A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 110: Planning Out a Shopping Trip

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

The first thing I saw when I reached the landing was a small pile of stumps sitting off to the side. I wondered what they intended to do with those. Timmons filled me in quickly when he saw what I was looking at. Those would become a water break about fifty yards upstream. It’s intended to reduce the current around the landing, as well as to stop any flotsam from hitting the dock. The shipwright and one other guy were working on the boat. There really wasn’t much for us to do down there, so we headed back up to main camp.

We walked back up, with Brin doing dog stuff in front of us and Lunch trailing dutifully along behind. We merely observed the progress made thus far while discussing women, children and other casual subjects. Creating relationships and building personal connections was important; I needed my leaders to trust me.

The road team was hard at work digging, cutting, and pulling out stumps. It was the cleanest and most permanent way to remove a stump. As boatmen, they all were interested in creating that safe harbor for their dock. Patrick pointed out that the water break would also create a great spot for fishing. I let them know that lunch would be here soon and to keep up the good work.

Timmons and I left them to their business and head up towards town. Thinking about lunch, I remembered that we had a butcher in the village now. They should be able to have sausage available for their travels next year. He pointedly complimented the rations we were giving the men and noted that morale had been significantly higher on their on the Ft. Dickinson trip. Given that was an easy trip, but good food had played a role in that, also.

At the top of the bluff, I pointed out where I thought the warehouse and trade house would go. I showed him the spot across the road from them, where I wanted to put the inn and bunkhouse. The inn would also serve as a chow hall for our men. All eating and drinking would be restricted to that area. We didn’t need the rodents, and associated diseases that came with them, in the bunkhouse where they could decimate our ranks.

We stopped by the woodshop for a while. They were making decent progress already. They had managed to fell three trees in the log storage area and were hard at work on the next set. I reminded them to grade the wood as they felled the trees, then stack them accordingly. There’s no sense in using furniture-grade wood to build a dock. I passed along the same message to them, about lunch being on its way soon. Then we left them to their labors.

For the rest of the walk, we discussed recruiting, particularly down in St. Louis. It was vital that we add additional people. We preferred to add families. Our big sticking points would be on racism and religion. We needed a doctor, of some sort, most of all. At that point, I decided that I’d be going on this journey with him. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to deposit some of the gold into a major bank. While I still had a deal pending with Henry Leavenworth, I wanted to keep a certain amount under lock and key. Bank drafts would do me fine for any major transactions.

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