Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Knot Hole - A Poem

The Knot Hole

Limbs that die, sometimes leave a hole,
for birds, squirrels or just a curious soul,
wondering what mystery it might hold.

A little hole caught my attention along the marsh,
was something hiding in the smooth clean bark,
a little touch of white caught my eye in the dark.

A cord, dangling from the limb above the hole,
tied to something left behind by some little troll,
a brown painted little bottle with a white cap.

Who left it there and why is anyone’s guess.
Slowly I open the bottle, what might it possess?
It was empty, to my great distress.

Now I could not leave this bottle be,
remaining there empty inside this tree,
a little treasure I left for the next curious as me.

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell

Current book of short stories and other books by author available at:


The Trout Pond is now on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Trout-Pond-Audiobook/B06WLMRTH3/

By: Hubert C. Crowell
Jim makes a find in a pond that tears a small Kentucky coal mining town apart. Ron, a stranger in town carrying a secret of the largest crime of the century becomes snared in the Union wars of the 1950’s.

Friday, July 10, 2015

End of Day - A Poem

A walk on the beach at the end of the day,
leaving tracks for the waves to wash away.
Cares have vanished with the setting sun,
ending a picture-perfect day of sun and fun.

At the end of day when all is said and done,
have we changed the world or touched someone?
A kind word for all we meet along the way,
may seem like a small and humble thing.

Just a small start to show how much we care,
for others we meet, as we smile instead of glare.
Who knows what trouble the other may bare?
Share a smile, kind word or even a short prayer.

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell

Current book of short stories and other books by author available at:


The Trout Pond is now on Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Trout-Pond-Audiobook/B06WLMRTH3/

By: Hubert C. Crowell
Jim makes a find in a pond that tears a small Kentucky coal mining town apart. Ron, a stranger in town carrying a secret of the largest crime of the century becomes snared in the Union wars of the 1950’s.

The Office Visit

The Office Visit


A phone call to remind me of an appointment that I had put out of my mind. I can always find time for doing things, so why then did I dread the reminder call? A month before, a similar call reminded me of a fasting blood test, but that phone call did not bother me at all. I guess I was looking forward to the breakfast stop at the Family Tradition restaurant after the test, thinking about the bacon and eggs with coffee, or maybe the French toast. The restaurant was just around the corner from the office, and it was on the right side of the road, so it was easy to get to. Breakfast out is a rare treat that I indulge in once every few months.

A 10:00 appointment allowed me to have my coffee and rye toast, with maybe a little jam, then run an errand or two before going. I was feeling fine, so why was I having these uneasy feelings about this visit?

The office was full as I signed in and paid the copay fee. I settled in on one of the easy chairs and tried to find a magazine to read. The doctor was running behind, and after an hour wait I found an interesting article to read. Just as I got into the article, the nurse called my name.

On the scales, temperature probe in the mouth, and blood pressure band on my arm, as the nurse went through the routine with some small talk. My arm went numb as the bell finally went off. She directed me to a small exam room that was a little chilly. I sat in the cold for thirty minutes and listened to patients in the adjoining rooms explain their symptoms to the doctor, before he burst through the door with his computer under his arm. A quick handshake and he connected the computer to the monitor and printer, asking how I was doing. Here was my chance to spill out all my ailments, as thoughts of more pills or another test, slowed me down.

"Been doing just fine!" I blurted out.

His concentration was now on all the data streaming down the monitor faster than I could read it, not that I understood anything that was displayed anyway.

Stopping on a list of numbers, he started making some notes. "Have you had any pain or numbness in your legs?"

"No, they have been just fine."

"Your last sonogram shows an increase in calcium in your arteries. Something must be interfering with your cholesterol medication." We reviewed all the medications I was taking, including the over-the-counter ones. As I listed them, he kept telling me to stop taking them.

"We are going to have to get you back to a base line to find out what is working."

"I would like to stay on my memory pills!"

"We need to find out if it is causing the problem, I don't want you to have a stroke!" He continued to study the numbers. "You know there is an upside and a downside to any medication. We are going to adjust your medications to try to reverse this trend, but we will have to monitor you carefully, in case of kidney problems."

"It would be nice to come off of some of these pills."

