The Novel In Its Entirety

Chapter I

They loved the Rappahannock River. It was their favorite place to go. He loved getting her in the water after the wild rapids had calmed down for the year and she loved sitting between his legs when they sat on the bank.

When he was younger, he would hit those same rapids with his friends. They would start at the dam miles up the river and jump off into the pool of water forty feet below. Then, the drift would slowly pull them to the edge of what he affectionately referred to as “Chutes and Ladders.”

Rappahannock River

Two big rocks stood at either side where the top of this adventure started. You could stay there and hold on all you wanted because at that point, the water wasn’t strong enough to thrust you through. It was when you let go that you were suddenly in for a ride. All of a sudden, your body twisted and turned around rocks and jetting streams that were perfectly formed by nature itself.

Five miles down the river, the water finally slowed to where you could put your feet down and walk yourself out onto the bank. That’s where one friend was always staged to get everybody and drive back up to the dam for another ride.

Throughout his life, Chris Ferlin had always been drawn to Fredericksburg, Virginia, the home of that particular part of the Rappahannock River. His travels often took him to other places. But, he always found a way to come back.

While he was married, he would just pay visits every once in a while. When he got the chance, he would drive hundreds of miles on a weekend to come from Western Maryland to Fredericksburg, Virginia just to spend a day or two where he called home. But, his marriage only lasted a few years until his wife fell ill and finally succumbed to her disease.

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