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Dharma Gulch: Chap. 20 "The Barge"

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The Hunter left his horse, Katie, in the temporary custody of Frank's friend, Cindy, and to the delight of the children, Zach and Emma. The barge engine roared to life, as Frank brought the boat around and steered it up river towards the snaking bend that would eventually lead them to the Black Rock entrance. The barge charged upstream. "How long a trip?" the Hunter asked. "Depends on time!" Frank replied, "if time exists! If not, then we have an eternity!" The Hunter understood. The sun was stationary. The heat seared. The river seemed to boil. They chugged on, further and further up river. A mist developed. Frank kept the engine at full throttle. The Hunter thought he could hear whispers again. He thought he could see shapes running along the river bank. The fog thinned out to reveal lush, thick foliage. The Hunter suddenly heard a noise! A rattling sound! Out of the corner of his eye he saw a shape! Snake-like! It moved quickly along the bank, parallel to the barge! It was dark! Like smoke! The Smoke Man? But when the Hunter turned quickly to look, it was gone! The barge continued on. It seemed they were moving back in time, if time still existed, being pulled along by primitive forces. Suddenly, an arrow came soaring across the stern from behind the barge! The Hunter dived down and quickly pulled the revolver! "We've got company!" Frank called out, as another arrow struck the barge house! The Hunter glanced back! He saw the transparent shape of a canoe. They were now being chased by ghosts! Next: Chap. 21 "The Crossover"

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