“Hmm?” she replied absently, turning from the eastern view. “Oh, I don’t know, Maggie. Doug will, though. I think he has a book on it. Something to do with ‘stakes’ or something. Seems there’s more than one theory. He’ll know.”
“Well, I’ve lived here for more than 35 years, and I didn’t know all that. You sound like a walking encyclopedia. I does amaze me, though, how the farmers have the faith to gamble their livelihood each year. I guess it’s either feast or famine. A definite sign of strength. I wouldn’t have the fortitude to work all year for only one payday. I like the security of a regular paycheck that doesn’t rely on the weather. Especially since the stupid weather changes so much out here.”
I smiled, “Well, now you’ll know almost as much as I do.” I resumed my soliloquy, noticing Sharon was listening with interest despite her slight protest. Far in the distance to the west, I could see more oil pumps jutting up here and there, bringing up the black gold from deep underground. However, the wells were still more prevalent below the Caprock and down into the Permian Basin, nearer Midland and Odessa. That’s where a pipeline infrastructure makes pumping more profitable. Here, I knew, they stored the oil until transport trucks come to move it to the closest refinery or pipeline station. The dark metal pumps have always reminded me of giant praying mantises, heads slowly bobbing up and down, up and down.
“Bennett Boyle, the Chief of Staff,” Sharon said with disdain.
“Jonathan Long is his second lieutenant. Him I don’t know much about, but what I do know is favorable. Hmm. I vaguely remember your telling me about Boyle. Tell you the truth, Mags, I was too damned excited thinking about your moving here. I guess I didn’t listen well. Sorry.”
“Sharon, he’s my boss! How can I stay out of his way?”
I sighed as a trickle of doubt was beginning to form, but I couldn’t quit before I’d even started. I’ll just have to take it one day at a time.