The Tall Men (short story)

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"The Tall Men" is a short story written by William Faulkner in 1941. It begins with two men, government officials, visiting a house to serve a warrant for two brothers who have not registered for selective service. One of the officials, a marshal, holds an affinity for the family, a member of whom has been involved in a terrible accident at work. The other official, a bondsman, is anxious to act according to his preconceptions regarding "country people" and arrest the brothers so he can catch his returning train. The bondsman's original plan is thwarted by the local marshall who allows the two brothers to abscond. The bondsman then finds himself burying an amputated leg with the marshal, who politely but forcefully insinuates his support for the family's approach to the law.