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Story Repent, or Repeat
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  1. #3281
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    Thank you Pac.

  2. #3282
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    Folks,

    We had an overlong church meeting tonight and I still need to get supper. See ya tomorrow.

  3. #3283
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    Get some restorative rest!

  4. #3284
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    Get some rest girl, don't worry about us...(biting nails and whimpering)
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  5. #3285
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    #337

    "Here now," the over large voice thundered. "Don't you think jest cause we had a mite of trouble you kin be scootin out of the fee fer crossin." The ferry man was indignant and holding his hand out for payment.

    Gary got down from the wagon and stalked over to the suddenly nervous man. "What did you say," Gary asked with deceptive calm.

    "I said," the banty mad man lowered his voice, "I need my payment please."

    "That's what I thought you said. Now how much do you think a rescue should cost. Especially a rescue that saved your raft?" Gary had a ferocious scowl on his face. "My wife broke her hand, and medical bills are very expensive these days. Perhaps you should re-calculate your fee, what do you think, hum?"

    "Uh...uh,..uh.. I think you yer right, I thinks we is even." The ferryman blubbered. "How's I gonna get back to my home tonight?" he hardened his voice as he thought about his predicament, "I ain't got nuthin on this side."

    "You have the raft," Milo joined the little talk. "That's more than you would have, if I hadn't swum out to bring a rescue rope."

    "Yeah," the man reluctantly allowed, "there's that, alright. "but still,...…" the rest of his sentence was disregarded as Robert showed up to smoothly rack the slide of his Glock. "What?"

    "Hey, don't you be threatening me, I run a legitimate business here, it ain't my fault the cable broke. No body done tole you, you had to rescue us, we was doin ok. We'd a made it across."

    "You're talking like a man with his feet on solid ground," Milo interrupted smoothly. "I sure didn't see you getting in the water to save my brother's life,...now did I?"

    As the talk went on, brothers seemed to gather like they were irresistibly drawn to the small confrontation that was growing bigger and louder by the second.

    The ferry man took a swift reconnoiter of the situtation and decided that retreat was the better part of valor. "I don't like the odds here," he grumbled as he walked away.

    Milo was grinning, as was Gary. They said nothing, but gave the man a cheeky salute to his retreating back.


    The hospital wagon was having a difficult time with David and Scotty. Jainy had fainted when Bruce held her hand and pushed the bones back into place with his strong thumbs. Baby Guy was squished when Jainy slumped over and he was protesting.

    "Get Gary in here," Bruce thundered, "there's way too much kid business, to get anything done."

    Trish stuck her head out the door and waved, trying to attract Gary's attention. Trish wasn't a whistler, she had tried many times and then fizzled out with a weak phifft. She hated to holler like a fishwife, but it was either that, or not get Gary when he was needed.

    Guy commenced screaming, and that caused the men to look up her way. Trish waved, pointing at Gary, just as there was the sound of a swat and a howl of outrage.

  6. #3286
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    Now who got swatted...Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  7. #3287
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    Thank you Pac.

  8. #3288
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    there was the sound of a swat and a howl of outrage.

    Yep, been gong on for as long as there have been kids to get their attention to straighten up....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  9. #3289
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  10. #3290
    Thank You Mrs Pac.

  11. #3291
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    #338

    "Now get your dog out of here!" Bruce thundered, as 'dog' was baring his teeth and slowly backing Bruce away from Jainy and the recently smacked bottom of David.

    "David, Scotty, please take 'dog' out of here, he is in the way, we can't work with the three of you bumping into us." Trish directed and got about as far using 'nice' tactics, as Bruce did with his shouted. edicts.

    Jainy would have helped, but she was still out cold.

    Mark happened to be walking by, and as he heard the doctors, he drew his pistol and swept open the canvas covering of the hospital wagon.

    "David and Scotty, I don't want to shoot dog, but I will in order to give the doctors freedom to work on Jainy. Both of you come out of there and bring dog with you. I am telling you to do this now, and I'm not going to wait long for you to make up your minds."

    It was no secret in camp that David and Scotty were not the best minding children, closed up stubbornness was their trademark, and that Bruce had dared to paddle David incensed the dark haired duo.

