Hands on shoulders

“The Untold Lie”, pp.125 “Ray Pearson arose and stood staring. He was almost a foot shorter than Hal, and when the younger man came and put his two hands on the older man’s shoulders they made a picture. There they stood in the big empty field with the quiet corn shocks standing in rows behind them and the red and yellow hills in the distance, and from being just two indifferent workmen they had become all alive to each other. Hal sensed it and because that was his way he laughed. ‘Well, old daddy,’ he said awkwardly, ‘come on, advise me. I’ve got Nell in trouble. Perhaps you’ve been in the same fix yourself. I know what everyone would say is the right thing to do, but what do you say? Shall I marry and settle down? Shall I put myself into the harness to be worn out like an old horse? You know me, Ray. There can’t anyone break me but I can break myself. Shall I do it or shall I tell Nell to go to the devil? Come on, you tell me. Whatever you say, Ray, I’ll do.’

Ray couldn’t answer. He shook Hal’s hands loose and turning walked straight away toward the barn. He was a sensitive man and there were tears in his eyes. He knew there was only one thing to say to Hal Winters, son of old Windpeter Winters, only one thing that all his own training and all the beliefs of the people he knew would approve, but for his life he couldn’t say what he knew he should say. ”

*

Older man/ boy… “Older man” used two times beside here: when George Willard and Enoch Robinson are together Enoch is the “older man” (105); with Ed Handby and George Willard, Handby is the “older man”; with Tom Foster and George Willard, Willard is the “older boy.”


%d bloggers like this: