't like that much. Then one day they went to work and Jack never showed up at all. So they felled a tree on Jack's heifer and killed it.
Got back that evenin', says to Jack, "You been foolin' around here and let your heifer get out. Hit came up there where we were a-cuttin' timber; tree fell on it and killed it."
"I don't much care," says Jack. "I been wantin' some beef, anyhow."
Jack went and skinned it out, left the hide pretty near whole. He salted the meat down, stuffed the hide full of shucks. Then he'd put some meat on a stick and roast it on the fire. Jack got fat as a pig eatin' on that beef and not workin' none, got so fat after a while you couldn't see his eyes. That beef lasted him a right smart while.
Jack was gettin' along fine, except....
the meat that he had been eating was from a diseased cow, after all he wasn't his father's favorite son, and he began to grow horns of his own and was soon covered in black and white spots.
Now the black and white spots were nothin' unusual to Jack. Fact, he just thought he'd had a bit much 'shine the night before.
In fact, Jack kinda even liked 'em. Now he could play hide 'n seek with the cows and avoid doin' even more work with his brothers, Will and Tom.
Pretty soon all the young ladies within Jack's reach developed the same spots that Jack had.
An' it weren't long 'for all the girls pappys got to figgerin' jus' what Jack been up to in between shanks of jerky and fat back. Well, didn' take long 'for ol' man Jibbin's come up the hill with his bear huntin' rifle "ol' wide butt". Jack started in to quakin' and quiverin' all afright when he saw ol' crazy Jibbins with his li'l Bess all swelled up like a pot belly stove cryin' an' sobbin' fit to make the devil up and turn away. Jack's pappy done took one look at ol' Jibbins, then took one good look at his fat, lazy, greasy, lecher son with his beady li'l eyes sunk back under his fat ol' forehead; one arm wrapped around a big fat bucket of suet and the other just hangin' down by his side like some kinda slug. Well, Jacks Papaw took that look at his son, took one more look at crazy ol' man Jibbins who were stompin' up the hill like a bull outta hell with it's tail on fire, that big ol' gun in his right arm, his swell-bellied daughter draggin behind his left, and Jack's pappy plain up and headed back down to the valley without so much as a kind word for any of the three, there to stay 'til Jesus hisself came down to tell him it were alright to go back up. Well, after Jack's pappy done headed off, Crazy ol' Jeb Jibbins walked up not an arm length away from Jack. Big fat Jack. Three hundred pound if'n he were an ounce Jack. Jack that went and gived his daughter, the apple of his eye and the shine of his moon, funny cow spots, horns and a bran' new Jibbins ain't nobody asked for. He took his turn now staring at Jack, then back at his sobbin' daughter, then at the smokin' piece of ground where Jack's pappy stood, and he raised up his double-ought and cradled it in his chest and stared Jack down. He spat out a great brown spittle of Red Star and settled in now not half an arm from where Jack sat, and done stood there for near two an' a half days, all the while Jack just quiverin' and shakin' waitin' for the bang o' that big ol' gun, and li'l Bess sobbin' and Bawlin makin' a little river down the side o' the old iron head (you can still see that sumnabitch today!) and he opened up his mouth and said. . . "
"I reckon ya knowed what I come fer."
"I reckon I don't know neither what you come fer. I ain't no mind reader and you stood here two days and nights and the water's gettin' deep where she's a cryin' and it looks like she might be light at any time now. So have yer say," Jack said.
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