The Hurricane that Burned Down Texas
By Gene Haynes 
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49) Fight in the street
Windrock and other young people gathered each night to line dance.
That night it happened in front of the Box.

Bobber decided to join.
He jumped in and out of the hot can shower, threw on a pair of Levess Packrights with a clean white shirt. His shoes were trim and clean. Then stepped into the street, suddenly feeling embarrassingly old.
He was still fairly young at 23, but older than the dancers that night.

He was trapped by his own vanity.
Except the others didn’t see him that way.

Here was Bobber, an important man among them.
Quite a lot of attention paid to him as Properties met his hand along the line.

The men and women were stirred into graceful movements of great intensity and feeling.
Bobber didn't notice anything unusual or different or strange happenings.

Until he realized gold men gathered nearby.
The big one shouted insults.
Gold men started pushing some of the young men.

Three of them separated Bobber from the others, knocking him down.
It was a bad way until RobbieB and two other boys joined in on Bobber’s side.
Things changed quick as more men came running in.

The two groups were jostling and challenging
, with men stumbling then re-entering the fracas.
Bobber and RobbieB were arm to arm pushing against the gold men.
The fight rolled into the next street where both sides separated.
Each waiting to see what would happen next.
They dared not pull a weapon.

The girls gathered on the west side.
In revolt, they removed face coverings.
That's when the men started getting distracted.

Sweet Bessie Bou, sing that song !!
Here was a whole bunch of half naked girls standing there in front of them.
Of course, they weren’t really naked, only their faces were uncovered, but out in public in front of all those strange men from Gold Town, and their neighbors, those girls might as well pulled off their bare shirts.

Right then, a horse rodeo started coming into town, riding down the middle of the street.
What? A horse rodeo?
Naturally, the big tough men, who moments before were gnashing teeth, backed away on same side of the street, opposite side of street from the girls. After all you wouldn’t want to get too close to a naked girl.

Their eyes were as big as moon saucers.
The men weren't much eager to look at the horses instead of looking at the naked girls, that weren’t really naked.
The girls seemed to enjoy it.

The lead horse paused, allowing the men to scramble to the correct side of the street.
And then the horse rodeo passed down the middle between the men and the women.

One of the horse boys yodeled out, Hey I like this place. Which just about started the fight again except the men were a tad bit more distracted by what was occurring over on the other side.

Bobber saw Cheneen.
She looked as beautiful as he remembered.
He was proud of her.
She was married now.
For some change in the way that man's spirit works, all the men standing there were proud of those women.

Bobber realized that RobbieB and Cheneen showed up.
Windrock was gone. She must have left.

50) Runaway Property Report
Bobber walked home on high alert.
Maybe the gold men targeted him for the fight.
No previous rumor warned of such.

Upstairs and safe in the room above the Box, he went to sleep.

Footsteps were coming up the outside stair.
Bobber woke and jumped straight into his pants and grabbed the gun.
The gold men were back

It was just one set of feet.
They were climbing the stairs strong and certain. And lightweight.
It had to be a woman.

Windrock was at the door.
Neither spoke.
She came in and took a shower in the hot can in plain view of Bobber.
Her naked body graced by what the dim light reflecting off the wood wall would reveal.

She walked over and lay down next to him on the brown-strap bed.

As he reached his arms around her she became someone else.
He looked again. It was somebody else, but it was Windrock.
Who are you?
She kissed him. It was so familiar. Someone he had known forever.
He felt the weight of another soul enter his mind. It was a woman standing by a long wooden table. She was reading names.
On the table was a scroll reaching back into history and beyond. The most recent names written in red as each appeared on the bottom. The scroll and the names came closer so he could read them, yet the names made no sense.

Windrock said, I am taking you to the Queen.

Bobber mumbled half asleep, okay tomorrow.
Inside, he was feebly trying to imagine what benefit the Queen might bring.

Open your mind, she is with you.

The room filled with the same fragrance he smelled the night he lay tied up in the barn.
He fell asleep.

The most beautiful creature in the world lying next to him without a thread of covering and this fella falls asleep?
Windrock was gone when he woke.
It was already half into morning.

Clumping down the spiral steps into the back room, he greeted LeoJ who had been working several hours.
Never seen you start this late.
Heard you saw Cheneen last night.

That’s all done Bobber said. She’s long married now.

Humm. Heard footsteps leaving early.
Bobber mumbled, Aw, just a guest wanting a place to stay.

I’m checking the Runaway Property report right now, LeoJ said, pretending to look busy on the monitor.
How was the tussle? It’s all over town you were fighting in the street.
Fine example of peace-keeping.

Don’t worry, I wore my good shirt.
They both laughed.
Bobber escaped the conversation, unlocking the front door.
There was no such thing as a Runaway Property report.

Big smile across his face, Bobber was happier than he’d been in a long time.

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