"Clora, come sit with me," Mark coaxed as Clora moved the last canner off the heat. The rest of the household was 'busy', and Clora welcomed the chance to sit down.
"Coming, can I get you cold water, or something to eat?"
"For heavens sake woman, just get out here before you get roped into doing something else." Mark sounded a tad impatient.
"Oh my, your highness, are you grouchy?" Clora teased, as she sat down with a small groan. The counters in the hotel were made for a much shorter class of woman than Clora was. She had to bend over enough to use them, that it gave her a backache.
"How can you stand to be in there with all that 'busyness' going on;" oh yes, Mark was real crabby.
"They don't know how nice it is out here in the shade," Clora leaned back against the house and tried to defuse the subject.
Mark reached for her hand. Since he had gotten home, he constantly had to reassure himself by touching Clora if she was near.
"Clora, are you happy?"
"Yes, I am."
"Why, how can you be, with all this work?"
"I don't mind the work. Right now there is a lot of it, but have you ever stopped to think about twenty years from now? Realistically, how many children will still be here? Either one or both of us might be gone by then. There is a chance that Milo and Robert will be gone by this time next year; Teddy and then Benny the two years later.
The children are going to start leaving the nest, and we will miss them very much."
"It'll be my luck that they like it here so well, they don't want to leave." Mark grumbled, clearly trying to lead up to some subject he wanted to discuss, and not finding the appropriate lead in.
"There is a chance TJ might not be capable of totally caring for himself," Clora was honest, "but he has improved so much since he's been here, I have good hopes for his future."
"Clora, what happened to my pack?"
"It's in the closet. We didn't unload it, but it smells so bad we put it in a big garbage sack to contain the stink. And I did go through the pockets of the clothes you were wearing and that stuff is in the bottom dresser drawer in a plastic sack. The clothes were beyond repair, as were your boots. Did you find out what kind and type of chemical you were covered with.?"
"No, without the internet, I'm stuck not researching that kind of thing. If I had to guess, I'd guess Benzoin. Somewhere around twenty years ago the Marshall's Service picked up a Chinese National trying to enter the country from Canada. Out of a real garbled story; it seemed the Chinese were intending to poison all the honeybees and ravage our food supply. I suspect they dumped the barrels in the sea, far enough off shore so we wouldn't routinely detect them; waiting for the right time. The earthquakes and tsunami's brought them on shore and burst them open."
"I don't know anything about Benzoin, but it sure affected you." Clora swatted at a fly buzzing around her nose.
"It gave me powerful hallucinations, and took away my appetite for sure. Clora," Mark dropped his voice to a bare whisper, "I found Pete's stash of the Rhodium in the upper cave. There's as much or more than we distributed." Mark's voice was in shock. Pulling Clora close so he could whisper in her ear, he told her of how he suspected it got there and why.
"We figured Warren's amount of three hundred and some oz,'s worth over six million, there's probably five hundred pounds of the stuff in the cave. Unbelievable." Mark rubbed his nose on Clora's cheek just ahead of her ear. "You smell like green beans," he said low and sexy like.
"Just what I need," Clora whispered back, "sexy green beans, no wonder I like them." and she chuckled. Two doors could be heard closing in the house. Both Warren and Joy; Wayne and Millie had surfaced; "they sure have the knack," Mark grumbled. A dark scowl on his face.
Clora went to get up and see if they wanted anything, and Mark tugged her back down. "They've got women to wait on them, I like mine to be here with me."
"You are incorrigible," Clora whispered as footsteps could be heard.
"No I'm not," Mark defended himself. "They both ran off and left you to do the work, I can hear." and he wouldn't let go of her hand. "Do you remember right after we got married, I had to have a little talk with you about this. Well I don't see that it's changed in what, fifteen years?"
"What hasn't changed?" Warren came through the door. Clora was going to get up and give him her chair, but Mark wouldn't let go, and kept tugging her down. Warren stood there a while and then yelled to Joy to bring him out a chair. Joy made a rude noise, but brought a chair out for Warren.
