New Comers to Salinas Ranch

Kathleen Houston

English 10B, Period 4

Barb Kjeldsen

23 February 2013

Houston 1

New Comers to Salinas Ranch

"Hey fella's."

"'Lo Andy."

"I got some news. Jus' an hour or two ago, two new ranchers came and I'll be damned if they ain't the strangest pair a guys I ever seen. They were dressed about the same, but thas' where the similarities stop. Ones a big, heavy lookin' man, shapeless face, big shoulders, pale eyes, and when he's walking he might as well be a bear."

"What'd the other fella look like Andy?"

"Hold yer god-damned horses will ya. I was jus' getting to that. The other guy was real shifty looking. He was the big guys opposite, lean, quick, looked a bit restless. Anyways, they come walkin' into the bunkhouse an' I'm sitting in a shady part of the place, jus' relaxin' an' I move farther back when I see 'em come in 'cause I wanna see what these two strange fella's are about. Anyway, they come waltzing on in an' with 'em is that old swamper, Candy, an' he' going on about them bein' late-"

"Late, Andy?"

"Yeah, late. They was supposed to be here this mornin' to help buck barley."

"Ya mean those to guys are the reason we had to get out here two buckers short? Jesus that's annoyin'."

"Anyway, the tiny guy, he don't seem to bothered by the fact that they're nearly twelve hours late. What he cares about is the beds in bunkhouse. He found Whitey's ol' can of bug killer an' goes on a rant about not wantin' pants rabbits or something. Not long after, the boss comes in and goes at 'em for bein' late. Now for the really queer part of this

Houston 2

pair. The big guy, Lennie Small they said, he don't talk a lick. George, the smaller guy, don't let him. The boss seemed to think that George was pulling something over on Lennie, taking his pay or something, but George said he wasn't. I'll be damned if this Lennie fella said even three words through that whole conversation 'tween the boss and George. After the boss left Curley came in not too long after that, lookin' for his old man. When the bastard sees Lennie he starts askin' him questions, but that George guy don't let him answer 'till Curley gets on Georges case about it. After that George gestures for Lennie to talk and when he does 'is voice is almost kid-like. It was in how he talked. Like he had the brain of a kid. Curley was thinkin' that Lennie was bein' high an' mighty and made sure to remind Lennie that he was to talk when spoken to. George wasn't too happy with Curley and made sure to tell Lennie and Candy all about it."

"Why d'you think this Lennie guy wasn't 'loud to talk Andy?"

"I dunno Whit. Could be anything, alls I know is the that George fella kept calling his traveling partner "not so bright." The one thing the lean guy did insist on is that Lennie would be a damn good worker."

"What happened next Andy?"

"Yeah, what you just described didn't take anything close to an hour."

"Awright, awright! Don't go getting worked up. What happened next is that Candy starts goin' on about how Curley just got married, and 'bout the Vaseline glove and how Curley's wife has got the eye on'y two weeks married."

"We all know Curley married a tart Andy! Get on with it."

"Awright! So they all set down and the George guy starts setting up a solitaire hand and

Houston 3

I'll be damned if the same person Candy was jus' ranting 'bout walks in. You wanna know what Curley's wife says she was doing down at the bunkhouse, I'll tell ya. She says she was looking for her husband!"

"Ha!"

"To hell she was!"

"That's what she was sayin'. I reckon she was just lookin' for some new boys to eye. Anyways, soon as she comes in she starts posing for the new guys. All the big guy can do is stare, while the other guy, George, glares and asks what she's doin' down at the bunkhouse. After a bit of useless conversation, Slim comes down and tells her that Curley's up at their house. Curley's wife gets this look on her face and she runs off t'wards her house. After she buggers off and Slim walks on Lennie starts goin' on and on about how 'purty' she is. When George goes on and on about how she's gonna make trouble for the two of them, Lennie gets real defensive."

"Why would anyone defend that tart?"

"Maybe he didn't know no better. George kept saying that Lennie wasn't a bright guy, an' I tol' you before that the way he talked made him sound like a kid."

"Awright Andy, I'll buy it."

"Me too but Andy, do you think these two will make trouble?"

"I'd like to hope not but if they did, it would probably come form that Lennie fella, he don't seem to know what's right an' wrong in normal society. He'd be lost without that George guy. I shudder to think what Lennie might do accidentally.

"From what you told us Andy, I'm liable to agree.