World of Banished

Conversations => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: A Nonny Moose on September 07, 2014, 12:41:05 PM

Title: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 07, 2014, 12:41:05 PM
Here is an initial submission for a longer story.  If people like it, I will continue.

Into the Wild

The gates of the city slammed shut behind us. The oxen plodded forward and the loaded cart creaked forward on dry axles. Beside me, Marta shuffled along stunned, weeping, "Why", she said, "Why?"

I held her elbow to my chest. "You know why", I said, "We are different."

This was the tenth town in which we had tried to settle, but sooner than we expected we had been found out. In spite of keeping to ourselves, it became clear that we were not of the pantheistic worship that was followed everywhere on this side of the sea. We admitted to no gods at all, and as such were unwelcome among those who felt the need for divine support to explain their fears. We could not bring ourselves to the little sacrifices that came with almost any action in public or in private.

Ahead, on the road, there was another cart, but without oxen. It was being pulled by two men with their women walking along side. We easily overtook them. "May we pass", I called. The others pulled off to the side to allow our lumbering beasts to pass by. As we came abreast of the other cart I said, "Thank you, and good day."

"Wait", said one of the men. "Let us travel together if we have the same road. A larger party would be safer, so I considered this seriously.

Why not, I thought. "That would give us a larger party and some safely", I said. "Why not?"

"What is your destination?", I asked.

The other looked blank. "What does it matter?", he said.

"Not much", I said, "but we might have a common place in view."

A quick shrug told me that no answer would be given, so we continued companionably until near sunset.

We both pulled into a dip off the road at around sunset. Each set about making camp, and we agreed that the new people would take the first watch.
* * *

In the morning we found our new companions gone complete with our oxen and cart, leaving us only their dilapidated buggy and a few supplies. The road was deserted, and no one was in sight. We had always been too trusting, and it seemed that our temporary friends had absconded as soon as we slept. The hard ground gave no sign of any direction, so we packed up what little remained of our gear and hit the road.

Over the next few weeks we added a few people to our party after some vigorous conversations. It seemed we were not the only ones who had been banished from the local civilization of pantheists. We were fortunate that among our companions were some experienced farmers and beast-holders as well as a smith and an experienced huntsman. We continued through the countryside until we reached the point where we felt we were well away from those who might interfere with us. Then, in a watered box canyon, we set up our first permanent camp.

For our party of ten adults and four children we set up some lean-tos to keep off the elements then agreed on a couple of spots for stockpiles, assigning one in particular for firewood to keep us warm. We set about removing the trees the immediate area and converting some of them into kindling and stock for the fires at each lean-to. Marta and I set our hovel near the water so that we could catch fish. We laid some lines in the water to supply the encampment with fresh food. We were soon joined by Walter and his spouse Juliana.

As soon as we were able to set the lines, Walter and I left the women to tend them and set about converting our shelters into something more permanent. First, we built a small pier out into the water to provide a dock, then using logs and stone from one of the growing stockpiles we were able to lay out a cabin to provide some better shelter. We were lucky that it was just spring and that the walls of the canyon provided some shelter from the winds.

While watching the lines, the women were able to put together some simple crates from slats split off the firewood faggots to provide crates for our fish. This let us distribute the catch to the others.

Deodato came into camp with a brace of deer across his broad shoulders and called out, "Serpina! Come give me a hand." His first hunt had been quite successful and it would be venison steak for dinner.

Serpina stopped working on the shelter she was building with Consuela and extracted her knives from her pack. As her mate lowered his take to the ground she set about gutting them, then carefully flensing the hides with the least possible waste. After scrubbing the hides with a strange mixture from her pack, she hung them to dry over some nearby bushes. "Bear repellent", she said.

The meat was transferred to clean bags, cooled in the river then hung high in the trees to keep it from predators and scavengers. Separate bags were used for the bones to be dried and the gut pile was taken into the woods and buried. The bones and horns would be made into buttons and other necessaries.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on September 08, 2014, 08:13:47 AM
Absolutely! Keep it up!
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 08, 2014, 12:54:24 PM
Next instalment.  If the dish doesn't run away with the spoon, I'll tell you more tomorrow.

A light rain began to fall as heavier clouds closed in. We huddled into our shelters and as darkness closed in we could hear the twilight hunt starting. We had built up our fires, but the rain was slowly damping them out. Geogio, the smith, had the first watch, and we noticed as his body crossed the embers of each fire as he patrolled the camp. The night closed in.


After a chilly night of fitful sleep we awoke in the morning to find Juliana on watch and making tea for our scant breakfast of porridge. "All is well", she said as the rest gathered at the newly kindled central fire.

Everyone turned to their own tasks after breakfast, and we fishers examined our overnight lines and hauled in the catch, gutting it and setting it on racks to dry in the sun. We were running low on salt, and Walter volunteered to search the area for some.

Georgio and Carmencita went to scout of the area for iron. His anvil has been taken by our earlier acquaintences. He was feeling helpless without one and would be reduced to using a large rock if he could not make one. Meanwhile, Consuela started setting up a charcoal burning hut. A smithy needs fuel and we certainly needed more tools than we had left. The others continued building cabins for better shelter from both the weather and the local beasts,

As the sun neared its zenith, Serpina went to the storage tree for some meat. She called me over. "Look", she said, there are claw marks on the bark. Something has attempted to reach our storage."

"Yes! Looks like we have a bear in the area. Bear is good eating, but Deodato will have to be careful". I helped her to lower the pack to the ground where she took a chunk of meat from it, then we hoisted it back up.

The women turned their attention to the stew pot, while I strolled around the encampment. Five cabins had been laid out, and the first was well under weigh with three solid courses of logs leaving room for a doorway. Since Deodato was spending all his time in the hunt, this would be his cabin.

After the mid-day meal, Serpina started working on a bellows for the forge using some skins that we found in the buggy. She made needles from some of the bones of the recent kill, and cord from fibres of plants from the surrounding woods. At the same time, Finbar started digging the pit for the casting of the anvil, while Consuela entertained the children. Those twins of Deodato and Serpina were a handfull at that age, and kept heading for the woods. Finally we constructed a pen for them and Dash and Vicki, which held them for the time being. I began weaving a net that would enlarge our daily catch over fishing with lines alone. The hot stones from the morning fire cooked the flat bread to go with the evening meal of fish and forest greens that had been gathered.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on September 08, 2014, 03:43:55 PM
@anonnymoose, I wish you had participated in the story challenge. This is good, keep it up.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 09, 2014, 03:02:26 PM
The dish was spurned by the spoon.  Here is another installment

About the middle of the afternoon, Deodato came empty-handed into the camp. "I've found the bear", he said. "She is a sow with two cubs, and she is very protective. I don't want to attack her for the sake of the young."

There was general agreement, as we felt that it was important to keep the woods healthy as we were dependent on it. As long as we could take deer for meat without too much depletion, we'd continue hunting them.

Just then, Georgio and Carmencita came back loaded down with sacks. "We have found a large deposit of iron ore in the talus over by the eastern canyon wall", Georgio said. "That wall may give us a mine later on."

Unpacking one of the large bags showed some reddish and yellowish rocks. "These are iron, almost in native form but we will have to smelt them to get the metal. How are we doing with the charcoal hut?"

"Finished" said Consuela. "We've been working hard and have you all set up except for the hardwood needed to fuel it".

"Wonderful", Georgio took some hardwood faggots from another sack, and handed them over. "We'll start the charcoal tonight, and see where we stand in the morning".

Serpina showed Georgio the bellows she had made that day. "Very nice, now how did we do with a smelting pit?"

"Here", I said. He came over and inspected the works. "Well, not quite deep enough, but a little more and we can line it with the river clay we found. It should do for a refractory surface. We'll have to gather some more ore to get a big enough piece to beat into a proper anvil."

In another sack, Carmencita had gathered a quantity of fresh herbs, roots and berries to add to our larder. This included some wild onions and a bulb of wild garlic. Things were going to be more flavourful. Some of this new cache was added to the evening stew with some glee.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 11, 2014, 08:32:18 AM
Short instalment today, complete with a complication.

The evening meal went well, and the fish stew was delicious. While we were cleaning up afterwords Marta took me aside. "Indio", she said, "I am with child."

It took me a moment to digest this news with everything else that was going on. "Wonderful", I said. "We will have to be very careful of you while we fish." I gave her a hug, but not too tightly. "This will be a sibling for Dash. Wonder how he'll take it?"

"Leave that to me" she said. "When I start showing, I'll handle him."

A breeze sprang up across the lake, so everyone hurried to get into shelter. Rain often followed these little breezes and sometimes a bit of lightning as well. The light was failing, so we turned in.

Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 13, 2014, 10:38:38 AM
Chapter 2

By the spring our little group had grown to ten adults and seven children. Marta had been delivered safely of our new daughter, Myrtle; Georgio and Carmencita had produced Tinetta and Finbar and Consuela had Leaf. We now have 17 mouths to feed.

Fortunately the settlement has been completed and is starting to look successful. Geogio's anvil is a clanging success and he has set himself up under a spreading old oak tree with a complete forge using the bellows made by Serpina. The furnace can be made hot enough to smelt and work the iron ore into usable tools. I twisted enough rope for a flag halyard, raised an ash pole, and the women had made a trading flag, which was now flying at the dock. We waited for our first trader.

We haven't been bothered by the bear, who has raised her cubs into youth, and seems to be looking after them well. There is enough game in this forest for both of us, and we know that when they mature these young bears will seek new territory. We live in a kind of mutual respect with them.

Carmencita came into camp from a gathering expedition quite excited. "Look", she said, "I have found enough wild rye in seed to start a small patch of our own here. By the fall we may have enough to make rye flour for better bread". She and Juliana were soon busy laying out and clearing a small plot for a rye field. Our first real step in farming.

Dash, our five-year-old came running up from the dock. "A boat! A boat!", he called.

I had set him on watch at the dock to keep him occupied never expecting anything so soon. Those who could ran down to the dock to see if this was factual. Sure enough, a large bateau was approaching.

Deodato and I stood by on the pier and received lines from the stranger. "Greetings", I said.

"Morning" the skipper said. "I am Leon of Okanto, trading out of Espero. We have some things here you might be interested in."

"Come ashore and join us for a morning cup, and we can show you what we have by way of trade goods. I am Indio the fisherman, and this is Deodato our hunter."

"Gladly", he replied. "John, stay with the boat and make sure she is fast to this pier. I'll bring you back something from the fire." "Aye, skipper." was the laconic response.

We walked up the the central area where we held our gatherings and evening fires. The women set out a small meal of biscuits and herb teas. Juliana brought out a selection of gathered foodstuffs she had gleaned from the forest that were surplus and Serpina brought out a few homespun items she had made. "We have some venison we can trade as well, if you are interested", I said, "And a few packets of dried fish".

Leon looked over our goods and said, "I can offer you some goods for this stuff. Good handcrafts go well in towns I visit. Do you have any spare hand-tools?".

Georgio said, "We have some scythes and hammers that we've forged but they are all soft iron. "We haven't found any coal for steel so far."

"I'll look at what you have.", leon said. "Several places nearby have no smithy at all".

Overall, the session went well. Serpina's beaded jackets were all taken along with a good share of the gathered foodstuffs. Leon went to the forge with Georgio and came back with a bag of tools. For all this we got some steel knives and a couple of big cooking pots that would assist in many areas. Leon, true to his word, took a selection from the prepared food down to his crew and we helped them get off the pier. "Drop in any time" I said.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 14, 2014, 08:30:22 AM
Author's comment:  I am at a crossroads.  This can turn into a novel (not very exciting) or a soap opera.  Lack of comment indicates lack of interest, so ...

Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on September 14, 2014, 08:44:51 AM
Didn't want to interrupt, it's fun. We might need a soap opera in here  ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on September 14, 2014, 10:21:05 AM
I vote soap opera!  ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Nilla on September 14, 2014, 10:38:21 AM
I vote soap opera!

me too
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on September 14, 2014, 11:55:43 AM
Far be it from me to disagree with such distinguished literary minds as @irrelevant, @Bobbi or @Nilla. What I have found in my Banished fiction attempts is that at one level the story sort of takes care of itself. Things happen, babies are born, people die, life goes on. The creative part is trying to be inside the minds of these little electronic entities with the odd names and let out what is going on inside them. So far @A Nonny Moose you have been doing very well at that creative part and have given us a most enjoyable story. Maybe it doesn't need to be either a novel (where the author has more control over the plot that we do in Banished) or a soap opera (with the implications of over done, formulaic melodrama). You have the knack, so just keep going and see what happens.

Hopefully you are a CBC listener. Maybe two weeks ago Jian Ghomeshi interviewed Thomas King on Q ( and they talked about King's new novel. It might be worth listening to. For those of you not lucky enough to be Canadians, you can get Q with Jian Ghomeshi on Sirius XM or check the website. Jian is interviewing Jon Stewart tomorrow (Monday the 14th). Thomas King is an essayist, radio writer and novelist who teaches at the University for Guelph. His best non-fiction is The Inconvenient Indian.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 14, 2014, 12:20:16 PM
Interesting.  Three votes for "Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins" and one comment suggesting pure story telling.