    "Now," Mark was mad as they dawdled, and the boys were watching him closely to gauge the amount of time they had left, before Grandpa made good on his word.

    It was Scotty that broke first and went to put his arms around dog's neck and urge him forward out of the hospital area.

    "You help him David, or I will follow up Bruce's swat with one of my own." Mark didn't holster his weapon, knowing that dog was unpredictable, especially if he reached for one of the boys.

    "Is there a problem here?" Gary inquired smoothly, he had heard David yell and had started from the river bank to the grouped wagons near the top of the hill.

    "Dog and the boys are preventing Bruce and Trish from working on Jainy. As I told Milo and Honey, I will not allow a unpredictable dog to run among the wagons and people, especially other children. Control him Gary or he will be shot." Mark had the authority of the supreme commander, and he stared at Gary without blinking.

    "Yes Sir," Gary calmly motioned for David and Scotty to move dog further away. "David, find a hunk of rope to make a collar and leash for dog. I know....." he held his hand up to for stall the protest he could see forming on David's lips. "It's either something he doesn't like, or be shot, which do you prefer?"

    David had a dark stubborn look as he stomped off, dog followed behind at a distance.

    It didn't take a lightening bolt to sizzle Gary's awareness, that what Jainy had been telling him was true. He Gary, was far too lenient with David and Scotty and he needed to be more of a father, before the boys were hurt in their reluctance to mind.

    "Are you and Ma thinking that turn about is fair play?" Gary halfway joked with Mark.

    "Oh, I'm certainly not denying that your two act the same way as you did." Mark was guarding the tent door. He was well aware that if Jainy yelled, the dog and boys would be right there.

    "As for wishing that you would have children just like you,...well no, we don't. That's not an easy situtation to parent through, and stop and think how long it took you to re-arrange your brain cells to be more compliant to life."

    "Yeah well, I think you are way more optimistic about that, than I am," Gary half ways joked again. "Is that the reason that David and Scotty aren't very well like by the other kids?"

    "And their parents," Mark didn't sugar coat the problem, especially when he had a teaching moment for the out of step man that was his son.

    "Jainy's been raggin on me to be more of a disciplinarian and be more constant with my parenting." Gary admitted slowly.

    "You married a darn smart woman," Mark told him, as so much was said by not saying another word. Gary nodded and gave a deep sigh. Ducking inside the canvas flap, Gary was looking at Jainy all crumpled over, protecting baby Guy.

    Her broken hand was strapped in a homemade cast of thin boards, extending back beyond her wrist. Trish was fussing because there wasn't a small empty can to tuck under Jainy's curved fingers, as she wrapped the boards solidly.

    "You Sir, are now chief cook and bottle washer, team driver and any other job that requires two hands to complete." Bruce looked up at Gary with all seriousness. "If she wants to have any use of that hand at all, you will make sure she doesn't use it now. I'm not kidding you, it's going to be a real struggle. Jainy is a brave woman, you are lucky to have her."

    "She fainted when Bruce set her hand, she'll come around soon," Trish said gently. "She was protecting Guy, as she couldn't stop dog from going after Bruce."

    Both Trish and Bruce had heard Mark and they heartedly agreed; dog was a ferocious and untamed animal, not welcome around their family.

    Gary looked at the resolution in their faces, and was reminded of his brother's. "Will Jainy be alright for a while. I have to go make sure the boys get dog controlled."

    "I'll be with her," Trish assured the soldier. "Please get that dog under control before he hurts someone." she said to his retreating back, as the tent flap swished closed.

    There was bustle in camp, the men were re-hitching the teams that had pulled the raft to shore. "I want to move out of town before dark," Robert was calling out, "Be ready in a half hour."

  12. #3292
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    Thank you for the story and for the time you spend writing it. Sounds like Dog and boys are in for a rough time unless they get the idea quick.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  13. #3293
    Thank you Mrs. Pac.
    I love reading your work!

  14. #3294
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    Thank you Pac, very good.

  15. #3295
    thank you Mrs. PAC

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  16. #3296
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    An unruly dog and two boys and a dad, now just what else could go wrong????

