“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”
As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.
It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.
When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Charlatan's Boy|
|Release Date: 10-05-2010|
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|Publisher: Waterbrook Press|
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The Charlatan's Boy
to go back as far as I could, but the earliest thing I remember is riding in the back of Floyd’s wagon and looking at myself in a looking glass.
I’ve run across folks claim they know everything about their birthday—where it happened, who they was with, what day it was. But if you really press them on it, turns out they don’t remember no more about it than I do. They only know what somebody told them.
I don’t care who you are—when it comes to knowing where you come from, you got to take somebody else’s word for it. That’s where things has always got ticklish for me. I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.
Every time I asked Floyd how he got me, he give me a different story. One time he told me he found me squawling under a palmetto bush and took pity on me. That didn’t seem likely since I never known Floyd to take pity on me or anybody else.
Another time he said he bought me from a circus man who was getting out of the business and selling off his animals. Said he mistook me for a monkey and the circus man was gone before he realized he was tricked. Which might explain how he got me, but it still don’t explain why he kept me, does it?
A couple of times Floyd told me my real mama give me to him because I was too ugly to keep. I truly am one of the ugliest fellers you’re liable to meet. I’m short and wiry—sort of monkeyish, I reckon. I got one blue eye and one green, and they’re closer together than mos...