Second Harvest (Chapter Two, page 1 of 8)


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Looking across the fireplace mantel, Roy spotted a postcard with scalloped edges. Blowing the dust off, Roy viewed the faded hand-painted image of the Eiffel Tower on the front. Flipping the card over, Roy found his name and address on one side, below the stamp from France. On the opposite side, he read the date; June 26, 1921. Other than the names of the Dubois family at the bottom, Roy had no clue or translation for the other French words handwritten on the card.

He assumed it was some information of importance, yet this was the only correspondence he ever received from the Dubois'. However, Roy cherished the postcard and placed it among his other treasures.

Following the war, Roy returned to his log home in the third year of a prolonged drought. During this period, the creek on the property was still flowing with water but it would reduce down to a trickle by the end of August. The big garden, overgrown with tall weeds, was surrounded by a dilapidated fence. Wild game feasted on the neglected produce that had re-seeded itself each year. By the time Roy returned after his absence, there was nothing but weeds and cactus growing in the garden space. After spending several months working in the family cemetery, Roy managed to restore the burial grounds to their former glory.

The roof of the log home had begun to collapse while Roy was in Europe causing tremendous damage. He traveled several days north to the high mountains and cut more trees to replace the roof beams. Using his pay from the Army, Roy purchased metal panels to cover the roof. He also bought new windows for the front of the cabin and Roy rebuilt the front porch, making it much larger.

Eventually, the Army sold off the livestock it obtained for the war effort. After being home a few months, Roy rode a train to the Army Depot Center in Yuma where many useable pieces of equipment and animals were being auctioned. After two days of fierce bidding, Roy waited until the last day to start buying. He purchased a pair of healthy mules that were about two years old and a nearly-new buckboard wagon. The auctioneer was thrilled when he found out Roy was a decorated war hero, so he graciously included several sets of leather harnesses, a saddle, and enough alfalfa for Roy's trip home. Roy named the mules Sally and Molly.

During the three-day journey back to Roy's home, everyone became acquainted with each other. Roy quickly learned that Sally liked being on the left side of the harness and Molly on the right. Reversing their positions caused the mules to bite at each other.

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