|It was her
father (General "Thunderbolt" Ross) who
knew the story best. When the stranger appeared in
Yoknapatawpha, he had with him a white lab coat and
shirt, a pair of spectacles, a pair of purple trousers
which would have raised little alarm in the streets
of Paris, and the honorific Doctor, though it was
widely held that he was no doctor of any healing art,
rather some more esoteric researcher. General Ross
predicted, and years later would confirm, that these
garments were Banner's signal and solitary possessions.
It seems this demon (man-ogre-demon) -- his name
was Banner --(Doctor Banner) -- Doctor Banner -- he
come out of nowhere with his dark-grey notslave notman,
and that notman and Banner's will alone cleared them
hundred square miles to make a plantation --(Banner's
Hundred) -- Banner's Hundred. Banner would go into
town never taking his man-beast with him. The
twain never to appear together. Banner's uncompanioned
appearances in town were enough to set it astir. Banner
would brook no query to his origin, intention or enterprise.
Attempts by the General and other men of town to
engage him in debate and discourse were met with the
resolution that the doctor disliked debate as it was
prone to stir him to anger and none gathered would
like to see him in that state. In fact at such times
there was a lambence in his eyes, so fecund-fertile
it seemed even an adumbration of the men's dubiety
would be a Hephaitosian blow to his skull, releasing
his demons Athena-like, whole and armored.
The brute, his ogre-faced notslave, always shirtless
and unshod, wore pants a shade of purple identical
to Banner's, an aphotic cousin of the wistaria which
bordered the fields. The durance of those pants was
scarcely enough to fetter the monster muscles beneath
as he tore violently at the land.
Why Miss Ross, so late in life, chose to break her
effluvium of lugubrious silence and oblige him (Quentin
Jones) to hear this tale, he couldn't guess. Some
would say it was because Banner had saved the life
of his father Rick Jones once, and Rick Jones was
the nearest thing to a friend Banner had.
The chief quandary in all the lore of Banner's Hundred
was where he came by his colossal ashen notslave,
and why the two had such an inseverable bond. Miss
Ross alone held insights to this. Her brother, now
long deceased, had journeyed to New Orleans and uncovered
the dark secret Banner concealed so well. It was
war time and the doctor volunteered for the Army's
special weapons research projects. Banner developed
a blasting cap hundreds of times more deadly than
cannon fire or dynamite. At its core was a gamma
irradiated ore. The weapon was used only once. It
was that blast meant to kill young Rick Jones.
Instead Banner suffered the blast and found himself
married to a man-ogre-monster that would erupt from
inside him and subsume him.
Banner and his hulking notslave were one..