"Well I am going to put you on another cholesterol medication twice a week. Continue taking what you're on the other five days." His printer buzzed as he printed out several sheets of instructions and refills. "Come back for another fasting blood test in six weeks and a follow-up visit the following week. Give this to the front desk."

While checking out and scheduling the next appointments, my mind whirled with all the new data. Confused, I would have to retype my medication list of what and when I take each medication.

Life is interesting, and getting older gives us more to look forward to, like the reoccurring ‘office visit’.

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Copies can be ordered from:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Courtship

The Courtship


Hunter returned home and started to rebuild his life. Before he left, he had gone to work for his father in the coal mines and was buried under a rock fall when he was fourteen that resulted in a broken ankle. In 1929 Hunter turned sixteen and went to work in east Kentucky, where he fell in with the wrong crowd and spent six months in the Atlanta Federal penitentiary.

Two years was a long time for the young man to be away. He was older than the other kids in high school since he had quit school in the eighth grade. Now he had to make new friends with all the younger kids. His buddies had graduated from school and now worked the mines or local farms. His older brothers had left home to look for work in California, and Hunter moved back in with his parents, Allie and James. The depression had hit them hard, and there was no work available in town, so Hunter decided to finish high school. He was eighteen, and the year was 1931.

Hunter turned his life around, got back in church and tried to put his young, troubled life behind him. He was looked up to by everyone and loved to play football. Soon he became the local football hero, playing every game. Hunter did well in school, so well that the teachers would put him in charge when they were out.

The Clark family had a farm about two miles west of town on a gravel road. Mr. Clark was a widower left with four daughters and three sons to raise, He was a kind, fun-loving man, and the girls made sure there were always dances and parties on the weekends. Nellie was the youngest, and was in the same grade with Hunter, who was four years older.

Nellie was one of the most beautiful girls in school, and all the young men were trying to take her out, but she had her eye on Hunter. Hunter was busy with school, football and hunting. He sold the squirrels to a man in town who loved the wild meat. After buying the rifle shells, he would end up with two bits for each squirrel. Hunter was a good shot. He would watch the squirrels play, and when they lined up just right he would get two with one shot! Nellie was really impressed with Hunter when he would bring over fresh meat for dinner, and of course Mr. Clark would ask him to stay and eat with them.

Hunter would always find some reason to visit the Clarks, maybe to go hunting with the boys or dance with the girls. During the winter months he would strap on a pair of ice skates and skate on the ice and snow-covered road to the Clark home.

Hunter could not play football his last year of school because of his age. However he was the class president and Nellie was voted the prom queen. Everyone in town knew that the two were in love and could not be separated.

After graduation Hunter went back to work in the local coal mines, fishing, hunting and dating Nellie. The town was excited when the news of the marriage was out. No one was invited to the wedding, it was just assumed that everyone was welcome. And come they did. The church was full, and the rest of the town people crowded around the church, looking in the windows.

Hunter took his new bride home, and his mother fixed up the front bedroom for them. When it came time to go to bed, she made herself a spot across the foot of the bed for the wedding night! 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Copies can be ordered from:
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Herkimer Cave

Herkimer Cave

Short Story –Fiction

It was a cold winter day in upstate New York as Ray and Bob crossed the hard frozen field. They had been exploring known caves in the area and had heard about Herkimer Cave, which had a vertical twenty-foot shaft that looked more like a well than a cave. Equipped with hard hats and army surplus belts with battery packs, they felt ready for what lay ahead.

The climb down was easy with the help of an old log that someone had dropped down the hole. At the bottom, a low but wide hands-and-knees passage lured them on. They made several turns before dropping a short distance into a small room with large animal bones scattered around on the floor.

“These bones look fresh to me.” Ray commented.

“I agree, looks like some sort of den. I hope we don’t meet up with who or what lives down here!” said Bob.

          Ray led the way as they continued on, pushing the passage a little more until it got real low. “It’s too tight for me,” he groaned.

“Let out some air. You can make it.”

Ray pulled back and over to the side where there was a little more room and challenged Bob, “If you think you can make it, come on ahead!”

Bob edged past Ray. He removed his hat and pushed it out in front to light up the crawl, but forgot to remove his belt and battery pack. He pushed on toward the bend in the passage, determined to see what was around the next turn. He pushed hard, turning his head sideways to glance around, and thought he saw something move up ahead. Cramped in the tight confines between the rock above and the rock below, he felt his heart beat faster.

