A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 124: The Teacher
Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran
Edited: Tarasandia, 2 May 2021
Rest time was over and I wanted to get on with my evening. I started by handing him my ‘carry about’ copy of the rules of Rulo. It was written on a rolled length of deer skin. I had lightly sprayed some shellac on it to protect the ink. Yes. I still had my really old rolling tool box from before the lotto. And yes, it still had all kinds of stupid odds and ends in it.
He wasn’t faking the reading. That became obvious by the way he looked over the paper at me with an inquisitive cocked eyebrow. His questions, after he handed it back to me, were direct.
“What does this mean to me?” He had a deep voice that matched his size.
“This means that, when we get to my land, you are only beholden to that document and ideas. You are not beholden to any human. Well, except your woman...”
That got me a chuckle.
“How do we live? Right now, someone feeds and gives us shelter because we are slaves.” That was a valid concern and precisely what happened to the freed slaves after the civil war.
“Each citizen is granted land from my holdings and you are allowed to hunt and fish all of my wild holdings,” I was ready with the answer.
“How much land does each man receive?” Another valid concern.
“An equal amount to that granted to each woman,” I answered with a wry smile.
“Regardless of color?” he asked.
“No,” I answered flatly, “I like the color green so green colored citizens always get extra.” And I earned myself another chuckle. This guy was quick in the head.
At that point, I wanted to get on with my day, so I wound up the conversation.
“I need to know how much food you and the rest of the people I bought today will need for tonight and tomorrow morning. Also, tell the women to look through the goods I purchased and find enough cookware to feed everyone. Set up any tents you can find.”
I slid him a $10 pile of coins.
“That’s in case you need it. Send Amos back to me with a list of the food you will need and I’ll have it sent to you. And last of all, you haven’t given me your name, so I’m just going to call you the Sheriff. Go take care of our new people, Sheriff, and send me a head count.”
With that, I got up and left the room, Brin trailing behind with his fresh bone in mouth. Brin didn’t have pockets.
The main dining room was filled and business was booming. That was good news for the Byrnes and they were smart enough to realize that it was happening because of me. I drank and ate free from then on. They had set aside a table for me in the corner. The door to the kitchen and residence was behind me, offering a handy escape route. Not a bad setup, and the ability to quickly escape appealed to my sense of privacy.
I took my seat at the round table. Amos had a chair on the wall behind me. Brin was hanging out with him, gnawing on his bone. It was comforting to know Brin was at my back. Timmons and Jeb were already sitting at the table, on my left and right, respectively. I took my seat and Amos brought me a fresh beer. It was cold and smooth and I simply sat and enjoyed the beer and a cigarette. All I needed now were some peanuts or popcorn and a ballgame to watch. Well, a beautiful woman wouldn’t hurt either.