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Saturday, January 2, 2016

"...the groveling condition of a Clerk..."

The work-a-day trials of a teen-age clerk

“You goddamned puffed-up little nobody!” The planter had Alex by the shirt.

Ordinarily, he would have defended himself, but this was an important customer, so, instead, he only twisted and ducked. The ham fist struck his back, almost knocking the breath out of him as he wrenched free.

“I’ll teach you to talk back!”

It had not been because of anything, really, but simply because the fellow was in a foul mood. He’d entered the store in a rage and passed it along in the casual fashion a man might kick a cur in the street. Mr. Cruger watched from the back, but made no move to interfere.

The customer is always right. Especially this son-of-a bitch! And Cruger’s absolute indifference to right or wrong, is the best the filthy snake can do….

At quitting time, Alexander was off down the beach. He hated his life and everyone in it.

“God help me, or even the Devil.” He spoke aloud, feeling supremely daring. “When the next war comes, I shall jump ship and run straight to it.”

There was a special place to which Alexander went whenever he wanted to be alone. It was a rough trek through a forbidding grove of twisted manchineel and then up a brush-covered headland. After a slow ledge-to-ledge descent down the cliff face, he’d reach an outcrop a mere twenty feet above high tide, but hidden from anyone above.
Today, all he wanted was to stretch out, to listen to the boom of the waves. He anticipated a rare moment of fantasy, one that involved sailing away, maybe to some distant war, or maybe to America to see his friend Ned Stevens...

~~ Juliet V. Waldron
Historical novels with grit and passion
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