Friday, September 5, 2014

Part 73


"Come back to my cabin with me and I'll show you all the puss brains we had around here."`

"Kid, I want to talk to you like you don't know but I've got to find a couple of guys that have gone missing from one of the camps around here."

"What camp?" I asked since I had gotten to know quite a few of them of them over the weeks.

"Place called Singing Waters.  They went out to check on someone and ..."

I sighed.  "Well Sarge, you're in luck.  Your boys just about shot them up but they aren't too far off."

"Oh s@#$."

"Hey!  That wasn't nice."

"Sweetheart, this isn't a nice situation we've got here."  He turned to the woods and gave a piercing whistle.  "Yo!  If you boys are James and Shane and you're still in the woods you better hightail it home on the quick.  Your pops is not one bit happy right now."

Shane cautiously came out of the tree line followed by Jamie.  "We aren't going to leave her," he said throwing his head in my direction.

"Aw knock it off you two.  This is Sarge.  I told you about him."

"Yeah you did.  But that's who he was then.  Do you know who he is now?"

I was going to give him a snotty comment but then I stopped and turned to look at the man in question.  I looked at him good and hard and then turned back to Shane.  "I know enough that he could have taken advantage of me then but that he didn't and he could have tried to fool me this time around but he didn't.  What's the measure of a man except his deeds?"

Jamie sighed.  "Please don't start talking like again.  It makes my head hurt."

Sarge looked at me like I'd grown a third eye on the end of my nose and asked, "What in the Sam Hill did you just say?"

"Can't a girl try and sound a little educated every once in a while without you guys sounding like you are going into shock or something?"

Sarge snorted.  "Oh.  Is that what you're trying to do.  Sounded more like one of them silly books my sister the English teacher was fond of reading.  I take it you've picked up the habit same as most females."

I shrugged.  "Not really, but boredom and a small bookcase limits my options of keeping myself from developing cabin fever."  I shrugged again.  "Now that you've found the two 'boys' do you want to come to the cabin or not?  Pickings are a little slim but I can make some soup or something and some stewed cranberries."

He gave me a smile.  "Seems like I remember a similar circumstance the first time we met.  How about I pick up the tab this time?"

Since his offer was genuine and because I wasn't kidding about pickings being slim I accepted.  He turned to Cochran and the other guy and asked, "Any gear left behind?"

Cochran said, "Only the Stinger Sarge.  They even remembered to pick up all their casings."

"'Bout time they managed to do something right," Sarge muttered like he wasn't talking to anyone but himself.  "All right.  Let's head out.  Keep your eyes peeled for any strays."

"Stray whats?" I asked.

"Infecteds," he answered.

Before we could go any further Shane says warningly, "DeeDee ..."

"Oh for ... what now?!" I wanted to know.

"No way is it proper for you to be alone in your cabin with five men."

"What five men?"

"Those three and us two."

"Who said you were invited?" I sassed him.

"Uncle Joseph and Aunt Ava said we were to always keep an eye out for you and ..."

If I hadn't been trying to act dignified to prove to Sarge I wasn't a little kid I would have gobsmacked Shane in the face with the biggest wad of snow I could.

Just then the third guy pulled down his parka hood and said, "Are you kidding?  Do I look like chopped liver these days or what?"

See the "guy" wasn't a guy, nor a him of any variety.  Him was a her.  Shane and Jamie both stood there with their mouths open and their tongues hanging out.  I suppose from a guy's perspective they had reason.  She was tall for a woman, like all the Singing Waters men were, but she was also about as red headed as you could get.  And even I had to admit that her eyes were really pretty now that she'd taken her snow goggles off.

I sighed and said to no one in particular, "Please excuse them.  Most of the females around here are either their relations or covered in fur.  Jamie there is spoken for but only kinda sorta I think.  Still ... a fresh face and ..."

Jamie and Shane shouted in unison, "DeeDee!"

Sarge barked an amused laugh.  "Same old mouth."

I nodded.  "Same old mouth.  So are we going or not?"

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