A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 128: Aunty and the Shoemakers

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Edited: Nnpdad, 5 May 2021

A peaceful, stoic lifestyle might be somewhere in my future but that somewhere definitely wasn’t here and now. Chaos was in charge and I was forced to dance to his tune whether I liked it or not, though I still got to choose a step here and there. I had a little time before dinner and I needed to send a few letters, which I dictated to Clara. Aunty busied herself with thread and needle while Clara and I worked away. Peter was sent off to look for ideas down at the docks. I hoped he might stumble across something we could build while he was poking around. It took me a while to explain to him that I was paying for him to go out and just be curious about anything he came across that looked interesting.

After exhausting my miniscule knowledge of the inventor’s trade, we got down to writing the letters. Our first missive was to the US Postmaster General, offering to set up a Post Office in Rulo. I also offered to run delivery services up and down our section of the river. I claimed to have a small steam-powered boat that would perform in almost all weather, though I did mention allowances for winter weather. I didn’t want to tempt the weather gods too much and get people killed.

The second missive was to the Justin Morgan family in Vermont, inquiring about purchasing, or getting leads on purchasing, breeding stock. With that, dinner time was fast approaching. Clara and I simply interviewed, or, more realistically, were interviewed by, Aunty until the Schumachers showed up.

The Schumachers brought a lot of challenges to my situation and they also brought a lot of people to my meeting. But I had prepared challenges for them, also. I needed to measure them before I decided, particularly if a larger group showed up. Which did. Obviously, Aunty was part of the challenge. She knew what was being done and agreed to act as my “official” advisor during the meeting. I needed a close reading on their behavior around women and negroes. Four couples showed up. There was one young single man; I suspected he was a Rabbi.

Basic introductions were made all around and Mrs. Byrne brought out the new, custom-made, all pork menus. I wanted to throw them straight into the fire before they had time to settle themselves. We jumped into ordering and started with Clara. She joyfully ordered the pomme frittes with sausage gravy and cheese. My turn to be surprised. Mrs. Byrne had wasted no time experimenting with the recipe; that was good news in my opinion.

I was still marveling at the possibilities when I realized the next person due to order was the young Rabbi. He simply sighed in acceptance and asked if a vegetable stew was possibly available. If not, he’d just have tea. It went the same way all of the way around the table. The three us held discipline and ordered pomme frittes.

We simply left that as it was for the moment and Mrs. Bryne went to fry up six orders of standard fries as we moved on to the next stage. Aunty spoke next. She had that clear, strong grandma voice and she delivered the spiel I had asked of her. She spoke directly to the women and asked them pointed questions about what each woman and her family had to offer us. Aunty had laughed for almost five minutes when I explained what I wanted her to do. I was sure Michelle would have a good laugh also. I had no f•©king clue what the Pawnee would think, but the women did normally run all things family-related.

The session actually went swimmingly well. They were obviously of the liberal sort and later turned out to have many books by some of the great Jewish philosophers and thinkers. The sticking point was the Rabbi, who didn’t have a woman to speak for him. I was searching my mind for a quick solution when Aunty stepped up her game.

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