Sean and Mickey's Tent of Magic Lamps and Irish Nostalgia. Most of the evening's patrons are just filing out after the final show, leaving only the Swede in the audience. Good Lord, Mickey's yellow pants are actually part of a yellow three-piece suit. "Very moving images of home, boys," the Swede says. Mickey seems especially pleased by the compliment, but Sean points out that the man doesn't sound Irish. The Swede found the show moving nonetheless. He introduces himself. Everything seems more or less pleasant on the surface, but the guy is just emanating creepiness. He compliments the lads on their prime location, right between the saloon and the whorehouse. Mickey is pleased while Sean is suspicious. Poor Mickey. He got the extra toes but was shorted on the brains. The Swede notices this, too. At Sean's prodding, the Swede finally gets to the point, which is that he wants the boys to pay him protection money to the tune of two dollars a week. Even Mickey recognizes what a bum deal this is, but they don't have many options. Either they have to pay up or, as the Swede puts it, they can just move down to the slaughterhouse. And be turned into delicious Irish sausage, I'm guessing.
A hard rain must have fallen overnight, because the ground the next morning is all mud. Cullen is still picking at that blasted nail without having made much progress. At the approach of footsteps, he hurries to hide his work under a handful of hay. The door slides open and the Swede is standing there in his meticulously clean boots. Not even mud wants to mess with this guy. He carries with him a bowl of some unknown sustenance, but instead of giving it to Cullen, the Swede sits down on a crate and proceeds to eat in front of him. "You know I used to be a bookkeeper," he says in a pleasantly conversational tone. Just two buddies having breakfast together. Cullen eyes him and says, "You look like a bookkeeper." The Swede admits he's always been more comfortable around numbers than people. Numbers can be controlled. That changed with the war. Cullen studies him some more and comes up with this analysis: "You're suffering from the soldier's heart, Mr. Swede. I can see it in your eyes. You're still fightin' them battles." The Swede corrects him, tells him he was a quartermaster and never saw battle. He never even saw the enemy until his supply train was captured and he became a prisoner of war. Cullen guesses correctly that he was taken to Andersonville. The Swede speaks of the horrors of the camp, the chaos and the thousands dead. This place was truly a horrible one, if you're inclined to read up about it someday. "I weighed 200 pounds when I went in and 86 when I come out," the Swede says, his voice shaking. "I just couldn't make them numbers add up."