When Lolke found a dead man in his field his first thought was - a homeless man, but Harke, his son, figured differently.
“I bet you that he is one of these guys from the East looking for magic mushrooms. And he is probably gored by our bull, Dad.”
“Do these things grow out here, I've never seen them around.”
“I didn't say they grow out here, but wouldn't be surprised if they did though.”
“What are we doing with him?”
“We better call the cops.”
The police found a bag of the hallucination making mushrooms and took the body of the man and his treasure away.
The local press made a news report about the affair and the bull was put in his stall.
Nothing more was heard about it until a local dutch language monthly asked Lolke for an interview which they published shortly after, together with a photograph of Lolke leaning over the fence pretending to stare over the field in which he had found the dead man.
Thousands of miles away the widow Harkema, as Helen is known, now in her late sixties but looking much younger, is contemplating her life. She was in her mid thirties when her husband Doede passed away and she became not only a young widow but also a well to do one.
Towns people like to talk, and not always negatively, they were one in their opinion that that Helen was a fine looking woman to make a single man not only proud but also even more well to do.
Her father had cautioned her to not make up her mind too fast about another man, but to find out what she herself wanted to do with her life, and this time Helen listened to him while putting out feelers here and there what to do, without really making up her mind, and in that manner one year after an other passed without her pursuing anything different from what she was doing – bringing up her two children.
After high-school Helen arranged for Johanna to attend the best university she could think off, the Free University in Amsterdam, the flagship of the Reformed church, to which Helen's parents belonged and she grew up in. It had been the worst decision she could have made.
The university was alright but it was located in Amsterdam, far from Johanna's home town, and Amsterdam was not.
She got in with a wrong crowd, did drugs and when the money ran out, prostituted herself. When the need is highest the rescue is near, in her case a missionary group and Johanna eventually wound up being a missionary in Africa somewhere.
Helen never heard from her again.
Helen, now in her late sixties, prayed more than she had done her whole life about Johanna, imploring god to to look after her wayward daughter, blaming herself of having so miserably failed herself. She even visited the nearly hundred year old and long retired dominee who assured her that god would surely look after Johanna, but was at a loss why she avoided Helen as she did.
Doede Jr. did his best to comfort Helen but was at a loss for the reasons behind Johanna's strange behavior.
Little Doede had become Doede Jr. but instead of studying in the US, he found a great University in Oslo, where he studied agriculture. He also found his wife there, a dutch- Canadian from Ontario. He eventually became an important agricultural adviser to the Dutch government and lived in The Hague. Their two children lived also in Holland and seldom visited Fryslân.
Helen's mother had passed away and her father who was diagnosed with Alzheimer was wearing out the rest of his life in an old-folk's home in the city.
Helen felt alone, and when Doede Jr.'s wife visited her and asked if she would join them for a a vacation at her parent's in Ontario, she finally said yes, but only if she paid her own fare.
She was so heartily received by Doede Jr.'s in-laws, she really felt at home, and after a trip to the Niagara waterfalls when they were resting outside drinking a glass wine, Helen remarked that she loved Fryslân but could've lived just as well in Ontario.
One evening when they gave Helen de dutch by-weekly to read as she had difficulty reading English, she shouted out while laughing and crying in turn
“I found him, it's him, there is no doubt , it's Lolke!
She kept pointing at a picture of farmer gazing over a gate.
They congregated all around her while reading the account of a farmer finding a dead magic mushroom seeker on the Fraser river.
When the name of the farmer was recorded as Lolke Harkema they all knew for certain.
“How far is the Fraser river from here,” Helen asked.