Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the Hills and Everywhere, by Manly Wade Wellman

A Christmas story from Weird Tales author Manly Wade Wellman, as told by John the Balladeer:


"John, the children have opened their presents, and I want them to have some hot rations inside them before they start in on that store-bought candy you fetched them. So why don't you tell us a Christmas story while Mother's putting dinner on the table?" 

"Be proud to do so. And this won't be any far-away tale—it happened to neighbor-folks you know." 

You all and I and everybody worried our minds about Mr. Absalom Cowand and his fall-out with Mr. Troy Holcomb who neighbors with him in the hills above Rebel Creek. Too bad when old friends aren't friends my more. Especially the kind of friend Mr. Absalom can be.

You've been up to his place, I reckon. Only a man with thought in his head and bone in his back would build and work where Mr. Absalom Cowand does in those high hills up the winding road beyond those lazy creek-bottom patches. He's terraced his fields up and up behind his house on the slope, growing some of the best-looking corn in this day and time. And nice cow-brutes in his barns, and good hogs and chickens in his pens, and money in the bank down yonder at the county seat. Mr. Absalom will feed any hungry neighbor, or tend any sick one, saving he's had a quarrel with them, like the quarrel with Mr. Troy Holcomb.

"What for did they quarrel, John?"   

"Over something Mr. Troy said wasn't so, and Mr. Absalom said was. I'll come to that." 

(John the Balladeer continues his story at this link...)

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