The plot may or may not thicken.  I am almost inclined to abandon the basic premise of Banished and just let things develop in a normal manner.  You'll notice I took my group into the woods with very few resources (fewer than they would get in hard mode).

It would be possible for me to bring this to a very sad conclusion in the next winter, or we can make mama bear into a rug, etc.  Right now, the group is surviving on fish'n'bruise supplemented by a little venison.  If the rye crop gets a case of rot, things will get much worse than they are.  We also have an amicable group. 

The soap opera plot would mean some interpersonal conflicts and whose kid is that really? sort of thing.  I don't think I'll go there, but if anyone wants to lift the story so far into their own thread and take it from there, you have my permission.  If you like, I can give you the file.  It is in HTML and I can put it on Dropbox.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 17, 2014, 01:36:32 PM
Well, after some soul searching, I decided to go with a novelette.  So here is the introduction of a new (single) characters to spice things up.

Later that day, Deodato returned from his hunt with a game bag and a skinny young man coming along at his side. "This is Geoffrey", Deodato said. "I found him sleeping rough in the woods over by the pass. He wants to join our settlement."

"Hello, Geoffrey", I said. "We'll have to know more about you if you are to remain with us. Where are you from, and why are you here and not in town?"

"I am alone", Geoffrey said. "My parents were both killed in a raid a few years back, and while I was fostered in the village of Talford, I have grown up and felt I wanted to find something better than mucking out barns."

"So you have some knowledge of caring for herd beasts, then?"

"Oh yes. As a kid I looked after the cattle in the pasture, and even took a turn on the milking stool."

"These skills may come in handly later, but at the moment we have no beasts. What else can you do?"

"I am able to do carpentry work, and I can build cabinets."

"Well, then, do you affirm to act as a member of our community?

"Yes, of course."

"Then welcome to Hereweare. Come with me and I'll show you around. Until you get your own place built, you can bunk in with my kids". I had sized him up and there was no guile in him.

We came over to Finbar's place and I found him at home having come in from the rye field. "Finbar, this is Geoffrey. He has joined our community and has some skills with beasts. You may want to take him under your wing."

"Hello", Finbar said. "Tomorrow after you have settled, come find me and we'll have a chat."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 22, 2014, 10:11:54 AM
Now for a little more accretion.


The next year, Geoffrey met a girl who was crewing for Leon. She was his daughter and had studied leather work and shoe making. She was a qualified cordwainer, and seemed to be attracted strongly to Geoff. While trading with Leon for some fine leather from the deer, she became friendly with Serpina, and spent some time discussing curing and tanning methods. She was reluctant to board the bateau to continue downstream.

I took Leon aside. "Your girl seems to want to stay", I said.

"She is of age and knows her own mind. I'll hate to lose her, but I know she will be safe here", Leon said.

"How do you feel about Geoff?" I asked.

"What can you tell me?" said Leon.

"Near as we know he is an orphan raised by the town on a farm near here. He is a competent carpenter and is earning his keep making cabinets and helping our farm stead improve. He says he has beast master skills and our chief farmer has confirmed this. I think he will make a living here.

"I'll stay a couple of more days, if you will allow, and we'll see what develops then."

"Agreed", I said pouring more herb tea.

Geoffrey and Julia were handfasted the next evening at the community fire, and retired to Geoff's cabin to make better acquaintance. Leon grinned at me as the couple disappeared into the night, and I grinned back. The women were gathered in a whispering group on the far side of the fire, but I could tell that there was approval in the air.

Leon presented the young couple with, of all things, an encyclopedia, as he and his son, John, prepared to depart the next morning. "She'll make you a good school marm when you think you are ready", Leon said. "Cast off!"

John freed the last line and leapt aboard the bateau. "See you next round", I said winking. "Maybe we'll have another mouth or so to feed when we see you again".
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: salamander on September 22, 2014, 11:52:47 AM
There's seems to be more than one philosophy as far as story-telling.  Without saying that either is better than any other, I would like to see more of this particular story line, A Nonny Moose.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on September 22, 2014, 03:25:11 PM
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on September 22, 2014, 06:41:54 PM
Me too; good stuff!
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 23, 2014, 05:46:58 AM
Got to go out right now.  This will continue as long as my creative juices flow.  At the moment they are sporadic.  Thanks for the replies, gentlemen.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on September 23, 2014, 09:36:39 AM
This is fine work, A Nonny Moose. I hope your creative juices keep flowing.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 23, 2014, 09:40:57 AM
Glad you are enjoying it.  I have a lot on my plate today, so maybe a new bit tomorrow.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 25, 2014, 03:57:12 PM
A little more of the story.  This is getting complex as you will see.

The next morning Julia was looking smug and Geoff was looking sheepish. I gave both a greeting smile and went off to tend my nets.

Later in the day, Serpina presented Julia with a warm, beaded jacket of fine deer hide lined with milkweed silk. "Wonderful, thanks", Julia said. "Now, how is the leather supply? Winter is coming and new boots are likely needed. Do we have someone who could make lasts?"

"Well", Serpina said, "I guess you didn't share much last night. Geoff is a fine carpenter and does cabinet work around the settlement. Have a chat with him."

Julia headed for the farmstead looking for her man.

I found the nets were well filled with fish, and ready to be hauled, so I connected up the winch that Georgio had made for me, and hauled the catch up on the dock. We sorted and gutted the fish, disposed of the gutting pile and salted the catch down, then put it out to dry. I held out a dozen fresh fish for the night's meal to supplement the other foodstuffs that were coming in from the others.

Dash came into the salting shed and said, "Dad, I want to learn to read."

At six Dash was a fine strapping boy, and I certainly didn't want to hold him back. "How are your chores today, son?"


"Well then, run along to Julia and ask her if she is ready for a student."

I thought, Poor girl, we won't be giving her a moment to catch her breath.

About an hour later, I saw Dash whittling on a plank he had begged from somewhere. "What are you doing?, I asked.

"Making a book cover", he said. "Julia wants me to keep everything I do bound up". I'll be using Birch bark for leaves until we can make something better. Georgio says he can help the women make ink. I have to make a pen, too".

"You know, Dad, that I've been looking at some of those water reeds and wondering if we can't make some kind of writing leaves out of them by weaving them together and beating them flat"

I went to see Julia myself. "Julia, is there an article in that encyclopedia about making papyrus?"

"Just a moment", she said. After a few minutes, she came back and said, "There is an article complete with drawings and specifications for using papyrus reeds to make paper of a sort. Why did you ask?"

"Something Dash said about the reeds by the shore. I hope this is not all first blush enthusiasm and that he will carry on with it. Maybe you could show him the article and explain it to him. It will encourage his want to read and learn."

"Don't worry too much about that boy. Haven't you noticed that he never forgets anything?"

"I sort of took it for granted because I am the same way."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Nilla on September 25, 2014, 05:58:03 PM
A new mod in development? Paper-maker!
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 26, 2014, 07:08:35 AM
A new mod in development? Paper-maker!
It ain't necessarily so.  What if poor Dash fails to make anything worth writing on?

Necessity is the mother of invention.  I want to do something useful with these children other than following in the footsteps of their parents, which seem to have got them ostracized from society.  This is a top-down plot, so we'll all have to see where it goes.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 29, 2014, 01:00:11 PM
About a month later, I saw Dash moping around looking rather dejected. "Well, son, how is the writing project coming?", I asked.

"I've decided to abandon it", he said. "None of the results are satisfactory, and the ink just blots up on anything we've made so far. Besides, my sufaces dry up and crumble within a day or so."

"So the reeds around here are unsuitable. I'm sorry."

"it's not that.", he said. "I am trying to find out why you get a square set when you use a triangle that has sides three, four, and five."

"It's a law of nature", I said. "This has been known for generations."

"Yes, but why?". He wandered off looking thoughtful.

After I finished salting the catch, I wandered over to Geoff's place looking for Julia and found her softening some deer hide. "Julia", I said, "Does the encyclopedia say anything about triangles and square sets?

"Dash asked me the same question. All it says is that if the sides of the triangle are three, four and five, the side opposite the five-side will be a square set."

"Oh. Thanks." I went back to mending the nets.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 29, 2014, 01:25:28 PM
Over supper that night, Marta leaned towards me and murmured, "I saw you over at Geoff's today. Did Julia say anything out of the ordinary?"

"No. Why?"

"Say nothing as yet, but she told me she thinks she is with child"

"That was very quick. How do you think Leon will take being a grandpa?"

After another month went by, it became common knowledge that Geoff and Julia were expecting. There was a lot of badinage about the suspicious timing and everyone marked their calendars.


Sure enough, at the end of the winter, Julia was delivered safely of a beautiful baby girl. The time was nine and a half months after the hand fasting.

The rye crop had been good this year, and as we faced the spring planting, we were visited again by Leon who discovered he was now a proud grandpapa. I took him aside and asked if he had any writing materials he was willing to trade.

"Most surely" he said. He went aboard his bateau and returned with a pen, and ink block, and a large sheaf of parchment sheets. "Consider it a birthing gift to the town", he said.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on September 30, 2014, 04:18:03 AM
Why of course 3-4-5 is a set square! Everyone knows that. It's because, uh.... Clearly it must be so, since.... Um.

Yes, why does a2 + b2 = c2? Well, it just does, okay?! ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on September 30, 2014, 08:52:16 AM
I am in a bit of a quandary as to whether this kid might develop Euclidean geometry or Affine.  The boy is a polymath, so he might not bother with either.  He might be an inventor instead.  He is the eldest child, but the others are getting older and need to come into the story more, as do some more immigrants.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 05, 2014, 11:30:17 AM
In response to the request for more soap, here is some more material.

"Now, Leon, let's see what we can do in trade", I said. "We have a stock of tools and wooden ware, as well as some packets of rye flour, and rye seed. We also have more of those beaded leather jackets and some trews that you might find a market for in the towns outside. Hunting has been good. We also have venison jerky that might do well with hunters and travellers. Come over to our storehouse, and see how industrious we've been over the last period."

On the way over to the storehouse, we ran into Geoff, who was carrying some cabinets to place there.

"Hello, Father Leon", he said. "I hope you don't mind if I call you that, since you are the grandfather of Lisa"

"No, not at all. How is she doing?"

"When you've finished your business, drop over to our place for supper and you'll see what a going concern she is becoming. Is John with you? He should meet his niece."

The three of us entered the storehouse, and Leon agreed to dinner and said he would bring John along.

We helped Leon select goods he would take in trade and I was pleased to note he took several pieces of furniture and cabinets made by Geoff. He also took some hammers, a few scythes, and some steel knives that had Georgio's mark on them together with several sacks of rye flour and some rye seed packs. He then selected several suits of leather. "Come down to the landing and we'll see what you'll take in trade for all this", Leon said.

Walking down to the landing, we encountered Walter and Juliana coming up from the docks. Juliana gave Leon a hug and said, "There you are, you old rake. Are you ever going to settle down?"

Leon looked both surprised and gratified. "Juliana! I didn't know you had settled here with Walt. It is good to see you again."

"I was sorry to hear that Maribell had passed, Leon. Don't be alone. Come see us when you are in the area.", Walt said.

"Turning to me, Walt said "You wouldn't have known but Leon is the godfather of our Vicki. Small world after all."

"I'll tell Julia to set some extra places for dinner tonight.", Geoff said. "Come along for dinner and bring Victoria"

"We'll be there" said Walter. "It will knit some family ties" Walter and Juliana continued on whatever errand they were on, and we continued to the bateau. John was aboard, keeping watch as usual.

"Ahoy, John", called Leon. "Put out the gang plank, we've got trading to do"

"Aye, Father". answered John putting out a broad gangway with safety stanchions and lines. We went aboard and down into the cargo hold.

Leon had a good supply of wares that would be useful to the settlement, and we bargained for a while, settling finally on some preserves and some seeds for apples and wheat, as well as some barrels of wheat flour. And, finally, a packet of yeast.

"The women will be well pleased with the flour and yeast. We haven't had yeast bread since we were banished from the last town." I said with glee. "Let me find some people to help move this stuff then you can John can get ready for supper.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 05, 2014, 01:25:53 PM
Yes, Rye seeds, that's what we need. I love a good rye bread. Thanks for keeping up the story!
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 05, 2014, 01:46:50 PM
Give a thought to barley as well.  If you have a good barley crop you can malt it, and then you can make real, honest to God, whiskey.  The general base can be rye, wheat, corn or any other grain if you are feeling ready for the taste.

The Tavern can become a distillery.  Also, don't forget that God put the yeast on the skins of grapes so that they would ferment naturally.  We need a grape crop as well.

