With the weather turning cooler, it meant that the furnace had to be turned on. To keep the air inside comfortable, Edmond had asked that a humidifier be added so the air wouldn’t be dry and stuffy. The contractor mentioned that it might create a bit of a mold problem, but putting a special additive in the water reservoir, that problem would be eliminated.

With the furnace on and the moisturized air flowing regularly a little condensation did form on some of the metal elbows of the duct pipes. The piece of pig crap that Delia had dropped inside the great room vent was setting at the bottom of the pipe and when the moisture condensed, it ran down there. Not much but enough to keep the dung from drying completely out. What was worse, it now started to rot and that stink was being pushed into the great room.

It was Delia who noticed the smell first and upon investigating thought it was the cedar chips at the bottom of Max’s cage that needed to be changed. Not wanting to let Max out of the cage, she draped a dishtowel over the birds head. Delia had gone and retrieved the smaller cage that Max had arrived in to put in the library temporarily. Only problem was, there were no windows and the library was dark. Placing the bird in the cage, Delia turned on the light and shut the door.

While taking the cage apart to clean it, Crutchfeldt stopped by to see what was going on. Delia told him that the chips in the bottom were starting to smell and they needed to be changed. Crutchfeldt said he had noticed a smell too and agreed with her. He asked where she had put the bird and she told him Max was in the library. Neither of them thought that putting Max in there would be a problem. But since the room was not well lit, it really made the bird nervous. The longer Mas stayed there, the madder he got.

Delia came in to put Max back in the cage and when the bird saw her, the screeching started. “Rotten whore, rotten whore” Max screeched. When he heard the fuss, Crutchfeldt knew that Max was mad and it would not be good if he went in there too. But he knew something had to be done, all that screeching was unsettling. When Crutchfeldt appeared, Max spotted him and yelled out “stupid idiot”. This was something neither of them had heard before, but then Max had never been so mad before either. When she tried to pick up the cage, Max started flapping and screeching “ rotten whore, rotten whore, stupid idiot.” Max was really angry.

Crutchfeldt was the one who opened the caged door and threw the towel over the bird. He held onto Max until he put the bird back into the big cage. Max was still screeching “stupid idiot” and “rotten whore”. Crutchfeldt figured Max would calm down now that the bird was back at the window. Fortunately Edmond had left the day before to attend a meeting with the defense department about a huge supply contract he was bidding on and wasn’t there to hear Max.

Edmond spent a lot of time working very hard on a loan application from the bank, he would need it if he was awarded the contract from the defense department. If the loan didn’t go through, the contract would go to his competitor. To loose this opportunity would mean the Dasburry company would have to give in to Beckweldt Enterprises shipping company. All those employees Edmond had, the business his grandfather built, the one his father had expanded during the war, it all went to Edmond. What will he do to continue the Dashburry legacy?

When he returned the next day, he too noticed the smell as he walked into the foyer of the entryway. He looked at Crutchfeldt and asked “what is that smell?” The butler told him it was the cedar chips in the birds cage that needed changing, and that had been done earlier. Edmond went over to see Max, and all the bird would do was stare at him. Max just sat there, didn’t move and wouldn’t even squawk. The bird was still mad.

Standing in the office looking out the window, he remembered the faint music from the ice cream truck, reminding him of what Max had once said “28, 6 and 2, back 13 and now for 2”.


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