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8 Strawberry Bank Rd.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Tom Bauer looked up and scowled as he walked briskly to his pickup truck. The starry sky of the previous evening had by dawn turned to an ominous gray. The air was damp and cold. He pulled his Stetson firmly down on his brow, tufts of unruly salt and pepper hair poking out from under the rim.
“Time for a haircut,” he mumbled as he zipped up his fleece-lined jacket.
His dog leapt onto the seat when he opened the truck door. Tom again looked up at the sky, rubbed his hands together, and climbed into the truck cab.
“Hey, Bandit. We’re gonna get snow. This storm is moving in quick, the temperature is dropping too.” Bandit glanced at Tom but turned his attention to the window.
“I can do without it, but you know, more snow would be helpful. It’s been light during the past several winters.” Bandit continued to look out the window.
Another summer drought would bring a marked increase in fire danger to the tinder-dry mountains of western Montana, and many of the springs that fed Elk Creek would stop running. He recalled the smell of smoke during the past summer and the haze drifting in from the Idaho fires. It had been a nervous time.
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