And, I nearly forgot, but we need hops as well.  Can't make good beer without hops.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 05, 2014, 02:26:04 PM
There is a distillery in Cosack's Fountain Mod, but it uses sugar and makes Rhum. Barley would be great and I would love love love vineyards and a winery. Kind of surprised no one is modding grapes. Must be the only one who spends often spends weekends touring local wineries.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 05, 2014, 04:38:12 PM
While you are still young and fit, hop over to France and take a pass around the Aquitaine.  This area contains Bordeaux, Cognac, the Entre Deux Mers area, and some fabulous chais (wineries).  I did it, but i never got back to Lyons and the Burgundy area.  Put them both on your bucket list.

It is not that French wines are better, but they've been at it since Roman times, and they know how to teach people about wines.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 08, 2014, 07:38:52 AM
Time for a little immigration.  Also, a two year jump.


On Dash's ninth birthday, Leon arrived with some passengers who applied to join the settlement. They all agreed to our conditions and so we now have four new mouths to feed. It was a useful group, and Mark's son, Sam was the same age as Dash. It was good for Dash to have someone of the same age. Mark joined the farming group under Finbar.

The previous year, Leon had brought us a pair of sheep and some chickens. It was good to pick up Rudolf in the new group as he was an experienced shepherd and had his own herding dog, Shep.

Musetta Joined us from Goshwhattaplace. She had been crewing for Leon, but wanted to settle on land. She agreed to work as a farm hand with Finbar.

A few days later, Georgio came down to the fishing dock looking serious. "Dash has asked to apprentice with me. I told him you'd have to approve."

"Well", I said, "I was hoping he'd be a fisher like his old man, but I'd rather have a happy smith than an unwilling worker here. OK, put him to work."

"He'll have company. Mark has given permission for Sam to apprentice with me as well. I guess I'll be running classes for them, sort of. At least I'll have somebody to collect ore and make charcoal. This will take a load off Carmen and give her more time for Tinetta."

Later that day, Dash came happily bouncing down to the dock. "Thanks, Father. I've been fascinated by the work at the smithy, and now I can be a part of it."

"Fine, Dash, be sure you give all your effort to this. You'll soon be muscled up like Georgio."

"Me and Sam will be working together."

"Watch your manners! You know better than that. What should you have said?"

In a small voice, "Sam and I?"

"Right! Now get along with you."

The chickens had been getting into the grain stocks, so we had Geoff build a chicken coop and an enclosure. The older children who were not otherwise busy were delegated to collect eggs. Max, Jake and Tinetta were doing a good job at this, and breakfasts had improved. The hens were producing about two eggs each every three days. The few fertilized eggs were set aside in an incubator that Geoff had built on the side of the chicken coop. We were expecting our first hatch of chicks any day.

Rudi and Shep had settled into a large clearing with their charges. We hoped for some wool production and at least one lamb by the spring. It would be a while before we could have any mutton chops. Fortunately, we hadn't seen any coyotes or wolves in the area, but there was still mama bear and her cubs. We might have to take her out after all.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 08, 2014, 04:26:17 PM
Nooooooo! Don't kill the bear.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 09, 2014, 08:45:40 AM
Y'know, by now those cubs are fully grown and gone, and mama might move to new territory seeking a new mate.  Bearskin rugs, on the other hand, sell well.

Bears are top predators and tend to keep other things down, and I think this one is a brown (grizzly) bear.  Grizzlies are direct ancestors of polar bears you know.  So, let's see what happens to the sheep.  Maybe we just need a Karelian Bear dog.  We'll have to see whether Shep (a border collie) would tolerate a friend.

Did you know that if you add a donkey to a sheep herd, coyotes won't bother the sheep.  Apparently they are afraid of the donkey.  The herders around here do that all the time.  Makes life more difficult for the deer, especially the fawns.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 09, 2014, 09:51:44 AM
Donkeys have a pretty hefty kick  ;D
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Nilla on October 10, 2014, 02:59:05 AM
What is all this talk about bears, coyotes and donkeys? In this game the BOARS are the real hazard ;).

Not only that they occasionally kill the poor hunters (Have Luke read/looked at "Game of Thrones?) Have you seen a garden where some of these beast have past? I have! Not a pretty sight!  :(
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on October 10, 2014, 05:54:19 AM
I've heard that about donkeys. Anything that causes grief for the white-tailed rats, er, I mean deer, is okay by me. ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 10, 2014, 08:54:00 AM
What is all this talk about bears, coyotes and donkeys? In this game the BOARS are the real hazard ;).

Not only that they occasionally kill the poor hunters (Have Luke read/looked at "Game of Thrones?) Have you seen a garden where some of these beast have past? I have! Not a pretty sight!  :(

Deodato (Dodi) has not reported any boars in the area.  Actually, in this novella so far, the relationship to the game is in the first paragraph.  We are operating at a much lower level, and we are paying much more attention to detail.

I've heard that about donkeys. Anything that causes grief for the white-tailed rats, er, I mean deer, is okay by me. ;)

Dodi does a good job at keeping the settlement supplied with venison and hides.  But from the comments, I see it is time to put him on stage again.  Watch for his adventures with the bears. 

The deer are more like Roebuck than the white tailed variety.  Much smaller, you don't need a deer hoist to lug them around.  Just as tasty, though.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Nilla on October 10, 2014, 09:05:43 AM
And what about the moose? Suppose they are protected in this story. ;)

Here the annual moose-hunting starts on Monday, a big event. And i am embarrassed to say; moose-meat is delicious.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 10, 2014, 09:41:15 AM
And what about the moose? Suppose they are protected in this story. ;)

Here the annual moose-hunting starts on Monday, a big event. And i am embarrassed to say; moose-meat is delicious.
Seems to be a shortage of moose in this area.  No good water grounds.  Maybe later if we get some beavers to make ponds.  Here is the new instalment.

Dodi took Max and Jake with him on his next hunting trip. They were gone for three days, and came back into camp with a good bag and two excited twins. At the fire that night Dodi announced that his boys would be following in his footsteps and when they got older would foray by themselves.

"Deodato and Sons, Hunters and Guides?" I said.

"Why not?" said Deodato. "We might as well start a family firm".

"That doesn't get them off the egg patrol when they are in camp.", said Serpina. "I'll see to that."

The twins looked dejected as one. "Aww", said Max, "We had hoped" "to get out of that", finished Jake.

"Dodi, what of the bears?", I said.

"No sign of 'em. A fox has moved into the cave and has a litter of kits."

"No bear sign at all?"

"No scat. I think they've left this canyon. The two males would have anyway, and mama bear has left, probably seeking a new mate. Grizzlies are few and far between in these parts."

"Pa, can I tell it?", said Max.


"On the trail back we saw a pack of stoats feeding on a deer carcase. We don't think they killed it, but just took over when whatever did it finished and left it." "Pa thinks the killer was a puma", chimed in Jake.

Max frowned at Jake. Serpina pursed her lips and gave each of then a look, and things got better.

Geoff said, "I was going to ask Father Leon to find us a bear dog, but I won't now. Expensive unless we have reason to have one. They come from across the water and are good bear hunters."

We had supper together around the fire, and the children were dispatched to bed. The rest of us broke up into conversation groups and spent some time comparing notes on the last few days.

After supper, I went out to the sheep pasture with a bit of supper for Rudi. "Rudi, would you like to have a donkey to keep you company with the sheep? It would help Shep keep the coyotes off."

"That would be a good thing, but can we afford it?"

Well, there is not much maintenance, and I think Leon can get us a good price."

"OK, then. The ewe is pregnant, and I would like some extra defence"
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 13, 2014, 12:04:45 PM
Continuing the sage of Hereweare, the settlement of outcasts (and others).

The next spring, I sent a message to Leon that we needed a shepherd's donkey, and maybe some more people for the settlement if he could find them discretely.

Leon was a very good agent as well as a trader and when his bateau arrived just after the planting, he came ashore leading as pretty a little jack as you have ever seen. He also had a few extra hands crowding the safety lines. "Ho, Indio", he called, "I've our shepherd's jackass and there are a few people on board who might be interested in settling here with your encampment".

I invited any who intented to stay ashore and to the community fire. "You all are welcome if you pass our inspection. First, tell us who you are and why you want to stay with us."

The group huddled together and looked abashed. Leon stepped in with, "Come, come, now. You have all said you want to settle in a new place. Hereweare is as good a place as any, and there are people here who can help you."

He picked out a likely looking young man, and led him to the fire.

"Name and origin?", I asked.

"Willem from Ochem", said the boy. "My brother, Wilfred is with me."

"How will you improve our settlement?"

"Our parents, dead now, showed us how to mine for ore and coal, but we haven't been able to find work in the local mines. They all say we lack experience."

"Well, we haven't any experience either. Do both of you affirm that you will act as a part of the community?"

Will turned and pulled out Wilfred and they both agreed.

After this start, things proeeded in order of arrival.

There were three women, apparently unrelated. Anastasia claimed to be a seamstress, Francesca a farmer, and Katerina who had been in service would do general labour as assigned. All were agreeable to our conditions, and we set about finding housing for everyone with Geoff's help.

While the settlement made room, I gave the donkey to Katerina as directed her to take him down to the sheep pasture for Rudi. This damsel is very pretty and I had an ulterior motive in sending her along to Rudi. One can always hope...

After the arrival ceremony, if it can be called that, Leon and I retired to our warehouse for a little dickering. Of all things, Leon had some hops seeds, some barley seeds, and some lengths of copper tubing. I was taken a little aback, then thought hard about it. "You don't happen to know any disaffected distillers along your route, do you?", I asked.

"As a matter of fact, I do, and he is aboard the bateau. He didn't want to join the madding crowd."

"Why is he so reticent?"

"He wasn't sure whether this community is wet or dry"

"We are moderate in all things. I wouldn't mind a taste of uisgebeatha after a long day on the fishing dock."

"Well, good news for him. I assume you'll invite him to stay with his family. Now just what was it you want to trade for all this stuff, and what else is there you need?"

We haggled for a while and finally agreed on a cart full of stuff in both directions. We took our goods and headed for the docks.

Leon went aboard to organize the trade and stowage, and came back ashore with a strapping red-headed man of middle age. "This is Patrick ap Conan, your new brewmaster and distiller", Leon said.

"Well, Patrick, if you affirm that you and your family will act as part of the settlement, you are welcome to stay and ply your trade."

"Oh Aye", said Patrick with what could only be an overseas brogue. "We'll be more than happy to settle if those are the only conditions."

He went back aboard and returned with his wife, Deirdre, and a strapping youth of no denying, his son Col.

"Welcome all", I said. "Go up to the central fire and ask for Geoff. He'll see to temporary place for you until your cabin can be built.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 13, 2014, 04:19:32 PM
I love it! We need a Jackass mod. And did you add the distillery mod to your game?
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 13, 2014, 08:26:55 PM
I love it! We need a Jackass mod. And did you add the distillery mod to your game?

Well, it could have been a jenny, but I think jacks are more effective with coyotes.
No, I am running with no mods at all. 

In case you didn't notice my distiller is an Irish Celt.  Very classical, and will be looking around for a peat bog.  His son, Col, is the eldest kid, nearly an adult. ;)

The Windows Executive (wine) on Linux still runs this game at a snail's pace even on 10x.  Takes several hours to get anything done.  There is a problem with the multi-tasking, so I do wish Luke had been more portable rather than stuck to Microshaft.  Good thing I am retired and very patient.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on October 14, 2014, 08:04:21 AM
"Willem from Ochem", said the boy. "My brother, Wilfred is with me."

Hoo hah! It's not every community that gets a famous philosopher--well at least sort of. I think the original was British. Expect great feats of logic from this boy, as well as BS deleting razors.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 14, 2014, 08:17:59 AM
"Willem from Ochem", said the boy. "My brother, Wilfred is with me."

Hoo hah! It's not every community that gets a famous philosopher--well at least sort of. I think the original was British. Expect great feats of logic from this boy, as well as BS deleting razors.

Glad you noticed the reference, but you try to make up names, but when your head is full of good historical names, why waste them.  Note that this kid is a miner, not a minor.  I suspect he'll be a regular IQ of around 100.  The only razor he might face is the one he shaves with, if he shaves.

Noticed any other historical or literary characters?  Think of Cafe Momus and La Boheme.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on October 14, 2014, 08:37:23 AM
You have to figure that anyone whose on-line identity is A Nonny Moose is going to be good with names.

Though I have to admit, ever since I started reading your posts on the Sim City forums some years ago I get visions of moose gamboling through the meadows of Northern Ontario singing "Hey, nonny, nonny" every time.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 14, 2014, 09:19:54 AM
ROFL.  Have you been to the (  It's virtual location is at Moose Factory, Ontario (an Indian reservation BTW) on the shores of the estuary of the Moosonee River across from the town of Moosonee.  This is actually almost on James Bay, and is an interesting place in the boreal forest.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on October 15, 2014, 09:41:02 AM
No, I'd missed that. It is amazing with people still stopping by for a drink and a bite after many years. Great work and service! One of my former students has spent every Summer at Moose Factory doing work with the community there. She loves it, but will have to cut back now that she has to get a year-round job. I've always wanted to do the train ride to Moosonee, but never have yet--should have done it when you could go all the way from Toronto on the old Dutch TEE equipment.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 15, 2014, 03:59:49 PM
No, I'd missed that. It is amazing with people still stopping by for a drink and a bite after many years. Great work and service! One of my former students has spent every Summer at Moose Factory doing work with the community there. She loves it, but will have to cut back now that she has to get a year-round job. I've always wanted to do the train ride to Moosonee, but never have yet--should have done it when you could go all the way from Toronto on the old Dutch TEE equipment.

