LORNA OPENED THE CASH REGISTER DRAWER and carefully pulled out some coins. Then she slowly counted the change back to Gus Tumbleton who was wearing a red flannel shirt, green wool trousers and a well worn felt cowboy hat. He had come into the Blanchard Trading Post to purchase his one vice in life, black licorice. Every Tuesday afternoon, twelve years running, he would drive his old black Model A Ford pickup truck down from his cabin on Hoodoo mountain to the small, rural store to purchase exactly fourteen licorice sticks.
After years of his weekly licorice run Lorna finally asked the old hermit why he didn't just buy a large box of licorice. "I eat two a day and I want to be sure they are fresh" Gus replied with a wide, near toothless smile. She didn't have the heart to tell him that the licorice was pulled out of the jar that was only refilled once every month or so. Gus didn't have the courage to tell her that he really came down each week just to see Lorna.