I grew up in a tiny town in Vermont. Tiny in terms of population, not size—there were huge sprawling farms and wooded areas, but almost no people. More cows than people, which is standard for a lot of small towns in Vermont. So, clearly, not...

As I entered John Kirowan's study I was too much engrossed in my own thoughts to notice, at first, the haggard appearance of his visitor, a big, handsome young fellow well known to me. "Hello, Kirowan," I greeted. "Hello, Gordon. Haven't seen you for quite a...