“All right, boys. This here is ‘shovel number seventy-two. It’s one shovel out of a lot I own. Last night, some McGrevich boys decided to poke a finger in my eye. In our eyes. They wanted to show they could waltz in and take down any little piece of property that we own. You see this? This ‘shovel’s done. It’s out. It’ll never work again.
“They weren’t interested in hurting us. They want to scare us. McGrevich, the man made of money, wants to scare us. You scared boys?
“I didn’t think so. Well, it’s time we poked McGrevich right in the eye. It’s time he understood that the Graston Union is stronger than that. He’s mocked us since we started working together, since we started digging down to wealth. He wants to take all that away from you. Your fair pay. Your good work. Your heat.
“Sure as the snow falls, sure as the smoke rises, I know you’re not going to put up with it. Tonight, I want you to rough up some of his boys. I want you to find them in the freeze distillers and the vodkarians. Don’t hurt them too bad; let’s keep things civil. We don’t want to start a war. No one wins wars in the Pits.
“But it’s time to show them that we mean business. That we’re men who’ll stand against their mocking voices.
“You ready, boys? You gonna fight for ‘shovel seventy-two? Against every poke-in-the-eye McGrevich can send our way?
“That’s good boys, that’s good. I’m proud of you.”
Read more of the world of Snow and Smoke here.
Read the previous story, Barras Abandoned, here.
Read the next story, Separation, here.