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.Sandy poked her head through the door from the kitchen.“Greg! Watch your mouth.The kids’ll hear you.” The girls hadn’t gone over to Greg and Sandy’s as planned.Greg grinned and replied, “Sorry, Hon’, but that play deserved a good cussin’.”Sandy rolled her eyes and returned to the ladies’ gossip session.“That’s game,” James said, shaking his head.“Twenty-three to nine with less than three minutes left in the fourth.I don’t think Staubach could even pull this one off.”Still standing, Greg turned to James and replied, “Aw, sure he could.” He then picked up the football-shaped dip bowl and drew back like he was going to throw it.“Ol’ Roger-Dodger would just look for Drew Pearson in the corner of the end zone and drop one right in his arms.” Over half the empty beer bottles on the coffee table belonged to Greg — nine, to be exact.James yawned and then said, “And what about the other touchdown they need?”“Well, Roger would get out there with the special teams and recover the onside kick, then look for Drew in the end zone again,” Greg replied, going through all the actions with the football-shaped bowl as he described them, including a clumsy attempt to leap over the coffee table that almost landed him in James’ lap.While Greg was going through his act, James stretched his mouth for a tremendous yawn.Greg plopped down beside him, and, with a serious look that didn’t look altogether at home on his never-serious face, he asked, “Man, you been sleeping good lately?” Then the familiar grin returned and, nudging James in the side, he added, “You really look like shit.”“I’m just a little tired, that’s all.” James said with a weary smile.“If he’s tired, Greg, we should go home and let him rest,” Sandy called out from the kitchen.Still grinning, Greg said to James.“I swear, that heifer’s got radars for ears.”“What did you say?” Sandy immediately replied.“I said I’ve got the sweetest wife in all Texas, didn’t I, James?” Greg called out to the kitchen, while nudging James in the side.Fighting back another yawn, James added, “Heard it with my own two ears, Sandy.”Sandy came into the living room with Carissa, their two-year-old daughter, asleep in her arms, and said, “Now I know we need to go.You’re beginning to rub off on James.”Angie came into the living room behind Sandy, with Jimmy right behind her.Jimmy was wearing a Dallas football helmet that Greg and Sandy had given him for his birthday.The helmet was too big for him, making his head look comically larger than his body.It reminded James of Charles Shultz’s Peanuts characters.Greg made a few more light-hearted jokes at Sandy’s expense, then picked up the dip-bowl and did a few more Roger Staubach imitations for the girls’ entertainment.When he finally put the bowl down, Jimmy picked it up and started his own football player show.With his balance thrown off by the enormous helmet, it was no time before he fell, almost breaking the chip bowl.Angie scolded Jimmy which in turn caused Greg to be scolded by Sandy for setting a bad example.Jimmy’s bottom lip popped out and he plopped down on the floor, but Greg was only slightly subdued when Sandy led him to the car.Returning from seeing Greg and Sandy to the door, Angie was laughing and commenting to James on how Greg gets “wound up” after a few beers when she noticed that James was asleep.He was sitting on the couch with his head back and mouth open.He was even snoring, which was something he hardly ever did.Angie tucked Jimmy into bed then returned to the living room.She sat down beside James and shook him lightly.“Honey, don’t you think you should get in bed?” she said softly.Angie had to shake him several times before he woke, and when he did, he was so groggy that she had to support him down the hall.Once in the bedroom, he practically collapsed on the bed and fell asleep without even undressing.* * *James’ head hardly hit the pillow before he started dreaming.The beast was on the move again.It loped through the underbrush, frequently raising its head to sniff at the wind.Every now and then it would raise itself to its full height and take in the scents of the surrounding woods, but it wouldn’t do so for long before returning to four legs and ambling along.It continued on this way for some time, not like it was simply prowling for food, but like it was on the trail of a distant scent.Soon the beast came to a barbwire fence that marked the border between the dense woods it had been traveling and the beginning of an open pasture.It stopped at the fence for some time and smelled the barbwire and posts.After finding that the strands of wire were too close together for it to squeeze between them, the beast stood erect in front of one of the posts, and began repeatedly pushing the post forward and pulling it back.It continued to work the post rapidly until there was a loud snap and the post broke free from the ground.When the cattle heard the post snap they began running away from the sound, toward the front of the pasture.The beast stepped over the sag in the fence created by the fallen post and into the pasture.Once inside the fence, the beast stood on its hind legs and its senses once again left its body.They sped forward until they caught the fleeing herd, which was now gathered near the front gate.Its senses then entered one of their eyes, rifled through its memory like a high-powered computer sorting files, then exited the cow’s eye [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]