True Grit, Charles Portis

True Grit

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster – a man, she's told, who has grit – and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.
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True Grit, Charles Portis
True Grit

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ught was: What
nobody’s business if I am married or not married. I care nothing for what they say. I would marry an ugly baboon if I wanted to and make him cashier. I never had the time to fool with it. A woman with brains and a frank tongue and one sleeve pinned up and an invalid mother to care for is at some disadvantage, although I will say I could have had two or three old untidy men around here who had their eyes fastened on my bank. No, thank you! It might surprise you to know their names.
“This piece is too big and clumsy for you. You are better off with something that uses cartridges.”
He poked around in the bottom of the box and came up with a funny little pistol with several barrels.
“No, I am very happy with him,” said I. “Little Blackie is my ‘chum.’”
And I will take it up with mine. I will send him a message by telegraph and he will be here on the evening train. He will make money and I will make money and your lawyer will make money and you, Mr. Licensed Auctioneer, will foot the bill.
r in the day when the trial began as he was the main witness for the prosecution.
I went to Stonehill’s stock barn. He had a nice barn and behind it a big corral and a good many small feeder pens. The bargain cow ponies, around thirty head, all colors, were in the corral. I thought they would be broken-down scrubs but they were frisky things with clear eyes and their coats looked healthy enough, though dusty and matted. They had probably never known a brush. They had burrs in their tails.
I had hated these ponies for the part they played in my father’s death but now I realized the notion was fanciful, that it was wrong to charge blame to these pretty beasts who knew neither good nor evil but only innocence. I say that of these ponies. I have known some horses and a good many more pigs who I believe harbored evil intent in their hearts. I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? Some preachers will say, well, that is superstitious “claptrap.” My answer is this: Preacher, go to your Bible and read Luke 8: 26-33.
Papa followed him outside and told him to surrender the rifle as he was in no fit state to start a quarrel with a gun in his hand. My father was not armed at that time.
Tom Chaney raised his rifle and shot him in the forehead, killing him instantly. There was no more provocation than that and I tell it as it was told to me by the high sheriff of Sebastian County. Some people might say, well, what business was it of Frank Ross to meddle? My answer is this: he was trying to do that short devil a good turn.
The news came like a thunderclap
A man with a Bible talked to each of the men for a minute. I took him for a preacher. He led them in singing "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound"

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