N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Ullman: Jack is going to take care of the Overlook for us this winter. I would like you to show him around the place as soon as we're through.
Watson: Fine.
Ullman: Jack is a schoolteacher.
Jack: Uh, formerly a school teacher.
Watson: What line of work are you in now?
Jack: I'm a writer. Um... teaching has been more or less a way of making ends meet.
Watson: Well, this ought to be quite a change for you.
Jack: Well, I'm looking for a change.
Ullman: Our people in Denver recommended Jack very highly, and for once I agree with them. Let's see, where were we... ah yes, I was about to explain that our season here runs from May 15th to October 30th and then we close down completely until the following May.
Jack: Do you mind if I ask why you do that? It seems to me that the skiing up here would be fantastic.
Ullman: Oh it sure would be, but the problem is the enormous cost it would be to keep the road to Sidewinder open. It's a twenty-five mile stretch of road, gets an average of twenty feet of snow during the winter, and there's just no way to make it economically feasible to keep it clear. When the place was built in 1907, there was very little interest in winter sports. And this site was chosen for its seclusion and scenic beauty.
Jack: Well, it's certainly got plenty of that.
Ullman: That's right. Now, did they give you any idea in Denver about what the job entails?
Jack: Only in a very general way.
Ullman: Well, the winters can be fantastically cruel, and the basic idea is to cope with the very costly damage and depreciation which can occur, and this consists mainly of running the boiler, heating different parts of the hotel on a daily, rotating basis, repair damage as it occurs, and doing repairs so that the elements can't get a foothold.
Jack: Well, that sounds fine to me.
Ullman: Physically, it's not a very demanding job. The only thing that can get a bit trying up here during the winter is... the tremendous sense of isolation.
Jack: Well, that just happens to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'm outlining a new writing project and, uh, five months of peace is just what I need.
Ullman: That's very good, Jack. Because... for some people, solitude and isolation can, in itself, become a problem.
Jack: Not for me.
Ullman: How about your wife and son? How do you think they'll take to it?
Jack: They'll love it.
Ullman: Great. Well, before I turn you over to Bill, there's one other thing I think... we should talk about. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but it's something that's been known to give a few people second thoughts about the job.
Jack: I'm intrigued.
Ullman: I don't suppose they told you anything in Denver about the tragedy we had up here during the winter of 1970?
Jack: I don't believe they did.
Ullman: Well, my predecessor in this job hired a man named Charles Grady as the winter caretaker. And he came up here with his wife and two little girls - I think they were about eight and ten - and he had a good employment record, good references, and from what I've been told he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of complete mental breakdown. He ran amok and... he killed his family with an axe. Stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West Wing, and then he... put both barrels of a shotgun in his mouth. Police thought it was what the old-timers used to call cabin fever; a kind of claustrophobic reaction that can occur when people are shut in together over long periods of time.
Jack: Well... that is quite a story.
Ullman: [chuckling] Yeah, yeah it is. Oh, it's still hard for me to believe it actually happened here. But... it did. So I think you can appreciate why I wanted to tell you about it.
Jack: I certainly can, and I also understand why your people in Denver left it for you to tell me.
Ullman: Well, obviously some people can be put off by staying alone in a place where something like that happened.
Jack: Well you can rest assured, Mr Ullman, that's not gonna happen with me. And as far as my wife is concerned, I'm sure she'll be absolutely fascinated when I tell her about it. She's a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.

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