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October 29, 1938 - Image 1

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1938-10-29

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P UniRs P ichaIe
University f Michig an .literary Magazine

VoL. IL, No. 1.

OCTOBER 30, 1938

A Ret urn To Te So

A Short Story

By DENNIs FLANAGAN
I
T IE STOREKEEPER rubbed the
side of his chin slowly with his
hand as he spoke to Ernest. "It
ain't very often that we get
people up here hunting, so I can't
think offhand of anybody that could
put you up." He rubbed his chin
thoughtfully. "Unless maybe Hubert
Carver up there on the ridge might."
He looked at Ernest suddenly. "Why
don't you try that; he lives up there
all by himself. Plenty of good hunting,
too; he don't farm it but a little and
there's a lot of good cover."
"How do I get up there?" Ernest said.
"Why, this road right outside here
is as good as any, I guess. It takes you
right past it. It's a big stone house up
there about two mile."
Ernest stood in front of the door,
waiting, after he had- knocked. The
house was old, and the rough stone was
weathered into a soft patina of browns
and grays, darker where the mortar
pointing had fallen out. The window
frames were gray also, and unpainted.
He-knocked again until he heard foot-
steps.
"Mr. Carver?" he said. "They told me
down at the store that you might put
me up for some hunting." After a time
the man answered slowly, looking ofi'
toward the horizon.
"Why.. sure, I guess I might be able
to." His voice was high pitched and
hesitant. He had been watching Ernest
from the window since he had come in,
curious at his clean city clothes. "You'll
have to pay ahead of time. .It's fifty
cents a day."
"All right," Ernest said. "You have a
place whee I can put the car?"
"Sure, out in back of the barn there.
The shed door ought to be open." He
turned and walked into the house.
Ernest carried his valise and rifle
case from the barn, walking through
the tall grass and weeds that had once
been a lawn. The buildings on the farm
were placed with a geometric precision.
he noticed, the windowless sides to the
north. There was a feeling of squareness
and sohdity in the old stone house, its
angles and lines seeming unbroken and
dull.
In the afternoon Ernest walked in
the woods, stepping carefully to avoid
tearing his trousers in the underbrush,
holding the rifle firmly in his hands.
He found a large dead walnut to use as
a target butt and walked back about
fifty yards, careful that there were no
other trees in line with his target. He
used the fork of a young sapling as a
muzzle rest, feeling the smooth polish-
ed side of the stock comb pleasant
against his .cheek. Throgh the lenses
of the telscope sight the sharp black
center of the target appeared un-
naturally clear. Ater a time he spoke
to himself quietly. "That's a pretty
good group. A good group; looks to be
centered on the three o'clock seven." He
turned the windage screw on the sight
slightly and squeezed the trigger. "She's
all right now," he said. "She was full
on ten when I pulled. She's all right
now."
At night he lay on his bed upstairs.
smoking cigarettes until he fell asleep.
There were no sheets on the bed and
the blankets were coarse and rough,
but he slept soundly. When he awoke in

