View Full Version : The Sparrows Whisper - Chapter 1

04-28-2011, 02:39 AM
I decided to let Sean and Mariska rest for just a little while, as I go off in a different direction with my second novel. Hope you like it.

Chapter One

Home Again

Four years....Hard to imagine...
In the spring of1949, I left my home town of Jubal to serve in the Marines. Those four years included a cold and miserable two years of fighting in Korea. Most days, I feel like my bones are still frozen from the killing cold of the Chosin Reservoir.
After my enlistment was up, I took a train from California to St. Louis. There I bought a pickup, and headed back toward Jubal. Driving thru the night, I expected to arrive and find significant changes had taken place during my absence. Instead, I found that in northeastern Arkansas, few things change quickly. The next day, as I stood in front of Murrells Drug Store, sipping on a cold Dr. Pepper, I saw the same people, the same buildings, and the same routines of life that I remembered from years ago.
With no clear notion of what direction I wanted my future to take, I had returned to my home town to get myself grounded, and make some decisions. Of two things I was certain.
1. Farming was not an option. My tour in the Marine Corps had convinced me that there were options more to my liking than the cotton and bean fields of Northeast Arkansas.
2. An equally unacceptable choice was electing to labor in the factories of the cities like St. Louis and Detroit.

The Marine Corps had given me ninety days during which I could return at my rank of Sergeant. Should I not find anything in civilian life that provided an interesting future, returning to the Corps was very much a viable option.
About a year ago, my folks had inherited my grandmother's place (on my mother's side) in Montana. Unable to afford or take care of both places, and with no other children to worry about, they sold the home place to me for what they owed. After that, I wrote the attorney and instructed him to lease the farmland, but to hold disposition on the house until I returned home.
After lunch, I decided to go out and take a look at the old home place. As I drove northward out of town, Main Street became a gravel road as The Dairy Bar, a popular summer time ice cream stand, flashed by on my right.
My home was just a few miles drive from town. After pulling into the yard, I made a quick tour of the house, inside and out. Considering it had been vacant for a year, I was pleased to find it in better condition than I expected
After having devoted a few days to visiting friends and family, I was having breakfast at Wanda's Cafe on Main Street, when Carl Elliot walked over to my booth and sat down.
Carl was not only the owner of one of the towns two Funeral Homes, but was also the duly elected Mayor of Jubal.
After Wanda filled his coffee cup, Carl said, “John David, I assume you are looking for a job. If so,I've got one to offer.”
I replied, “Carl, no offense, but I saw enough dead bodies in Korea, I don't intend to make it my life's work”.
“No, that's not what I meant”, answered Carl. “I need a town Sheriff. The last one had only been elected two months before he jumped to a better job in Jonesboro. According to the town charter, I can just appoint a replacement to serve out his term before another election has to be held. I think you would be a good replacement.”
A bit shocked, I said “Really, I mean, I have no police experience at all. What would make you think I would make a good Sheriff?”
“Look John David, first of all, You are a Marine. You understand discipline, and you can take care of yourself.
Secondly, you have always had a good head on your shoulders, and never made panic decisions. I don't want some gun happy cowboy looking for an O.K. Corral reputation. The job is yours if you want it. How about a 30 day trial period for both of us? If at the end of thirty days, either of us is unhappy, I'll get somebody else to fill the job. Sheriff's pay is seventy dollars a week. How about it?”
I set my coffee cup down, shook his hand, and said, “Well now, John David Shannon –Sheriff - ...
Who would've ever dreamed......O.K., that 30 day trial period works for me.
Let's give her a shot.”
We agreed on a time for my introduction to the job, and the swearing in ceremony, then went our separate ways, after I insisted on his paying for breakfast of course....

04-28-2011, 03:05 AM
barnburner - nice painting of the ol home place and i like the start of your story, very engaging..:):):):):D:D

04-28-2011, 04:26 AM
Very nice start of another great story Barny, like that old house, and looking forward to more story;);):)

04-28-2011, 04:44 AM
Like it? Love it Mike!

04-28-2011, 05:06 AM
You´re off to a great start, barnburner! Looking forward to the new series/novel.

04-28-2011, 06:19 AM
Dang you Barn, once again I'm pulled in to following along on what looks to be another great story :D. Keep it coming and I will enjoy reading :D

04-28-2011, 07:00 AM
ghxpainter - Thank you very much. I appreciate it. :):)

Pat - I'm really glad you liked it. Thank you. :):)

Sandra - I'm delighted that you like what I've done with it so far. Many thanks.:):)

Scott - Very much appreciated Scott. Glad you liked it. :):)

Jean - My apologies.. :D:) But, I do most certainly appreciate you following the story. :):)

04-28-2011, 07:22 AM
Alright Mike !!! Off to another good start...

04-28-2011, 09:18 AM
I'm so glad You started a new novel! And what an effective painting!

04-28-2011, 09:32 AM
Fantastic dear Mike I'm already hooked for more
Fab painting to go with it as well:):)

04-28-2011, 10:06 AM
Gee it was just getting good and stopped....:confused: MORE more more!!! hehe


04-28-2011, 11:32 AM
Steve - Thanks a lot. Saw a lot of bad weather on the news tonight in Alabama. Hope you and yours are fine.:):)

Caesar - My thanks to you sir. :):) Actually, the house in the painting was where I spent many wonderful days with my favorite cousin's family in Arkansas before they moved to California many years ago. I painted it about a year ago for her. I borrowed it for this story by bringing it in closer, flipping the view, and changing the color of the roof.

Amanda - You are very kind. Very much appreciated. :):)

BobbyRay - It gets gooder and gooder....:D:DThanks..:):)

04-28-2011, 04:21 PM
I hate to get started on your story in case I can't read it all but I'll give her a try anyway.

04-29-2011, 04:02 AM
Great, another story to read and this makes great reading Barnburner. Keep it coming:)

04-29-2011, 04:33 AM
Neal - Hopefully you will have some time to read the story. Thank you. :):)

Katie, I'm glad you liked the first chapter. Thank you so much. :):)