them Logans? As I hear it, that David’s been living in New York City. If half of what you read in the paper’s true, there sure are a bunch of faggot weirdos living there .”
Frank smiled and said, quietly, “You been readin’ Mac’s Enquirers? ”
Everyone laughed except for Espy and Franklin. Espy’s face twisted with restrained anger. Frank spoke softly, keeping his eyes focused on his hands as he grasped his beer mug. “‘Could’ve been David Logan, though.”
Now Frank got really angry, and he slammed open palm on the table. Everyone jumped. “Are you guys nuts? ” he shouted.
“I dunno’,” Franklin whispered. “I just thought—”
“You just didn’t think! That’s the goddamned trouble around here. We got a shit load of people who shoot off their mouths before they think. Christ! ” Frank huffed and stood. He leaned back his head and drained the remainder of his beer, then, without a word, turned and left the Sawmill.
There was a long silence after Schroder left. The men looked nervously from one to another until Espy cleared his throat and spoke. “Well, I for one don’t think Will’s too far off. That David Logan’s probably just as weird as his uncle. Weirder, maybe, after living so long in New York.” Suddenly he turned to Les, who had been sitting quietly, taking it all in. “What do you think, Les?”
“Huh?” Les scratched the back of his head, making his felt hat shift further over his eyes. He sighed deeply, like someone waking up after a long sleep.
“You were buddies with David Logan in high school, weren’t you?”
“Yeah,” came the quick reply.
“Well? You think he could be . . . well, a little bit, you know.” He wiggled his hand back and forth. “You know, a queer or something?”
Les shrugged. “Beats my ass,” he said, then took a drink. “He moved to New York right after high school, ‘n we never stayed in touch. How the hell should I know what he’s like?”
“How about in high school,” Espy said, pressing. “Did he score with the chicks?”
“Or was he always dropping his soap in the showers after gym class?” McQuire piped in. When they all laughed, he sat back in his chair, satisfied with his joke.
Les was the only one who didn’t laugh. He said, softly, “He did all right with the girls, I guess. Got as much ass as anyone else, I suppose.”
“Not as much as you did, though,” McQuire said. “At least he didn’t get a chick knocked up and end up with a shotgun wedding.”
Les stiffened at this for a second, then slowly uncoiled and leaned his chair back against the wall. “Naw,” he said finally, “I don’t think Davie Logan’s a faggot.” He paused, then added, for emphasis, “But his uncle, old man Logan . . . well, that might be another story. . . .” His voice trailed away.
“Well, no matter who it is,” Carmichael said, “I just hope Shaw busts his ass and nails him. And soon!
“Ummm. The staties are sending up a sergeant to help him.”
Espy made a sound that was a perfect combination of a sigh and a snarl. “Shaw’s lucky he can find his way home at night, for Christ’s sake. He’s gonna need a whole battalion of staties to help him.” He shook his head with disgust.
“I’m tellin’ yah all!” someone shouted.
They all looked up to see Mac walking unsteadily toward them. He had a full mug in his hand and was splashing beer onto the floor with each wobbly step. “Ther’s somethin’ out there in the Bog that ain’t natural . Nossir-ree.”
Everyone tried to ignore him, but he leaned, almost fell sprawling across the table. “Go out there tonight. Any of yah. I dare yah. You’ll see.” He snickered to himself, then added, “Maybe we’ll get lucky and a UFO’ll kidnap the whole fuckin’ bunch of yah!” He snorted and staggered away, humming an unrecognizable tune under his breath.
“He’s feeling better all the time, ain’t he?” McQuire said, smiling.
Espy stood up. “Crazy old