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Pride Goeth Before A Fall
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  1. #121
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    Hope they find the inavder or trying to be an ivader.

  2. #122
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    Leta will be a fine mentor. I'm curious as well who the phantom tracks belong too..............maybe Pete? Thank you!

  3. #123
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    Will determined that the tracks belonged to a peeping Thomasina, female.

  4. #124
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    W. Georgia
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    I'm guessing Patty, not too many others to choose from right now.

  5. #125
    this is Horn''s Mom . Maybe the kids Mom...Was her name Sue??? or Wills ex girlfriend?

  6. #126
    what about the third mom...?

  7. #127
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    Sorry folks, I had to put my husband in the hospital after he fell. Hope to be back tonight.

  8. #128
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    Oh my goodness, prayers going up for both of you now.

  9. #129
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    SW Louisiana
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    Pac, I was having some withdrawals but honey, family ALWAYS comes first. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your honey.

  10. #130
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    May 2001
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    Southern Wisconsin
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    877
    You take care of your hubby. Don't worry about us, we can wait. Praying that all is well for him.
    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -- Maya Angelou

  11. #131
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    The Last Frontier
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    Oh dear, bless you and your husband ~ Praying for him now, that he's okay and you too!
    All that is gold does not glitter....

  12. #132
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    Sep 2010
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    Knee Mail sent. Hope all is well.

  13. #133
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    State WA
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    OH my Pac sorry to hear that. Take care of him and you.

  14. #134
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    Atlantic Canada
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    yup, family comes first. we can wait!

    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.


  15. #135
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    #37
    Evie woke during the night. She really felt some better physically; but her heart hurt so bad it was hard to breathe. If her nightgown hadn't been tightly twisted around her body, Evie thought she might have shattered into a million pieces and run down into a puddle on the bedroom floor. Whispering out loud to her Lord, Evie asked for strength to withstand her Father's trials, and for solace for her broken heart. She missed Hap so very much. Laying there shaking with broken heart emotion, she at first missed the approaching black hulk that advanced in the darkness.

    Evie took a gulp of air and tried to think what in the world was happening. In the faint degree of darkness difference between the air and the approaching black menace, Evie thought she might die of fright the way her heart was racing out of control. "Oh my dear Lord," she thought out loud, and then nearly jumped out of her skin when a very cold, wet nose was thrust under her arm.

    "Inky," she whispered in a shaky voice. "You scared 50 years off my life. What are you doing in the house." Inky pushed his head under her hand, seeking her touch. "Oh Inky. You want my touch, like I want the touch of my Heavenly Father." Praying, Evie asked her God to ease her pain and her broken heart. She slipped out of bed and got to her knees, leaning against the mattress for support. Inky lay down close, his huge, plumy tail covering the old lady's cold feet. Weeping, Evie shed silent tears of the most utter loneliness she had ever felt.

    Inga had heard the dog get up, leave the kitchen and push the door open to her mother's room. In the silence of the night, it was easy to hear the almost silent sobbing of her mother. The ragged emotion Evie expressed was close to that of Inga's own sense of loss and despair.

    Inga was desperate for the sounds of Gunnar's voice and the strength of his arms around her. She had been so totally in love with her coach, she hadn't know there were any other men in the world. The horse wreck that they had been involved in, was a blindsided collision that neither of them had seen coming nor expected. The schooling practice had both riders setting up for a jump at the same time, unaware of the other. The result was two magnificent horses destroyed. Two riders damaged beyond repair sent to hospital facilities on two different continents. Now separated by economic restraints, there was no fix to the harsh reality of her life.

    Inga silently cried her tears into her pillow. It wasn't long before Inky had to divide his counseling duties between mother and daughter. He knew that being a dog was his task in life, and he believed in being the best he could be. His silent devotion was so appreciated, that all Evie and Inga could do was stroke the huge Newfey's head. It was enough for Inky.


    Will sank in his easy chair. It was possible that he might have overdone the work today, especially as he was fresh out of the hospital. His house sure was cool and quiet. It was actually worse than that; it was empty. Will made a sour face and hauled himself up out of the chair in search of food or drink. He had been correct the first time. His house was empty. Checking his watch, he had a half hour to get to the diner. Might as well, it was stomp out into the storm, or go hungry.

