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Oh for Pete's Sake!
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  1. #121
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    Glad to see they have something like that for protection, but how on earth are they going to feed it?! That's what Evie is thinking...
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  2. #122
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    I thought protection to lol and man having to feed it, I hope it can hunt in the woods behind them.

  3. #123
    thanks for the chapter

  4. #124
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    #35
    Zander wouldn't leave the dog, so Evie bedded them both in the kitchen. Despite the fright; Evie was ready to sleep. So tired, she drug towards the bedroom. Too tired to think, she eased into bed and lay her weary bones down. Eventually, she reached for the covers and drew them over her shoulders.

    Giggles and childish laughter woke Evie and Hap early the next morning. Groaning, she burrowed deeper into the warmth of the bed. It wasn't possible, she whined to herself, oh please, it can't be time to get up.

    It was.

  5. #125
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  6. #126
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    #36
    "Mizz Evie, Mizz Evie, Janey's poopy all over the floor." a childish voice called from the kitchen.

    "Eeeww, Grandma. Janey made a terrible mess on the floor and Inky is stepping in it." Brett was gagging as he was yelling. "Oh gross," was heard several times. Kids were hollering at each other. Benny was trying to call Inky outside, and Evie wearily started her day with another crisis.

    Hap turned over in bed and grinned at Evie. "By golly Evie, I can't hear what their yelling about. Must be a grandmother thing," he concluded, laughing at her expression.

    Evie was happy to say a small prayer of thanks for a good day for Hap. Slowly the tide was turning and the bad days were starting to outnumber the good; but today, today she was thankful for what was there.

    The kitchen looked like a war zone. "Open that door and put that dog outside," Evie ordered, "Now"!

    "Clora, you grab Janey. Benny, go to the basement and bring up the rag box. Brett, get a fire ready, so we can have heat. Sandra and Zander, wash up. You kids can set the table."

    Evie looked up to see Hap chuckling at her. Indeed, Jane had made a mess, but it was cleanable. Drawing water for a bucket bath she put it on the stove, lit the fire and put the overnight beans on to warm up. All before seven, Evie sighed to herself. I hope this isn't the start of another one of 'those' days.

    Banished outside, Inky barked his displeasure at being separated from 'his' kids. "That reminds me," Evie said to the crowd of kids. "Just where did this dog come from? I haven't seen him at your place before."

    Benny shut the basement door behind himself and said. "He's been our dog for a long time. But Mom had to give him away a long time ago cause we couldn't feed him."

    "Small wonder," Evie replied. "We don't have enough to feed him either, where do you suppose he has been?"

    "The guy took him a long ways away, to work with his sheep I think," Clora held the squirming Janey out at arm's length. "Boy, she really has problems," she added. "Janey really has the scoots."

    "Brett, please empty that cardboard box in your pile of things, and lets put Jane in there for a bit." Evie asked, as she sorted out breakfast while watching the fire.

    Brett in his eagerness to be a part of the goings on, tipped the box upside down on the pile and let the contents tumble where they may.

    Most of the items stayed on the pile. Only the pistol clunked as it landed solidly on the floor.

  7. #127
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    Just had to check and thank you.

  8. #128
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    You sure have a way with ending things in a way to make us want MORE!!!!

    Oh, and thanks!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  9. #129
    good stuff maybe the dog can hunt and the pistol for the pimp at least the bullets out of it for the pimp

  10. #130
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    Wow, Evie's home almost sounds familiar. Yes, there's many small crises's throughout the day but she keeps a calm head and deals with it as it comes. I pray that soon a new normal is established so that they can have calm.

  11. #131
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    #37
    "OoooKay," Evie drawled out the word, "Jane in the box, I'll get the gun and the rest of you wash for breakfast." She dished out bowls of beans and the leftover pancakes. Looked as though there wern't as many pancakes as had been on the plate the night before. One short guess as too where at least 4 of them had gone. Evie glanced at the door. Inky was looking in, drooling mightly all over the once white door. He looked like he had pancake at the corners of his mouth.

    Hap came in from the bathroom. He had shaved and combed his hair. Ahh, thought Evie; still a mighty handsome devil after all these years. Yes, today was going to be a good one.

    Evie motioned to the gun on the floor, Hap caught the silent message and put the fairly large gun in the top shelf of the sink cupboard. As he checked to see if it was loaded, Evie motioned him not to unload any bullets. It was irresponsible to have a loaded gun accessable to so many curious children, but they had been without protection for so long, Evie needed that small measure of security.

