Heedless of it all, the clock ticked in idiot content. Steven awoke from a soundless slumber and rubbed his eyes with his fingers. Only then did he notice Ann sitting on the bed and he moved over beside her. He looked at her face and noticed tears coming down her saddened face. He started to wipe the tears off her face and said with kindness
“What is wrong?”
She turned to look into the dreamy eyes of Steven. She paused for moment thinking about the question for several minutes. She tried to utter words to answer the question, but she was traumatized by the haunting sight of her husband during the night. She stood up from the bed, and turned to Steven. Even more tears were streaming from her eyes and in a sobbing tone she said,
“I saw John in here last night and I fear he might have seen something I need to go and talk with him about this whole thing.”
Hearing their Steven’s kindness was replaced with anger, and even turned into rage. He shouted,
“No you can’t.”
He lunged for her and grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth. She bit his hand and he hit her across the face. She was knocked off the bed and hit the floor hard. She was knocked out for a few seconds and come to, and she struggled to her feet. She ran out of the house and she tripped going over the door. She hit the porch hard and rolled down the stairs and stopped when she hit the ground. She started to go in and out of consciousness. Steven stood in the doorway clutching John’s rifle. Still angry, he said
“Ann, I had hopes for us. John is not always around when you need him.”
“But he is my husband.”
“What about last night?” Steven questioned angrily.
“I just wanted. . . . . . . . . .” Ann replied in a terrified voice, but couldn’t finish the answer.
Seconds later she shouted her husband’s name and Steven point the rifle into the air. He pulled the trigger. The sound of the gun vibrated through the air and spooked up the horses. John’s father was feeding his animals when he heard the gunshot and said,
“What that shot was from my son’s farm.”
He went to saddle his horse and to see what was wrong at his son’s farm. In the barn awakened by the commotion of the horses he sat up. He was confused for a second and he stood up. He could faintly hear voices through the walls of the barn. He walked over to one of the windows facing the house. He noticed Steven and Ann talking, and Steven was holding his rifle given to him by his father. He turned back from the window and went out of the back door of the barn. He sneaked around the buildings and the cows stirred when John went by their pen. Steven automatically turned his head to see what the commotion was all about. He made an angry snarl, and turned back towards Ann and said,
“Your husband is a fool thinking he can come between us, Ann.
She became more terrified and shouted in a terrified tone her husband’s name. John entered quietly into the back of the house and grabbed his colt pistol. Steven must have overlooked it when he grabbed his rifle. He checked for it was loaded and made his way to the front door. He put the pistol to Steven’s back where he could feel the coldness of the steel. Steven turned and said
“You fool; did you think you could come between us?”
John pushed the pistol further into Steven’s back and said,
“Drop the gun.”
Pretending to drop the gun he swung backwards towards John. The rifle butt hit John in the face and knocked him to the ground. He was knocked out cold. Steven grabbed his pistol and put it in his pants. He ordered Ann to get to her feet and ordered her to walk to the barn. He grabbed John by his shirt and dragged him into the barn. Steven tied them to a post in the barn and than he poured a bucket of water over John’s head to wake him up. John spat the water from his mouth and looked up at Steven and said angrily.
“Where is my wife?”
“Look to your right.”
John looked to his right and noticed Ann tied to the post next to him. He then looked up to Steven’s face and stared into his eyes. He said
“I trusted you to watch over her and you slept with her. Why did you betray me?”
“You are never there for her and she needs manly attention.”
They continued talking to each other and then Steven said,
“I am going to let you to work this out and. . . . . . . . . . . . . “
As he was saying that he turned suddenly to the doors, because he thought he heard somebody ride up. He put the rifle down and made sure the colt pistol was still in his pants. He walked over to the doors and opened one of them; he realized the person who rode onto John’s farm was his father. The father dismounted from his horse and had a concerned look on his face. He walked towards Steven and said,
“I heard gunfire. Is anything wrong, Steven?”
“No sir, everything is fine. “ Steven answered untruthfully.
“If nothing is wrong, then where is my son? I need to speak with him.”
“He isn’t here,” Steven said, as he grasped the handle of the pistol with his right hand. It took John several seconds before he realized who had ridden onto his farm. In the barn while the father and Steven conversed outside, John and Ann were talking. With tears streaming from her eyes, Ann said,
“I am a lonely woman and I want physical contact.”
“Yet you slept with Steven, I saw you in our bed with him,” John said.
“If you aren’t going to give my any attention, I have to find it somewhere else,” Ann said again. “And I want children, John, and if you aren’t going to have children with me, then I am going to have to find someone else.”
John started to cry, because he knew having children was a touchy subject then because they were living in the Great Depression. He said with tears in his eyes.
“I also want children Ann to help with the chores, but don’t you realize we are living in the great depression, and we can barely support ourselves, let alone a child.”
“But we can do it,” Ann said with optimism.
After what Ann said, John started thinking, but was somewhat distracted by the muffled conversation outside.
“Steven, I need to know that my son is fine, and that he got home safely after the blizzard.”
“No,” Steven said.
They continued to fight verbally and Steven went for the pistol, but the father shouted,
He reached for his pistol and Steven pulled the trigger. The bullet hit John’s father in the leg. Steven was shot several times in the chest. Seconds later John shouted.
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Steven looked at his chest and then up at John’s father. He fell forward and was dead before he hit the ground. John didn’t the Steven was killed and he struggled to pull himself out of the restraints. He managed one hand out, and untied the other one. He went to untie his wife. He lifted her off the floor and then said
“I can understand why you slept with Steven and I will try to be more intimate with you. You must understand that running a farm is a difficult task, and especially these years after the Great War.”
She didn’t say anything and walked out of the barn and noticed Steven lying on the ground. They noticed John’s father clutching his left leg and that there was blood on his hand. They walked over to him and Ann knelt beside Steven, but knew he was dead. She started to cry, because if the events that resulted in the death of Steven didn’t happen then he would still be alive. She said,
“What have I done?”
She stood up and than wiped the tears off her face, and then said
He turned to Ann and said
“Yes my darling.”
“I am sorry for the pain I caused you.”
John walked over to her and pulled her close to him, and kissed her passionately on the lips. He looked into her eyes and said
“There is nothing to forgive, but next time you are feeling lonely call me.”
He turned back to his father and looked at the bullet wound, and he looked up at his father. He said
“We should have a look at that, Father.”
Ann walked over to John and put her arm around him, and he did the same. His father could walk and they turned in the direction of the house to hopefully start a new chapter in their lives and forget the incident with Steven.