Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Short Story Chapter III

The three days past slowly and uneventful with the fellow travelers getting to know one another and last minute preparations being made. Supplies were checked and rechecked horses were groomed and allowed to rest and fatten up a little. Kindling was gathered in large baskets and fire wood was loaded into every wagon. Water containers were filled and hung on the wagons and then a few more water containers were filled and put in each wagon. When the travelers questioned Joe about all the extra wood and water, the weight it would create in the wagon, Joe’s reply was simple ” If you think your wagon is to heavy remove some of the furniture you brought along, we will be needing that extra wood and water when we are out on  the  the parts of the trail where there aint none. All the travelers walked back to their wagons deep in thought as they settled in for their last night in a civilized town.
With the rising of the sun the wagons rolled west through town. The travelers in their wagons watched curiously as the towns people began walking down the street in the opposite direction. A ritual the towns people do when Joe rolls his wagon train out of town. A quick look back gave Lily Mea and her fellow travelers their answer. All the furniture and family heirlooms that had been left behind was being carried off to be put to good use in someones home or store. looking away with a little sadness in their souls the travelers head to their bright new future out west. No one  but Lily Mea noticed the lone man standing in the street watching the strange band of travelers leave town.
The wagon train was a mixed batch of travelers alright.  A Jewish couple Mr and Mrs Levinson from New York expecting a child in 3 months hoping to make a go of it as farmers, 4 brothers all with fiery red hair, speaking an english that no one really understood, broad of shoulder but not very tall, they like their beer and their strange songs that make them laugh out loud at the end.The brothers are headed west to make their fortune as trappers and miners. The obviously upper crust Walker  family traveling with 3 young sons  Bobby, Billy, and Benjamin, a baby girl named Bonnie and a french maid. Then There was Lily with all that yellow hair just flying in the breeze. Joe also hired a few hands to help on the trail and this time he hired only 2 figuring the maid or Lily could do the cooking.
Joe should have hired a cook. Back in England Lily Mea was indeed a maid but she never stepped foot in the kitchen unless it was to fetch something for the Mistress. The french, maid well her job really didn’t include any real maid duties and she couldn’t cook either. Mrs Levinson was in too fragile of a state to be lugging heavy pans around. That left Mrs Walker and she was only a bit better. At least she was willing and the food was passable they wouldn’t starve at any rate. Their first meal had Joe wishing he had hired a cook.
In the beginning the days were exciting and new, everyone happily chatted with one another as they traveled but as the days wore on the chatter died down and the happy group began to get weary. Long hours riding in the wagons or walking was beginning to take its toll bringing aches and pains they never felt before. Lily Mea was sure she wasn’t going to live to see her dreams come true as they made their way over the mountains. There was more walking than riding and a good portion of the time she had to push and pull her wagon to get it up the steep and narrow passage ways. It took weeks but at last the tiny wagon train made it over the mountains onto a flatter plain and they began to make better time getting farther west each day. 
 Summer was in full swing when this band of travelers reached the plains. Lily Mea had never seen anything like this nothing but flat land for miles and miles not a single tree to be seen. ” Gosh it is hot.” Mrs Walker nodded her head in agreement as she swatted at her boys trying to get them to settle down and not wake the baby she had finally gotten to sleep. Just as Lily Mea spoke Joe happen to ride up to the wagon, ” You think it is hot now you just wait another week its gonna get even hotter. Your are going to wish you had gotten a different dress.” I told you Joe don’t you be worrying about what I am wearing it aint none of your business.” Lily Mea retorted. She was hoping he hadn’t noticed she already had removed 1 petticoat from under her dress. The dress was so stained and dirty there was nothing fancy about it anymore but Lily Mea’s pride wouldn’t let her admit Joe or anyone else for that matter was right she should have gotten a more practical dress, 2 for that matter so she could wash one once in a while. The last time they had stopped near water while Mrs Levinson and Mrs Walker changed into their clean dresses and washed the dirty one Lily Mea just went in the water fully dressed and washed herself as well as the dress, and than sat in the sun to dry, that was more then a week and miles of hot dusty dirty trail ago. Yep Lily Mea thought ” Not a fancy dress any more.” Bumping along the trail in a sort of daze Lily Mea was dreaming of the next water hole and the cool clear water on her skin, when the wagons came to a sudden stop. Jolted into awareness by the unexpected stop Lily Mea all most fell off her seat. All the men quickly rode to the front where Joe is standing looking off into the horizon.  They have a quick conference with everyone talking at once and pointing here and there. Disgusted Joe walks away from the men and heads back towards the wagon where all the women have gathered. ” Whats going on Joe? Is something wrong?” Lily nervously ask as the other women eagerly wait for his answer. Joe thinks about it a moment looking towards the front of the wagon train where the men are still babbling like babies and decides what the heck. ” Well ladies we have  been being trailed since we left Philadelphia. I didn’t think to much of it because he was alone.” Lily Mea vaguely remembers the man standing in the street watching so intently as the wagon train was leaving. ” Well why is it bothering you now? Has something changed?” Joe looked at Lily Mea and answered ” Now he has friends with him and he is no longer trailing us they travel right along with us, they have for a few days now.” ” Friends?” Lily Mea ask. ” yes friends Indian friends.” With the word Indians Mrs Levinson gasped and Mrs Walker called the boys closer to the wagon. The french maid understood little to no English and had up to this point been happily rocking baby Bonnie to sleep, seeing the alarmed looks on the other women’s faces and sensing the tension in the conversation stopped rocking and looked at everyone expectantly. Not really understanding she tried to follow along anyway as Joe explained ” I figured the way he was tracking us he was Indian but figured he was no threat as long as he was alone. The other night I noticed he wasn’t tracking us and I just thought he had lost interest or found something better to follow. It never occurred to me he was just going to get company. Ladies we have to assume they aint here to make nice with us. You all need to stick close keep the children in the wagons and keep a loaded rifle with you at all times. Do not wander from the wagons for any reason. Is that clear?” Every women including the french maid answered with a resounding YES.

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