Clora almost giggled, but Mark had her hand pulled over so far and mighty close to his lips, she thought he might bite her, as he was growling. At the far side of Mark, Dawg was watching the proceedings very carefully. He didn't have the pack members totally sorted out, but his human was Alpha male and that suited Dawg.
Red and Bootsie were between the driveway in the back and the garden, and Mark happened to think that Inky wasn't there. "Where's Inky?" he asked Clora without releasing her hand.
Clora was laughing and struggling mildly against his grip. Mark was still so fragile, she didn't want to hurt him.
"He's in the barn, he doesn't come to the house much anymore as he has hip dysplasia. We soak his food in milk so it's easy to eat, and one of these days he will be gone. He's old, probably fourteen or fifteen. Tess is sure he was one of the guard dogs at Leffee's place. She thought he was special, and he evidently did the same of her. It's going to be very hard on her when he passes." Clora had a small catch in her voice that Mark caught, and he kissed the back of her hand in compassion and sympathy.
Mark watched as Clora looked at him with a brave smile and love. He still wasn't going to let go of her hand. The woman might have been still for twenty minutes, but not much more. She deserved more rest than that.
Joy called from the kitchen, " Clora, the canner pressure is down to zero."
"Well open it up and take them out," Mark yelled in, "Clora's busy." There was a long silence in the kitchen.
Mark was also aware that his Father's eyebrows shot up as the older man contemplated what he heard. Mark put his stubborn face on and looked guilelessly at Clora.
Clora was smiling at him, this was evidently the battle that would established who was Alpha, among all the top dogs on the homestead. They only needed Wayne to make it complete; and he came out with Joey in tow.
Mark still wouldn't let Clora get up, and Wayne kinda looked like he thought she should, and then he went back in for two more chairs.
Clora looked at her husband over the top of her glasses, and he gave her a sly little wink.
"Don't you be laughing at me," Mark pretended to growl. "You'll hurt my feelings and you know how I get when that happens."
Clora was laughing so hard, and Warren and Wayne were looking like they thought Clora and Mark were crazy. Out of the corner of his eye, Mark watched Wayne give Joey a suggestion, and the boy wiggled down and made a bee line for Clora.
Mark wouldn't let go of her hand, so Joey had a difficult time getting up to her lap.
"Help Daddy," Joey politely asked, "Auntie Clora only has one hand. Uncle Mark won't give the other one back to her so she can help me." So Wayne had to get up anyway, and put Joey on Clora's lap.
Mark was busy looking at Dawg, and missed the rather irked look he got from Wayne. But Clora didn't.
"I'm in time out," Clora told Joey. "Uncle Mark said I had to sit here for thirty minutes."
"Did you do a naughty?" Joey was familiar with time outs.
"Yes she did," Mark answered firmly. "I've kept track and this is the second time Clora has sat down since breakfast. At lunch she was still for ten minutes, and I think she deserves a rest. I like it, when she sits with me."
"Momma sits on Daddy's lap all the time and she giggles." Joey was a very good broadcaster of family behavior. For some reason Wayne stood up and swooped Joey off Clora's lap and they both went inside.
Mark had that almost hidden feral smile he got when he was on to something big.
"It's a damn good thing we don't have any tattletales," Warren sounded as mean as possible, and this time Mark laughed.
Something crashed inside, and Clora went to get up.
"Don't you get out of that chair," Mark warned, "I'll give you a longer time out if you do."
Clora heaved a big sigh and sat back.
"Did I ever tell you what happened the day I went to Clora's place to ask her to marry me?" Mark was looking at Warren, and Warren shook his head no.
"It was like this;" Mark started a big dramatic pitch to the story. "A second or third ancestor of this Inky was chasing a pheasant rooster through Clora's beautiful flower and vegetable garden, the bird flew past Clora and Inky didn't. He hit her full on the back and sent her sprawling, right at my feet. I mean, what could I do after that, but ask the incredibly lucky woman to marry me." Mark acted so innocent, and so happy Clora was so lucky to have him.
