In this story of Atticus Cody and his grown son Scott, the narrator’s spare style matches Atticus’ character: “He was sixty-seven years old and a cattleman without cattle, the owner of six oil rigs and four hundred forty acres of high plains and sandhills in Antelope County, Colorado.”
In the way of fathers and sons, even as they try to get along, things rapidly get tangled. Scott comes home from his self-imposed exile in Mexico for Christmas, and they talk:
“Well, then,” he [Atticus] asked. “Are you painting?”
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