Of Mice and also Men page 1


A couple of miles southern of Soledad, the Salinas flow drops in close to the hillside bank and also runs deep and green. The water is heat too, for it has actually slipped twinkling end the yellow sands in the sunlight before reaching the small pool. Top top one side of the river the gold foothill slopes curve approximately the solid and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees — willows fresh and green with every spring, transporting in their lower leaf junctures the debris that the winter’s flooding; and sycamores through mottled, white, recumbent limbs and also branches the arch over the pool. On the sandy bank under the tree the pipeline lie deep and also so fresh that a lizard makes a an excellent skittering if he runs among them. Rabbit come out of the brush to sit ~ above the sand in the evening, and the damp flats are covered through the night monitor of ‘coons, and with the spreadpads of dog from the ranches, and also with the split-wedge tracks of deer that come to drink in the dark.

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There is a course through the willows and among the sycamores, a path beaten difficult by guys coming under from the ranches come swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps that come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water. In prior of the low horizontal body of a large sycamore over there is an ash pile made by countless fires; the body is worn smooth by males who have sat ~ above it.

Evening that a hot day began the small wind to moving among the leaves. The the shade climbed up the hills towards the top. On the sand banks the rabbit sat as quietly as little gray sculptured stones. And also then indigenous the direction that the state highway come the sound the footsteps on fresh sycamore leaves. The rabbits hurried noiselessly because that cover. A stilted heron labored up into the air and pounded under river. Because that a minute the location was lifeless, and also then 2 men emerged from the path and came right into the opening by the environment-friendly pool.

They had actually walked in single file down the path, and also even in the open one continued to be behind the other. Both to be dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and also both lugged tight ceiling rolls slung over their shoulders. The very first man was little and quick, dark that face, with restless eyes and also sharp, solid features. Every part of him to be defined: small, solid hands, slim arms, a thin and also bony nose. Behind the walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face, v large, pale eyes, and wide, sloping shoulders; and he to walk heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a be affected by each other drags his paws. His eight did no swing at his sides, however hung loosely.

The very first man stopped brief in the clearing, and also the follower practically ran end him. The took off his hat and also wiped the sweat-band v his forefinger and snapped the moisture off. His substantial companion to reduce his blankets and also flung self down and also drank from the surface of the eco-friendly pool; drank with lengthy gulps, snorting into the water like a horse. The tiny man stepped nervously beside him.

“Lennie!” he said sharply. “Lennie, for God’ sakes don’t drink therefore much.” Lennie ongoing to snort right into the pool. The small man leaned over and also shook the by the shoulder. “Lennie. Friend gonna be sick choose you to be last night.”

Lennie dipped his whole head under, hat and all, and also then he sat up ~ above the bank and also his cap dripped under on his blue coat and ran down his back. “That’s good,” the said. “You drink some, George. You take it a great big drink.” that smiled happily.

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George unslung his bindle and also dropped it tenderness on the bank. “I ain’t certain it’s good water,” that said. “Looks kinda scummy.”

Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his finger so the water emerged in tiny splashes; ring widened throughout the pool to the other side and came back again. Lennie watched them go. “Look, George. Look what ns done.”

George knelt beside the pool and drank native his hand with rapid scoops. “Tastes all right,” he admitted. “Don’t really seem to be running, though. You never oughta drink water when it ain’t running, Lennie,” he stated hopelessly. “You’d drink out of a gutter if you to be thirsty.” that threw a scoop that water into his face and also rubbed it around with his hand, under his chin and also around the back of his neck. Climate he changed his hat, moved himself back from the river, drew up his knee and embraced them. Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He driven himself back, attracted up his knees, taken on them, looked end to George to watch whether he had actually it just right. He pulled his hat under a little an ext over his eyes, the way George’s hat was.

George stared morosely in ~ the water. The rims that his eyes were red with sun glare. He claimed angrily, “We can just as well of rode clean to the ranch if that bastard bus driver knew what he was talkin’ about. ‘Jes’ a small stretch down the highway,’ that says. ‘Jes’ a little stretch.’ God damn near 4 miles, that’s what the was! Didn’t wanta stop at the ranch gate, that’s what. Too God damn lazy to pull up. Wonder that isn’t also damn an excellent to avoid in Soledad in ~ all. Kicks united state out and also says ‘Jes’ a small stretch down the road.’ i bet that was much more than four miles. Damn warm day.”

Lennie looked timidly over to him. “George?”

“Yeah, what ya want?”

“Where we goin’, George?”

The tiny man jerked under the brim of his hat and scowled end at Lennie. “So friend forgot that awready, walk you? ns gotta tell you again, carry out I? Jesus Christ, you’re a stunner bastard!”

“I forgot,” Lennie claimed softly. “I tried no to forget. Honest to God ns did, George.”

“O.K — O.K. I’ll call ya again. I ain’t obtained nothing to do. Can jus’ also spen’ every my time tellin’ friend things and also then girlfriend forget ‘em, and also I tell girlfriend again.”