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Butte

Oridi of two minds.

They take and they give.

Lament the memories lost in the darkening river vale.

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Runyon left the corpse of the cow, interred as it was in flies. The surly coyotes and turkey buzzards would finish the matter, gracing the gulch with one more bone-white skeleton. He needed to get back to Seven by nightfall.

Funny thing, that cow. It must have belonged to Mr. Turner or maybe the Calvin clan in Platteville. How it came to be in the northern forty of River Seven, Marcus Runyon couldn't fathom. He would tell Jim about it, maybe ask around about poachers. No tracks though. He thought he would have seen some sign of a drover moving such a beast.

River Seven took its name from a brook in Central Colorado and the seven tracts of land, three to the West and four less arable to the East. The property had been in the Jim Russell family for four generations, and it seemed to Runyon that the farm might get by another few years, maybe long enough for Rudy to take over the deed. Rudy was Jim's oldest son, a boy of twelve but with the calloused hands of a farmer.