Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

THE ROCK CRIED OUT

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. iii-v

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-vii

read more

ONE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-13

I got off the bus at the intersection, wearing my old army surplus trench coat, carrying my backpack, my portable typewriter, and a suitcase full of books and papers, and walked two blocks to the overpass through which the ...

read more

TWO

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 14-27

I let myself into the house, turned on a light, and put my typewriter on the dining-room table, breathing the familiar air: the smell of age, emptiness, damp plaster, and ashes. The chill struck through my trench coat as through ...

read more

THREE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 28-40

Early the next morning, chirping like a cricket, excited as a kid on Christmas Eve, I went to look at the abandoned house my father had told me I could tear down —circled northward around the horse lot and through the woods, climbed the steeply sloping grassy ...

read more

FOUR

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-50

I knew in my teens that our life at Chickasaw had been different for a long time before Sam attacked the SPASURSTA. The change had come when Phoebe and Timmie were killed: the wrecking of the SPASURSTA was the crackling up of a fire smoldering since ...

read more

FIVE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-58

I would not cross the SPASURSTA. Instead, I detoured around the northern end—no more than a quarter of a mile out of my way—and tramped down the dry bed of a ravine, bare now, except where the open network of unleaved branches was broken ...

read more

SIX

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 59-69

Before the week was out I had visitors. The sixth day Noah Daniels, Sam's father, came by. It was mid-afternoon and I had just come from emptying the last load of debris at Chickasaw dump. Surrounded by leafless briars that in May and June would be loaded with dewberries ...

read more

SEVEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 70-77

Carrying a thirty-aught-six rifle balanced muzzle down in his right hand, Dallas came quietly out of the woods. Silence—that's the quality in him that has always struck me first. As a child I felt called upon to chatter, to entertain, to ingratiate myself, and his ...

read more

EIGHT

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 78-82

Some days I might be sorry when he came, because he broke into the solitude that for the first time in my life I had imposed on myself. But I could always walk away from the house. If I wanted to be alone all day, I would knock off and take a walk in ...

read more

NINE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-92

Leila is divorced. At the time she came down to chaperon Miriam and me at Chickasaw she had already led a celibate—that is to say, unmarried, but not abstemious— life for years. She has told me that she married too young. (I'll get to the ...

read more

TEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 91-101

It was at Calloway's store that Miriam and I met Lindsay Lee Boykin. We left Leila surrounded by skeins of yarn and drove off to the store, Miriam, who had never been in the Deep South before, hanging out the window of the pickup and gazing at the moss-dripping ...

read more

ELEVEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 102-111

The cells die and slough off, the body changes, but events stay intractable. There they are, stored in my memory, seeming gradually to become detached from the living dying body, but there still. My life flows over the past like water over a rocky, sandy creek ...

read more

TWELVE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 112-122

Chairs were scraping into place and I was gazing, transfixed with joy, on my bowl of gumbo, when Lorene, still standing behind her chair, slight and shy and hesitant, said, "May I say a blessing, Miss Leila?" and Leila said, "Of course." " 'The people asked and ...

read more

THIRTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-131

Since Lorene had achieved such success dancing around the table and speaking in tongues, Leila may have thought she should try out her version of the same thing. And although Lorene's act was a hard one to follow, Leila was up to it. Some of us ...

read more

FOURTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 132-141

She had come home, she said, after the end of her marriage, to begin to put her life together again. "I was thinking about childhood refuges," she said. "About getting as far away as I could from what I had had. Away from the queer young executives and ...

read more

FIFTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 142-145

The affair ended. Either no one found out about it or, as used to be the practice among respectable people, no one admitted to what he knew. Leila went off to Memphis and became phenomenally successful at fabric designing. Sam got married and, until the family ...

read more

SIXTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 146-158

Lester has always been a restless man, I suppose, although I don't remember noticing it as a child. Now that I think back about him, though, I have a sense of him as someone who always stood or walked up and down the house. I see him, particularly at a picnic ...

read more

SEVENTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-172

Sunday night we went to church. The state campground and regional offices for Lorene and Dallas's church are outside Homochitto, and the local congregation turned out to be far larger and richer and more joyous— gayer—than I had expected it to ...

read more

EIGHTEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-179

Monday morning, Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning, Lee—that bastard, that shithead, that salesman—came by again and again, always with news or questions about our project, earnest talk about making money and offing the system at the same ...

read more

NINETEEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 180-192

Monday, as I said, we had taped Noah. Miriam didn't have time to type up the transcript, but I did, and here it is: Alan: Hi, Noah. Here we are. Noah: Yeah. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants. Lee: It's a privilege ...

read more

TWENTY

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 193-205

It was Sunday again. Almost a week had gone by since Miriam's confession. We had been living side by side, uneasy, affectionate, sleeping like two lost children with our arms about each other, as if we would protect each other; open, yet secret, me trying ...

read more

TWENTY-ONE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 206-211

Levitt: To begin with, it wasn't the Boykins I got involved with. It was your mother's family. You know your mother was adopted (taken in—I don't know if they ever adopted her) by Mac Boykin's uncle, don't you? Lee: Yes, sir. She never ...

read more

TWENTY-TWO

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 212-221

Levitt He was the first man I'd been around since I got out of college who liked to sit by the fire and talk about why things are like they are and that they might be some other way—that maybe he or I could begin to make them some other way. Always before ...

read more

TWENTY-THREE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 222-232

Levitt: So that was your mama and she never was like the people around her, not at the beginning when she was already quiet and independent, solitary, and not later, after she married Mac Boykin. She always kept to herself and, if I knew her at all, it's because ...

read more

TWENTY-FOUR

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-243

The wind had begun to blow. Under a sky alternately overcast and blue, I came out of the woods to the east of the horse lot. Far away I heard a calf bawling—that hollow country cry of loss. I gave an experimental bawl myself; I could have used a warm ...

read more

TWENTY-FIVE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 244-252

It began to rain while Miriam and I were talking and it rained all night—one of those rains that ride in on the leading edge of a Gulf storm, so hard and steady that within a few hours every gully and ravine and creek and bayou is filling its ...

read more

TWENTY-SIX

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-257

There's a A maze of oil field roads and old county roads and turn rows and fire lanes on Chickasaw. I know them like the back of my hand, rode them with Phoebe every summer of my childhood, on horseback to begin with, and then, as soon as she ...

read more

TWENTY-SEVEN

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 258-270

To begin with, listening to Dallas, trying to use his voice and Lorene's on the base to triangulate, I only halfway paid attention to what he was saying. I drove, the tearing sound of gravel raveling out behind me, the gallows shadow of the winch rushing ...

read more

TWENTY-EIGHT

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 271-283

"All right I'm going on with it "Alan and his family come on down to Chickasaw like they did every summer and she—Phoebe—began to go out on the lake with him. I wasn't jealous. Alan didn't seem like much to me then. Him being there was like ...

read more

TWENTY-NINE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 284-293

His voice stopped. He had finished. He was waiting and I knew where he was. There was only one place where you could look out over the dam and lake, turn and look the other way over the horse ...

read more

THIRTY

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 294-303

Finishing my cabin that spring, I spent some time thinking about the future. I knew I would never go back to shoveling sugar and shit and, despite Uncle Lester's recommendation, Penney's stores were no more to my taste than the caverns of Israel Putnam's ...