TITLE: CAMPBELL'S BOY
GENRE: YA Historical
“Here you go, lad. It’s a wonder your teeth don’t rot right out of your head!” Mr. Ware said leaning over the counter with a grunt and a fistful of penny candies for Emmet.
Emmet bared his teeth into a big grin like he had seen horses do, revealing his fine set of pearly whites seemingly in no danger of rotting any time in the near future. Mr. Ware chuckled and ruffled the top of Emmet’s unruly mop of blonde hair. “You are something, aren’t you?”
Emmet half skipped, half hopped out of Ware’s Mercantile, the bell on the door jangling as it closed behind him. Outside on Market Street, Emmet looked up and down the expanse of dirt road that made up the heart of commerce in the town of Colusa, California. Mid-day, Colusa slumbered with most inside for their noon meals.
He sniffed at the lack of activity with the exception of a lone rider and began to make his way due west. Buildings on Market provided shade on one side and the relentless California sun on the other. Across Market lay an open square where a courthouse was being built and where he sometimes picked around the building materials for treasures.
Kicking the dust of the road up underneath his feet, he clutched the penny candies tightly, his reward for running to the postal service for Mr. Ware. He could almost taste the sweets melting in his mouth. But not yet…he would wait until he got to the tunnels.