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"The Plow"

"L et me see if I hear'd you correct, Reggie, you tells me you want me to borrow you my plow for a week, and for which you'll give me a tenth o' your crop."

"That's right as rain, Elmer. I give you my word on it."

"Will you two take your jabberin' somewhere else? Can't you see that Mike and Andy are goin' hot 'n heavy over this here checkers game?"

"That's ok, Bill. I've got Mike over a barrel anyway. Besides, I'm kind of interested in what these two have got going."

"You've got me over a barrel? Big talk, fella. King me."

"Well, like I was tellin', Reggie, I ain't so sure I want to borrow out my plow. I got my own crop comin' up near-on soon, and I'll be needing that plow right badly my own self."

"Here, give me a light off that pipe of yours, Elmer. Thanks."

"Besides which, how will I know that you has actuall given me ten percent? You might short me and how would I of ever knowed it?"

"You trust me, don't you?"

"Well maybe I do an' maybe I don't. I don't got much reason to tilt either way on account of I ain't had no dealings with you."

"My word is my bond. And if you want, you can even come with me when I sell my crop and judge for yourself."

"Sounds fair enough. But what if my plow breaks down while doin' your work? I don't even know if you can drive one of that ilk."

"If it breaks, I'll fix it."

"How can I knowed that?"

"I'll give you my hand on it. And like I said, 'my word is my bond'."

"Did you tell Elmer about your deal with McClannahan over his breading boar?

"You keep out of this, Bill. This is between Elmer and me. It's got nothing to do with you or McClannahan."

"Hold on, Reggie, what about this here boar?"

"The way I heard it, last summer I think it was, Reggie here told McClannahan that he'd give him half his brood if he would breed his sow. But when...."

"You're blowing hot air, Bill. Besides, I can't be held accountable if McClannahan's half of my brood died at birth, can I? Besides, he got one out of the deal."

"Yeah, he got one alright. The runt. And it died inside of two weeks."

"That's hardly my concern what happens to McClannahan's pig after it leaves my hand."

"Tell Elmer about your deal with God, Reggie."

"You keep out of this, Mike. Stick to your checkers."

"You made a deal with God? What kind'a deal?"

"It was nothing, Elmer. Nothing at all."

"You call making a promise to God 'nothing at all'?"

"You keep out of this too, Andy."

"What kind a' promise?"

"It was nothing, Elmer, they're just blowing hot air."

"If'n you wants my plow, you'd best make clear this deal you got goin' with God, Reggie."

"It was a small thing, the kind of thing that happens with every G.I in a foxhole that's being shelled."

"Rightly so. Things get said to God there, I'll grant."

"I'm glad you understand, Elmer. We're two-of-a-kind, you and I."

"I'll judge that after you tells me about this here deal with God."

"Well, you know how it is. The shells were coming at us from all sides, and I told God that if He got me out of this hellhole alive, I would quit smoking and drinking."

"But you smokes like a chimney an' guzzles beer like you owned a brewery."

"What happened to....'My Word Is My Bond'."

"You guys are all against me. You have all done the same thing, or would have had you been in that foxhole."

"Maybe so, maybe not. But we're not looking to borrow Elmer's plow."

(end)

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