A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 148: St. Charles and Beyond
Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran
Editor: nnpdad 20 May 2021
“Zach Narrator, you’ve just whipped a man. What are you going to do now?”
Well, the answer sure as hell wasn’t a cheerful, “I’m going to Disney World!”
I walked over and simply told him to get to his feet and follow me. I watched as he pulled himself erect with grim determination and then I slowly stepped toward my little camp, with him wavering, but walking tall behind me. When we reached my tiny campfire - really just a hole in the ground with a fire burning down inside it - I had him sit and try to get comfortable.
I handed him a cup of coffee fortified with a small measure of whiskey and then dug into my pack for my magic pills. I cut one in half and told him to swallow it down. I sat back to smoke a cigarette while we waited for the pill to do its thing.
That grunt candy worked its magic in about 10 minutes. At the quarter hour mark, it was time to clean and dress his wounds. Maybe we’d have a little conversation as well.
I sat behind him and gently cleaned his wounds with freshly boiled water and then applied some wound gel and wrapped his body in long strips of cloth that served as our band-aids. They were homemade, but as sterile as we could get them.
I finally called it done and stepped around to look him in the eye.
“Rabbi, that was a very stupid and brave thing to do. Why?”
“Someone had to do it. I could tell that a sacrifice had to be made. You didn’t have a choice, Mr. Narrator.”
“It’s Zach. But still, I would have figured something out.”
“I felt moved, urged by the spirit.”
“Well, you now have suffered as many of the prophets of old suffered. I’ll remind you to look to the Rules of Rulo, for they are built around the rules written by the hand of God.”
“I have thought long on your rules and they are just. God is the ultimate Judge and as people we should only enforce rules to keep people from wronging another.”
“In the end, only he can judge Rabbi. We simply pretend to know. I trust the truths and those truths are written in the world around us, not in the script of man.”
He was stewing on the philosophy and I didn’t know enough about the Jewish religions to speak wisely. I actually had to choose this man, the man I had just tortured, to help lead the way. I wrapped the other half of the magic pill in a small strip of band-aid and handed it to him.
“Take that when the pain is tremendous again. I have more of them but they are as dangerous as a temptress’s softly spoken words. They will eat your soul if you allow them to.”
I stood and finished, “Wait here for now. Amos will fetch you any books, if you want to study. Do not sleep. I’ll be back and you will ride with the captains.”
With that, I walked away to organize the resumption of our trip to St. Charles. We’d be there soon. The Rabbi’s sacrifice had just twisted my head. New considerations simply were not what I needed right now. I was going to ride ahead to St. Charles. Jeb and Peter could bring the herd in.
I found Jeb with little effort and passed that last thought to him. I’d go secure a pasture for the herd and then I’d see him down in town for dinner. It was ‘lunch on the move’ today. The Narrator was obviously in a foul mood and everyone wanted to be away from him. So I left.