    Leta's place was not overly warm. The plastic door and window coverings not keeping the weather out enough for the grill and old propane heater to stay even with the task.

    ""Evening Leta, you got anything warm and quick," he threw his hat on the counter and slid on a stool.

    "Sheriff, I've got a bowl of leftover chili and one of stew. What's your fancy," the ancient cook looked to the lawman for his choice.

    "Both," Will replied, "I'm hungry. They try at the hospital, but blech!" was his reply.

    Leta's laugh was paper dry and dusty, just like her.

    "Where's Patty," Will was running down a mental list of possible persons that might have been spying on him and Ev.

    "I just sent her to the room to do her homework," Leta said without turning around. "I'll tell ya Sheriff, that child has really changed from what she was. Her mother must be a bottle of poison without a stopper, to have treated that sweet gal the way it sounds like she did."

    "We brought her mother into jail this afternoon. Your description of poison is a real good one Leta. She's a real piece of work, thats for sure" Will drew in the welcome warm steam of the chili and stew and dug in his supper. Leta sliced the last of the bread she had on hand, and lathered it well with butter. She used a spatula to scoop out the last piece of cake, and the sliver of apple pie she had intended to eat herself. That Will, he needed a wife for sure. He worked too hard and long for people that didn't appreciate him nor the dangers of the job.


    It was 9pm before Ev realized he was hungry. Too late to get to the diner, he'd have to nuke one of those premade sandwiches for himself and the esteemed prisioner he held. Betty was not appreciative of Ev's efforts and let him know her opinion. Ev placed the warmed sandwich on the shelf and went back into the office. He smiled as he called home. He needed to hear Cheryl's voice.

  16. #136
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    Thanks for the new chapter and I hope all is well with your husband.

  17. #137
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    SW Louisiana
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    Thank you and I do hope Mr. Pac is feeling much better.

  18. #138
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    State WA
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    Oh Pac thank you, you safe safe and warm.

  19. #139
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    the boonies of Alaska
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    I chuckle most every chapter, and it brightens my day. Thank you so much. I think Inky will need a wife, too.
    It's later than you think!
    (Fr. Seraphim Rose)

  20. #140
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    Aug 2011
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    the pacific north west
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    #38
    Will finished his supper, paid his bill and left the diner. Out of habit he scanned the area, checked the ground white with snow. What! The fresh tracks were the same configuration as those that had been at the roadhouse. Damn! Someone has been shadowing him while he had been eating, his 6th sense had failed him royally. Will hoped his exhaustion was his only excuse, other wise he'd normally be dead with such inattention to detail.

    Will left his hand on the butt to his service revolver, as he walked home. The wind was blowing a moderately heavy snowfall into blizzard proportions by the time Will reached his house. It had been one long, fine day, he mused as he rolled into bed.


    Cheryl enjoyed her talk with Ev. It was thoughty of him to call. She had fed the stock early, checked the water, gathered the eggs and in general checked the farm before retreating to the warm house. She had watched the kids and Inga tromp home a head of the storm; before the weather obscured the view of the Hanson house. So Cheryl knew the neighbors were secure for the night.
    She finished loading the canner with the last batch of deer meat she needed to process.

    Cheryl had emptied the freezer of the hastily frozen venison and canned 4 loads, that kept her up to snuff on the meat. She and Ev had talked about hunting another deer for the Hanson's; with him taking Brett and Benny on the trip for experience. Ev said he sure would feel better if he knew Evie and her crew had meat in reserve. Cheryl agreed and volunteered to help the neighbors when the meat was available.


    Up early, Will made a few phone calls before heading over to the office. Ev was eating one of those institutional breakfast glops that he had warmed in the microwave. Will inquired about their 'guest' and Ev made a grimace before answering. "Oh, she's still there, for sure. What a harridan. She's a B----."

    Will agreed heartedly. Pouring himself a cup of freshly made coffee, Will briefed Ev on the previous night's footprints and what they expected to go down during the late night meeting they were so carefully orchestrating. Will sent Ev to the hospital to check on Kevin, and then go home to sleep.

