Every time old Doc threaded his beat up cab-over pickup up tight around the fender high brush and pulled up at the path to Red Rock, he was reminded of Cran's death and its aftermath.
In the old days, there were Rocky, and Kale and Jake and E.L. and John and the rest of the guys - - - and the wife, and Gerty and Canody - - - all gone separate ways. Yet they were still in his heart.
Doc and his wife and Gretchen, one of the best nurses around, had served his patients with a smile then, when Rocky, the sheriff, met Gerty, things became even better – until he took her dancing. Doc, in spite of the inquest, had been convinced that Cran's death wasn't accidental and Rocky had agreed with him so when Gerty called a halt and other troubling things like murder began to happen, both men worried.
But it wasn't all worry. There were the poker nights, those nights when the seven guys pulled up to that big, round table and the chips began to rattle.
"I lost some friends – but I gained some, too. Rocky, for one," Doc thought. " He and his sons will soon be here - - - "
For some minutes the old man stood breathing into his being the quiet and serenity of the area then he turned and trudged up the rise toward Red Rock.