    Without breaking stride, she settled Jane in the box once again and started feeding the squirming child. Mashed beans and pancake makes a good meal when your hungry. They pretended the box was a boat and the small girl ate willingly.

    "OK, got a lot of work to do today," Evie announced when the dishes had been stacked by the sink. "Kids, I need you to help move this mess to Pete's old room." The children obliged, and soon the kitchen was humming with activity. Evie was pouring hot water into the sink, when Zander stood beside her with a shoe box that the rope tie had become unknotted. Evie glanced down, and then had to look again. The askew lid was open far enough to show the stacks of bills inside. Stacks of hundred dollar bills.

  12. #132
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    Wonder where that came from?

  13. #133
    surprise, surprise, maybe Pete did have a BACKBONE

  14. #134
    Or the wife had a private stash. Honestly I'm betting on that. And I'm betting that she thinks it's safe for now. That's gonna be one massive blow up.

  15. #135
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    Stacks of hundred dollar bills, a gun and a gunshot wound. I think maybe Pete stole more than a car. If the wife knew about all that money Evie and Hap's place would not have been their destination.

  16. #136
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    #38

    Evie shut her eyes, and then calmly told Zander "Thank you. I believe I should put that box up." Zander nodded agreement, thrust the box in her hands and ran to get another arm full of belongings. Tipping the lid a little more, Evie counted eight stacks of bills, each over 4" thick. She couldn't help it, her hands were trembling so; she almost dropped the box.

    Swallowing hard, Evie put the green and red striped christmas box full of cash next to the gun. Her mother's radar was tingling, sounding loud alarms. It didn't take much thinking to figure that it must be Pete's. Also, it obviously was not known to either Betty or Patty. The former would have spent it, and the latter would have blabbed about it.

    More and more, Evie figured she needed to walk to town and have a 'talk' with Pete. She racked her brain, trying to think of how to accomplish this mission. Hap couldn't go that far; they all couldn't go, the oldest 3 couldn't go-Pete would never confide in them, so that left Evie. It was a bit over two miles to town. She had walked it many times. But, and it was a big one at that, leaving the crew at home was not without peril in itself.

    All morning, as she cleaned Janey; scrubbed the kitchen and prepared rice for lunch, Evie thought about that money. It was like a heartburn with no cure. Pete had a good job. Or had a good job before this all came about. Well Evie, she cautioned herself; usually that much money comes from ill-gotten gains, cause there's no way Pete's job was worth THAT much. Pete worked on the line at Boeing. Good honest work with a fine retirement and medical. But not stacks of cash worth.


    After lunch, Hap took the kids to the garden to dig. That gave Evie time to snoop . Those stacks were hundred dollar bills right down to the very last one. With her trusty screwdriver, Evie pried open the cupboard kickplate wide enough to wiggle the cash box inside her hiding spot.

    Jane came in for her nap feeling feverish. Evie gave her a big drink of water and settled down. Water was just starting to boil for laundry duty, when Janey woke. What luck, Evie thought as she cleaned the diarrhea. Poor little kid, was hot with fever and a runny nose.

    Evie browned a tablespoon of flour, added water to a thick gravy texture and spent the next hour coaxing Jane to swallow the unappetizing paste. Wishing for an egg did no good. The hens were long gone, thanks to Betty and Claude. An egg would have made a better binder antidiarrheral for the child.

    Thinking back over the last couple of days; Evie couldn't pin point any certain food, or external item Jane might have put in her mouth. The child wouldn't touch the dandelion greens, so that was out. Maybe the tuna. Time would tell if it was a food, a cold or flu, or the onset of a childhood disease. She'd have to question Benny and Clora to see if Jane had her immunizations. Evie kinda felt like she knew that answer, but wanted to doublecheck.

    Evie made gravy to go over the huge pot of spaghetti noodles she cooked. Supper was happy and boisterious, except for Jane.
    Evie quarentened the child to their room; not wanting to chance giving all the kids the bug.

    At lights out time, Evie and Jane moved into the kitchen to be near the stove's warmth. It was easy and felt so good to be thankful to the Lord. A easy day, as days go. Evie was grateful. The night was not as kind. Little Jane was sick.

