I did not know the men of this incident personally, but my friend Del told this story.
Earlier in their lives these two neighbors had a serious disagreement and had been enemies for years. One of them was on his death bed, or apparently thought so, hence he sent for his neighbor to come to try to make things right.
They talked it over and seemed to come to terms. As the neighbor was leaving, the sick man said, “But if I get well, things remain just as they were before.”
I suppose you would call that burying the hatchet with the handle still out. If you have a hatchet that needs to be buried be sure the handle is buried also. Take care of it now, you’ll be glad you did!