Bob stood thoughtfully in the trail of dust as the truck sped back toward Camp Papago Park. He walked to the area where Rudolf pointed and began his search. He lifted the branches of the big cotton plants, shaking them a little to make sure the Bible had not fallen in between the thick growth. Bob worked methodically, knowing if he moved too fast, he might miss the small Bible.
More than an hour later, toward sundown, Ruth Feller drove to the cotton field. Her son was normally home by this time, hunger drawing him to the farmhouse kitchen. She found him standing at the edge of the cotton field with a troubled look on his face.
“Bob! What are you doing out here so late? Dinner is almost ready.”
“Mom…one of the German prisoners was crying. He lost a small Bible his mother gave him—over there in the field somewhere, but the guards wouldn’t let him look for it. I thought I could find it for him.”
Ruth set the brake, turned off the ignition, and got out of the truck. “Oh, my! There’s no telling where it could be, son. It’s getting dark. Time to come home now.”
But Bob stood resolute. “Mom, you didn’t see him. He was horribly upset. I could tell that Bible meant everything to him. I’ve just got to find it, I’ve got to!”
Ruth looked past her son toward the irrigation ditch. “Well, Bob, they all sat on the ditch bank eating lunch. Come on, maybe it fell out of his pocket while he was sitting down.”
She climbed back into the old truck, started it quickly, and Bob jumped on the running board, holding himself steady as the vehicle bounced over the field. In a few minutes, they were at the ditch bank searching the area, pushing through pungent brown and golden-colored cottonwood leaves that covered the damp ground of the irrigation ditch.
After a while, Ruth sighed and said, “Bob, it’s late. Your father will be wondering about his dinner.”
“Oh, Mom…just a bit longer. Please! Say, I have an idea! Could you turn on the truck lights for a moment, and I’ll search one more place.”
“OK,” Ruth answered, “But this is it…”
“Maybe he sat up against this big cottonwood,” Bob said, more to himself than to his mother. Feeling Ruth’s impatience, he hurriedly pushed his hands under the dead foliage caught in the tree’s bulging roots, the leaves like golden coins under the headlights. Suddenly, Bob felt something under his hand and picked up the object, moving it into the light so he could see it properly.
The teenager shouted, delight filling his voice. “Oh, my gosh! Mom, mom, here it is! I’ve found it!”
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