"And Mark leaned over and picked Clora up out of the dust and gravel all by himself; I remember being so impressed by that maneuver, that all of us boys and Sandy gave our immediate consent for her to marry Mark. That, and the fact she was sending us threatening looks that Mark couldn't see." Wayne had to come out and keep the story truthful. Then he really laughed.
Warren was nodding and smiling. "Yes, I can see one of her looks threatening retribution." he joked. "Now who's Sandy?"
This time it was Clora that answered. "Do you know the story of our Mothers and Pete? There were three other children Sandy, Zander and Jane. They sadly, passed from heart problems, as we all have bad heart valves. That was a gift from Pete. And I guess we've forgotten to tell you that we suspect brother Ben was actually Pete. The phony Ben passed away from a heart attack probably, during the town fire. When we really got close to him, we could see the plastic surgery scars. Hopefully the switch could explain the radical change in Ben's personality, we could never get used to."
"Well what happened to him then?" Warren was curious and when Clora went to explain, Mark squeezed her fingers, stopping her from telling the story.
"Actually Clora and Wayne don't know, I was the one to take him to Ashville to the morgue as an unknown. Before I got him there, I cut the transmitter and cyanide capsule out of the back of his hands. That leads me to believe Pete was working for the same business your in." Mark's accusation was calmly delivered, but it was easy to see Warren didn't like that assumption.
"Impossible, Pete would have had to been working with Wilson," Warren said with a frown. Then he lapsed into silence, thinking through all the connected lies and strange events to happen over the years. "All I actually know about Pete in the later years, is that he was desperately looking for his share of the metal. He had hidden it, and someone had stolen it from the hiding place. I believe he thought you kids had found it, but you didn't seem to have it, know about it, or talk about it."
"We didn't find it," Mark was busy squeezing Clora's hand to keep her silent. "We distributed all that we found, and then had trouble with a couple of the guy's that picked up relative's shares, accusing us of hiding some. That's why we handed out that copy of Stillman's bookkeeping. The total matched up to the written amount.
"Did you ever stop to think Stillman's accounting might have been off?" Warren inquired mildly.
"Nope," Mark was positive. "That's all we had to go by, so if he was off, then I'm sorry somebody got cheated. We didn't want the stuff, not after so many people had been killed over it. We got rid of it to the best of our ability."
Wayne was agreeing. "How many people do you think attacked us over that metal?"
Mark was thinking, "including the US Marshall's, I'd guess fifty or so major players and uncountable hired goons."
"Fifty!" Warren acted astounded, shaking his head in disbelief.
Mark kissed the back of Clora's hand for her quick thinking and understanding his warnings. "I've got to start supper," she said softly, "our logging crew will be starving, and I hear the jingle of Lady's harness, so they're coming in."
"OK," Mark agreed, "for supper I'll let you go back to work." He bent over to kiss Clora on the ear and whisper, "I need the bug finders."
Clora stood up and cupped her hands on his face to keep the other two men from seeing her lips move. "OK," she breathed against Mark's lips and then tweaked his ear as a gesture of affection.
"Easy Clora," Mark yelped, giving her a hidden wink. "You're little pinch about took my ear off." he aimed a swat at her rear and Clora dodged it easily.
"Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be thinking about supper," she teased as she walked inside.
Last edited by PacNorWest; 08-23-2016 at 05:03 AM.
Warren or Joy....or Wayne and Millie....or Lemmie and Hank???
Originally Posted by Vtshooter
Too many choices! Thank you Pac.
Don't forget the climb-the-hill-and-court-the-(non)widder-woman neighbor sent by Granny Wilson.
I gotta go back and read again. I've completely misplaced where Mark got covered with slime from near the Pacific and then got a ride in a cab with a moonshiner nearly six months later without the moonshiner leaning out the window and heaving. I understand people getting ripe etc. in such a shtf situation, but I'm thinking Mark would've gagged a maggot.
It's kinda hard to work within the system when it's a septic system.
