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  1. #121
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    #16d

    "Say now," Wayne interjected, "don't you fellas get to snarling and biting at each other. Both of you have proved yourself to this family. Mark it's only natural we checked you out, after all the people that have turned on us, well, you just gotta understand. Now you Will, you kinda messed in your bed and stomped in it, didn't ya?"

    Both antagonists nodded, realizing Wayne was correct and probably had the backing of Ben in the matter. They were still not blood related, so whatever the brothers decided trumped what ever the others felt.

    "Back to the original question; do I think some one was in the house and cleaned out the cash that I supposed was there? Yeah, I do. They were pretty slick, but there were signs. Things out of place that were never disturbed, and I suspect that Agent Carsen has a pretty damm good idea of who it might be. Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I firmly believe it was Jennings that was in the house." Mark let the sentence hang in the air.

    "Hold that thought," Wayne cautioned, "I gotta go get Ben. He needs to be on the cutting edge of this."

    Ben was almost undressed when Wayne came knocking on the door. The shotgun poked carefully out the door as he growled "what?"

    "You need to come up to the house. There's some information you need to hear firsthand," Wayne said so seriously that Ben was motivated by his demeanor. "I'll be right there." he promised, shutting the door.


    The late night discussion group convened when Ben came crashing in the back door. "This had better be good," he threatened. "What's happening?"

    "Mark is telling us that Borg's house was entered and a large amount of money was stolen, and he's fairly certain it was Jennings," Wayne said in a rush to get all the info out before he thought about it. "And," Wayne added in a hurry, "He's sure Carsen knows all about it."

    "Spill it," he ordered Mark, looking straight at the man.

  2. #122
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    Thank you pac, as u see I ma always checking, I can read a bit but babysitting is taking a big bite out of my writing.

  3. #123
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    #16e

    "I don't want any crap from anybody." Ben said forcefully. "Give us the truth or I'm gonna drop you right in your tracks, either one of you. Mark you go first."

    Mark cleared his throat, "I was left a note that when I decoded, one of the messages involved Jennings name and the number 285, which is the way Borg referred to money. Is that definite proof, probably not, but it's as good a lead as we've got. The rest of the messages I haven't had time to figure out, but I will, and I'll let you know when I get it done." Mark sat down, he had his back to the door, but Ben could see the shadow of Clora as she stood behind the doorway.

    Ben had no doubt that if he would have raised his weapon to Mark, Clora would have shot him. She protected her husband by love, be it right or wrong.

    "You're next Will, are you still in contact with the Fed's or have you decided where your allegiance rests" Ben was merciless as he grilled the clan members.

    "Here," Will placed his hand on his heart. "I think all of my reports are carefully read by whom I don't know, but I can't control that part of my job. Certain members of the force are always asking casual questions about life here, real curious, real nosy like. That's the one reason nobody at work knows where Willie goes to school. It's also the reason I have been resisting the attentions of a lady at work; I don't want any information leaking out." Will looked and sounded honest to the members, so they accepted his spiel at face value.

    Sometime during Will's talk, Clora ghosted back to bed, easing her aching bones into the cozy warmth of her quilts. Ben was happy that she wasn't there to shoot him in her delirium, pursing his lips as he pondered the next move.

    Wayne said into the quietness, "I'm sure as the hell glad she didn't shoot us," and that's how Mark found out Clora had been protecting him.

    Shaking his head at her almost foolishness, Mark felt the warmth of her concern down to the tips of his toes. Nobody had ever stuck up for him like that before, it almost brought tears to his eyes the depth of emotion that pierced his heart.

    "She's a very remarkable woman," Mark managed to say before his voice got a little tight and squeaky.

    "So how do we find Jennings?" Wayne wanted to know. "I don't mind crossing the line to get info from him, I'm tired of all this guff."

    "I think all we have to do is wait and he will contact us," Mark observed dryly. "He's looking for more."

    Mark yawned louder than he intended, "Hey Will, can I get a ride into town tomorrow, my ride is still at work and the old Jeep is at Borg's."

    "I've got to leave by 6," Will warned. "What are you going to do with Milo?"

    "I can tell you Lainey doesn't want him around Anne now that he has been here with Clora." Ben said starkly.

    "I'll take the little guy, I've got a lot of comp time coming." Wayne settled the problem neatly.