At last his head reached the turn, his hat with his light against the side of his face pointing in the wrong direction, in the semi-darkness were two big eyes looking back at him! Bob did not even take time to shine his light to see what it was; he just started backing up as fast as he could, dragging his hat and light by the cord. Quickly his belt and battery pack got caught and would not budge. The more he tried to move backwards, the more wedged he became. Exhaling helped him move a few more inches, but then he was completely stuck.

Fear and panic set in as Ray heard the groans Bob was making and saw his frantic kicks. Something was wrong.

“What’s the matter? The passage too tight?”

Bob, with one arm extended in front and the other stuck down by his side, felt something bite his finger. “Ouch! It’s eating my hand! Pull me out of here quick!”

Ray had both arms extended out in front. He tried to reach Bob’s legs, but he was able to grab only one boot. He pulled hard, and the boot came off. Now Ray felt like he was stuck too. “Can’t do it, too tight! I’m going to try to back up and go get help!”

“No! Don’t leave me. Ouch! He bit me again!” Bob slapped around in the dark, trying to fend off his attacker, his light now out of reach, and unable to turn his head, he could only yell and slap the air hoping to hit the beast.

 After an hour of fighting, pulling back with his toes and exhaling, he at last felt the cave give up its grip.

          He quickly moved back into a larger passage and took a close look at his bloodied and mangled hand. As Bob and Ray scrambled up the log and into the cold air, they heard growls coming from below. Shining their lights back down the hole they could make out the bob cat with his teeth showing, ready to jump. They threw several rocks down the hole and ran for the car.

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Book of Short Stories, Copies can be ordered from:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Overnight Hike

Overnight Hike


The parking lot was full of hikers' cars along Maine's section of the Appalachian Trail as Andrew changed into his hiking boots and shouldered his homemade backpack. A weekend overnight hike up to the Rainbow Stream lean-to and back sounded like a good break from a week of hard work. In a hurry to get on the trail, Andrew stopped and picked up a couple of hamburgers on the way and stored them in his pack for later.

It was a nice warm fall day, and Andrew did not see any other hikers as he climbed the mountain toward the trailhead. When he reached the Appalachian Trail, he noticed bear warning signs that were badly clawed and scarred. Arriving at the shelter late in the evening, Andrew found that it was already full with overnight hikers. Before heading on, he took a break to eat one of his burgers with the other hikers. "Have you seen any bears around?" he inquired.

"No," one man replied, "and if any showed up, our German shepherd would run him off!"

As the sun dropped low on the horizon, Andrew decided to find a quiet place to camp before dark. Following a side trail, he found a nice level clearing and unrolled his sleeping bag. Andrew thought about the extra hamburger in his pack, and he wondered if the dog back at the shelter would come searching for a midnight snack. In order to protect his meal for the next day, He took a twenty-foot length of rope and tossed the line up and over a tree limb, then tied on his pack, pulling it up and out of reach. Then he turned in for the night.

The view was lovely with the moon reflecting on Bear Lake just below him. He knew that the dew would get him wet during the night, so he placed the sleeping bag cover over his head. Through the material he could see the moon and the outline of the trees. Andrew wore a hunting knife, and just in case anything tried to attack him during the night, he removed the knife from its leather sheath and placed it next to his side, under his hand.

Before Andrew could get into a sound sleep, a strange sound woke him up. The moon was still high and bright, and he clutched the knife handle and remained very still. Thinking about the German shepherd back at the shelter, he was convinced the dog had smelled the food and followed him down the trail. He must have been more tired than he thought. Although he tried to stay awake and guard his breakfast, he dozed off again.

A heavy weight on his chest woke him again. This time a large dark object was moving across his sleeping bag! This was no dog! Andrew froze, not knowing what to expect next. In a moment his life flashed in front of him. He thought of his wife and daughter, and said a quick prayer. The bear continued on, snorting as he left. Andrew released his grip on his hunting knife and was surprised by how quickly he slid back into a deep sleep.

