No matter what the future, one factor must always be reckoned with—the ingenuity of the human animal.
"Okay, Sid--Mike. We'll take it a while."
The rhythm of the axe-strokes ceased. Red Mike swept the back of a forearm across the semi-shaven stubble that set him as something of a dandy. Wordlessly, big Sid ambled up the road to replace Vito.
"Pretty soon, now," boasted Mike, eyeing the cut with satisfaction. "Think it'll bring them?"
"Sure," replied Blackie, spitting on his hands and lifting one of the worn tools. "That's what they're for."
"Funny," mused Mike, "how some keep going an' others bust. These musta been workin' since I was a little kid--since before the last blitz."
"Aw, they don't hafta do much. 'Cept in winter when they come out to clear snow, all they do is put in a patch now an' then."
Mike stared moodily at the weathered surface of the highway and edged back to avoid the reflected heat.
"It beats me how they know a spot has cracked."
"I guess there's machines to run the machines," sighed Blackie. "I dunno; I was too young. Okay, Vito?"
The relieving pair fell to. Mike stepped out of range of the flying chips to sit at the edge of the soft grass which was attempting another invasion of the gravel shoulder. Propelled by the strength of Vito's powerful torso, a single chip spun through the air to his fe