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Memories? Yeah, I’ve had plenty, seen men come an’ go on this ranch, so many I can’t hardly remember them, but two stick in my mind like it was only yesterday, but must be near on twenty years ago… oh I’m Slim, I lead the mule team, sure does beat busting a gut bucking barley… now where was I? Yeah, that’s right… these two guys… Came in one Friday, Boss was sure mad ‘cos they were late. You’ve never seen such an odd pair – George, he was small, neat, quick witted but Lennie, my was he huge! Funny thing was his name was Small! He was like a great bear and he wasn’t too clever either.
Funny how he and George strung along together. Anyway, they come in Friday, Boss had been given us hell all mornin’! I was out on the fields when they came out. Candy was with them and seemed to be showing them around the barn. Lennie seemed excited bout somethin’. George came over and introduced them, “Hi, I’m George and this big fella’ here is Lennie. ” Lennie then tried whispered something to George but I heard every word, “George, George, ask him ’bout dem dogs, please George? ” George looked a bit embarrassed. “Candy tells us you got some new born pups. If there’s one goin’ spare, you reckon Lennie could have it? ” George asked.
“Yeah sure you can Lennie,” I said “Come by the barn later and you can pick one out. ” He went all shy, with a smile from ear to ear, almost like a little kid. Lennie came down to the barn after he had finshed buckin’, he sure was on hell of a worker, and he picked out his Pup. I tried to explain that he shouldn’t be taken out of the box , but the big bastard didn’t take no notice of it, “ha,” gawd he must have been the stupidest guy I have ever met. Now where was I… oh right, so Lennie had got his Pup an’ it must have been dusk so we all headed back to the bunkhouse, and little did we know how much was gonna’ happen that night.
We…… sorry my throats a lil’ dry, could ya’ pour us a drink? Cheers. Ah, that’s better. Anyway, me and George were headed back to the bunkhouse and I started talkin’ to George bout Lennie, ” He sure is some worker, ain’t he? I mean when you said he were a good worker, I thought you meant he just didn’t complain, but by golly, he must have beat every bucker on the ranch, with one hand! ” George chuckled. “If only he wasn’t so stupid I could be livin’ a dream. ” He said and looked in to the stars. “So, how come you travel with him, I mean I aint never seen no-one that looks out for anyone as much as you look out for him.
” He looked a lil’ taken back by that but he simply answered, “I promised his aunt I would look after him, an’ by god I’ve had too. But he will do anything I tell him too,” George started to smile, “I once told him too jump in a river, and I knew he couldn’t swim but he still did it and nearly drowned ‘cos o’ me. Ever since then I haven’t done anything’ to him that might hurt him. ” He stared into the ground, almost as if he regretted doin’ that to him. I broke the silence, “So, how come you’ve ended up here? ” I asked. He didn’t want to tell me, I could tell by his face, but I think he new that he could trust me.
“You won’t tell no-one, will ya’? ” He asked “Course I wont” I replied “Well… ” He started off, “We were working in weed, and Lennie was settin’ under some trees havin’ a break ‘cos we had finished our morning load in an hour and a half. ” He smiled with a great sense of pride, “Then one of the boss’s daughters came over and started talkin’ to him, and the stupid bastard ended up touchin’ her dress and the dumbass didn’t let go. The daughter ended up shoutin ‘Rape, rape! ‘ everyone looked over and saw a girl strugglin’ with a guys hands all over her. I literally had to smack the big guy to get him off her.
We then had to run for a lives. We ended up squatin’ in a river in some reeds. They went straight past us an’ never saw us, but there still after us. Luckily I think that’s about 100 miles away, thank god. ” He sighed with relief. Lennie then brought this puppy into the bunkhouse, ” George, George look at da’ puppy, Slim gave it to me. ” George turned aroun’ and went psycho at him, ” Lennie, you dumb bastard! You gotta leave the pup in the box with its mum other wise your gonna kill ‘im! Do you wanna kill him? Do ya’? ” Lennie cowered away into the corner. ” Of course not George.
Ill put him back straight away now,” He ran out, an’ nearly hit his head on the top door, ha. Candy then cam in the bunkhouse. He was an’ old guy, busted his arm and had to stay there, or so he said. He came in with his dog, which wouldn’t be so bad, but the old thing stank. Carlson, one of the buckers, offered Candy an option, “You should shoot that old dog, Candy. I mean he’s no good to any of us. ” Candy looked at his dog, “I couldn’t shoot him,” Candy said, “I’ve had him since he was a pup” “Why don’t I shoot him then? ” Carlson asked, “Ye, I’ll take him out to the forest and jus’ shoot him in the back of his head.
