Boots Like Drumbeats

“You! We’re looking for a vagrant. Boy, about ten.”

Boots Like Drumbeats
By Jacob Riis (1849–1914) — , Public Domain,

I went outside to investigate when I heard the sneeze.

I shone my flashlight into the old wine barrel. A shock of white hair reflected the beam back at me, and then I was looking into a pair of frightened blue eyes.

“Hell, kid,” I said as I surveyed the trespasser. The barrel had been deteriorating for two years, yet still gave off a mild pungency of sour grapes.

“You one of them?”


Of course.

At the sound of boots like drumbeats, I glanced up the street that bordered my property. Two policemen, shrouded in body armor. I replaced the barrel’s lid.

“You! We’re looking for a vagrant. Boy, about ten.”

“Haven’t seen him.”

As the turned away, I winced at a muffled sneeze.

Hi there! I’m Odin Halvorson, a librarian, independent scholar, film fanatic, fiction author, and tech enthusiast. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for as little as $2.50 a month!

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