Danny & Ito’s Throwing Knives Continue Serving Them in The Blade, The Blood, The BigotryDecember 03, 2019
For Danny, a hobby that he learned to do during the Great Depression became a business, and in The Blade, The Blood, The Bigotry, his hobby turned into something that could save the lives of others.
It began like this: ‘“Jake! Dead-Eye Jake!” gasped Danny.
“It’s Captain Jacobs, now.”
Danny was stunned. He couldn’t imagine the circus barker and knife-throwing mentor was the uniformed officer who stood before him now.’
In middle school, Danny and Ito learned to make sturdy, heavy throwing knives and Ito’s father taught them a safe practice of martial arts called A-Way. Making these knives had started as an after-school hobby and quickly turned into something many people wanted to buy. The boys started making and selling them, and soon, their orders became too big to keep up.
In my second book, those knives would become essential. Dead-Eye Jake, who befriended Danny and Ito in Honed Virtue, came back in The Blade, The Blood, The Bigotry as a military captain who was desperate for the knives the boys made.
“The captain rose to close the door to the hallway, which Danny thought was a bit odd. He sat down again, putting his hand on Danny’s shoulder. ‘Let me get right to it. I need 10,000 of your throwing knives that are as durable as your DISKnife. The throwing knife design is perfect, but it needs a sharp point though not too sharp that it cuts the throwing hand, and it needs a durable edge.”
‘You want 10,000 of them?’ Danny was incredulous.
‘Ten thousand. Can it be done?’
Danny pondered the enormity of the question.
‘Well, they would be quicker to produce than the DISKnife, because I wouldn’t have to pour handles for them, but even so, all I could produce in a 12-hour day would be about 60 knives. The blades would have to be ground, buffed, polished, and sharpened. Jake, I’m still in school, which would cut me down to about 15 blades a day. I could produce another 60 on Sunday…Hand in here while I try to do the math.’
Danny closed his eyes, visualizing a chalkboard.
‘Let’s see, if I dropped out of school until I complete the order, I could produce something like 420 blades a week. That means it would take me the better part of 24 weeks to do the job, providing nothing went wrong.
‘Can it be done?’ the captain repeated, knowing what answer he wanted.
‘Depends. How soon do you need the throwing knives? Can you tell me what this is all about? In any case, if it’s part of the war effort, I’ll do whatever it takes.’
‘Before I go into details, you should know that some of what I’m going to tell you is classified as top secret and should go no further than you and Gran.”
I chose this long excerpt from my new book to illustrate the changes Danny is going through and how quickly he is being forced to think and act like a man. Growing up in the Great Depression forced him quickly out of childhood, and the changes he’s forced to go through hit hard in the first few chapters of The Blade, The Blood, The Bigotry.
But the beautiful thing is this – Danny came out of the Depression with something that could contribute so greatly in the upcoming war in which he would fight.