It was almost midday on a boiling hot summers day in a typical small run-down town called Weed.
Except for a dogs barks in the background, it was like a ghost town with hardly any activity.
Then suddenly, out of the corner of the road, two dark figures emerged. They dragged their heavy feet one behind the other. Both were wearing denim trousers and denim coats. Both were carrying blanket rolls over their shoulders.
The first man was short and quick. He had a dark face with sharp eyes and a hollow nose. Behind him walked a huge monster of a man with a sunken face, huge pale eyes and bulky stoopin shoulders.
The first man came to a halt and the follower almost knocked him over.
"Lennie!" he screamed, "You crazy bastard watch where you're going. Now come on get a move on. We got a lotta work to do," he barked at him.
"But GeorgeÃ¢ÂÂ¦ I'm thirsty," Lennie replied tiredly.
"For Petes sake! You just had a drink half an hour a go. You're never full up are ya?" George said.
"Honest George I wont ask again 'til tomorrow," pleaded Lennie.
"Alright, but this is the last time you're having anything from me for this month. I only got two bucks left," he responded.
George dropped his blanket roll and walked off towards the local shop. Suddenly he stopped, turned around and shouted back.
"You better not move from there. I swear, you budge from there and I'll thrash ya." "I won't George, honest I wont," Lennie replied innocently.
George turned back and continued towards the store.
For a moment Lennie stood still, like an army soldier following orders, and watched George's trail. Then suddenly something caught his eye. He turned towards it. A teenage girl was walking down the sidewalk. Her long blonde hair and her shiny red clothes glittered in the sunlight.
Like a metal attracted to a magnet, Lennie started following the girl. At first Lennie was dragging his feet. At first Lennie was dragging his feet, then he took quick long strides.
Without warning Lennie grabbed hold of the girl's dress. Panic stricken, the girl turned around and started screaming. Lennie panicked too and tightened his grip on the girl's dress. Weed suddenly rose from the dead as people rushed towards the scene.
George was just about to enter the store when he heard the dreaded screams. Almost instantaneously he knew it involved Lennie.
"That son-of-a bitch. What's he done this time?" George turned around and ran towards the screams. He somehow fought his way past the crowd and saw a fear stricken Lennie holding on to a girls dress. About five to seven guys were trying desperately to get Lennie off the girl.
George scanned his surroundings and found a picket fence. George picked up a plank and ran towards Lennie. He smashed the plank across the back of Lennie's head.
Amazingly Lennie came back to his senses and let-go of the girl. Relieved, the girl ran as far away from Lennie as possible. Lennie looked blankly towards George.
For a second George stayed quite, then he exploded.
"Run, for God's sake run!" Both men started running, leaving behind a confused crowd of people. By this time the sheriff had also arrived accompanied by police dogs.
"Go get them! Run after them," the sheriff ordered. The dogs were released from their leash.
About fifteen to twenty men also took up the hunt pursuing George and Lennie into the fields.
The chase was now half an hour long and every body was fatigued. George was in the lead with Lennie closely behind. Without warning, George came to a halt, Lennie did the same.
"Get in there," instructed George pointing towards an irrigation ditch.
For a second Lennie looked uncertain but then he followed orders and jumped into the ditch. Mucky water splashed onto their knees and dead leaves stuck to their feet. There wasn't a way that the men would come looking for them in here, George thought.
"Stay quiet," George ordered.
They heard barking dogs and footsteps approaching them. Their hearts were pounding like a drum. Both sat in fear and awaited their destiny.
The barks got closer and louder until they were a few metres away from the ditch. Then an eerie silence fell. It was only broken by the sheriff, who by now, looked like a wounded tiger searching for its prey.
"They couldn't have gone much farther. They must be around here somewhere. Look everywhere. GO!" he barked.
The footsteps were heard again, this time from different angles.
After an hour of searching and no success, the men gathered again.
"I think they got away. It's getting dark, we'll resume our search again tomorrow," conceded the sheriff.
The footsteps disappeared with the evening breeze. Lennie and George relaxed a little for a moment, then George exploded.
"You crazy son-of-a-bitch! What were you thinking? Didn't I tell you not to move? You crazy bastard you nearly had me killed too! Why did you do that?" "IÃ¢ÂÂ¦ I just wanted to feel her dress. Honest, George I never meant no harm," replied Lennie innocently.
"What?! Wanted to feel her dress? Are you nuts?" "Just wanted to feel her dress," Lennie repeated innocently.
"Jesus Christ! Anyway, we gotta get out of here and quick. We'll stay here overnight and head off to Soledad in the morning. I know some guys there who can sort us out with a few bucks and work cards," he said unwillingly.
"George?" "What?" "George I was wondering, are we gonna get some rabbits in Soledad?" asked Lennie.
"Get some sleep," George interrupted.
Next morning, the men got up early and headed off to catch a bus. It wasn't a long wait.
The bus headed towards the rising sun. It was like the sun was rising again for Lennie and Georges career.