LENNIE: How long is it goin' be till we git that little place to live on the fat of the land?
GEORGE: I don't know. We gotta get a big stake together. I know a little place we can get cheap, but they ain't givin' it away. [CANDY turns slowly over and watches GEORGE.]
LENNIE: Tell about that place, George.
GEORGE: I jus' tole you. Jus' last night.
LENNIE: Go on, tell again.
GEORGE: Well, it's ten acres. Got a little windmill. Got a little shack on it and a chicken run. Got a kitchen orchard. Cherries, apples, peaches, 'cots and nuts. Got a few berries. There's a place for alfalfa and plenty of water to flood it. There's a pig pen....
LENNIE [breaking in]: And rabbits, George?
GEORGE: I could easy build a few hutches. And you could feed alfalfa to them rabbits.
LENNIE: Damn right I could. [Excitedly.] You goddamn right I could.
GEORGE [his voice growing warmer]: And we could have a few pigs. I'd build a smokehouse. And when we kill a pig we could smoke the hams. When the salmon run up the river we can catch a hundred of 'em. Every Sunday we'd kill a chicken or rabbit. Mebbe we'll have a cow or a goat. And the cream is so goddamn thick you got to cut it off the pan with a knife.
LENNIE [watching him with wide eyes, softly]: We can live off the fat of the land.
GEORGE: Sure. All kinds of vegetables in the garden and if we want a little whiskey we can sell some eggs or somethin'. And we wouldn't sleep in no bunkhouse. Nobody could can us in the middle of a job.
LENNIE [begging]: Tell about the house, George.
GEORGE: Sure. We'd have a little house. And a room to ourselves. And it ain't enough land so we'd have to work too hard. Mebbe six, seven hours a day only. We wouldn't have to buck no barley eleven hours a day. And when we put in a crop, why we'd be there to take that crop up. We'd know what come of our planting.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The Fat of the Land
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men:
Isaak Levitan, Sunny Day