Abbey describes how precious and valuable certain types of rocks can be and what the can be used for. ” . . .but the only rock which has so far proved to be of commercial values in the canyon country is that called caronite. Caronite, a greenish-yellow ore, is a complex mineral containing radon gas, vanadium, and uranium. Here was a treasure. Spurred by the exciting demands of the Cold War and Atomic Energy Commission, soon after our technicians had shown what they could do (Hiroshima, Nagasaki) began to promote an intensive search for uranium.” (Pages 76 and 77)
With this fact, Abbey goes on to show how greed in obtaining this element can essentially ruin a good intentioned and unsuspecting person.
“The Baptist church was only five miles away in the heart of downtown Moab behind T.C. Tracey’s gas station but once his family had been established in their new home, Husk ‘” a somewhat indifferent Christian ‘” went straight to the Club 66, where the smoke-dense air cracked with radioactivity and the smell of honest miner’s sweat. Here he met his benefactor, a man known as Charles “Chuck” Graham.” (Page 83)
“From the bar they moved to a table in the corner where Mr. Graham produced a large tectonic map and explained to Husk as well as he could (for Husk had only the dimmest notions of geology) what the prospects were for making fresh uranium discoveries in the Colorado Plateau.” (Page 84)
“That evening they made the deal. For a consideration of $2250 (half the amount of the cashier’s check) Husk gained a forty-percent interest in Hotrock Mountain Mineral Development Company, as they decided to call their joint enterprise.” (Page 87)
“Through a screen of willows he looked at the two little girls splashing in the water, and at Mrs. Husk, half dressed, sitting at the edge of the pool.” (Page 88)
“Pre-occupied ‘” almost obsessed ‘” with his work Husk was only dimly aware of the change in his wife’s response to him.” (Page 89)
The rest of the story goes on to describe how Mr. Graham underhanded Mr. Husk and that they both die. And so does the son in the worst of ways. In my view, much of it was the wife’s fault. Which was imposed on her by Mr. Graham who I am certain was after Mr. Husk’s cut, not just his family. As Karma would have it, Mr. Graham Is pulled into death for greed and cold-blooded murder. The son received the worst end of it and even though his mother went to see him his death bed, she still received the partial blood money her dead husband earned: $100,000. It would have ended up in her hands despite the tragedy and greed.