This is a preview to the chapter Chapter Two from the book A Beautiful Glittering Lie by J D R Hawkins.
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“Cat got your tongue, Kit?” he asked, holding back a snicker while he slowly swayed back and forth in one of the rockers.
Kit shook his head. “No, it ain’t that.” He tapped his booted foot nervously. “Where’s that pa of yours?”
“Reckon he’s out yonder at the fence line,” David responded, pointing in the direction indicated. “Why do you want to see him?”
“Well, it ain’t none of your business,” Kit barked.
David’s large hazel eyes widened at the unexpected escalation of his voice, and he abruptly stopped rocking.
“But I’m here to ask him somethin’.”
“Oh. What would that be?”
“I want to know why he’s runnin’ off to jine the army.” With that, Kit stomped back to his haggard horse, mounted, and rode off.
Deciding to follow, David went to the barn to retrieve Sally. He knew he’d be eavesdropping, but curiosity compelled him. Once he arrived at the corner of their property, he stopped Sally far enough away so that they were hidden behind a small coppice of white oaks, but he could still overhear.
“What’s got into that thick head of yours that you’d want to run off and leave your kinfolk to go fight the United States government?” Kit asked gruffly.
Hiram grunted. “Because it’s my duty to defend my home, Kit,” he responded slowly, as if contemplating every word. “I’m jist surprised you didn’t enlist.”
Kit grumbled, “I ain’t jinin’, because I don’t believe in it.”
“What do you mean? You don’t believe in fightin’ for your country?”
“I ain’t sayin’ that. But I live in Tennessee now, which has not seceded. Least, not yet. I’m supportin’ whatever she decides.”
“Suit yourself,” Hiram snapped.
David could tell by the tone in his father’s voice that he was becoming agitated with Kit’s narrow-mindedness.
“I’m choosin’ to fight for Dixie,” Hiram went on, “so my son can grow up free from oppression.”
Biting his lower lip, David felt somewhat guilty. He didn’t want to be the reason for his father’s enlistment. Controlling himself, he refrained from protesting aloud.
“There ain’t no need, Hiram.” Kit seemed to be pleading. “This war nonsense will all be over in a few months. Besides, we’re too old to go. Hell, we’re both thirty-eight, for God’s sake. And I’d hate to see you blacklisted because you fought against your homeland.”
“But this is my homeland, Kit,” Hiram said, exasperated. “That’s what I’ve been tryin’ to tell you.” He was quiet for a moment. “Are you afraid I’ll be labeled a traitor?”
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