    By morning time, Evie knew what had to be done. Leaving the crew at home to eat pancakes, Evie wrapped Jane to her with a length of cloth, grabbed Benny and off they set for the hospital.

    The nurse whisked Jane into the ER room and wouldn't let Evie in. Neither Evie or Benny could prove relationship to the ill child, nor their wishes for her care considered. Evie could hear Jane crying; as she paced the waiting room, anxious for word about the child's condition. Hour after hour, doctor after doctor rushed in and out of the hallway, and Jane's crys were fainter and fainter.

    Pleading with the nurse/receptionest produced nothing. Finally Evie asked about Pete, was he in a room? There was a way she could prove he was the child's father. The overworked nurse looked through the sheaf of papers in front of her.

    "He was here until last night," Evie was informed with a sniff. "The sheriff hauled him off to jail."

  17. #137
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    Thank you and man I would insist on going to the baby, no way they could stop me.

  18. #138
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    PNW, I know you have a life outside of TB, but please write faster. The plot is really getting thick and I'm loving it. Thank you

  19. #139
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    #39

    "Benny, stay here and keep an eye on things. Come get me at the sheriff's office if something happens. I'm gonna get in to see Janey; one way or the other." Evie shuffled at a fast walk; as quick as a over thin old lady could move, down to the Public Saftey Building. Two blocks down and one over. She was winded and so out of breath, she couldn't speak when she burst into the Sheriff's office.

    The deputy on duty half rose from his seat and went to draw his gun. Evie waved her hand at Kevin Stevens, [another sunday school attendee in his younger years] "Where's Will," she wheezed. "I've got to find Pete. Janey's sick at the hospital and we need to be with her." There was more, but it was so garbled and unintelligble that Evie had to grab a chair and sit down. Chest heaving, she struggled for air. "Pete, PETE!" she insisted, glancing around wildly.

    Will stuck his head out his door, frowning at the ruccus. Evie waved him over. "We need Pete. Janey is sick. Where is he!" Will drew himself up to his full height, "Pete's resting here. It was too expensive to keep him at the hospital. Now", he demanded. "What's happening at the hospital?"

    Evie had to go through the long story once again. "Evie, Pete's in bad shape, I'm not sure we can move him just because we want too. He has a bad infection in his leg." Will patiently explained. His notions of over wrought females, holding firm.

    "Will," Evie almost whispered, "this is a baby that has no mother, maybe a father, I can't see her because I don't have a consent form to
    prove relationship or authority to treat. If Pete can't come to the hospital, what am I gonna do. We HAVE to be with Janey." she ended with a shout. "Can you do something, Please," she pleaded.

    Will was about to suggest they make a trip over to the hospital, when Benny slammed in the room. "Mizz Evie, Mizz Evie, Janey's in a real bad way. They say she might not make it." The brother in tears, gulping his anguish in huge sobs.

  20. #140
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    Thank you, great chapter.

  21. #141
    good sruff, hpe Janey pulls through

  22. #142
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    #40
    "Oh dear heavens," Evie cried aloud. "Will, please help." the sheriff listened to the anguish and pain, and could tell the old lady really did love and care for the child she was crying about.

    "Get in the car," he said bruskly. "I'll drive over." He conferred in low tones with his deputy and then ushered them swiftly to the car.

    The ER was buzzing with activity. Will spoke with the front nurse while Evie and Benny circled aimlessly, Evie holding her arms tightly around herself. She felt like she would explode if she couldn't be with Janey. She and Benny stopped walking and stood close together, holding hands, anxiously as Kevin brought in papers and handed them to Will.

    Waving the papers under the nose of the nurse, Will sent her scurrying to the back.

    Seconds later a large booming voice split the clamor of the waiting room.

    "Bring that woman and the Sheriff back here. I want to charge her with child neglect, endangerment and abuse. Sheriff, I want her arrested!" the Doctor shouted loud enough to be heard two counties over.

    All Evie remembered was 'neglect and abuse' as the enveloping darkness curtained the light.

  23. #143
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    ACCKKKKKKKKK!!!! Don't you dare let something else bad happen to Evie!

    And please post more soonest!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  24. #144
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    <snicker> Pac, yer mean..!!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  25. #145
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    Another Idiot doctor. You can see what I think of them can't you.

