The Beginning – Chapter 14, finally

One morning out my window.

One morning out my window.


Chapter 14
Will asks if they can borrow my tiller to till between the rows in their garden, so we load it in my pickup and take it over to help out. They ask if we can enlarge the garden area a bit, by just tilling a few more strips around the outer edge of it. About the time we are finished with the new improved garden, the wind changes and that horrible outhouse odor hits us again. I suggest they pick up some lime in town next trip because that is the worst I have ever smelled. They agree. I spot a large bear in the edge of the woods beyond the outhouse, and tell them. They have not seen any around here, except the one I shot the day we met, so they are interested in seeing one. I do tell them a bear can be dangerous and be very careful about any food around the place. Once a bear finds food, they will keep coming back to see if there is more. This bear just stays back in the edge of the trees, not coming closer, and sniffing the air. Then it drops out of sight. We have one more morning of canning to do, so they decide to spend the night as they have been doing and we can get a nice early start in the morning. We stop at the Hit & Run on our way by, and just make it as they are about to close. We offer to just get ice cream so they don’t have to stay longer but they laugh and say they were closing early as they were tired of sitting with no one to talk to. We talk over the thefts that have been occurring around, as there have been a couple more in the area that we have heard about. It seems to only be food and not a lot at each place. Almost like someone is trying not to take too much from any one person. Well, if we must have a thief, it is nice to have a thoughtful thief. I told them about my little occurrence yesterday. Kara starts laughing and says she told the guy the only access to the river was back by the bridge and there were very few, very small fish in it anyway. He had started to drive on past her shack to use their driveway which also does not access the river, and she told him he would probably get shot by her Mom if he continued. He was muttering about inconsiderate people as he backed out and turned around. Well, he certainly was one of those, himself. While we were eating and talking, Roman pulled in with his tool trailer. Oh my, he has a huge enclosed shop type trailer. He could rebuild anything he sets his heart on. Rose shows him where he can park it, and level it so he can use it as a shop. She is going to have a small village here, soon. Seems he has a small room with twin beds in the end of the shop trailer. He used to travel to jobs and stay in the trailer while he worked. He has another guy with him that is helping him set it all up. The guy resembles Roman and Noah a little bit. But he is very tall and lean, not skinny, just not an ounce of fat on the man. He has muscles though, as he lifts the blocks to level the trailer with ease. When they come back over, Roman introduces his son, Thaddeus. Known as Thad. The guy is certainly a nice looking guy. Wonder if he is single? Is he is going to help his Dad? What? He drove a 4×4 pickup out, as pilot car for his Dad’s trailer. They each order a sandwich also, so it looks like a good thing we showed up to keep the shack open later tonight. It will be closer to 8 pm before they can close tonight. While we are all sitting around talking, a Trooper pulls in. He walks over and asks for Will and Shari. Will stands up and walks over to him and they converse in low voices a few minutes. Will looks shaken. He asks the Trooper a question and they walk over to all of us. The Trooper says he was on his way to town when he saw a bear tearing up a small shed up the hill from Will and Shari’s house. He stopped to investigate and the bear dragged something out from the rubbish. From what the Trooper could see, it was a human body. So he loaded his riot gun with slugs and shot the bear. He wanted to know if anyone there would come ID the body if possible. He had called it in and a crew were on their way out to pick up and work the scene. But it looked as though the body may have been there since the day the other body showed up. It was not a pretty sight and may not be able to ID it from the way it looked. Oh my, no wonder that outhouse smelled. I am so glad we had not decided to go use it or check on it. I guess I shouldn’t feel that way, but I certainly didn’t want to find something like that. We all load up and head over to see if anyone knows or can recognize the deceased. The Trooper is right, about all we can tell is that it probably is male. Although Shari says the size is right to be Rod’s twin brother, Rob. If so, that only leaves the friend, Jeremy, on the loose in the area, if he is still in the area. I wonder if that is who is responsible for the food thefts in the area? He must know he is being looked for. I suggest it to the Trooper and he agrees. Later, when the team has searched the area and through the outhouse remains, they find another rifle. Shari can identify the