  4. #124
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    What a wonderful surprise to find so many posts from you, Pac! Thank you!!!
    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.

  5. #125
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    why are you such a great writer. Thank you for giving us a great story.

  6. #126
    Pac you are amazing how can you keep all of this straight, you have more rabbit trails going at once than I can keep straight and I am only reading it not putting it in type. Thanks for all of your hard work and effort in giving us this story to read. I pray that you and Mr Pac have many more enjoyable years together.
    Wayne

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by stjwelding View Post
    Pac you are amazing how can you keep all of this straight, you have more rabbit trails going at once than I can keep straight and I am only reading it not putting it in type. Thanks for all of your hard work and effort in giving us this story to read. I pray that you and Mr Pac have many more enjoyable years together.
    Wayne
    DITTO.... :>) Hate to always ride A coat tail, but I couldn't say it any better.

  8. #128
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    #17

    Clora felt good enough to get Mark off to work the next morning. It was Saturday, but Mark had weekend duty to make up for his previous day's off. Besides he wanted to get his Jeep, or he thought, Borg's Jeep. The clues were there that the Jeep had been searched, but Mark put on a impassive face and thanked Will for bringing him into town.

    With a wave, Will sped off quickly, needing to get through building traffic to be on time to work.

    Mark's sharp senses detected the rearrangement of a couple of unobtrusive items he had rigged on the SUV to catch this exact happening. So, it was either Carsen's boy's or Jennings was watching the house, or the ninja squad had replenished itself.

    The security camera on the outside of the house had been disabled, the light was steady, not blinking. Mark proceeded cautiously, sliding his entry card and listening for the beep. It was there, but a second beep a fraction of a nano second later told him someone was monitoring who entered the house.

    It was hard not to smile and tip his hand, but Mark kept his face impassive. Inside, he kept his cold hard scowl as he stomped into the living room, fairly positive he was being watched or filmed. Sitting in a chair he projected the image of a man deep in thought, as his busy eyes swept the room for signs of tampering, or listening devices. Mark spotted one, and the way it was pointed let him know the house next door was involved.

    Mark went into the kitchen and looked in the refrigerator, the usual was there. Borg's Canadian smokes, his mineral water, the small pots of caviar and a bottle of grape pop. It was so out of character, the container of purple liquid, that Mark stared at it feeling the soda calling to him. Borg meant him to take the bottle from the fridge, and he did. Leaving the house, Mark locked up and drove the Jeep to work.

    He took the bottle to his office, his mind busy thinking on how to build a bug sweeper out of what was available to him in the traffic department.

  9. #129
    Thanks Pac
    Wayne

  10. #130
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    Houses bugged, bodies bugged eee gads what isnt?

  11. #131
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    I don't know how you think up all this stuff Pac, but I'm glad that you do. What's the grape soda got to say?
    Thanks for the new chapters.

  12. #132

    14

    Thanks for all of your hard work in writing this story, I have enjoyed every word of it.
    Cheer up: The less you have the more there is for you to get.

  13. #133
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    #17b

    Mark pursed his lips and thought hard as he fingered the bottle of soda. Casually, he tipped the soda up and down, listening to the clinking sound as he flipped through the catalogs of electrical equipment available. Mind deep in his problem, he finally hit on the clicker that allowed fire and police to alter the stoplights to allow emergency vehicles to travel through. He finally figured out how to alter the currents to pick up the signals emitted from the listening devices. AHA! he was in business.

    It was only then that he realized the pop was clinking. Not a sound normally associated with a liquid in a bottle.

  14. #134
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    Rut-Row...........................

  15. #135
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    Aww a secret in a bottle

  16. #136
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    Don't stop now!
    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.

  17. #137
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    #17c

    Stopping the tilting motion, Mark listened to the clink settle to the bottom of the bottle. Turning the shade of his desk lamp, he held the bottle up to the light and found the two sided, flat key lying on the bottom. Doggone it, he really like a mystery. A game he and Borg had played many a time, as the elder created scenarios to challenge the younger. There would be further clues on the bottle, and where the bottle was positioned.

    Mark used the bright light from the lamp to read the tiny print on the side of the soda container. Various alphabetic letters were scratched out in a random pattern. The clue to the message was in the corresponding opposite letter. Printing out the obliterated letters, C became T, and the message slowly became ledge able. It was the name of a bank and Mark guessed the key was to a safety deposit box.