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  17. #3297
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    #339

    What Jainy had made look so easy and simple, Gary discovered was not. Keeping the boys corralled and the dog on leash, the stew finished and set in the wagon, all the odds and ends picked up, and Gary was thanking the Lord he had left his team hitched.

    Only at the last minute did he remember to unsaddle his horse and tie the animal securely to the back of the wagon, along with securing the stud colt and two cows. As the last wagon pulling the plow cart with the animals behind the plow cart, Gary found he couldn't see the animals. If they passed through a crowded town, a person could walk back behind the wagon and untie the animals and fade into the multitudes without being noticed.

    When Robert rode by, checking on the preparedness of the clan, Gary mentioned the problem to him. Leaving Robert to chew on the possibilities, Gary snapped at David and Scotty when they got down from the wagon a third time, after sternly being told to stay in the vehicle. This time the unrepentant urchins got their seats swatted hard. Sobbing boys added to the nightmare.

    Gary wasn't sure he was ready to travel, when he heard Robert sing out to start. Mark rode back to be the last person, guarding the precious cow and the horses. Traveling through West St. Louis was a nightmare for everyone. First of all, it was late afternoon rush hour; such as it could be in a horse and wagon society.

    Pedestrians were careless as they darted between the wagons, until drivers bunched up so close, that they were an closed line. It was smarter to give the horses their head as they could sense if the wagon in front of them slowed or stopped., than try to override the animals.

    Gary thought the press of people and busyness would never end, and it was almost dark before the wagons made it to the upper meadow area for camping. All Gary wanted to do was slump in the seat and decompress, but no,...the boys were whiney and hungry and wanted supper. The team needed to be unharnessed and staked out, the same with the horses and cow, the fire needed to be started and the stew heating, water started to heat for dishes and bedtime washup.

    Now, Gary could understand why Jainy was always so tired. It was especially galling to remember how many times he had snagged a cup of coffee and wandered off to talk with the men of the clan, rather than stay and help. It was an eyeopener for sure, and one Gary needed to fix. He couldn't seem to function and get the evening going, and Jainy did this and more with a baby in a sling.


    Bruce and Trish helped Jainy walk back to her wagon, white faced and trembling. She refused any kind of pain killers, mindful of feeding Guy.

    Sitting Jainy in the only chair tucked in the protection of the wagon bed, she watched and tended to Guy as best as she could. David and Scotty inched over to where she was resting, whispering that they had got a spanking and that Dad was really mean and they didn't like him anymore.

    Jainy didn't bat an eye. "You boys don't mind. Did Dad tell you to do something, and you didn't?"

    "Yeah, he told us to stay in the wagon, but we really wanted to get down, so we did." David mumbled.

    "That didn't turn out so well, did it? Dad and I want you boys to be safe, that's why we tell you to do things, and want you to do what your told right away and without argument."

    "I don't think you're very nice either," David spoke his mind without really thinking out the consequences.

    "I like to be nice," Jainy countered back, "but it's my job to be your parent, not your friend. And,... sometimes that means making you do what you don't want to do. If Dad had to swat you boys, then I think you need to apologize to him. That was a bad thing that you did, and could have caused many problems."

    Scotty was whispering that Dad was mean to dog, and Jainy gave him the same advise.

    "I just ain't used to taking orders," David complained, " I like being my own man, doing things my own way."

    "I promise, when you get to be 21, you can take off and go and do whatever you want to. But until you get to that age, we call the shots, understand?"

    "Your Mother and I are changing the way our life is happening." Gary paused as he walked by. "From now on, when we tell you to do something and you don't, you can expect a spanking. No matter where we are."

    "Oh boy," David breathed and looked at Scotty nervously.

    "Did you let dog loose?" Gary guessed, and scowled as both boys nodded with guilty expressions. Gary shrugged. "Has he come back?"

    Two little heads wagged no.

    "If he wants to go with us, he had better be here in the morning." Gary said neutrally. "No leaving to go looking for him, I will be very angry if you disobey. Do not think of leaving, do you understand?"

    "Yes," David's deep voice replied reluctantly, "can we eat now, I'm starving." his crafty effort to change the subject didn't go unnoticed by Gary.