Again the bear crossed over Andrew, waking him up. He offered up another prayer, gripped the knife tightly, and laid perfectly still. Yet the bear left as quickly as he came. He did not sleep any more that night but kept a tight grip on his knife. As dawn's first light crept to where he lay, he sat up and looked around. He had been sleeping crossway on the trail down to the lake. His tattered pack lay on the ground, the treasured burger long gone. As he gathered up the pieces and hiked down the mountain to his car, he decided to celebrate his appreciation of life by stopping for another burger on the ride home. 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Copies can be ordered from:
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Monday, July 6, 2015




At age ninety-eight and traveling north on the Florida turnpike with family, Abigail thought about the past and all the places she had been. As the van pulled into the Okahumpka service plaza, she drifted back to a time to when the roads were smaller, and most roads were made of  dirt.

She remember back to when she was ten years old. Each year the circus would come through town, leaving their winter home in Florida and working their way north, stopping at each town for a week or more and then taking a train for the return to warmer weather in Florida.

It was the last day for the circus in Bartow. Abigail's father took her and her brother to see the show. As they were leaving the big tent, in the crushing crowd Abigail was separated from her father. As she wandered around all the horse-drawn campers looking for her father, the Big Fat Emmy, who ran a side show on the back end of the circus, invited her in and offered her a meal.

"Young lady, are you lost?"

"I got separated from my father in the crowd."

"Stay here and rest, I will see if I can find him for you."

It had started to rain, and Abigail was cold, so the Fat Lady's offer was more than she could resist.

Her father was desperate, and the young boy was crying. He rushed from tent to tent, shouting for Abigail, but she could not be found. Fat Emmy spotted him and offered to help look for her. "Go ahead and take the boy home, I will continue to look for your daughter. She may have entered one of the tents to get in out of the rain."

After taking her brother home, he returned quickly to continue searching. By the time he returned, the big tent was down and the wagons were almost loaded. No one had seen a little ten-year-old wandering around, and they were too busy to help search. Fat Emmy wrote down his address and promised to notify him if Abigail showed up. The carny workers finished up late in the night and pulled out of Bartow before daybreak.

It was 1926 and the Great War was still on everyone's mind. The circus was a good way to shut out the memories. The circus wagons arrived in Lake City, then worked all day setting up the tent for the first show. The fat lady now had a sidekick, a little ten-year-old that she dressed up as an old lady with a gray wig. The thin, and small "old woman" made the fat lady look much bigger and drew a larger crowd. No one suspected that the old lady was actually a ten-year-old girl.

As they traveled from town to town, Abigail wondered if she would ever see her brother and parents again. The fat lady was kind, but determined to keep her sidekick for the show. Abigail got to know most all of the circus people and the side shows. She knew that she was missing school, but there was nothing she could do about it. Each night before the Fat Emmy went to sleep, she would lock the back room where Abigail slept, to make sure she did not run off.

As late fall approached, the circus loaded up and boarded a train for the return trip to their winter home in Sarasota, Florida. As they passed through Bradenton, Abigail began to recognize a few of the landmarks from when she had lived there before. The train made a last stop in Bradenton, Florida, and Abigail made her escape, getting off the train and hiding in the station until it left. The fat lady just thought she was still in the bathroom as the train departed.

Once out of the station, Abigail found her way to a friend's house. They were excited to see her, and had hundreds of questions. They sent a telegraph to her parents in Bartow, and they were soon on the way to fetch Abigail. Abigail would never forget her year with the carny and all the weird people and animals. Her father was never able to get over losing his little girl and the pain he caused her mother. When she shared how kind Fat Emmy was to take care of her, her father commented, remembering what Fat Emmy had told him, "I will write a letter to the circus and thank them!" When Abigail was older he would tell her the truth about the fat lady. 

As the van pulled out of the Okahumpka service plaza onto the Florida Turnpike heading north, once again the memory of that summer trip with the circus faded, the stream of billboards like circus advertisements brought her back to the present. 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Copies can be ordered from:
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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Exhausted, Dehyddrated, and Thirsty

