Cockfighter

ISBN 10: 0380001209 / ISBN 13: 9780380001200
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The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include From the library of labels. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: a selection from the first chapter: First, I closed the windows and bolted the flimsy aluminum door. Then I flicked on the overhead light and snapped the Venetian blinds shut. Without the cross ventilation, it was stifling inside the trailer. Outside, in the Florida sunlight, the temperature was in the high eighties, but inside, now that the door and the windows were locked, it must have been a hundred degrees. I wiped the sweat away from my streaming face and neck with a dishcloth, dried my hands, and tossed the cloth on the floor. After moving Sandspur's traveling coop onto the couch, I checked the items on the table one more time. Leather thong. Cotton. Razor blade. Bowl of lukewarm soapy water. Pan of rubbing alcohol. Liquid lead ballpoint pencil. Sponge. All in order. I lifted the lid of the coop, brought Sandspur out with both hands, turned the cock's head away from me, and then held him firmly with my left hand under his breast. I looped the noose of leather over his dangling yellow feet, slipped it tight above his sawed off spur stumps, and made a couple of turns to hold it snug. Holding the chicken with both hands again, I lowered him between my legs and squeezed my knees together tight enough to hold him so he couldn't move his wings. Sandspur didn't like it. He hit back with both feet four times, making thumping sounds against the plastic couch, but he couldn't get away. I pinched off a generous wad of cotton between my left thumb and forefinger and clamped my fingers over his lemon-yellow beak. There was just enough of a downward curve to his short beak so he couldn't jerk his head out of my fingers. He couldn't possibly hurt himself, as long as the cotton didn't slip. Impatient knuckles rapped on the door. Dody again. A vein throbbed in my temple. At that moment I would have given anything to be able to curse. -How long you gonna be, Frank?- Dody's petulant voice shrilled through the door. -I gotta go to the bathroom!- I didn't answer. I couldn't. She rapped impatiently a couple of more times and then she went away. At least she didn't holler anymore. My right hand was damp again, and I wiped my fingers on my jeans, still holding Sandspur's beak with my left thumb and forefinger. I picked up the razor blade and cut a fine hairline groove across his beak as high up as possible. This was ticklish work and I cut a trifle too deep on the right side. I dropped the razor blade back on the table and released the cock's head. I picked up the ballpoint lead pencil with my left hand and rubbed the point across my right fingertip until it was smeared with liquid lead. Pinching off more cotton with my left hand, I caught Sandspur's beak again and rubbed the almost invisible groove with my lead-smeared forefinger. I took my time, and Sandspur glared at me malevolently with his shiny yellow eyes. As soon as I was satisfied, I unloosened the thong around his feet and put the bird on the table, washed his legs with luke-warm soapy water, and rubbed his breast and thighs. I repeated the rubdown with alcohol. I was particularly careful with his head and bill, only using cotton dipped in the pan of alcohol. Finished, I returned the items to my gaff case and dumped the used soapy water and alcohol into the sink. Sandspur was a fine-looking fighting cock, and after his light rubdown he felt in fine feather. Holding his head high he strutted back and forth on the slick Masonite table. He was a Whitehackle cross in peak condition, a five-time winner, and a real money bird. I knew he would win this afternoon, but I also knew he had to win. I stepped in close to the table, made a feinting pinch for his doctored beak and he tried to peck me. I examined his beak, and even under close scrutiny the bill looked cracked.

From the Inside Flap: The sport is cockfighting, and Frank Mansfield is the Cockfighter--a silent and fiercely contrary man whose obsession with winning will cost him almost everything.  In this haunting, ribald, and percussively violent work, the author of the Hoke Mosely detective novels yields a floodlit vision of the cockpits and criminal underbelly of the rural South.

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Title: Cockfighter
Book Condition: Good

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Manley, Frank
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