“Heard about this fellow,” Percy says, drawing it out. “When I was in town. I don’t know. Seems this fellow runs a sawmill and he’s got a contract to the River Inn and he’s going to supply them all the wood they want for the winter. Cord a day. That’s what they burn. Cord a day.” Roy says, “Where did you hear that?” “Beer parlor. All right, I go in there now and again. I never have no more than a pint. And these fellows I don’t know who they were, but they weren’t drunk neither. Talking about where the bush was and it was this one all right. Suter’s bush.” Roy had talked to the farmer just last week, and he had thought he had the deal pretty well sewed up, just to do the usual clean out. “That’s a pile of wood,” he says easily. “It is so.” “If they mean to take it all they’d have to have a license.” “You bet. Unless there’s something crooked,” said Percy with intense pleasure. “None of my business. I got all the work I can handle.” “I bet you do. All you can handle.” All the way home Roy can’t keep himself from thinking about this story. He has sold some wood now and then to the River Inn. But now they must have decided to take on one steady supplier, and he is not the one. He thinks about the problems of getting that much wood out now, when the snow has already started. The only thing you could do would be to pull the logs out into the open field, before the real winter got under way. You’d have to get them out as quickly as possible, make a big pile of them there, saw them, and chop them up later. And to get them out you’d need a bulldozer or at least a big tractor. You’d have to make a road in and pull them out with chains. You’d need a crew—there was no way this could be a one-or two-man operation. It would have to be done on a big scale. So it wasn’t sounding like a part-time enterprise, the kind he carried on himself. It could be a big outfit, somebody from out of the county altogether. Eliot Suter had not given any hint of this offer when Roy was talking to him. But it is quite possible that an approach was made to him later and he decided to forget the casual sort of arrangement that
had been put forward by Roy. Decided to let the bulldozer go in. During the evening Roy thinks of phoning up and asking what is going on. But then he thinks that if the farmer has indeed changed his mind there is nothing to be done. A spoken agreement is nothing to hold to. The man could just tell him to clear off. The best thing for Roy to do might be just to act as if he has never heard Percy’s story, never heard about any other fellow—just go in and take what trees he can as quickly as he can, before the bulldozer gets there. Of course there is always a possibility that Percy may have been mistaken about the whole thing. He isn’t likely to have made it up just to bother Roy, but he could have got it twisted.
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- Spring '15
- 2007 singles, Debut albums, 2005 singles, Doree, Mrs. Sands