Exhausted, Dehyddrated, and Thirsty



Twenty-four hours without food or water. Luckily, they found a waterfall and drank the water.
Ryan and his friend had entered the well-known cave at three in the afternoon on a Saturday with headlamps, a bottle of water each, and no food. They were not planning on staying long, only about two hours or so, and had been in the cave before. They planned on going to the main waterfall, the most popular route in the cave.
Climbing down from the large passage near the entrance they worked their way down, looking for the stream that would lead to the waterfall. After taking a tightly twisting passage and getting turned around, things no longer looked familiar, and after trying to backtrack, they concluded that they were lost!
There were lots of arrows that normally showed the way out of the cave. The arrows kept changing colors and directions, making them almost impossible to figure out, ending up in a large room. They followed a side passage, and then after 30 minutes ended up in the same exact room. They traveled in circles over and over again until they were worn down.
They found a very small hole that didn't even look like a passage at all, shaped like a triangle that they had to squeeze to get into. In the crawl was a white arrow and a circle, which pointed down an area with one passage on the right and another passage on the left. There was also an orange arrow pointing down yet another passage. Following the white arrow on hands and knees for about three minutes, they ended up in a room with three huge formations. There were large obstacles to climb over, and a cliff on the other side. On one side, there was about a ten-foot drop into a small stream passage. Ryan slipped and slid down into the stream. A short distance down the stream, a huge rope reached about forty feet up. Downstream from that was a small waterfall with a rope next to it. By this time, they were exhausted, dehydrated, and thirsty. Desperate, they drank the water.
They knew they had to find a way out, but they did not want to stray from the waterfall as it was their "safe place" where they could get hydration. The cave was over seven miles long. They kept following passages that they thought would lead out and kept going round in circles. They went back to a nasty mud area with a tight squeeze and spent several minutes crawling on hands and knees just to get through the mud, hoping it would lead them out, But once again they reached the dreaded "white arrow room." They just kept ending up in the same big room. They tried to find passageways that went up and that might lead to the entrance level, and hopefully would not take them farther into the cave.
They kept close to the waterfall, thinking that if anyone went down there, they'd probably end up at the waterfall. They had to keep moving, though, to keep their blood flowing. It was freezing cold, and the roof was "raining" on them. Apparently it was raining pretty badly outside the cave. They kept wandering and wandering, making sure not to stray too far from the waterfall and become even more lost.
Ryan slept near the waterfall, and when he turned off his headlight, he saw lots of hallucinations and images, probably a result of staring at the spot of his light for over 20 hours.
Sometime the next day, after wandering, crawling, climbing, and looking for the exit, they thought they heard voices. At first, they thought they were hallucinating, but then they started yelling as loud as possible. The voices got closer, and then a light! They were relieved and happy to be alive.
 Between them was a huge cliff and Ryan and his friend were on the wrong side of it. To get to the other side, they had to crawl halfway on a ledge as wide as a coffee table, then they had to cross a forty-foot chasm on a small natural bridge of about the same width. Once on the other side, they crawled on hands and knees over to the muddy, steep hill on the side of the cliff. There was a rope there, and they had to make their way down that muddy hill diagonally, making sure not to lose their balance or foothold. Once they made it to the rope, they had to descend about forty feet to the ground, where a group of cavers were waiting.

They introduced themselves and told them about their situation. There was a good group of cavers from the Dogwood City Grotto. The two leading the group, Chuck and Pete, were the most helpful. Cutting their cave trip short, they turned around and helped the lost cavers find the way back to the pancake squeeze and into the main entrance room. They made sure they were alright after getting out of the cave. Ryan and his friend expressed their appreciation and thanks to the members of the Dogwood City Grotto. Without them or their love of caves, they would not have found their way out, and would have been another accident statistic on the charts. 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cotton Fields

Cotton Fields


White as snow blowing in the early November breeze, the cotton was ready for the gin. Jim took a long slow look over the fields that stretched as far as he could see. It had been a long hot summer, and the cash crop was badly needed to pay the bills. He lived with his wife, Mary, and their three year old daughter, Makayla, in an unpainted farm house at the edge of a cotton field. Jim was a sharecropper, working someone else's land for half the profit. Life was not easy when payday came only once or twice a year.

Mary cooked all the meals, and at lunch time she even took over driving the tractor while Jim ate and kept an eye on their daughter while she napped. Then Jim would go back and work the field until after dark. Now that it was harvest time, he prayed for no rain and that the harvesting crew would arrive on schedule.

Makayla loved to walk through the cotton fields, letting her hands float across the tops of the white balls. She starting talking very early and already was talking like an adult, asking about everything and absorbing it all. Starting when Makayla was eighteen-months old, her mother would write words on a small chalkboard and pronounce them slowly until Makayla could pronounce them correctly. Her mother would show her or explain what the words meant until Makayla understood.

