Thad is a good man. He is old and gnarled like some dying oak tree, and about as hard to uproot and argue with as an oak tree, but Thad is a good man. The last time I saw Thad was in the fall of 1939. He stood at the end of the gravel road that leads into our hunting lodge, one bowed leg stuck up on the birch fence railing, and looked after our car. He must have been at least seventy then, for his thinning hair was white and his red beard was streaked with snow. Those blue, deep-set eyes were old, and they always crackled with fire when he was happy.



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