I’ll keep saying it. I love Windenburg. My first night, and there’s stars. Freaking stars…and I didn’t think the moon could be so bright. Yeah, this really is spectacular. I will never tire of this place. It’s so–
Huh? Whoa…there’s a guy walking his dog across the street. Okay, be cool. “Hey.”
Screw it, I’m running over there. Besides the dog is so cool. “Hey, you’re like a real cowboy.”
“More like a beloved rancher, son. Name’s Canyon. I run the Rich Creek Ranch down the road. I didn’t think anyone bought this land though. You’re not trespassing, I hope?”
“Nah, I bought it, man. Got the papers too. Name’s Jeremy. I guess we’re going to be neighbors!”
“If there’s anything you need, let me know son.”
“Thanks!” The dog pulled on its leash. “Well, I guess I’ll let you get back to walking this little fellow.”
His grin had me smiling all the way back to my tent. Man, even the people around here are cooler than those back in Bridgeport. So nice and polite. Back home, people were too…rude, I guess is the word for them. Always in a rush. Nothing nice to say.
Canyon and some other guy were chatting it up when I came up the hill to fish. They’re laughing and talking. Is it rude to listen in? I mean, it’s sort of distracting—fishing and listening at the same time. Still…I wonder who these people were they were laughing about.
“—she’s hoping to cash it in too.”
Canyon laughed. “I’ll bet. If I was her, I’d do the same damn thing. Though I wouldn’t be as dumb as her.”
“No, no. Definitely wouldn’t be that dumb. Hey new guy. You in the green hat.”
Huh. With a slight jerk, and practically tossing my favorite pole, I found this stranger smiling up at me. “Uh…”
“I don’t know you.”
“That’s Jeremy. He moved onto that land that’s been up for sale.”
“Ah. Well, Jeremy, why don’t you come over here. Come on, I don’t bite.”
I stared over to Canyon…
“He won’t bite…yet.” Canyon laughed.
“I’m Allen. I live not far from here. Got myself a good little ranch. Was thinking about buying that land you’re on now.”
“Yeah, but guess you beat me to it, huh?” He laughed and nudged my arm. “So, what’s your plan with the land? Going to start up something?”
“I…er…was thinking about starting a farm or something. I dunno.”
“Well, if you need a start. I own a small farmer’s market in town. If you get me the crops, I’ll pick them up and sell them for you.”
“What’s the catch?” There’s always a catch. I’m not dumb. Sure I moved to Windenburg on a whim, and bought the land sight unseen when I needed to. But I am not dumb enough to fall for a con. I lived in Bridgeport, I knew a con when I saw one.
“Nothing. I do it for a lot of the ranchers and farmers around here. All I do is take ten-percent of the cut. Even ask Canyon.”
I turned my head. “Canyon?”
Canyon chuckled. “He owns the best farmer’s market there is. Our little neighborhood of ranches and farms are all selling there. He’s legitimate, Jeremy.”
Holy smokes. “Um, thank you. I, um, yeah…”
The two men laughed. Allen gave me his card and a pat on the back as he stood. “Let me know when you get anything worth selling.”
I waved him off, and then Canyon left with a nice quick “bye and good luck.”
Holy cow, did that just seriously happen? Man, I freaking love Windenburg!