    Walking out to the shop bathroom, Mark tore his deciphered note into many pieces and flushed it. Pouring out the purple soda in the sink, he jiggled the key out the long neck of the bottle. Washing it off, he attached the key to his key ring and then smashed the bottle with a hammer, swept up the shards and threw them in the large dumpster just outside the door.

    Switching on the buffing wheel, he used caution as he took the raised lettering off the key head. Returning to his desk, he went over and over what he had done, looking for a mistake, a slip up or a way for the key to be traced. Satisfied with what he had done, Mark went to work on the bug identifier. It worked so well, he made two more just for the practice.

    Playing with the de-bugger, Mark swept it over his work area. He was flabbergasted to find two of the little critters right next to his desk.

    Going cross eyed with caution, Mark thought about the morning. Had he slipped up and said anything, any audible sound that might give the unknown listener a clue as to what was happening. No, he was pretty certain he hadn't said a word. Walking out to the bathroom he swept that area. He found another bug in the bathroom and if he hadn't found it, he would have missed the hidden camera.

    Enraged, Mark walked to the shop and scooped up a finger full of heavy black grease. A quick swipe coated the lens of the camera, but for good measure he turned away before he grinned. Now, he wasn't sure if he was the target, or there was some sicko in the department that enjoyed spying on gentlemen in the loo.

    The day drug on in a slow, boring way. There were no traffic problems, the better weather had a lot of people out side, but the economy kept them from driving. At quitting time, Mark locked up the shop and headed out to the Jeep. He drove to a grocery store parking lot and slowly walked around the vehicle. There were two bugs, so Mark drove to a car wash and had to wait in line for his turn. At the finish where the car was hand dried, Mark walked around and removed the magnetic backed black tracing devices and tossed them in the water reclaim pit. Hopefully nobody had watched him ditch the bugs, but it sure put him in a great mood.

    Clora was dressed and stirring a macaroni and cheese with sausage supper on the stove. She had managed to wash the stack of dishes, and make a couple of pan fulls of cookies, but other than that she sat, resting.

    Mark stopped at the farm shop when Milo came running out the door, waving his hands. "I milked, I milked," he was shouting in excitement. "Uncle Wayne showed me how to get milk out of Bossie. She likes me, she gave me a whole pailful." There had to be the appropriate amount of praise for the boy's efforts, and Mark placed his hand on Milo's shoulder and said "well done, well done."

    Naturally,that pail of milk had to go to the main house for Milo to drink; and Clora had to hear all about the milking session and how good Bossie was, and how weird it was to squeeze her teats and have milk come out. Milo was beside himself with total joy, he was helping and it was a wonderful feeling.

    Wayne helped Milo carry the pail in the house, and Milo stood on a chair and watched closely as the milk was put through the strainer.
    Milo jumped down and then crow hopped all around the kitchen. He was so tickled with himself he couldn't contain it.

  18. #138
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    Hpe they can turn the bad guys upside down and very cute on Milo. Thanks Pac

  19. #139
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    Another bug infestation. Now we know what was in the soda bottle, so how much money is in the safe deposit box or is it money? Thanks Pac.

  20. #140
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    Thanks for the new chapters Pac. I don't know how you think this stuff up, but I'm sure glad you do!

  21. #141
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    VT,

    I have an evil mind! It turns in circles and normally leaves me totally bewildered!

  22. #142
    They need an exterminator! I'm betting there's money on that bank box, and maybe that fancy diamond to. Looks like Borg might have taken care of Mark in the end, despite his evil ways.

    Of course, he could just be setting him up for a fall from beyond the grave.


    I'm going crosseyed trying to keep up with the twists and turns, lol.


    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.

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
    Another bug infestation. Now we know what was in the soda bottle, so how much money is in the safe deposit box or is it money? Thanks Pac.
    Or is it the fancy missing stone that every body and their mother seems to want? LOL.

    Pac, I never say thank you enough. When all else fails reading some of your story parts can crack a smile on my concrete face.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isnít it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?Ē - Kelvin R. Throop III

  24. #144
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    #18

    Wayne and Milo spent several hours talking to Ev and Cheryl, bringing them up to date on all the happenings. Cheryl suspected they were there to cage lunch, and set the table early. Christy had fun working with Milo, now that he was eager to learn what she was teaching.

