bout two hundred people

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Huston said, "I dunno. I jes' hope Willie's boys don't kill nobody. What the hell the deputies want to hurt the camp for? Why can't they let us be?"

The sad boy from Unit Two said, "I lived out at Sunlan' Lan' an' Cattle Company's place. Honest to God, they got a cop for ever' ten people. Got one water faucet for."

The tubby man said, "Jesus, God, Jeremy. You ain't got to tell me. I was there. They got a block of shacks--thirty-five of 'em in a row, an' fifteen deep. An' they got ten crappers for the whole shebang. An', Christ, you could smell 'em a mile. One of them deputies give me the lowdown. We was settin' aroun', an' he says, 'Them goddamn gov'ment camps,' he says. 'Give people hot water, an' they gonna want hot water. Give 'em flush toilets, an' they gonna want 'em.' He says, 'You give them goddamn Okies stuff like that an' they'll want 'em.' An' he says, 'They hol' red meetin's in them gov'ment camps. All figgerin' how to git on relief,' he says."

Huston asked. "Didn' nobody sock him?"

"No. They was a little fella, an' he says, 'What you mean, relief?'

"'I mean relief--what us taxpayers puts in an' you goddamn Okies takes out.' "'We pay sales tax an' gas tax an' tobacco tax,' this little guy says. An' he say, 'Farmers get four cents a cotton poun' from the gov'ment--ain't that relief?' An' he says, 'Railroads an' shippin' companies draw subsidies--ain't that relief?'

"'They're doin' stuff got to be done,' this deputy says.

"'Well,' the little guy says, 'how'd your goddamn crops get picked if it wasn't for us?'" The tubby man looked around.

"What'd the deputy say?" Huston asked.

"Well, the deputy got mad. An' he says, 'You goddamn reds is all the time stirrin' up trouble,' he says. 'You better come along with me.' So he takes this little guy in, an' they give him sixty days in jail for vagrancy."

"How'd they do that if he had a job?" asked Timothy Wallace.

The tubby man laughed. "You know better'n that," he said. "You know a vagrant is anybody a cop don't like. An' that's why they hate this here camp. No cops can get in. This here's United States, not California." 


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