Hard Times Arnie Smith Author:Clifton Adams Arnie stared with the look of a man who has come awake suddenly to find that his nightmare was real. The scavengers strolled through the store, upsetting tables and counters, stripping shelves, casually stuffing, their pockets with dollar watches, pistols, small bottles of perfume, tobacco and cigars. Within five minutes the Smith General Mercan... more »tile Company looked like one giant trash heap-and they hadn't even started their serious work yet...
"...Something inside Arnie seemed to snap. He heard himself screaming. He threw himself at one of the wreckers and received a savage blow alongside the head for his trouble. He lunged again and go a heavy brogan in the chest. Frank Carr rolled on the thread counter, holding his sides. He was making choking sounds, laughing until he could hardly get his breath.
"Then, with the suddenness of shattering glass, the scavenger was laughing no longer. He stared at Arnie, his eyes bulging. The advancing line of scavengers also stopped and stared. As if by magic, Arnie was suddenly holding a sotgun in his hands.
One part of his mind was racing wildly, out of control; another part was eerily cool and rational....The wild part was shouting, Shoot! But the cool and rational part was remembering another time he had fired a single shot in the air and then was helpless..."« less