Too bad really.  It was on my bucket list, but I've become too disabled to do much travelling any more.  A small trip to the east coast in 2013 summer pretty much demonstrated to me that I will need wheels if I ever do this kind of thing again.

If you get a chance, by all means go.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 16, 2014, 07:28:10 AM
A forward leap in time saves a lot of soap flakes.


How time goes by. It has been five years since my last journal entry. In that time our little band has grown to 41 souls. There has been much hand-fasting and one addition to our merry band, namely Calvin, the vintner. Now let me see ...

Juliana and Walter have a new son, August. Lucy was born to Georgio and Carmencita. Finbar and Consuela now have Sean, a brother to Leaf. Geoff and Julia added Winifred (Winnie) having raised Lisa as a sitter. Rudi hand-fasted Anastasia and they have produced Eliza. Willem got Musetta (surprise!) and they have added Maurice to our flock. Beautiful Katerina landed Wilfred and has been delivered of Mabel last year. And finally Calvin fell madly in love with Francesca four years ago and now they have Frederick (Freddy). Whew ... I think that's the lot.

Calvin came to us in an odd way. Max was walking his trap line and stumbled across him wandering in the woods. He had been turned out of his town because of some trivial conflict with the headman. Max said he was lucky to have been only tossed out. So, after an interview, we decided to keep him, especially since he knew about viticulture and we had been wondering about some of the wild grapes we've been enjoying from gathering.

Just before the spring equinox, Dash came into the house looking very excited. "He accepted my piece! I am going to be certified Journeyman Smith!

"Congratulations!" I said with enthusiasm as if this handn't already been discussed at council. "And Sam?"

"Him too. We both have completed out journeyman piece. Sam made a double bladed axe, and I made a scythe. Master Georgio accepted both of them and put them in the new museum of works."

"Guess we'll have to have a ceremony. What are you doing on the eve of the equinox?"

"Hah! You knew already" he said with a smirk that couldn't disguise his glee.

"Well, it has been a joy watching you become a man. With muscles like that you'll have to watch out for the girls. They'll all be after you."

Dash blushed. "Uh... Vicky has been making moon eyes at me. I think we are too young for hand-fasting, don't you?"

"Just a little. You'll have to restrain yourself. No rolls with honey."


"Come see me after your next session with Georgio. You'll be late, so get going."

I felt a little apprehensive. It is a father's duty to explain about the functions that go with hand-fasting.

At the equinox-eve fire, the village gathered for the first ceremonial broach of the new casks of uisgebeatha, with a toast to the harvest to come. Georgio stepped forward with a couple of pieces of parchment in hand and announced, "Let all present acknowlege the progression of my two apprentices Sam and Dash to the rank of Journeyman Blacksmith. Step forward, gentlemen.

Dash and Sam proudly stepped up to the podium and accepted their certificates.

Dash came over to me and said, "That's the first time I've ever been addressed that way. You know, it was almost embarrassing."

"Young scamp! You won't hear that again anytime soon. But you can have a sip of my cup as a seal of your worth.", passing the usigebeatha to him.

"Wow! That's good stuff. Can I get my own?"

"Not for a while yet. I want you to finish growing. You haven't seen me about husbandly duties yet."

"Oh, there's nothing mysterious about that. We have all these animals about"

"That's not what I want to tell you about, smart ass. Come see me soon."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 16, 2014, 09:15:27 AM
Rolls with honey? Might have to explain that one, too.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 16, 2014, 12:45:52 PM
Rolls with honey? Might have to explain that one, too.

If you don't know, you mustn't ask.  Just be a good boy and keep your hands in your pockets.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 16, 2014, 07:38:06 PM
Ima gurl
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 16, 2014, 09:05:02 PM
Interesting.  I'm a dirty old man, and I've had that talk with my RL son.  You'd be surprised at the pejorative attitude that boys pick up in the school yard, especially boys in rural areas.

By the way, I thought that was spelled gurul?
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: slink on October 18, 2014, 09:29:13 AM
Rolls with honey? Might have to explain that one, too.
I imagine that is rolls-in-the-hay with your-honey.

And I'm an old woman, before anyone tells me to stick my hands in my pockets.  That won't do me any good at all.  ;)

Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 18, 2014, 09:31:31 AM
I sometimes wonder what boys are doing with their hands in their pockets.....
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on October 18, 2014, 09:38:42 AM
Making "adjustments."  ;D
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 18, 2014, 11:03:00 AM
And now, for the big disappointment.  Authors have devious devices.


"Thank you, Father", Dash said. "That clears up a lot of things, including the duties of being a good husband and father. When the time comes, I hope I'm ready."

Just then Myrtle walked into the room. "Ready for what?" she said.

Dash actually blushed. "Never mind."

"Father, what is he embarrassed about?"

"Ask your mother", I said.

"That's no kind of an answer", said Myrtle. "I'm going down to the fish shack and ask her."

Marta and I had already discussed what I was going to say to Dash, so she would be prepared with some excuse to put Myrtle off for a few years, I hoped.

I walked down to the dock and began repairing some nets that had been damaged. Marta came over and said, "Well, Myrtle was just full of questions. I don't know how much of your birds and bees talk she overheard, but it couldn't have been much. I convinced her to wait for answers until she is older. What happened to the nets?"

"They were torn on something they snagged on the bottom. I'll take a dive later and see if it is something that can be removed. Or better yet, I'll have Dash do it. It'll take his mind off his other concerns."

"Yes, a good idea. He's a bit full of his new title right now, and a little fisher maintenance will remind him where he could be instead."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 21, 2014, 08:43:26 AM

With the coming of the nicer weather, I passed the word for the Spring Meeting. Everyone attended for the review and party afterwards. Looking over my notes, I found:

The fishing dock was supplying more than enough fresh and dried fish to satisfy demand and had developed a surplus of dried, salted stock to be able to use them as a trade item. Walter and Juliana had become partners in the business, and Walter was looking after the day to day, now.

In her capacity of arborist, Juliana had identified and moved several likely trees to a special grove. Among these were black walnut, sugar maple, and birch. Sweetener could be made from the latter two saps and oil for cooking could be pressed from the walnuts. Test projects were in progress with the help of Marta and Carmencita, whose plant recognition skills were very useful.

Georgio had trained two journeyman smiths and was producing quantities of ironmongery for both use and trade. His group were considering methods of creating steel for better products, but were prospecting for enough coal.

Deodato and Sons - hunters and forest guides - had become a going concern. While Deodato continued to hunt, part time, Max and Jake were running trap lines as well as hunting deer and boar. They had tamed a few feral dogs and created a hunting pack. Some coyote furs were becoming available as a result of their work as well. Serpina was running the family business as well as working hides and making clothing. Extra seamstress work was being done by Anastasia.

Finbar's farm co-op now included his wife Consuela, his son Leaf, Mark, Musetta and Francesca. The granary was well filled along with the community belly.

Geoff has established himself as carpenter and cabinet maker. He set up a shop and an additional space for Julia to use as a school room, and a leather shop when she was not teaching. Julia turned out great boots for cruising in the wood as well as softer shoes for more formal occasions. The ladies were well pleased.

Rudi, the shepherd, had increased his flock from the original two to twelve, and was delivering wool to Serpina and Anastasia. This was being carded and spun using tools supplied by the smiths and Geoff, who had constructed a foot-cranked spinning wheel to the great delight of the ladies. Woollen clothing was becoming more available as each shearing season passed. Carmen had been able to identify some vegetable dyes and the homespun was becoming more colourful. We did need to find something to use as a mordant, though.

The mining duo, Will and Wilf, had found much ore in the talus slopes below one of the cliffs and were considering whether to tunnel or to start an open pit operation to obtain unweathered ore. Katerina has learned to classify and sort the ore, and is holding a bin that may contain copper and silver ores.

Patrick, Col and Calvin have formed a loose partnership to produce not only uisgebeatha from the grain but also some sort of wine or brandy from the local grapes. Calvin would like to start a solera with a view to making a fine Xerez type wine. This will be a long-term endeavour but Xerez would be a major trade item. The books for this are being kept by Dierdre because keeping track of a solera is not easy.

After the meeting, a meal was served complete with some of Calvin's vintage from about a year ago. A light red, with a young flavour that went down like silk gloves. If this stuff will travel, we have a great trade bonanza in this boy.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 24, 2014, 10:18:31 AM

Time flies by when you are not looking. Another lustrum has passed, and we find ourselves with a larger population, some ex-officio and some permanent. Imagine our surprise when Leon arrived with a new wife.

"Indio, this is Marilyn, my wife", Leon said as they came ashore. "A man cannot live without proper companionship and Marilyn is a coastal pilot as well."

"Welcome to Hereweare, Marilyn. This is my wife Marta. The two of you should go to see my daughter-in-law, Vicki, and get caught up. Leon and I will be busy trading, then we'll join you."

Just then John came down the gang plank with a pretty woman on his arm. "And here is my new wife, Susanna."

"You fellows are just full of surprises today. What else do you have that will astonish me?"

"Well", said Leon, "I have some passengers who are looking for a place to settle. You might want to meet them."

"By all means. We can always stand some new talent, because at the moment we only have 41 permanent residents. We'll see if they like us and we like them."

John went back aboard.

"I need to ask a favour", said Leon. "Susanna is with child and I'd prefer it if she could be delivered someplace safe. Can you put her up until then?"

"I think so. Geoff has a spare room, and will probably be happy to make this accommodation."

John returned with a man, a woman and three children, all walking down the gangway.

"Here are Prufrock, Olive, and their children William, Polly and Guy. Pru is a master stonemason.", Leon introduced the family. "This is Indio of Hereweare, the headman."

"Hello. What brings you travelling for a new spot in the world."

"We hail from Fallstown, but there is no work for us there any more. We are looking for someplace to settle and build a new life."

"Will you act as a part of our community and defend it if need be?"


"Then welcome to Hereweare. Hang about here for a few minutes and I'll find someone to get your family settled until we can help you build a new place."

"Many thanks. I'll be looking for any likely youngsters to become apprentices."

I asked Juliana to guide our new mason family to the town and see who could put them up for a few days.

"And now, friends, let us get about our business. What have you got in your holds of interest to a remote settlement? You know, up to now at least, you've had exclusive access to us."

Leon jumped right in with, "Come aboard. We have some metal wares that might interest you even though you have your own smithy. How are you doing with your steel project?"


Trading concluded to the mutual satisfaction of all. The new steel knives were appreciated by everyone, and Geoff promised some new knife blocks to keep them safe. Geoff agreed to put up Susanna until she was delivered. Georgio and Carmen gave over their loft to our new immigrants until they finished their own cabin. Pru's son William (Billy) expressed an interest in ironmongery so Georgio took him on a tour of his foundry, including the apprentice displays.

Dash and Vicki, with Minnie in her carrier were showing Susanna their new loom that Geoff and Dash had constructed for her. She gave a small demonstration of how stripes could be woven. Then Jake and Lisa took Susanna over to their studio to see the block of granite Lisa was carving. She noticed Sensa playing in her play pen and said, "I hope I can use that when my baby comes."

"Of course", said Lisa. "It will be nice to have an infant around again."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 28, 2014, 12:40:39 PM
The year turned to summer and then to fall. Lisa was safely delivered of her new son, Liam. Two legs, two arms, two openings, one loud and one unmentionable.

Our master mason was guided over to the mining site by our miners and found a large sheet of limestone that he felt he could use productively. Consulting with Georgio and Geoff, he was to get them to help him produce a stone cutting saw that, using some of the tougher rock, ground up as an abrasive allowed him to cut some blocks out of the sheet. However, he needed some help, and agreed to take Calvin's Frederick and Willem's Maurice as mason apprentices. Both boys were quite enthusiastic and excited to be able to do something besides help in the parental endeavours.

Fred was overheard to say that he was totally sick of stamping out grapes, and Morrie was glad to be off egg patrol.

This left Calvin without a helper, but he soon convinced Billy, Pru's son, to come over and help with the vintage. While Billy was only 8 years old, the council felt that this apprenticeship would not be more than he could handle. Apprenticeship notes were handed out to the three boys.

Pru took his new charges over to his quarry site and explained how to set up and saw the limestone. He also gave them one of Georgio's 3, 4, 5 triangles so they could set the cuts square to each other.

"Now, boys, the first thing to do is mark a line on the stone. Take this string and get it coated in the chalk, then decide where you want your first cut. Now, snap the string along the line and there you have your cutting line. Use a chisel along that line to set a groove."

Morrie said, "Then we fill the groove with the grit and lay the saw band over top?"

"Quite right. Each of you then take a handle and start sawing the band back and forth.