Without saying much more than Mark did to Joy about stepping up and emptying the canner, the ladies got the word that they needed to be helping more.
Now, it was Mark's mission to find out what Wayne's plans were. The man had been there for two days and looked comfortable enough to stay the duration. However, Mark was thinking, the duration might be a short one if he didn't volunteer to do some work. Wayne was used to getting a 'bye' from Clora concerning work, and that was fine as long as Clora was in charge, but the head lion was home and times were a changing.
The same with Warren. Just because Mark's Father thought he was urbane and sophisticated didn't excuse him from providing some type of help. He could teach the kids school lessons, teach them French, anything to further the well being of the clan. Especially if it eased the workload on Clora.
Joy was sort of in the same boat as Warren. Both thought their extensive world travels excused them from mundane tasks, and boy did Mark have news for them. No workee, no eatee, was Mark's mantra, and it was sounding loud and clear in his mind.
Clora had found the 'bug' sweepers for Mark and he carried them everywhere in his pocket. Mark had searched their room and not found any, but that night, when Clora showed him where his pack was located her hand stopped before she moved the plastic sack. It was enough of a hesitation that Mark noticed, and he looked at her.
"The top has been refolded differently than I left it," she whispered in his ear. "I have been thinking someone has been in here, but had nothing more than a suspicion."
"Well it's someone in the last four weeks," Mark whispered back, "want to take a guess?"
Clora shook her head no, she didn't want to go there right before bed, she'd never get any sleep. Clora crossed over to the dresser and opened the bottom drawer, checking on the plastic sack of the items that had been in Mark's pockets.
The top of the smaller sack had been refolded more accurately than the larger one, but it had been disturbed all the same. Clora put the sack on the dresser top and opened it up. Mark was looking for both his favorite knives, his fixed blade and his folder and he lifted them out with a big smile. Then he got a whiff of the smell imbedded in the leather sheath and shook his head. He put it back for the time being. His Marshall's star was there, and Clora's looked at him quizzically, thinking he had retired.
"Long story," he whispered in her ear, "tell you outside some time."
Clora nodded, she wasn't alarmed and in fact felt oddly comforted that Mark could arrest and hold some one if necessary, in these turbulent times.
Clora's hanky was there, and Mark made washing motions, he wanted it back where it belonged, in his vest pocket close to his heart. Clora agreed with a smile.
The handkerchief package tied in a small sack still held the interesting assortment of items that Mark had taken out of Borg's safety deposit box, and the original knot hadn't been tampered with. Now, all that Mark needed was a vest. Clora showed him the prototype she had crafted from wool, and he gave her a big hug.
"The other vest smells as bad as the sheath," Clora said quietly. "It's not useable, but I saved it."
"Thank you Sweetheart, I'm so very thankful you were here to care for me." and Clora got a kiss that curled her eyelashes. Mark had to be in bed. He had been up and walking and talking more today than he had in a week, and he was woozy.
"I think smelling the residue from the sheath will reactivate all the bad body responses we are trying to eliminate from your system. Let's close that up, shall we." and Clora didn't wait for his answer, she didn't want Mark loosing ground.
Ever since he had come home, Mark had turned into a cuddler at night. He couldn't sleep if he wasn't touching her, and would wake up in a panic if he was turned on his right side, away from Clora. He explained that his dreams and nightmares and/or hallucinations were so real that he had to touch her to prove he was really home.
Clora smiled, touched his face and snuggled into the bed, smiling when Mark's hand eased across her waist and he sighed in contentment.
The next morning, Wayne was sent with the older boys out to the woods to 'help'. Warren and Joy were detailed to take the younger kids with them as they did their morning walk for exercise, and Millie bravely put Abe in a sling and went out to hoe the garden, Clora went to wash the breakfast dishes and be the lookout while Mark went through the living quarters with his bug sweeper.
Hmmmm..... and my next thought is, did someone(s) engineer Mark's introduction to the goop, or was it just serendipity? And if it was the latter, who might have noticed and taken advantage?
