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Premonitions
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Thread: Premonitions

  1. #81
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    #13

    "Trey, go wake up your Daddy. Go pester him for a while." Will dispatched Trey to find something to do.

    "He don't like me to do that," Trey baby talked.

    "What makes you think that I like being woke up?" Will questioned.

    "Oh, I dunno." Trey scuffed his foot against the floor. "I was just wanting to play with Willie."

    "Willie is younger than you and he needs to sleep more than you do. Go play by yourself until Willie wakes up by himself" Will ordered sharply. "Now scoot!"

    Trey clattered down the hall and banged open the door to his Dad's room. "HEY DAD, I'M SUPPOSED TO COME IN HERE AND PLAY," Trey announced with pride and satisfaction at the top of his lungs.

    Will listened to Brett's muttered response. It was mostly unprintable and not fit to be uttered in front of children, but that was Brett's method of parenting.

    Will went to the kitchen and walked into the warmth and enticing smells of bacon and pancakes. "Oh coffee, thanks. That little rascal Trey woke me up this morning ready to play with Willie." Will spoke around the scalding hot brew. Then he looked around to see who was near enough to listen

    "Ladies," he said low and with direct intensity, "are you both armed? There will be a confrontation as soon as Brett wakes up, and if I give you the high sign, I want you to vanish. I'll explain as soon as possible.

    Both Clora and Sandy patted their skirt pockets and looked at him hard. "He's one of ours, Will. Maybe you'd better explain now." Clora said without smiling.

    Will walked close to the sisters at the range and again said low, "he has lost custody of Trey. I have to take Trey in with me this morning and I don't want trouble."

    Clora nodded and then poked Sandy until the younger gal agreed. Sandy's stiff stature gave loud explanations as to how she felt, but she said nothing.

    Will had finished his breakfast by the time Brett came shuffling into the kitchen. Will looked up and nodded, and drank more coffee.
    He put down the cup and asked conversationally, "Brett, would you have any objection to showing me your birthmark? I'm working on investigating Sandy's parentage, and Clora tells me your mark is the most like her's and Ben's."

    "Huh," the sleepy bear yawned, scratched and lifted his Polo shirt to reveal his mark. It was more tattoo than birthmark, Will could see it plainly in the morning light. Suddenly there was more worry in his mind. This bit of information changed the depth and breath of the whole problem.

    Will quickly dropped the shirt and used all of his talents to be casual when he spoke. "Brett do you remember all those letters from the Pullen Law Firm? Trey's Grandparents went to court and got custody. The judge's decision was yesterday. Why didn't you answer the summons man, you lost by default. You didn't pay attention and lost custody. I have to take Trey into court this morning; I'd like it if you rode in with us."

    Brett just looked at the checkered squares on the tablecloth. It was his silence that was unnerving. He picked up his arm and let it fall back into his lap, accentuating his feeling of hopelessness.

    "Clora would you go help Trey get ready please. Just dress him and get a favorite toy if he would like." Will was a lawman and used to being obeyed by using his professional tone of voice. Clora obeyed, but not because Will wanted her to do so. She did because she cared about Brett, Trey and what they meant to the family, and she wanted no problems.

    The three of them loaded in the Sheriff's car and drove toward town. Clora stood at the window watching the car drive down the lane to the highway. She had seen Will carefully check out Brett's pockets and the waistband of his pants; a brush against the brother's shoulder gave Will the information he didn't have a shoulder holster on. She had also seen the birthmark that didn't look real.

    This was a problem to think on, as she went about her morning work. Mark came in from doing the morning chores, the milk in the pail still foamy. "It's warming up, I expect we will have a thaw later on today." He set the pail on the counter.

    "Was that Will and Brett headed down the drive?" he inquired.

    "Yes," Clora said wearily. "It's another big problem in the Hanson family. "Brett with his 'careless attitude toward life' ignored official letters from the court and Trey's Grandparents have obtained official custody. Trey has to be turned over this morning."

    "Hey, that's a real tough thing," Mark commiserated softly, "sorry to hear that." Clora brought him a cup of coffee and set it on the table, placing her hand on his shoulder. "Brett is a weak man, everything that has ever happened to him has been someone else's fault, never his own. He lacks personal responsibility, now it is costing him. Costing us all," she amended.

    Sandy flipped a hotcake on the griddle, it steamed and sputtered as it hit the hot surface. "I could eat three," Mark encouraged her to make more. "I'm hungry this morning."


    Ev knocked on the back door and stuck his head in, "hey, I thought you'd be done eating," he walked in and grabbed a cup for a gulp of coffee. "That little fella slept all through the night. There's so much cooing and baby talk happening down there it is bothersome." Ev reached over and snagged a pancake off Mark's plate and drug it through the butter plate. "Umm, good." he said with his mouthful.

    "Hey," Mark protested. "You're a friend, but I might have to reconsider if you reach for another piece of my breakfast."

    Laughing, Sandy asked the question Ev was begging to hear. "Would you like some breakfast Ev, we have plenty."

    "Why shore, we gots to take care of that bear and I gots to get Ben and the new family this afternoon. Gonna be a busy day and I need fuel to get through it all." Ev was serious as he picked up his fork

    "And it was a real long walk all the way up the hill," Clora teased as she filled his plate and dropped another cake on Mark's stack.

    The day was filled with work. There was a a bit of rest during the noon time and then it was back to butchering the bear.

    By supper time, Willie was tired and whiny. "Where's Dad, and Trey and Uncle Ben. Why is Uncle Wayne looking so mad, why is there no school today, what are we gonna have for supper," and he went on and on until the adults were tired and frustrated. "Where did Uncle Ev go," he started in once again.

