On a Monday in June, a wood chopping factory begins its work day at 7:00am. Before this time, the foreman of the factory climbs to a platform where a factory worker, named Happy, stands, oiling the machine. The foreman explains that he brought an assistant for Happy. The girl is around 17 years old and is dressed neatly. Happy is confused about her role and is reluctant to train her, but his foreman departs quickly, only briefly warning the girl about the knife attached to the machine and to stay away from it As the work day starts, the machines roar to life and the noise frightens the girl. Happy finds it confusing that the company hired a girl who is so afraid of noises and has no experience. However, he finds the girl attractive so it doesn't bother him too much. In the factory, logs are being heated and veneered by both the male workers and the female workers beneath him. His station consists of chopping the wood up with a large knife. Happy begins working on his machine and does so slowly, in hope the girl understands how to work it. However, she performs it too quickly and misses some steps. Happy stops her and explains that she does not need to go quickly. He believes her to be dumb, but observes her arms and outfit. The girl explains that she understands and she'll be careful. As they begin to work again, the girl is not careful and works too quickly once more. Happy stops her and explains he'll go slow again, so she can follow him. This doesn't help her understand the process, and only makes her more afraid of the job. Happy continues to work on their order—a spruce that is going to be exported to Germany for their ships. It was a large order that they had been working on for awhile. The foreman climbs back up onto Happy and his assistant's platform to ask about her progress and Happy explains that she's a hard worker. The girl explains that she has been enjoying the job and that Happy hasn't messed with her yet. When the foreman leaves, Happy realizes that the girl is hiding her hand behind her back. Happy, concerned, reaches for her hand to find it bleeding because she cut it on the machine's knife. He quickly tells her to get the first aid kit from the office, but she refuses multiple times. Happy realizes that she is afraid the foreman will fire her so he runs to get the kit and bandages her hand. Happy and the girl continue to work and the girl talks about how much she is enjoying the job. She begins to sway from exhaustion, but refuses to stop working. Happy watches her as he works, worried that she will cut her hand again. He tries to explain that the knife is very dangerous and while doing so, the foreman returns and criticizes the two for being lazy. Happy loses his temper and explains that he's been trying his best and that if his foreman doesn't like the way he works, the foreman can fire him. The other workers from below watch their argument and the foreman goes back down and stomps back to his office. Happy also climbs down the ladder and snaps at the female workers who were watching. Happy goes outside to smoke and then returns to his platform. The girl is surprised to see him because she thought he quit. As the girl works, Happy makes it his goal to frighten her from the job and insults her. They work until the factory closes for the evening. Happy goes to his foreman's office and the foreman apologizes for yelling at him. As Happy begins to walk home, he watches the girl walk away, picking the splinters from her hands.