    Will moseyed down to the diner, just as Leta was opening up. Patty was working her little tail off slinging hash, pouring coffee and supervising a huge mound of crisping hash browns on the grill. She sassed a couple of county road workers, but smiled when they left a nice tip. Soon, Leta was hollering from the kitchen that she'd better get on to school, and Patty made a final round with the coffee pot and grabbed her books. "Wish me luck," Patty called out to Leta. I've got a math test today."

  21. #141
    You know, it is a wonderful thing when someone cares for you. It really makes a difference.


    WAB
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."---- Robert A. Heinlein

  22. #142
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    State WA
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    Thank you Mrs. pac very much I injoyed it as usual .

  23. #143
    Pac, how's your husband? I'm praying for him and you - tough to be in the hospital this time of year.... but he probably won't have much company - and that's a good thing!

  24. #144
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    Thank you all for the prayers, thoughts and kind wishes. Hubby comes home this aft. He hit his head, and there were concerns for stroke and aneurysms, but all seems stable now. Pac.

  25. #145
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    I'm glad he's coming home today!!!
    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -- Maya Angelou

  26. #146
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    Wonderful news indeed Pac. We will continue to keep both of you in our thoughts and prayers this wonderful holiday week.

    Thanks for the new post. Patty needed someone to believe in her and the dusty old Leta is just the person. Will's stalker apparently does not have ill intention or he would be dead by now but someone certainly wants to know what he finds. Ev and Cheryl are everyone's dream neighbors.
    Last edited by ejagno; 12-19-2011 at 07:29 PM.

  27. #147
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    #39
    Betty dried her crocodile tears, her last outburst had not gained her any leverage she could use in her predicament. Now she needed to rethink her strategy, and figure out how she could get a message outside this hick jail. It was next to impossible to move around with her leg as it was, ah yes. She needed crutches and medical attention, that's what she could do. What a splendid plan to hatch all by herself in such a stressful situation. Betty patted herself on the back. Well deserved, she thought smugly. Well deserved.

    When Will came in with another one of those hideous breakfast sandwiches, Betty asked for a doctor. Emphasizing the increasing heat and discomfort she was experiencing, her terror over the increasing likelihood she had an infection.

    Will wanted to kick her peaked little --- for causing such trouble at this moment. He had so much work to do to set up for tonight, he didn't have time to deal with her. But, there was no choice. Ev had gone home to sleep, Kev was still out of commission, so that left him.

    Will called over to the hospital to see when Doc Phillips had time to examine Betty, and found out it wouldn't be until noon. That left a sour taste in his mouth, but swallowing was the only option. He had to take her over there now, to keep her out of the loop when the State Police rolled into town.

    It wasn't easy to move the weak, almost fainting woman that moaned in such pain she could barely walk. Will was 100% certain it was all an act, but didn't have time to ferret out the truth. Nurse Donna looked like she had a lemon for lunch, when Will brought Betty in the door. The white, starched uniform was vibrating in total contempt for the phony dramatic act Betty was dripping all over the clean hospital floor.

    "Put her in the far room, I want her confined, and if she yells, I'm going to use a gag, understand?" Donna snapped in anger. That woman was just what she didn't need, in such strained conditions.

    Will nodded, and escorted Betty through the ER doors into the 'special' room reserved for violent or aggressive patients. Donna locked the door, listening to Betty's howls of rage.

    "Oh, isn't she a special one," the sarcasm was thick and aimed well. "A real peach of a woman." Nurse Donna was a good judge of character, and she had Betty judged, hanged and buried.

    Will patted Donna on the shoulder and gave her a wink. "Good luck," he said rapidly, as he scooted out the door.

    "Coward," she hurled after him.


    Ev drove in his driveway, stopped with a screech; and hit the porch on a run. He rushed in the door and scooped up his pretty wife and swung her around.

    "Hello there beautiful, your particular pretty this fine morning," he managed a thick, but bad sounding Irish brogue."

    Cheryl fell into instant character, "go on with ya, I bet you say that to all your girls," she retorted with an equally bad brogue.

