She was confused by the find and decided not to visit the back five the next day, nor the day after. The stone and its meaning haunted her and she found herself writing the words down…over and over. The words left her with an almost overwhelming sense of sorrow and they struck her through. They were just words but they were the saddest words she had ever heard.
Somebody put that stone there. Somebody wanted the words to be read. Somebody wanted to be remembered…but some things are just lost to time and to history.
She never revisited the back five.
Ten years later, the state decided to build a highway to help ease congestion between two large cities and her land was right in the middle of the proposed site. The state offered her a paltry sum for her property, which she ultimately accepted because she knew that if she didn’t, the law of eminent domain would just take it.
She was old and sick and didn’t have any fight left in her.
She moved into a building which had been converted into apartments for the elderly who were on a fixed income. She hated it and had few comforts but there was no other option.
She spent hours looking out the window of what she felt was her prison. She could see her beloved mountains in the distance and often cried. A few months after she moved in, she had to be hospitalized.
When asked about next of kin, she declined to give any names. She had spent the last years of her life alone and thought it was just as well that she die alone.
The day they bulldozed Farthington to the ground, she died. She was clutching a piece of paper in her hand, on which she had written the same four words that had been carved into the stone. The nurse who read the words, wept.
Construction was progressing on schedule but when the workers reached the back five, the foreman was called to a particular spot. When he arrived, the workers showed him a partially buried stone. He wiped away the dirt and leaves and just stared for a minute.
He radioed his boss and said “we might have a problem here.” The boss asked what kind of problem and the foreman said “I think we may have a cemetery.”
The boss came to the location and the foreman showed him the stone. He said “I guess we had better get the GPR up here and see what we’ve got.” After hours of imagining the ground, nothing was found so the go ahead was given to continue clearing the land. The foreman asked the boss what he wanted him to do about the stone. The boss said “we are under no legal obligation to do anything but I’ll leave that up to you.”
The foreman looked at the stone again and read the words. He wondered who had put it there. He wondered how long it had been there. He bent down and traced the letters with his finger and gently patted the stone before he stood up.
Five years later, a father and his son were walking through the woods that flanked the newly constructed highway. They were on their first hunting trip together. As they crouched down trying not to be seen by any deer, the son noticed the corner of what looked like a marble stone that was partially buried.