Raife looked around the living room. Something just wasn't right here. The room had some barbells and a jump rope in the corner and a camper stove on the counter at the back wall. There was no couch, no tables and no art work on the walls. When the woman returned and handed him the cream Raife said, "would you like to join General and I for a walk?" "Nope, gotta go, tootles" she said. While on the porch Raife turned and said, "Um, what did you say your name was?" "I didn't, she said" with another grin she closed the door. She didn't slam it but she didn't waste a lot of time either.
Bewildered with the exchange, Raife and General walked home. All the while Raife played scenarios through his head as to what the woman's story was. Was she moving in? Was she moving out? Was she in a relationship, or not? Oh great, he found himself pre-occupied with thoughts of this woman. He had not come here for this. He had come for solitude, and now this. Along the way Raife noticed a man walking behind a plow pulled by a horse. The field was small but it appeared to be productive. Raife had no idea that this method of farming was still available, or even desirable for that matter. When the man and horse neared the split rail fence Raife stopped him and said, "excuse me sir, do you know anything about the woman in the house over there?" The man had a weathered face that was kind and stern at the same time. He appeared to be in his mid sixties. He wore blue overalls and a railroad conductors hat. "What house is that?" the man replied. Raife, trying to be paitent (due to the fact that in the direction that he just pointed the house that he was referring to was the only one for about 5 miles) said, "Well, it's the log house on the right with the porch in front and the rocking chair on the porch". "Oh, that house" said the man. "yes, yes, that house" said Raife, confident that he was getting somewhere with his line of questioning. The man turned and put his hands back to the plow. "Wait" said Raife. The man turned and said "for what?" "You didn't answer my question" said Raife. "What question was that?" said the man. Raife sighed and started over, "do you know anything about the woman in the house" "Yep" answered the man. The man grinned, tipped his hat and again he turned, put his hand to the plow and continued with his work. Raife decided not to continue questioning the man. He didn't want to spend his day reminding the old codger what he had just asked him.
When he got home he finished his pot of coffee on the porch. He sat in the rocker and looked across the valley below him. The hillsides were ablaze with the colors of fall. There was a slight fog in certain areas that blurred the colors slightly. Raife didn't need music. The music this morning was provided by the animals and the breeze through the trees. He took a deep breath. The fresh, nippy mountain air filled his lungs. This was living! All of a sudden a truck rushed by. As it passed below him the horn tooted and a tan, toned arm extended from the cab as if to greet him. As it passed he could see the short blond hair blowing in the wind and he knew immediately who it was.
After lunch Raife decided to walk down to the stream and do some fishing. With General at his side they made the short trek to the stream. With little effort he caught three rainbow trout. They spent the remainder of the afternoon attempting to catch the forth to no avail.
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