Ev turned out to be a pretty good guy, for having false pretenses for being Evie's neighbor, or was that a doubling-down on his cover....and being that Granny is kin of Ev's, is it systemic in the family--by that I mean is there some hold someone has on them? We've already been re-exposed to Sas. Hmmmm.....
And speaking of......Ben was never confirmed to have checked out. Simply he vanished, both from the face of the earth and from Clora's awareness. Can Clora/Ben/Evie etc. shut out others? I mean, can Ben flip Clora's switch to "off"? I'm not putting aside the thought that Ben might show up one fine afternoon, but will defer to your diabolical imagination as to what color horse he'd be riding!
It's kinda hard to work within the system when it's a septic system.
I have so much fun, going way back into the stories.. all of them, and fishing out some small, isolated and unfinished fact and bringing it forward with a ...DUH!
I'm building suspense for the next loveable villain...or maybe not so loveable, but a villain anyway.
Who knows if the original Ben is dead and gone, don't discount anything. Although, that might be almost too trite and predictable a plot. And we hope the exchangeable Ben/Pete is truly dead, but can we be sure?
There was a listening device in every room he checked. Leftovers from Karl and Helga? Mark wasn't sure, but he saved Warrens room for last. Both Warren and Joy had been in the business and were accustomed to 'preparing' the room they were in for possible entry alarm.
Mark looked closely at the bedroom door knob, and there was the almost obligatory hair laid across it, so his Dad was concerned and/or alerted about something. Picking the hair up by the end, Mark noiselessly opened the door and looked in. There was another hair on the floor, and he left it be. Pointing the 'finder' around the room, he got readings in several different areas.
Clora coughed loud, their signal that someone was coming, so Mark shut the door and replaced the hair. As smoothly as possible, he opened their room door and then came stomping down the hall toward the kitchen, yelling for Clora.
"Mark, Mark, I'm right here in the kitchen," Clora soothed as Millie came in the back door. "What do you need?"
"I just needed to know where you were," his voice floated in from the living room. "I'm OK."
Clora looked at Millie and rolled her eyes, carrying on the ruse.
Millie smilled but shook her head. As Millie walked by, Clora could smell why she had to come in. Baby Abe was smelly. That was a legitimate reason for being back in the house so soon, and Clora made note of the fact that Millie didn't look around as she went to their room to clean up Abe..
Mark walked into the kitchen to kiss Clora on the back of the neck. "Millie, and Dad and Joy are all going to be back in the house in about twenty minutes," he whispered. "Do you want to make a bet on Wayne?" Mark proceeded to tell Clora in a very soft whisper what he was willing to bet, and she shook her head no.
"That's a loaded bet, you win either way," she protested with a chuckle.
"Umm huh, just the way I like it." he gave her another kiss. "See," he had to point out the obvious, "I hear lady's harness jingling. I win, I win."
"You are exasperating, get out of here;" Clora ordered fondly, "how's a girl going to get any work done with you hanging around. Go sit outside in the sunshine and let it bake that poison out of you, I'll bring your tonic," she ordered.
Mark pulled her close for a kiss and reached around behind her and untied her apron strings. "That's what you get for making me drink that stuff." and he walked out the door to sit in the sun.
Warren and Joy got to the kitchen in time to see Clora's cheeks blushed red and the sparkle in her eyes, so they were fairly sure what had been happening while they were gone. Warren winked at Joy and she grinned. "Like father, like son," she told Warren archly.
Clora mixed up Mark's tonic and took it too him. "Sit please," he asked, "I need company."
"I need to bake cookies," Clora countered. "I have had to get so chintzy with the sweets; our pantry is dwindling rapidly. Tell me where I'm going to find more flour and sugar, we need yeast and salt. We did a good stock up last fall, but now, is that even an option? I wonder what food might be available?
Last edited by PacNorWest; 08-23-2016 at 06:00 PM.