    Laughing comfortably together, Cheryl moved to put coffee and cinnamon rolls on the table. "Just a minute and I'll have sausage and eggs ready."

    "I'm all for that. I'm so hungry for decent food I could eat a bear, hide and all." Ev took a big gulp of the strong, hot coffee and then a bite of a cinnamon roll you had to keep your hand on, or it would float off the plate." Lordy Cheryl, I don't tell you often enough how wonderful you are. You can't believe what I had to eat in town."

    "Oh you poor, miserable puppy," Cheryl had to work hard to keep the laughter under control. Ev could always do that to her. He made her days and her nights. She playfully swatted at him, and then twirled out of his reach. "No, no, no fussing the cook," she warned, "that leads to burned food."

    Ev wolfed down his breakfast and flopped on the bed for a quick nap. Cheryl went out to do the morning chores.


    The snow insulated the Hanson household noise inside; until Inga thought her head would explode. "OK, every one is going to be quiet for one hour. There will be NO NOISE. You kids are out of control. Find something silent to do, or go outside," she had to shout above the din. The children stopped to look at her like she had horns.

    "Yes Ma'am," four children chimed in together. Brett,Benny and Inky went outside to wreak havoc on the snow, barn and life in general. Clora and Sandra opted to wash their hair, and disappeared into the bathroom.

    Evie shuffled in from the bedroom, looking like a woman that had the flu. She checked for hot water and went for a mug and tea.
    "You would never believe how much those kids have changed," Evie said absently. "They were starved, would hardly talk, and the youngest two so sick their little bodies had almost ceased to function." she stirred a bit of sugar into the mug. "It's a joy to hear their happy play, even though it drives me batty at times."

    Brett and Benny got the brilliant idea to make a snow fort in front of the barn door. They worked for hours busy as bees creating a Fort Knox-Hanson-Apperton. They sent for ammunition, supplies, weapons and their famous guard dog Inky, stood at the ready.

    Excelling as a guard dog, Inky woofed when Ev's pickup fired up and headed into town. Brett and Benny showered the 'invader' with snowballs until their arms were tired of throwing. "We saved the fort," Benny petted his brave dog. "Good work men, we can go in for lunch."

  28. #148
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    This story is just plain wonderful. Thank you PNW

  29. #149
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    Love it, thank you so much.

  30. #150
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    Where fog and sun meet.
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    Wow! What a great and inspiring story.
    Goes to show ya that we cannot choose are relations, we need to learn to
    love them regardless of their ills and be willing and able to kick them to the
    curb if need be. And from experience that is not an easy thing to do.
    Praying that your beloved husband is able to come home and be on the mend,
    and will suffer no ills from his fall.
    May you be strengthened and encouraged as you care for him at home.
    May you be provided for in all your needs and be able to rest and enjoy the
    wonders and miracles of the week. Amen, Sis

  31. #151
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    #40

    After lunch, Captains Brett and Benny recruited/conscripted new recruits from the ranks. Like all new recruits, Clora and Sandra were unused to taking orders and a little balky. Once threatened with dire circumstances, they straightened up and prepared the necessary ammunition like good rank and file soldiers.

    The commander in chief and the Lieutenant Major, decided that a protective wing was needed and all hands on deck performed the work. They created a cover for the all important supply chain moved by the dog corps under duress. Happy children played all afternoon, until the waining sun chilled their fingers to the bone. Tromping in the house, they brushed the snow off and hung wet outer clothes around the stove.

    Inga had made a big pot of chili and cornbread. It was a great combination for starving children. It didn't appeal to Evie and she made do with a small hunk of cornbread. As long as it went down, and more importantly, stayed down; she was happy.

    Inga found she was happy to cook and create food for people's enjoyment. It nurtured a need that she hadn't been aware of, and it mystified her that something so mundane was so satisfying. She had created a list of possible meals containing beans and rice, heavily invested in the French flavor she was accustomed to eating. Not the haute cuisine. but rustic country flavor.

