“Well, now, you watch Casey! When it comes to putting things like that over, they wanta try somebody besides Casey Ryan. You ask anybody if Casey’s easy fooled. But I’d ruther go hunt the Injun Jim mine, Bill.”
“Say, Casey, in this one summer you can make enough money in Patmos to buy a gold mine. I’ve been reading the papers pretty careful. Why, they say tourist travel is the heaviest that ever was known, and this is early May and it’s only beginning. And lemme tell yuh something, Casey. I’d ruther have a garage in Patmos than a hotel in Los Angeles, and by all they say that’s puttin’ it strong. Ever been over the road west uh Needles, Casey?”
Casey never had, and Bill proceeded to describe it so that any tourist who ever blew out a tire there with the sun at a hundred and twenty and running in high, would have confessed the limitations of his own vocabulary.
“And there you are, high and dry, with fifteen miles of the ungodliest, tire-chewinest road on either side of yuh that America can show. About like this stretch down here between Rhyolite and Vegas. And hills and chucks—say, don’t talk to me about any Injun packin’ gold in a lard bucket. Why, lemme tell yuh, Casey, if you work it right and don’t be so dog-gone kind-hearted, you’ll want a five-ton truck to haul off your profits next fall. I’d go myself and let you run this place here, only I got a lot of credit trade and you’d never git a cent outa the bunch. And then you’re wantin’ to leave Lund for awhile, anyway.”
“You could git somebody else,” Casey suggested half-heartedly. “I kinda hate to be hobbled to a place like a garage, Bill. And if there’s anything gits my goat, it’s patchin’ up old tires. I’ll run ’em flat long as they’ll stay on, before I’ll git out and mend ’em. I’d about as soon go to jail, Bill, as patch tires for tourists; I—”
“You don’t have to,” said Bill, his grin widening. “You sell ’em new tires, see. There won’t be one in a dozen you can’t talk into a new tire or two. Whichever way they’re goin’, tell ’em the road’s a heap worse from there on than what it was behind ’em. They’ll buy new tires—you take it from me they will. And,” he added virtuously, “you’ll do ’em no harm whatever. If you got a car, you need tires, and a new one’ll always come in handy sometime. You know that yourself, Casey.
“Now, I’ll put in an assortment of tires, and I’ll trust you to sell ’em. You and the road they got to travel. Why, when I was in Ludlow, a feller blew in there with a big brute of a car—36-6 tires. He’d had a blow-out down the other side of Patmos and he was sore because they didn’t have no tires he could use down there. He bought three tires—three, mind yuh, and peeled off the bills to pay for ’em! Sa-ay when yuh figure two hundred cars a day rollin’ through, and half of ’em comin’ to yuh with grief of some kind—”