Thomas Couture – The Famous French History Saint Hubert
I stopped short of responding, I really didn’t want anything to do with old man Beck. My Uncle Jeffery told me that the old man was dangerous, that he may not look or act it, Saint Hubert but he had kind of one of those-so he called, ‘evil eyes,’ so I figured my uncle knew something. Oddly I thought it was-for my uncle to regard someone in this fashion-but he knew Muse, and the gang I hung Saint Hubert around with was troublesome, and they liked to bully folks about, and Old Man Beck he was the new guy on the block, sort of speaking, so he got the treatment from the gang I suppose you could say; my uncle got along with him quite well for some peculiar reason though, it baffled me at first. He came from Chicago I heard-and at one time worked in the Stockyards in South Saint Saint Hubert Paul (Minnesota), some twenty years before he moved here, and bought the store down the block, a small store, grocery store. I guess his wife died-she was from Chicago too, and he had met her when he was in the Army, some time ago, and when he got out of the Army, he moved with her to Chicago. My uncle saw a plaque on the wall someplace in the store once, depicting a scene from WWII, I guess he was a war veteran, and told me to take heed of that. But that was a long time ago, it was 1965 now, I mean, that was twenty years ago when that picture was taken-someplace over in the jungles in Indonesia. I even heard he fought over in Europe someplace also. So my uncle says, thus fighting on both sides of the world, or better put, on the Pacific side as well as the Atlantic side.
“Frankie, let’s go and hassle old man Beck?”
I hesitated, but the other two, Sammy and Amble, Muse’s girlfriend, all insisted. I liked Amble, she was genuine romance material, from the word go. When Muse Saint Hubert(who was always thinking, or looked like he was thinking, more at conniving) was out of town with his dad fishing, she’d put out for both me and Sammy; she liked sex more than drinking or food, or so she give the impression.
I started to walk towards the store, and all three of my buddies, started to applause me, as if it was a bribe they had to give to enhance my loyalty.
Once in the store Muse looked about, took some potato chips and started to eat them without paying; the old man looked a Muse about ready to say how much he owed, I think, and Muse kicked the potato chip stand so hard the potato chip bags, they all went flying, onto the floor. Muse was two Saint Hubert hundred and eighty pounds, perhaps six-foot seven inches tall; the old man, five-foot eight, probably 175 pounds; next Muse opened up a bottle of Coke and started drinking it down, without breathing in one long gulp. Again the old man was about to say something, but Muse yelled,
“Don’t open your mouth old man, or I’ll shut it for you.”
And the old man looked, stared, somewhat glary-eyed, look intently at Muse as if he was a religious man of some kind, you know a convinced assurance this was not Saint Hubert the end of this tribulation, almost a remorseless gleam in his eyes, something strange to me, I continued however to keep a careful distance away from this occurrence. I kind of knew now, what my uncle was trying to tell me, his look steadily grew more solid and distinct, till at last I could trace that monstrous outline with an uncomfortable ease in his face. Muse saw nothing, just wanted to show off, and he ended up doing a good job of it.