Saul begins working in the forest as a “deadfall bucker.” This means that he’s responsible for cutting fallen trees into small pieces. The work is hard, but Saul likes it. He also likes being outside and experiencing the natural world.
Saul has allowed pervasive racism to discourage him from pursuing a career as a professional hockey player. Instead, he takes a menial job where, it might seem, he’s not as vulnerable to bullying.
Saul’s coworkers are gruff white men. They drink heavily, and often call Saul insulting names like “Tonto” and “Geronimo.” Even when Saul does a good job, his coworkers insult him and laugh at him.
Even though Saul has taken this job in order to avoid being bullied for his race, he continues to experience this kind of bullying and prejudice.
One night, a large coworker of Saul’s named Jorgenson gets drunk and tries to punch Saul. Saul blocks the punch and grabs Jorgenson’s throat, hard. Brutally, he hits Jorgenson in the head. The other men fall silent, and Saul walks out of the room. They never bother him again.
In the past, Saul has been careful to control his emotions. It was, in part, this quality that allowed him to become such a good hockey player. Now, Saul is so consumed with anger that he practically seems to be looking for a fight. While Saul’s fighting does cut down on the amount of bullying he experiences, it seems to alienate him from all other people—not just racists.