The anxiety and fear of cold evenings with demon winds and mythical creatures seemed a vague memory. Life in the cabin settled.
“I must have purpose, don’t you agree, Pal?” Shepherd said. “I can’t just exist here and have Daniel and his family worry about me, at least I think they do. I must in someway contribute something to the community. If I do nothing people will never look upon me as having value, isn’t that so, Pal?”
Pal hoped up on the couch and looked out the window.
“This is important to me and I wish to have your attention,” Shepherd said. “So at least listen. I don’t mind if you are looking at something, but please don’t day dream about the spring and chasing a rabbit or squirrel across the meadow… Spring? When the snow melts. That’s right you have never seen spring have you. Well it’s grand and soggy.”
Pal looked over his shoulder.
“It’s true,” Shepherd said. “Now we got to get down to this business of me being useful. My background is finance, specifically stock and bond trading, but I could be a financial planner. Do you think I could hang out a shingle that will attract people who pass by informing them of my expertise. I could invest their funds wisely. What’s that you say… no traffic. Yeah you’re right; in the last six months There have been a total of six people… Oh, and I forgot, one creature.”
“There has to be other lonely people out their,” Shepherd said. “Not so much lonely as they are afraid. They don’t care about Goodyear tires or Happy Meals. They don’t care if JC Penney’s is having a half price sale and Squirt’s Oil has oil changes for $9.99. They probably buy retreads, don’t like Happy Meals, have never owned a suit, and are happy to save a buck fifty changing their own oil. That’s the people in fifty miles of all directions. That radio might as well be transmitted from Times Square.”
Pal barked at something. Shepherd stooped at the window and peered out. “It is a bird; too far to identify.
Shepherd sat next to Pal. “Pal, try this on for size… It’s an expression; it means to think it over and envision it being put into practice. What if I were to erect a radio tower and transmit from here… Yes, I know it would take electricity. I know my wind generator would not be enough and a gas one would be too expensive, but what about steam. All it takes is water and fuel. We got twenty thousand acres of trees. I’ll work through the details later, but this is a starting place. Your assignment is work on programming… I’ll get you a book on it and you can go from there.”