After fantastic visits with close friends and family, it is good to be back north. I do not hold the sentiments expressed below - only a love for exceptional writing.
The sheriff was standing close now, as if to get Olaf's attention.
"You've been farming here in Hubbard County how long, fifty years?
Olaf blinked. "Fifty-three years."
"And I've been the sheriff over half that time. I know you, I know the boys. None of you has ever broken a law that I can think of, not even the boys. The town folk respect that..."
Olaf's vision cleared and something in him hardened at the mention of town folk. He had never spent much time in town, did not like it there very much. And he believed that, though farmers and townspeople did a lot of business together, it was a business of necessity; that in the end they had very little in common. He also had never forgotten how the town folk treated Inge when she first came to Hubbard County.
"What I mean is," the sheriff continued, "you don't want to start breaking the law now when you're seventy-five years old."
"Seventy-eight," Olaf said.
"Seventy-eight," the sheriff repeated.
They were all silent. The sheriff mopped his forehead again. The silence went on for a long time.
- Will Weaver
From A Gravestone Made of Wheat