STORY 3, Part 5

But I was wary about being rescued.

"How much for the well?" I asked.

He gave me a sizing-up look.

"I got to take a peek, here. You got a shovel?" It was the only big tool I had; I produced it. I followed him to the well--about fifty yards down from the house. He dug around a while, then started scraping sand away from a raised rock walkway nearby.

"The well is for free. I've got some spare lumber and the spring is only a little ways down. The swimming pool will cost you," he said. "You might want some bigger kind of wall, keep the wind off."

"Swimming pool?" I gathered that Mr. Hadley must have a few idle friends in Palo Verde or somewhere.

"Oh, it's already built," he said.  "Your Aunt Ruth wanted one when she was here. We just need to clean it out. Natural rock. Well water."

You probably think that's the end of the story--a happy enough ending. A swimming pool. A well. A weekend retreat in the Chocolate Mountains. But once the sucking sound of poverty has reached your armpits, so to speak, you get cautious. I could barely support myself on the salary from the Hyatt. If I started pouring what was left of my savings down a rathole in the deserted nowhere, well, I couldn't.

"I'll think about it," I said.