When she had finished packing, the three of them piled into her car. She was glad to be leaving the city behind. Even in May, it was hot in Dallas. The buildings and the streets seemed to soak up the heat of the sun and reflect it back. She’d feel cooler just glimpsing Ray Hubbard Lake.

Hallie turned off at the lake, following the main road until she came to the gravel lane that would take her to Armadillo Cove. The cove, with its multiple curves and bends and its thick growth of trees, was a favorite spot of hers.

She parked her car in the shade of a cottonwood and set up camp. The dogs rolled and tumbled in the grass, as happy as their mistress with their wonderful freedom.

“Wolfgang, Ludwig,” she admonished them, “don’t get into anything I can’t get you out of. I’m going fishing.”

In no time at all she had caught a big catfish, skinned it, cut it into filets, and iced it down. Hallie looked up from her work at the setting sun. The sky seemed bigger out here, she thought, grander, more beautiful. Right now it was painted gold. She stood very still, letting the awesome beauty of the sunset wash over her.

Wolfgang, nudging her leg, brought her out of her trance. “Hey, old fellow. Let’s go skinny dipping before dinner.”

She stripped, spread her clothes on a bush, and waded into the water. It was deliciously cool. Taking a deep breath, Hallie ducked her head under and came up in time to see Wolfgang attacking the bush that held her clothes. She stood knee-deep in water and watched.

“Careful with those pants,” she called as her jeans shook loose from the bush. They fell to the grass, one leg in the water. She’d started to rescue them when her bra fell victim to Wolfgang’s attack. It sailed off the bush and landed with a plop in the lake. Her bra, drifting with the current, floated majestically by and disappeared around the bend, sinking slowly as it soaked up the water.

Hallie was nearly helpless with laughter until she realized that she was losing her favorite bra, the one she’d gotten at Neiman Marcus. She waded after it.

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