One of Hur's first settlers, long-gone Reason Kerby comes back on
certain quarter moon nights to the mossy rock
at the head of Salvation Hollow to share his wisdom with innocent
Billy Braveheart, who seeks to understand
BILLY: I really got worried if you were ever coming back, Uncle
Reason. I really needed to talk with you.
REASON: I always come back, but I've been pretty busy with the
"Welcome Wagon." New folks coming in all the
time. Just last week ole Junior Coon showed up and just yesterday,
Fred Barnes. They're all from around here. Ole
Junior was really feelin' good 'cause he didn't have to gasp for wind
anymore, and that Fred, he's a hoot. Always
smilin'. Told me a great WW II story.
BILLY: Uncle Reason, I'm really worried that things are gettin' worse
in Calhoun. People seem to be actin' strange
and doin' things that get a whole lot of folks really upset.
REASON: Well, Billy, things are not much different than when I was
holdin' out on the Kerby Ridge last century.
People do strange things. Sometimes for no reason at all, it seems.
One ole boy down on Barnes Run fell out with
his neighbor and went up against the hill and dug his grave and went
back and told him, "If you open your mouth
one more time a'gin me, I'll drop you in that hole." The stories I
could tell about what people do on the spur of the
moment. Sometimes irrationally.
BILLY: I guess you know about our neighbor boy who is said to have
defecated on the face of another boy at
REASON: Yeh, folks are really stirred up about that, and they should
be. Back in my time, people would have
worked through it. Maybe not easily. I can remember when one of the
nicest kids on the ridge spit tobacco juice in
the postmaster's eye. They got into a fist fight right then and there.
A bunch of boys from down on Buckhorn
jumped in to help. A couple days later that boy's dad drug him around
the Kerby Ridge to apologize to the
BILLY: Did it work?
REASON: Well, they stayed a little miffed for a while, but that boy
later married the Postmaster's daughter, and
went on to become a deacon in the church.
BILLY: So what about now? Folks get really angry and want to find
someone to blame, ruin their reputations and
make them loose their jobs. Were people more willing to work things
out, back then?
REASON: Your world is much more complicated. One thing you do almost
everytime is hire a lawyer, right quick.
Bob Mollohan, whose mixed it up with lots of lawyers and politicians,
told me the other day that there would soon
be more lawyers than people - whatever that meant. There never has
been a shortage of near-sightedness, or for
that matter, selfish interests.
BILLY: So here is this kid who just got out of high school, and has
already done a lot of wonderful things with his
life. He has really messed up by doing this terrible thing.
REASON: Well, Billy, I think he needs to be punished, but he does not
need to be persecuted. And, dear Billy, he
has been. I know there is more to come. From up here it looks like
there is plenty of blame to go around and plenty
BILLY: We shouldn't forget the kid who was held down, and the boys who
went along with the deal.
REASON: Not at all. Nor should you forget that for a time, those in
charge were absent, and they seemed to not
do some of the right things when they found out what happened.
BILLY: What would you have them do, from up there, Uncle Reason?
REASON: Conscience, Billy, conscience. My Boss up there says that's
how He made us humans different from
the animals. All those really fine people know what is right and what
they need to do. After they do it then we need
to forgive, Billy. Then Sunny Cal can go forth and never let it
happen again. That's what! It would be nice if we
could bring them to the mossy rock and work it out with each other.
BILLY: Uncle Reason, you're beginning to fade away. Please don't
leave. We really need help here, you know.
REASON: I'll be back to check in later. Keep the spirit and ask the
questions, Billy. I'll tell Junior I saw you, and
ole Fred; he was worried about this stuff too...Good night.