Charles Mather turned his head and a wad of tobacco juice arched across the yard. “I see you found the place all right.”

Meg had only spoken to her new boss once over the telephone, so she knew she had no right to high expectations.  Still, Mather was a shock.  Until six months ago, it was Ronnie, her ex-husband, who found jobs for them at run-aground outfits like this one.  Now face to face with this grimy man in overalls splitting at the gut, she churned with doubt.

She reached out her hand bravely and shook his.  “How do you do.  I’m Meg and this is my son, Jim.”

The fat man glanced momentarily at the boy.  Jim’s existence did not interest him.  He gestured behind them to the mobile home.

“This is your house.  Didjya find the calves?”

“I heard them bawling and checked to make sure they had water, sir.”

“What’d I say I’d pay ya?”

“Six hundred and fifty dollars a month, plus groceries and meat.”

“I’ve been thinkin’ about that.  You know I wanted to hire a man, but I couldn’t find nobody but you.  Now a workin’ man, he’s got a family to support.  He’s likely to stay around and pull his load.  But you’re just a young gal.  You’re liable to run off and find a husband and leave me high and dry.  Besides I don’t know that a woman can do a man’s work.”