Harry Hammond had rounded up the last of his cattle and
dispatched them to the barn. He had found one of his heifers on
the rise with her dead calf lying next to her. The mother cow
stood keeping predators from approaching the corpse of her
prematurely born child. Harry had to blindfold her to move the
stubborn cow away from the now dead calf. She and the other
fifteen head were now safely entrenched inside the barn. He had
given them feed and fresh hay to calm them down. The mother cow
stood in her stall bellowing for her calf. The sound echoed
through the barn and Harry finally could take it no longer and
headed for the house.
The rain had been falling non-stop now for four days. An abrupt
drop in the temperature had made matters worse. Harry had gone
out in his livestock truck and gathered as many of his cattle as
he could. He knew his livelihood depended on salvaging as many of
the animals as possible. Harry stood for a moment on the covered
porch and thrust a fist up to the heavens.
"Damn you!" he screamed at the clouds, "Haven't we had enough?"
Harry not getting an answer walked dejectedly into his house. At
least the stove was still warm and he pulled off the soaked coat,
hat, and gloves he wore. He loaded more wood into the stove and
watched the flames dancing brightly. A thought came to him of
Rose Smith and those wonderfully bright eyes she had. He tired to
shake the image from his mind but it remained there as it had for
two years now. Rose was two years younger than Harry and he had
fallen head over heels in love with her the first time their
paths had crossed. He could still remember the old dungarees and
flannel shirt she had on as she loaded feed to take to her farm.
He had offered to help her but she had flatly refused his offer
"That's really sweet," Rose had said to him, "but I can manage
Not knowing what to say Harry had simply shrugged and tipped his
hat at her.
"Well good day, Miss," Harry had replied, "if you change your
mind give me a shout."
Rose had already forgotten he was standing there as she continued
loading the sacks of feed into the back of her pickup truck.
"What a woman!" he exclaimed to the walls as a broad smile
crossed his lips.
Yes indeed he had been keeping tabs on her ever since that day.
Harry had courted and wooed several women in his day, but they
all fell short of a standard he had set. Rose with her stubborn
pride and loving heart had cast some type of spell over him and
try as he might he could not seem to break free of it. He had on
a few occasions made his intentions known to her, but she just
ignored and rebuked his advances. He loved her long thick red
hair and the emerald green eyes that held so many secrets. Harry
picked up the poker and began stabbing the logs in the stove. It
seemed unfair to him that such a grand woman as she would reject
him so quickly. Then he remembered the autumn ball and how
enchanting she looked in the dress. Though her apparel was modest
it accentuated all her best attributes. He had spied the firm
ripe breasts peeking through the flimsy fabric and the jut of her
nice round bottom. Rose had turned and stared him straight in the
eyes her smile widening as she realized what affect her
appearance had left with him. She devil he thought to himself. Ah
but what a she devil. He cursed himself for feeling so helpless
every time their paths crossed.
As he continued to daydream about his heart's desire another
darker thought crossed his mind. Rose lived closer to the river
than he did and a large creek cut his and her properties in half.
Harry preoccupied with an earnest fear for her safety prayed Rose
would have enough sense to abandon her home and move to higher
ground. Surely she for once might see reason and do the safe
thing. The longer Harry pondered over the situation the more he
realized Rose would not do the sensible thing, but rather the
latter of the two. She would not leave her home. A sudden cold
icy finger ran the length of his back as he stewed over the
problem at hand. He would have to go to Rose's house and make
sure she evacuated till the rain subsided. He would bring her
livestock here to his place and board them with his animals and
perhaps board Miss Smith as well. A sigh passed from deep inside
him as he pulled his coat, hat, and gloves back on and made his
way to the door and then to the cab of his truck. Still shaking
slightly from the cold rain he started the long hazardous journey
to Rose Smith's house. He just hoped she would give him one of
those warm, melting smiles when he arrived there.