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Crossing The Burn

DOWNLOAD CHAPTER ONE FREE! Set in the northern Georgia mountains in the 1950s, this book brilliantly highlights the best and the worst in the mountain folk that constitute its main characters.

Crossing The Burn at www.jyjones.com

Publisher: Hoy Publications 189 pgs
Retail Price Hard Cover $27.95
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Retail Price Paperback $13.95 Buy Now
ISBN (HB) 1-59113-348-3
ISBN (PB) 1-59113-347-5
 
DOWNLOAD CHAPTER ONE FREE! Set in the northern Georgia mountains in the 1950s, this book brilliantly highlights the best and the worst in the mountain folk that constitute its main characters. Travis Jackson is a young teenager whose passion for the outdoors is strongly stimulated by an irreverent elderly neighbor who is a cynical retired chicken farmer. The youth is also heavily influenced by an opinionated part-time preacher and packrat who lives nearby. As the boy matures, the tug of the two men’s opposing philosophies and values creates a troubling tension that is central to the story. While both men are highly unconventional in their views of the world, the first mentors Travis by his considerable outdoor skills, especially in hunting squirrels and harvesting wild produce from the local environs. The second man lays the foundation for the youth’s spiritual development through displaying a veiled spiritual strength. Along the way many Appalachian peculiarities are featured, bringing much local color into the fabric of the story.

The youth’s life involves a diverse peer group, and his interaction with them produces numerous interesting adventures that are interwoven in a stimulating backdrop. Highlights include Travis’ experience with his guardian angel, his discovery of the victim of an unsolved murder, an inexplicable belligerence towards him from a certain segment of the community, stumbling upon a deadly illegal activity that almost costs the boy his life, and the revelation of his elderly squirrel-hunting buddy’s dark past. These elements combine dramatically to bring the tale to an exciting and unexpected conclusion that holds profound spiritual implications.

                                                              CHAPTER ONE
 

Indian Park in 1956 was a quiet place, a mountain place, a slice of Appalachia where people were private but their affairs were mostly common knowledge. The town was situated in a small, flat valley amid ancient, rounded peaks, with an assortment of rooftops clustered wall-to-wall. Twin spires of the Baptist and Methodist churches stood in mute competition, prominent landmarks as one arrived via the pass from Cherokee City. A light rain fell, clouds hung low over the basin, and a piercing whistle from the afternoon freight train sounded shrill in the distance, then faded away into a prolonged and pervasive stillness.

            

            Rough clattering from a flathead automobile engine once more shattered the dreary gray autumn silence. The vehicle was blocky and black, a vintage 1949 sedan from Ford Motor Company. It chugged up a rain-slickened hill toward a modest white house on the edge of town. The machine fell abruptly quiet after it rattled into an unimpressive yard and slid to a stop, its whitewalled tires painted dirty orange by sloppy mud from the rutted road. A cotton-topped boy hurried to a window in the house and flung back crisp white curtains, then wiped away condensation for a better view outside. The driver’s side glass of the car was open, despite brisk cold and a drizzling rain, and a red-faced man could be seen behind the steering wheel. He was smiling broadly and waving, while moisture and cigarette smoke billowed from his mouth.

 

“Mama, it’s H.K.!” shouted Travis Jackson. “He told me he’d come by next time he was going quail hunting!”

 

            “Mm. Don’t know about this,” Ruth Jackson muttered as she hurriedly tidied up her living room. The worst disorder rearranged, she glanced at herself in a hall mirror as she headed for the door. She was a beautiful woman, with smooth skin the color of fresh cream, brown eyes that seemed to clash with her light complexion, and a slim, appealing figure. Her hair was a tangle of natural blonde curls that seldom needed much attention. Her face looked flushed and her tasteful makeup had worn thin in the course of a hard day’s work at Indian Park Diaper Factory. Adjusting quickly, she joined her boy at the door.

 

            “Howdy, Ma’am,” said the visitor cordially in a coarse voice, removing his hat in greeting. He let his eyes linger only briefly on the pretty lady before turning to the youngster. “Travis, ye wan’ go huntin’, son?”