Sometimes he woke up in the middle of the night thinking of Ann, and then could not get back to sleep.
His plans and dreams had revolved around her so much and for so long that now he felt as if he had nothing.
The easiest thing would be to sell out to Al Budd and leave the country, but there was a stubborn streak in him that wouldn't allow it.
He found that if he was tired enough at night, he went to sleep simply because he was too exhausted to stay awake.
Because the summer was unusually dry and hot, the spring produced a smaller stream than in ordinary years.
He could not afford to lose a drop of the precious water, so he spent most of his waking hours along the ditches in his meadows.
In any case, he had no intention of being caught asleep, so he carried his revolver in its holster on his hip and he took his Winchester with him and leaned it against the fence.
He stopped every few minutes and leaned on his shovel as he studied the horizon, but nothing happened, each day dragging out with monotonous calm.
When, in late afternoon on the last day in June, he saw two people top the ridge to the south and walk toward the house, he quit work immediately and strode to his rifle.
No one walked in this country, least of all Ed Dow or Dutch Renfro or any of the rest of the Bar B crew.