Our author Larry Winchester*, responding to an overwhelming volume of cards and letters, now turns his focus on a couple of beloved characters we haven’t seen in a while, the Native American brujo Paco and that dissolute rock star and wit, Derek Squitters.
(Click here to see our previous chapter or go here to re-start the whole damn thing.)
*”The anti-John Updike.” -- Harold Bloom
Paco and Derek roared through the desert in Paco’s scabrous green ’55 Plymouth station wagon.
Derek was loving it. It was all so -- American.
Paco was even letting him drive. Driving wasn’t so hard if you just stayed in one gear and there were no other cars around for miles. Paco gave Derek directions, they stayed on little trails and dirt roads and they roared along.
The Seeds were singing “Pushing Too Hard” on the radio and it was all so fucking beautiful. Derek felt like he was in a fucking western, a fucking John Ford or Larry Winchester movie, he felt like he was Burt Reynolds in Navajo fucking Joe. This fucking desert all around, these weird buttes or mesas or whatever the bleeding hell they were called. Bleeding cactuses. Fucking tumbleweeds for Christ’s sake. Driving out here with this real Indian. And with his own shotgun, man. Just like James Caan in El Dorado.
This was the best fuckin’ night he’d had since his group first headlined the Albert fucking Hall.
Paco had loaded his granddad’s old Winchester repeating rifle for himself and his own double-barreled Purdey 12-gauge for Derek to use. The spirits had spoken through his TV set, and it was time to go on the warpath. It was strange that he had to go on the warpath with the Englishman, but life was strange.
Just to be on the safe side he made the Englishman his blood brother before they left, cutting slits in the palms of both their right hands with a butcher knife and then clasping the wounds together, mixing their bloods, then sticking Band-Aids over the cuts. He sure hoped he wouldn’t catch syphilis or some other white man’s disease from the Englishman.
(Continued here. Soon to be a major motion picture featuring Burt Reynolds as "Paco" and Tom Courtenay as "Derek"; music by Ennio Morricone and the Spike Jones Orchestra; a Dino DiLaurentiis/Larry Winchester Production in association with Jack Webb. Rated R for vulgar language and excessive drug use.)