It is in the commissary that Ike reads the ledger of his Uncle Buddy and his father, twins whose handwriting and spelling is even identical. From this ledger he gleans details of his family history. Interestingly, this setting is metaphoric as the ledger records the buying and selling of merchandise and slaves and even one's morality in the listing of details that point to miscegenation and incest. The truths that this ledger records as though they are either purchases or debits points to the significance of the hunt for Old Ben as a representative of nature. In "Nature Myth in Faulkner's The Bear" in Myth and Literature: Contemporary Theory and Practice, John Lydenberg writes,
Their [the McCaslins] original sins have alienated them irrevocably from nature. Thus, their conquest of Old Ben becomes a rape. What might in other circumstances have been right, is now a violation of the wilderness and the Southern land.
Ike's conversation with his cousin centers around their opposing ideas about land ownership--Ike disagrees that land can truly be purchased--and the message of the Bible as words of the heart and not those as interpreted by translators,
"There are some things He said in the Book, and some things reported of Him that He did not say."
Thus, the scene in the commissary underscores Ike's argument that no one can truly own land, no more than one can own people or possess anything in nature. Instead, one only exploits. Having learned this truth in the commissary by reading the ledger, Ike relinquishes his inheritance and, in a sense, records the last ledger.