  26. #146
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    #41
    The first thing Evie could clearly discern, was Benny's sobbing. She was lying on a exam table, cold and hard. The overhead light stark and glaring to her eyes. Benny stood tight at her shoulder, patting her arm and crying his little heart out. Evie reached her hand to cover Bennys. The young man then roughly scrubbing at the tear stains, so she couldn't see his weakness and fright.

    "Benny, what happened, how about Jane, how is she, where is Will, are you ok." Evie rattled on, trying to make sense of what had happened. Will's face came into view, looming over her. "Easy Evie. You passed out. Jane is hanging in there; you banged your shoulder pretty hard, so they put your arm in a sling. LAY DOWN," he roared, as she struggled to get up.

    That comotion brought doctors and nurses running. The next thing Evie saw was the loud mouthed doctor that had accused her of neglecting Jane.

    "See, Sheriff," he boomed once again. "That baby is pitfully underweight, this boy is skinny as a rail; grossly undernourished. And," he paused for effect. "I understand there are four more children in the home in the same condition. I want you to know I have called child protective services to come and rescue these children. This is a crime, and I want her arrested for abuse."

    Evie went to put her hand on her forehead, only to discover that was the arm in the sling. Dear Lord, she had injured her right shoulder. Now, how was she going to get around that.

    Struggling to get to her side so she could swing her feet towards the floor, Evie sat up in a shower of cascading stars. The thin set of her stubborn mouth the only indication of what was going to happen, and happen real soon. She had taken a deep breath, locked her eyes on that fool doctor and was a cat's whisker from blasting that runny nosed upstart a new line of thinking, when Will grabbed her arm and shook it gently.

    It was a gentle shake for Will; but being that the closest arm was the injured one, it sent shock waves through Evie. Just like Benny; she busied herself with gathering the hiccuping boy to her side, to mask the jolt of pain she felt. As it was, her voice squeeked a bit when she finally found it.

    "Listen here young man, I want to know how Jane is, what she has, and what you are doing for her?" the stern teacher's tone practically pinning the doctor to the wall behind him. It rolled like water off a duck's back.

    "You have no legal right to access any information concerning that child," Evie was smartly informed. The social worker will be here shortly to discuss with me, the situtation as I see it. You will have the full explanation in the charging documents as they are filed." he added supercillously.

    Sheriff William Leroy Pendelton, stood tall, hitched his grey uniform pants a notch higher, and fixed his piercing blue eyes on the well meaning, but totally misguided doctor.

    "By order of the court," Will said softly but with threatening intonation;"this woman has sole custody of the five Apperton children. Their mother is not located, and their father has agreed to a custody transfer while he is recovering from injuries. Judge Thomas Evans has signed the order, the county child welfare dept. is aware of the situtation, and doctor," he stared intently at the young man,"just what is your problem."

    Doctor Phillips blustered a bit, searching for rationalization for his actions. He had examined a female child, approxamately age two, that had all the classic signs of malnutrition, arrested development, and failure to thrive syndrome. What else was he to think, especially after seeing the boy in the same condition. And then, to find out there were three more children, why he was thinking total neglect.

    "Are you unaware of the general times," Will asked directly. "Hell man, there are people starving to death out in the world. Surely you of all people have seen that!"

    Doctor Phillips did have the grace to blush and back off his agressive stance.

    "Please," Evie begged, "Tell me about Jane, will she be alright?"

    "Why is this child," the doctor looked at Benny," in this room. He needs to be in the waiting room. Child visitors are not allowed with patients."

    "Stuff it," Will snapped, totally out of patience. "Now, what about the girl," he repeated.

    She is suffering from a Vit.B deficiency. I understand her diet has been mainly rice and beans. Totally unsuitable for an infant. She is dehydrated, and needs proper nutrition. Milk and fruits, meats and fats." Dr. Phillips concluded. The neglect is the fact she is not getting proper food."

    "When can I, ...I mean we, see her," Evie persisted. Drawing Benny closer, she included the youngster in her request. "She has got to be so frightened, she has never been away from us." she added. "I can hear her crying, that can't be good for her to get so worked up and frightened."
    The doctor nodded his head at the nurse and she left the room to fetch Jane.

    Jane had been screaming. Her eyes red rimmed and her little body heaving with the force of her sobs.; she held her arms out to Evie and Benny and clung to Evie in total desparation. Her hair was wet with sweat, and her voice hoarse with the force of her crying.