    Evie thanked her daughter for the wonderful meal. Kids sat languishing in their chairs, tummy's so full they couldn't move without groaning. Evie made mint tea for everyone to help settle overfull stomach's, and the kids happily chatted about their afternoon.


    The Sheriff's office rapidly filled with law enforcement agents in various stages of undercover dress. They were going to simulate roadhouse patrons, to control the level of civilian involvement in a huge drug bust. A major player was supposed to show late with a 'considerable shipment', as it was put to Will on the phone.

    Ev was going to be the only non LE on the premises, but had the duty to kill the lights on signal. Safely removed from the action, he had the best knowledge of the bar, due to his considerable snooping for hidden items.

    It was Will's intention to open the bar at it's usual time, in case they were being observed. The ruse worked well, the buy went down without a hitch, and the 'major player' arrested with only one shot that went wild into the ceiling.

    Officers congratulated themselves on a job well done, as they relaxed with sodas and pizza's after the raid. It was Ev, coming in from the back room, that was hit on the arm by a wet splat that looked for all in the world like, blood.

    Looking for the source of the liquid, he glanced at the ceiling. There around the bullet hole was a red stain, slowly slipping through the splintered wood.

    Hollering for Will, he pointed up at the ceiling and brought the room of noisy chatter to a silent standstill. Blood that red and fresh, came from one source only.

    The problem, there were no stairs leading upstairs. No hint of an upstairs if they could find a way up there. The room full of sharp puzzle solvers, swarmed over the roadhouse. Eventually, the State police Sargent dressed like a expensive bar girl, stood up on her 4" stiletto's and lost her balance against the bar.

    The counter balanced, polished mahogany bar moved slightly, giving the officer's the clue they needed to find the hidden set of stairs. Will drew his weapon and carefully started up the stairs, moving silently and carefully poked his head into the room.

    It was the control room for the bar. Two way mirrors, remote TV's and the ability to monitor every patron below; plus one very dead looking woman slumped in a chair, the source of the blood.

    The angle of the drug king pin's shot had capped the woman in the forehead. She was real dead. Suddenly the source of the last two keys made themselves known. Two huge safe's stood in the corner. All Will could think was more; what a jolt out of the blue.

    The woman was an unknown. No ID on the body, no info anywhere around. The safe's were like falling into Blackbeard's treasure trove. What a yummy situation. One safe full of drugs, the other full of copious amounts of money. Obviously Claude had been a player in a major pipeline distribution.

    Hooping and hollering, the excitement of the men and women present was palatable. This was more than a major bust, it was over the top dream of most of the team. They had taken down a major, major supply route.

    It took until late into the night to inventory the millions of dollars packed into the safe. The drugs were carefully packed away, with an elaborate guard setup to prevent slip up's along the way. With the total amount of cash and stash, Will was thankful the responsibility was out of his hands. He shipped it with the state boys and saluted when the cars drove off.

    "Holy Crap," Ev poured himself and Will a shot from an expensive cut glass decanter. "Can you believe what was up there. There must have been a million in cash." He took a healthy swallow, sputtering just a little as the drink hit his gut like a kick to his backside.

    "Closer to two," Will replied as he tossed back his measure of ultra smooth sippin whiskey. Hot fire flamed in the Sheriff's stomach. Damm, that was gonna bother what he suspected was a beginning ulcer. That was enough of that, besides, he was in uniform.

    Closing up the roadhouse, Will walked out into the snowy night, breathing the fresh, cool air. It was cleansing to leave behind the stale cigarette smoke stink and grab a lungful of invigorating oxygen. Out of habit he scanned the area, checking the ground and finding it empty of tracks. He had hand measured the size of the woman's foot, and was pretty well satisfied that she had been the peeping lady at the window.

    One thing about Claude, he had taken more questions to the grave, than he answered.

    Back at the office, his answering machine was full. At first Nurse Donna was polite in requesting Will come to the hospital, by the 10th call, she was very explicit in how he needed his caboose over there sooner than later. It was no surprise, nobody wanted to deal with Betty. She had purposely made herself into a person, others avoided at all costs. It bought her a lot of slack when she applied it correctly, and she tried it in every situation she encountered. Betty was a player, toying with people while she attempted to annoy them into acquiescing to her demands.