    "Willie," Sandy snapped sharply, "give it a rest. We don't need any more questions."

    The crew was walking up to the main house when Ev's pickup turned in the drive and tooted it's horn. "They're here," Willie yelled, jumping up and down in excitement. Right behind Ev was Will's car, with a single occupant.

    "That does not look good," Mark muttered to Clora as they stood aside and let the vehicles pass up to the main house. "I've got to go milk, I'll be in shortly."

    Ev went down to get Cheryl and the kids, and Clora added more wood to the stove while Sandy set the table. The babies were displayed and admired right down to counting fingers and toes. It was a joyous time in the main house as all ate fried back strap, potatoes and the last of the lettuce and corn.

    "Will, how did the transfer go today?" Clora asked as she picked up his dishes and placed cookies in front of him.

    "Not well Clora. Brett is spending the night in jail for acting the fool, after I warned him repeatedly. The Judge was not impressed with his emotional outburst and even less happy with his threats." Will reached over to take one of the two goodies Willie had pilfered from the plate. "One at a time, mind your manners," he said quietly.

    "I didn't like today, it wasn't very much fun," Willie complained with his mouthful.

    "Willie Pendelton, you are almost eight years old and acting like a baby. I'm ashamed of your manners and attitude. I think you had better go to the room. I will be in soon and we are going to have a talk." Willie looked pretty resentful, but stomped down the hall.

    Will stood up and apologized to the clan. "I'm sorry for his behavior, I'm afraid we need to have a defining moment." and he turned and followed his son.

    Sandy caught Clora's eye and and widened her stare, jerking towards the disappearing man. Clora shrugged her shoulders and finished serving dessert.

    The new mama's ate and took their charges home, the babies as tired as their families.

    Later that night, Will got up and went for coffee. Used to the swing shift, he couldn't sleep until his system was ready, and soon he was joined by Clora who heard him come down the stairs.

    "What happened?" Clora asked quietly, meaning Brett and his outburst. Will didn't pretend to misunderstand, and he took a long swallow.
    "He's in a week for contempt, unless we bail him out. He threatened the Grandparents in a nasty manner and," he paused to wipe his face, "frankly the state he is in, I think he should serve out the time and cool down."

    "I agree," Clora surprised the veteran lawman by not opposing his suggestions. "Will, I saw his birthmark before you dropped his shirt. He's not Pete's natural child, is he."

  2. #82
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    Boy this just gets thicker and thicker, thank you.

  3. #83
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    #14

    "If he had a natural birthmark, it has been inked over," Will stated, contemplating his coffee mug. "That leaves several avenues to explore. First off, he may be her son, not Pete's, and maybe Pete knew and maybe not. Second off, I guess I don't have any other good theories. This is as complicated a situation as I have ever seen."

    Will stared at the mug a while longer. Coming to a decision, he spoke aloud, "I got called in the boss's office after court this morning and told to abandon any more inquiries into your family. Somebody pretty high up had their tail feathers galled that we were curious. Clora, just what in the Hell is going on here. Have you been honest with me."

    "Through Ben, you know as much about us, as we do," Clora said honestly. "Every time we find an important clue, along comes a 'friend' and liberates the item and it drops off into never-never land, never to resurface or be spoken about again. The paper that we found in Inga's trunk? We thought we were doing the right thing by bringing in Jennings and the FBI, now the authorities act like the paper never existed. That's why I never alerted the authorities about the diamonds. I'm just sick of all the subterfuge."

    Clora tapped her finger on the table, causing Will to look up at her. "What about you Will, are you a honest friend or are you some agent for a third world country out to do us harm? We don't know who to trust?"

    "No, I'm just a critter trying to make a living and raise my son. It doesn't seem like I'm doing a very good job of that either." Will was painfully recalling his son's supper outburst.

    "Will, I blame Trey for a lot of the mouth and poor decisions Willie has been experimenting with. I am sorry for Brett that he allowed Trey to slip away; but Trey has problems that you don't want Willie to have. That problem was coming to a head, and this just prevented a real fight." Clora laid out the facts.

    "All of this has been going on and I wasn't aware? Damm, I'm doing a poor parenting job. I've always had some pretty pithy opinions about parents that don't 'parent up' you might say, and keep better track of their children." Will leaned back in the chair and moodily stared at the window.

    "Will, if I might suggest something for you to consider?" Clora offered in a no nonsense way. At his nod, she continued.

    "Quit the force, come here and work the orchard and berries. Take Willie and work his tail off, right with you, every day. Instruct, demonstrate that you care enough for him that you are going to turn him around. This storm is going to be the end of the trees if they aren't cared for; just as this is a last chance for your relationship with Willie. In reality, nothing else really matters." Clora finished.

    Will stood up and took his mug to the sink. "I'll think about it," was all he said.

    During the next week, Will thought about her words plenty. When he was shot at by a loony drug addict, Will wasn't so sure it hadn't been a set up, from the fishy way it all came down. His backup mysteriously and instantly evaporated, and the supposed unarmed and patted down addict had a Glock nobody knew about. Will walked into the Sheriff's office and put his badge on the desk, checked in his service weapon and walked out in his civvies.

    That night at supper he warned the clan that something was happening, and to be very careful. "I believe they wanted to take me out, and almost did. Why, I don't know. Hanging around with this family is dangerous," he tried to make a feeble joke.

    "I agree," Ben spoke as he jiggled princess Anne, letting Lainey eat an uninterrupted meal. "For three weeks in a row, we have had surprise inspections by the USDA authorities. Most times, an inspection once every five years is frequent. So something is afoot."

