A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 59: One Month

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

I lay in bed and listened to the rooster crow. Staring up at the tent ceiling I reflected on the month that had just passed. This had without question been the most challenging time of my life; it had also taken my definition of weird to an entirely new level. The good news was that the world had already changed on me. Once the leak of the lottery money had happened everything in my world had undergone a sea change, things would never be the same after that. Nobody would ever look at me or speak to me the same again with the change that money brought. Well, I guess the exception to prove the rule would be Matilda.

I was still wealthy but I wasn’t there any longer, now I was here and my brain was still struggling with that.

So here I was in a tent in 19th century Nebraska listening to that jerk of a rooster reminding me it was time to get up; I finally gave in to the rooster’s demands and rolled out of bed, good times indeed.

The camp was fully alive when Michelle and I staggered out of the tent seeking coffee. That traitor Brin had gone out earlier leaving me to fend for myself against the spring morning air. So much for my faithful canine companion I thought as I watched Brin loving up Esther as she fed them. I simply sat and enjoyed my morning coffee and the warmth of the fire. There is something special about spring mornings and the bright promise that they bring, those first rays of sunshine in a clear sky as they shine down on everything with the golden light of newness and promise. Spring simply washes the harshness of winter away with happy colors and fresh smells.

For the first time since we got here I simply took the morning off; I sat in my chair sipping my coffee and watched the morning bustle of the camp happen around me. The sun was shining on my face and my cigarette had the right acrid bite to offset the sweetness of the day. Matilda was fussing over breakfast filling the air with delicious aroma and the sounds the morning chores being done without me was calming. They didn’t need me to survive on a day to day basis nearly as much anymore.

Even Sonya was working hard without comment or complaint and out in the distance I could hear the sweet sound of Michelle’s voice as she talked to and tended our livestock. Our situation was currently pretty good if we considered everything; we didn’t know the particulars but we had a very good idea of what would soon come our way. Our time in solitude would be short lived and I knew that we had some tough times ahead, but having some knowledge of what the future held was of great advantage to us. It was up to me to leverage that knowledge properly. With that the dinner bell rang and it was time for breakfast.

After breakfast Michelle took Amos and Holder and went down to the Nemaha river to do some fishing, I took a ride up and down the bank looking for a good place to ford. I felt I’d be able to cross about a mile upstream once the waters receded a little more, there was a shallow cove where the river ran wide I should be able to cross in a few weeks’ time.

The St. Louis travel plan was to cross the Nemaha river directly south of us and then find a trail to follow east until we got to the Missouri River. We’d follow the Missouri down until we found the nearest settlement and get our bearings from there. I was sure that once we found the first trading post we’d be able to make better decisions from that point. The problem was that the St. Louis plan was based on a lot “If’s and Maybe’s”. In other words a bad plan.

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