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As he stared out the window his eyes fastened on the overhead electric wires that lined the narrow track. He stared, fascinated, as his eyes played tricks on him. He watched the wires forming a tunnel ever widening, narrowing, and then suddenly widening again. He knew it was a silly game he was playing but it had a hypnotic effect on him and helped to keep his mind off things he would rather not think about such as the sight of his father shrinking in his vision as the train pulled out of the Springhill Station.
Soon all thoughts of home were out of his mind. The young fellow in the seat beside him took a mouth organ out of his pocket and started to play Turkey In The Straw. And the next thing Roy knew another fellow was playing a fiddle. Roy stomped his feet and clapped his hands with the best of them. He only wished he had his cornet with him.
The party abruptly ended when he reached the west. The train pulled into a shabby Saskatchewan station. Roy grabbed his suitcase, jumped off the train onto the back of an old truck. He sat with the group of men to which he had been assigned. He was impressed with the thousands of acres of wonderful wheat ready for the sickle that lined both sides of the old, rutted road upon which they travelled.
As they pulled into the workers' camp Roy felt disappointed to say the least. "Is this where we're gonna be stayin' then?"
His boss was a big, burly man with a small sense of humor. "You're here to work, boy!" he answered sharply. "The only time you'll be here is to sleep and if you got your eyes closed what difference does it make what the place looks like? What's your name, boy?"
"Roy Gordon, sir."
"There, that's more like it!" He put a small penciled check mark on one of the sheets fastened to a clip board that he held in his hand. "Okay, Roy, check out cabin number six. Stow your stuff and be back here in a half hour. We gotta make hay while the sun shines!" he snorted before moving on to the next young man in line.
"Make hay while the sun shines!" Roy muttered under his breath. "A real funny man. So funny I forgot to laugh!"
He wandered through the sorry looking camp. He came to a stick with an old piece of cardboard nailed to it. The sign clearly marked with a big "6" stuck up out of the ground. "I'd hardly call this a cabin!" he remarked to the old man standing just outside the door of the little sod hut.
Spitting a lump of something out of his mouth onto the dirt, just missing the toe of Roy's work boots, the old man answered. "Call it what you want, boy, but you might as well call it home 'cause that's what it's gonna be to ya for the next few weeks."
Roy entered the hut. Very little sunshine could penetrate the one tiny window on the wall at the back of the hut opposite the door. It was dark inside and the place stunk like dirty socks.
Turning to the old man he guessed was supposed to be his room mate he glumly stated, "I'd suffocate if I hadda spend one night in this godforsaken hovel."
"It's the best you're gonna get in these parts, boy!"
"Then I'll sleep outside," he stated. He left his suitcase in the hut, returned to the truck prepared to work but that night and every night thereafter he grabbed a blanket from the cot. He made his bed on the prairie behind the camp. "
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Sara, a Canadian Saga is the first of my 15 published books and she is the one I will always hold closest to my heart. Whether you read one of my poems, short stories, novellas or novels, I hope you will enjoy the read. I love to write and I continue to live and work in the small town of Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada