The bed and breakfast had a full complement of guests for the first time in this, their second season, the domestic help opening seemed about to be filled, the weather was beautiful, the flowers were blooming and David Dean's campaign for sheriff looked promising.
The ten-year-old girl had resided at Bird Song with David Dean, his wife Cynthia, and Dean's seventy-seven-year-old stepfather, Fred O'Connor, for the past six months.
Dean's patience with bureaucracy was thin during the best of times, but dealing with various branches of social services over the past winter stretched and frazzled his tolerance to the limit.
It was Cynthia who volunteered for the nasty duty, turning down Dean's offer to join her.
The Dean's ages—both forty—and the financial limitations of their new business would make obtaining court approval difficult.
The Dean's private quarters, a sitting room-office combination and bedroom, were located in the rear.
"The thing about all this walking exercise is I can eat like a pig and stay thin," he replied to Dean's greeting.
Short red hair crept from underneath her cap and even Dean's untrained eye could tell her makeup was carefully applied and her uniform cut to exhibit a knock-out figure.
Martha glanced over to the dresser and Dean's unused hairbrush.
To Dean's experienced ears, it didn't sound like a joke.
When Saturday's daylight arrived to David Dean's exhausted eyes, the time had slipped past his usual rising hour and voices and footsteps rattled the old timbers of Bird Song.
Dean's continued silence prompted her to explain.
Dean fixed his wife a sandwich and was pleased to see she was more herself as she chatted with the elderly man about various flowers and camera settings, all beyond Dean's comprehension or interest.
Westlake's eyes met Dean's in knowing sympathy.
In spite of the protective gear worn, the challenge definitely excluded the weak of heart, and, in Dean's estimation, the strong of brain.
He publicly continued to express strong feelings about Dean's involvement.
Dean felt equally acrimonious toward the overbearing state official whom he hadn't seen since the winter and who, in Dean's mind, had no business being back in Ouray.
Joseph, smiling for the first time in Dean's memory, said he and Ginger planned to walk about town and perhaps hike up to the nearby Box Canyon waterfall.
The wedding date might be close to Dean's August Election Day, but Cynthia would vote absentee if necessary.
The last item on Dean's list of pleasurable activities was punching one if you want this and two if you want that buttons, then sitting on hold while listening to elevator music from some bureaucratic office.
Even the cat looked up, more from the cessation of her patting than Dean's expletive.
Dean's stock for the balance of the month was under serious siege, but if that was the price of political success, so be it.
Which observation sent another spasm of chills racing down Dean's spine.
A few feet further, in a dry grotto scooped out from the main walkway, something glinted in Dean's flashlight.
As they neared the first turn, something glinted in the beam of Dean's flashlight.
The Langstroms put up with me for years, and now that they're doing some traveling themselves I get to try other places and taste delicious home cooking like Mrs. Dean's marvelous muffins!
Dean's arm felt as if he'd taken on half the World Wrestling Federation.
Dean's question was met with a smile and a kindergarten finger to Fred's shushing lips.
"You haven't seen Ginger, have you?" he asked as he sat in a chair next to the chaise and eyed Dean's last ale.
"Kids," the woman said, as if that answered all the questions plaguing Dean's mind.
The man rose and came over to Dean's table.
After a few more banalities Dickinson Faust rose, shook Dean's hand, patted his shoulder and bid a cheery adieu.
The less that bastard knew about Dean's private life, the better.
Twenty-four hours after his hour-long downhill hike from the mine, Dean's stilts felt like he'd run a barefoot marathon on cobblestoned streets.
As Cynthia sat, the cat exchanged Dean's lap for Cynthia's in one effortless leap.
The three entered the Dean's office.
He grabbed Dean's arm.
He tugged on Dean's arm.
Liz plopped a straw hat with a red, white, and blue band on Dean's head just as three jets in close formation screamed overhead, buzzing the town in a deafening roar.
"Here," said Mrs. Worthington, shoving a bucket of hard candy in one of Dean's hands and a cluster of strung beads in the other.
The vehicle, older than Fred, sounded better than Dean's Jeep.
Cynthia scrunched close to Dean's ear, trying to hear the conversation, and offered a word or two as well.
After what seemed even longer than the Dean's first trip to the mine just two days earlier, they emerged into the basin where the valley floor was a sea of wildflowers.
A small rock trickled down, bouncing and skipping before stopping by Dean's shoe—the slight noise was a rumble in the mountain stillness.
Dean's only hope for an answer was if the woman volunteered it, but that didn't happen.
It was Dean's turn to give his wife a look of caution.
Dean's lack of proficiency at mountain climbing left him to make do instead of utilizing a more effective and safer method of descent.
His partner, a woman, lifted Dean's shirt from the body.
He tied the line around Dean's waist with practiced fingers, keeping it below Dean's naked upper torso.
All that was required on Dean's part was to remain standing upright and pick his path around obstacles while his position was monitored by blinding lights from below and above.