The Big Cat Nap

The Big Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown

Book: The Big Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rita Mae Brown
don’t.” She looked up at him, wondering what would happen if he died first.
    For all their former troubles, Harry couldn’t imagine life without Fair. For one thing, he was much more attuned to emotions than she was. She blocked emotion, even while being aware that sooner or later those stashed-away pains and troubles would inevitably leak out.
    “Sounds like he was impressed by your sunflowers and the ginseng.”
    “It’s still early in the season, but so far so good, and I have laid them all out properly.”
    “You’re good at what you do, honey.”
    She smiled at him, loving the praise. “Here comes the good part. Hampton asked me about when and how I fertilize. I said I use turkey or chicken poop and I put it down usually in the fall. I always read
The Farmer’s Almanac
, though, and if they predict a drought for the fall, I wait until spring.”
    “And?”
    “You would have thought I said the earth was flat.
The Farmer’s Almanac
. He cited all the studies I should read, all the computer-generated statistics, and then—oh, this is what really fried my two remaining brain cells—he excoriated me for using chicken and turkey poop,because who knew what parasites might be thriving in the poop? I just about lost it.”
    Fair breathed a mock sigh of relief. “But you didn’t, so he has his front teeth, thank goodness. You have a mean right cross, sugar.”
    “I counted to ten. A few times. I replied that my father used natural fertilizer and it has always served us well. Actually, when I was little, Papaw used to get muck from the Chesapeake as well as crushed seashells. Can’t do that anymore, but each year Papaw and Dad would vary which field received what. Well, he didn’t want to hear any of that. He lectured me on the proper nitrogen, phosphorus, selenium, you name it, balance in soil, depending on crops, and why commercial fertilizers are better. Yes, and right now they are three hundred dollars per ton more than last year, too. So I just said I would continue to use natural fertilizer, which reduces my reliance on foreign oil.”
    Fair clapped his thighs with his hands and laughed. “Good one.”
    “Hey, it’s the truth. All that stuff has a lot of gunk in it, for lack of a better word. Given that Yancy is the type that uses curly lightbulbs and feels superior to the rest of us, he had to shut up. Ass.”
    Fair laughed again, moved over to the tractor, and gave his wife a big hug and a kiss. “Have I told you today that I love you? I never quite know what you’re going to do and say, but I’m never bored.”
    She kissed him back.
    As this heated up, Mrs. Murphy leaned way over to try to snatch Harry’s ball cap off her head.
    Pewter, whose bulk was an impediment, coached,
“A little to the left. You got it.”
    Mrs. Murphy hooked the cap, tossing it on the crusher run.
    Harry didn’t notice.
    The three friends observed the two oblivious humans.
    “Aren’t they odd creatures?”
Tucker commented.
    “One minute she’s ready to kill Yancy Hampton, and the next she’s wildly in love with her husband. One extreme to the other.”

N ick Ash by lavished attention on his 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. He figured for one-third the price, he got 70 percent of a Porsche’s performance. Since he was six feet two, the pocket rocket forced him to bend over just to get in. Fortunately, he carried no fat, or the steering wheel might have bisected his belly.
    The amazing acceleration and fine suspension made up for a somewhat hard ride. Okay with Nick. He didn’t want a luxo-barge. His black coupe sped through the night, twisting up Route 22 near Cismont Manor. After work, he’d search out the best roads to push the car and himself, back roads like the old Route 635 in Nelson County or the old roads in Albemarle to Greenfield. He’d put the windows down just to listen to the engine, out of which he’d wrung more horsepower, thanks to his mechanical skills. The 305 horsepower off the lot had been

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