Monday, March 31, 2014

Up to No Good

Hans reflected as he rode along the trail. This mission was proving more and more not to be the mission that he had signed-on for. Or thought that he was signing-on for. As if that made any difference. He was increasingly tempted to just ride west and simply keep going as long as his horse was willing to carry him. The problem was that he had nowhere to go and the horse he was riding, its tack, and even much of his gear technically did not belong to him. And stealing just somehow did not seem to be a good start to making a new life. Besides, this mission to the Blue Ridge mountains was supposed to be a fresh start for him and look at how it was turning-out!


Back at the Trading Post the usual gang was sitting around the pot-bellied stove, smoking their pipes and drinking coffee from the pot bubbling on the stove-top.
“How ‘bout that foreign feller? What was his name now? Hank? Hinky?”
“Naw, it was Hunky, I’m sure of it.”
“Now you know that ain’t no name, not even for a foreign feller!” The others laughed.
“Are y’all sure now? I coulda sworn it was Hanky or Hunky or sumpthin’ like that.”
“Naw, it was Hans,” said the Trading Post owner from behind the counter. “I’m sure of it.”
“Whatever. He sure is doin’ a powerful lotta bakin’ though!” They all laughed raucously at that comment.
“Wonder how long it’ll take him to figure-out that we’re on to him. He sure ain’t no farmer, ain’t no family man and sure as hell ain’t up to no good.”
“Hell we ain’t up to no good neither!” The old-timers all guffawed at that.


The courier, Mad Man Mike, had earned his nickname fair and square due to his propensity for setting-off on a straight course at top speed and not letting anything hinder him from reaching his destination. Not rivers, not forests and certainly not brick walls were sufficient to slow his progress. Mad Man Mike was the courier the head office called upon for their most urgent, top-secret deliveries. Unfortunately, this meant that he was a regular visitor to the local hospital since he not infrequently developed a few bumps, bruises and other more serious injuries as he went on his way.