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Aren’t you a little old for this sort of thing?

No.

 

But really – you’re on Social Security, aren’t you?

Yeah, and Medicare. Remember what Richard Pryor said? “You don’t get old bein’ no fool.”

red cover 07In this condensed excerpt (the last part of a long story called “I Don’t Kill People Anymore”) the leader Mesiamo talks about violence with Elliot, who has just had news of the My Lai massacre, and is upset. Elliot tells Mesiamo about it. Mesiamo’s been meaning to put a little fear into Elliot, because he’s not certain that Elliot isn’t connected with the miners up in the mountains. He wants Elliot to believe that if Elliot betrays the Nagovisi, Mesiamo will kill him – something Mesiamo has no intention of doing. He’s already told the reader, “These days, you can’t kill somebody just because it seems a good idea.” But as Mesiamo begins to understand more about My Lai, and why Elliot’s so upset, he sees a different strategy: to compare the American large-scale atrocity with Nagovisi small-scale killings. Mesiamo’s narrating. He likes to call Elliot “White Man.”