    The cafe was shut down. Brett had gotten out of jail, stormed in the house, jerked out a few clothes and slammed the front door hard enough to crack the glass on his way out.

    Mark, had assumed authority of the household and changed the door locks, the gate locks and cleaned out the cafe. All of Brett's other personal items were boxed up and put in the attic. "He is not welcome until he apologizes for his behavior," he issued the edict, gathering affirmative nods from the whole family.

    Will and Willie trimmed and pruned the orchard for days on end. The ice storm ruined many trees beyond repair, and the job was hard and cold. Under his Father's care and instruction, Willie slowly became a responsible, personable young man. Clora joked that he ate a half a beef every time he came to the table, but she and Sandy cooked and Willie ate with enthusiasm.

    The winter slowly crept in, the weather as bad as Clora predicted. Wayne went to work for the county plowing snow and welding and fabricating repairs on the much abused equipment at night. He and Sandy had worked something out between themselves, and they avoided being alone with each other. It was a uneasy truce that they worked hard to abide with.

    Sandy went to work for Ben, taking Lainey's place as the meat wrapper, and Clora kept the main house and worked to keep them fed.
    Ev, Cheryl and family started grinding wheat for flour as a home business, eventually expanding into the cafe to take advantage of the stainless steel kitchen for the state inspections.

    In the mandated hair net for head and beard, Ev looked ridiculous and silently fumed but accepted the regulations. He started a route delivering five pound sacks of freshly ground flour around the neighborhood, finding out through the chatty people who need a bit of food help. The beans the clan had harvested were deeply appreciated when bags were delivered under the cloak of darkness. Everyone knew where they came from, but the thanks were personally delivered to Ev as he walked the route pushing the loaded wheelbarrow.

    Portland and vicinity was nornally cold and wet during the winter, but the unending days of zero degrees caused terrible problems for the struggling populace. It was a sign of the enviroment when the deacons of the church ran out of money to heat the building and had to winterize the plumbing and suspend services until the weather moderated.

    Lainey and Cheryl were thankful they didn't have to take their babies out into the cold, and gladly took turns with Clora hosting Sunday morning services at the farm.

    Will and Willie started delivering cut orchard wood around town. It was green and a burning hazzard, but it was better than being freezing cold to the people shivering in their homes.

    The clan had settled into a predictable routienes, talking when ever they got together about the winter it had snowed so hard when they were children. They had just about narrowed the year down to eighteen past winters when Jennings showed up for supper one bitter cold night.

  4. #84
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    Oh gads Jennings.

  5. #85
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    Jennings! Good grief! If there isn't a clinker in every chapter you toss two in the next for good measure!

  6. #86
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    This story is so good and I'm sure waiting to hear what Jennings has to say. Thank you Pac.

  7. #87
    I say if Jennings isn't straight with them, or makes trouble, they feed him to a bear. Or maybe two or three different bears. Just to be sure.

    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

  8. #88
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    #15a.

    Ev, Mark and Willie were finishing up the chores in the barn when Junior barked that there was an incoming visitor. Willie finished stripping the old Jersey with the last few squirts in the pail and asked Ev who was coming in. Mark was standing at the fogged over barn window, "I don't know who that is. Ev do you know?"

    "Yeah, that yahoo is Jennings, don't you recognize him?"

    "That's the dude that got mixed up in the robbery, isn't he?" Willie's voice showed his disgust. "Bad news around here."

    "Clora has been waiting for him to show up, let's hurry so we get in on all the excitement," Mark chuckled at the thought of Clora giving Jennings the hot pepper once over.

    Willie released the stanchion board and old Bessie backed up away from the feeder. Patting her rump, he deftly moved the pail away from her swishing tail, and said,"not this time sweetie. Better luck tomorrow." It was a game they played, Bessie was always looking for a way to dunk her tail or wash her foot in the milk pail.

    Mark closed the interior gate to the horse pen, and opened the door for the others to exit the barn. Turning off the light, he savored the barn quiet as the animals went about finishing their food.

    Ev coiled the water hose and disconnected it from the hydrant, letting it drain into the trough. "Let's go see what he wants," he muttered.

  9. #89
    I dont think Jennings was "too late saving the day", I think he was the one ransacking the house and got caught before he could leave. What do you think?


    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

  10. #90
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    For some reason I hear the theme from Dagnet playing through my head. LOL
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy in FL View Post
    For some reason I hear the theme from Dagnet playing through my head. LOL
    lol I haven't thought of that show is years. It fits.

  12. #92
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    The suspense builds, we need more Pac.

  13. #93
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    #15b.

    Dear sweet, quiet, lovable Clora was about to spring her trap. Just like Grandma, she wound the silken spider webs so close around her prey that they looked forward to being eaten.

    Long suspecting there were listening devices still somewhere in the kitchen, Clora guided all the table talk with pantomime gestures. The day previous, she had casually remarked to her husband that she had discovered a real explosive bit of information in Grandma's journal; and she intended to have the whole clan to supper to let them in on the discovery. "This will probably solve all of our worries," she said mysteriously, "and provide for us all for life."

    Now the next morning, she waited to see who would show up at the farm. Late afternoon Brett showed up out of nowhere, acting like he had been absent only a few days, instead of several months. To Brett's dismay, he was not welcomed with open arms, and because Mark was home from school dealing with a bad cold, he got a cold shoulder reception.

    "If you want to stay, I expect you to personally apologize to every member of the family before supper tonight. Otherwise, you are out." Brett wanted to protest, but Ben and Will backed Mark up, pointedly staring hard at Brett.