Joy was sort of in the same boat as Warren. Both thought their extensive world travels excused them from mundane tasks, and boy did Mark have news for them. No workee, no eatee, was Mark's mantra, and it was sounding loud and clear in his mind.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
How true are these words that have come down thru the ages....
The entitlement mentality has resulted in so many believing that they are owed for doing nothing because of their so called "Status"....
Instead of realizing that we are who we are by what we do and what we believe....
"I don't know," Mark took a drink of his tonic. "Gaaaaggg. That stuff should be illegal, and if for whatever reason it seems to be working, I will keep drinking."
"Yes you will," Clora was smiling, but Mark, Warren and the rapidly approaching Wayne, heard the steel in her voice. The other two men properly happy that their wives weren't as stringent and mean as Clora.
"Just the man we were talking about," Mark told Wayne and Wayne made a big production out of looking around each side and behind him to see who Mark was talking too. "What kinds of food are available to buy in the stores? Will we be able to do a fall buying trip for items such as flour and yeast?"
"I don't know," Wayne kinda mumbled behind his hand. Lowering his voice, he told the group he hadn't been to the store much in the six months he and Millie had been apart. "I kinda used up all the long term storage she had set aside, it's really not a good idea to have a lot of food visible in town. Where I'm gone so much, I couldn't take the chance of a break in taking our supplies. There's no food in the house right now, if there were, I wouldn't have been able to come."
However quiet Wayne was revealing his dirty little secret, Millie heard anyway and blanched a paper white color. She had been harboring the desire to go back home and be with Wayne during the winter. Baby #3 was due some time in late January, and Millie was looking forward to being at home. Mistress of her own castle.
Millie had to go sit down, and try to deal with her acute disappointment in a rational, adult way; and it wasn't happening. She was furious with Wayne, no matter what harebrained rationalization he was spouting off, it still boiled down to the fact they were helpless and totally dependent on Clora and Mark.
That was no way for a man to be responsible to a wife and children, essentially bankrupting them. By the time Millie was done roasting Wayne in her thoughts, Joy was looking at her in alarm.
"Millie, are you OK? You don't look well, do you want me to call Wayne in to help you?"
"NO, a great big NO. He's the reason I'm so mad. How irresponsible and untrustworthy can he be, that's practically a death sentence for our children." and Millie got up and went speeding for their rooms. As her voice got very high and shrill at the very end, the adults in the family heard loud and clear. Millie who never got upset, or yelled, or criticized Wayne; had a monumental meltdown. The door that slammed, rattled the windows.
Clora looked at Wayne and raised her eyebrow. "I think you stepped in that one big time; and I suggest you go and throw yourself on her mercy and come up with a plan. RIGHT AWAY," Clora prodded sharply when it looked like Wayne was considering a different plan.
Wayne got up and drug himself inside, as slow as a man on his way to the gallows.
Joy came outside and caught Warren's attention and beckoned him to come inside the house. "We'll be back in a while, this needs to cool down with out an audience."
Clora nodded. She agreed. "Millie was afraid something like this would happen if she left Wayne alone," Clora whispered to Mark. "Left on his own, he certainly messes up in his thinking skills."
"Do we have enough food to support all of us over the winter?" was Mark's next question.
"No, not unless we are able to harvest about ten deer, and eat mainly meat. I have about 250 pounds of flour, and perhaps enough yeast if I supplement with sourdough. Low on cornmeal, oatmeal, and limited on rice and beans. We will be good on green beans, and carrots and beets. The onions and garlic will be iffy, but the potatoes are good, and the corn and squash good. I'd like to send you guys up to the house in town and dig around in the garden to see if anything self seeded. We have enough time to get a fall garden started, and if the boys will work on the wood......oh, I bet that's why Addison was here....he's looking for another order of wood. What do you think?"
"Good call," Mark frowned a little. "I'm sure I'm paying the Wilson's firewood price, and they are cutting wood off our own land and selling it back to us. I did that last year and got a little suspicious with the snickering that was going on; but we were between a rock and a hard spot, or I'd never considered it. I think I'll see what wood we have available, if we're way short, I might order a couple of cords. How was the winter here?"