"How often will be need to add more grit?" asked Fred.

"Whenever the saw stops cutting. Try and get a hand's breadth into the stone by nightfall. And use your gloves or you'll have a set of blisters you won't appreciate."

The boys set to work with a will, and Pru walked over to the mine site to see what was going on.

Will and Wilf were sitting drinking tea and offered him a cup. "Glad you came by, master", said Wilf. "We've come on a vein of stuff we don't recognize and hoped that you could identify it for us."

After the tea, the miners took Pru into their tunnel and lit up a section of the rock which was a sort of dull green.

"This looks to be copper ore", said Pru. "Dig out a sample big enough to work with, and I'll take it back to camp an see."

Pru was soon on his way back to the settlement with a chunk of rock in a bag. He went to see Georgio.

"Ho, Geo, the miners have given me this sample to see what we think of it."

Georgio hefted the rock, looked at it and scratched at it with a tool. "Looks like copper ore to me. What say we grind it up and try smelting it?"

"Fine. Let's get busy. Are your apprentices about, we'll need more charcoal and someone to pump that bellows of yours."

"I have no apprentices at the moment, but we can ask the journeymen to help us out."

Sam and Dash were just putting the finishing touches on Pru's new cottage when Geo and Pru came to them.

"If you'll be finished with that soon," Geogio said, "Pru and I have something more interesting to work on. The miners have found some interesting rock and we'd like you to help us with the smelting of it."

"We'll be finished with this in about an hour, master." said Dash. "Then after we've moved Pru into his new house, we'll come to the smithy to see what we can do there."

Prufrock looked relieved. "It will be good to have our own cottage, and I am sure you'll be happy to get your loft back, Geo. I'll get Olive started on moving as soon as we can have this place."

"Fine." said Georgio. "Sam and Dash can report to the smithy after breakfast tomorrow and we'll see about that hunk of ore."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 29, 2014, 01:21:01 PM
Dear Readers:

You can see this is getting complex.  I've moved this along over a period of some 11 or 12 years, and can go on for a long time.  I've never written a piece of fiction top down like this and have no idea where the scenario (I can hardly call it a plot) is going.

Because this is based on the game, each character and their adherents have names.  I now have a dramatis personae sheet going into a page and a half.  If anyone is interested in it and its generations, I'd be happy to post them somewhere.

Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on October 29, 2014, 08:26:02 PM
It's kind of nice to just let the story develop kind of randomly, isn't it. Just let the creativity flow....As for posting your genealogy, I suppose it's too long to put it here?
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 29, 2014, 10:06:08 PM
Bobbi, it's a two page text file.  I could put it up on Dropbox if you like.  There are currently three generations of the file.  I could also add the source for the story which is one huge HTML file.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on October 31, 2014, 11:50:01 AM
And the beat goes on.

Billy went to the winery to take up his new tasks. Calvin greeted him with "Hello, Billy. I am sure you must be wondering about what you can do around here."

"Yes, master."

"Hold up on that 'master' stuff. I have not achieved that exhalted state as yet. You can call me 'Cal'."

"Now I want you to run this grape press. First, remove as much of the stems as you can, then put the grapes between these boards and turn this crank until you can't force it any more. The juice will run down into the filter then into the keg at the bottom."

"Yes, Cal. When I have a problem I'll come find you."

Georgio and Prufrock went to see how the journeymen were doing. The green rock had been crushed up into much smaller pieces and was being fed into a hot area of the forge.

Dash said, "We've followed the discussion we had at dinner last night, master. I hope this meets your approval."

"Fine.", said Georgio. "Now be sure to get it all in there, then put plenty of air through the bellows. We don't really know what it will take to reduce that stuff."

"We'll see what we get in the crucible.", said Sam.

Next day, Georgio showed Pru a small bar of red coloured metal. "It is definitely copper."

"If you can draw that into wire, my wife can make some jewelry from it.", said Prufrock.


When Leon docked a few days later he was delighted to meet his new grandson. Lisa and John were proud to show him off to his grandpa.

"Father", said John, "Do you think you could do a couple of voyages without me? I'd like to stay here to see that all goes will with Liam and to work a little to help pay for our keep."

"If you will build a cabin for me while we are gone, you can have the use of it until I get back. I am planning to retire here with Susanna and I want you to take over the boat and trading business."

John was taken aback. "Heavens, I had no idea that this was in the wind."

"I'm tired, son. Now that I have a wife, I'd like to stay here. These are good people, and I am sure of my welcome."

"What will you do, here?"

"I will act as their factor, and run a general store. You know how shrewd I can be in trading, and others will be finding out about this place soon, because I've been getting inquiries about their wares. They need someone strong to protect their commercial interests."

"That's quite a plan, Father. Have you discussed it with the town council?

"Not yet. I'll spring it on Indio this evening and we'll see where it goes from there."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on November 01, 2014, 07:00:32 AM
Copper jewelry! I make jewelry with copper wire and gemstones! Fabulous.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 01, 2014, 11:05:05 AM
We try to increase our product variety as much as possible.  The boys are only mining for coal so far, but some of the ores they find might be even more interesting.  Who knows as things progress.

That evening Leon took me aside and made his proposition. "When had you thought you might like to join our gang?", I asked.

"Well, John wants to stay here for a while to get his family in better shape and will build a cabin for me while I am gone on one or two more trading trips." said Leon. "I would like to settle down with Susanna fairly soon, as I've been on the road for many years. John can take over the trade route. What do you think of my taking on the factor job?"

"I think we'll help John build a new building for you with quarters for you and with a store out front adjacent to our current warehouse. We'll make it as comfortable as we can. I've wanted off this hook for some time."

"Glad to hear you say that. I guess it will be all right if the rest of the town approves."

"Well, you could say that I have some clout, there. I don't think it will be a problem. The town meeting can be called after our trading session tomorrow. I want your opinion on the new jewelery being made by Pru's wife, Olive, out of copper wire and the native garnets we've been digging out of the rocks around here"

"Well, that sounds pretty good. I am going to sleep well, tonight."

"Night cap? Pat has produced a new type of uisgebeatha with a more smoky flavour. I think you'll like it."

"Yes, thanks"

I poured our libation and we sat in companionable silence for a while.

"That's good stuff", said Leon eventually. "Good night." and he left.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 03, 2014, 08:24:37 AM
The next day, as we walked over to the warehouse, I told Leon that I had spoken to other members of the council and they were agreeable to his proposal. We would hold a formal vote that evening. I've always found that if you are going to propose something, it is well to have prepared the ground.

"Thank you", said Leon. "Now, can I see some of this new jewelry that has been produced?"

We arrived at the warehouse to find Olive there with a new consignment of her copper work.

"Olive, have you met Leon the trader?", I asked.

"Only at the evening gatherings", she said.

"Leon is interested in your handcrafted jewelry, and I see you have some there."

"Yes, the miners found an exceptionally large garnet, so I wove it into this broach. Do you like it?"

"Well", said Leon, "I am interested in this kind of work, and that is excellent. We'll consider it in the current trade."

I said, "Let's complete our inventory here, then go to the boat and see what you have for trading."

The trade was concluded, and that night at the town meeting I noticed that Susanna was wearing the large garnet. The vote was held and Leon's proposition to join our colony was approved. Cal and Francie then served up a light collation along with some of Cal's new dry white wine. This went over rather well.

Leon said, "This wine wasn't in the warehouse. Why is that?"

"It is a new experiment", said Cal. "Do you like it?"

"Oh yes. It is quite a change from the sweeter wines you've been producing."

"I didn't want to produce dry wines until I had built a bit of a clientelle. I have a couple of kegs of this that you can have. I am curious to see if it will travel."

"Done. I'll consider them as a consignment and if it sells as well as I think, I'll let you have the net proceeds when I get back."

In the morning, John brought his living goods ashore with the help of some of the crew. Trade goods were stowed and Leon went aboard.

"Looking forward to your next arrival, captain", I said.

"Beam winds and following seas, Father" called John as the bateau fended off the pier.

The boat sailed off, and we watched it out of sight.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 07, 2014, 08:28:33 AM
John enlisted the help of several people to help build the new trading post. While it was first proposed to be located with the warehouse inland, the final conclusion was that it should be on the shore with a good pier and at least two docks separated by a crane. Since Walter was now running the fishery, I opted to work on the pier design along with the others. We hoped to finish before the next trader arrived, but were disappointed when a different bateau hove into sight.

John was on the partially finished pier, and signalled for the newcomer to make fast there. "Welcome to Hereweare", he said.

"Hello" said the newcomer. "I'm David of Kantorum, trader. Please tie us off to that post."

John quickly made a round turn with two half hitches.

"You are clearly a seaman.", said David.

"Aye", said John, "And soon to be a competitor. But for now, I am of this place."

"That needs some explaining, my friend", said David with a frown.

"Hold on", I said, "We are always happy to see traders, and I think we are large enough to interest more than one."

"David, this is Indio, council head."

"Glad to meet you Indio. We've some goods that might well interest you."

"David, you are welcome. This is John, who is currently our factor. We'll explain better over food and drink, so come ashore when you are secured. Sorry about the mess, we are just building this new trading post."

David finished tying up, then leaving his crew on watch, vaulted to the pier. We walked together up to the town square.

"John is our temporary factor standing in for Leon of Springton, who is retiring from trade to be our factor. John, Leon's son, will replace Leon on his route, but is currently settling for his parents. Next time you call in here, the post should be finished. Do you know Leon?""

"We've met in port a few times. He is always a good companion, but I hadn't met you, John?"

"As my father's mate, I've always stood the watch."

"Well, then, this is a good chance to get acquiainted as I am sure we'll meet on the routes in future."

We reached the awning in the square, found a table and sat down. I sent one of the children to find Marta to bring us some hospitality. Marta soon appeared with Susanna and a large tray of comestibles.

"Thanks, ladies. This is Marta my wife and Susanna, John's wife. Sue, where is Liam?"

"Oh, he's off playing with Sensa over at Jake's"

"Someone baby sitting of course. At the moment, David, we only have two precious babies."

"Oh, yes, Lizzie is with them".

The women left. We helped ourselves to bowls of the game stew, and I passed around the basket of bread. John handed the cups around and passed a flask of Calvin's wine of the day.

"You live well, here in the forest." remarked David.

"We've been here now for over 10 years, and we do what we can. We are lucky to have some talented people, and we've been fortunate in that there are good resources here. With your and other traders' help we expect to prosper even more."

"Here's to your continued success. Do you have any restrictiions on who comes here?"

"The only requirement is willingness to work. A skilled trade is always welcome. Access by land is difficult, but you could sell a few one-way tickets if you can find suitable people."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 10, 2014, 08:45:01 AM
After our meal, it had become quite late. I suggested that David stay overnight and that trading could be done in the morning. John was agreeable, and so we all went about our tasks for the rest of the day.

I met at the warehouse in the morning with John and David. I wanted to see how John conducted a trade knowing he had been trained by Leon.

John openend the trade with, "Good morning, David. Let's take a walk among our bins and see what might interest you for trade."

"Fine. And you can call me Dave if you like. What's in these small casks in this bin?"

"These casks contain our newest product, a white wine that you tasted last night. Do you think it will make a good trade item?"

"No doubt whatever. I'll take ten. Let's continue."

The casks were put aside, and the pick continued until a fairly large stack of goods had been chosen by David. We made a list and gathered up a group of townsmens to begin carrying the selection to the pier. We then went to the harbour and boarded David's vessel and into the hold list in hand.

David introduced us to Gary, his supercargo, "Friends, this is Gary who is in charge of the trade goods we carry."

John handed the list to Gary saying, "Good to meet you, Gary. What have you got to offset the goods on this list. Our people are carrying it all down to the harbour as we speak."

Gary looked over the list, thought for a few moments and said, "Come this way. I think you'll find our stock interesting. We have several steel goods from the forges in the area, and we carry a wide stock of foodstuffs that, perhaps, you don't produce for yourselves."

After a couple of hours of discussion and bartering, the trade was completed, and David's crew moved the new goods ashore and the bartered goods into the hold. I was pleased.

"Well, gentlemen", I said, "Let's go into town and celebrate our success with a small lunch and a drink of this excellent white wine you have purchased. Perhaps Gary, you'd like to join us?"

"I'll set the watch and catch up to you", Gary said.

Leaf was on service at the awning that morning. We gave her our order, and Gary gave her a look that we pretended not to notice.

"Who is that serving girl?", asked Gary.

"Leaf is the daughter of Finbar and Consuela, our farmmaster. She is of age if you are so inclined, but that will be a matter for the two of you to settle.

David said, "It is too late to sail today, so with your permission we'll stay the night and depart at first light."

Everyone was agreeable. We adjourned to our tasks or to see the sights.

Later that evening, Gary and Leaf were seen sitting on a log bench by the community fire deep in conversation.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on November 10, 2014, 09:09:24 AM
Love is in the air  ;D
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 10, 2014, 11:43:20 AM
Love is in the air  ;D

Well, I am getting to the point where the people that were children at the beginning have now grown up.  Some of the local boys are going to have to find mates externally, and I haven't decided just how that will go.

