An hour later, Rod Owen did call a halt for dinner when the company came upon a stream with a pebbled bottom. After the boys watered the steers in the stream, they drove them up the southern bank and onto a grassy area. Then they watered all the horses and picketed them nearby on the grass.
Marie opened the saddlebags, spread a cloth on the bank, and put out tin plates and cups for her father, her brothers, and herself. She unwrapped the cornbread and beef she and Ma had prepared and put a portion of each on the plates. Then she went to the creek, upstream from the place they'd crossed, and dipped a bucket into the water.
She had almost carried it back to the eating area when Albert swooped in, snatched the bucket, and poured the water over himself.
As he wiped the water from his eyes, Marie cried out, "You oaf! That's drinkin' water!"
"Works just as well to cool me off," he said in a sneering tone, shaking himself like a dog to make Marie wet.
"Bertie, I'll get you," she cried, and picked up the bucket to hurl at him.
Rulon restrained her arm, and thrust the container into Albert's stomach. "Fetch clean water," he barked. "Now."
"Ah, you're no fun." Albert rubbed his abused belly. "You sound just like Pa, orderin' me about."