“Lord, what was all that about?” was all Buck could think. “For all intents and purposes, all I’ve been doing is carrying around a stinking turd in a sack tied to my neck all this time.”
Then he laughed. Laughed long and hard at himself and how obtuse he had been all these years. Rachel had been no good. Plain and simple. No lost puzzle pieces or psychological deviance here. She returned him nothing for his emotional investment and that was the sum, total of this whole affair. Shit! What a maroon I’ve been.
Besides, he grimaced, I’ve got “Three Nut bridge” to cross tomorrow. Now, that’s something to be concerned about. His reference concerned a narrow length of the Stanislaus over which a fallen tree, about three and a half feet in girth, bridged the gap at around 19 feet from the rocks and water below. It was narrow and physics dictated that the river sped up greatly through this narrowing; the combination of which, height and speed, made the crossing dangerous. Of course, add to that the 40 some pounds of back pack and the picture became less rosy. The span itself was equal to the tree’s height from the river; about 20 feet. Someone, long ago, had taken what looked to be an adz and removed the bark and about an inch of the top of the log; making it slightly less rounded. Still, it only gave a platform plus or minus 6 inches for a foot’s grip on life. A fall from this bridge was about 96% fatal, Buck reckoned.