do with us."
Candy said, "I ain't much good with on'y one hand. I lost my hand
right here on this ranch. That's why they give me a job swampin'.
An' they give me two hunderd an' fifty dollars 'cause I los' my
hand. An' I got fifty more saved up right in the bank, right now.
Tha's three hunderd, and I got fifty more comin' the end a the
month. Tell you what-" He leaned forward eagerly. "S'pose I went in
with you guys. Tha's three hunderd an' fifty bucks I'd put in. I ain't
much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden
some. How'd that be?"
George half-closed his eyes. "I gotta think about that. We was
always gonna do it by ourselves."
Candy interrupted him, "I'd make a will an' leave my share to you
guys in case I kick off, 'cause I ain't got no relatives nor
nothing. You guys got any money? Maybe we could do her right now?"
George spat on the floor disgustedly. "We got ten bucks between us."
Then he said thoughtfully, "Look, if me an' Lennie work a month an'
don't spen' nothing, we'll have a hunderd bucks. That'd be four fifty.
I bet we could swing her for that. Then you an' Lennie could go get
her started an' I'd get a job an' make up the res', an' you could sell
eggs an' stuff like that."
They fell into a silence. They looked at one another, amazed. This
thing they had never really believed in was coming true. George said
reverently, "Jesus Christ! I bet we could swing her." His eyes were
full of wonder. "I bet we could swing her," he repeated softly.
Candy sat on the edge of his bunk. He scratched the stump of his
wrist nervously. "I got hurt four year ago," he said. "They'll can
me purty soon. Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunkhouses they'll
put me on the county. Maybe if I give you guys my money, you'll let me
hoe in the garden even after I ain't no good at it. An' I'll wash
dishes an' little chicken stuff like that. But I'll be on our own
place, an' I'll be let to work on our own place." He said miserably,
"You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn't no
good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht
somebody'd shoot me. But they won't do nothing like that. I won't have
no place to go, an' I can't get no more jobs. I'll have thirty dollars
more comin', time you guys is ready to quit."
George stood up. "We'll do her," he said. "We'll fix up that
little old place an' we'll go live there." He sat down again. They all
sat still, all bemused by the beauty of the thing, each mind was
popped into the future when this lovely thing should come about.
George said wonderingly, "S'pose they was a carnival or a circus
come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing." Old Candy nodded
in appreciation of the idea. "We'd just go to her," George said. "We
wouldn't ask nobody if we could. Jus' say, 'We'll go to her,' an' we
would. Jus' milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an' go
"An' put some grass to the rabbits," Lennie broke in. "I wouldn't
never forget to feed them. When we gon'ta do it, George?"
"In one month. Right squack in one month. Know what I'm gon'ta do?
I'm gon'ta write to them old people that owns the place that we'll
take it. An' Candy'll send a hunderd dollars to bind her."
"Sure will," said Candy. "They got a good stove there?"
"Sure, got a nice stove, burns coal or wood."
"I'm gonna take my pup," said Lennie. "I bet by Christ he likes it
there, by Jesus."
Voices were approaching from outside. George said quickly, "Don't