    Clora stirred the stew, listening to Brett gibber his regrets for his behavior. She nodded her acceptance, and nearly laughed out loud as he fell over Junior in his rush to the door. Smiling to herself, Clora got the ingredients out for cornbread and got them ready to combine.

    She had a hunch Brett wouldn't be the only surprise visitor, and she wasn't wrong.

    Jennings arrived well ahead of supper time, obstensively to 'get his name in the pot' for the evening meal. "Thought I would let you know that Dad passed away last week," he told Clora. "Dad thought a lot of Evie and fancied himself a suitor at one time, but she always had something holding her back it seemed."

    Plausible enough excuse, Clora gave him points for being inventive, at least. She stirred the stew once again. The family was starting to arrive, walking in from all parts of the farm, chilled but in good spirits.

    Darkness was falling when another set of headlights started up the farm driveway. Clora stirred the cornbread batter and set the pans in the oven to bake. She smiled to herself, and continued to act the welcoming hostess. Borg came in the house behind Ev and family, doffing his hat and asking to speak with Mark about some business. Mark put him off, inviting his Father to supper, saying that there was time later on for business.

    Clora and Sandy dished up the stew, huge bowls of pinto bean and pork scrap goodness, chunky thick with celery, carrots and potato. Clora in a devilish turn, made the one dish she knew Brett, Jennings and Borg disliked above all else. She smiled again, when they placed huge platters of smoking hot cornbread on the table. Reminding everyone that the white platter held the Southern style and the blue platter the Northern style of cornbread.

    Grace had been said when Junior announced that another stranger was on their way in.

    Kent Lawrence was late. He had never been to the farm and had gotten lost in the darkness.

    Clora smiled to herself. 'Thank you Grandma for being such a devious old gal,' she thought as she passed the bowls. "I love and sure do miss you.'

  14. #94
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    Thank you, good going.

  15. #95
    Spooky, who else is going to show up?
    You have many twists and turns that keep us guessing!
    Looking forward to more!

    Jeepcats3

  16. #96
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    Oh ho ho ... Clora ... you little dickens you. LOL!
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  17. #97
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    Well...I now have to head back to my Saturday chores and hope the net does not go down again! I look forward to the next chapter dear lady. You sure make my day with your posts.

  18. #98
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    I didn't expect so many of them to come out of the woodwork at one time. I need more of this story as soon as you can, please.

  19. #99
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    #15c.

    Supper was an exercise in patience. It was hard to stay calm when all a body wanted to do was shout out. Clora, Sandy and Cheryl picked up the used dishes and brought out the huge pan of apple cobbler. There was a pitcher of Bessie's cream if you wanted it, and the buttery crust from the cobbler was another of her products.

    Clora sent cups of coffee around and presided over the supper like a Grand Duchess. So far it was going as she had planned. It was hard to keep from looking at Mark for reinforcement, she knew Borg was smart enough to pick up on communications between the two of them. So she worked her plan.

    When the table had been cleared Clora tapped lightly on her cup, the ringing tone quieting the clan.

    "I am so honored that we have family we haven't seen for a while with us tonight. I hope they will be pleased with our good fortune as I explain what I found. It has taken me a long time to read through Grandma's journal, and I wasn't aware that she had found something very important a long time ago.

    The visitors along with the clan leaned forward as they listened. Clora held up a journal that had the front leather cover cut open. Placing the journal back on the table, she said "you can see where I cut open the cover to let loose the surprise, and here it is."

    Clora reached in her apron pocket and drew forth seven small glass vials. Walking around the table she gave Mark, Ben, Wayne, Sandy, Ev and Will the clear vials. Brett looked hungry as Clora hesitated and when she placed the glass in his hand, he snatched it away from her like he was afraid she might want it back.

    "There are seven diamonds in each container, all remarkably the same in value. There might be a few differences in cut and clarity, but the value is fairly equal. There were more, but they have been sold to provide money to pay the taxes. I have all the documentation to show you, so there is no subterfuge. I can show you in Grandma's journal where she had counted the diamonds and the total is the same."

    Borg, Jennings and Kent were riveted by the sight of the precious stones, their glittering eyes fixated on the vials.

    "Hey, I wanna know why Ev and Will got some." Brett was turning greedy as he clutched his stones.

    "Because we as the original children held a vote and decided they would. If you were not here to vote, that is not our fault." Clora stared at him, causing Brett to drop his eyes. She wasn't sure if he was actually part of what she had started to call the conspiracy, or just stupid. Suddenly she was leaning heavily toward stupid.

    "We had the stones appraised at two different Jewelers. They are worth about $3000.00 apiece," Clora continued as though Brett hadn't interupted. "You are free to do what ever you wish to do with the diamonds. They are yours."

    Almost to a man, they brushed aside their vests and deposited the vials in their top pockets. That little manuver exposed the shoulder holsters filled with weapons. It was an unspoken warning that the Hanson's were not to be messed with, a show of force that the men had figgured out, practicing in the barn until they had it down smoothly.

    Clora had done a good job prepping the family, the men had done a good job of heeding her warnings. The ladies had been briefed as to what was going to happen, so they wern't scared or surprised. But there were four people that were out of sorts that Clora had so pubically dispersed the 'treasure.'

    "Now we come to the most exciting part of the evening. It is not without coincidence that four strangers all pick the same evening to chance visit. It seems we should probably have an explaination, who wants to go first?" Clora asked.
    Last edited by PacNorWest; 09-08-2012 at 08:48 PM.

