Busted Axle Road
Chapter 116

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

It was slow for a Thursday morning in the Record-Herald, so slow that Mike was working on his old dog musher stories when Heather Sanford and John Pacobel walked into his office. "How's it going?" he asked.

"Pretty good," John said. "I heard your kid stirred things up at school a little bit yesterday."

"We really don't need a newspaper in this town," Mike laughed. "Things get around. I've got to give her credit, though. She didn't want to miss school. Can I get you some coffee?"

"Just had some," Heather said. "Did you get the notice from the attorney in Minneapolis?"

"Got it yesterday, when I got back from Warsaw," Mike said. "I ran it right over to Chuck Blackbarn. He's in Minneapolis today, talking to the Fish and Wildlife Service."

"It still grinds me a little," Heather said. "But ELAD and SIRRAH were worth it."

Mike frowned and shook his head. "I don't know what you mean," he said.

John suspected that Mike was lying, but was unwilling to press the issue. "More than worth it," he said. "But, that's not what we came to talk to you about."

"We've figured out what we want to say in the mailing to the Defenders of Gaea members," Heather said. "Did you get the funding squared away?"

"Talked to the source last night," Mike said. "You can have what you need, but they still want to remain anonymous. You're to submit the actual bills to me, and they'll be paid. Go ahead and spend what you need to. If it involves travel expenses, or things like that, go ahead and spend the money. If you have any questions, ask me. If this works, they'd sort of like a receipt for tax purposes."

"All right," Heather said. "It's going to have to be a big mailing, around thirty thousand pieces. Can you handle the printing and mailing? I have a disk with the addresses on it. They can go on peel off labels, or something."

"We can handle it, probably," Mike said. "I'll have to talk to the job shop foreman, but it's probably going to take a couple of weeks."

"A couple of weeks will be fine," Heather said. "But not any longer than that. The membership meeting is in Washington on the sixth, and we want to leave a little time to get the proxies in, but not so much time so they have time to respond. We figure we'll mail them out of Washington about two weeks from Monday, and that ought to work out about right."

"You're looking at starting the campaign about the twentieth, then?" he said. "That won't leave a lot of time for my man that I want you to talk to, but it ought to be enough, if he's got his act together."

"The timing is tricky," Heather said. "We've got to leave enough time for the authorities to get their acts together, too."

"Well, we'd better get started, then," Mike said, picking up the phone. "You've got the goods, and are willing to talk, right?"

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