    Aside from all his ability to read Betty, Will hated to spend the energy dealing with her. Donna was dripping in sweat and practically crying when he showed up, slipping in the door with a cheerful smile on his face, he sauntered over .

    "Hello there Baby, what's a nice gal like you, doing in a place like this?" Will said in a low sotto voice.

    "Thank God your here," Donna tried to regain her composure. Rubbing her forehead like she had a raging headache, she worked to uncross her eyes and pay attention to her business. "Get her out of here. She has howled like a woman possessed all afternoon. Every thing was fine until we wouldn't let her use the phone, then she went berserk."

    "She's got a pretty good act down pat," Will explained. "She uses it to wear people down, chew them up and spit them out."

    "I can believe that," Donna replied spiritedly. "But Doc thinks she has a couple of screws loose. There's just something that's phony or obscured in layers, or slightly off kilter about that woman. Thus the crazy diagnoses. You can see the crafty intelligence in her eyes. Then she's off the wall about some small item." Donna Pingree just wanted to be free of the responsibility of Betty.

    "Well, since you won't go home with me, I guess I'll just have to take her," Will teased. Everyone knew Donna had eyes for Doc Phillips only, so he wasn't worried about her accepting. Betty was a frothed up winded nag, and went meekly back to jail.

  32. #152
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    ha! a mystery solved! love it!

    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.


  33. #153
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    Great find and Betty back to jail, you wold think she would smarten up but noooo, yeah she must have asrew lose.

  34. #154
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    SW Louisiana
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    Glad the mystery is solved but Betty on the other hand is a con artist that will have to be dealt with eventurally. I'm glad Inga is stepping up to the plate for her family.

  35. #155
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    W. Georgia
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    Reading this chapter was like revisiting a nightmare. I have an ex (oh thank you Lord) sister - in - law just like Betty. You could say to her we are going to do this that or whatever and the first words out of her mouth were always, "What are you saying". From there she would try to manipulate every situation and every person to her will, and wearing people down was one of her best techniques.

    We did find out later that bat &*%t crazy does roost in her family tree. Thank goodness no children came out of that union.

  36. #156
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    NE Iowa
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    Taking a respite from canning meat (the chest freezer went on the blink yesterday and it has been a steady nightmare to get it canned up ASAP) and found your two newest installments and what a gift! They will give me something to think about as I go back to my task. Actually, the previous story helped me yesterday when I found the freezer. I thought if Evie can do it, I sure can.

    Hope your hubby is ok from his fall and life can get back to somewhat normal for you. Isn't it interesting what life will throw at you when you settle into complacency and think you can coast for a while?

  37. #157
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    #41

    Ev yawned a huge jaw cracking sound. He reasoned he was a better farmer than a law man. He thought the dirt was a better job all the way around. Cheryl had the homestead all whipped into shape, so what was an enterprising man to do, except go hunting.

    Ev banged on Evie's door a little after 7 on a clear, crisp snowy morning. That itty bitty woman answered the door as Inky was drooling all over his hand. "Morning Inga," he spoke affably. "Are the boys up, it's a fine morning to go hunting."

    There was whoop inside and the scrambling of feet. "Hey Mr. Ev, do ya really mean it," Brett was pulling on his coat, hopping across the floor towards his shoes next to the stove. Benny was a little slower, but not by much. Inga was gently pushed aside as the boys rushed the door, excited for their upcoming adventure.

    Ev looked at the boys, trying hard to contain his dismay. Thin coats, shoes with no socks, high water jeans, no hat or gloves. He had forgotten how boys could grow and how difficult it was to keep them in clothes. Ev pursed his lips, there was no way the boys would last twenty minutes out on the hunt the way they were outfitted. He could see they were game for anything, but he couldn't in good conscience take them out the way they were dressed.

    "Hop in," he instructed the young men as he headed for his pickup. "I'll have them back a little after dark," he yelled at Inga who stood at the door with her hands on her hips, scowling in disapproval.

    "I don't think they should go...." was lost, as Inga watched the pickup turn around and head down the driveway. "Well!" she sputtered. "I certainly don't think young boys should go hunting."

