isbn: 0307458229 (ISBN13: 9780307458223)
“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”
As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.
It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.
When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.
There was what you might call a breakdown in discipline on the part of the cattle rustlers. All over the pasture, feechiefolks was chasing rustlers around, roaring and whooping and howling, and the rustlers was shrieking and crying and falling down and scrambling back up to run some more. One of them big mountain men run past me like a streak of lightning- faster than I ever seen such a big man run in my life- ridden by a drover- feechie switching him like a quarter-racer.
The rout was so complete, it was hard to believe the drovers had ever thought they couldn’t whip them. It just goes to show what fear of the unknown will do to a feller. If they had only stopped for a minute and got theirselves organized, them big rustlers could have beat back the drovers in about two shakes of a lamb’s tail. But panic carried that day, and the rustler’s disappeared up the drove road fast as they ever could.
pg. 244 & 245
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid or influenced in any way.
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