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  1. #3041
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    Thank you so much.

  2. #3042
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    The clan was camped at the cross road when Robert reached the group. Robert was handed a cup of coffee and squatted down to confer with the members.

    "We can go as far as the Ohio and there's a crossing there to go North. That's getting into flatter land, and hopefully smaller rivers.


    A positive plan develops....

    How will it go????

    Chapters will reveal....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  3. #3043
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    Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  4. #3044
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    #291

    Robert got around to talk to each family, dodging the lines of wash that were strung from wagon to wagon, drying. To a family, they all agreed that they preferred to go North, the ladies especially were anxious to move away from the heat and humidity of the South.

    Mark and Clora agreed that cooler and dryer weather would suit them just fine. "Well, not that Illinois doesn't have humidity," Mark chuckled as he offered Robert a cup of coffee. "Tell me what you discovered, how are the people behaving? Are we dealing with reasonable minds, and attitudes?"

    "On the whole," Robert replied slowly. "No legions of angels, but no scuds of demons either. Seems like a lot of just plain folks are trying hard to get by. Everyone wants to head South, they think we are crazy for wanting to live in the North. Am I missing some big answer that is not jumping out at me?"

    "I don't believe so," Mark said thoughtfully. "I think it all depends on where you were raised, and then some are lazy and don't like the work that it takes to provide heat during the cold months. How about the road or track, is it passable?"

    "My main information was first hand up to the Ohio, but travelers talk about people coming down from Illinois and the river of the same name; the way seems travelable."

    "Then lets get to it in the morning," Mark put out his hand to shake with Robert.



    The clan looked at the ford across the Ohio. It didn't look encouraging.

    "Do these contraptions float?" Honey asked Milo, referring to their wagons. " that water looks nasty swift right here. Can we go upriver to a more narrow crossing, or will it become more shallow?"

    "I'm not sure I'd trust that raft to hold a pony cart, much less one of our loaded wagons," Milo was watching the log raft inch across the river with a group pf people aboard. "Dad seems inclined to trust the ferry, but our loads are way more heavy than the light wagon he and Ma were traveling with. I'm inclined to send a scout up river to check out other crossings."

    Honey nodded, giving Milo a small smile and a pat on the arm, her approval for his leadership.


    Headed up river, Robert found a shallow ford two days ride. He crossed easily on his horse, and rode back to inform the clan.

    There was a lot of squealing when the wagons went into the river, the good ladies were nervous and jittery about the wagons leaking. The wagons had been sealed with pitch and tar, but not every crack had been waterproofed.

    Right off the bat, Roberts wagon got stuck as the first one to cross. Donny was driving and very apprehensive about driving the team into the water, and he hesitated when he should have encouraged the horses to pull hard.

    Mark and Clora's wagon was next and Mark shouted to Clora to pop the reins and get aggressive with the horses as he snapped a lead line on the off front mare and urged them forward. They unhitched Marks team and used the double setup to pull Roberts heavy wagon on through the ford.

    Abby was next, her wagon probably the heaviest one, and it was decided that Mark would re-hitch his ream and move their wagon out of the way. Robert used his team on Abby's wagon in a double hitch, and then Abby's team was used to double up on Tess's team. It went on down the line, the eight horse hitches pulling the wagons easily through the swift water.

    Clora, Clara, Judy and all the older boys went a ways upstream and the boys went fishing. With a prayer for a blessing, they caught small catfish by the bucketful's, a change for weary appetites. It wasn't as much fun when it came time to clean the fish, but the youngsters were learning responsibility.

    Tired men and horses were thankful for the afternoon of rest while Robert, Andy and Donny went off to scout the new trail.

  5. #3045
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    Thank you Pac, yes back to the days of yore travel wise.

  6. #3046
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    Thank you. Sounds like the learning curve is a bit steep for some and they head south.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  7. #3047
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    And the route changed for the better....

    Or not....

    Only additional chapters will reveal....

    Thanks Pac....

    Texican....

  8. #3048
    Thank You Mrs Pac.

  9. #3049
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    #292

    "Hey Robert, ya got a minute?" Donny was nervously shuffling from one foot to the other. "Hey, I'm not sure I'm the best choice for first wagon. I mean I got frightened when I should have been pushing them on to get across." The young teen confessed his weakness with the following embarrassed silence.

    "I don't think so Donny, you followed instructions, as you didn't know how deep the water was, and that's my fault. Next crossing, one of us will ride across so you teamsters can judge how deep the crossing will be. I thought you did well for our first major river. We lucked out, that there haven't been storms upstream to increase the flow. Just remember, once you start, you're committed and don't slack off." Robert smiled at the young man.