If Leaf and Gary become handfast,  then there is the problem of does she live aboard with Gary or does he come ashore for her.  A minor conflict, but every story needs conflict.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on November 11, 2014, 07:30:18 AM
Thank you for keeping the story going. You're doing what writers need to do--getting me to care about the people. Maybe no Giller Prize yet, but fine writing.

For all you non-Canadians, the Giller is Canada's biggest literary prize ($100,000) awarded last night to Sean Michaels for his novel Us Conductors.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 11, 2014, 09:23:30 AM
Thanks for the commentary.  I am writing this top down, which is probably not a very good literary technique, but we try to keep things light and amusing.  Do you think Leaf will take Gary to bed or will they be good and handfast first?

The Giller was very interesting.  The book is about the inventor of the Theramin (of the same name).  I think the title might be a pun.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on November 12, 2014, 08:23:50 AM
The Giller was very interesting.  The book is about the inventor of the Theramin (of the same name).  I think the title might be a pun.

Indeed--and how often can one commit a pun that crosses music and electricity?
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 12, 2014, 09:55:52 AM
The Giller was very interesting.  The book is about the inventor of the Theramin (of the same name).  I think the title might be a pun.

Indeed--and how often can one commit a pun that crosses music and electricity?

Shocking! Just shocking!  ;D
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 12, 2014, 10:26:31 AM
At dawn, the pier crew saw off "Dawn Tripper". Leaf was on the pier waving farewell to Gary who stood on the stern until the vessel was out of sight. Later I asked Finbar what he thought of all this.

"Had a chat with Dave." Finbar said. "Gary has been with him since he was a boy and has grown up on board. Seems his father apprenticed him when he was 8. His indenture ends next year."

"And ..."

"Dave said that it was the first time Gary had shown any interest in things beyond the ship", Finbar said nodding. "I think he might make a good son in law."

"Time will tell. What does Leaf say about all this?"

"She seemed to be walking on air. You know how it is."

In due time, pier construction was completed and the new Trading Post buildings added just off the end. John seemed pleased, and arranged for the goods from the main warehouse to be moved into the stock rooms of the new post. He and Susanna furnished the living quarters and moved in with Liam.

I spoke to John after the dust had settled. "I suppose you are ready for Leon and Marilyn to take this all off your hands as soon as they arrive?"

"Yes. Can't wait for Dad to arrive so that I can go aboard again. For the time being I've arranged for Sue and Liam to stay here until Liam can be safe aboard. I'll have to expand the captain's quarters a little."

"That's fine, John. What had you planned for the old warehouse?"

"I think we should maintain it as an overflow building. We don't know how often traders will call."

"Actually, I was thinking of taking part of it over as the town offices. Things are getting too much to just run out of my house. Besides, I might not be elected next time."

"Indio, you are not thinking of retiring?"

"No, but there has been some grumbling about some of the things I've done."
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 13, 2014, 10:53:42 AM

Spring brought some changes. Tinetta was safely delivered of Helen to the great pride of Max. Leon arrived with almost the ice breakup on the lake, and came ashore with Marilyn and his personal furniture. John took over the Trader's Pride in a brief on-deck ceremony, and Leon took over the trading post. The front of the old warehouse was partitioned from the storage area and converted into the town offices. Marta and I moved all the town records there with some relief and were able to make them more organized.

Then, after all the excitement of setting up the trading post and town offices, Max and Jake surprised us all by returning from their latest hunting excursion leading two horses! Both were on hackamores and seemed to be relatively tame. The hunters also had full hunting bags.

Deodato was clearly taken aback. "Where did you get those?", he said.

"Found them under a tree", said Max.

"Attached to it, in fact", said Jake. "We also found a dealer", Jake put in. "And we traded some of our take for them, namely four deer carcases."

"Shrewd of you", said Deo. "What do you know about them?"

"Well, these are fairly young horses, and they have all their teeth. They are tractable, and we rode them bareback part way here", said Jake.

"You'll notice one is a mare and the other a stallion", said Max. "I think our company is going in the horse breeding business."

"We'll see", said their father. "We have not beast skills among us, so let's see what Finbar has to say."

Taking their new charges over to the farm stead, the hunters consulted with Finbar who agreed these were fine specimens, and agreed to put them up if the men would build a paddock and a stable for them. The deal was made and the farmstead was soon graced by a four stall stable and a large paddock. Straw for bedding was available from the threshing floor, and some food from the storehouse. Juliana was consulted and agreed that there were suitable grasses that could be cultivated for hay. So a new field was laid out and sewn for horse feed.

"We don't have hard ground around here, so shoes will not be needed as yet", said Finbar.

Just then, Geoff came running into the farm office saying, "Horses? Horses! How wonderful. I saw them outside. Did you realize your mare is pregnant?"

"Really?", said Max. "No wonder the dealer demanded a high price. Any idea when she will be delivered?"

"Not soon", said Geoff. "Have you given them names?"

And if the sun rises tomorrow, as it should, I'll tell you more.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 18, 2014, 12:49:01 PM
Max said, "No. Hadn't even thought of it, but horses are like pets, so I guess they need naming. Any suggestions?"

"You and Jake know the most about them, so the honour is yours, I think", said Geoff.

Deodato put in, "My sons, you have a serious obligation here. Be careful."

Jake said, "The little mare that I rode for a while today is very sweet and tractable. How about 'Sweetie'?"

"Fair name for a fair mare", said Finbar. "Geoff, can you make a plaque for her stall?"

"Surely. What about the stallion? Seems to me the duty has fallen to Max."

"He has a pretty white blaze down his muzzle, how about 'Blaze' or 'Silver Blaze'?, replied Max.

"'Silver Blaze' has a literary ring to it", Finbar said. "Fine with me if we are in agreement".

There was general acclaimation, and so 'Silver Blaze' was settled on. Geoff agreed to make a plaque for him as well. Finbar showed Sean what to do to put the new stock in their places, water and feed them, and then went to see about some equipment. He agreed with Dash to make a proper hoof trimmer, and some curry combs. He said that we'd have to trade for proper tack and saddlery for them as he, for one, intended to ride. For now, he and Sean gave them a rubdown with rough towels.

By the next day the town was abuzz with the new acquisitions. There was no problem getting volunteers to set up a paddock and a separate corral for exercises. The older boys were hot to try to ride, but Finbar organized a session of instruction on husbandry for them before they were allowed to do anything except pet the horses gently under supervision. He cautioned everyone to treat Sweetie with great respect as she was pregnant. In any case, none of the boys had any experience, so they were dependent on Finbar and Geoff.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 19, 2014, 07:55:43 AM

I see my last entry in this journal was about a lustrum ago, so I will try and summarize as best I might. We now have several horses. Sweetie gave birth to a beautiful colt, all black with white socks. It was natural to call him Socks. We were able to trade for tack and saddles, and we also traded for two more mares. Socks is all grown up now, and last year he covered one of the mares, Stella, while Silver Blaze covered Sweetie and the other mare, Pussy. Stella has just delivered a filly, Berenice. Sweetie produced a filly, Sugar, and Pussy delivered a colt, George.

Marta and I became empty nesters when Sean handfasted Myrtle. We gave over our cabin to them and moved into an apartment I had built in the town offices. Myrtle is with child.

Gary came ashore when his indenture ended to David and went to work for Leon. They built a house beside the trading post. As predicted, as soon as he was established, Gary handfasted Leaf who is now expecting any day now.

I see that I must report that we have added some people to the town as well. James came with the two mares. He is a horse whisperer, and knows quite a lot about horse husbandry. He is also a leather worker. Louisa joined us on that same trip from Dawn Tripper as a labourer. She is assigned to Finbar at the farm. We are not in a rush to increase our population by immigration, but we have let it be known that anyone who is qualified will be welcome.

The hospitality awning where we greet visitors and relax grew walls and is now a cantina. Currently it is run by whoever is available, but we are looking for a permanent keeper for the place. At the moment it is being looked after by Calvin and William with assists from Patrick and whatever ladies are about. Service has been good, but we'd like to establish something more permanent.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 24, 2014, 12:15:41 PM
So, today dawned with some real action over at Gary's place. Leaf went into labour and there was a flurry of activity as Marta and Louisa went to assist. Gary was booted out and told to go boil some water or something. It turns out that Louisa is a birthing woman as well as a farm labourer.

I took Gary up to the cantina and tried to calm him down. We had a shot of Pat's latest usigebeatha with an ice water chaser and he was a little less neverous. Marta came in around mid-morning and announced, "Congratulations Gary, you are the father of a beautiful daughter. Off you go, Leaf wants you."

The vacuum made a swishing sound as Gary left.

I said, "I gather that all went well?"

"It was tricky for a while there. The child was a breech presentation, but Leaf is strong, and things are proceeding normally now."

"Was there much damage?"

"No, we were lucky and the child was small."

Gary and Leaf announced that the new baby would be named Grace. The excitement had died down by evening.

There was a town meeting that night. Finbar and James proposed that James would be our new concierge at the cantina since the horses were being ably looked after by Sean and a crew of helpers among the youngsters. After a short discussion about some of the necessary logistics, it was agreed provided Sean could find someone to set up and run the kitchen. Francesca volunteered, and since we had all had a sup at her table, we knew this would be fine. It was agreed that Francesca would move from the farm to working at the cantina as chef and that James would take over management and front service in the place.

So ended an eventful day.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on November 24, 2014, 12:17:03 PM
Vacuum? :)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 24, 2014, 12:19:13 PM
Sure, why not.  We don't know the extent of their knowledge.  A vacuum can be considered to be an absence of something, in this case air.  Literary license you know.

Glad to see somebody is reading this.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: salamander on November 24, 2014, 12:37:27 PM
I read every new installment, and hope it continues.  Keep the creative juices flowing.  ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 24, 2014, 04:48:58 PM
I don't see an end to this.  It is currently 915 lines of HTML.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: rkelly17 on November 25, 2014, 11:49:16 AM
I read every new installment, and hope it continues.  Keep the creative juices flowing.  ;)

Me, too.

I don't see an end to this.  It is currently 915 lines of HTML.

Excellent (said in a Montgomery Burns voice).
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 25, 2014, 01:06:56 PM
Glad we still have some readers.  Well, if the dish and the spoon manage a proper handfasting, I'll try and get an episode done tomorrow.

This is turning into a soap opera but without all the drama.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on November 25, 2014, 01:10:14 PM
This is turning into a soap opera but without all the drama.
Well, at least it's clean  ;)
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on November 25, 2014, 08:31:44 PM
I'm still reading, too. Look forward to each new installment.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 26, 2014, 10:31:23 AM
Will try to keep it on at least a PG13 level.  I am not into sordid details, however much prurient interest may be shown.  Stay tuned, later today.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 26, 2014, 11:56:12 AM
Right after the harvest, I became a grandfather. Sean and Myrtle presented me with Susan, a grand daughter. Very beautiful, at least to my eyes.

On the last trading stop, John took his son, Liam, aboard as cabin boy. It was agreed that Susanna would stay ashore for now with Leon and Marilyn, learning piloting from Marilyn. It would be good training for Marilyn who was working with Julia running the school.

Winnifred (Winnie) handfasted James a few weeks ago. Eligible young men don't last long around here. Winnie is working in the cantina being generally helpful but mostly waiting tables. Morrie and Eliza tied the knot a week later in clebration of Morrie's achieving his journeyman status.

At the journeyman promotion ceremony, everyone noticed that Mabel was making moon-eyes at Fred when he received his certificate. Fred has started building a stone house, so it won't be long now.

Guy, Pru's son, has been working around the stables with Sean, and spending some serious time with James, learning as much as he can about horses. This lad could be our home-grown horse-whisperer. He has turned out some very nice tack for the horses, and is learning leather tooling. Wonder who he will give that new saddle to. Anyway, the council decided to make the relationship formal and awarded an apprenticeship to Guy that was signed by both James and Sean. Sean has been grandfathered as a journeyman ostler.

The council decided that we have enough horses for the time being. The stallions were kept from the mares causing some excitment when the mares went into heat, but all is well in the stable for now.

I have to leave off this writing. A messenger just came in and they want me at the pier. Seems Dawn Tripper is in sight, and I did leave a message that I wanted to see Dave.

I sent a message to Rudi to bring up his trading herd then headed down to the docks.

By the time I got to the pier, Dawn Tripper was tied up and the gang plank rigged. "Ahoy, Dawn Tripper", I called.

"Ahoy, Indio", came from David who walked down the plank grinning widely. "It is good to see you after a smooth trip upriver."

After suitable greeting, I said, "I hope you have lots of cargo space this year.

"Yes, I got your message. We have an empty hold."

Just then Rudi arrived driving a flock of sheep with Shep in attendance.

"Here is your new cargo, then", I said. "I hope you will be able to handle livestock".

"Oh, yes. But you'll have to put enough fodder aboard for them."

Rudi said, "It will all be along in a cart before you can get them all loaded."