  18. #3298
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    Thanks Mrs. Pac. Sounds like school is in session.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  19. #3299
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    Thank you Pac, hard lessons to stubborn boys

  20. #3300
    Thanks Mrs. PAC

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  21. #3301
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    Change of life for two boys and one dog if the dog comes back....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  22. #3302
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    #349

    Because they were so close to town, the wagons were bunched together closely in the circle, holding the animals in the interior. The clan preferred not to spend the night practically in each others pockets, but the security of all, demanded it.

    The lists of needed supplies were brought out after supper and reviewed once again. Plans were made for a shopping trip the next morning.

    It was a calm and quiet night, but unsettled to the clan members because of the amount of people milling around outside the circle of wagons. Accustomed to the solitude of the trek and their closed society, careful plans were made for half the men to leave while the remaining men would stand guard. None of the women wanted to go shopping, afraid to take active youngsters into the mass of humanity.

    Children were pouty and sullen as their daddy's walked into town to check the availability of supplies. Millie solved the problem by holding school, much to the dismay of the active, wiggly youngsters. Aunt Millie was a lot more stern than Grandma Clora, and there wasn't a boy that was acutely aware of that sad fact.

    Clara, Judy and Abby decided to trail into town behind the men; they had secret lists from the sisters of the clan. Christmas gifts were high on the lists, and so were crochet hooks, knitting needles and yarn. Material, the sturdy stuff like canvas, denim, and sailcloth were desired, and boots. In the short time they had been on the trail, young boys had grown shoe sizes.

    The group of men that walked into town arrived back about noon with armfuls of supplies and intended to go back to pick up the balance of what they spoke for. Immediately, Mark could see they would be camped there for an extra day, and then Donny asked why they didn't take one of the smaller wagons.

    Sheepish looks were exchanged, and the horse was hitched in a hurry. Back to town they went, and they were back in an hour , unloaded and the second group left to do their business.

    Late evening, the second group straggled up the hill with the loaded wagon; and Clora sent Milo a worried look. "Did you see Clara, Judy and Abby in town? They haven't come back, we need to send a party to look for them."

    Milo had a pained look, he was looking forward to a rest and a cup of coffee, but he and Mark and Andy, turned back with the wagon and headed for town. Well after dark, they drove into camp with the woman's purchases, but no ladies.

    Lots of chatter happened until Milo whistled sharply. "They will be here tomorrow noon. They're in jail for disturbing the peace."

    There was a loud, jaw dropping silence in camp.

  23. #3303
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    In jail whooie.

  24. #3304
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    Ok then...Wonder what the girls got up to? Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  25. #3305
    Thank You Mrs Pac.

  26. #3306
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    Jail, well, maybe, but the jail would have a few extra guards standing around to make sure they came home no worse for wear.

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  27. #3307
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    they drove into camp with the woman's purchases, but no ladies.

    Lots of chatter happened until Milo whistled sharply. "They will be here tomorrow noon. They're in jail for disturbing the peace."


    Now just what type of disturbance could Clara, Judy and Abby create to be arrested for????

    Another chapter will reveal....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  28. #3308
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    #350

    Clara, Judy and Abby stood with their backs to the cell door, giving the evil eye stare to the group of five ladies facing them. It was a heated standoff between good and evil, as far as Abby was concerned. They had been shopping, minding their business, but with one of them acting as a guard at all time.

    Suddenly before Judy could warn them, they were surrounded by a group of young men with mischief on their minds.

    "YOU PINCHED ME," Abby had shouted out in anger, as strong fingers pinched her bottom. Swinging her fist around to connect with the grinning jerk's face, Abby connected well, slamming her knuckles hard enough to break the now howling young man's nose.

    Clara and Judy, receiving their own pinches; but emboldened by Abby's quick response, swung around in unison, delivering the same justice. The crowded market silenced some, as the young men erupted in hurt surprise, the one youth that hadn't pinched, started yelling for the police.

    The young dandy's were shocked to find themselves on the receiving end of consequences of their shenanigan's. The tallest youth, all decked out in a spotless white shirt now covered in blood splotches, advanced with a blood dripping snarl on Abby. Intending that the tall, strawberry blonde pay for breaking his snotty, flawless and finely appreciated nose, the young man grabbed the front of Abby's dress and jerked her forward.

