trading off on each side of the boat, deville, stubborn and burning still, continued at a lesser pace. hawkeye's neck was as red as a robin. we got through the medium waters then a final wind burst and we struggled to the shore. only two hundred yards from where deville had two hours earlier called us to attention. each of us made a dry landing, dover commenting again on the wonder of it all. each of us exited the craft leisurely and carefully. but land was welcome and more appreciated than before. by me for sure. i looked back and saw from where we came. the cove we were in protected us from the fierce wind out on the open water. where we started. where we cursed. where we gave up. where we kept going. where we found it. we could do anything now. a weight was lifted. the world seemed lighter then, easier. it was too good of a feeling not to be temporary. so we enjoyed it while it lasted.
the half mile hike to deville's fishing cabin seemed inadequate. the by sea drama would cleary not play out in the by land part of our day's challenge. when we arrived we could still not enter the heavily thought of cabin. the keys had to be retireived from the parked truck. dover and deville did the final walk and we eventually gained entry into the well build and tidy structure. entry was welcomed with a rush to the cold beer and a recounting of the story. hawkeye played some heavy metal, catfish pleaded for a change to some cajun blues. we decided it was a story of water and land. catfish baited. catfish caught. catfish still alive.
the spark plug needed was found on a 70's era moter deville had in his shed. after some modifications to make it "fit right", it started the moter when we returned. as the sun gave its last light of the day i was, strangely, not worried that we would break down again. duncan and dover had demanded my partnership with deville to retrieve the stranded boat and return the injured craft to its trailer home. i jumped at the chance. i had to see how this story would end.
we drifted slowly by the shoreline and when deville was confident we were good to go, he hit it hard and we roared to the open water toward the slip. he backed the truck, lowered the trailer, hooked up the boat, secured it expertly, and gave one last curse. we drove back to the cabin with expectations of rest and food to come. the final ray of light was squeezed out of the days sun as we pulled up. thank you day.
deville, not to be unprepared, had already slow-cooked a deer shoulder roast while we were out. no doubt he had hit it with an arrow just months previously. heart shot. potatoes, carrots, gravy, hot bread, coffee and apple pie completed the enourmous feast. the night ended quickly. time seemed unimportant. we were alive. that was important. why did we not turn into a Spur Gazette headline? we would have likely made the dallas morning news. living is more fun. it should be. it can be.
as i drifted off that night, i was so happy to be sleeping. about to dream. as we remembered who did what, before lights out, i glanced up above the often used fireplace. there, situated at right angles framing the hour fast clock, two wooden oars.