Chapter XIX:

A few days after winning the championship, Grandpa asked me if I could help him get some supplies in town. I decided to bring Old Dan and Little Ann, because they wouldn't let me leave without them. We loaded up the buggy, and I was practically shaking, I was so anxious. I hoped that no one would make fun of me this time, I doubted that they would now, since I'm now a well-known coon hunting tournament winner.

Later that day, when we came to a stop, Grandpa asked me to set up camp. I had to tie my dogs to a tree, so they wouldn't go off and attempt to get a coon.

"Grandpa?" I asked, "When do you think we'll get to town?"

"I expect that we will arrive in Tahlequah at about noon tomorrow." Grandpa replied.

We finally arrived, and I didn't get the warm welcome I was expecting. People still called me a 'hillbilly' because of the way I dressed. I thought more people would know who I am, but I guess that people in the city don't follow coon hunting.

Grandpa took me into a bunch of shops. When we were almost done, a girl came up to me.

"I know who you are! You're Billy Colman! You won that coon hunting tournament!" She exclaimed.

"Umm…. Thanks?" I said.

"My name is Amy, and I need your help." Amy said.

"What do you need?" I replied.

"My golden retriever, Rory, got lost. Can you help me find him?"

"I don't know. I'll ask my grandpa."

"If you can, can you bring your dogs?" Amy asked.

"Sure, they'll be glad to help." I replied.

I went to go find Grandpa. He said that I could go and help, as long as I was back before nightfall. I went back to find Amy.

"Are you ready to go?" I asked her.

"Yep, I've got all I need. I have food and water for both us and the dogs." Amy said.

"Where do you think we should start looking?" I asked.

"I'm guessing down in the forest. That's where I last saw him."

Amy and I started walking down to the river. I was nervous. What if Little Ann and Old Dan couldn't find Rory? I didn't want to let Amy down.

"Is there anything you have that would give my dogs Rory's scent?" I asked.

"Yes, I brought along his favorite toy," Amy said, while pulling something out of her bag, "He plays with it almost every day, and he's had it for years."

"Good." I said. I showed the toy to Old Dan and Little Ann. Little Ann lifted her nose up into the air, and took off west. Old Dan soon followed her.

While we were following my dogs, Amy started to ask me a lot of questions.

"What's it like to be the tournament champion? What's your favorite color? Who are you more proud of, Old Dan or Little Ann? Were your trophies big? Were the shiny? How do you think that Little Ann did during the beauty contest? What was your secret to success with the beauty contest? Do you think I would make a good interrogator?" Amy asked.

"Umm… It's really good to win, but it's fun even if you lose. My favorite color is orange. I'm equally proud of both of my dogs; they both do everything they can do to hunt coons. Yes, the trophies are big, and they are both very shiny. I think that she did great, and I'm very proud of her. For the beauty contest, I used butter to polish her coat, and she did the rest. Yes, I do think that you would make a great interrogator." I replied.

"How did you remember all of that?" Amy asked.

"I have a good memory." I replied.

All of the sudden, the silence was broken by a loud bawl from Old Dan.

"Old Dan! He found the trail" I said. We then rushed off to follow the sound of my dogs.

Amy noticed the direction we were going and said, "Hey! Old Dan and Little Ann are leading us to the pond! That must be where Rory is!"

Then all of the sudden, we heard a loud yelp. "Rory! That's Rory!" Amy exclaimed.

We ran to the pond to find Old Dan and Little Ann standing at the base of an oak tree. Then, we saw why, a large golden retriever was sitting there, with its leg bent in an awkward position.

"Rory!" Amy cried out.

"I think I know what happened. Look at the hole over there. It looks like Rory was running and his leg got stuck in the hole, which caused him to break his leg.

"Do you think he'll be okay?" Amy asked me.

"I don't know. We should get him back to town first." I replied.

Amy and I eventually got Rory back into town. We took him to a doctor, where he was treated for his broken leg.

"Will he make it?" Amy asked the doctor.

"Most likely. If he had been out there any longer, he probably wouldn't, but I am confident that he will survive." The doctor replies.

"Wait, how are we going to pay for this?" I asked.

"Don't worry; I'm from a wealthy family." Amy replied.

"It's getting late. I better go back to help my grandpa." I stated.

Then, all of the sudden, Amy gave me a hug saying, "Thank you Billy! Without you, Rory would've died. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

"You are very welcome," I said, "I hope that Rory gets better. Oh, and if I were you, I would keep a closer watch on him.

"Okay, I'll make sure I do that. Thanks again Billy!"

"I had fun. I hope we'll meet again."

"Goodbye Billy!"

"Goodbye Amy!"

As I walked away, I thought of how much I would miss my dogs if anything ever happened to them. I would never be the same.

I walked back to the buggy, and Grandpa asked me how my day was.

"It was good," I said, "We found Rory. Amy was really happy. We took him to the vet, and he said that would make a full recovery.

"That's great!"