From Round the Bend.
In the early evening, St. Louis stopped by the Kane wagon. Squatting and watching as Matt worked on repairing a broken strap, he sipped a cup of stout coffee. Matt's fingers worked the awl through the leather, preparing the holes for stitching a replacement piece.
"Reckon ya heard Abe Bennett's goin' to play his fiddle down in the meadow after dark. Young folks fixin' to have a bonfire and a dance from what they tell me."
Matt smiled as he looked up. "Suggestin' it might be better if I don't?"
"Just the opposite."
"I don't think there's many that'd agree with you."
"I'm sayin' ya oughta go."
"It's the natural thing. You're young, oughta be havin' a good time with other young folks."
"There won't be any down there wanting to see me."
He couldn’t mean Bernice. "You are not making much sense tonight."
"Folks need to see ya ain't got nothin' to hide. Ya got every right to go down. Might actually ease things."
Matt shook his head. “I don’t see how.”
"Listen here, if ya keep to yoreself, folks'll get to thinkin' there's somethin' strange about you, somethin' unnatural. If ya come, they see ya for what ya are."
"And what's that, St. Louis?" Matt laughed. "Who knows though. You might be right. The last time I stayed home, I had to take a whipping."