Monday, January 9, 2017

the optometrist


by nick nelson

illustrations by danny delacroix





the optometrist walked down the street.

everybody watched from their windows.

injun joe, smoking his eternal pipe, watched from the window of the smoke shop.

wang yun watched from the window of the laundry.

miss ellie williams watched from the window of the schoolhouse.

sheriff pete brown waited at the bottom of the street.

the sheriff had pulled an old battered sofa out into the street and he sat on it.

the sheriff had a shotgun on his lap.

the optometrist kept walking down the street.

slow and easy.

jessie jones and sallie may watched from the second floor window of mrs willard’s.

buck daniels and jake carter and the rest of the town good-for-nothings watched from outside the saloon.

banker solomon smith, though he did not approve of such nonsense, found himself drifting over to the window of the bank to take a look.

suddenly little bobby miller ran into the street.

“bobby miller! you get back in here this minute!” cried mrs miller.

with an “awww!”, bobby obeyed.

the optometrist kept on walking down the street.

there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

just the sun.

getting higher.

everybody had a good view.

the sheriff leaned back on his sofa and smiled.

old ulysses, in town to buy some provisions for old mrs bainbridge, watched from the door of jackson’s general store.

“a bad business.” observed mr jackson, wiping his flour-stained hands on his apron.

“sure enough,” ulysses agreed.

and the optometrist kept on coming.

“i got my money on the sheriff,” drawled buck daniels.

“everybody’s got their money on the sheriff, you dang fool!” exploded charlie matthews. “ain’t nobody going to take that bet!”

the sheriff leaned back a little easier on the sofa.

the whole town watched.

the sun got a little higher in the sky.

and the optometrist just kept on coming.



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