Download House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke

Download House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke 




House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke
THE SUN HAD just crested on the horizon like a misplaced planet, swollen and molten and red, lighting a landscape that seemed sculpted out of clay and soft stone and marked by the fossilized tracks of animals with no names, when a tall barefoot man wearing little more than rags dropped his horse’s reins and eased himself off the horse’s back and worked his way down an embankment into a riverbed chained with pools of water that glimmered as brightly as blood in the sunrise. The sand was the color of cinnamon and spiked with green grass and felt cool on his feet, even though they were bruised and threaded with lesions that were probably infected. He got to his knees and wiped the bugs off the water and cupped it to his mouth with both hands, then washed his face in it and pushed his long hair out of his eyes. His skin was striped with dirt, his trousers streaked with salt from the dried sweat of the horse. For an instant he thought he saw his reflection in the surface of the pool. No, that was not he, he told himself. The narrow face and the shoulder-length hair and the eyes that were like cups of darkness belonged on a tray or perhaps to a crusader knight left to the mercies of Saracens.

When the horse came down the embankment and began to drink, the man, whose name was Hackberry Holland, sat on a rock and placed his feet in a pool, shutting his eyes, breathing through his nose in the silence. It was a strange place indeed, one the Creator had shaped and beveled and backdropped with mountains that resembled sharks’ teeth, then had put away for purposes he did not disclose. There was no birdsong, no willow trees swelling with wind, no tinkle of cowbells, no windmill clanking to life, the spout drumming water into a galvanized tank. This was a feral land, its energies as raw and ravenous as a giant predator that ingested the naive and incautious, a place closer to hell than to heaven. .........by James Lee Burke



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