“Bill” Knox, knifemaker “off and on” for forty two years last week was forced much against his will —for he is proud and independent—to accept town aid, in return for which he works two or three days weekly on the roads. But today he is at leisure, and I find him sitting on the stone stop of the fire house, his back propped against the wooden railing, talking to Mr. Brennan.
“Hi kiddo,” he says, as I approach. “This young fella was askin' me just the other day about knifemakin', Chris. Say, young fella, here's a tip for you. You go down to the Bridge, and there's a fella visitin' Fisher's from Waldron, New York. He kin tell you all about business up there. Don't know how they're doin' now, but they was a time when they was two-three shops up there, goin' strong. But las' time I was up there —three-four years ago one of 'em was shut down. Windas broke out of it and all. Nice-lookin', big brick place, too.”
Mr. Brennan: “Funny how that knife business went to hell, wasn't it? Mr. Knox: “Hain't nothin' funny about it. 'twas the goddam foreign knives and the new machinery. Between the two of them. And now there's a damn good trade all shot to hell, and nothin' to take its place. Ole punks like me havin' to go on relief. We could be workin' if the trade was any good yet, and teachin' it to our kids. Hain't nothin' to do but work fer the town, and go fishing in yer spare time. Spare time drives me nuts. I got so goddamn much spare time, and nothin' to do, I swear I'll go nuts.”
Mr. Brennan: “How's the fishin', Bill?”
Mr. Knox: “Why, Chris, so help me, the fish hain't even bitin'. Never seed 'em so bad. Went up to Northfield Saturday night. Caught