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“Want your clothes back, hardnose?”
THE YUMA SANCTION
So began another long day of pain. Of moving about as best he could, trying to beat life into his lifeless body, playing the old games of self-survival — what he called the Dreaming Game.
He’d perfected the technique in the Snake Den. He had learned how to take himself out of the reality that bound him to the cold stone wall to somewhere infinitely more preferable. Mostly he went back to Jade and the warmth of spring days on Sunrise Ranch with the earth giving up its rich odors, the jingle of bridle chains, laughter, cooking scents drifting from an open doorway, the mountains where he’d hunted, cool and remote, aloof from the affairs of men being resolved in hot, dusty towns.
This time he imagined that he had the small comfort of a shirt to keep his blood from freezing in his veins, that his wrists no longer chafed and bled where the iron manacle gripped him as he paced, that his belly was filled with more than the meager offering of the bread and water that was thrown into the cell once a day for him . . .
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