Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E, Story #53

 Well the time has come to get the wagon wheels turning.  My first
concern however is the Majors well being.  Drawing along side I
engaged him in small talk for a few minutes, than broached the subject
that worried me the most at this point.  Did you enjoy your breakfast
Sir.  Suddenly a huge grin crossed his face, and he put his arm around
Josh, and nearly squeezed the breath out of him.  I have seldom seen
such a look on the Majors face.  My question was answered.  These two
had bonded, and I couldn't have anything please me so.  Than I
broached another touchy subject head on.  Major I said, you will need
to work on that smile because it will stand us in good stead for the
balance of this trip.   As we meet the people they may test your
patience to the max.  As a successful business man, you, and we
cannot afford any lose of temper.  Being successful, means that you
are comfortable, and worry free, and that Major is a huge key to our
being successful.  They will react to smiles, and easy going readily,
however the opposite will cause suspicion, and doubt.  It is you who
must set the example for us.  Having said that we set out on the road
indicated. As I left, I turned to see a look of utter surprise on the
Majors face.  I had traveled this last night with Dan, and was
comfortable with it.

 Although we must not dawdle too much.  I suggested that the Major
pick a spot up ahead where there would be some people, and he should
pick something to sketch for a bit as I am going to leave, and check
out some interesting spots in an area that he hoped to gain some
important map info.  Getting into the swing of things right off would
alleviate some of the jitters that he, and Josh were sure to have.
While the Major was busy, Josh would putter around the horses, and
wagon, watching the people for anything suspicious.  I had spent a lot
of time with him, at the farm on things to do on his own, without one
friend that he should look for.  One of my secret weapons.  The other
was Dan.  This Lad was able to cover the ground almost as fast as a
horse, and faster in cover.  My instincts were honed by my Aunt, Walks
Alone, and Dans from survival.  There was not one inch of this ground
or water that he didn't know.  The thing that really fascinated me was
his ability to disappear in broad day light, with no apparent cover.
His primary job was to cover my back among other details.  Only he,
and I knew these things.  The trade off is that I am going to teach
him how to defend himself with a knife.  He had seen mine, and
whenever we were together he would handle it.  The sooner the better.

 After selecting a good place for the nights encampment I headed back
to check in with the Major, and Josh.  As I moved closer thru the
trees, I observed the Major happily chatting with a small group, of
interested people who were fascinated with the sketch he was working
on, and a couple of others that he had hanging around.  I heard one of
them ask him if he would write a letter for them after evening choirs.
He seem pleased, and readily agreed.  Josh had watered the horses,
and brushed them down, than sot the shade, and pretended to nape.  A
very comfortable scene.  As I arrived the Major introduced me, and
explained that he had hired me to ride ahead, and locate some places
of interest that the he could sketch, and find the best roads to
travel with the team, and wagon.  Laughing, and indicating that he had
in the past gone down some bad roads, and into trouble a couple of
times, and learned his lesson.  Several nodded their heads in
agreement, and agreed that this was a smart move, and suggested a
couple of places they knew where this could happen.

 After a bit I suggested that we move on, and look for a place to
settle in for the night.  The couple who asked for the letter writing
invited us to stay at their farm for the night.  There was a clear
small stream, and plenty of good grazing for our horses, and they had
plenty of fresh eggs to be had.  I had seen this place from a
distance, and felt it to be safe.  After a good shaking of hands all
around the people left for home, and Josh, and the Major started to
pack up their gear, and hitch up the team.  I indicated that I would
meet them at the last turn going into the farm, and disappeared into
the tree line.  Soon Dan, and I headed for the farm, and quickly did a
360 checking it out.  I than went to the meeting point, and Dan
disappeared.  When the Major arrived I joined them as if I had never
left them, and we rode in, and set up where the people indicated.  A
beautiful spot indeed.  It wasn't to long before Josh had a small fire
pit dug, and a nice pot of coffee brewing.  It wasn't to long before
the wife showed up with a side of bacon, and some stew makings.

 After a wonderful meal, and some hot coffee the Major, and Josh
ambled down to the farm house, with the materials that he needed  for
his writing job.  He asked if he should entertain a fee, or not,
being aware that he might insult them if they really wanted to pay.
Na I said. this is a barter system that they were comfortable with,
and readily agree to.  They had determined how much it meant to them,
by the size of their half of the trade.  I hope they had several
things they needed to  have written.  Upon their leaving I fed Dan all
he could eat, and some for later.  When Dan left I settled in by the
fire, and went over the events of the past couple of days.  At this
point I was comfortable.  It had been some time since I had slept, so
I left my bed roll by the fire, left a note for him, and headed back
to a secluded spot, and settled in.  Just before I dosed off I heard
some quiet breathing, and looking over my shoulder I made out Dan fast
asleep within arms length.  That Kid was good.

 Yes, we were off to a good start.


No comments:

Post a Comment