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Shane

by Jack Schaefer

MIDDLE SCHOOL

He rode into our valley in the summer of ’89, a slim man, dressed in black. “Call me Shane,” he said. He never told us more.

There was a deadly calm in the valley that summer, a slow, climbing tension that seemed to focus on Shane.

“There’s something about him,” Mother said. “Something . . . dangerous . . .”

“He’s dangerous all right,” Father said, “but not to us.”

“He’s like one of these here slow burning fuses,” the mule skinner said.

“Quiet . . . so quiet you forget it’s burning till it sets off a hell of a blow of trouble. And there’s trouble brewing.”

Jack Schaefer is best known for this timeless classic.

 

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