It was in the cresting of the hill that I caught sight of the tidy farm resting in the sprawling valley below me. The two-story, white clapboard farmhouse with a green shingle roof was surrounded by four barns, two on the smaller scale, two on the larger. All the barns were painted tar black; all the barns were roofed in grey.
The farmhouse would not serve my needs, but I figured that there must be some place to hide away in one of the larger barns - maybe the hayloft, maybe an abandoned stall, maybe a forgotten place in one of the stone basements.
I approached from the back side of the farmhouse, crawling a good quarter mile behind a low stone fence, only breaking into a run the last few yards. I slipped through what appeared to be an abandoned, neglected side door, half off its hinges, covered more with layers of cobwebs and dust than with the white paint that had worn thin years before. As the outside had been drenched in sunlight, the interior of the barn was as sudden darkness. Before my eyes adjusted to this new world of dusty shadows and shards of sunlight poking through the loose fitting wall boards, my nose was filled with the unquestionable fragrance of aging farm life - the smell of dry hay and the scent of old leather harness and fertilizer stacked in a half-wall of bags.
As my eyes began to handle the dim light, I could see that this was but an occasional place in this farmer's life, a place where a fugitive hide in silence.