Generations have taken pride in the reputation of the Edgartown shipbuilder, master constructor of barns, barges and binnacle boxes, Manuel Swartz. Known in every civilized country of the globe for the skill with which he constructs caskets, catboats and checkerboards, he might easily have won a place for himself in world history but for the deteriorating effects of modern milk-and-water mildness inspired by unhampered pacifism.
Humanity is weak and prone to follow a leader, be he only a sheep-hearted creature, and when the day dawned on strong men forsaking the wheelspokes and plow handles to play golf and bat ping pong balls, Manuel, alas, joined the crowd.
This view reveals the keen-eyed and steady-handed hewer of hackmatack, fitting a cage to a canary bird. True to the training of his courageous youth, he employs the trusty spiling stick in gathering the dimensions, and it is a safe bet that that cage, when set up and fastened at the joints, will fit that bird like a coat of red lead on the south side of a plank.