    "I think you're a neat kid," Christy told Milo, getting a smile in return. "That's what Auntie Clora says to me," he piped up as he worked hard with a crayon, trying hard to stay with in the lines of the puppy he was coloring. "This looks like your dog, what's her name?"

    "We haven't come up with a good name yet, not for her or her puppies." Christy explained as she helped Cheryl slice bread and then she buttered a small hunk and passed it to Milo.

    "Thank you," he said promptly, concentrating on coloring.

    "I think she looks like a Ruthie," Milo said after a while. "My daddy had a friend that looked like her, and her name was Ruthie." He looked up when all the adults erupted in laughter. Milo gave them all a puzzled look, and then went back to coloring.

    "Will and Mark don't care much for each other," Wayne tattled on the residents of the main house. "They had their hackles up and were circling, just about to tangle the other night. What a couple of hard heads."

    Cheryl put a large dutch oven full of stew on the table and plates of thick sliced bread. Bowls and spoons went on next along with a pitcher of milk and one of cold water. A table knife was stuck upright in the bowl of butter and Ev said Grace.

    Milo was yawning like a sleepy boy after lunch and Cheryl offered to let him nap in Ronnie's old room. Wayne nodded, and said "thank you, I really do have a lot of work to do in the shop. I'll come get him to do chores, he's good at helping."

    "He's no bother," Christy replied. "If Mom has something to do, I'll be here."

    "Thanks dear, I promised Ev we would walk up through the far North pasture and look at a cabin site he has found. He's in a hurry."

    "Dad's always in a hurry, I don't think he ever goes slow," Christy teased Ev. Ev just waved her off. "Grab your coat," he told Cheryl."let's make tracks."


    When Mark drove up the drive into the yard, that was Milo's big news of the day, he had helped milk.

    Mark helped Clora with supper, the bacon flavored macaroni and cheese was a big hit. There was a quart of home canned sweet cherries, and a couple of cookies.

    Milo jumped down and took his dishes to the sink, "thank you for supper, the milk was 'specially gooder than anything else. Can I go color?"

    Clora nodded, and Milo scampered off. She started the water heating for dish water, and Mark sat at the table. "I called the power company again today, bugged them about getting us power." Mark said quietly. "And there was something else, someone has been in Borg's house. I left clues in case that might happen, and it did. Clora," he asked seriously, "would you really have shot Ben?"

    "Probably, would that have bothered you?" Clora turned to look at him. "If he were right and you were wrong, I'd have shot you."

    "Fair enough, that's all I ask." Mark said with his smooth, deep voice.

  25. #145
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    #18b

    "Well," Clora backtracked a little. "I would have had to think pretty hard about shooting you, you are my favorite guy, you know."

    "If I need shooting, I can't think of anyone I would rather do the job than you." Mark teased, but his eyes were serious. "Clora, there are other events that happened today that I'd really like to not tell you. You don't lie very well love, and if asked point blank you always tell the truth. So in the scheme of keeping you and Milo safe, you can't tell what you don't know." Mark searched Clora's face for acceptance and then finally said, "If you have to know, I will tell you."

    "I'm considering my reasons," Clora responded honestly, "I trust you Mark. If you believe it is in our best interest, then it is." she turned around to finish the dishes.

    Mark didn't know if he was disappointed she didn't challenge him, or dumbstruck that she trusted him that much. She was a real confusing woman.


    Ev and Cheryl came back from their jaunt with disturbing news. There was evidence of several observation posts stretched along the North fence. Regular dug outs that had been recently manned. The tree plantation was to the North of the farm, and to the East was a wild, unkempt pasture that belonged to a corporation.

    Ben and Wayne had tried several times to buy the pasture, but the company had purchased it for the gas and oil rights and wanted a lot of money to release their interests. So it looked like a Southwestern Washington jungle with head high Manzinita bushes, Scotch broom and a carpet of young cedar trees. Ev and Cheryl scouted several of the well used trails, but backed off when the afternoon wained. They had their guns with them, but wanted better backup in case they came nose to nose with whomever had been using the posts.

    Once again the family gathered at the main house to listen to Ev's accounting of the day's trek. Lainey looked like she would rather be in an alligator pit, rather than in the house with sick Clora, and kept herself and Anne off to the side. There was no holding back Teddy as he tore into the school room to play with Milo.

