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Crook's initial response was "You're nuts."
Crooks becomes interested when he learns they have the money to make their dream come true.
Crooks asked, "You say you got the money?"
Crooks reached around and explored his spine with his hand. "I never seen a guy really do it," he said. "I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ever’ time a whore house or a blackjack game took what it takes." He hesitated. " . . . . If you . . . . guys would want a hand to work for nothing—just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-abitch if I want to.
Of Mice and Men