A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 112: Working Man

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

I get up at seven, yeah, and I go to work at nine.
I got no time for livin’.
Yes, I’m workin’ all the time.
– Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

Ahh, the work week. A good old, stick to schedule and get things done without the drama, life. Sore muscles and chafed hands, boring repetitive meals, and half-funny jokes from the guys you’re working with. Swing the axe, dig the dirt, and drag the log. It was all a very nice change from the constant drama and stress of the management life. I knew this would be short-lived for me, but I tried to take advantage of it while I could.

I still had to attend afternoon meetings and we needed to see Thomas about his claim. So, today I’d head up there, to invite the family down for dinner on Saturday. I also wanted to time the travel each way, at both a walk and a slow gallop. I knew Lunch was wanting a good run, anyway. That meant it was a shortened work day for me; I still had mayoral duties calling my name.

I started out by pulling a stump down to the beach. I merely wrapped a length of rope around it and secured the rope to the pommel. I walked Lunch down to the beach and he didn’t seem to mind in the least bit. Morgans were well known to be good light draft horses. Timmons and I talked boats for a while and the shipwright explained to me what he was doing, I wasn’t much use down in that specialty area, so I moved on again.

An hour spent digging out stumps is a miserable hour. Thankfully, the larger ones were few and far between, but all of the little stumps, even from saplings, had to be removed. I would swear that those were the worst. Both Brin and Lunch watched my labors with sort of an amused contempt. When I asked Lunch just to kick out one particularly stubborn sapling stump, he simply ignored me. So much for the ‘Trusty Steed’ title. He was back to being a flea-bitten nag in my book.

I knew lunch was on its way, so I took my leave to head up to the wood shop. Over the lunch break, we discussed progress and plans. I let them know we needed a prioritized shopping list from them, soon. I’d still have trouble getting decent deals on the proper equipment, but at least I’d know what to shop for. At the end of it all, Jeb offered to go with me. He’d know what they needed and be able to ensure I was getting the right tools, as well as help me argue price. He would also get everyone off my back about traveling alone; I had a companion now. On the down side, I’d need to properly arm him. We’d already seen the advantages of carrying modern weapons in dangerous times. I thought the Sharps might do him well, plus he could have a revolver for when we were on the road. Now I just had to train him on those.

After an hour or so clearing with this crew, I headed out to the homestead. Esther wanted to go up to visit Daisy. Mouse offered to ride along with her. I didn’t mind having either along. Esther was always funny with her little girl ways and Mouse was just comforting to be with. The girls each had their own mount and we meandered on down to where the road crew was working.

The crew greeted Mouse and me like normal arrivals. Once they saw Esther, they all broke into big smiles and were cracking jokes with her. She was apparently hugely popular throughout the camp; her attitude just seemed to breed happiness. Any plans to hang out with the guys and clear wood ended right there. We just chatted for a while and then headed out down to the prairie.

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