Jan was gone. Her face became that of Jimmy Owens, the kid down the block from them. He had been five and Jimmy had been five and Jimmy's mother had caught them playing Doctor's Office in the sandpit behind Jimmy's house. They both had boners. That's what they called them-boners. Jimmy's mother had called his mother and his mother had come to get him and had sat him down in her bedroom and had asked him how he would like it if she made him go out and walk down the street with no clothes on. His dozing body contracted with the groveling embarrassment of it, the deep shame. He had cried and begged, not to make him walk down the street with no clothes on... and not to tell his father.

Seven years old now. He and Jimmy Owens peering through the dirt-grimed window of the Burr's Building Materials office at the na*ed lady calendars, knowing what they were looking at but not really knowing, feeling a crawling shameful exciting pang of something. Of something. There had been one blond lady with a piece of blue silk draped across her h*ps and they had stared at it for a long, long time. They argued about what might be down there under the cloth. Jimmy said he had seen his mother naked. Jimmy said he knew. Jimmy said it was hairy and cut open. He had refused to believe Jimmy, because what Jimmy said was disgusting.

Still he was sure that ladies must be different from men down there and they had spent a long purple summer dusk discussing it, swatting mosquitoes and watching a scratch baseball game in the lot of the moving van company across the street from Burr's. He could feel, actually feel in the half-waking dream the sensation of the hard curb beneath his fanny.

The next year he had hit Jimmy Owens in the mouth with the barrel of his Daisy air rifle while they were playing guns and Jimmy had to have four stitches in his upper lip. A year after that they had moved away. He hadn't meant to hit Jimmy in the mouth. It had been an accident. Of that he was quite sure, even though by then he had known Jimmy was right because he had seen his own mother na*ed (he had not meant to see her naked-it had been an accident). They were hairy down there. Hairy and cut open.

Shhh, it isn't a tiger, love, only your teddy bear, see?... Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-o... Mother loves her boy... Shhh... Go to sleep...[1]


"Not actual quote"
—Peter to Ray[2][source]


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v - e - dThe Long Walk
James Baker | Collie Parker | George Fielder | Bill Hough | Rattigan | Scramm | Pearson | Travin | Fenter | Toland | Aaronson
Abraham | Arthur Baker | Gary Barkovitch | Curley | Davidson | Ewing | Fenter | Roger Fenum | Percy | Raymond Garraty | Gribble
Harkness | Klingerman | Larson | Peter McVries | Hank Olson | Stebbins | Tressler | Wayne | Marty Wyman | Yannick | Zuck
The Major | Mrs. Garraty | Janice |Cathy Scramm | Priscilla | Jimmy Owens