Sundays were a special family time, when they would drive into town early to attend church, then spend the rest of the day at the library, museum or the park. Makayla was very curious about the school, always asking questions and looking forward to attending. In the park a group of elder men were always playing checkers and chess. Makayla was fascinated with the game of checkers and watched all the moves made quickly by the men. She then surprised them by saying, "Can I play?"

One soft-spoken, gray-haired man said, "Sure, hop up here on this barrel and we can play a game."

Makayla had watched the moves that were made by the winners. She moved her checker pieces out from the edges, leaving a "V" shape in the center of the board. After a few moves, the man realized that he could not make a move without giving up at least two of his pieces. All the other men soon gathered around to watch. The man she was playing was one of the best players in the park! They were already giving him a hard time about being outdone by a three year old. After that day in the park, she would come each Sunday and play one game with the men. She quickly realized that she could easily win every time, but it drew too much attention, so she would give them a real challenge, and then at the end, make a bad move and let them win.

The house had a lot of old discarded library books left by the previous owner. The shelves were full of books for all ages, and Makayla, by the age of four, had read all the children's books.

The cotton harvest was good that year, and Jim was able to pay all the bills, with a little left over. Mary and Jim were both worried about making it through another season, and so they were looking for work in town. Mary could get a waitress job and Jim was a good mechanic, so they decided to move into town before Makayla entered school.

The school principal was skeptical when they asked if Makayla could enter the first grade. She had just turned five a few days before school was ready to start. After Makayla talked with the principal in private and read to him from some books he took off his shelf, he called in the first and second grade teachers. They spent more than two hours asking Makayla questions and having her read harder and more difficult books. In the end they agreed that Makayla could enter the second grade.

As Makayla grew, her favorite book to read was the Holy Bible. She soon had large sections of Scripture memorized, and she found that she preferred the adult Sunday school class rather than children's classes. During the discussion time, everyone starting listening to Makayla as she explained bible passages and compared different books of the bible. The adult class had to be moved into the sanctuary as the class grew because so many people wanted to listen to Makayla.

As the years passed Makayla worked hard to not appear superior to the other kids in school, but when the tests were given, she always gave them her best effort and made perfect grades. To keep her challenged, the teachers gave her increasingly difficult course work, until at the age of 12 she was doing college level work. At the age of fourteen Makayla graduated from high school with a college associate degree in sociology. After two years at a seminary, Makayla became the minister of one of the largest churches in the area. She was very popular and went on to write several bestselling books.

Each November Makayla would preach a sermon on the pure white cotton fields that reminded her of the love of her parents. She told the story of the young drifter that came to their house when she was only three years old. He gave her a small New Testament and explained how Jesus came to earth to provide a way that we could live with him forever. The drifter only stayed for a few days, but he had a great impact on her. She prayed that she would someday meet him again. The stranger also taught her how to win at checkers. 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
When published Copies can be ordered from:
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Friday, July 3, 2015

Cotton Creek

Cotton Creek


 Cotton Creek was a small, slow-running creek in east Texas, known for not much more that the Cottonmouth snakes that lived in the swamps left by the creek as it meandered through the flat countryside. Kenny and his sister Sue lived nearby on a small farm, and they often played along the banks of Cotton Creek. They would play cowboys and Indians, shooting at imaginary Indians, running and hiding behind the trees.

A real shot startled them as they were playing. They huddled down behind a bush and remained real quiet. It sounded like something was being dragged through the brush toward the creek. Then a red jeep roared by them and crossed the field toward the main road.

Sue broke the silence first. "What was all that about?"

"Don't know, let's go check it out."

Along the creek with his legs in the water, lay a man in a suit, with blood coming from his mouth. As they carefully eased closer, his hand moved.

"He's still alive! Run to the house and tell mother. I will stay with him and see if I can help him."

Sue raced across the field toward home, stumbling and falling in the mud.

Kenny managed to pull the man's feet around to the bank. He loosened his tie and took off his coat, making a pillow for his wounded head.

"Money belt, robbed, fifteen-eighty-nine," he said as he passed out.

Sue crashed through the kitchen door too exhausted to speak. Her shocked mother, thinking something had happened to Kenny, said "What happened? Where's Kenny? Did he fall in the creek?"

