“What was her name?” Adam asked after he nticed that Samuel had drifted off to another place, somewhere where life wasn’t as cruel, Adam suspected, but by the scowl on his face, Adam thought maybe not, maybe he was reliving the whole nightmare over again.

“Mary.” He said simply.

“And how did you meet?”

Not wanting to go any further down memory lane, Samuel took a minute to answer and smiled at the moment when they first met came rushing back to him.

It was a work day, the middle of the week, early in the moring. The sun had just come up and the it’s sunlight was radiating through the sundress of a girl walking down the road leading to his bosses house. There was a bit of a distance between the two of them but Samuel recalls clearly being able to smell her perfume – the scent of strawberry’s – and the sound of her laugh as it escaped her lips and danced across the wind and open prairy, finding its way to his ears. They made brief eye contact and then she was gone inside the house.

“I was a ranch hand. She used to bring the other boys and me water. Her father warned us, ‘that’s my daughter,’ he would say, ‘so no funny business, ya hear?'” Samuel smile turned back into a scowl as the thought of Mr. Whitechapel once again entered his mind. “Every time she brought us water, it was me she came to first. She made me feel light as a feather and warm like the appearance of the sun on a cold morning. Soon we were sneaking off to a tall Oak tree by a gully on the other end of the property, where hardly anybody ever went. We kissed and talked, and did other stuff.” The smile returned to Samuel’s face.

“Her father never found out about us, not until we told him we wanted to get married.”

“That’s when he…killed her?” Adam asked as they both turned and headed back towards the campsite.

Samuel shook his head. “No. We were married in secret and he killed her for going against him. She never saw as no ranch hand, Adam.” Samuel said, turning to Adam. “She never saw me as no poor kid looking for a hand out. She never saw anything other of people then what they were. She could see through everything everbody pretended to be, you know.”

Adam nodded in agreement. “It’s not to late, Samuel, to change your mind.” Adam placed his hand on his shoulder, doing his best to give him some sort of comfort, to let him know that he understood the pain he was going through, even though he didn’t. How could he?

And as if Samuel was reading his mind, he said: “Would you?” And turned to look at Anna-Bell who was putting their gear away, her long brown hair was trailing in the wind behind her in long curled locks of hair.

“No, I suppose not.” Adam answered.

“You couldn’t, neither can I.”

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