    "Hey, I thought you should know that Danny was urging me to hurry the horses; you've really taught that kid well. If only he didn't talk so much." Donny gave a small laugh. "Most of the time I just tune him out. The only one that doesn't seem to mind all his chatter is Ms. Clara. It's a relief to my ears when Danny rides in their wagon."

    Robert simply nodded, as he kept on checking the horses feet. They had two shoes to reset, and he went in search of Seamus.
    One of the nicest mares they had, really disliked having her feet handled, and Seamus was the only person that could hold her with confidence, while Robert reshod the loose shoe.

    Resting on the far bank, Milo's attention was caught by a furtive movement. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a 'red heeler' type dog driven to overcome her fear of humans, by extreme hunger.

    Quietly, Milo put together the remains of their supper in the skillet the cornbread had been cooked in. Some rice and beans, two overbrown hunks of corn bread and the fish that David and Scotty didn't finish.

    Milo walked to the outside of the wagon circle and crouched down, the pan out in front of him. Softly, he called the dog in to eat. It took a lot of coaxing, but eventually the heeler reached the pan and took a tentative sniff. "It's Ok, you can eat," Milo spoke aloud.

    Milo thought he hardly had time to blink, before the pan was empty. "Down," he said firmly and the dog complied. Slowly, Milo reached out and touched the heeler. Her lip curled and once again Milo firmly said "no."

    By nightfall, Milo was the proud owner of another 'Red,' and they walked around the encampment, introducing the dog to the clan members. The only holdout was Inky, he wasn't thrilled to share the limelight with another canine.

  10. #3050
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    Thank you.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  11. #3051
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    Mens gots to have their dogs! Thank you Mrs PAC for all the new chapters. And sorry to hear about all the struggles you and everyone else is having in the heartland of the country.

  12. #3052
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    By nightfall, Milo was the proud owner of another 'Red,' and they walked around the encampment, introducing the dog to the clan members. The only holdout was Inky, he wasn't thrilled to share the limelight with another canine.

    Another guard dog for the family and Inky will come around since he is top dog....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  13. #3053
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    #293

    "Millie would you please check on Punky and Max, they are being way to quiet. I don't want to leave the fish frying." Clora started out giving Millie short easy tasks to accomplish. The woman was agreeable, but made no comment as she got up to check on the young rascals.

    Mark cleared his throat, drawing Clora's attention, as he looked pointedly at Millie's retreating back. Clora shrugged, really not too upset, feeling that it might take time and gentle love to bring Millie back to being a whole person.

    Before Millie got to the back of the wagon, there was a boyish howl of outrage; the disagreement locating itself. Millie looked at the two boys , each set of hands gripping a piece of wood as they tugged back and forth.

    "It's mine." Punky was shouting, using superhuman six year strength to jerk the stick toward himself.

    "The blazes it is, it's mine, I found it first." Danny was shouting, digging his heels in the dirt. The back and forth went on, the stick going one way and then the other. When Millie got to them, there was a cracking sound as the natural sling shot fork broke, leaving apiece of stick in each set of hands.

    "Look what you did," Punky screamed with white hot anger, kicking in frustration at the older boy. Millie blanched, twitching with fright as she remembered the out of control rages that her sons exhibited. Rooted in the spot, she tried to move and couldn't, the kicking and fighting boys coming closer and closer until Punky backed into her frozen body

    Millie went down with a terrorized scream, bringing the camp rushing to the back side of the wagon. Millie was on her knees protecting herself by folding her arms over her head, weeping uncontrollably.

  14. #3054
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    Going to take a while for MIllie

  15. #3055
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    Quote Originally Posted by sssarawolf View Post
    Going to take a while for MIllie
    Definitely appears that way....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter...

    Texican....

  16. #3056
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    Thanks Pac.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  17. #3057
    Thanks Mrs. PAC

    Another red; Good thing

    Poor Millie, maybe those younguns will wake up and start helping her get better instead of being part of the problem.


    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  18. #3058
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    #294

    Clora reached down and helped Millie to her feet, with Mark's help. Wrapping her arms around Millie and leading the woman away from the dusty, scuffed site of the boy's squabble, Clora opened the back door of their wagon and reached for a dipper of water.

    Millie was shaking so violently that she couldn't hold the dipper but when she took a drink, she choked and coughed. "Small sip Millie," Clora coaxed, sitting Millie on the back step.



