The rain pelted down on the dreary window pane. Although instead of a crystalline "pitter pat pat" associated with the sound of rain on a glass window pane, the sound was more of a dull "pft pft pft"; the sound of drops of water on the waxed paper "window" right next to my head. Want something to drink? This'll take a little while so get comfortable sir.

To the east, about half a mile along the river Hubris was a village. The village stood upon the plain fields of wheat and crop that swayed in the springtime breeze, blowing across the slant of the rain plummeting to the ground. The village, composed of perhaps a hundred or so buildings of wooden planks and plain stone brick and the grip of mortar and nails, housed perhaps four to five hundred people who lived in a blissfully simple husbandry lifestyle that depended on a good crop, good weather, and peace. The village traded with the small hamlet just down the river, on long flat rafts and barges that ferried the wheat, wood, and Farmer McColl's apples for the stone bricks, sheep, and milk that came along downstream on that wonderful river Hubris, flowing like drink from a bottle.

In the small wooden shack on the edge of the deep dark wood perhaps another half mile along the river lived a man and his son. The man and his son had lived alone for some time now, at the edge of the deep dark wood, and the people of the village seldom saw them, causing a cloud of some mystery and rumor. The townsfolk saw the man and child perhaps once each month, when they came along to the old general store for things like fishing line, bolts of cloth, and occasional tools like hoes and axes. The man always bought a new carving knife every four visits, and the son was always gifted a stick of licorice. The two then walked along the faint path to their modest quaint little shack, the father towing a hand cart with his months worth of supplies, and the son skipping along and giggling as he pointed at each bird, butterfly, or any other pretty thing.

But the townsfolk didn't like the man and his son.
The townsfolk all locked themselves in their homes and shut each of the shutters. The men would pull out their guns, and the wives would sit in the cellar with their children, waiting for it to just be over. The general store man would always place the usual products on the shelf in the front, and nervously wait behind the dust worn counter, smooth from the generations and generations of hands on its grainy surface. And when the man and his son came, the whole village was quieter than a catacomb on the eve of Easter.

And they waited. And waited. The men tense against the window, the women and children trembling in the cellar, they all just waited for the man and his son. And when the time came, reckon there'd be perhaps, eighty pairs of eyes on the man and his son. Eighty pairs of eyes, and perhaps forty rifles too. The whole town was a ghost town, not a single motion not a single move.

You might be wondering what the deal was with this man and his son. There shouldn't be a problem with a man and his son living out there by themselves and no one? But the townsfolk of the village on the banks of the river Hubris were mighty proud of their people, each brown haired, green eyed, and pale skinned. Or perhaps blonde haired, blue eyed, and a touch redder than the next man. But the man and his son, they weren't the same, oh no sir. Their dark black hair like the dark of night stood out, stood out like a stain on a bedsheet, their swarthy brown skin a shade like the rustic dried earth in the midst of summertime like a man cooked and fried in a pot full of oil. No, the man and his son weren't the same, and rumor had it you'd be cursed the Indian curse if you ever came across an Indian like them. You'd ask the old General Store man, his daddy done and died after selling to them for ten old years; suffered and died in a blaze of heat so hot he stumbled naked out into the snow in the deep of winter. Died nice and cool, in his final moment he finally felt a relief from that Indian fever after suffering so long in his bed, yes sir.

Where are they now, the man and his son? Oh they're not there no more, no sir they ain't. They done and gone now, and so is that village on the banks of the river Hubris. They got real angry one day, sick of living in fear each month when the man and his son came down to visit. I was there when they did it, they try and run them off the land. It was all of a sudden, old Rathy McColl saying how he's sick of sitting with his gun in hand and not doing a thing, you see. He got some of the young ones all riled up and hot blooded, and soon they got to building a barricade of sorts. Or a wall. Never saw anything get done so fast in this little village on the banks of the river Hubris as this, that wall you see. Was up in less than a morning, a lunch, and an afternoon. And by morning of the next day there was thirty men behind that wall with guns, there was.
And as if on cue, was the man and his son, walking and laughing and joking and happy. Oh no sir, they didn't even think one day the village would do such a thing, that they'd try and run them off this land. That barricade was all lit up big and bright with torches and all, and the light of the fire danced off the barrels of the guns of the man. Oh the look on his face, on the indian man and his son, taking the crest of the hill and taking in sight of the barricade meant to run them off, the man and his son.

And old Rathy McColl screamed something sinister, and the men were all panicked. They didn't think they were gonna shoot the man and his son, no i'm sure of it. But old Rathy McColl had a hate for that man and his son like the hate of a bull when he's shackled all up and trapped like and old Bandito. And when the men all panicked and yanked the trigger like they'd yank the reins of a breakneck bronco, they shot so much they threw up a cloud of dust in the air so thick you'd break your nose walking into it. There was a coughing and spluttering and a flapping of arms, and everybody was sure that they'd just killed the man and his son. They all coughed and stood and stared and waited, and one man or two i'm sure had prayed.

And when that cloud of dust settled down, like silt in a river, all the men sucked in a big thing of breath like tearing up the wind, and one man or two i'm sure dropped his gun. And old Rathy McColl just stood and stared dumbstruck like the old geezer got slapped by a nun on Easter Sunday. Oh I don't blame them though, because when that cloud of dust settled down, like silt in a river, all the men couldn't believe that the old indian man was still standing, and the son untouched.

And the old indian man had this look of sadness in his eyes. That old look of sadness i'm sure ol' Lincoln had when he felt the shadow of ol' Mr John on the back of his head. And he put a hand on his son's shoulder, turned him around, and walked away. Not a single man had moved right there and then, as the man and his son walked up the path into the distance. Not a single man had moved until the man and his son had disappeared, into the horizon and the big red old sun setting into the line of the horizon.

It's been twenty years since that's happened to the village on the banks of the Hubris river. The townsfolk had gone up to their meager little house the next day, to beg of forgiveness, but the little house had disappeared, gone into the wind. No one's ever seen the man and his son again, and that is a damned shame since I would've gotten on my hands and knees to ask them to forgive me as well for not leaping out and stopping them, as a young seven year old boy could. The village fell into ruin, old Rathy McColl contracting the Indian fever, as well did the rest of the men who had shot, and their families. People fled the village, in fear of the sickness, and the village became a real live ghost town on the banks of the Hubris. I heard old Jimmy Ricket, my dear friend back in that village on the banks Hubris died of Indian fever as well, and each day I lay in bed, wondering if I too, shall pass away of Indian fever like the rest of them. But, whether purposeful or sheer coincidental, I'm still alive, and here in this tavern telling this story day by day as I pour travelers something to wash away the dust of the road. Sometimes i'll see a glimpse of black hair, or swarthy dark skin and wonder if the man and his son had come to visit, or to come and judge me like they did the others. But then I tell myself he wouldn't; they wouldn't, because what would a seven year old boy have done?

Well companero it's been mighty fine telling you this story tonight, but the suns setting the sky all red and that reminds me of when the man and his son disappeared. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, but c'mon, get out of here sir, after all, we're closed for the night.