    He intended that he would deliver a stinging slap to Abby's face, breaking her nose in retaliation. Instead, what he got was a knee in his groin and an uppercut punch to his already broken nose. He fainted.

    Taking their cue from Abby, Clara and Judy kneed their opponents and Judy landed her next step with a lifted knee on the doubled over man's chin. His mouth snapped shut, breaking the right side upper and lower molars, and splitting his lip which spurted to match his nose. He crumpled down, crouching to shelter his face with his arms, sobbing.

    The third punk held his hands up, backing away from the carnage and bumping into the fourth gang member; the fourth dandy stumbled backward, bumping into the personage of a tall, well muscled gentleman who objected. The off center punk, forgetting that he didn't have the backup of his buddys, completely forgot himself and swung on the older man.

    The gangly youth went down as the older, heavier fist of a perturbed gentleman sent him flying across the folded over back of his whimpering friend. The third jerk, unable to leave well enough alone, dove at the older man's knees, hoping to give him a mid thigh tackle.

    The man grabbed the shirt at the back of the dandy's neck and propelled him forward and to the left, like a battering ram; lifting the pumpkin headed idiot into hommes coming to aid and assist their gang brothers.

    Thin young men, used to using their gang numbers and sharp stilleto knives to cause fear, tumbled like bowling pins to scatter among the press of people. Maybe it was the particular phase of the moon, or the unusual amount of people clogging the market, or just the need to let loose a little sideways feelings, but the finest brawl the farmer's market had ever seen commenced.

    Abby bent over and helped Clara and then Judy to crawl under the wooden racks holding the zucchini and vegetable squash. Easing themselves out of the erupting fistfights, they were almost able to stand up and walk away, when a tomato came whizzing out of no where to splat against Abby's arm.

    Giving a low, determined chuckle, Abby rolled up her sleeves and went to work avenging the tomatoes thrown at them by the stall vendors that were shrieking at the people to help them prevent the three women from getting away.

    Abby dove into the fray, winding up next to the older gentleman as she kneed her share of brawling people, punched the noses of others, and wound up back to back with the gentleman, protecting his six from rowdy's intent on bring the handsome man down.

    Clara and Judy shied away from the confrontation, easing themselves backward to a spectator position outside the canvas covered stalls, right into the waiting arms of a frowning deputy.

    "What the hell is happening in there?" the deputy snarled, as the canvas covered tent bulged on one side, subsided, and then bulged on the other as the mob surged and fought.

    "Some men pinched us," Judy said in her excitement, forgetting that complete honesty was probably not the best defense at that particular moment. "Our friend hit one of them and gave him a bloody nose."

    "Humm, really, and which one is she?"

    "The gal over there. That man went to her defense, and now she's helping him. There were some real mean gang guys in there with long sharp knives." Judy prattled on.

    The deputy eased himself into the melee far enough to grab Abby's arm from behind and got a foot jab in his midsection from protection trained Abby; doubling the lawman over. Mark and Jerry had done a good job of training the clan's ladies and Abby didn't miss a beat as she jerked her arm away from the vomiting man.

    Hissing through her teeth as she recoiled into her fighting stance, Abby collected her wits and breath.

    "Nicely done," the older gentleman complimented, "that was a law man, you know," he ducked as a punch was thrown at him.

    "Don't grab me from behind," Abby warned with a grin.

    "That lady, is she your Mother?" the man panted.

    "No, friend." Abby was saving her voice.

    "You live in town?"

    "No, traveling through."

    "The wagon train?"

    "Yes," Abby was bumped by the older man and he pushed her out of the way of two advancing punks. The three of them fell over the deputy as he struggled to gain his feet.

    Clara and Judy grabbed Abby and jerked her off to the side. Abby stood panting, edging further back to stay out of the way of the struggling men. At that time, more deputy's and town lawmen gathered, and Judy started to tell them the situtation. That got the three lady's and the older gentleman hustled off to jail before the mass of bruised and battered brawlers.

