The Things They Carried

What sort of person was Elroy

The things they carry: chapter 4: on the rainy river

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Elroy Berdahl is an elderly man who owns the lodge on the border with Canada. He knows that O'Brien is there trying to decide whether to evade the draft, but does not push the matter or make the boy talk about the decision. Berdahl never asked O’Brien questions, he just played Scrabble with the boy, gave him odd jobs to do, and ate meals with him. Elroy is patient and non-judgmental. But O’Brien concluded that the old man read the paper, he was “no hick;” he knew that O’Brien was contemplating dodging the draft.