Friday, June 3, 2011

Uneasy times

He looked somewhat disdainfully at the them both and said, “Captain Chavis will meet with you now. Assuming of course that you two are finished with your sartorial discourse.” Captain Willie suspected he saw a slight smirk on the man’s face as he turned away but he could have been mistaken.

The wooden fort contained more of the same inside. Same log walls, log cabins, wooden benches made from sturdy hardwood. Captain Willie followed his guide into one of the larger cabins where Captain Chavis awaited them. He was somewhat stout and smoked a pipe but otherwise was dressed much the same as his men in tunic and leggings. He strode towards Captain Willie, hand extended.
“Ah, you must be the new courier we were told to expect.”
Captain Willie shrugged, “Courier, taxi service, postal service, conveyor of packages both large and small.”
“I see,” although Captain Chavis clearly didn’t. “Please join us and dine. Then we can discuss your business.” He gestured towards a fairly large table across the room from the open door.
“This is my lieutenant, Martin Turner,” mentioned Captain Chavis.
The tall indian then took a seat at the table as the two captains each settled into a chair.

First they ate a hearty meal of bean bread, apple cobbler and venison. Captain Willie knew from long experience that there was no point in trying to hurry the process. Besides, this was his second “home cooked” meal in two days!. The Sandflea had tinned and dried foods and not much variety in them. Why not make the most of the opportunity?

“That was real good, y’all. Now let’s down to some business. Maybe you can tell me if you Cherokee have seen some weird goings on?”
“Huh? What’s that? Somethin’ you’ve run-across in the woods?”
“Tsalagi is our name for ourselves. Cherokee is the name outsiders use.”
“You don’t say. Really? Somebody might of told me. Didn’t mean to be rude,” said Captain Willie.
“Yeah, we’ve seen a few things. And Captain Ross wouldn’t have taken her ship this far into the mountains without a damn good reason.”
“Funny, that’s what she said about the Virginian ship,” remarked Captain Willie.
Captain Chavis hmmphed his agreement but his companion was slightly more communicative.
“What do you think is goin’ on?”
“No notion and that’s what makes me twitchy. I don’t know what to expect. Don’t even know what to watch out for. We’re headin’ southeast down to the coast and then southwards to Charleston. And I aim to keep a real sharp eye on the border while I’m at it.”
“We’ve had reports from almost all our scouts that have noticed oddities. The remains of campfires where none of us have reason to build them. Abandoned hunting blinds where one of us would not normally be hunting. No signs of a sucessful hunt either. We patrol more often now and perhaps that has settled the matter. Even so, we caution all our folk to stay close to home and not to go alone to gather wild plants in the woods.”

No comments:

Post a Comment