    Evie enfolded the thin child in her arms and rocked back and forth, crooning softly. Benny fit in close, rubbing Janey's back and cooing to her. Burrowing her face into Evie's sore shoulder, Jane stopped crying. Evie was just smoothing the girl's tangled hair back from her face, when a cold, authoritive voice interupted the now quiet room.

    "Good, your here Sheriff. Is this the woman to be arrested?" inquired the stout, matronly, humorless social worker.

  27. #147
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    Oh the big wheels just want to run over everybody. On the edge of my seat here PNW, thanks for the fine chapter, need more when you can please.

  28. #148
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    Thank you and that social worker can stuff it.

  29. #149
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    #42
    Evie reacted by hugging Janey tighter to her. The one handed grip shielding the child from the oncoming peril. Benny all but climbed in her lap, bumping her bad shoulder. The hurt bringing tears to Evie's eyes, both from the physical pain and the heart pain threatening. Evie refused to acknowledge the woman, by staring steadfastly at Will.

    "So," the woman began, "I understand..."

    Will cut her off. "Sorry you were called down here on a false call," he said calmly. "I appreciate your coming on such short notice, but the situtation has been resolved." he concluded with a professional smile. "I have paperwork that Dr. Phillips was not aware of. I can share this with you, how about we use the counter in the foyer," he reached for the lady's arm and turned her in a smooth move that was calculated to remove her as quickly as possible from potential harm.

    "But,...but" sputtered the sharp eyed matron; not the least fooled or amused by the fake concern. "When I am requested by a doctor, by law I have forms that must be filled out and signed." she said officially. Planting her considerable bulk firmly, she all but dared Sheriff Will to pull a hustle on her. Will smiled, leaned toward the woman whom he decided smelled like peanut butter, and said conspiratorially; "Paperwork, it's all about the paperwork, isn't it?"

    "Yes," she sighed heavily. "Usually in triplicate." Despite her reservations, Louise allowed herself to be steered toward the waiting room. Reluctant to not conclude her official duties, she reached for the paperwork the Sheriff was using as a carrot to lure her out of the room.

    With a sour look at the doctor, Louise flipped through the forms and nodded her agreement that the paperwork was correct. Done only minutes ago, it was still correct. She turned and gave Evie a measured look. Raising her eyebrow in a stern warning; she let the old woman know the problem might be over for today, but that Evie had better watch her back.

    Evie held her peace. Now was not the time to get stupid. Benny turned his head slightly, and Evie saw his little tongue stick out at Louise's retreating back. Biting her lip, she nudged him slightly. Shaking her head no, she averted her glance before she burst out laughing. Exhausted, Janey was asleep in her lap, causing Evie to hunch over to keep the child from sliding to the floor. The one armed grip putting a cramp in her good shoulder. "Benny," she whispered, "help me put Jany on the table, I'm going to drop her." Together, they placed the sleeping child beside her grandmother.

    "Do you see the material I used to carry Jane in here," Evie asked Benny in hushed tones. "See if you can find it." He nodded, and started scoping out the curtained cubicle. Benny scooted soundlessly out and soon returned with the length of cloth. "Wind it about me just so," she instructed," and let's get Janey tucked in before someone changes their minds." Together they wound Janey up and secured her to Evie's front.

    Will glanced over his shoulder to watch the curtain bounce and wiggle. He could almost bet what was going on behind the blue and tan striped fabric. He quirked a smile that he rapidly swallowed, as Louise turned around and said in a most aggraviated tone "Now, do you intend to tell me what that snow job was about?"

    "She and her husband are good people. They took in five starving kids when their mother ran off. Take a good look at that woman. She's gone without food to give those kids more to eat," Will stopped to rub his chin tiredly. "Recently they have come to believe their son may be the children's father, completely unknown to them." Louise raised her eyebrow higher, but waited patiently for Will to continue.

    "I'll see to it that they have more food," he promised. "She's a local from way back, and has a bit of a problem accepting social welfare; but she would do anything for those kids."

    "She's on my radar now," Louise warned. "I WILL be watching her."

    "My word that she will comply," Will forestalled any protests. "She's my old sunday school teacher," he grinned. "I can vouch for her."

    Will drove them back to the sheriff's office. He had talked the doctor into many samples of vitamins for the kids. A whole box of liquid drops for Jane, and adult pills for Evie. Dr. Phillips was very unhappy at the outcome of the visit. He wrote a detailed report to his supervisor and sent it upstairs.

