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PAINTED HOUSE

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A PAINTED HOUSE

Published: 2001
Pages (Paperback): ---
Pages (Hard Cover): 388
Rating: 8
Movie: No

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     Doyle was about to be slaughtered. Though there was nothing fair about it, it was simply the risk you ran if you fought a Sisco. The hill people were silent, and the locals watched without taking a step forward.
     Then the two Siscos dragged Doyle to his feet, and with all the patience of an executioner, Jerry kicked him in the groin. Doyle screamed and dropped to the ground. The Siscos were delirious with laughter.
     The Siscos were in the process of picking him up again when Mr. Hank Spruill, he of the tree-trunk neck, stepped out from the crowd and hit Jerry hard, causing him to fall. Quick as a cat, Billy Sisco threw a left jab that popped Hank in the jaw, but a curious thing happened. The jab didn't phase Hank Spruill. He turned around and grabbed Billy by his hair and without any apparent effort spun him around and flung him into the grouping of Siscos in the crowd. From the strewn pack came a new Sisco, Bobby, aged no more than sixteen, but just as mean as his brothers.
     Three Siscos against Hank Spruill.
     As Jerry was getting to his feet, Hank, with unbelievable speed, kicked him in the ribs so hard that we heard them cracking. Then Hank turned and slapped Bobby with the back of his hand, knocking him down, and kicked him in the teeth. By this time Billy was making another lunge, and Hank, like a circus strongman, lifted the much skinnier boy into the air and flipped him into the site of the Co-op, where he crashed loudly, rattling the boards and windows, before falling to the pavement on his head. I couldn't have tossed a baseball any easier.
     When Billy hit the ground, Hank took him by the throat and dragged him back into the center of the arena, where Bobby was on all fours, struggling to get to his feet. Jerry was crumpled to one side, clutching his ribs and whimpering.
     Hank kicked Bobby between the legs. When the boy yelped, Hank let out a hideous laugh.
     He then clutched Billy by the throat and began lashing his face with the back of his right hand. Blood was spurting everywhere; it covered Billy's face and was pouring down his chest.
     Finally, Hank released  Billy and turned to the rest of the Siscos. "Anybody want some more!" he shouted. "Come on! Get you some!"
     The other Siscos cowered behind one another while their three hereos floundered in the dirt.




Copyright 2001 John Grisham