"This is how it is, how it has to be," he said and spat a thick line of chewing tobacco onto the dirt ground. "This is just the way things will have to be." As he said this, I could tell he wanted to spit another line onto the ground as if to mark his point. When he realized he had just used his last round, he gave a dissatisfied grunt. Instead, he sat there watching his previous discharge as it rolled slowly and collected sand. He was mulling something over, playing out a scenario that had haunted him for some time. "Is this the way it is?" he asked aloud.