“This was before your time, of course, back during the reign of Good King Frank. Radar had the bright idea of sending a jeep home to his family through the mail, piece by piece. Trapper and I found out about it after a while.”
“And naturally this reminded you of Vincent van Gogh,” says Charles.
“Every week another piece. The steering wheel, the exhaust pipe. On and on. Like sending home souvenirs, messages in a bottle. Front right tire: I’m still here. Windshield wiper: I’ll be coming home soon. Seat cushion: please don’t forget me.” Hawkeye draws his knees up to his chest and sits there awkwardly, off-balance, rocking just perceptibly back and forth as if in a parody of grief. In a smaller voice, he says, “Please don’t forget me. Please understand me.” Charles takes off the boot, avoiding Hawkeye’s glance, and starts on the other. He can feel Hawkeye regarding him, vacant-eyed. “Handing pieces of his life out into the ether, see? And I got to thinking: actually it was a terrific joke. He was sending that jeep home as if his family had the first idea what to do with it. What do Iowa farm people know about Army jeeps? They wouldn’t have any idea how to reconstruct it. They wouldn’t recognize what it was.”
Charles removes his second boot and places it on the floor beside the first. His hand shakes a little as he does, so that the boots bump up against each other. He can see the caked, rust-red blood come off in flakes.
“See?” says Hawkeye in an odd voice: constricted and hollow, from the chest.
"Oh, Tumblr. You’re so above average."
Blanch: Good Lord! Jesse died, he’d lost two old friends, you’re leaving, the town is dying… He had nothing except George. So he sat down and he died.
Daniel: No, he did not sit down and die. Not Jesse, no! I don’t believe it. I don’t buy that!
Daniel: Thought you were going to Ralph’s funeral.
Jesse: Me? Nah… It’s too much all at once. And the both of ‘em my same age. Makes me think too much of my own vulnerability. Besides the whole town’s up there.
Daniel: Oh yeah? I better go over there and play traffic ward.
Jesse: Hey, Dan? You moving to Horse Creek?
Daniel: Well, I haven’t decided yet.
Daniel: Hey, you wanna take over here? Become Chief of police?
Daniel: You know you can come with me.
Jesse: Not really.
Jesse: I live in Mount Angel.
Daniel: You could still live in Mount Angel. They don’t care.
Jesse: You wanna know what’s going on at Horse Creek? “Rules of the Town Government: Horse Creek.” Here. Now here’s a list of some of the appointed officers of Horse Creek. Appointed, you know, like Chief of police. You ready? “Dog officer. Sealer of weights and measures. Three fence viewers.” Three! Three fence viewers. “Four field drivers.” And oooh… this is my favorite. A job I’d surely like. “Morgue superintendant.” Ha! Ha! Ha! They’re your peers! Right here. “Rules of the Town Government.” Now. Not in sixteen-oh-BLAH, but now! To-day. A morgue superintendant. That town is rooted like a turnip in the seventeeth century. Horse Creek? You’re welcome to it, Chief.