Told you before. We didn’t have a choice. Government wanted it. You can’t tell the Government no.
Why did you have to sell the woods?
It's okay Luke, don't worry.
But the government's not going to live in the houses!
He saw the first tree shudder and fall, far off in the distance. Then he heard his mother call out the kitchen window: “Luke! Inside. Now.”He had never disobeyed the order to hide. Even as a toddler, barely able to walk in the backyard’stall grass, he had somehow understood the fear in his mother’s voice.
“Why?” he asked at the supper table that night. It wasn’t a common question in the Garner house.There were plenty of “how’s”—How much rain’d the backfield get? How’s the planting going?Even “what’s”—What’d Matthew do with the five-sixteenth wrench? What’s Dad going to do about that busted tire? But “why” wasn’t considered much worth asking. Luke asked again. “Why’d you have to sell the woods?”Luke’s dad harrumphed, and paused in the midst of shoveling forkfuls of boiled potatoes into his mouth.“Told you before. We didn’t have a choice".
“But the Government’s not going to live in the houses,” Luke protested. At twelve, he knew better,but sometimes still pictured the Government as a very big, mean, fat person, two or three times as tall as an ordinary man, who went around yelling at people, “Not allowed!” and “Stop that!” It was because of the way his parents and older brothers talked