the barn wall and began to walk across
the field, the jumping iniects rising
thickly about his feet as he scuffed the
hay still wet with morning. He could
! look across the field and down into the
valley, his eye seeming almost on a
level with the gentle slope. The houses
were clean and miniscule at a distance;
he looked at each one carefully. "Ah,"
he said. "There it is, down there." He
knelt by a thicket at the edge of the
field, raising his binoculars and looking
through the foliage.
Steadying the glasses agaist the
thin sprigs of the thicket, he watched
the house in the valley below carefully,
seeing the white plaster walls and the
surrounding trees almost dimensionless,
as if they were cast on a motion picture
screen, the colors much brighter than
in nature.
In the evening he sat eating supper
with Hubert. "You didn't get anything
today, did you," Hubert said.
"No. I guess it wasn't such a good day
for it."
"I didn't hear you shooting any, so
I guess you didn't flush much either."
"No, nothing came up for me,"
Ernest said. He spoke absently, without
lookingat Hubert.
"That's funny. There's always plenty
out there for me. Maybe you need a
dog. . or a shotgun. I never did see the
man that could shoot phasants and
rabbit with a rifle, unless they was
standing still. If I was you, I'd get a
shotgun and some shells." Ernest rose
and walked upstairs to his room. He lay
on his back on the bed, smoking
thoughtfully. The ceiling was stained
and discolored, with tongues of torn
and dirty wallpaper hanging down.
In the morning he walked again
across the fields, carrying the rifle with
eNagel him. -He sat in the thicket all through
the morning and late into the after-
noon, watching the house on the
slope below through the binoculars.
y Once he raised the rifle to his shoulder
j ad sighted toward the house, "It's
three hundred yards if its an inch," he
said. "It's three hundred yards and I'd
ty high- mess it up sure." Through the after-
we hope noon h sat motionless, moving only to
-articles look at his watch and to rest his eyes
aching a from the binoculars. The sun was hot
e, it will and directly overhead. "He leaves in the
students. morning," he said. "He leaves in the
students, morning and doesn't come back until
sider the five. She is alone all day. No one ever
et no re- comes to see them and they are alone
no mat- at night."
ublished. II
nong the In the evening he walked down the
to insure slope toward the house, stepping care-
fully in the dry oat stubble. He stopped
rus doing to light a cigarette, watching the house
e strong- as he did so. The rifle was cocked and
Only in loaded; he made sure that the safety
and for catch had been pushed down. Walking
closer, he set the rifle against a tree and
threw his cigarette away. "I can't go in
there with the gun," he thought. "He'll
know what I'm there for."
ish your He stood on the porch by the door,
waiting. She was young, and her face
ack after was pleasant; hr curly chestnut hair
flared away from the nape of her neck.
ething to "Hello," Ernest said. "Is Mr. Flack
r for it." home yet?"
st said. "Why, yes, he just came in a few
r of the minutes ago.. Won't you come in?"
hayfield "She is very nice," he thought. "I
idge. "It might have known that Doc would try
here," he it this way. It's just like Doc."
tt against He was sitting with his back to the

Linolein Block by Christin

A STATEMENT OF POLIC'
The title of "University of Michigan Literary Magazine" is a pret
sounding one for any magazine to carry. And although that -is what
Perspectives will be,' we mean "literary" not in the sense of containing
which are dignified, sonorous, and academic, but in the sense of appro
real campus literature, which students will enjoy reading. Furthermor
be a students' magazine-written by students and intended to be read by;
Our policy is simply this: we will encourage contributions from all
in all divisions of the University. We will publish those which we con
best and which we think will be most interesting. Aside from that we s
strictions. Any articlq, story, or poem, which makes interesting reading,
ter what the style, the subject, or the opinions of the author, will be p
And we think we have enough diversity of attitudes and opinions an
members of the staff to avoid dominance by any particular group, and1
variety in the magazine.
We believe that there are enough students on the Michigan camp
enough good writing to make this magazine a success, and to that end w
ly urge everyone who is interested in writing to submit his or her work.
that way can Perspectives become what it should be, a magazine by
the student body of the University of Michigan.

the morning he heard Hubert already
moving about downstairs. "I wonder
what gets up so early for?" he thought.
"He doesn't do much all day." He
dressed quickly, in the same clothes
that he wore the day before, even wear-
ing his tie.
He ate his breakfast at the table in
the kitchen, without speaking. "Going
out today?" Hubert said.
"Yes, I guess I will. I think I'll go
out right now."

"Don't you want to fini
breakfast?"
"No. That's all right. I'll be b
a bit."
"If I was you I'd get som(
eat first. You'll feel the bette
"No, that's all right," Erne
Ernest stood by the corne
barn, looking across the big
on the sloping top of ' the r
should be over there somewl
said. He set the rifle on its bu

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