Anastasia come up to Rudi and give him a peck. "Glad to see you in town. Trudi is with the school-marms but I'd like you to see her before you go. You hardly every get into town anymore."

Rudi said, "We are building a station in the pasure area,and I want both of you to come and stay there."

"Well, if it is better than that shack, we'll see, but I want my children raised less rough than you've been living."

Rudi turned to Dave. "Did you bring it?"

"Yes." said David, "I'll just go get it."

"Rudi, what are you up to now?" said Stasia"

"Wait", said Rudi.

Dave came down the gangplank with a basket in hand. "Here you are, Rudi"

"Happy anniversary, Stasia", said Rudi, handing over the basket

Opening the basket, Anastasia took out a fluffy little puppy that looked to be about 10 weeks old. "My goodness, how cute this little chap is."

"He is my housewarming present to you, the place is ready and I want you and Trudi to come home with me. He is a herding dog, and will make a great companion for Shep as well. You get to name him."

"I am overwhelmed. He is such an imperious looking little chap, how about King?"

"Funny name for a shepherd, but I'm sure it fits", said Rudi amid general agreement and laughter.

I said, "Get along, you two, we have trading to do."

Putting the new-crowned King back into his basket, Anastasia and Rudolf strolled off towards the schoolhouse.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 29, 2014, 11:50:50 AM
After picking up Trudi at the school, the family headed out of town towards the sheep meadows. Rudi had asked the masons, Maurice and Fred, to keep an eye on the flock. The men were putting the finishing touches on the new sheep station and were finding some leisure time while various mortars dried to their satisfaction.

As they came to the clearing Rudi said, "There's the new house. I hope you like it."

"Oh, Rudi, it is lovely. How ever did we manage to afford it?"

"You know I've been sending sheep out with the traders. We've built up a lot of credit in the town and I used it to trade for the services of Maurie and Fred to help build the new place. This is probably the first solid stone house in the area."

"Wonderful. Let's go inside and you can show me what you've done."

They walked up onto the porch and through to front door. Anastasia said, "How nice. You can see all the way to the back. The place is completely open, but clearly divided into areas."

"It is a new idea that occurred to Dash. He calls it 'open area living'. You see here is a closet for outer wear and mud boots, then we are free to go anywhere in the main section. The stairs on that wall lead to the second floor where the private areas and bedrooms are. There is enough room down here to host a large group."

"Where is the jakes? I think Trudi needs a change."

"Go back to that door just before you come to the kitchen and you will find what you need. The men have put a water pump in there and there is a disposal system that leads outside."

'Stasia put down her basket, picked up Trudi and went. When she came back she said, "That is very convenient."

"I hope you are prepared for a few guests. I told Indio to bring the council for a meeting on the weekend so they can see a progressive house."

"I guess we had better get busy making ready for them, then."

"Yes, but first come upstairs. I want you to feel at home, and you need to know what lies in wait in the upper floors."

"Upper floors?"

"We have two. The second floor is the main family space, but there is also an attic that is finished as an office for each of us."

Rudi picked up Trudi and they ascended to the second floor. There was a small vestibule with doors leading off in several directions. A pair of doors faced them as they came up.

"This is our master suite", said Rudi. "It has a private jakes, and lots of closet space. I hope you won't object to this large bed, as I suborned Geoff and his crew of furniture crafters to make it for us."

"I've never slept in a canopied bed before." 'Stasia said. "Looks comfy."

"We'll find out later. I know you want more kids, and this looks like a good platform to start them."

Leaving the bedroom, they crossed to another room that contained a rather nice armoire and a single bed. It was decorated for a little girl.

"Trudi, this is your room. You're grown up enough to have your own room, so you will sleep here now.", said Rudi.

"You mean I don't have to sleep in that little crib anymore? Whee," said Trudi jumping on the bed. "Ooh! It is nice and soft and cozy. Thank you Daddy."

"Trudi, why don't you go down stairs and take King out in the yard. He's been stuck in that basket far too long and probably needs to do his business and then play".

Exit Trudi, shrieking with delight.

"Now the best feature of this floor, besides the extra jakes that is." said Rudi.

Taking Anastasia by the hand, Rudi led her into another room where there was a crib, a changing table and all the paraphenelia for a baby.

"Wow!" said 'Stasia. "I guess you've declared your intentions."

"You'll find out tonight", said a leering Rudi. "Come down stairs and I'll help you get dinner going,"
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: irrelevant on November 29, 2014, 01:18:58 PM
A man after my own heart, that Rudi  ;D
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 29, 2014, 01:50:44 PM
Well, he's a shepherd.  They are supposed to be quite randy.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 29, 2014, 02:45:09 PM

Meanwhile, back at the pier, Dave and Leon spent some time haggling over the trade, including the latest shipment of sheep from Rudi. One of the things that Dave raised was the scrip notes we have been issuing for use among ourselves. He said he had never seen a paper currency before and wondered about whether it could be used elsewhere. I said, "Fat chance that anyone else would honour it. It depends solely on man-hours with a service multiplier depending on the type and quality of the work produced. It is convenient for us to have some sort of equivalent to level the playing field trading among ourselves."

Dave said, "But can't you establish some sort of specie value for your piaster?"

"We've never tried. If you want to take some of your payment in them, we will honour them when presented in person by anyone holding them, but how we could equivalence them to any local currency or specie, I've no idea. You are welcome to set up an account with us, and operate it. Just have a chat with Marta."

"If I was going to settle here after I come ashore, I might well do that, but for now I think I'll stick to trade goods value for value."

"Just as well. I don't think that strangers would take such a thing under any circumstances. We are not an established government, and we have no specie reserve to back this stuff."

Leon and Dave concluded an equitable trade, and we all retired to the cantina for a meal.

At the cantina we found that rack of lamb was the feature for the day, and we all ordered a serving. The meal came with the chard that had been cultivated by Carmencita and wild rice from the nearby lake. A fine sauce was served with the meat. On the way in, I had caught Calvin and asked for a carafe of his new white vintage. It appeared on the table with the main course.

"You do yourselves very well, here", said Dave after the meal.

"Maybe you'd like to try our new sheep's milk cheese for dessert", I put in.

"I might find a crack to put something else in", said the grinning Dave. "I traded for some of that but only had a quick sample. It would be good to have some in such company."

I caught Winnie's eye and when she came over, I ordered the dessert with the new dessert wine that Cal had been making since the early freeze up caught his vines not all harvested last year.

"What is this stuff in the small cups?", Dave asked.

"Dessert wine. We had an accident with the vines last year, and froze some of them. They produced much more sweetness than we expected, so we made this from them. Cal is very bright when it comes to recovery from untoward events in his vinyards."

Dave put the small cup to his lips and sipped. "That is very good and refreshing. Do you always serve it iced like that?"

I beckoned Calvin over. "Cal, I think we owe Dave a little explanation."

"I'm sorry Dave, you are a bit of a guinea pig. We have never served this to outsiders before. It was an experiment, and we don't have very much or I would have offered you a keg in trade."

"Will you be able to make more of it?"

"I don't know. We'll try freezing some of the vines this year and see if the result is the same."

"If you can make this stuff in quantity, I think I know a certain table it could find its way to."

"We'll keep you informed", said Leon.

With that, we saw Dave back aboard, and retired for the night.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on November 29, 2014, 07:58:36 PM
In the morning, I went down to the ice house and checked on the supply. It was dwindling as it was getting near the end of the summer. I made sure there was enough sawdust available to keep the ice insulated, then went up to the office. I found Marta hard at work over the scrip books. "How are things?", I asked.

"Rudi has exchanged nearly all his scrip to pay for the work he commissioned on his station with the masons and Geoff. I am making sure that this ledger is balanced now after all the transfers. Later on, I am going to lunch at Leaf's. We are going to surprise Finbar with an anniversary party. Don't tell him."

"Finbar has been with Consuela almost as long as we've been together."

"It is their twenty-fifth anniversary, and we are going to make a fuss over him."

"I'll have to think of a suitable gift, especially since his son is married to our daughter."

I leaned over and gave her a little buss on the cheek. "Did I tell you that Frederick and Mabel are going to handfast at the community meeting tonight?"

"No, you didn't. Can't say I am surprised, especially since Frederick finished building his own place last week."

"You knew that Mabel has been studying tailoring with Serpina and working with Vicki making some tailored wool jackets. I think she intends to set up a little shop in a bit."

"Good. We need someone with a good sense of style that is different from the ones we've been getting."

"Competition is always good. We'll see how prices go."

I went down to the stockroom and started putting things in order. It was time for a count to verify the tallies on the books. We had been used as an overflow site for the trading post, but with recent exports, things were pretty much gone now.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 03, 2014, 09:47:10 AM
A few days later, Trader's Pride arrived with a general cargo and a group of hopeful settlers. John came ashore with Liam who was looking very much the tanned, tough sea-flea for all of his nine years. They were met on the pier by Leon, who hugged his grandson much to the boy's embarrassment. Because of the immigrants, Leon sent the boy up to the town hall looking for me.

"Liam! It is good to see you", I said. "What can Hereweare do for Trader's Pride?"

"Father has a group of immigrants with us, and wants you to come down to the post."

"Thank you, lad. Please tell your grandfather to bring them ashore to the warehouse, and I'll be down to meet them there in a few minutes."

Liam bounded enthusiastically away.

Taking the town register down from its shelf, I walked down to the trading post. "Leon, John, who have you got for us?"

"It is a fairly large group, this time", said Leon. "Come into the hall and meet them."

We went inside. There was a rather non-descript group of people, all trying to look their best. I went over to the desk and put down the ledger. "Hello folks. I am Indio the leader of this settlement. I am told you want to settle here. So, come up to the desk in families, we'll have a chat."

A couple came forward with three children.

"I am Abraham and this is my wife, Leonora. You can see we have three children, Timothy, Mary and Johnathan"

"Why do you want to start a new life with us?"

"I'm a physician and I heard that you needed medical services. I felt that I could fill that need for you."

"You must have more reason than that to uproot your family. Are you a fugitive?"

"No. I just tired of the dull practice in Kantorum. I think Leon will vouch for my bona fides."

"Just a moment, I'll ask him." I stepped out and went to Leon's office.

"What do you know of the physician Abraham?", I asked.

"Abe the physician? Is he here? What luck! I know him well, and he was fretting with the hum-drum at the clinic in Kantorum. He decided to pull up stakes after all?"

"I take that to be a recommendation, then?"

"Oh yes! His reputation in Kantorum was very good."

I returned to the desk. "Well, you have an ally there. Do you agree to live here and act as a member of the community?"


"Then welcome to Hereweare. If you'll take a seat, we'll get you settled when I've talked to the others."

I found myself looking into the startling blue eyes of two tall, blonde young men.

"I am Bartholomew of Strang and this is my brother Martin. We have no particular skills but have worked as farmhands. We want to start a new life away from the town where our parents were just killed in a barn fire."

I looked them over. Two strong young men who looked seriously back at me. "Do you agree to live here and act as members of the community?

Both agreed, so I welcomed them and sent them to sit with the successful applicants.

I recognized the next applicant as one of the men who had robbed us of our goods on the trip here. "You've got a lot of nerve coming here, fellow. Seize him!

Two of John's seamen who where standing by, confined this fellow and tied his hands.

"We'll decide what to do with you later, thief!"

There were no more applicants, so I gathered the successful group and arranged for them to be housed until accommodations could be built.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 05, 2014, 08:52:11 PM
In the morning, we frog-marched our unacceptable miscreant back aboard Trader's Pride under guard. We had a chat with John about what he should look for in possible immigrants in future. I hope that's the last I ever see of those people. There is something to be said for having a long memory.

I was having a feeling of insecurity after this incident, so I coralled Martin and Bartholomew and asked them if they would consider becoming town police on a part time basis.

"What do you mean by part time?" asked Bart.

"When we have a ship in port and other times the council thinks it is necessary. We'll keep you in the loop", I replied. "You can continue working with Finbar or pick up some skills from others as you go."

The twins has made it quite clear that they would happily answer to Mart and Bart, and this was because their parents had left it to them by giving them dissimilar names that could be used this way.

Wilf came in with Abraham to talk about building a clinic. I looked over the specifications and agreed to put it on the council agenda for the weekly meeting in two days. It would be a stone building with an attached residence for Abe and his brood. They left promising to attend the meeting.

John dropped in to finalize his trade with Leon for the town books. It was about lunch time, so we adjourned to the cantina. We had a good lunch, then saw John shove off about mid-afternoon. Liam waved goodbye to his friends and his mother waving from the pier.

Susanna said, "That boy is really growing up. I hardly recognized my little boy. John is treating him very well, and has been a remarkable husband and father. I think the next trip, they will be ready for me to join them aboard."

"Don't be in a rush to go to sea", said Leon. "Have you had a long talk with Marilyn?"

"Yes. By the next time Trader's Pride puts in, I'll be ready to pilot the vessel."

"Well, that's then. We could use you on chart reading in the school this term" said Julia, who had come down to see the ship off.

"Fine. I'll come after lunch tomorrow."

