Sunday, June 8, 2008

Brief Excerpt from AMF

[Brief excerpt from A Mighty Fortress by H. A. Covington. Available from]

After they left the surgery Shipman stared after them. “My God, they’re just children! Even that English kid! He ought to be out sculling on the Serpentine or in some pub drinking warm beer and talking drunken undergraduate bullshit, not coming to a foreign country to commit murder, and maybe die when he runs into someone who’s a better shot than the one who plugged you. As to the others—high school? How can you lead boys like Cody to their death?” demanded Shipman roughly. “Or that skinny little girl who thinks she’s Patty Hearst and it’s all some kind of giggly game? How can you live with yourself, knowing that you’re destroying the lives of children? White children, since I know you don’t care about black or brown ones.”

Brown sighed. “I got nothing against black or brown children, any more than I have anything against rabbits or mice. But you can’t let rabbits or mice run loose in your fields, or they’ll destroy your crops and devour your grain while giving nothing in return, and then nobody eats. And Cody isn’t a boy. He became a man the day he stood up and took on a man’s work in life by striking a blow at the enemies who destroyed his family, no matter what you think of his choice. There’s nothing wrong with becoming a man at sixteen. That’s the way it used to be for many thousands of years before we got so damned civilized, and that’s the way it needs to be again. But if you think we just use kids like Cody and Emily for cannon fodder, well, you’re wrong. I’m not going to argue with you, but you’re wrong.” He was quiet for a time. “They call me Farmer Brown because I used to have a farm once, seven hundred acres of prime wheat and sorghum and soybean in Latah, just outside Spokane. I had a son, too.”

“What happened?” asked Shipman.

“The bank took my farm and Iraq took my boy. And yeah, every day I collect a little on that debt from the pigs in human form who did that to me, and I enjoy every minute of it. That pleasure’s the only one I’ve got left in life. I could get the farm back after we win the Republic, but what would be the point? No one to leave it to. But it’s not just revenge. Revenge all on its own is nothing but a black hole you can never fill up, and I’m not so dumb or full of hate that I don’t understand that. I’m a Volunteer to make sure it never happens again. Do you think for one minute that after having buried my own son, I would ever lead Cody or anyone else into danger of death by gunfire unless there was no other way to make things right with the world? I tried your way. I even ran for office before 10/22. None of the local television stations or newspapers would take my advertising, my campaign manager was beaten by hired goons, I was arrested on a phony charge of embezzling campaign funds, and I still won, so my opponent simply went scuttling to a Jewish Federal judge and had the result thrown out. We use bullets now, not ballots. Bullets work. Ballots don’t, unless you count ‘em yourself.”

“You can’t order the future all nice and neat with a gun!” said Shipman.

“Yeah, I know that too. But I can try. I can do what little I can, and if enough of us just do what little we can, well, maybe we can’t make sure everybody gets a winning hand a hundred and two hundred years from now, but at least we can re-shuffle the deck.”

Shipman sighed and slumped into a chair. After a while Brown said, “By the way, thanks.”

“Don’t mention it,” said Shipman.

1 comment:

brian boru said...

Is that a photo of the IRA from the 1920s?