Bert’s team specialized in “turning around” houses—buying them cheap on good land, fixing them up, and then selling them at a profit. If they’d been doing business the normal way, he never would have looked twice at the ad in the paper, but sometimes business was slow, and the team had to be willing to take jobs for hire.

He’d gotten a call from Harvey, the realtor who Bert did most of his Cascade business with. A vacation cabin, smack dab in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a two-track road that didn’t even have a name, only a vague description.

“Who the hell’d want to vacation that far out?” he’d said.

“Hey, some people like to get away. Maybe they were Australian looking for a bit of that homely feel. The point is, Bert, the place is sitting with the next of kin, and they’re ready to give it up as a derelict. I’ve already got some interested buyers lined up—more Aussies, maybe, who knows—but they’ve all got ten thumbs. City types, you know.”

“I know,” Bert had grunted. Part of the beauty of his job was that the noise and pointy things tended to keep people away.