Tumbleweed Thompson and the Sharpshooter
by Glenn McCarty, illustrated by Joe Sutphin
“You’re aimin’ too high. Gonna blast a hole clean through my window. And I like that window. Lower your arm a touch.”
“High? Are you sure?”
“Sure I’m sure.”
I turned to where Wendell Jenkins, graying barber of Rattlesnake Junction, sat dispensing wisdom from a slat-backed rocking chair on his front porch, eyes half-shut as his mouth opened in a yawn.
“You’re not even looking at me. How can you tell?”
Wendell’s eyes popped open, wide and gray below a mass of stringy black hair flecked with silver. “Don’t need to see you. I can tell. Your aim’s off.”
I shook my head, but something in his quiet confidence told me to heed his advice. Besides, as my boss for a few hours a week, he was something of a benefactor for my brand new slingshot, purchased a few hours earlier at the general store. Squeezing my left eye shut and tightening my grip on the handle, I lowered my arm, pulled back the strap, and let go.
WHIZZ – CLANK
As if yanked by a string, my tin can target leaped off the fence post and tumbled to the ground. It had happened so fast I hadn’t even seen the rock fly. I grinned and looked at Wendell.
“Hmph,” he grunted. “Guess I still got the ole’ eagle eye, don’t I?”
His voice was as quiet and gravelly as ever, but I could read surprise on his face. Heck, I was a bit surprised. Five out of five cans in a row isn’t something to sneeze at. I must have been all those Dead-Eye Dan novels I had been reading. My brain had been soaking up information while my hands were waiting to be filled with the small, mighty power of a slingshot.
And while you’re at it, catch up on all the Tumbleweed adventures: