"I built it with my hands. Straightened old nails to put the sheathing on. Rafters are wired to the stringers with baling wire. It's mine. I built it. You bump it down - I'll be in the window with a rifle. You even come too close and I'll pot you like a rabbit."
"It's not me. There's nothing I can do. I'll lose my job if I don't do it. And look - suppose you kill me? They'll hang you, but long before you're hung there'll be a guy on the tractor, and he'll bump the house down. You're not killing the right guy."
"That's so," The tenant said, "Who gave you orders? I'll go after him, He's the one to kill."
"You're wrong. He got his orders from the bank. The bank told him, 'Clear those people or it's your job.'"
"Well, there's the president of the bank. There's a board of directors. I'll fill up the magazine of the rifle and go into the bank."
The driver said, "Fellow was telling me the bank gets orders from the East. The orders were, 'Make the land show profit or we'll close you up.'"
"But where does it stop? Who can we shoot? I don't aim to starve to death before I kill the man that's starving me."
"I don't know. Maybe there's nobody to shoot. Maybe the thing isn't men at all. Maybe, like you said, the property's doing it. Anyway I told you my orders."
"I got to figure," the tenant said. "We all got to figure. There's some way to stop this. It's not like lightening or earth quakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change."
John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath, Chapter five, 1939