rifle, it belonged to Rob. So tentatively, he is ID’d as Rob. Shari is very nervous and says with their Daddy being a county sheriff back home, that he will be out for revenge when he learns his sons are dead. He was the main problem with her getting help when she had been married to Rod. She went in the house and brought out the paperwork and photos that were taken when Will got her to a hospital the last time and also the copies of her divorce papers. She showed the Troopers and explained what had been an on-going problem and what she was afraid would happen now, with his family. The Trooper said they would keep an eye out and they did not allow such abuse no matter who his Daddy was. We were a somber bunch when we left there. We dropped off the ones that rode with us, at Rose’s driveway and went on to mine. It seemed that maybe Jeremy was protecting Shari from Rod and Rob in a twisted sort of way. Who else would know they were even there, let alone on Will and Shari’s place? Who else could get that close to them, and how did he get so close to both of them, after the first one was down? We proceeded with the canning the next morning and Shari and Will were both confident they could can fruit and vegetables on their own, now. When any of us got meat to can, we would have another lesson on canning, but if they followed the directions in the canner book, they would do okay. We all left soon after the canners were done and they went to their place and I went for a load of gravel for the floor in the ice house. It is thawing enough to be muck soon in there. I put down a layer of plastic and some old rugs I had picked up here and there. The gravel would go on top and the rugs would keep it from sinking in too much. I tacked screen over the vent openings made earlier as the roof was being put on. No reason to be bitten by bugs while working in here. I should have figured out a way for a skylight or a window somewhere, but that would defeat my purpose for an ice house. The gravel pit isn’t too far away, so my load doesn’t take very long to load as I use 5 gallon buckets so I can dump it exactly where I want it. Unloading takes just as long as loading, as I tend to wear out after a while. So I go fix lunch. I start a batch of bread dough while I am in the house. Maybe I won’t forget it today and it will be nice for some cinnamon rolls. These won’t be fancy, just regular rolls. While the dough is rising, after my lunch, I go spread gravel inside the ice house. I think I will need another load to finish the job nicely and some around outside the doorway, also. I go punch down the dough and head for another load. I won’t be able to dawdle on this one. So I really shovel into the buckets. The dough it just right, when I get home, so I park the pickup and go take care of the bread. One loaf and some dinner rolls, then the rest into cinnamon caramel rolls. I make the loaf and the rolls and set them to rise and the oven to preheat. Then flatten out the rest of the dough and spread it with some corn syrup, then sprinkle well with cinnamon and a lot of brown sugar. I cut them fairly thick and place in a well buttered deep sided baking pan with brown sugar and corn syrup sprinkled over the bottom. After the pan is full, I slightly flatten them with my hand and set them to rise. The bread is ready, so are the rolls, so they go in the oven. I think the ice house will feel good, after working in the house and baking on this hot day. With all the sugars, the cinnamon rolls are almost ready to go in the oven so I move things around in there so they will fit. While the breads cook, I go back outside and spread some gravel around in front of the doorway. With the windows open, I can smell the bread baking and soon the cinnamon rolls, also. The smell must have made it quite a ways, because as I am taking them out of the oven, Noah, his Dad and brother pull in. I put 3 hot cinnamon rolls on plates and a dab of butter on top to melt in and hand them each a plate and fork as they walk in the door. Thad looks at his Dad and brother and asks if it is always like this? And why did it take them so long to let him know? Noah’s job is over, it was only temporary anyway. So he is at loose ends. Thad just finished his job as Inspector on a large building project going on at the University in town. Roman is retired, so the guys have the rest of the summer to do whatever they please. They really are pleased to eat good food, so we box up a couple of the cinnamon rolls and head over to talk to Rose and Kara. While we are all eating, the guys offer to help out around both our places in exchange for a place to stay and meals once in a while. Oh yeah, how perfect is this? None of us have had good luck on the folks we thought were going to help us out here. Now 3 gorgeous guys just drop in on us and offer help. I think we can handle that. I know I can. Kara and Rose look stunned as they eat their rolls and the guys managed to each bring a 2nd one with them to eat. Me, I bought an ice cream bar. This calls for a celebration.

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