    That was how the five lady vendors from the market, were thrown into the same cell as the three lady's that had been assulted.
    Last edited by PacNorWest; 08-27-2019 at 07:24 PM.

  29. #3309
    Absolutely Delightful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. #3310
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    Thank you, can't wait to read the rest.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  31. #3311
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    Very good, thank you.

  32. #3312
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    I don't see as where the ladies did anything wrong, self defense by women vs trouble maker men,

    Lucky they didn't just shoot the men and call it they needed shootin defense.

    Personally I'd have me some words with that lawman in the cold and dark woods, town might be needing another law officer. I don't allow my women to be harmed, nor allow law to blame them for self defense.

    But gotta admit the word picture was priceless. :-)

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  33. #3313
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    #351

    If Clora would have been there, she would have been totally startled by the appearance of the older vendor. Maria was a Helga clone right down to the accent, stout arms and tightly wound bun of hair. The middle Eastern stream of invectives weren't understood word wise, but the tone was very apparent as to it's nature.

    The stout woman sat on the bottom bunk with three of her friends, and rocked back and forth as she pondered her next move. Every once in a while, she flashed a look of hatred at the three clan ladies. The other two younger women were standing next to the bunk, looking like they wished they were far away from the woman flinging the orders.

    The older woman snapped an order at the younger girls and both of them shook their heads no. That opened up the floodgates and the stout woman stood up and started toward the young girls; acting mean and doubling up her fists like she was going to wap the cowering women.

    "Stop!" Abby ordered. "I don't know what you are saying, but you aren't going to be mean to those women."

    The stout woman whirled around and advanced on Abby instead.

    Quick as a flash, Abby quartered her stance and that deadly foot flew out and caught the enraged woman right in her flabby stomach.
    The force was enough to knock the woman backward and "wham" she sat down hard on the concrete floor. Coughing and trying not to retch as her innards were protesting, the woman turned astonished eyes on Abby.

    Whispering low to the women that came to assist her, the three of them crossed themselves and mutely and obediently went to sit demurely on the bunk. All five women looked every where but at the clan cellmates.

    Abby cleared her throat and helped Clara to sit down on the floor, "I need to rest," Clara spoke softly. "It's been a long time since I've had such a day. Did you see their tomatoes?" she asked Judy. "My goodness but they looked fine; great big ripe beefsteak looking tomatoes."

    "You like tomatoes?" the friend on the left of the leader asked in surprise. "Most vomen in US are lazies, no works the gardens like they should."

    "We are with the wagon train and there wasn't time to have a garden this Spring. We worked hard last year to have enough to take with us, but I was very impressed with your vegetables."

    That was all it took; the love of tomatoes soothed the hurt and mad tempers and garden tips and recipe's flew back and forth. Some words weren't understood, but the general jist of the conversation brought smiles to the ladies.

    It was a hard uncomfortable night sitting on the concrete floor with your back to the cell wall, but when the key was turned in the lock early the next morning, the ladies stood politely next to the bunk, and smiled.

    The deputy escorted the eight women down the hallway and out to the front desk, where the older, distinguished gentleman was waiting. "I will guarantee their behavior," he told the weary, jaded Sargent, "this was the fault of that punk gang, and not these women."

    The five Slavic sounding women thanked him profusely and hustled out the door.

    "Ladies," his smooth, deep voice betrayed a hint of southern drawl, "may I escort you somewhere. I realize you are well capable of protecting yourselves, but the gang members are still roaming around with busted noses and deeply hurt egos."

    Abby was getting ready to decline, when Clara spoke up and said with a clear voice, "in that case, we gladly accept your protection."

    That meek, mild and calm Clara would speak up and cut Abby off at the denial, had Abby exchanging glances with Judy at the woman's boldness.

    Judy snickered and then had to quickly cough to cover up her amusement. The sound didn't register with Clara or the gentleman. They were busy looking at each other, and ignoring the other two.

    Walking back up the hill to the meadow and the camp, Abby and Judy were chuckling about the fact that neither adult was paying any attention to the surroundings; so, so much for gang protection.

