There’s an expression in the investing world called, “talking your book.” It’s used for fund managers who try to convince clients that the securities they’re selling are a good buy. Today, I’m going to talk my book, albeit in a somewhat different arena.
Winter here at the Bar 7 is over—we think. That may change tomorrow, but in the meantime, we fix machinery, scour the hay fields to assess whatever damage the forty below deep-freeze did to the alfalfa, and plan for summer pastures. In the evening, I edit the fifth novel in The Border Series. I’m on Chapter Seven and hope to have it on the shelves by the end of summer. Readers have long wanted to see more of the ranch on the Blackwater, and so they shall. Lonnie and Clarissa’s family have grown. Young Conor now has two siblings, Cassie, and Ben. Lonnie occasionally worries about the Mexican drug cartels from his past. He knows they have a long reach, but surely they could never find him here. Or could they?
Falls upstream of the Messue Crossing on the trail to The Blackwater Ranch.
Life on The Blackwater Ranch is turned upside down when late one evening, a man, clearly of Mexican descent knocks on the door. He comes with a warning They’re sending a Sicario to kill you. Lonnie is worried, but ranch work gets in the way, life goes on . . . and then, well, back to that “talking my book.” Here’s the first few lines of Chapter One.
I’d no sooner mounted and urged Socks into his big, ground-eating trot when the bullet slammed into my chest. The instant I slumped in the saddle, that half-broke, useless horse blew up and bucked me off. He’d waited for months to do just that. The shot had provided the opportunity. Fortunately, we were on the edge of the meadow, so when I hit the ground, there weren’t any rocks. Though still conscious, blood cascaded down the inside of my shirt which meant I was pretty much done for. Like a lot of folks in those circumstances, the hereafter instantly escalated to the top of my life-and-death totem pole.
This was not the first time in my danger-encrusted life that I’d taken a bullet, but that didn’t take the pain away, nor did it make me less vulnerable to whoever was out there. Frantically I scanned the ground around me, hoping maybe that renegade horse had pitched my rifle along with me. He hadn’t. The rifle in my scabbard had gone wherever that treacherous cross between a jackass and a coyote had disappeared to, which was undoubtedly home. An instant weakness turned my legs and arms to mush, but fortunately I still had my wits about me, enough at least keep my head down long enough to figure out where the shot had come from...
Cows at the end of the rainbow at Bar 7 Ranch.
Here at the Bar 7, we soldier on. That must be the right term to use. After all, governments the world over pontificate as if they’re in a war with the Coronavirus. As time passes, my skepticism grows. Here in the hinterland there are whispers of rebellion. We remember when a half-dozen crazy Saudi Muslims high-jacked some planes, killing three thousand people. Since then, the whole world has been subjected to the ongoing indignities perpetrated by the TFSA in the United States, and of course their clone companies around the world. It’s all a bit worrisome, perhaps more so than the growing parade of afflictions to escape the Middle Kingdom. Many suspect this new emergency will be used to take even more freedoms away. Certainly I don’t know, but ranch life gives adequate time to think about the possibility.
“Talking my book” is way more rewarding than mulling over whatever ghastly outcomes the virus may continue to inflict on our society.
I shall refrain from using the standard closing salutation of, “stay safe.” Instead, do your best to save what’s left of our jobs, our society, our towns, and cities.
Until next time,