Dream of: 23 January 1997 (2) "Salvage"

While in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse, I lay down on my back on a couch sitting beside one of the large picture windows, and I looked straight up into the outside sky. What I saw dismayed me. My father had used a crane to hoist a large metal advertising sign up in the air so that it was hanging at roof level beside the House. The sign was brown, and I had the impression that it had the picture of a bear on it. However my concern wasn't with the appearance of the sign, but of the danger it presented: if the sign would fall or be blown over, it could fall through the window into the House and hurt or kill someone. I stood up from the couch, thinking I was going to have to tell my father that he needed to move the sign. He probably wouldn't like it, but it was ridiculous leaving the sign hanging there like that.

As soon as I stood up, something else caught my attention. I looked at the bottom of the hill in front of the House, toward Symmes Creek, which had overflowed its banks. Floating on top of the muddy water were large piles of neatly stacked wood. One pile after the other flowed by, and finally I realized what had happened: a lumber yard must have been flooded upstream, and the stockpiles in the lumberyard had been washed away. I stood still a moment, thinking what a terrible waste it was for all this lumber to be washed away; suddenly an idea struck me: I might salvage the lumber. Maybe I could go down and pull some of the lumber onto shore and recover it.

I liked the idea. In general I liked finding something of value, and here was obviously a chance to recover a large amount of valuable lumber. I looked around the room, thinking I would need some kind of tool to be able to pull the stacks of lumber toward the shore. My grandmother Mabel was in the room; I asked her if she knew of anything. She wasn't much help, but I did see some garden tools stacked in the corner of the room; I asked her if a hoe was among them. Again she didn't know, so I began sorting through the tools myself, thinking I might be able to use a shovel for the job. I saw a wooden cane which I thought I might use, but then finally I found a hoe. I grabbed it up and headed out the front door.

I quickly descended the front steps to the gravel road between the house and the creek, still keeping my eye on the continuing flow of lumber. Only now was I beginning to realize that I might have trouble working alone and trying to pull in such large stacks of wood.

Just as I was about to continue the rest of the way down to the creek, I saw a pickup truck approaching me, coming down the road on my right. I could see that three men were in the cab of the truck, and I thought that perhaps they also were planning to try to salvage some of the lumber. That idea rather bothered me, because I didn't want to share the lumber with anyone, and I immediately decided I wouldn't let them do any salvaging here on the Farm. As they began slowing down, I thought when they stopped I would tell them that they couldn't salvage the lumber here.

Instead of coming to a complete stop, the truck continued to come right at me. It was going very slowly, and I thought it would stop before it reached me. But when it was right on top of me, I saw that it wasn't going to stop. Fortunately the truck was one of the kind with the huge wheels so that the bottom of the truck was at least two meters off the ground. I stood still, as the truck ran right over top of me. I could hardly believe that the morons inside the truck had done such a thing, and as soon as the truck had passed over me, I began screaming, "Stop! Stop!"

It looked as if the truck were going to continue right on into the field in front of the House. But just as it had passed through the open gate, the truck came to a stop, and a man jumped out of the driver's side and another out of the passenger's side, leaving the third man sitting in the middle of the truck.

As the men began walking toward me, I immediately perceived that there was going to be a problem. Both men (probably in their early 30s) had greasy curly black hair. When they started talking, I could tell they had an accent, and I thought they sounded and looked as if they were Moslem.

They were about three meters from me, and they asked me if I could tell them the ratio of coal mines to some other things on the Farm. I knew some old coal mines were on the Farm, but this was no business of these men, and I thought they were just talking of the coal mines as some kind of ruse. Realizing I was going to have to take action against these men, I looked back up to the House and I saw that Roger Blessing (who was living in a house trailer on the Farm and who watched over the place) was standing on the roof of the House, apparently doing some kind of work. Thinking that Roger's name was Rick, I hollered, "Rick, get a gun! Rick get a gun!"

Only after I had hollered did I realize that both the men standing in front of me were holding handguns, and that the men were pointing the guns at me. However, seeing that my hollering had distracted them for a moment, I began running toward the driveway which goes around behind the House. I managed to get about 20 meters from the men before they turned their attention back to me. I rued the fact that I was wearing a large heavy coat, making it difficult for me to run. Clearly if the men were to start shooting at me, they would be able to hit me. It looked doubtful that I would be able to make it up the driveway at the side and reach the House before the men would be able to shoot me. But I had no choice now except to keep running.

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