“I don’t know what you mean,” he whined. “I help out plenty.”
“Yeah, you put up an entire tarp in front of the cargo area the other day. Must have been exhausting. Now you have another chance to help-out by helping me. Grab some of those sacks from the pile in the corner and follow me to the Trading Post.”
Lurleen, a frizzy-haired woman of indeterminate age, ran the Catawba Trading Post. She was short and round and wrapped in so many shawls that Kennia was never certain how much was fabric and how much was Lurleen.
“Howdy! Ain’t seen you in a month of sundays! What can I do for you today, honey?”
“Just the usual supplies. Nothing special. How’s your fella and Josie doin’?”
“Just the same as usual, runnin’, playin’, gettin’ into mischief, both of them!”
“Josie and his pa are out on a hunting trip. He’ll be real sorry that he missed his Aunty Kennia.
“Sorry to hear that. Yes, you be sure to tell him hello from me. ‘Fraid we won’t be here very long, just getting some supplies and such. We need monarda, sassafras, ginseng, just a bit of each. And some venison if you have any.”
“‘Fraid not, hon.”
“Have any of your hunting parties noticed anything peculiar goin’ on round here?”
“Like what? I see all kinds of folks all the time. Been fairly quiet lately though.” Lurleen narrowed her eyes. “You expecting trouble?”
“Now you know I can’t talk about that”
“Well then, miss, what on earth makes you think I can talk about my stuff either?” Lurleen pouted as she spoke but she had a sparkle in her eyes at the same time.
“Nobody knows news like you do Miss Lurleen.”
“You sure do know how to flatter a gal, don’t ya? 'Fraid I really don’t have any news for you.”
“Let’s count that as a plus. How about some salt pickles?”
“Got some right here! Good and salty just like you like ‘em.”
"Gotta have me some of those!"