The curse of growing old is to see one’s family and friends die. In Arne’s case, almost all of them were horrific or tragic in their own ways. He misses his brother, Francis, and his friend, Jack Schectre, but is glad that they found peace in their lives elsewhere before they died. Arne returned to the Parray family home in retirement as life in the bigger cities just never suited him. He knows the woods, he knows his axe and he knows this grand old home in the town of his birth. He keeps mostly to himself, though, since the town just doesn’t feel quite the same to him after all he saw happen within it and especially since almost none of the same people still reside here. Aware that he is in danger of ending up like his Granny, cooped up alone in a room waiting to die, Arne does try to get out and about for long walks in the woods like the old days, even if he can’t swing an axe or haul lumber anymore. Well… Maybe not as much as he used to when he was a young man, anyway. He appreciates Jane Dowsell’s presence in the town, and has gained new respect for her as a person, seeing the church she has built and the efforts she makes to heal the community of wounds that only very few are still around to remember.