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Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong Read Online (FREE)

Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong Read Online

Read Shattered Justice (A Bone Gap Travellers, #3) by Susan Furlong full novel online for free here

Author’s Note

It’s estimated that almost thirty thousand Irish Travellers reside throughout the United States. Descendants of nomadic Irish peoples who immigrated to the United States during the Great Famine, the Travellers settled throughout the country in extended family groups or clans, with the largest concentrations living in South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee. As itinerant workers who speak distinct dialects of Irish Cant known as Gammon or Shelta, they are often marginalized for their unique lifestyles and esoteric customs.

I am not an Irish Traveller. I’m a story writer, and while I have tried to portray Irish Travellers as accurately as possible, they are a secret, closed sect of our American society. Endogamous, they prefer to live quietly, frequently going to great extents to protect their privacy. Travellers are often stereotyped as immoral and lawless, yet these characterizations overshadow what I have come to know as a culture filled with decency and built on strong family bonds and unbreakable fortitude. Through my writing, I hope readers will come to have a greater understanding and appreciation for the Irish Travellers’ unique way of life.

 

The source of justice is not vengeance but charity.

—Saint Bridget of Sweden

 

CHAPTER 1

Shot glasses were raised, a toast was made, and a buck-naked man galloped by on a stick horse.

I hovered, dark and low, in the corner seat, cowboy music thumping through my veins, my heartbeat taking up rhythm with the pounding bass. Strobing lights, clinking glasses, the smell of stale beer, bad breath, and chintzy perfume. And the man—one hand clutching yellow plastic straps attached to a crazy, smiling horsey head, the other waving through the air, in time with his thrusting hips . . . Yeehaw! Ride ’em, cowboy. Bucking bronco . . . sex on a stick.

Never seen anything like it. Couldn’t hardly believe I was seeing it now.

The barmaid returned with another half-dozen drinks, which would, in times past, have been the only excuse I needed to stay. Now I eyed the drinks and squirmed, wishing I had an excuse to leave. Maureen (Mo) Black, a distant cousin on Gran’s side, I think—hard to tell when you have as many kin as we do—passed a glass my way and, after a quick clink, clink, downed her drink. I watched her, then set my own glass down, untouched.

“Lighten up, Brynn. It’s a hen party. Have some fun.” To prove the point, she trained heavily lined eyes on the cowboy and waved a wad of dollar bills in the air, thick gloss glistening on the edges of her lips.

Cowboy spied green and rode our way. I sank farther back in my seat, a mere shadow lurking in the corner, as my tablemates clamored to shove dollar bills in his G-string: Nina, Mo, Queenie, Dee Doherty (the bride-to-be), and Meg, too. Mo, the wildest one of the bunch, went for gold: she flashed a fifty and strategically placed it in her cleavage. Cowboy leaned down and, the horseshoe stud in his earlobe catching the light, dove into her breast. Gasps and giggles from the girls, and a few seconds later, he came up for air, with the fifty between his teeth. The ladies let out a whoop, all the encouragement Mo needed. She stood and mounted the stick horse and shimmied in close to Cowboy, her tangerine nails gripping his muscular flanks as she whispered in his ear. He grinned, and off they rode.