    Evie came up behind her, placing her hand on Inga's arm. "Honey," she said softly, "If they get a deer, we could really use the meat. They are boys, and Ev is showing them how to be men."

    "But, still," Inga didn't want to let it go; "they are kids."

    "Yes they are," Evie agreed. "Brett is 10, we think Benny is 10, but we don't know his birthday. These are different times, and they call for different attitudes and abilities."

    "I understand that," Inga retorted with a snarky bite. "But they act like such ........" she flounced inside. "Never mind," she threw over her shoulder as she went to stir the oatmeal.

    Evie smiled at Clora and Sandra. "Good morning young ladies, I forgot to ask if you wanted to go hunting?"

    "No," they both said in unison. "Not interested."

    Inky woofed a stranger warning. There was a box delivery truck at the end of the drive, the driver leaning out the window staring at the faded lettering on the mailbox. Making up his mind, the driver backed up enough to swing into the Hanson driveway and headed for the house.

    The truck swung around and backed up toward the porch. Two big and burley men got out and unlatched the back doors. There in all it's former glory, was Inga's trunk. Beaten and battered, one brass lock hinge hanging limply, it's side held together with a double wrap of knotted rope.

    "Oh, what is that?" Clora and Sandra asked together. "Whose's might that be."

    "My trunk," Inga said simply. "It should have been here 6 months ago. I wonder where it has been?"

    The men shoved the trunk on the porch. They stood around, shuffling their feet. It dawned on Inga they were looking for a tip. Well, she had no money, and really had no idea what to do next.

    Evie took in the situation in a moment. "Gentlemen, I deeply apologize that we have no money to thank you with. Might we share our breakfast with you, I'm afraid it's the only spare thing we have."

    Both men looked at each other and decided to cut their losses. "Thank you Ma'am," they declined, "We have to be going."

    It took all four ladies to pull and tug the trunk into the kitchen. "What have you got in here, bricks?" Evie strained to move the immovable object.

    "Trophies," Inga said proudly. "My beautiful trophies of my life on the Concours de Saut." Inga said something soft and dreamy in French as she stroked the trunk.

    Evie and girls looked at Inga waiting for something they could understand. "Oh," Inga acted a little embarrassed, "sorry, sometimes I think in French."

    As if that explained it all away, Evie thought tartly. "Shall we eat," she asked the group, "before it gets cold."
    All during the meal, the girls eye's were drawn to the irresistible looking trunk.

    "I think I will have to empty the trunk before I can drag it further in the house," Inga thought out loud. "Mom, can I store the trophy's in the basement?"

    "Sure," Evie agreed. What was a little more junk in the basement, she philosophized.

    Clora and Sandra were eager helpers, carrying the heavy gold and silver looking winner's cups to the basement. The trunk was jammed full of the metal trophies and ribbons. Humm, these ought to be good with ketchup, Evie sniped to herself. What a load of crap shipping all this baloney home. What a waste of money. Ever practical Evie thought Inga's life had been a lot of nonsense.

    Inga had snatched up the envelope that had been placed on the top of the contents, when she opened the trunk. She needed not to have worried. It was in French, and Evie did not speak or read the language.

    When they got all the trophies out, there wasn't much left in the trunk. Three scrapbooks full of jumping victories, a pair of shiny black English boots, handmade to Inga's small foot size; a pair of schooling jodhpurs, two show pairs along with the hunt coat, and three white long sleeved show shirts. A couple of skirts and blouses, and nothing that reminded her of Gunnar. All the pictures, and small miscellaneous items she had kept as part of their twosome, had vanished.

    "When Ev brings the boy's back, I'll ask him to take this to the basement," Evie remarked.

    Her emotions in her throat, Inga kept her hand on the letter. She so badly wanted to know what it said; and was so terrified of what it might contain.

  38. #158
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,920
    I think Gunnar was playing her . She is no longer a winner so he went on to better pastures. I bet Ev went to get the boys some warm clothes.

  39. #159
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    1,864
    Ooooh, good read. Your stories just keep getting better and better.

