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Part 4 ...Winter nights & Summer heat ..by Swampy

oldsparkey

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Aug 25, 2003
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#1
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:02 pm Post subject: Winter nights and summer heat chapter FOUR

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Chapter four At the campfires down in the creek

Darkness had already begun to deepen the skies in the east. The tents
and several small log lean-to's were covered in snow. The winds had
diminished somewhat and that was good news to all there. Their bellies
were now full from elk and bear that had been brought in earlier by the
two hunters. All were gracious for that meal. Birch Bark had cooked it
up and Kahuna had added a hot sauce to douse the meat steaks. Mugs of
some of John Dep's Indian "trading goods" was lifted in thanks to the
hunters. They lifted theirs and a song began by Birch Bark. Meriwether
called the group to attention.

"Gentlemen," he yelled and then looked at Birch Bark and added,"
present company excepted." Jack nodded in agreement and then spat his
plug on Meriwether's boots.

Meriwether looked down at his boots with disgust and continued, "We are
nearing the departure of this company into the wilds. I have gone before
but without the convenience of a gifted crew such as we have assembled
here before me now. There are men who will hunt and fish for us; some
are experts in boat building and paddling; some can build and set up
houses; some will have trinkets and drink for the Indian trade; some
will be able to fight for us; and all will have the chance to help move
America forward into the next century!"

No one even looked up... this troubled Meriwether and after a moment's
thought added, "And all the Scotch and wine without metal caps!" The
crowd roared with enthusiasm. Several gun shots where heard in
celebration.

"Calm down men," he went on," Don't celebrate before we even begin. The
winter should lose its grip very soon. Spring water runs shall be high.
We have many obstacles to overcome. This time I hope to have enough food
and drink to carry us forwards through out the trip. all of you are
expected to help each other. No man is unto himself." Meriwether heard a
grunt from Burch Bark, but he went on," You shall gather fame and
fortune unto yourselves. Ideas have already been discussed for new ways
to attempt certain objectives and new ideas on camping gear. Each will
find some ideas to bring forth for all of us to share. Are you ready?"

nothing heard...

Meriwether looked down and looked about him. All the men had sagged
into a stupor! All except John Dep who was sitting down and tilting in
all four corners of the compass. Walking over to him and tapping his
coat, John looked up with glazed eyes. "Tis the drink, Sire." And off he
slid into nothingness. Meriwether would have to speak to John in the
morning about his "trade beverage" and its strength.

One of the men began to arose from numbness. Oldyaker was trying to
stand up, but more looking like a new fawn trying to stand for the first
time. Once up and standing with legs in exaggeration from normal stance.
Once steadied he began to speak in a garbled noise," Where's th' resh of
th'party?"

Meriwether looked hopeless at the man. Where was the man from the cold
east that could whip ten Indians with one hand tied behind him? Now this
apparition before him looked to have been beaten with a tomahawk war
club. Dep's drink had to thinned . No doubts of that. Turning about he
was startled to see Jack and Chuck standing and brushing snow off their
pants. Bear had come back from the outhouse where he had been for a
spell. "I told those boys that any drink with a metal cap would prove
unwise to their health!" The rest nodded to the affirmative with that
remark." Let's smoke one," said Chuck. Pipes, cigars and a bite of plug
were taken. After some thirty minutes the whole crowd awoke from their
stupor. "Now shall we continue?" asked Meriwether.

"As I was saying, the spring time is very near, we can find ourselves
further into the wilds from here tomorrow night if we start off in the
morning. It is imperative that we are all ready by mid-night. All horses
and mules packed." "Aye major!" cried Uphill aloud."Good. Then let us
make piece with our Maker and get a nights rest before we start off at
six in the morning."

"Major!" called Floatfur. "Yes?" "What are we to find in the
wilderness?" Whispering among the men hushed now. All had asked this in
camp last week when it was thought that there wasn't much left to find
in the new western territories. They awaited Meriwether's answer. "Aw my
brethren there is indeed much to find out there ( pointing to the forest
beyond). Things that no man has ever seen except the primitives out
there. There is gold, and furs. There is passages not know for the white
man to travel to the ocean beyond. What your wants are may very well be
out there!" And he jerked his arm again to the vast forest beyond. The
men knew better. The major had slipped around the question again. They
stared at the major.

Meriwether knew the cue to move along had come. He turned and shouted
behind him," Be ready at six!" He then stopped after he thought of
something. "Where's Wallace?" "I haven't seen him sire," said Floatfur
the mule smith. "Nay, I either," said Uphill the other mule skinner of
the company.

Pee Roe stated that the guide , Wallace, was on his way from St Louie
and had sent runners ahead to tell them of his march from the east had
been delayed due to Indians who had cut down trees to confuse him and
his knowledge of the path. He'd follow the messengers to get here.
Sounded like a plan to Meriwether. With that he turned and headed to the
lodge.


swampy
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Kahuna

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2003
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DEEP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
#2
OH GOSH!!
I never got to read this!
Where is the whole series posted!!
Kahuna

oldsparkey said:
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:02 pm Post subject: Winter nights and summer heat chapter FOUR

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