I could see by the

ks on the mattress and rigging it with ropes looped over tree branch cheap nike air max 90/2013 shoes australia online store es. We quickly assembled the contraption nike air max 1 and tested it once, jerking back on the ropes at the count of three. It worked梐 minor avalanche of rocks rained onto the street below. It was, we were convinced, enough to kill Ernie Goad and his gang, which was what we fully intended to do: kill them and commandeer their bikes, leaving their bodies in the street as a warning to others.
We piled the rock cheap nike air max trainers s back on the mattress, rerigged the catapult, and waited. After a couple of minutes, Ernie and his gang reappeared at the switchback. Each of them rode one-handed and carried an egg-sized rock in his throwing hand. They were proceeding single file, like a Pawnee war party, a few feet apart. We couldn’t get them all at once, so we aimed for Ernie, who was at the head of the pack.
When he came within range nike air max 90 , Brian gave the word, nike air max 95 and we jerked back on the ropes. The mattress shot forward, and our arsenal of rocks flew through the air. I heard them thud against Ernie’s body and clatter on the road. He screamed and cursed as his bike skidded. The kid behind Ernie ran into him, and they both fell. The other two turned around and sped off. Brian and I started hurling whatever rocks were at hand. Since they were downhill, we had a good line of fire and scored several direct hits, the rocks dinging off their bikes, nicking the paint and denting the fenders.
Then Brian yelled, „Charge!“ and we came barreling down the hill. Ernie and his friend jumped back on their bikes and furiously pedaled off before we could reach them. As they disappeared around the bend, Brian and I did a victory dance in the rock-strewn street, giving nike air max 90 sale our own war whoops.
AS T cheap nike air max HE WEATHER warmed, a sort of rough beauty ove nike air max rtook the steep hillsides around Little Hobart Street. Jack-in-the-pulpits and bleeding hearts sprouted wild. White Queen Anne’s lace and purple phlox and big orange daylilies blossomed along the road. During the winter you could see abandoned cars and refrigerators and the shells of deserted houses in the woods, but in the spring the vines and weeds and moss grew over them, and in no time they disappeared altogether.
One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by. Mom really piled up on books. She came home from the Welch public library every week or two with a pillowcase full of novels, biographies, and histories. She snuggled into bed with them, looking up from time to time, saying she was sorry, she knew she should be d nike air max classic oing something more productive nike air max sale , but like Dad, she had her addictions, and one of them was reading.
We all read, but I never had the feeling of togetherness I’d had in Battle Mountain when we all sat around in the depot with our books. In Welch, people drifted off to different corners of the house. Once night came, we kids all lay in our rope-and-cardboard beds, reading by flashlight or a candle we’d set on our wooden boxes, each of us creating our own little pool of dim light.
Lori was the most obsessive reader. Fantasy and science fiction dazzled her, especially The Lord of the Rings. When she wasn’t reading, she was drawing orcs or hobbits. She tried to get everyone in the family to read the books. „They transport you to a different world,“ she’d say.
I didn’t want to be transported to another world. My favorite books all involved people deali cheap nike air max ng with hardships. I loved The Grapes of Wrath, L nike air max 90 ord of the Flies, and especially A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I thought Francie Nolan and I were practically identical, except that she had lived fifty years earlier in Brooklyn and her mother always kept the house clean. Francie Nolan’s father sure reminded me of Dad. If Francie saw the good in her father, even though most people considered him a shiftless drunk, maybe I wasn’t a complete fool for believing in mine. Or trying to believe in him. It was getting harder.
* * *One night that summer, when I was lying in bed and everyone else was asleep, I heard the front door open and the sound of someone muttering and stumbling around in the darkness. Dad had come home. I went into the living room, where he was sitting at the drafting table. I could see by the

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