  20. #100
    OOOOOOHHHHHHHH, Clora has Evie's stare down pat!!!!!!
    Now she's got them on the carpet!
    How are they going to explain why they are there?
    Lainey's dad couldn't show up when the baby was born but could listen in. Interesting??
    Thanks for the new chapter Pac!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jeepcats3

  21. #101
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    Four strangers and one of them includes Brett. Verrrry interesting, and would you pass the cobbler please.

  22. #102
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    ACK! What a place to leave us hanging! Thanks, Pac...really, thank you so much for such a great story!
    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?

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    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.

  23. #103
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    #15d.

    Suddenly it wasn't so much fun being at the Hanson supper table. The women and children had vanished except for Clora that was incensed beyond reasoning. Standing at the doorways were the men with shotguns. Arms folded, feet wide apart and growly looks set firmly on their faces.

    "We know there are listening devices here in the house," Clora began, "and we know the only reason the four of you are here tonight is because of the deliberate tease we set up last night. I repeat...who wants to go first?"

    The men had blank looks, shrugging their shoulders and looking around in complete innocence. It was as fake as fake could be.

    "Then I shall start," Clora pulled a set of papers from her apron pocket.

    "Brett," she read, "as of yesterday, you were in a Grants Pass jail doing time for drunkenness. You were removed late last night and flown up to Portland. You were dropped off a mile from the driveway by a dark brown unmarked car and walked in. Correct?" Clora pinned her brother with a piercing glare.

    Brett held his impassive face, but finally gave a short nod, letting Clora know he was the weakest link.

    "Jennings, do you want to say why you are here, or do you want an out loud accounting going to the listening bugs.?"

    Jennings continued his farce by spreading his hands, palm open and shaking his head. Taking the ruse right down to the wire. Clora pinned him with a cold, angry stare.

    "OK, I shall read loud enough for every word to be heard. "Your father is not dead, you gave us a deliberate lie. Davis is in Shadybrook Retirement home in Eugene, bedfast but alive. Your children are in Tucson, cared for by a housekeeper. You have most recently been in Egypt, and were flown in to Portland by private jet, arriving late this afternoon. Your Washington State Patrol cover is busted, and the private investor that has been funding your hunt for the diamonds has been notified that you have been compromised."

    Jennings squirmed in his chair, but refused to back his look down.

    "Now on to Borg and Kent." Clora had so much anger in her voice she could scarcely speak. "You two have children here on the farm that love you. Yet for some reason you both have chosen to set that love aside and use those children for your own gain."

    The papers shook a little as Clora got a firm hold on her emotions. "I thought Pete must have been the most despicable father on the face of the earth, but you two are far above his level. You Kent have been chasing the story of the diamonds for years. You have missed cornering the men that moved the stones by fractions your entire career, and it has prevented you from using good reason. You sacrificed the love of your daughter and now grandchild to put your name on a byline." Clora's contempt for Kent rang out in clear tones.

    "Your wife is near death, and yet here you are. You are a sorry excuse of a human. Can you do the math? Have you worked out in your mind how many diamonds we have. Can you guess how many diamonds we cashed in to pay the taxes? Quite a few, let me tell you. We paid the back taxes, the present taxes and future taxes. Those stones were turned in for cold hard cash, and they are out of the network. And yes, we got cash for the cost of keeping tabs on you four gentlemen."

    "I have left you for last Borg. You are the most vile man I have ever had the sorry experience to come across. You have caused the death of so many of our family and friends. You have used your security clearance to intimidate us, demoralize us and confine your son in a mental unit until it was to your convenience to have him released. You are working for the German government, playing two countries against each other." Borg looked indifferent to her accusations.

    "You then brought in the Chinese, taking money for delivery of the diamonds you didn't have and couldn't find. You implanted, or had Sun Lu Wen implant the receivers in our family to keep track of us. Then years ago you tried to clean up Pete's mess by tattooing children and have them believe they were members of this family. It took us a long time to find Sandy's parents, no thanks to you.
    She is no relation to us, and neither is Wayne."

    "Is this about the time that your superiors create a diversion, so you can be removed from our accusations?" at that, Borg raised his eyebrow acknowledging her correct assumption.

    "We have US Marshall's waiting in the barn for the signal to come get you fellows and every word of this conversation has been transmitted to the correct people."

    Borg got a little more uptight as he thinned his lips. This was not going well for him and he saw his chances for the glittering stones fading away.

    "Then we have the problem of the mob; nasty men that tend to play hardball when they find that their pipeline has been disrupted by a lawyer's greed. They are looking for you Borg, and know you are here tonight." Now that piece of news made the man look around., checking for hit men behind every chair.

    There was two clicks, and the doors were filled with lawmen of every department.

    Later that night, when the lights were dim and the world had returned to normal, Wayne came to sit at the table. Clora and Mark smiled at him, their clasped hands resting on the torn cover journal. Wayne reached over and turned the book open, there wasn't a word written inside the empty pages. Clora and Mark had run a risky bluff.

    Laughing silently and holding their finger up to their lips to keep Wayne from saying a word, they reached up to pat his hand.

    "It was such a relief to find out I wasn't related to Sandy, how long have you known?" Wayne asked.

    "About two weeks," Mark replied. "This has been a monster of a problem to put together. I wound up missing my last quarter of school, spending my days up to my ears in all of this. Dad was on campus several times, and I thought we had been outed. But if he did know, he didn't break up the sting."

