A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 89: Population Explosion Begins

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Mary brought the candidates into me one at a time. Mouse sat outside to watch, listen, and then report to me between each candidate. My first candidate was the fella I’d seen have the best attitude and he had actually tried to strike up a conversation with Pete.

He told me about his military career and his family; pretty normal story that hadn’t really changed over ages. Nothing was easy, the military didn’t pay anywhere near enough and when they decided to cut the budget you were unceremoniously dumped. I’d watched it happen in the modern day. He was a supply guy and when I asked about Douglas he got suddenly reserved and polite, I knew what that meant. I told him briefly of my plans to build a trading post and he was intrigued and excited. I instructed him to pack his family and bring them here in the morning, we would be leaving the morning after. I counted out five dollars and instructed him to speak to no one except his wife. Particularly not the men outside.

Mouse came in after he left and mentioned the two men complaining about the niggers and redskin getting special treatment. Well that was easy so I told her that they were to be last. She left to send in the next candidate.

The next two went the same way as the first; good men who were suddenly cast out and needed a fresh start. Both were just troopers but each had some childhood skills. One had worked as a cooper’s apprentice for a while and the other a carpenter’s apprentice. They both had wife and children; they both received the same hiring bonus and instructions.

Now I had to deal with the rejections.

Each one was brought in and sat down, second chances were available in my world. Both blew it in record time with one mentioning being here to fight the filthy, heathen scum and the other casually insulting ‘uppity niggers’.

Both were paid to go away, fifty cents in coin. Don’t speak to anyone of this and I will contact you in two days’ time to let you know my decision.

Thankfully they both left quietly and bought my ploy. I sat back to relax before the captain showed up.

No such luck my Black Team was ushered in so I rose to thank them for a job well done. It wasn’t going to be that easy.

“Sir, can we be interviewed also?” Came the request from the thus far quiet black woman.

So yes I am a racist idiot. I didn’t even think of tapping that market. I belittled myself thoroughly while I stammered out apologies. I called for Mouse to help me.

They were looking confused and I asked them to please sit. Mouse showed up and I explained what I had done and then asked her to interview the woman for me. I gave her instructions in a clear voice so that they could hear every word.

Mouse led the woman away and I sat down and formally introduced myself. His name turned out to be Isaiah and he had worked as a laborer for the army in building the fort. He had been freed by a will decree from a Connecticut tobacco farm and took the Army work to make money. He met Sarah along the way and they took up together, Sarah was with child now and they had nothing. They were sharing an old tent with two other families.

I made a snap decision and looked over at Mouse who nodded, I stood up and addressed them both.

“Isaiah, gather your friends and bring them here tonight for dinner, I’d like to meet them.

“Sarah, here is a dollar, please go spend all of it to buy food for us to eat tonight. Buy good food and come back, we need to cook soon.

“You both are hired, after supper we will discuss a few things and if you agree we leave the morning after next.

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