    "Will, I have to speak to Pete. It's very important," Evie leaned back against the seat and sighed in frustration. "This has been a awful day; but I do appreciate your help. That lady was the last straw. I was ready to rip into her. Thank you for stopping me and reminding me of my manners." Jane stirred against her chest, sighing in contentment at the familiar smell.

    "Your going to have to take home welfare food," Will warned. "It's a condition you have to accept, no arguements. Those kids have to eat a more varied diet. I know you have done your best, and I don't know how you have managed. But there are changes, and they have to be done.

    Will noticed Evie didn't promise anything, but he was content she would do right by the children.

    Evie looked at her son, sleeping in the open jail cell ala Mayberry. The more she looked, the more she felt he was playing possum. "I need to talk to you," she stated. "First, I need to know where your rifle is. We need to get that home. Second," she paused, "You need to explain about the children. Are you their father?" Evie asked point blank.

    Pete's eyelids fluttered slightly, betraying his wakefulness. "It wasn't supposed to turn out this way," he spoke surly, without looking at her. "The rifle is by the gate into Wilson's back pasture. I bent grass over it, to hide it."

    Evie waited for more, but nothing happened. "I found a box," she continued, baiting her suddenly mute son. "A pretty interesting box of very important stuff. Do you want to say anything about that?" she questioned seriously.

    "No, not right now," Pete said flatly. "Use what you need to get on with life. Now go away."

  30. #150
    good chapters, time to get some chickens and goats

  31. #151
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    It was so nice to find a new chapter this morning. Thank you

  32. #152
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    Thank you and time to slap a grown son upside the head.

  33. #153
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    4,549
    #43
    Evie debated if she should say what was on her mind. Pete had his head turned toward the wall, pain lines around his mouth. Fat chance she'd get through to him, in his condition. I can wait, she thought. I can wait.

    Will was setting at his desk, furiously writing. One hand propping his head, elbow on the stack of papers. Absorbed in his task, he didn't look up when Evie came through the door. Suddenly tired, she sat with Benny. Bone weary was more like it. The highs and lows of the day's emotional toll was hard on an old lady. Evie was sitting there almost feeling sorry for herself, when Benny's stomach gave a loud growl. He giggled as his hands covered his midsection.

    "Oh Benny," Evie apologised. "I need to get us home for lunch. Janey will be so hungry."

    "It's closer to supper," Will replied as he signed another paper. "Time got away from us."

    "Supper," Evie gasped."We have to go right now. I totally forgot about the time. Everybody at home will be so hungry." Benny's stomach growled louder. This time he laughed.

    Will stood up, grabbed his hat and said, "Let's go. I've got to make a couple of stops, then I'll drive you home." Evie stood up, jostling Jane and causing the child to fuss unhappily. Evie started to protest, to tell Will they would hot foot it home and be there in no time flat.

    Will held his hand up, "Things are different Evie, remember when I said that? This is one of the differences; you will deal with it because you have too." he finished. "You are the one this whole situtation hinges on. You need to cooperate for the sake of the children. Some of the things will not be what you want, but they won't compromise your morals," he chided.

    Regardless of her misgivings, Evie, Benny and Jane were soon seated in the local diner. Big bowls of thick stew before them. Benny dug in in a flurry of hungry smiles. Jane obediently ate what Evie shoved in. Evie couldn't eat. The stew was so lush and thick, but Hap wasn't here to share.

    "Eat," Will ordered, correctly guessing the problem. Evie picked up the spoon and obeyed.

    The ride home was done in silence. The children soon fell asleep. Evie slumped tiredly, staring aimlessly out the window. The waining daylight bathing the end of the day with that particular blue/grey softness that heralds night. As the sheriff's car approached home, Evie could see that Hap and the kids had done a lot of garden spading. The freshly turned earth smelling like the promise of spring.

    As the car stopped, kids spilled out the door anxious to know about their sister. Hap ambled out opening the door for Evie, helping her balance as she carried sleeping Jane inside.

    "Hey," Will yelled, interupting the celebration. "I need a hand here." he gave each child a box to carry inside. Small hands carressed the boxes and cans of food they deposited on the counters. A feast, a bounty for tomorrow and the next day. Will bent down and picked up Zander. Throwing the youngster in the air, he caught him and tossed him again. Zander yelled with glee, excited for the play.

