We first meet Norwood Pratt, a red-haired twenty-three-year-old from Ralph, Texas, as he’s being discharged from the Marines on account of family hardship. His father has just passed away, leaving his sister Vernell with no one to care for her. Vernell “was a heavy, sleepy girl with bad posture. She was old enough to look after herself and quite large enough, but in many ways she was a great big baby.
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