The Invaders

David Hill looks back at a racetrack, a killing, and the history of organized crime in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
  1. It wasn't anything new for Curtis to smack Linda June around, especially when he'd been drinking. This seemed like too much, Eric thought, even for them. Eric came up behind Curtis as he stood over Linda June all balled up on the couch. When Curtis cocked his hand back, Eric grabbed it. Curtis spun around and landed a haymaker on Eric's temple that sent him flying into the kitchen table. The sounds of Linda June's screaming prompted the neighbors in the trailer park to call the police. They wouldn't get there soon enough to stop what would happen next.

    "I'm going back to that bedroom to get my pistol." Eric picked himself up off the floor. "When I come back you better not be here."

    "If you bring that pistol in here, by God, you damn well better use it." Curtis didn't have to say "or else." Everybody in the room knew what he meant. And they knew that he meant it.

    Eric staggered back to the bedroom. When he came back through the hall with his pearl-handled .38 revolver, he hoped...

The complete text of “The Invaders” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in Grantland, April 2012

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