Catching her breath, Sue managed to get it out, "Shot, a man was shot down at the creek! He needs help!"

Mom was already calling the police as she held Sue in her arms. "What is your emergency?"

"Someone has been shot down on Cotton Creek and needs help!"

"I am dispatching help now and the police are on the way. Please stay on the line." "Did you see it happen?"

"No, my children were playing and heard the shot. They saw a red jeep drive away."

About fifteen minutes later they heard sirens in the distance, and Sue went out to show them where Kenny and the man were. Sue and her mother got in the police car and directed them toward the creek. As the medics worked on the wounded man, the police questioned Kenny about what happened. He told them what the man uttered before he passed out. The police could not find any identification on him and no clues as to who he might be. As the police followed the jeep tracks to the highway, they found the empty money belt. Road blocks had been set up around a ten mile area and all vehicles were stopped, but no red jeep was spotted. Still unconscious, they loaded the wounded man in the ambulance and sped off.

Kenny thought about "fifteen-eighty-nine." What could it mean? Kenny had to ride into town with the police to give a full report, and he was questioned again about what the man said.

"Are you sure it was fifteen-eighty-nine?"

"That's what it sounded like." One, five, eight, nine, kept ringing in Kenny's mind. He even spotted a tag on an old car with the last digits of one, five, eight, nine. Then he wondered if the man was trying to give a street number. Kenny went back to the police station and suggested it to the police.

"Well we can check it out."

The detective came back later and said, "There are only three addresses in town with that number. Would you like to go with us to check them out?"

"Love to!"

The first house was an elderly couple, the next one was empty. The last address was a bank. They questioned the employees, but no one was missing and they knew nothing about the money belt. Kenny noticed the vault and all the lockboxes through the bars.

"Maybe he visited here and emptied one of the lockboxes?"

The officer pulled out a picture of the wounded man and showed it to the tellers.

"Yes that man came in as soon as we opened the doors. He spent about three minutes with a box, then left."

"Can we see who rented that box?"

"If you get a court order we can open it for you. A lot of people rent boxes and don't use their real names."

After a phone call, another policeman arrived with the court order. The box was removed from the wall and with bank witnesses the box was opened. A folded piece of paper was all that was inside. As soon as the detective read the note he was on the radio. Kenny was able to read it over the arm of the detective as he called in. "Help, my family is being held for ransom by two men and a woman with a red jeep at the motel on Hwy 80."

At the motel, the clerk quickly gave them the key to the room where the red jeep with two men and a woman checked in. A woman and two kids were tied up and blindfolded. Kenny had to wait outside, but he could hear the questions.

"No, we couldn't see them, then came up behind us and threw something over our heads. My husband is a courier, when we enter a town, he goes straight to a bank and places his money belt in a safe deposit box for the night. Someone must have seen him enter the bank and followed him."

"Did you hear them say anything?"

"They were very cautious, but as they were leaving, I thought I heard something about the border!"

The trio were caught at the Mexico Border with two million in large bills. The company that the wounded man was working for gave Kenny's family a reward for their efforts. 

Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell
Copies can be ordered from:
By: Hubert C. Crowell
Jim makes a find in a pond that tears a small Kentucky coal mining town apart. Ron, a stranger in town carrying a secret of the largest crime of the century becomes snared in the Union wars of the 1950’s.





Waves - A Poem


Waves come and go like thoughts when we grow old,
who remembers a wave or all the things ever told.
Crushing up shells and moving the sand,
around my feet where I try to stand.

Washing away all the foot prints left during the day
leaving only memories where children ran and play,
covering stolen pirate treasures lost over time,
crashing onto the beach, changing the shore line.

Building slowly off some distant shore,
rolling on till it touches the ocean floor,
then rising high as it comes ashore,
to end its journey, wandering no more.

Life is like a wave in so many ways,
some lives are short and fast, up in a blaze,
others long and slow touching many along the way,
I pray that mine will be like the latter reflecting God’s ways.
Copyright © 2015 Hubert Clark Crowell

Current book of short stories and other books by author available at:

By: Hubert C. Crowell
Jim makes a find in a pond that tears a small Kentucky coal mining town apart. Ron, a stranger in town carrying a secret of the largest crime of the century becomes snared in the Union wars of the 1950’s.