    "We didn't reveal everything we found out about Brett," Clora toyed with the journal clasp. He...he betrayed us all. He wasn't Pete's son and Pete knew it. There was no birthmark until Brett came home from ball camp with a poorly done mark. We also found out about Gunnar and his taunt to you, and the late night knifing. Thank you for avenging Auntie Inga, but I'm sorry you were in such danger." Clora said with a tired sigh, her smile not reaching her eyes.

    "I need a scorecard to keep up with all the problems that have been solved and those that haven't," Will walked into the room, looking for his late night snack. He helped himself to a cup of coffee and a cookie. "Some things never change," he saluted them with his cup.

    "Well if Pete wasn't Brett's father and Betty was his mother," Sandy came in the kitchen to snuggle close to Wayne, "who was his Dad?"

    Mark looked at Clora and slowly replied. "Borg was his father." Mark adopted Clora's manner of distancing himself from his distasteful Dad by calling him by his first name.

    "Oh, hey I'm really sorry about that one," Sandy offered sincerely. Wayne nodded, as did Will. They were all watching Mark out of the corners of their eyes, hoping that he didn't have a stress relapse over the whole mess.

    "Lainey looked pretty crushed tonight." Sandy said in her usual manner, brash and strong.

    "I hope she and Ben stay strong," Clora sighed, knowing they had hard times ahead.

    "Clora, I thought..mphhh." Wayne had his hand over her mouth before Sandy could finish her thought. He gestured toward the ceiling and she nodded her understanding. Mouthing 'I'm sorry', she leaned back against Wayne.

    "We are getting married," Sandy bossed Wayne when he didn't seem inclined to speak up. "We would like to live in the third house, putting dibs on it before Will gets any ideas." she smiled at Will, but was all serious business.

    "Sandy, I haven't had the opportunity to speak with Ben, and don't be so bossy and in a hurry." Wayne protested. "I" and he emphasized the I, "want to do this right."

    Pretending to pout, Sandy got up and flounced out of the room, stopping to give Wayne a naughty look and a 'come hither' crook of her finger.

    "Not in this house," Clora said sternly. "First things first." she warned to Sandy's laughter.

    "I don't think you were ever young," Sandy complained as she walked up the stairs by herself.

    "I'm going to the barn, I gotta have a quiet way to think about all of this," Wayne got up and then turned and said "thanks for all your hard work." and walked out the back kitchen door, taking Junior with him.

    Will stood up and muttered, "that's my clue to hit the sack, morning will be here soon enough."

    Mark and Clora banked the fire and turned off the lights, then walked wearily toward their bedroom.


    Outside, the man with the mint tin in his pocket, flashed eyes filled with hatred as the lights went out in the main house. He jiggled the tin in his pocket to keep his thoughts firmly on the reason he was there and what he needed to do.

  24. #104
    Clora should have been a lawyer! Pac, this was just AWESOME!!!!

    Bad
    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

  25. #105
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    Egads, the only one outside is Wayne. What a chapter, fantastic! Thank you Pac.

  26. #106
    Wow!!!!!!!
    WHo is the guy on the outside connected to?
    What a ride!

    Jeepcats3

  27. #107
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    Here I thought you were wrapping things all up neatly and was panicking because you were finishing the story and you throw us yet another twist, lol. Great job!
    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.

  28. #108
    Ok that's leaves me with a few questions. Did the two children actually die in the earlier episodes or were they spirited away? Who are the parents of Sandy and Wayne? Were those parents aware of what was going on or were they "disappeared" as children?

    I'll wait with the questions on our lurker since they will probably resolve themselves.

    And Brett is an idgit. He had family that would have accepted him regardless of his blood and he threw away that family and his son.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

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  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deena in GA View Post
    Here I thought you were wrapping things all up neatly and was panicking because you were finishing the story and you throw us yet another twist, lol. Great job!
    LOL! Me too Deena. I was gratified to see how Clora put everything together and sprang (sprung?) the trap on the 4 slimeballs but part of my brain was going "Noooooo, not the END!"
    Visit me on Etsy: ModernMaille

  30. #110
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    I had to wrap up some of the loose thread ends before I forgot what I had planned for their ending. I'm getting older..you know!! LOL.

  31. #111
    Ok, I think I'm gonna need a list of who is whose kids.... lol!

  32. #112
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    OK, I was starting to have DTs trying to get everything straight and still not sure I do. LOL! Glad there is still more to come on this clan while I'm still trying to untangle the web of lives that were woven all around them.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  33. #113
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    OHH NOO not the man with the tin, ee gads girl,, you sure can do a cliff.

  34. #114
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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought OH NOOOOOOOOSSSS its the end.....

    I never thought I would be relieved to see the guy with the mint can again, but I was.
    "Never let a dog watch your food or the government watch your money."
    – Barry M. Goldwater, Jr

  35. #115
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    #16a.

    Sandy sat at Lainey's kitchen table cooing to baby Anne. Lainey was heating water for tea, looking forward to washing her hair while Anne was occupied.

    "I think you should go ahead and challenge the SAT's," Lainey hollered from the sink, the water rushing over her long brown hair as she scrubbed hard, the lather foamed and swirled down the drain. She rinsed until the hair squeaked between her fingers and then shut the water off.

    "Ohh, that feels so good," she said with genuine pleasure. "Now, when are you going to enter nursing school? Sandy you are treading water, get going girl. Use your diamond money to pay for schooling and do something real positive for yourself." Wrapping her hair in a towel to dry, Lainey pulled the kettle and filled two mugs with hot water and mint tea.

    "That sounds suspiciously like you and Ben have been discussing me," Sandy grumbled without too much rancor.