    Lainey kept her peace, as she full well understood that when Clora had her baby, things would change rapidly. Clora sat off to the kitchen side, not wanting to cause Lainey any more consternation than necessary.

    Ben opened the meeting and asked Ev to tell the tale of his trip through farm.
    It was disturbing. They were being constantly observed by unknowns. That screamed danger in it's most basic sense. It was scary enough to make the members look around the room, examining the shadows for boogymen.

    The ladies unconsciously patted their pockets, feeling for their guns. The men squeezed their arms against their holstered shoulder arms, and tightened their hands around their rifles.

    Mark reached over and moved the lamps away from the center of the table and took then to the sideboard so no one was silhouetted by the light.

    "Once again it is us against the unknown," Ben thumped the table in anger. He turned and paced up and down the room. "We can't do anything about the people outside our fence, we don't control that property. So we need to keep them there, and need to figure out a way to keep them from 'touching' us. Suggestions?"

  26. #146
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    Excellent as always, Pac! Thanks so much! Now we need to figure out who is watching them now.
    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.

  27. #147
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    Thank you pac, this family doesnt get much of a break.

  28. #148
    Thank you so much for the great and awe-inspiring story!!

  29. #149
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    #19

    "I have a couple of suggestions." Mark was the first to speak up. "We have people watching us from an off our property base. So...the most logical thing to do is interrupt that view. My first recommendation is an excavator to dig a deep trench right next to the North fence. On top of the pile of dirt on the inward side, a railroad tie and 2x10 board fence. Not a perfect solution, but if constructed high enough, they can't see around, through or over unless they come to the pasture side of the fence." Mark walked around the table to judge the family's interest. "There they could be seen." he added.

    "Done by a fence company, the fence could be in place by the end of next week. Now the next part. There are infra-red cameras also known as game cameras, numerous ways to project a beam of light that when tripped would send a signal to the house, and or a way to electrify lines around the fence. May I also suggest that I be allowed to spend Borg's money on securing the farm. A fitting conclusion, don't you think."

    "That's a pretty spendy set of options," Ben finally spoke as they all absorbed the information. "Any idea of the kind of money we're talking about?"

    "At least 10K," Mark replied. With a searching look at Clora for her agreement, he continued. "Borg has left me with money, and as far as I'm concerned, I can't think of a finer purpose."

    "I can't imagine there being anything to dither about," Lainey said tartly. "I want my children protected, and a solid fence sounds like the key. I vote yes."

    Cheryl looked at Ev and let him know wordlessly that she felt the same way. Clora's look at Mark said the same thing.

    Wayne endeared himself to the lady's by saying "I vote yes. I get to working and I'm not in danger alert mode when I have to concentrate, so I don't injure myself. However, the observers may just move their operations to the side of the pasture. That's a long stretch for a bullet, but now days, the capabilities are there if you have enough money."

    "Then we fence the whole place," Mark said flatly. "The money is there."

    "Wow," Ev exclaimed. "Old Borg will be turning in his grave over his money going to help us." Smiling, he leaned back in his chair, a very self satisfied grin directed at Mark. "Are you sure?"

    "Absolutely," Mark said without hesitation. "What ever this place needs."

  30. #150
    Pac as always great chapters and story direction, how you keep it all straight so that it works out in the end is beyond me. Thanks for the time and effort you so freely give us.
    Wayne

  31. #151
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    Thank you this mornings chapter, great going to have a fort of their very own soon lol.

  32. #152
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    #19b

    Mark and Milo went to work early. Milo to a Sunday school type pre school for the day and Mark to work in the traffic department. Today he was the only technician in the building. He had pondered on yesterday's actions, reviewing what he had done over and over until he figured out he had left evidence of emptying the soda and working out the key on the bathroom camera.

    That was the first order of the day, find the camera and destroy the recorded evidence. It wasn't easy to find the setup, but that was Mark's former line of work. He found the old recording device, removed the cassette and put in a new one and fast forwarded the line to approximately the place where he had stopped it. The old cassette, he dropped in his pocket.

    Smiling to himself, Mark settled in his desk and checked the monitors that paced Portland's traffic. It was a smooth quiet Sunday morning.


