Second Harvest (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 11)


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With his military training kicking in, Roy was fully prepared for the current situation. He tiptoed around the corner with his rifle ready. Holding it with both hands, he peered into the dark tunnel and listened again. The voices were faint, and he glimpsed someone darting in the light at the far end. Roy carefully raised the rifle to take aim and slowly walked toward the voices. He could faintly make out several people standing and talking.

"Whoever you are, I have a rifle pointed at your head. Step out into the light where I can see your hands."

Two short people stepped out and Roy concentrated, struggling to identify the small figures, never taking his sights off the taller of the two. They had their hands in the air and then a third person showed up behind the two.

"Roy? Is that you?"

"Sara?"

The figures dropped their hands and ran toward Roy. He lowered his rifle just as Billy leaped into his unsuspecting arms. Roy was filled with joy as he gathered all the Johansson family around him, giving each of them hugs.

"How did you get here? I went to your farm and the whole place was burnt to the ground? I called out your names and waited until I couldn't stand it any longer."

"Oh, Roy are we ever so glad to see you."

"I thought I had lost you, Sara; what happened?"

"A couple of strangers rode up and started calling out your name. I quickly sent Billy with Abe out the back door and told them to hide in the barn. I grabbed Olof's shotgun and waited. When they came to the front door, I ran out the back and hid in the crop field. I could hear them destroying the place, and then they set the home on fire. Just before they rode off, they set fire to the barn as well."

"With Abe and Billy inside? Did they know the boys were in there?"

"No, I don't think so, but Abe broke some loose boards open and he and Billy escaped from the back of the barn. I could see them from where I was hiding, but there wasn't any place they could run since the strangers hung around on their horses. After a long time, they rode off and I was finally able to get Abe and Billy. Our mare was already hitched to the wagon, but when the fire started, she ran off."

"Yeah, the buckboard was on fire when the horse took off running," Abe interrupted.

"I found the mare running like a crazy fool when I rode out to your farm and she was almost to town. When I arrived at your farm, there wasn't a lot left to the place."

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