Boys who habitually stole from grocery stores. Boys who loved fire and burned up dry grass fields in summers, hay barns in winter. Boys who would not stop fighting, broke the noses and jaws of smaller boys. Mean, stupid boys who could not be taught the difference between right and wrong, never having seen it themselves. Boys who took girl cousins down to the creek bed at family reunion picnics and raped them. Boys who held those same girl cousins under the water later to keep them from talking. Boys who knew what to do with a lead pipe, knew how to make a knife from a comb.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.
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