Gardening

Mulch used for landscaping

Mulch used for landscaping



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Mulch used for landscaping has been stored outdoors in a tank. Imagine him standing there, chiseling that trunk free of roots and dirt with the back of his ax, and his body on display for the whole world to see, and his brother at the ready with the two longest throwing axes in the world.

At this point, once again, no one knew he was bound for Glendora. His brother, William Francis, told him to lie low.

To most people, Mulch would have seemed to be trying his hand at a little good old-fashioned hush-money, but for Mulch, money wasn't the goal.

Mulch had already made a discovery, a bizarre, surprising discovery, that had completely transformed his view of money.

At age nineteen, he had thought of money as a thing. As something to hoard and use only for whatever it would allow you to get your hands on.

Mulch had known plenty of folks who thought of money the same way. He also knew plenty of folks who cared little about money.

Not him. He wanted money. Badly.

To be sure, Mulch had needed money for an awful lot of things: a pair of shoes, some clothes, a couple of meals, and a few more. But he had never needed the money to do anything, and that made a big difference in the way he looked at it. He didn't want to have money, and, well, if he had enough money, he could live in a little house, or a big house, and buy good food, and buy some toys. That was what money was for, wasn't it? To do things with?

Of course, in Mulch's experience, when folks with plenty of money do things, they tend to be dull, cautious things. In his experience, folks with plenty of money get all cranky and bossy when they think they're being thwarted. Money buys you very little but plenty of nagging and complaining.

Mulch knew that, and he was smart enough to know that the advantage of money was that it gave you a feeling of safety, a feeling of permanence. It was easy to get rich, but getting rich did not make you safe. What money really did was buy you a sense of comfort.

The more money you had, the more comfortable you became. That was why people always talked about having it made.

When he was very young, after his father had kicked him out of the house, and his father was in jail, he had managed to scrape up a couple of hundred dollars in petty cash. He had never had to use it. But when he'd bought the jade skull with it, he'd felt like a man for the first time in his life.

He hadn't thought much about money since then, until a few weeks ago, when he had been kidnapped by some misguided Greenies. While he was in custody, Mulch had begun to look at the money in a different way.

Money was no longer a thing, no longer something he should have or not. It was an _instrument._ It was a weapon to be used to protect himself.

The man from the S.F. Society told him that, and he had listened.

The difference between that knife in the dark and this one, this one, was that this one would be more subtle. It would slip like a snake through his hand, so that when he squeezed the handle, the cold steel would press against his thumb.

He pressed the jade skull into his palm, with the tip of his finger, so that he could feel its shape. It was lighter than he had thought it would be. So easy to hold, even without the skull.

"You like it, Little Pig?"

He held it up and smiled. "It's good. But you gave it to me too late, August."

"What does that mean?"

"It means that you have to let me go."

August shook his head. "Don't play games with me, Little Pig. We are in this together. Together we kill the giant, and together we kill the Committee."

"You don't even want to kill the giant, August. You want to steal his head. You don't want to kill anyone."

"This is not a game for you, Little Pig. Or for me. What I want doesn't matter, because what we need is the agreement of the alliance."

Mulch ignored him. The moment for bargaining had passed.

He slipped the skull inside his pocket and stood up. "Listen, August. You've made a lot of mistakes lately, like the time you killed the Quaker brothers, and then you ruined the alchemist and tried to kill Tom Bombadil."

August had known all along that Mulch didn't know a great deal about his plan, but the explanation of the Quaker brothers, and Tom Bombadil, had made him angry.

"I made a mistake," he said. "And I was wrong. That's no reason to kill me."

"Listen, August. You've got a big dark room in there. You got space to put me in a sack and drop me in the ocean? That's easy. You could sell me, and keep the money. You're right—you do need the money. You keep the money, and you can have the head. I tell you what—I