Boj: Chapter Fourteen

   Ed's copper skin never changed. He could stay in the hogan for thirty days of sunlight at a time, emerging only at night, to hunt the evening for his needs. His skin stayed bright penny copper in tone.  Or, he could stalk the world from sunup to sundown and never darken. He wore his wide, red bandannas as a fashion statement because all the rednecks around him wore their gimme caps everywhere.

   "I want them to be sure and know there is an Indian in the room," Ed told Boj.

   "Like anybody could miss it," he finished.

   Ed could talk a blue streak for days. Then, suddenly, he would become still, stolid, almost morose. He sat staring down the side of the red clay cliffs overlooking the railroad, never moving, barely seeming to breathe.There were times when a train would rumble by, shaking the road bed with fifty tons of hurtling metal coaches. Ed watched from the time the ground first started to shake until the last car of the train disappeared completely from sight, headed north over toward Fort Worth or south down to Cleburne.

   Ed would stir from his reverie at last, drop off the red clay ledge and swing down to the road bed. He ran back and forth across the tracks, moving up and down the road bed, scanning the still quivering rails. Boj watched his friend bend to pick up whatever scraps of metal or fallen cloth or discarded paper products he could find. He would take an hour or more, working his way parallel to the rails on each side and then down the middle between the two metal strands. Nothing he wanted missed his grasp.

   "I got a good haul today," Ed told him once. "I found three nickels, some cloth, a button and some hose off the middle engine."

   Ed was breathing hard when he clambered back up the cliff's side. He was not winded from his exertion. He was excited. He clambered into the hogan and began to pull out the appropriate boxes, to file away his relics. He carefully marked the date of each find on the box.

   "When any of the People come on their search," he said, "they can find the box they want and touch anything they like from the most important days of their lives. Sometimes they can see images from those days and see what they need to do next."

   Ed had a sympathetic magic.

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