Second Harvest (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 12)


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Summer temperatures continued to soar, intensifying the prolonged drought. Roy was now spending more time with Sara and the boys, and less time at his own place. These days, the homestead cabin his grandfather built felt empty, so most of Roy's time was spent at the Johansson's shuttling buckets of water from the cistern to Sara's garden. It was hot sweaty work, but the crops were nearly four feet tall.

On this morning, when Roy arrived on their farm, it was an hour before sunrise. Working nonstop, he finally quit at ten in the morning because the intensity of the sun was unbearable. Scooping a bucket of water through the cistern and dumping it over his head, Roy shook the extra water off like a dog. As Roy walked to the house, to have breakfast with Sara's family, the evaporative effect brought his body temperature down. By the time he entered the front door, his clothes were nearly dry.

"Whew, I'm bushed. It's like a furnace out there."

"You want some coffee?"

"Is it hot?"

Sara started laughing and carried the pot and two cups to the table. "Would it make a difference?"

Roy shook his head. "Apparently not."

Sara was wearing her usual jeans, but wore a flimsy, loose-fitting white blouse with short sleeves. With her hair pulled into a pony tail, Roy admired how beautiful she looked, no matter what she wore.

Billy came into the room carrying his mason jar and quietly set it on the table. The single dime was still sitting on the bottom. He glanced up at his mother to check her reaction. Everyone else sat silently waiting. Since Sara's earlier firestorm over Billy's dry-bed jar, Billy was reluctant to display it out of fear his mother would get mad again, especially at Roy.

Sara smiled, "What are you going to do with that Billy?"

"Well, I wanted tell Roy that I've only wet the bed three times since he gave me this jar."

Roy sat up in his chair. "Tell me Billy, how long has it been since I gave you the jar?"

Billy tried to count the days but had trouble remembering. Abe whispered into Billy's ear. "Ten days." Billy smiled proudly.

"Well now, Billy, what did I ask you to tell me when we talked about this?"

Billy shrugged.

"I asked you to keep count of the days your bed was dry. You just told me how many times it was wet."

"Three."

"That's right three. You just said I gave you the jar ten days ago, so how many days was your bed dry?"

Abe started to help Billy, who was struggling with the math, but Roy stopped Abe.

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