Trader's Pride went out of sight around the headland, so the little party turned to their various tasks. I returned to the town hall with the final copy of John's manifest.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 08, 2014, 08:54:08 PM
As the year turned into autumn, one day Jake and Max came into the town hall looking serious.

"What can we do for our mighty hunters?", I asked.

"We think we have a squatter somewhere in the forest", said Max.

"We found a deer carcase with an arrow through it, and the hind quarters missing", said Jake. "And we have found a few emptied traps."

"You wouldn't be here if you hadn't tried to track this character", I said. "Looking for help?"

"Yes", Jake said. "We heard you took on a couple of enforcers in that last bunch."

"I don't know what woods skill they have, but let's go ask them to help you out. Come down to the farm stead and we'll see where they are working today."

We three all trouped over to Finbar's. Finbar was out in the fields but Consuela was home.

"Consuela, do you know where Mart and Bart are today?", I asked.

"They are up at the corral with Sean learning to ride", she said.

Off we went to the stables and got there just in time to see Mart fall off Silver Blaze and land sprawled in a cloud of dust. The horse stood and looked at him.

"I hope you gentlemen are better woods runners than riders", I said. "The hunters have a problem they would like some help with."

Bart was grinning at his brother and said something I didn't catch. Mart looked embarrassed, but they both came over and joined our group. The hunters explained their problem and the twins looked rather happy to get out of horse training at the moment. It was agreed that they would go out with Jake and Max tomorrow to see who could be found.

And if it rains in B.C. tomorrow, I'll tell you what happened in the woods.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 12, 2014, 07:50:47 AM
Early next morning, just as the sun was rising, the hunting party gathered. Mart and Bart went out with Max, while Jake went to check his trap lines. The larger party visited the site of the deer carcase the men had found on the previous trip. It was down to a few bones and some fur, and the tracks of many scavengers could be seen. The twins surveyed the scene and Bart found some traces that were not from animals.

"Look", he said, "A single person went this way, and was carrying a considerable burden. They were careful, but not careful enough. We are lucky it hasn't rained or we'd find nothing."

The party, with Bart in the lead, followed the trace. It eventually lead them to the canyon wall and a small cave high up the talus slope. The party approached with caution.

In the cave the party found a pack with some clothing, quite small, and a cache of food. No one was home, so they found a place in the woods to wait where they could observe the cave.

It was past midday when three figures approached the cave and entered carrying a game bag and armed with a short bow with a quiver of arrows. Mart stood up and hailed the cave.

"Hello, the cave!"

A dead silence followed the hail. A figure could be seen in the entrance.

"Show yourselves", called Mart.

A young woman and two children appeared at the mouth of the cave.

"What do you want?", called the woman.

"Probably to rescue you." said Mart scambling up the slope.

"We're all right."

"No, You've been poaching on our hunting area. If you like you can come to our town which is much safer than living wild like this."

By this time, the rest of the hunting party had scrambled up the slope, looking imposing.

The young woman said, "We are outcasts. Why should we join you?"

Max said, "We are all outcasts and have now made a town for ourselves called Hereweare. Unless you are criminals, you will be welcome there, and care can be given to the children. I am Max, and these big guys are Mart and Bart."

"I am Yolanda and these are my brother Joseph and sister Veronica. We fled out home when our father married our step mother who tried to turn us into slaves. I think she was getting ready to sell us."

"You were right to leave", said Max. "Come back to town with us, and we'll see about finding a spot for you."

Gathering up what little they had, the refugees returned with the hunting party to town.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 14, 2014, 09:08:41 AM
The hunting party brought the little group into my office when they got back. "Well, gents, whom have we here?"

Max said, "We found them hiding out in a cave on the east wall. This is Yolanda and her brother and sister."

Yolanda repeated her tale of woe. I asked, "What of your father?"

"Our step-mother put something in his food, and he has been kind of blank, ever since. When she started talking about selling us off, we left."

"Truly a sad tale. What age are you Yolanda?"

"I have eighteen summers.", she said drawing herself up.

"That is old enough for you to join our community. Do you agree to act as a member of the community?"


"Then, welcome to Hereweare. Mart and Bart will take you over to Finbar, our farm master, to find you some accommodation. Do you have any special skills?"

"I was learning to sew leather".

"Then, after you are situated, you should have a talk with Julia and Serpina. They can determine and further your skills."

The party left. I noted a certain attraction between Mart and Yolanda.

Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 14, 2014, 09:50:17 AM
The summer passed into harvest time.

Both Dawn Tripper and Trader's Pride were in port and Dave, John, and I were heading up to the cantina for lunch. I noticed a drift of music in the air.

Francesa gave us a good table by the windows, and Yolanda came over and recited the day's menu.

"Yolanda, what are you doing working here?", I said.

"Oh, I am only helping out with all the traffic we have in port at the moment. Serpina said it would be OK."

"Hmm. Well bring us a flagon of Calvin's best white, and I'll have the special."

The two captains agreed that the special would suit them as well. Looking around, I saw that Bart was sitting at a corner table with a cup and a plate of sandwiches, but was struming on a lute. While I waited for our service, I went over to Bart's table. Bart played a cadence, so I asked him "When did you learn to play?"

"When I was a child. This lute was my father's and I managed to keep it."

"It is good to have some music around. How are things?"

"I am building a new place for myself. Martin want's to expand the old cabin because he's thinking of getting a family."

"News to me. I don't get around enough anymore I guess. Who is the lucky girl?"

"Mart is planning to handfast Yolanda as soon as the harvest ends."

"What of the children?"

"Mart says he will foster them until they come of age."

Loaded with news, I returned to my table in time for Yolanda to return with a tray.

"I hear that congratulations are in order, Yo.", I said.

"Yes. Martin is going to be my love. We will be able to look after the kids."

"Good luck. Will you hold the handfasting at the harvest festival?"

"Uh-huh. Be careful of this iron pot, it is hot with your stew."

Yolanda served each of us, and left.

John said, "You old goat. I'll bet you weren't a bit surprised."

Dave grinned and nodded.

"Only to a certain extent. I could say I knew them when ...  So how is trading going with Leon?"

The conversation turned to technicalities and some badinage over nepotism. All in all, it was a good productive luncheon. Afterwards we went our separate ways.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 16, 2014, 01:12:42 PM
At the harvest festival conference, it was reported that all had gone well over the summer with the exception that some of the deer from the forest had been foraging in the fields nearest them. The smiths were asked to draw some wire for a fence, and to consider barbs if it was thought necessary.

Sean reported that the horses had produced a filly (Bella) and a colt (George II). He said he intended to geld the colt when he had matured enough.

The mining guild reported that with the help of the masons they have completed the shoring up of the old mine shafts into the cliffs on the west side. Exploration was under weigh, and the samples were looking very solid for iron. Some quartz veins had been noted and the possibility of producing grey iron was discussed. This will require hotter smelting temperatures and new refractories were being sought.

Our collection of seamstresses and tailors reported sufficient production to keep everyone clothed and a surplus for trade. Serpina mentioned that Yolanda was producing some very nice hide coats with fleece linings that traded very well.

The hunters announced that, because of their tracking skills, Mart and Bart had moved from the farmstead into the hunting compound which was at the sheep station. Mart is expanding their place and Bart has begun a new cabin. He will bunk with Max and Tinetta after this evening's ceremony until he finishes his new place.

Martin announced that after the meeting, but before supper, he and Sean would give a demonstration of equestrian dressage. All invited to the corral on the east side of the stable. There was a loud guffaw from Bart. Mart only smiled. James tried to hide his grin.

Everyone eventually reported their success or troubles for the summer and predictions for the winter, and the meeting broke up with several people walking towards the east corral.

At the corral, we found that the two oldest horses, Sweetie and Silver Blaze had been groomed and tacked to look their best. Martin mounted Silver Blaze while Sean took to Sweetie.

At first the men gave a demonstration of ordinary riding skill, and Mart gave Bart a rather nasty grin. But it was in their normal sibling rivalry mood.

Next, Mart put Silver Blaze through some fancy paces, trotting and pacing while Sean looked on.

While this was going on, James and a team were building some apparatus at the end of the corral.

Having put Silver Blaze though his paces, Mart set him at a series of jumps, followed by Sean and Sweetie. There was wild applause, and some of the youngster were quite excited.

By this time, the horses were some sweated, and the men dismounted and sent them to be cooled off and groomed.

The excited crowd cornered the two performers and were full of questions. They had pulled off a surprise. No one had seen them practising except James, who was their preceptor.

Bart grabbed Mart by the shoulders and said, "You never even let on you were doing this!"

Delicately detaching himself from his brother's grip, Mart said, "We wanted to surprise everyone. The only ones who knew what we were doing were James and Rudi. Oh, and 'Stasia of course. Everyone was sworn to secrecy."

I said, "That was quite interesting and entertaining, gentlemen. Does this mean you intend to open a dressage and horsemanship course for the school?"

James put in, "You know, we haven't thought of much past giving everyone a show. I suppose if the teachers could help us put something together, it could be done."

"Give it some serious thought", I said. Others were in agreement, and several of the youngsters crowed around the trio with considerable chatter.

Someone was clanging the dinner triangle outside the cantina, so we all adjourned to the feast.

The cantina, with help from pretty much everyone, had outdone itself. Not only was this a celebration of the harvest, but it was a prenuptial dinner for Mart and Yolanda. The happy couple got to sit with the council at the head table, and took a heavy kidding.

After the meal, a space was cleared and Martin and Yolanda pledged each other in the handfasting ceremony. Mart then took Yolanda down the path towards the sheep meadows, while we enjoyed the rest of the party.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 20, 2014, 12:43:04 PM

There was snow everywhere. Marta and I were breaking trail down to the sheep station with gifts for the people down there. The old year was past and with the coming new year, we had a few rewards for people. It was good to see the lights of the station as we came out of the woods onto a brushed path.

Sensa met us on the path with "Hello, Papa Indio. We hoped you'd come today." I had not forgotten that I was her name-father. Deodato and Jacob had asked me to preside over her naming ceremony.

"Sensa, it is good to see you with rosy cheeks playing outside. Are you over your sickness now?". Sensa had been laid low a week ago with a mysterious fever, but Abe had put her to rights.

"Oh yes. Dr. Abraham give me some horrid tasting stuff, and I got better."

"I've tasted some of his remedies myself, and I'd rather be healthy than take any more of them.

By this time we had reached the veranda, and Sensa dragged us into the warmth with our bundles. As we doffed out winter gear and laid aside our packages in the mud room, Sensa called out, "Father, Rudi, the seniors are here."

As we walked into the vestibule, Rudi came in with cups of mulled wine. "Here is something from 'Stasia to warm your insides. Enjoy."

We followed Rudi into the main room and found a large gathering of the shepherds and hunters. There was a general hubbub of greeting.

Anastasia grabbed Marta, and hustled her off to the station kitchen where the women were working on something that certainly smelled savory and spicy. The men were left with the older children. I gathered all the young ones were either asleep or with their mothers.

"A happy new year to you all", I said. "The previous year was quite successful, and this gathering certainly looks prosperous."

Rudi looked happier than he ordinarily does. "She's not showing yet, but we are pretty sure 'Stasia is with child."

"Good news. What has Louisa said?"

"We haven't consulted her yet. You know that we had no problems with Trudi. I am hoping for a son this time. We'll need a boy soon to look after the home sheep fold."

"Now that's a mercenary attitude. You know he'll have to be at least six before he can do that even with Shep or his own dog. And speaking of Shep, did you ever find him a mate?"

"He sure did", put in Max. "You remember that pair of feral dogs we tamed for the hunt? Well, the female got herself involved with Shep, and there is a litter of pups about a year old down in the barn. You should go see them. Very nice and quite tame."

"Do you think they'll be herding dogs?"

"Without doubt", said Rudi. "They herd the children whenever they get a chance. Any one of them will do it. In a pack, they can be quite insistent. Know anyone who wants a pup?"

Just then, Serpina walked into the room and announced in a formal voice, "Dinner is served".

The ladies all came in, and we formed a line, two by two, to proceed to the dining room. You would think we were the highest nobility rather than a bunch of outcasts.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 23, 2014, 05:22:33 AM

Winter turned into spring. One morning, the tocsin outside the cantina was sounded in the pattern for a general assembly.

Finbar and the rest of the council were present, but notably Indio and his entire family were nowhere to be found. When all had assembled, Finbar announced that Indio had passed away in his sleep overnight.

The End
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 23, 2014, 05:23:52 AM
If this is a disappointment, for me it is a relief.  I've been trying to figure out an ending for this little soap opera for quite a while now.  Finally, I decided to simply kill the narrator.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: Bobbi on December 28, 2014, 10:02:51 AM
Thank you for a lovely story. All good things must come to an end.
Title: Re: Into the Wild
Post by: A Nonny Moose on December 28, 2014, 03:36:25 PM
It was getting too complicated.  There were too many threads.  I never realized that tackling a soap opera would be so interesting yet so much work.  I now have a new respect to the writers on Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins and Stella Dallas.