    There was early morning fog and smoke from town fires hanging low to the ground. The upper layer of cool air holding the fog at knee level. Abby and Judy enjoyed the unusual phenomena, and Clara if she noticed, was busy thinking about other things.

    However busy she was, Clara didn't forget to stop outside the circled wagons and call out. "Hello the camp," she sang out, "the jailbirds have come for breakfast."

    Sentry's appeared on either side, and the group was warmly welcomed into the center.

    Clara went to make introductions to the handsome older man and had to stop, flustered and slightly embarrassed. She didn't know his name.

    That deep, rich voice chuckled slightly, "Corbin,.... Corbin Atwood." he soothed over the slight hesitation, making the rounds, shaking the men's hands and doffing his hat to the ladies.

    Clora stirred her overfull pot of oatmeal with a slight smile, handing out bowls of the hot cereal with morning milk. Andy and Donny were eating with them, as Clara had not been there to get their breakfast. Andy handed Judy the first bowl and helped her find a place to sit, overly solicitous because of the fright he had over her night in town.

    Donny ambled over to sit with his brother and Judy, excited to hear the details of the market brawl. Abby had breakfast with Tess and Millie, and the distinguished gentleman carefully and unobtrusively took in the order and organization of the camp. Soon he was deep in discussion with Mark, allowing Clara to eat her breakfast and steal glances at the man who had taken quite an interest in her.

    Clara rubbed her forehead twice, if the jittery way she was feeling inside was any indication, she had quite an interest in the gentleman.

    The only person hungry was Robert. He took one look at Clara and the gentleman and decided he had a sour stomach and didn't want to eat.

  34. #3314
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,888
    Wonderful, thank you Pac.

  35. #3315
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    D.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  36. #3316
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    3,723
    Thank you, what pictures that painted!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  37. #3317
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,497
    #352

    Corbin Atwood was an interesting man; polite and mannerly, well spoken and very much interested when he discovered the clan was headed westward. His questions were astute and unobtrusive, but skilled in the art of satisfying his curiosity. "If I might suggest," he spoke to Mark, as befitting the patriarch of the clan; "The young men that tried to fondle the ladies, belong to a strong and ruthless gang. I believe it in your very best interest to move out as quickly as possible, before there is retaliation for the broken noses." then Corbin laughed, as he recalled to Mark how the ladies had handled themselves.

    "They certainly have my admiration, and it was a good warning to onlookers not to mess with women just because they are out without an escort. You might say that was a indelible lesson, it will take many launderings to remove the blood stains from the fronts of their white shirts." Corbin was well pleased with the lesson taught to the rowdy punks. "They are young men from good families; but the change in their lifestyle has them bored and constantly looking for mischief."

    Clara had been listening from her seat next to Corbin. "Those riff-raff had knives, long sharp ones and they appeared mean enough to use them. I didn't see any guns, and oh by the way, we weren't frisked before we were jailed." she chuckled. "I was ready to draw my pistol when Abby drop kicked that wicked old gal in the bread basket."

    Corbin was coughing until his eye watered. "You had guns on you?" he asked incredulously, "oh what a situtation."

    "Of course," Clara looked at the man like he had two heads. "We are all armed and are excellent shots, thanks to Mark." she looked at the white haired man, head of the clan and nodded her head happily.

    Corbin looked at the woman that had caught his interest. The more he learned about her, the stronger his interest.

    Robert made the rounds, yelling out, "be ready to move in an hour."

    "Well, that means I have to go to work, excuse me," Clara smiled at Corbin and his knees went rubbery.

    "Judy," Clara called out, "please come help." and the two of them set about bringing the horses in to be harnessed. Calm and efficient, the two women worked in unison to hoist the heavy leather to the backs of the team and spread the lines and buckles.

    Corbin was half turned in his chair, watching the bustle and hustle as Clara worked. "Is there anything she can't do?" he asked half in jest.

    "Not anything she sets her mind to do." Mark was serious. "May I ask what your interest and intentions are?" he said without smiling. "We are a Christian clan here, and do not allow people to live together."

    "Well, I won't deny I'm interested, to what extent, I honestly don't know. I've hardly talked with her, and certainly not to the extent of voicing any intentions. Tell me; are you accepting new members to travel with you?" Corbin steered the subject to a less volatile topic.