    "Yup, and if you need any more suggestions, just ask" Lainey laughed, watching Anne turn her head to find her mother.
    "Smart little cookie, isn't she?" Lainey bragged, smiling and rubbing the moisture from her hair.

    "Probably more like her mother than her father," Sandy tickled Anne under the chin, enjoying the new baby lotion smell.

    Lainey started combing out at the ends, working up until she had the wild looking mane under semi-control. Pining it up, she smiled and said."now that was the pause that refreshes."

    "Seriously Lainey, do you think I would fit in at school?" Sandy pretended to be busy with Anne, but was really intently watching her sister-in-law's verbal and non verbal clues to the question. "Wayne really wants me to go."

    "Seriously Sandy," Lainey replied, "I hope you are more mature and responsible than the run of the mill high school seniors. "I am appalled at the behavior of the girls at church. It's,...it's as if they have forgotten the boundaries of modest dress and Christian morals.
    I have real problems showing skin bare midriffs and short shorts in a house of worship." Lainey shook her head, looking very troubled.

    "Ben and I have been discussing this problem with Ev and Cheryl. They are beginning to have problems with the crowd Christy wants to run with. Basically nice girls, but lacking in parental direction and supervision. We have," she drummed her fingers on the table, "been thinking of starting our own church with Bible based teaching."

    "Humm, interesting. Have you talked to Clora and Mark?"

    "Not yet, we know how she is about setting aside Sunday, and it means a lot to her to enter a formal house of worship. We have to come up with a format that incorporates a service for her and us also." Lainey took a sip of tea and rubbed her chest. "Does that to me every time. Please pass Miss Butterball, she needs to eat."

    "Well, Clora and I have been talking about baby Joey and his failure to thrive," The infant Ev had brought home to Cheryl had been named Remington, but Christy began calling him 'baby Joey' after the tiny baby kangaroo's that stayed in their mother's pouches. Cheryl wore the child in a sling constantly, the only way the baby would stay settled down. The name fit the child well.

    "Have you thought about feeding Joey? He's not making it on cow's or goat's milk." Sandy asked in her usual out spoken manner.

    "Nooo, but perhaps we should," Lainey shifted Anne to a more comfortable position. Let me talk to Ben," she nodded at Sandy.

    "Those goats," Lainey laughed. "Do you know when Ev asked at church, those two showed anonymously with a note attached to the Billy's collar that said these are evil goats, and to never trust them. They were so right. That Billy is the devil himself." She put Anne to her shoulder for a burp session.

    The delicate looking little princess had a burp rivaling that of a teenager drinking soda. Sandy hooted and Lainey looked embarrassed. "She does that all the time." she explained, rubbing her daughter's back.

    "Well, I have to make my mind up by tomorrow," Sandy referred back to the SAT question. "That's the deadline to sign up, but I have to go to the school office to do it. Mark say's I can ride into town with him. He really is nervous about finishing up his degree, but he was a trooper finding those things out about his Dad. We were on pins and needles wondering if he would have a spell, or something."

    Lainey nodded. "That was quite a blow to be sure. But he looked so relieved to find out the truth. Clora is so much like Grandma, isn't she? She will bring him through."

    "Talk to you guys later, I've got ironing to do to get ready for tomorrow." Sandy walked up the hill to the main house. The contractors the Marshall's Service had promised, were entering the house with their bug sweeping equipment. When they were done, Clora and Sandy commandeered the equipment and did a sweep themselves. Checking into their own special nooks and cranny's for the offending devices.

    The contractors found three devices, missed by the previous company. One was on the back of the range, partially melted, but operational. The second one in a screw hole on the underside of the table, and the third one in behind a switch plate in the dining room.

    When Clora borrowed the equipment, she had Sandy distract the workers so she could inspect her hiding spot for the private things she wanted to keep hidden. It was clear, and she was thankful.
    Last edited by PacNorWest; 09-09-2012 at 03:29 PM.

  36. #116
    Are we settling down to normal? No, that dog won't hunt. There is no normal for the Hanson Clan! Thanks Pac! Great update as always, and throwing the mundane day to day activities in there in between the bursts of. . .well, stuff. Makes you want to be a part of the family!
    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

  37. #117
    I too, wonder about the youngest kids who "died", are they really??? And now little Joey, is he a "plant"? or someone they can love without fearing him being removed later?? such a great story! thank you so much! I have really and honestly loved each and every one of these "adventures".

  38. #118
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    and then.......and then........and then........I can hardly wait for more. I'm checking all the time. Thanks Pac.

  39. #119
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    #16b.

    The end of the work week was a relief to those that had to leave the farm. The weather had continued to be extreme, freezing rain falling every day. The end of October was not ending well.

    Ev was fit to be tied. A new born calf had been mauled by a coyote, but lived. The incident just served to solidify a notion he had been kicking around in his mind. After church on Sunday they celebrated the day of worship with a group meal, Clora thrilled that they broke bread together.

    After dessert, Ev stood up and asked for a moment of their time. "I know when we got the farm, we agreed to carry on Walt's strain of Hereford/Angus cross cattle. We nearly lost a calf this week to a predator, the calf will live but that underscores a growing problem I want to solve. I would like to be released from the promise to Walt, and expand our herd's into Scottish Highlander cattle." He paused and took a drink. Ev was not the most social of gentleman and speaking in front of the clan made him very nervous.

    "These are horned cows, protective of their young and very hardy. They are also brush and scrub eaters and have a pretty good conversion rate of food to meat. Not as good as the herd we have now, but Walt's cows are naturally polled and defend their calves as best they can without horns." Suddenly Ev sat down, his spiel over and he was out of wind.

