If you remember last fall, the local town folk had asked to allow my story to be publicized. They felt it would increase “tourism” in the area. Over Irene’s apple pie I had agreed. Although I claim our winter alone was some feat of self-sacrifice and endurance the fear of limelight it is probably the real reason Dooly and I hid in the woods for the last five months (of course Dooly didn’t know that). “Holy cow, I thought you had packed up and moved back to Florida”, were the first words out of Irene’s mouth when we stopped in to see her on our first visit back to town in five months. “No, just haven’t had a reason come down off the mountain”, I explained, thinking she might be impressed with our self-sufficiency. “I see. How’s old Dooly?” “Mean as ever,” I joked. “I see,” she said while glancing back at some papers on her desk. The conversation was dying at an alarming rate. She seemed to be a little perturbed that I hadn’t fulfilled my obligation of exposing my secret cabin in the woods to the public. At least that’s what I thought. I said a polite goodbye and drove over to the store to gather some supplies. It was the busiest I had ever seen the place. There were five or six people laughing and chatting with a lady who was obviously the center of attention. The only one to look my way was Harry the hardware guy. “Hey”, I said with a little wave, “I need some chicken wire and seeds.” “Go on back and pick out what you need, I’ll be with you in a minute”. When Harry finally came back I had to ask about the woman. “That’s Caroline McCoy” he explained,” she has a farm up on Rocky Branch and she’s a romance writer, a damn good one from what I understand.” “I see”, I said, trying not to appear too impressed. “She’s been the talk of the town since she got here. That’ll be $65.00, anything else?” “No, I guess not”. Driving back to the cabin I was a little sad. The town had found a fresh and far prettier newcomer to focus their attention on. My big fish days were over.
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