    "If you have the correct answers," Mark was grave. "We have a wagon you could drive, that would be Robert's wagon as he is the wagon boss and usually on his horse. That would free up one of our young men to ride, hunt and scout. Do you ride, how about shooting, any specialized work areas. Tell me about Corbin as I harness our teams."

    The two men went to the last two pairs in the inner circle, and Corbin held the second pair while Mark backed the wheel horses into position. Clora was busy buttoning up her kitchen and assorted stray items. Everyone had a job, did it with practiced ease, and the children were well mannered and active, running errands when requested.

    Corbin helped as much as he could, telling Mark that he couldn't leave town for a couple of days, but that he could and would, catch up to the travelers if he was invited to join.

    "Give me a couple of minutes to gather some info from the rest of the families," Mark cautioned, "I'll meet you at Clara's wagon." he finalized.

    Corbin nodded, and walked back to where Clara was doing a last minute check of her team and wagon. "What would you say if I wanted to join the wagon train, I'm interested in going West; but not as much as I'm interested in you."

    Clara stilled her hands and then turned to look Corbin in the eyes. She watched as he stood quietly, letting her see truth and honesty.

    "I'd say welcome," she blushed, and then smiled so her face crinkled at her eyes and her dimple on the right side of her mouth showed.

    "That's what I needed to know," he replied. "I have to go back to the city and bring several items to a close, but I will hurry as fast as possible and catch up with you. Mark said I could bunk and drive with Robert, and now, given the enormity of the trek, I'm wondering if there will be enough room for what I need to bring."

    "If you have a wagon, bring it. It takes a lot of room for personal gear that needs to last for several years. Coats, especially boots, sturdy clothes and cookware. Our premise has been; each one of the wagons needs to be able to journey alone and not depend on the others for help." Clara was truthful.

    "Excellent planning and rules," Corbin complimented. "Are you ready to go? I watched how efficient you were in harnessing and breaking camp."

    "Yes, I'm ready; Judy is wonderful help, and Andy and Donny get her wagon ready after they get Tess ready. We are a God loving, God fearing group," Clara said without apology, the implied inference was that there would be no over friendly socializing.

    Corbin nodded, "Mark already let me know he runs a tight ship; but I would never do anything to dishonor you, you know that." he was very serious.

    Clara nodded, "I do know that, I can feel your honesty in a way that I have never felt before with another person. Judy's father has been gone for a long time, and I've not connected with another gentleman since. What about you?" Clara was emboldened to ask.

    "I've been widowed and divorced. I was married to my first wife for 20 years and then remarried a second time and it lasted five years. I have no children, one brother and no sisters. My parents passed away many years ago, and I have one nephew and no nieces. I have a droll but wicked sense of humor, I'm pretty easy going and am a Christian, born again." Corbin was hurrying through the spiel, as he could see Mark walking his way.

    Clara laughed gently, patting the handsome man on the arm. She winked at Corbin as Mark came to a halt, and stood close to the gentleman as they both turned to face Mark.

    "You're in on a probation. We are heading due West from here, get a compass and we'll see you when you catch up with us; we've got to be moving." and he strode away.

    Corbin took Clara by the arm as they walked to the front of the wagon. As she got ready to put her foot on the wheel hub and climb into the seat, Corbin snatched a lightening fast brush of his lips on hers.

    "Oh my," Clara breathed softly, "OH MY!" as Corbin handed her up to the seat. Roses blossomed on her cheeks, and Clara looked thunder struck.

    "That's to hold you until I catch up to you," Corbin had a very self satisfied gleam in his eye as he sauntered to the edge of the inner circle, "be careful and be safe," he urged as he waved and headed back to town.

    Just then, Robert shouted, "move on wagons." and the next part of the journey was begun.

  38. #3318
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    402
    Thank you Mrs Pac. Wonderful chapters!

  39. #3319
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    3,723
    Thank you! Now to see if Corbin can get squared away and catch up.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  40. #3320
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SE Okieland
    Posts
    6,556
    Pac,

    Clara, Corbin and Robert.... What will develop????

    Thanks for the chapters....

    Texican....

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