Horse Doctor Adventures – Catch and Keep

Maggie Kincaid was retired from her career as an equine veterinarian and, despite her children’s warnings and displeasure, returned to her birth country and bought a log cabin. She planned to ride horses, fish for trout, and write books. Mission accomplished. Despite the murder-suicide in her log cabin, several years before her purchase, Maggie was living her best life.

Then a young deaf boy came and asked for work. This connection and her eligibility as a single mature woman brought her to the attention of an aging film star, Colin Chandler, and a multimillionaire, Charlie McLeod.

She narrowly escaped from a kidnapping, and then her prime candidate for marital bliss was killed in a plane crash. Life became too much, and Maggie withdrew from the social scene. Amid depression, Maggie spent several weeks in bed as winter loomed.

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Elizabet Woolsey Author - Horse Doctor Adventures - Catch and Release

Horse Doctor Adventures - Catch and Keep

Maggie Kincaid was retired from her career as an equine veterinarian and, despite her children’s warnings and displeasure, returned to her birth country and bought a log cabin. She planned to ride horses, fish for trout, and write books.

Mission accomplished. Despite the murder-suicide in her log cabin, several years before her purchase, Maggie was living her best life. Then a young deaf boy came and asked for work. This connection and her eligibility as a single mature woman brought her to the attention of an aging film star, Colin Chandler, and a multimillionaire, Charlie McLeod.

She narrowly escaped from a kidnapping, and then her prime candidate for marital bliss was killed in a plane crash. Life became too much, and Maggie withdrew from the social scene. Amid depression, Maggie spent several weeks in bed as winter loomed.

Colin Chandler rescued her from the blues and offered to take her fishing in the Southern Hemisphere—a destination unknown. Despite her reluctance to get out of bed, she went, and upon entering a remote fishing lodge, she found that her former love interest was not dead.

He was hiding from his co-conspirators awaiting trials where he would give evidence. Or was he hiding from the authorities? With two rivals for her affection, Maggie decided to look for salvation and left the men at the lodge to go fishing.

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Horse Doctor Adventures - Catch and Release

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I was in a fog. The light was streaming into an unfamiliar room as I attempted to orient myself. I could hear distant banging. The pounding of a fist on a door brought me to attention. “Maggie, it’s almost lunchtime, and it’s time to get up. I want to go fishing. If you aren’t out of bed with your gear on in fifteen minutes, I’ll be coming in and dressing you personally.”

I looked at my watch. Holy shit, it’s eleven a.m. I drank way too much, way, way too much. I didn’t even make it to my room. What was I thinking? That’s it, I’m never drinking again. I don’t think the boys even know I was sleeping on the couch all night in the lodge.

Oh well, live and learn. One of my dear friends was banging on the door of my cabin, thinking I was in there. But I wasn’t. I was on the couch, inside the main building of this remote fishing lodge. Oh, my aching head. I got up and walked to the veranda door, and thankfully, it was only Colin who saw me. “Aren’t you a sore sight for old eyes?” He shook his head.


I smiled weakly. “Give me twenty, Collie. I need a cup of coffee too.” I was still in the same clothes I wore last night and almost fell off the veranda when I descended the lodge’s steps, heading to my cabin. Colin caught me and took me by the shoulders. “Fishing can wait. You need something to eat. Get in the shower, and I’ll cook something for you.”

“In the shower?” I teased him, and he swatted at me as he let me go but missed. “You’ll have to be a bit quicker if you want to catch me, old man.” With that, he reached out and took my hand, and spun me around.
“You mean like that? Get going. I need to fish. I do my best thinking with a rod in my hand, you know.” Colin was mocking me.
I laughed, remembering that I had said the exact same thing yesterday. When I said it, I hadn’t a clue what that might mean coming from a man. It was true, though. I almost had a religious experience with fly-fishing. I studied nature and the biology of insects. I calculated aerodynamics, and then I prayed a lot while trying to coax a fish onto my line. Who was I kidding? I was an amateur in all aspects of the biology of fish.


Last night was going to be a pivotal night. Sadly, and probably thankfully, alcohol got in the way. Here I was in New Zealand with two eligible bachelors. My fishing partner, Colin Chandler, was eighty but still as robust as a man half his age. As an aging film star, he was so unaffected by fortune and fame, I could barely keep up.


On the other hand, my host, Charlie McLeod, or Todd Mulholland as he wanted to be called now, was a few years younger than me. Until he went into witness protection after surviving an unsurvivable plane crash, which incidentally never happened, Charlie McLeod was physically much older than me. In truth, he was five or more years younger. I was reminded that birth order was relative at our age.


Thankfully, I was sixty-nine going on forty. Well, that’s what I told myself. But after last night, make that sixty-nine going on CTD, or “circling the drain,” which is often used in veterinary medicine to denote a very sick and potentially soon to die animal. That was me, CTD for sure, after last night. I’m sure the eighteen-

hour plane trip didn’t help. The shock of fi nding out that the man I thought I loved was not dead, was involved in the drug trade, and played a hand in almost killing me didn’t help either. My name is Margaret Kincaid, and I am a once-a-year alcoholic. The good news was it was mid-December, and I only had a few weeks before I could repeat this act of debauchery (not).

I went to my room, showered, and dressed in shorts and a long-sleeved fishing shirt. I had gloves that I wore to protect me from the bite of sandflies. Still, I’d forgotten them last night, and my hands were already swollen and itchy from my adventure the previous evening.

There was a cup of coffee on the kitchen counter and a piece of toast. “Thanks, Collie. Sorry about that. I’m swearing off all forms of mind-altering medicinals for the rest of the year.” Colin shook his head and nodded. “Me, too, but only tonight. Any joy last night?” “A strike. I was too slow. The fish got away.” “Are you talking about the fish or someone near and dear?” “The fish. I’m swearing off nears and dears as well.” I drank the bitter coffee, took the cup to the sink, and refilled it with water.


“We’ll see. Have you got your waders? It’s warm out today, but I’m guessing the water is cold, and I want to be prepared to cross when we want. If you complain or whine, I’ll bring you back, and you won’t go again.”
“Yep, got any anti-whining drugs?”
Colin shook his head in dismay. “I saw some Tylenol in the pantry.” He got up, opened the door, and threw a bottle at me.

Thankfully, I caught it. Colin announced, “Charlie, I mean Todd, is up in his gallery painting. He asked us to be back by five, so we can eat and maybe take a tour of your property.”
I’d forgotten that Charlie, I mean Todd, had given me this lodge. I guessed it was so he could remain anonymous with the government. “Not mine. Maybe ours, but not mine alone.”
“You had enough? Ready to hit the river,

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