He won’t feel a thing, I swear. Your probably puttin’ him through more torture keepin’ him alive than shootin’ him. ” A tear was wellin’ up in Candy. This pup was his only friend. Candy relented and Carlson took the dog and you then heard a shot in the distance. We all looked at Candy, he was starin’ at the wall. I offered him a new puppy but he didn’t answer. Crooks, the ‘niggah’ entered and told me tha’ Lennie was messin’ with the pups. George looked at me and told me to kick him out if he’s causin’ trouble. I went off and made sure he weren’t doin’ nothin’ stupid. Well… stupid even for him.
I was in the stables, makin’ sure all the pups were alrigh’ after Lennie had been messin’ with ’em, when Curley came stormin’ in, shoutin’ something’ bout his wife. I didn’t want notin’ to do with it so I went to the bunkhouse but he kept on about how his wife is always sneakin’ off without his permission, and how he suspected me of havin’ an affair with his bitch. Ha, if I ever had an affair, it would be with Marilyn Monroe rather than that tart. I went into the bunkhouse and he still wouldn’t let it drop so I said to him, “Curley, I would never even think about touchin’ your bitch, ‘cos I don’t like that type of tart.
” All then men a fallin’ bout laughin’ and joined in with havin’ a lil’ dig at Curley. Sadly though, Lennie was smiling about something, he was in his own lil’ world, but Curley saw him an’ thought he was laughin at him. “What are you laughin’ bout you yellow bellied bastard? ” Curley was squarein’ up to him and Lennie didn’t know what to do. “You bastard! ” Curley smashed the poor fella’ round the face and knocked him over. Lennie just stood up and did nothing’ bout it. He looked at George and was screamin’ at him to make Curley stop. I knew George didn’t want no trouble so he kept quiet, but Curley was smashin’ Lennie’s head in.
Then suddenly George screamed, “Get ‘im Lennie! Get ‘im! ” Then Lennie switched, he grabbed Curley’s hand and just squeezed, looked as if he was killin’ the bastard. George was smackin’ ‘im tellin’ ‘im to let go but he wouldn’t budge. Lennie had ‘im about 2 ft off the ground. We had to pull the big fella’ off of Curley. I went over to see Curley’s hand and Lennie had jus’ disintegrated the bone, ’twas jus skin, not a bone in it. I knew that George and Lennie would get their ass’s busted for this so I thought I’d have a heart to heart wit’ Curley, I said, “If this gets out, Lennie’s gonna get canned for it.
But your reputation as a tough guy will be ruined as well. Now if you say your hand was caught in a machine, then we will say that too, but if you don’t, we will ruin your reputation ’til nobodys gonna be scared o’ you, you got that? ” He nodded his head, whilst screamin’, and I told the guys to take him to doctors fast. That, thank God, was the end of that night. The next day, notin’ too much happened. We went into “town” and Candy, Crooks and Lennie stayed at the ranch. Thankfully that was all that happen’ that day. Next day was the horseshoe tournament.
I never used to be that good at them, but they sure were good fun. Crooks did tell me that Lennie was looking’ at his pup, but not doin’ anthin’ to harm ’em. We had jus’ finished the tournament and George went to get som’ water. He came back, but didn’t look to good. I was jus’ gonna ask him if he’s alrigh’ but then Candy came out of the stables waving’ his arms ’bout screamin’ that somthin’ had happened to Curley’s wife. We all went to see what was wrong, and it weren’t a pretty site. She was layin’ on the hay, at first ya’ thought she were sleepin’, but then ya’ noticed her neck was bent in a bad way.
Curley didn’t look much sad, more angry then shouted, “Im gonna’ kill the son o’ a bitch! ” Everyone started to get agitated and some people started shoutin, “Lets get ‘im,” and “I’ll go get ma’ gun! ” George had gone real pale and Curley said to ‘im, “Your gonna’ stick wit’ me, so I don’ think you were involved, alrigh’? ” George nodded. Curley told Crooks to get all the horses ready, seemed like it were a search party. Well… it was but not the usual search party, it was more o’ a search an’ kill sorta’ party. Me, Curley, Carlson and George headed south whilst the others headed west, jus’ in case.
I knew George knew where Lennie was, an’ we strayed away from Curley and co.. We ended up near this river and George said he’ll go in alone. I stood by some trees an’ saw everythin’ that happened. George went up to Lennie, pulled out Carlson’s luger and told Lennie to look out toward the horizon. Lennie was smiling’ talkin’ to himself I think, George looked hesitant but found som’ courage and pulled the trigger. Lennie fell down the bank, and jus’ lay there. George walked over and didn’t look to good. Curley and Carlson came over, makin’ up som’ story to tell the others.
But I knew that George didn’t wanna’ have to shoot Lennie, so I went and had a chat wit’ him. I simply said, “It had to be done. ” He looked at me, and seemed glad that someone had said that to him, but still looked troubled. We got back to the ranch an’ everyone wanted to know what happened. Carlson was leading the story, and half of weren’t even real. The next couple o’ days was hard on George. He seemed to be in a completely different world, starin’ into space. He did get over it though, took him a couple o’ weeks, and he turned back to the ol’ George. God, that weekend was the longest weekend I have ever had.