    Cheryl and Christy lounged around after breakfast, until Christy checked the time and jumped up hollering, "Mom! It's almost time for service. Ev walked in from the shop, he had secretly gone to check Bossie to make sure Mark had milked her well. He had, Bossie was content. He laughed at the scrambling females in his family, and they flounced out of the room.

    Ev had taken to checking morning and night on his Highlanders, he was very protective of the shaggy little beasts and they were gentling as he worked with them. The cow was very accepting of his petting, scratching and extra feed. Her calf followed her lead. Sparky the bull was a little standoffish, he hadn't fully made up his mind about the human, but he liked sweet feed. Ev checked on the horses, and the rest of the cows. So far, it looked like a normal morning in January.

    Lainey and crew were coming out their door when Ev hustled in his, telling the gals that their company was on the way. Cheryl, as she stuffed her shirt in her skirt thought about going to a regular church, and the idea was certainly gathering favor with her. Christy had been lobbying for trips into town on Sunday to a church. Any church that she could interact with kids her own age.

    As Ben and Lainey got to Ev's, Will came chugging up the drive. Ben flagged him to a stop to invite him to church, but one look at the man's exhausted face had him waving him on toward the main house and sleep.

    The service was overlong this particular morning, Ben was wound up, speaking about leaving earthly treasures and seeking those of heaven. The kids finally brought the service to a halt, Anne demanded more breakfast, and Teddy was just plumb restless. The smell of the cooking roast overpowering the children's good nature with hunger pangs.

    Ev was surprised at his rush of relief as Ben started the customary ten minutes of silence that normally ended the service. Cheryl was sitting in her chair, looking lost in her prayers; Christy was jittery acting, she had forgotten to use the bathroom in her haste to get ready, and she was in misery.

    Ben and Lainey started the Doxology and all joined in. The service over, Christy retreated in haste, almost toppling her chair as she exited the room.

    For some reason, today's service was the turning point for the at home services at the farm. Ev and Cheryl had discussed the problem, Ben was struggling as he spoke the sermons. He was a private man and deeply uncomfortable expressing the emotions that came to the surface as he communicated his love for the Lord and the words in the Bible. Lainey would have spoken, but Ben thought only men should lead the service and she didn't oppose the notion.

    Wayne listened and prayed, but he refused to speak. He attended church because Grandma had demanded it of her children, and he had accepted the need for religion in his life. He had lost his fire and didn't know how to reclaim his belief. He sat quietly, but really sympathized with Teddy when the child fussed and wiggled to be free of the chair confinement.

    Ev would not speak, he felt he was stretching his ability attending the service, but he had promised Cheryl and he was a man of his word.

    When the awkward service was over, it was a relief to all involved. The silence afterward had Cheryl and Christy making small talk as they set the table. Lainey retreated to the bedroom to feed Anne and Teddy whined pathetically for the absent Milo until he had driven the adults to distraction.

    Wayne tried distracting Teddy, but the youngster wasn't having any of it. Teddy was out of sorts, having picked up Ben's tension before they left the house. The meal and the rest of the afternoon was a disaster. A simmering underlying tension was the most difficult day the clan had ever experienced.

    Later when they all had escaped back to their respective houses, Ev and Cheryl allowed Christy to call some of her new friends while they talked quietly.

    "It must be that Clora is the glue that holds us all together, sort of like Evie did." Cheryl speculated as she stared out the window at the day that was turning cloudy and watched the rain sweep down the valley toward them. "Here comes the rain," she announced needlessly. "It might as well rain, it matches my mood."

    Ev stood up to put another log in the stove. It felt so right to enjoy the afternoon with warmth and his best girl. Sitting together on the couch, he put his arm around Cheryl's shoulder and promptly went to sleep.

    Christy finished her call and turned around to roll her eyes at the snoring figure of her father. Cheryl made a shushing motion and Christy nodded and headed for her room. Cheryl was comfortable and soon she was asleep also. When it was time, Christy went out to milk. Bossie was right there, mooing for what ever extra she could finagle out of Christy, and Christy obliged.

  33. #153
    Thanks for the new chapter Pac, always a good way to start the week.
    Wayne

  34. #154
    Join Date
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  35. #155
    A nice interlude for the folks on the farm. You always manage to get loose ends tied up nicely in these little 'domestic' scenes, Pac, and that's hard to do, I know from experience.

    Love this whole story, and all it's twists and turns!


