Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E. Story #11

 It has been pretty much a long night for all of us.  After you
boarded the Stage, and headed out  we went back to camp, and because
most were somewhat keyed up I suggested that we build up the camp
fire, and perhaps chew the fat a bit.  Concern for your safe trip, and
return seemed to be on everyones mind.  Some vague rumors had started
around camp brought in by the occasional visits of people heading down
river.  How much was true, and how much was gossip was a big concern
of mine.  I figured that the large fire, and many voices would deter
any snoopers this night.  I was keeping a close eye on the young Lt.
It appeared that until now he had payed little attention to much
except his sense of self importance once you were under way.  I
wouldn't expect much else.  Your crew boss however seemed to be well
in hand with the rumors, and seemed to be sizing up our  resources.
Some heads were beginning to nod so I suggested that we all turn in,
and get some sleep.  After a fashion the only two left at the
smoldering fire were myself, and the crew boss.  He lit his pipe
thoughtfully, and asked if I minded if we chatted a bit.  I had hoped
for this, and was pleased.

 After a long pause he began.  “Well Sarge, I ain't long on words, but
I think that we should lay our cards on the table, Suit you?”  

“Yup,” I said, “ You start!!”  

“Well,” he said, “I have some concerns about what is
happening.  This sudden dispatch arriving calling the Boss to
Washington City, you showing up out of the blue, and the talk about
these river rouges.  I've been on, and around these rivers all my
life, and strange things don't just happen without reason.  I just can
not come up with the reason..  Boss is the finest man that I have ever
worked for, and he knows very well that I am loyal to the core to him,
and so are my men to the man. You Sgt., are a mystery.  I've heard a mite bit about you from a couple of my men.  They know that you are river smart, and fought in
the M-A War, and are with Capt. Rufus.  They have heard that he, and
the Marshall on occasion send you out on recon, but no idea why.  Now
you show up here, and you, and the Boss go back a long ways.  My question about that is why are you overseeing this project, when the Lt outranks you, and we
are to account to you??”  By this time the sun had started up, and the
men were stirring.  

“All good, and reasonable thoughts,” I responded. “How about this evening you, and I take a stroll around the camp, and the projects you are working on, and we can continue this conversation.  Sound OK to you.”  

“Yup, Sarge, OK with me.”

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