On the Lookout….California 1974

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There’s some bulls jus’ plain got it out for ya. There’s some bad ones alright. I had ‘em kick me while I was sleepin’. Yeah, that happened in Oroville. The son of a bitch kicks me in the ribs. I wake up n’ he an’ another guy tells me to beat it. My side hurt bad for three or four days. They does worse than that. Got that black son of a bitch in K Falls. That crazy motherfucker carries a shotgun everywhere he goes. Never seen him without it. I knowed guys had run-ins with him. He shot Dogman’s dogs. That’s a fact. Shot ‘em right there in the yards. Goddamned crazy. He burned plenty of tramps bedrolls. Took their bedrolls and set ‘em on fire. He thinks it’s the only way he’ll keep tramps outta his yard.

The way I heard it, he had him a brother in Seattle, a bull jus’ like him. Ain’t ‘xactly sure how it happened, but his brother got himself killed by a tramp. And whoever it is the tramp that done it, had two dogs with him. That’s how come he don’t like dogs. If I had a dog, K Falls is the last place I’d take him. His brother gettin’ killed is what made him mean. Ain’t a tramp in the country don’t know about that bull. He ain’t never bothered me, maybe I’m lucky.

If a yard is hot like that, word travels up and down the line. Keep an ear to the ground and ye’ll know which yards is hot before you even set foot in ‘em. Some yards’ll be hot for a time, an’ then cool down. Like Omaha last year. All summer they’re runnin’ tramps outta the Omaha yards. Two tramps got themselves stabbed within a couple weeks time. Two killings in a row’ll put the heat on. Makes it hot for everyone. A little time passes an’ it cools down, and then some place else is hot. It pays to keep an ear to the ground.

Sooner or later they’ll pick you off. Tramp around long enough and you’ll see the inside a plenty a jails. One night, maybe ten days and you’re out to catch the same line you was throwed off. I got thirty days once in North Carolina on the Atlantic Coast Line. That was in the fifties. There’s bulls like to push a tramp around to make themselves feel like bigshots. They ain’t foolin’ nobody. It’s only little men get pleasure outta pushin’ people around.