Orson Scott Card
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Card, Orson Scott Grinning Man The first time Alvin Maker run across the grinning man was in the steep woody hills of eastern Kenituck. Alvin was walking along with his ward, the boy Arthur Stuart, talking either deep philosophy or the best way for travellers to cook beans, I can't bring to mind now which, when they come upon a clearing where a man was squatting on his haunches looking up into a tree. Apart from the unnatural grin upon his face, there wasn't all that much remarkable about him, for that time and place. Dressed in buckskin, a cap made of coonhide on his head, a musket lying in the grass ready to hand - plenty of men of such youth and roughness walked the game trails of the unsettled forest in those days. Though come to think of it, eastern Kenituck wasn't all that unsettled by then, and most men gave up buckskin for cotton during summer, less they was too poor to get them none. So maybe it was partly his appearance that made Alvin stop up short and look at...