    Ben and Wayne shrugged and said "We don't see why not, we've seen the calf and it's a real wonder he didn't die." Clora looked interested.

    "Those are the dust mop animals in the pasture on the other side of Brown's road, aren't they?" she asked.

    That was all Ev needed to get enthused as he described the merits of the shaggy coated animals. "Besides," he added as he was finishing, " the real crown jewel, we could get rid of those dammed goats." There was friendly laughter, the family well aware of the daily battle Ev carried on with the goats.

    The latest problem had occurred when Junior had been butted once too often, and put the Billy up on the hay stack. The Billy had then jumped into the hay mow and had to be brought down. It was not a pretty struggle. Ev had been furious as he stalked in the house to shower. Sputtering mad and spitting invectives, he vowed to eat that goat, shouting his intentions above the sound of the water.

    Cheryl, when she had finished laughing, passed Ev a towel and ran out the door closing the ranting in the bathroom. Christy had looked up from her studying and asked what in the world was bugging Dad. Cheryl had trouble explaining, and Christy shrugged. Her parents were weird.

    It was an easier sell than Ev expected. The family was interested in the Highlanders and gave him the go ahead. Clora passed several of their diamonds down to Ev to purchase several cows and a bull. Besides, she chuckled, they had all had a run in with the goats and were ready for them to be gone.

    When Ev was finished, Ben asked for a moment of everybody's time. "I would seriously like to address the singing group that performed in church today." The house got real quiet. There were differences of church opinion on the almost shocking display that had happened.

    The all girl chorus was dressed in black leather outfits, short skirts and low cut vests with no shirts. Their movements were bordering on the suggestive to older members and the Pastor's daughter was the lead singer. Their song was a 'younger generation' type of music designed to bring the youth into the fold.

    "I was uncomfortable in my house of worship today," Ben continued. "But not in the way I needed. If Pastor gives a sermon that touches a nerve that I need to attend to, that is one thing, but I feel the spectacle today was out of line. There was nothing wrong with the song lyrics, they were appropriate. The costumes the girls were wearing were not." Ben looked up and down the table, letting the family see how concerned he was.

    "Lainey and I do not feel that is the way we want to raise our daughter. Starting next Sunday we are going to have a Bible based service in our home and you are all invited."

    "I for one am overjoyed," Cheryl spoke up. "I want to attend church, but didn't dare expose Joey to so many different germs. I will be there."

    For the same reasons Lainey agreed, and on top of that, her daughter was a noisy eater and it was impossible to feed her without the whole congregation knowing what was going on when she demanded fed. Lainey was modest and circumspect, and it was changing the way she worshiped. She was beginning to dread going to church.

    Will and Willie agreed to come; Willie less enthusiastically than Will. Going to church was the only chance Willie got to associate with kids his own age, and he didn't want to give the social aspect up.

    Clora was really torn between the options, as she looked at Mark for an indication of how he felt. He shrugged, indicating that he didn't care one way or the other. "Let me think on it," she wavered, passing the buck on to Ev.

    Ev, who strongly disliked going to church in any form, looked happy. He however, was the father of a precocious preteen daughter that went to church for the same reason as Willie. To have a social life. So he looked up from his musing and nodded. That brought a burst of anger from Christy, who stomped out of the room.

    "Excuse me everyone," he got up from the table and followed his daughter outside. Christy had forgotten one basic lesson. You don't get mad and stomp out when it's slick with frozen rain. She ended up on her backside, with Junior licking her face.

    "Get away from me you doofus," she demanded, pushing at the dog. Junior responded with a playful pounce, spinning Christy around in a circle. "Oh you make me so mad," she yelled in frustration. "Get away!!"

    That bit of commotion broke up the discussion inside, the members carefully picking their way to home, heeding Christy's inelegant sprawl on the ground.

    Ev had agreed to milk that evening, Cheryl wanted milk to skim the cream for butter and Ev was all for biscuits and butter/honey. Any thing he could do to eat some of his favorite foods. It was a respite for Mark, who sat down to sleep away his cold.


    Mark helped Wayne dry the dishes; Sandy cleared the table, Clora washed and Will put the dishes away. Willie snitched bits of dinner as it was put in smaller dishes. Supper would be reheated dinner, a bit of rest for the ladies.

    Clora and Will sat talking at the table, letting Mark sleep in the living room. Talking low, Will asked if Mark was doing alright with the revelations about his Father.

    "He's shocked, and mad," Clora admitted. "He had a high estimation of his Dad's morals, and that got flushed. He is working through it slowly, and of course the horses get to hear all of his frustrations. Thank goodness they are there." Clora debated and then said "Will, have you thought about enrolling Willie in some after school basketball programs, or joining him in a night league? He is doing very well in our home school program, but we don't have the resources for chemistry and calculus math. It might be time to consider sending him to an organized school. There are some prep academies near here that are excellent. Your young man is growing up." she smiled.

    Will nodded. As usual Clora was correct. He could always count on her to be gentle and astonishing accurate with her observations.

    "OK, I'll talk with Willie, thanks for the head's up. He is turning into quite a young man, isn't he." Will said proudly.

    Will couldn't see the slight shadow of Willie as he started to enter the kitchen, back up and listen to his father's words; but Clora did.

    Willie backed away with a smile on his face, his Dad was proud of him and it really felt good to hear that. It was worth all the work he was doing.

    Wayne and Sandy clattered downstairs with armload's of bedding and clothes. Wayne was moving into the Tennant house and Sandy was going down to help him clean it up. Clora approved.

  40. #120
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    Thank you Pac. You've been good to us today.

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