Kayo had followed them from their old home to the motel where they stayed on the first night, some 30 miles east. How did he know where they were? Bobby had seen Kayo when they left the yard, but when he looked back he could see that his brother-in-law was holding the dog. Somehow Kayo had convinced them he was going to stay put and then when they were not looking he had run after the car. It took him some time but just as they were going to bed in the motel a recognizable scratch was heard on the door.
“It’s Kayo!” Bob shouted. And when he opened the door there he was! “God damn” said Ott. “How did he find us?” “We’ll have to call Hank and ask him to come get the dog.” Bob could sense that Ott was impressed by the dog’s tenacity and though he could use that in his plea for getting Kayo to the farm.
What a dog. Why couldn’t he come? I thought farms needed dogs. His new dad had said, “Kayo’s a city dog; he would be useless on the farm.” Maybe so, but he had followed them for thirty miles and found them at the motel.
The next morning Mom called and asked for Hank to come get Kayo. Hank arrived, took Kayo roughly by the collar and stuck him in the back seat of his car for the return to Denver. “I’ll see to it that he doesn’t follow anymore.” The four of them climbed into the Ford and started again for the farm.
Riding in the back seat Bob kept thinking about why Kayo couldn’t join them on the farm. “I thought farms and dogs went together,” he wondered. “Maybe after they get settled his new step-dad will let him join them. I will have to start a careful plan to get permission,” he plotted.
Suddenly they turned to the right off the highway and started down a gravel road. Two hundred yards further the car and trailer bounced across a wooden bridge that was just wide enough for one vehicle. Bobby saw a sign near the bridge.
“It’s the Republican River, Mom,” he said proud that he could read.
In the three miles to their new place they passed only one house. He could see it a mile away because of the trees. Every place had trees standing in rows on one side of the house and could be seen leafless from miles away. As you got closer the other buildings came into sight. As they passed the house he could see a man in the yard between the barn and the house. Ott honked the horn. The man waved at them and they all waved back. They climbed a small hill and as they crested it Ott said, “Look, there she is.”
Ahead of them on the right side of the gravel road was a group of trees. They were almost white in the March sun. He could make out the house, which sat back from the road. It looked pretty big. And he could see several other unpainted wooden buildings around the house. The car pulled into the dirt driveway and stopped. “Oh, honey, it’s beautiful,” said his mother in the front seat. She reached over and squeezed her new husband’s leg.
It was good to get out of the car. Bobby ran down toward the barn to see the horses. He couldn’t find them. He opened the barn door, which was hooked with a hook that dropped into a loop of metal fixed to the doorframe. He could smell manure and old straw, but he couldn’t see any animals. “Maybe they are outside running around,” he thought and came out the way he came in.
Bobby, go back and hook that door,” his new stepfather yelled, “you might as well get used to closing the barn door right away.”
“But there’s nothing in there.”
“Of course not, we have to buy some cattle. No one has been living here for several months.”
“And a horse. Where’s the horse?”
“No horse either. Nothin’ here but us people.”
“What kind of farm is this? No animals . . .”
It’s a deserted farm; that’s what it is. But no longer. We’ll fix ‘er up. And get some animals. Don’t you worry.”
Standing in the yard between the house and the barn Bobby could see only two other farms. Off in the distance he saw one, marked by the bare trees, and just a ways away he saw a second. He looked at the road they had just come down but couldn’t see the farmhouse of the man who waved at them because of the hill that they had come down. Drifts of snow lay in the fields and the fields seemed to go on forever. There were three small buildings he could see and one really small one tucked in between the trees and one of the buildings with a fence around it. The small building looked like a play house. It had a shingled roof and a door with piece cut out near the top and no windows. It was only about six feet by four feet in diameter. “That could be a club house,” he thought, “but who will be club members; there is nobody around here.”