Coffee with Augustine

The road got steadily worse as Andrew approached the end of the ridge. Asphalt gave way to graded gravel which progressively narrowed, deteriorating into patches of smooth dirt between collections of potholes and suspension-shaking corrugations. Just before the track ended at the concrete-bedded steel feet of a towering electricity stanchion, he turned, drove through the orchard gate and passed the two beds—about half a hectare each—of young peach trees he’d pruned last month. An early-fruiting variety, the buds were already swelling pink in anticipation of the spring. He drove slowly over the orchard’s rough dirt track, trying to avoid the…

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