    Benny came back out the door in time to see Inky streaking toward the sheriff; ready to tear apart the man that was hurting his child.

  34. #154
    thanks for the new page and it's always something

  35. #155
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West central Georgia
    Posts
    17,575
    I've said it before and I'll say it again....I love this story! Thanks!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  36. #156
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,918
    Hope they get the dog stopped, thanks.

  37. #157
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,549
    #44

    Benny raced towards the dog. "NO! Inky, NO! HEEL!. he shouted at the oncoming dog. Throwing himself at the faster than superman canine, Benny and the dog tumbled and rolled and looked like a cartoon picture of a fight. They came to a stop at Will's feet. The lawman had set Zander on the ground, whirled around, drawn his gun and was ready for the unknown threat. As he calmly stared down the onrushing dog, he was hoping like hell he wouldn't have to shoot that damm dog in front of the kids.

    Benny came out from under Inky as dirty and dusty as the skidding dog. He lay there, the wind knocked out of him, pants torn and dog drool all over his face. Inky stood on guard, his eyes never leaving Will's form. Hackles up, he didn't move a muscle as Benny untangled himself and crawled away.

    Zander matter of factly walked over to Inky. "Heel," he hollered, as he moved over to Will. Extending his hand, he shook hands with Will and then let the dog smell his hand. Inky sniffed, but his eyes never moved away from the sheriff.

    "Sorry Sheriff," Zander's voice quivered. "Please don't shoot him. He's the bestest dog ever. Please," Zander's teary eyes pleaded with the sheriff. Always a sucker for kids, dogs, and kids with dogs, Will holstered his service gun and flipped the safety on. Will extended his hand palm down, and let the children's guardian smell him. Inky finally relaxed and wagged his tail. He moved however, to keep himself between his people and Will. "Good boy," Will praised, and headed for the house. The kids clustered anound Inky, petting and talking to their friend.

    "Sheriff," Hap snagged Will's attention. "We can't accept this." his hand indicated the boxes of food. "We have never accepted welfare."

    "Well, you do now," Will retorted firmly. "You do, if you want to keep these kids. Look Hap," Will pushed his hat up on his forehead, and swiped his hand across his brow,"we've spent a bad day with the officials in town, I just don't have the patience to go over it all again."

    Evie looked at the sheriff, and started to laugh. Will had wiped a smear of dirt and dog drool across his face. She tossed him the kitchen towel and suggested he wipe the crud off. Smiling, he did.

    Evie patted Hap on the arm, their signal to ease up, and all would be settled out later. It worked, Hap remembered. Evie gave a sigh of relief. She gave him a warm and loving smile.

    "Pete's staying at the jail," Will explained to Hap. "he's got a infection, and seems to have a general mad against the world. I forgot to give you the status of your granddaughter. I'm afraid she went to CPS, child protective services," he clarified. "She's a handful and a sure piece of work, too bad, she sure seems to be on the wrong track." Will shook his head at the wayward path Patty was walking.

    "Folks, I've got to go, there are other places I've got to check tonight," Will ended the cozy reunion. "Remember to eat," he admonished Evie. "no exceptions. This outfit runs on your ability, so you make sure you are here to run it." Will shook Hap's hand, and headed for his car. Inky was lying down, but got up the instant he spotted Will.

    Will checked over the kids and the area, before he settled in the cruiser. It would be ok, he could feel it in his bones. Evie stood in the kitchen doorway, calling the kids in for the night. Inky oomphed, as he went down next to the door. He was on guard.

    Evie looked at the mess her normally spotless kitchen was in. Hap and the kids had made pancakes for lunch; more of them for supper. At least they had eaten. That was a treat, to only have to clean the kitchen. Evie mixed some of the special formula the hospital had sent home for Jane, and then spent frustrating time trying to get Jane to drink it. That's one young lady that's not going to be easy to retrain, Evie thought. Got to be sneaky, it seems.

    "Bedtime," Evie called. "Lot's of work to do tomorrow." she had just tucked the last tired little Apperton under the blankets, when Inky began to howl.
    Last edited by PacNorWest; 11-06-2011 at 11:36 PM. Reason: the usual mixup

  38. #158
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,086
    What now? Poor Evie..................seems if it can go wrong it has and will. Great story and thanks for posting new chapters often.

  39. #159
    thanks for the new page, seems they can't buy a break

  40. #160
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,918
    Poor Evie, now what.

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