18 March, 2011

18 March 2011

The two hours of sleep that he managed--quiet, exhausted, troubled at times by dream but not interrupted--did wonders for Einar, left him far more steady, mind clearer than it had been in a day or two, and when he woke to the sound of Liz pouring water into the barrel, he was on his feet in an instant, scrambling out from beneath the bear hide. Regretted it in the same instant as his injured foot took some of his weight and sent shock waves through him, but he remained standing, hobbled over to Liz.

“What…how long was I asleep. Sure didn’t mean to sleep this long.”

“It’s alright. It’s good. I’m glad you were able to do it.”


“He’s still here. He and Susan went up to the spring and brought us this water. I thought it would be a good project for them, keep them away from here while you slept.”

“You told them how to find the spring?”

“Yes…should I not have done that?”

Einar started to respond, stopped himself and shook his head. They’re not gonna poison your water source, just like they didn’t poison the Nutella you all shared after the meal, and you’d better not let her know that’s what you were thinking just now, either. Or she’s liable to come at you with that rabbit stick, and you’ve still not quite got your head on straight again from the last whack you gave it in that fall… “Nope, it’s fine. Good for everyone to know where their water’s coming from, so as long as they’re here, guess they might as well be aware of the spring. Where are they now?”

“They’re hauling in timbers for the woodshed. I told them they didn’t need to do anything like that, but Susan kept insisting the might as well help out as long as they’re here, so that seemed like a good thing for them to do. Since it has to be done at some point.”

Einar nodded, took a step towards the door, trying not altogether successfully to spare the injured foot. “I better get busy too. That was a long time to be away, and the year’s not getting any younger, is it? Thought I saw a bit of yellow in the aspens I was passing through yesterday, just a few little clusters of leaves here and there, but before we know it, fall will be here. Better check to make sure everything’s like we left it, then get working on a plan to raid that bee tree. Be good to have the honey set aside before the cold weather really gets serious about putting in an appearance. Good quick source of energy.”

“Yes, it sure is. I’ll come with you.” She followed him, not daring to let on how very, tremendously glad she was that he seemed so much more himself after the short nap, that he--despite being himself, and it being something he would definitely be expected to do--had not yet again mentioned his pervious determination to leave the place with all haste, instead seeming to plan for their winter preparations as if nothing had ever happened. She could only pray that he might remain on that course, not become convinced once again that they must abandon all that they had worked so hard for, and at such a late hour. Please, if there’s any way at all, may it stay like this

Einar, virtually bounding out the door as he rejoiced at his newfound energy, came very close to running headlong into Susan, who was at that moment busy propping yet another small dead aspen against the woodshed frame, working to complete the leaning wall that Einar had previously begun. Rather than the incident turning ugly as it likely would have earlier in the day Einar simply laughed, apologized for his clumsiness and went to work on another of the timbers in the pile Bud and Susan had hauled in.

“You folks sure didn’t have to go to all this trouble. Got to leave yourselves some time to enjoy the scenery while you’re up here…”

“Oh, we enjoyed it thoroughly on the way up,” Susan jumped into the conversation, carefully leaning her own aspen against the largely-completed wall, filling a gap. “We’re here to work! Or at least, we might as well work, since we are here! Can’t stay much longer. I’ve got to get back to the greenhouses. So. What else would you like us to do? What would be most helpful to you?”

Einar just grinned at her, shrugged and glanced around for Liz. Felt strange being talked to by another person after all that time, and he didn’t exactly know what to say. Liz was nowhere to be seen, though, having taken the second water container from the creek and gone inside to add it to the amount in the water barrel, so he contemplated the matter for a minute, finally came up with an idea that he hoped would suit everyone. “Not asking you to do any work here, but if you’re set on it, how about bringing some of those jerky baskets over here, so Liz can stash them inside? That be alright?”

“Yes, of course! We helped her bring them all down out of the trees earlier, but I’m pretty sure they’re still over there where we set them. That’s a lot of jerky. Must have been a big bear you two trapped! We saw the place where you camped while you took care of the meat, up by the spring.”

“Liz told you about that, huh? Yep, was a pretty big one. That’s his hide in there on the bed. Was a pretty big job getting him all sliced up and dried and that hide processed, but the results were real good. Need more though. Winter’s coming. I got to get out there and find us a few elk, a sheep, another bear, if possible. Real soon.”

“I hope you won’t think me out of place for bringing it up, but I have been wanting to talk to the two of you about that, to offer…”

“Oh, no. No you don’t. Don’t be making us any offers that you know we’re just gonna have to refuse. We can’t just…”

“I know. Know there’s a lot you can’t do, but Mr. Kilgore--Bud--and I…we’ve been talking, and there area couple of different ideas we had for the two of you. Will you at least listen? Please?”

Einar shook his head, looked away from her and worked hard to restrain himself from making a hasty and angry response. “Yeah, I’ll listen. Better go get Lizzie., so we only have to hear this once.”


  1. Oh my gosh! E is letting up a bit. What next?? LOL

  2. I can't wait to hear those Ideas!! Sealed jars of nutella?

    uhm, I can't think of something they may need... maybe a couple new knives? Warm hats!! Socks!

    can't poison those! lol!

    thank you for the new chapter!!!

  3. I was thinking an air drop of supplies too. Would sure help them out, as long as no one found out. Einar would never go for it though, especially right now.

    Thanks again FOTH.

  4. Thank you for letting me know the story was here.

  5. "Warm hats!! Socks!

    can't poison those! lol!"

    Kellie--I wouldn't be so sure about that! Remember how the feds' laundry got poisoned before their raid on the mine where Kilgore was hiding out, pretending to be Einar...

    Sarawolf--glad you found the story here!

  6. oh yeah, I HAD forgotten about that laundry!! lol! Hmmm, did (or will) Bud ever share that bit of info with Einar and Liz....? :D