    Back at the scene of the fight, Punky and Danny were standing with open mouth's at the spectacle they had caused. "Holy geeze," Punky whispered to his opponent; "have you ever seen anything like that?"

    "No," Danny whispered back. "she's one strange lady, but holy cow does she have a set of lungs."

    Milo happened to be close, as Robbie had come to find him to stop the fracas, and he swallowed hard and had to clamp his teeth together to keep from laughing. It wouldn't have been so funny, except Milo could remember being a kid and thinking approximately the same thing about Helga and her fear of volves.

    Milo had to tug on his mustache, the lip pain stopping his amusement. He looked up to see Mark and Toby doing much the same thing.

    Robert came hustling around the corner of the wagon, he had been resetting the shoes on the mare and was late to the problem. "Danny, what was going on here? Who was screaming?"

    "Ahh, Dad...me and Punky was havin a disagreement over a slingshot; but it's broke, so we don't have nuthin to be mad about now. It was that really strange lady that did all the noise, boy she could really tune'em with one set of lungs." Danny was serious, but he had an audience and the words came flowing out.

    Punky had shrunk back against the wagon wheel, hoping against hope that Mark wouldn't notice him and figure his part in the fight. No such luck. Mark had his 'dad' eye on Punky and the youngster shoved his hands deep in his pockets and slowly drug himself over to stand by Mark.

    Mark had to tug on both sides of his moustache, the dejected look on Punky's face was comical but filled with dread. Mark was about to take Punky 'out back to the woodshed' when there was a loud "Yoo-Hoo" that was repeated several times.

    "Yoo-Hoo, are you the Lindermans?" Miss Hattie came limping toward the group, her hair disheveled and her once white starched blouse looked like it had been trampled by fifty elephants.

    Punky was standing with his mouth open and tears in his eyes. "Miss Hattie," Punky was whispering, holding his hands out toward her.

    "Hey WOMAN, whe're ya at?" Oren was roaring at the top of his lungs, looking for the elusive Hattie as she walked in a trance toward Punky.

    It was a slow motion reunion, the starchy governess and the street kid Punky. Arms around her waist and his face buried so the tears in his eyes couldn't be seen, Punky sniffed with emotion.

    From high above his head, there was another audible sniff as Hattie swallowed hard against the emotion she was feeling. "My dear Punky, how are you?" Hattie had to bite her lip as Punky squeezed her harder.

    "I'm OK," Punky's voice was muffled, but Hattie heard and smiled.

    "So am I, now." Hattie assured the youngster. "I've really missed you."

    "Me too," was mumbled against her belt.

    Punky stuck his finger in the missing button gap of Hattie's shirt and wiped his eyes. "I'm really glad you found us, I've been so worried 'bout you, where'd ya go?"

    "We had some grownup things to take care of," Hattie responded with a shaky voice, hearing the depth of Punky's hurt and pain. "I'm sorry Punky, I should have been more aware, will you forgive me?"

    Punky nodded up and down, his drippy nose leaving wet streaks on the front of Hattie's skirt.

    "I'll tell you what," Hattie bent down and whispered in Punky's ear, and the longer she talked, the faster the boy nodded 'yes.'

    "Oren and I need to talk to Mark, so would you go clean your face and we will talk with you when we have finished."

    "Yes Ma'am," Punky about fell over his own feet and those of Danny, as he hastened to do as Hattie asked.

  19. #3059
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    Millie, Hattie & Oren....

    It just gets more complicated....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

  20. #3060
    Thank You Mrs Pac.

  21. #3061
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    How do you do it? Thank you Mrs. Pac.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  22. #3062
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    XD

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  23. #3063
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    Gads Hattie and Oren lol

  24. #3064
    Maybe they're going to adopt Punky?! That would be great!!

  25. #3065
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    #295

    "Woman," Oren was roaring, "yer the dad-gumbist, slipperiest disappearing woman in the lower 48. Where ya at? Ever time I turn around, yer flittin off in some direction and I git plumb confused and dizzy."

    Oren the medic came barreling around the end of the wagon and ran smack dab into the back and considerably well muscled body of Robert.

    "Good Lord Almighty," Oren belted out, "yer like running into a brick outhouse." Oren listened to someone snicker as he put out his hand to steady himself against the back corner of the wagon.

    "Yeah well, you don't feel like a creampuff." Robert growled back, sending a dark look at the hapless man.

