Company Man

It was just dawn when I shut myself in the tack room to change out of my business-casual outfit into some loaner clothes that Heamon, the ranch caretaker, found for me. Outside were four mules, shuffling and chuffing. When they snorted steam came out.

“Chance of grizzlies, not denned up yet,” Heamon’s man Eustace said, and handed me the reins. “Twelve-gauge in the saddle holster, deer loads in the chambers. No extras. No time to reload anyway.”

It was the corporation’s top-management retreat, and I was one of the chosen few, the sixty-five out of twelve thousand, brought together to “think globally” at Chairman Sanderson’s Montana ranch. It had a main lodge with logs the size of oil tankers, and a fireplace you could push a sofa into if the need arose; guest cabins, barns, stables; and enough acres of the Gallatin Range to impress a Hapsburg.

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