“Saturday Afternoon” by Erskine Caldwell starts with Tom Denny, who owns a butcher shop with Jim Baxter, and is taking a rest on the meat block during a Saturday afternoon. The butcher shop is filled with flies and rather unsanitary, but Tom does not seem to mind it very much.

As Tom sleeps, his partner comes barging in and wakes him up to go and chase an African-American named Will Maxie, who allegedly spoke something to a white woman. The two men join a crowd of other men in town with loaded guns and go to a creek near Will’s house. Up to that point, Will had always minded his own business, being respectful to the whites and growing cotton and corn on his land. However, the townsfolk envied him because he was making a lot of money.

The crowd is joined by...

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