    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.

  36. #156
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    #20

    Mark picked up Milo from the daycare center. Milo was bubbly, excited by the interaction with other children. Mark filed that little bit of information away for further consideration, of all the people in the world he knew deep in his heart how necessary it was for little boys to play together.

    Mark knew he needed to speak to Clora about friends for Milo, and Teddy. They were lonely little kids in a sea of adults. Climbing the driveway as Milo chattered about Dan and the lions house, Mark smiled to himself. The Bible story made a great hit with Milo, and the youngster had a paper he had colored that had cotton balls glued on the lion's tail puffs.

    Milo hit the front door hollering for "Auntie C, Look! Look what I did all by myself," he was shouting, "this is what was in the lion's house."

    Clora was in the kitchen stirring a pot of something that made Mark very hungry. The sandwich she had sent for his lunch had been filling but he was hungry now. Coming in from the cold wind and dark rain, the house and especially the kitchen was warm and welcoming for the returning men.

    "Go wash," Clora directed, "use lot's of soap please."

    "Okey dokey," Milo was singsonging.

  37. #157
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    State WA
    Posts
    12,897
    Glad Clora is better

  38. #158
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
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    #20b

    Mark and Clora sat at the table after supper talking. "Clora," Mark held her hand as he spoke. "I can't tell you how deeply thrilling it was to come home tonight and find a light at the window. For so many years I was driven home from school by the chauffeur, the front of the house was dark, my supper was set in the kitchen. The housekeeper immediately cleaned up my empty plate and I was expected to go to my room and study."

    Clora made a small noise of compassion, placing her other hand over his. "Tonight, this old house invited me in, you were glad I was home, it finally felt like I was home where I was supposed to be," Mark's voice was a little thick and his eyes almost bright with tears.

    "Thank you Clora from the bottom of my heart," Mark leaned over to kiss his beautiful wife."

    "I don't think I have ever hated anyone with the violence I feel for Borg," Clora was almost crying herself. "If he wasn't dead, I could do the deed myself. How could he do that to you, how criminal and inhuman." she said hotly.

    Clora leaned toward Mark needing to kiss him once again.

    "Are you guys kissing again?" Milo demanded, "I can't leave you alone at all." he sounded so much like Lainey, Mark and Clora had to laugh.

    "Yeah, are you guy's kissing again?" Will mimicked as he walked in the kitchen. "Boy Howdy, what smells so darn good, I could eat a barrel full."

    "Grab a plate, help yourself," Clora encouraged. The meatballs in onion gravy over mashed potatoes with green beans and pickled beets were piled on the plate.

    Will sat at the table, "So what's current around here?" he inquired as he ate.

    "Unfriendlies on the other side of the North fence, and we will be having a family meeting tomorrow night to vote on a fence idea I have," Mark said lightly. "I'm going to use a wad of Borg's money to provide a solid fence to protect us from incoming fire."

    Will whistled softly,"that's gonna cost a pretty big fist full, you OK with that?" he twirled his meatball in a pool of gravy before popping it in his mouth.

    "Our child is going to grow up closest to the fence," Mark explained simply, "My wife and bonus kid live closest to the fence, that's my motivation."

    Will nodded, accepting Mark's reasoning. "There's still fallout about the ninja type dudes, the talking heads have to keep things stirred up and in the news. The Captain still has heartburn, along with his heart trouble, over the whole thing. He hasn't been very friendly, but that's his problem," Will was casual. "I'm not there to fawn all over his boots, and it bothers him."

    "Any idea who the the unfriendlies might be? How about any discarded evidence?" Will was curious.

    "Ev said the dugouts were there, but they practiced strict discipline about any litter." Mark replied. "You can ask him and see if he remembered anything else."

    "Much later," Will yawned once again, "I'm headed back to bed, I'm still dog tired. I'm gettin a little old for double shifts, the old body is old."

    "I don't know how you do it," Clora got up and put a plate of cookies on the table. "Has any one in the department come down the flu?"

    "Yeah, a good third of the force, and the rest of us are scared to death we'll get it." Will said, standing up and grabbing a cookie on his way back to bed. "When are they gonna get our damn lights back on?"

  39. #159
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    State WA
    Posts
    12,897
    woohoo new chapter thank you.

  40. #160
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    1,313
    Thanks

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