    Mark sighed hard. Trouble seemed to create itself without ceasing around the medic. He watched without smiling as Miss Hattie swiped her hand against her dusty, dirty skirt, patted her equally disheveled hair and turned to smile brightly at Oren and then Mark.

    "Sir, we would like a moment of your time please," Hattie requested politely, walking over to stand close to Oren, as they communicated with a look and a smile.

    Mark nodded and indicated with a sweep of his hand for Hattie and Oren to walk out toward the pasture where the horses were staked.

    Robert frowned at Danny, and jerked his thumb back toward where he had been shoeing the horse. "Move," he ordered shortly and Danny snapped his whiney reply lips together and did as he was told.



    Clora had Millie leaning against the wagon, speaking softly to the distraught woman. "Go ahead and cry Millie. You need to let out a lot of pent up emotion."

    Millie responded well, giving anguished, hurtful sounds as she wailed to the heavens; giving voice to many years of pain.

    Punky was busy at the water barrel, a pan held by Max got most of the water from the dipper, but a great deal of it splashing down Max's front.

    "Hold still," Punky threatened. "I gotta wash my face with this water, Miss Hattie said so. Maybe she's gonna do her tea thing, I hope so anyway."

    Max shook his head no. "She didn't come with no wagon," his thin voice informed Punky.

    "Really, ahh shucks," Punky dipped his dirty hands in the shallow pan of water and scrubbed at his face, leaving quite possibly more dirt than the water sluiced off.

    "You ain't doin a very good job," Max advised. "If I was you, I'd take my shirt off and get it wet and rub my face with that. It's hot enough that yer shirt won't be wet very long. After all, you really want to look good for Miss Hattie."

    That last sentence was the cincher for Punky. He would do anything to look handsome and presentable for his dear Miss Hattie. The shirt helped scrub the apple cheeked and angelic looking face of a rascal, into little boy acceptable.

    "Hey, don't put it back on dirty," Max shoved the water pan at Punky. "Dunk yer shirt until it's clean looking. Fer heaven's sake, ain't ya thinkin at all."

    "You shut up. When I want your advise, I'll ask for it." Punky snapped back, as he dunked his shirt and wrung it out. Max put the pan on the ground and looked around as he was smiling slightly.


    Mark and Oren were talking, and Hattie had her beaming face turned in Oren's direction. "You got a preacher man that could marry us up?" Oren asked as he hooked his thumbs in his back pockets. "Me 'n Hattie, we're thinkin we outta be hitched."

    Mark looked at the medic and the obviously much older Hattie, and nodded slowly. "You both understand the considerable age difference."

    "That Sir, is none of your damn business," Oren was clear eyed and steady, reaching for Hattie's hand. "We didn't come for a lecture, we came to get married. So either you don't have a preacher man that can tie us up, or you do."

    "We do," Mark acknowledged with a dip of his head. "But if you think I'm nosy, let me introduce you to Seamus. Come right this way." The trio went in search of the large, oversized Scot; and they found him singing to the mare, as Robert worked on her feet.

  26. #3066
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  27. #3067
    Thank you Mrs. PAC

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  28. #3068
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    Hearing Seamus sing to the mare will clear up you're sinuses...Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  29. #3069
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    "That Sir, is none of your damn business," Oren was clear eyed and steady, reaching for Hattie's hand. "We didn't come for a lecture, we came to get married. So either you don't have a preacher man that can tie us up, or you do."

    "We do," Mark acknowledged with a dip of his head. "But if you think I'm nosy, let me introduce you to Seamus. Come right this way." The trio went in search of the large, oversized Scot; and they found him singing to the mare, as Robert worked on her feet.



    Now Seamus can probably turn a simple wedding ceremony into a half day sermon about marriage....

    The comedy of the clan just gets better and better....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

    N

  30. #3070
    Quote Originally Posted by Texican View Post
    "That Sir, is none of your damn business," Oren was clear eyed and steady, reaching for Hattie's hand. "We didn't come for a lecture, we came to get married. So either you don't have a preacher man that can tie us up, or you do."

    "We do," Mark acknowledged with a dip of his head. "But if you think I'm nosy, let me introduce you to Seamus. Come right this way." The trio went in search of the large, oversized Scot; and they found him singing to the mare, as Robert worked on her feet.



    Now Seamus can probably turn a simple wedding ceremony into a half day sermon about marriage....

    The comedy of the clan just gets better and better....

    Thanks Pac for the chapter....

    Texican....

    N
    Well getting married by a angel outta sign seal and secure any marriage he performs.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

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