"Very snowy right after you left. A couple of weeks of really deep snow, then it melted, another week of snow; on and off until the middle of March. Then it moderated and went into Spring." Clora recited the facts. "If we get right busy, we can have another crop of beans, carrots and perhaps onions. The main problem here, we don't have enough land for the size garden we need. It wouldn't hurt if Warren started fishing again, that would be a good way for he and Joy to contribute."
Mark lowered his voice, "you mean he didn't do any fishing after he got back?"
Clora shook her head no. "They've been acting like royalty," she whispered. "Haven't contributed a thing, not even buying food when it was available in the stores."
"That's a full of crap attitude," Mark was angry, "that ain't gonna fly with me."
"I didn't say anything, I didn't want to rock the boat, so to speak. Warren acts like his highness, and Joy spends time in their room rather than help. I'm glad you are home, we can make some sweeping and needed changes and apply it to everyone." and Clora used her finger to point upstairs to Wayne and Millie's apartment.
"Let me get a plan put together and I'll clear it with you. I knew yesterday there was a reason I was reestablishing my position as head lion. I didn't know why, only that I felt the need to do it. Let's plan on a meeting after Church on Sunday." Mark was thinking, scribbling in his new notebook, putting it in the pocket of his new vest. "Makes me feel better," he patted his pocket.
"Don't forget we have taxes due the first of September, and what about Cody? Is he still going to school, do they still have school, how will we get the payment there?" Clora was just full of questions.
"Confess with your mouth, that 'Jesus is Lord,' believing in your heart that God raised Him from the Dead, and you will be saved, for with the heart, man believes and is justified, and with his profession of faith, he is saved." Romans 10:9-10.
I can either read God's Word to you, or read it over you. Your choice. Either way, you will meet Jesus Christ. Condition "0," Code Red to Black- ALWAYS. Trump Supporter and Proud Founding Member of The Nowski Brigade- To the Hilt!!!
"He's right you know," Mark looked at Clora and pointed his finger up to the second floor as she had done.
"To a point," she conceded. Clora leaned close and whispered in his ear. "I haven't heard why he is here, fired, vacation or comp time?" she shrugged her shoulders. "That probably means they have no health insurance for the new baby's birth. I hope she didn't have any troubles before, cause she's probably going to have it here."
Mark got all big eyed and alarmed looking, "oh you don't think?" he stuttered nervously, looking around like it was already happening.
"Yes I do," Clora was practical. "Maybe you guys can go on a winter campout and deer hunting trip when the time is critical. Only thing, someone has to be here to go for help if necessary."
"Oh Lordy," Mark looked like he had the shakes.
"Good heavens, it's not even your baby and your all shook up. Do you feel like you are having problems with nerves or wild and scattered thoughts? Do you feel like your thinking might be 'off' and you can't concentrate?"
Clora probed gently, trying to get a handle on Mark's problems and think of a way to help.
"Oh yes, all of that. I believe there is only one cure," Mark was so serious as he leaned over to whisper in her ear. Now it was Clora's turn to get big eyes and pretend nervousness at his outrageous suggestion.
"Oh my," she said in a syrupy and very fake southern accent, fanning herself rapidly. "the way you do talk." And then she ruined it by giving Mark a sly little wink.
He settled back in his chair with a satisfied smile.
"What kind of wild crafting is there around here?" He asked Clora as she was going in the kitchen.
"I have to get lunch started, it's going to have to be lots of rice with hamburger gravy; I've fooled around with my husband when I should have been cooking. So, it's all his fault."
Mark just smiled.
There was a lot of thinking and planning for Mark to do during his down time. First he debated if he should tell Warren about the listening bugs in their rooms, and then he decided he would want to know if it were him. Mark got up and went looking for Warren, but he and Joy were way out on the dock, so the sweep would have to be postponed until they got in..
Teddy was conducting school in the bedroom Warren vacated, and he and his pupils came out looking hungry when they heard Clora making noise in the kitchen.
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