Tuesday, July 08, 2008

From pages 129-130 of Nathan Coulter, by Wendell Berry

He put the sack on the porch and took out a half stick of dynamite with a piece of fuse already set in it. He started down the bank, carrying the dynamite by the fuse, holding it away from him as if he were carrying a live wildcat by the tail. Before anybody could say anything to stop him he lit the fuse and flung the dynamite into the river.

After the explosion we sat there, watching the dead fish float up to the surface.

William turned toward us and grinned, without looking at any of us as if he grinned at the empty house. He was already ashamed of what he'd done, but he wasn't going to back down.

"How's that for fish?" he asked.

Big Ellis said, "Burley, do you want some of them fish?"

"No," Uncle Burley said. "Help yourselves."

Big Ellis asked to borrow our boat, and he and J.D. and William rowed out to pick up the fish.

"Jig," Uncle Burley said, "they've got enough fishes to feed a multitude."

Jig shook his head. "It's unblessed, Burley, and no loaves."

"Maybe they'll blow up a bakery," Uncle Burley said.

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