Badlands

Badlands quotes

51 total quotes (ID: 993)

Holly Sargis
Kit Carruthers


Then sure enough, Dad found out I'd been running around behind his back. He was madder than I'd ever seen him. As punishment for deceiving him, he went and shot my dog. He made me take extra lessons every day after school and wait there till he came to pick me up. He said that if the piano didn't keep me off the streets, maybe the clarinet would.


We had our bad moments, like any couple. Kit accused me of only being along for the ride, while at times I wish he'd fall in the river and drown, so I could watch. Mostly though, we got along fine and stayed in love. I grew to love the forest. The cooing of the doves and the hum of dragonflies in the air made it always seem lonesome and like everybody's dead and gone. When the leaves rustled overhead, it was like the spirits were whispering about all the little things that bothered 'em.

We hid out in the wilderness down by a river in a grove of cottonwoods. It being the flood season, we built our house in the trees, with tamarisk walls and willows laid side by side to make a floor. There wasn't a plant in the forest that didn't come in handy. We planned a huge network of tunnels under the forest floor, and our first order of business every morning was to decide on a new password for the day. Now and then, we'd sneak out at night and steal a chicken or a bunch of corn or some melons from a melon patch. Mostly, though, we just lay on our backs and stared at the clouds and sometimes it was like being in a big marble hall, the way we talked in low voices and heard the tiniest sound. They hadn't found but one set of bones in the ashes of the house, so we knew they'd be looking for us. Kit made sure we'd be prepared. He gave me lectures on how a gun works, how to take it apart and put it back together again, in case I had to carry on without him. He said that if the Devil came at me, I could shoot him with a gun.

We lived in utter loneliness, neither here nor there. Kit said that solitude was a better word, 'cause it meant more exactly what I wanted to say. Whatever the expression, I told him we couldn't go on living this way... "I feel like a, kind of like an animal living out here. There's no place to bathe and not any place to get anything good to eat."...In the distance, I saw a train making its way silently across the plain, like a caravan in The Adventures of Marco Polo. It was our first taste of civilization in weeks, and I asked Kit if we could have a closer look.

We took off at sunset, on a line toward the mountains of Saskatchewan, for Kit a magical land beyond the reach of the law. He needed me now more than ever, but something had come between us. I'd stopped even paying attention to him. Instead, I sat in the car and read a map and spelled out entire sentences with my tongue on the roof of my mouth, where nobody could read them. That night we moved closer to the border, and clear across the prairie, at the very edge of the horizon. We could make out the gas fires of the refineries at Missoula, while to the south, we could see the lights of Cheyenne, a city bigger and grander than I'd ever seen. I felt all kind of things looking at the lights of Cheyenne, but most important, I made up my mind to never again tag around with a hell-bent type, no matter how in love with him I was. Finally, I found the strength to tell Kit this. I pointed out that even if we got to the Far North, he still couldn't make a living.

You get a little money in your pocket, you think all your problems are solved. Well, let me tell you, they're not.