“No, sir.”

“I mean it.”

“You don’t want to get in any trouble either, do you?” Suzy asked him.

Out at the barn after they were hitched up the down-state man said, “We didn’t do so good, did we?”

“He’s loose now,” Evans said. “He’s got grub and he must have his rifle. But he’s still in the area. I can get him. Can you track?”

“No. Not really. Can you?”

“In snow,” the other warden laughed.

“But we don’t have to track. We have to think out where he’ll be.”

“He didn’t load up with all that stuff to go south. He’d just take a little something and head for the rail­way.”

“I couldn’t tell what was missing from the woodshed. But he had a big pack load from the kitchen. He’s heading in somewhere. I got to check on all his habits and his friends and where he used to go. You block him off at Charlevoix and Petoskey and St. Ignace and Sheboygan. Where would you go if you were him?”

“I’d go to the Upper Peninsula.”

“Me, too. He’s been up there, too. The ferry is the easiest place to pick him up. But there’s an awful big country between here and Sheboygan and he knows that country, too.”

“We better go down and see Packard. We were going to check that today.”

“What’s to prevent him going down by East Jordan and Grand Traverse?”

“Nothing. But that isn’t his country. He’ll go some place that he knows.”

Suzy came out when they were opening the gate in the fence.

“Can I ride down to the store with you? I’ve got to get some groceries.”

“What makes you think we’re going to the store?”

“Yesterday you were talking about going to see Mr. Packard.”

“How are you going to get your groceries back?”

“I guess I can get a lift with somebody on the road or coming up the Jake. This is Saturday.”

“All right. Climb up,” the local warden said.

“Thank you, Mr. Evans,” Suzy said.

At the general store and post office Evans hitched the team at the rack and he and the down-state man stood and talked before they went in.

“I couldn’t say anything with that damned Suzy.”


“Packard’s a fine man. There isn’t anybody better-liked in this country. You’d never get a conviction on that trout business against him. Nobody’s going to scare him and we don’t want to antagonize him.”

“Do you think he’ll cooperate?”

“Not if you act rough.”

“We’ll go see him.”

Inside the store Suzy had gone straight through past the glass showcases, the opened barrels, the boxes, the shelves of canned goods, seeing nothing nor anyone until she came to the post office with its lockboxes and its general delivery and stamp window. The window was down and she went straight on to the back of the store. Mr. Packard was opening a packing box with a crowbar. He looked at her and smiled.

“Mr. John,” the hired girl said, speaking very fast. “There’s two wardens coming in that’s after Nickie. He cleared out last night and his kid sister’s gone with him. Don’t let on about that. His mother knows it and it’s all right. Anyhow she isn’t going to say anything.”

“Did he take all your groceries?”

“Most of them.”

“You pick out what you need and make a list and I’ll check it over with you.”

“They’re coming in now.”

“You go out the back and come in the front again. I’ll go and talk to them.”

Suzy waited around the long frame building and climbed the front steps again. This time she noticed everything as she came in. She knew the Indians who had brought in the baskets and she knew the two Indian boys who were looking at the fishing tackle in the first showcases on the left. She knew all the patent medicines in the next case and who usually bought them. She had clerked one summer in the store and she knew what the penciled code letters and numbers meant that were on the cardboard boxes that held shoes, winter overshoes, wool socks, mittens, caps and sweaters. She knew what the baskets were worth that the Indians had brought in and that it was too late in the season for them to bring a good price.

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest