From the perspective in which Weyerhaeuser sees such problems, human villainy falls into some sort of proportion with the growth of trees. "Ninety-eight percent of the recreationists do not cause us any trouble," he said, "and we are not going to let the other 2% stop us from doing what is right."
His kidnapping did not darken his notions of human behavior. As a footnote to criminal history, his kidnappers almost got away free. The ransom bills were not marked, but during the long delay while George was imprisoned in Spokane, the numbers of as many bills as possible were recorded. It was an apparently hopeless chance; the bills were of different dates and with no sequences. But when Margaret Waley went to buy a pair of stockings in Salt Lake City she used one of the recorded bills. Arrested, she confessed and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Waley getting 30 years. Mahan was trapped in Butte, Mont., escaped, kept on the run for two years and was finally caught, tried and sentenced to 60 years.
Waley wrote to George Weyerhaeuser from prison and Weyerhaeuser answered him. Not long ago Waley finished serving his 30 years in the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kans., and through a friend there Weyerhaeuser helped him get a job, keeping his part in it secret. "Why did I do it?" he asked, looking annoyed. "I went through all sorts of sensations when I was kidnapped, from fear and concern to the point where I felt sorry for him. I guess I thought he had paid his debt.... No, I don't want to say that," he said in exasperation, meaning that he did not want to use a stereotyped phrase. George Weyerhaeuser sometimes ends a discussion with a sudden finality that makes you realize he was a pretty good boxer. It is as the people around Tacoma say, don't ask him about the time he was kidnapped. At least, don't ask him too much.