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.


Kit went to work in the feedlot while I carried on with my studies. Little by little we fell in love. As I'd never been popular in school and didn't have a lot of personality, I was surprised that he took such a liking to me, especially when he could've had any other girl in town if he'd given it half a try. He said that I was grand, though, that he wasn't interested in me for sex and that coming from him, this was a compliment. He'd never met a fifteen year-old girl who behaved more like a grownup and wasn't giggly. He didn't care what anybody else thought. I looked good to him, and whatever I did was okay, and if I didn't have a lot to say, well, that was okay, too. Of course, I had to keep all this a secret from my dad. He would've had a fit, since Kit was ten years older than me and came from the wrong side of the tracks, so called. Our time with each other was limited and each lived for the precious hours when he or she could be with the other, away from all the cares of the world.

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.

He was handsomer than anybody I'd ever met. He looked just like James Dean.

Kit left a record playing over and over for the District Attorney to find. He was gambling for time.

In the stench and slime of the feedlot, he'd remember how I looked the night before, how I ran my hand through his hair and traced the outline of his lips with my fingertip. He wanted to die with me, and I dreamed of being lost forever in his arms....I didn't mind telling Kit about stuff like this, cause strange things happened in his life, too, and some of the stuff he did was strange. For instance, he faked his signature whenever he used it, to keep other people from forging important papers with his name.

One day, while taking a look at some vistas in Dad's stereopticon, it hit me that I was just this little girl, born in Texas, whose father was a sign painter and who had only just so many years to live. It sent a chill down my spine, and I thought - Where would I be this very moment if Kit had never met me? Or killed anybody? This very moment? If my Mom had never met my Dad? If she'd of never died? And what's the man I'll marry gonna look like? What's he doing right this minute? Is he thinking about me now, by some coincidence, even though he doesn't know me? Does it show on his face? For days afterwards, I lived in dread. Sometimes, I wished I could fall asleep and be taken off to some magical land, but this never happened.

[to his arresting officers] Well, you boys have performed like a couple of heroes. And don't think I'm not gonna pass it around when we get to town.

Don't worry now, I'm gonna get you off these charges. There's a whole lot of other boys out there waitin' for ya. You're gonna have a lot of fun. Boy, we rang the bell, didn't we? I'll say this though, that guy with the deaf maid? He's just lucky he's not dead, too. Course, uh, too bad about your dad...We're gonna have to sit down and talk about that sometime.

Somebody dropped a bag on the sidewalk. Everybody did that, the whole town'd be a mess.

Kit made me get my books from school, so I wouldn't fall behind. We'd be starting a new life, he said. And we'd have to change our names. His would be James. Mine would be Priscilla. We'd hide out like spies, somewhere in the North, where people didn't ask a lot of questions. I could of snuck out the back or hid in the boiler room, I suppose, but I sensed that my destiny now lay with Kit, for better or for worse, and it was better to spend a week with one who loved me for what I was than years of loneliness.

I got it all planned - and, uh, I'm taking Holly off with me.

Kit knew the end was coming. He wondered if he'd hear the doctor pronounce him dead, or if he'd be able to read what the papers would say about him the next day, from the other side. He dreaded the idea of being shot down alone, he said, without a girl to scream out his name. Then, for an instant, the sight of the mountains in the dawn light got his hopes back up.

He took and buried some of our things in a bucket. He said that nobody else would know where we'd put 'em, and that we'd come back someday, maybe, and they'd still be sitting here, just the same, but we'd be different. And if we never got back, well, somebody might dig 'em up a thousand years from now and wouldn't they wonder!

Kit made a solemn vow that he would always stand beside me and let nothing come between us. He wrote this out in writing, put the paper in a box with some of our little tokens and things, then sent it off in a balloon he'd found while on the garbage route. His heart was filled with longing as he watched it drift off. Something must've told him that we'd never live these days of happiness again, that they were gone forever.