    Yep, I'll bet old Ev went to get the boys warmer clothes then I'll bet they bring home a big deer to can up and keep them over the winter. What a great neighbor.

  40. #160
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,551
    #42
    Ev rolled the pickup into town. He had been listening to the kid's stomach growling. They were so excited to go hunting, they had skipped breakfast. He stopped at Leta's; the main breakfast rush was over, and Leta was handling the remaining customers herself.
    Brett and Benny were like young robins, all mouth. Ev shook his head as the two boys chattered louder and stronger than a roomful of people.

    Will was finishing his breakfast; he locked eyes with Ev and smiled at the bubbling youngsters. He took note of the pitiful state of the boy's clothing. Coming to a decision, he asked Ev to step outside for a minute while the boy's inhaled the sausage and eggs.

    "I have all that money you retrieved from the roadhouse; and I didn't turn it in. I plan to use it for the good of the community and I think we need to start right here." Will nodded towards the two boys. "Man, I can't believe the condition of their clothes."

    "I was gonna get them some boot's," Ev said slowly. "We couldn't afford much else, but it was a start.

    "Meet me at the co-op," Will said. "I'm on my way there now."

    "It's not gonna take those two long to eat," Ev chuckled as Brett and Benny both reached for the last piece of toast. Flashing each other a look of understanding, Brett broke the bread in half and they shared. Ev noted there wasn't a stray crumb anywhere on their plates. That was a hell of a breakfast those boy's put under their belts. No fooling around or turning up their noses. Those kids were hungry.

    The Co-op was busy, but Brett and Benny hung back, standing just inside the door. Each felt it was no use to look, they didn't have any money so why stress themselves. When Will and Ev beckoned them over to try on waterproof boots, the two boys were stupefied. Again, the look flashed between them; and Benny spouted off, sounding so much like Evie, that the grownup's smiled.

    "Hey, we can't take this and we ain't got no money," he mumbled; looking with hungry longing at the boots nestled in the box beside him on the bench.

    Brett ran his hand lovingly over the boots in his hand. Boy, it had been a long time since he had wanted something this bad, but Benny was getting all stiff and bristly; so he supposed they would have to go back.

    "I'm calling this one," Will said in a forceful tone. "I'm buying you hunting clothes, along with the proper reflective gear, and I want you to pay strict attention to what Ev teaches you. For the good of your family you need to have success as you hunt. You are young," and the Sheriff looked over his reading glasses with a steely gaze at the two boys, "but you will be responsible, and do as you are instructed. RIGHT?"

    The two young men in the making nodded their agreement. There was nothing they wouldn't have agreed to, right at that moment. Will scared them. Where Ev was always joking and happy; Will was serious and no nonsense. Like a Sheriff should be, they supposed.

    An hour later they were in the clothes and outer wear they needed. Benny tugged on Ev's sleeve "I can't take this Mr. Ev. I got sisters that have less than I do."

    Ahh, a responsible young man, Ev thought as he smiled at Benny. "They will get their turn," he promised. Benny had such a relieved look on his face, then he smiled. "OK," he said happily. "Thank you very much. You and me got to get together and figure out chores I can do to pay this off." he was very earnest and sincere, totally focused on the task at hand. Ev nodded.

    Three hours later Ev and the boys had a game trail staked out. Ev had been instructing non stop since they hit the woods and the boys were glassy eyed with hunting information overload. The daylight started to slip away and twilight oncoming when Ev held his hand up for silence. Brett and Benny could see the tips of the horns as the buck worked his way through the brush straight at them.

    There was the sharp retort as Ev fired, Half a second later another shot sounded and the buck folded to the ground.
    "Wow," Brett said breathlessly.

    "Yeah," Benny stumbled with a huge lump in his throat. The actual deed sure was a lot different than talking about it. He felt a little sick to his stomach. That had been a real wonderful looking animal.

    They followed Ev as he walked to the buck. The shot had entered right behind the front shoulder, and the deer had died instantly.
    Ev drew his knife and prepared to cut the jugular vein.

    "Get your lousy hands off my deer," the harsh growl was accompanied by the sound of a gun hammer drawn back.

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