The Hired Man

 

We didnít have a hired man year around, only in the summer when work on the farm was heavy, especially during haying season. Dad needed help when Al and Bill were young. Once they got big enough to help he didnít need extra help.

The year Iím going to tell you about, dad hired Francis Noname to help out. Yes I know his name but, because of the nature of this story Iím keeping his name a secret. We all liked Francis a lot. Dad and Mom seldom went out, but when they did they let Francis stay with us. We loved that because Francis played the guitar and the minute Mom and Dad left we would start begging him to play his guitar for us. I donít know how good he was but, we sure thought he was good.

One night I woke up to hear great commotion in the living room. Our bedroom door opened into the living room It was always left open at night but when I woke up this night the door was closed.

I could hear mom and dad talking to Francis on the back porch. Mom was on the phone calling the sheriff while dad was still talking to Francis and trying to find out what happened. Next I hear mom calling the priest, Father Claude. The sheriff came out to the house and he directed dad to bring Francis into the living room. They were all talking and asking Francis all kinds of questions. Father Claude came into the living room next and began talking to Francis. Mom, dad and the sheriff left the living room and I could hear Father Claude and Francis saying all kinds of prayers. Then Francis went to confession. No, I didnít hear what he said but by that time ,even at such a young age, I knew something serious had happened. When Father Claude left the room someone took Francis to the Doctorís office.

The next morning I asked mom what happened and she said Francis came home after a date and was hollering for help on the back porch. She said at the time they thought someone had shot him. Later Francis told everyone that he had shot himself in his side because his girlfriend broke up with him. He was not wounded too seriously and he lived. I donít know if his girlfriend ever went back to him or not.

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