Keith R Parris - United States Air Force Pilot Wings

The Servants Of Freedom - Excerpt 4

The Servants Of Freedom

Bars lined both sides of the street and were separated by buildings that might loosely be referred to as hotels. People of every description walked aimlessly about on the street and on disconnected sections of concrete and dirt sidewalks. Every structure appeared to have been whitewashed years before I was born and most were in dire need of attention. Dust rose from each footstep and attached to every surface and fabric that presented itself. The place was insufferably dirty from one end to the other, but Major Mason walked with uninterrupted purpose until we arrived at the front of the Tejas Cantina.

For reasons known only to him, he paused at the base of a parasitic stoop protruding from the wall and gave me time to survey the stark and decrepit structure that stood before us. Without invitation, we entered through massive doors that hung precariously to a disintegrating framework. Our entry brought us down a single step to a cement floor covered with sawdust and wooden shavings that did nothing to obscure an oppressively damp and musty smell. Tables and chairs were scattered about a large room with men and their lady friends engaged in hushed conversations. Smoke filled the poorly ventilated room and the sounds of clanking bottles and glasses rose and fell as the bartender and a number of indistinctly dressed waitresses attended to their customers.


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