In his cups, they said.
You're damn straight I am, and no denyin'. I go there to keep from killin' those that murmur in his cups on the way to drink champagne and wine. The sinews stand out now as the flesh falls away with the passage of years but I could take them apart still.
These hands were given to me for something. Like curbstones they are, and ready always for work. But there is no work and the hands can't pick up anything else now.
They scratched in their copybooks easy like, while I blotted mine, and that's the way life is. You're born to things. It's a mohammedan life all around the globe. And so they lord over those damn dots and wear wool, summer and winter, and look out the window at life like it's a picture.
But they never stood for a moment with the big redwood bole poised between up and down, and felt the pinch on the two-man, and heard the wonder of the fibers lettin' go inside. The ground shakes when it comes down and you know you're alive, if you can keep it. They never saw the eastern sky in the desert when the sun retires. They never saw a fish, one hundred feet down in Tahoe, clear as day, nibble your hook.
They can make greenbacks pile themselves to the ceiling without effort, but any machine can do that. There's life in that money. Other men's lives stored like the fire hibernatin' in a log in there. They can't get it out without me.
The creatures -- the live creatures -- come to me, because I got the life in me, banked low but still there. I'll tell you all about it. When I'm in my cups.