A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 157: Injuns and Puppy Love
Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran
Editor: nnpdad 10 June 2021
By the sixth day, I was beginning to dread my shifts riding alone with Amos. He was now in full bloom of ‘lovesick,’ and simply could not stop talking about the girl. I had to back him down once in a while from telling me too much. So we started to spend our evenings writing together. I taught him how to write a love letter and even a love poem.
I was wary about encouraging this youthful obsession, yet on the other hand, the lad had a talent. He was able to weave words but lacked the skill to write them, I set him to work, reading the one book I had with me. I always carried a book; a lesson learned from my youth and military days. You can’t count on electronics, but you can count on a well-cared for book. When all else fails, just a little light and a book, or something to write on, can comfort you.
One of the greatest books of love stories and poems (some even quite graphic) is the bible. I had a bible with me I my travel bag and we worked from that. Blessedly, I wasn’t alone in this endeavor. Sheriff rode with the young man frequently enough that he was happy to help. Even Peter and Jeb kicked in some aid. Both knew the bible well and both knew all the fun stories and were willing to talk about them. It was a lot of listening to a beginner read, though. Amos was bright and came along quickly, but it was still painful to follow along and correct him.
However, he excelled at weaving words together romantically. Had one of us been willing to write it out for him, it would have made for an epic work of prose and poetry. Instead, it was hours of scratching out words on whatever small piece of parchment or prepared leather we had around. I had a very small supply of parchment with me and I zealously conserved that resource like the treasure that it was.
In the end, we managed. Once he had an actual letter formed in his mind, I allowed him a single piece of note-sized parchment. Practicing with the fountain pen was entirely a separate endeavor. Had my mother not forced me into a handwriting class in Middle School, I would have been just as worthless with the tool. As it turned out, that class was full of cute young girls and I ended up getting my first feel of breasts and my first hand job out of that class. Not the sexy sort of endeavor, more the ‘groping in the dark alley next to the roller-skating rink’ sort of effort. It was memorable nonetheless. In my memory, her nipples stand out; that was my main takeaway from the experience.
Still, the fountain pen was an effort and only Peter and the Rabbi were a help there; Jeb had never truly had a reason to write, and Sheriff was utterly lost. He’d only seen such a thing used in movies, so he was about as useless with the tool as I was with an easel and artist’s paint. It was hilarious to watch in action, but nothing good would be coming out of it. So we fell into a small routine for a couple of days and each of us helped him with a specific area of his effort, it passed the time if nothing else.
Everything changed in that small routine when we ran into the small band of Otoes. They didn’t give us any trouble and Brin was a big part of that; he accompanied me as I was out on point when we stumbled across them. Our reputation preceded us apparently and the warriors they did have with them were nothing but polite. A hidden benefit of having a recognizable and legendary war dog as a companion?