I don't feel comfortable with knives. I'm fine with a butter knife, even a small Swiss army knife. But neither of those would be strong enough to cut a line on Speakeasy. Sailors need to be prepared. I don't want to end up like those three football players who couldn't extricate the anchor of their fishing boat and lost their lives.
So walking back from the Cottage Cafe, I suggest we stop in at a small concrete-block building painted an unassuming gray. Stony Lake Cutlery. I've gone by it hundreds of times and never had any desire to explore. But now I need a knife.
Mark and I open the door. We are surrounded by knives. Small, long, skinny, thick. Ray's smiling face greets us across the counter.
I tell Ray that I don't want a knife that I have to open up (a switch blade) because I fear that in an emergency, I would cut myself. He understands. He shows me a small knife which could be put into a black rubber sheath. Problem is, I cannot get the knife in or out of the sheath. Even after he oils it.
Then he reaches under the counter top and pulls out a knife encased in a tan leather sheath.
"Now, this here knife is an award-winning model. Won the award in 1958. Made in Nova Scotia. You won't find this knife in those catalogues like Cabala's. Only find a knife like this one at a store like mine. Why if I had to make this knife, I'd have to charge you three times as much."
Carefully he hands me the knife. Carefully I take it. I have trouble getting it in and out of the sheath.
"Do it straight. You got to slide it in and out straight, not crooked."
I practice. I'm getting the knack. He takes it back to demonstrate how I can hang it on my belt and how I can attach the string to the sheath if I'm going to use it a lot.
Sixty-dollars later, the knife transfers hands. Since I don't have a belt, I carry it. Carefully.