by Earl Corp
More Frontier Hijinks and Shenanigans
Carter Holler, Kentucky
The sounds of the boys chopping wood took Roseanna back all those years in the past when folks had to do for themselves and had nobody to count on.
These young’uns had no idea what that was like, unless she told them. To them, these were just stories for entertainment.
For her they were memories, some good, and some bad. She didn’t think she could ever convince the young’uns the stories were really the way things happened.
Even her own sons had been sure she made up all her yarns about frontier life, and they had even lived part of it.
This new generation don’t appreciate nuthin’, she thought.
“Granny, are you all right,” Henry asked.
“Jest a’thinkin’s all.”
“Whut about, Granny?”
“How things wuz back in those days is all.”
“You cain’t remember how you told it last time?
Roseanna was out of her chair in a flash, so suddenly Henry couldn’t move.
“I’ll wear your hind end out for callin’ me a liar Henry Carter.”
The startled youth couldn’t think of anything to say, his mouth was opening and closing like a trout out of water.
“You best go help yore uncles chop wood.”
“Go on git!!”
The boy took off like his head was on fire and his butt was catching.
“Now where was I??”
Shawnee Village near Raccoon Creek
Tyler McGraw led 10 mules into the village. His three companions followed, each leading 10 animals.
“Tyler, are we really giving these Injuns these rifles,” asked Pete.
“Why are we doin’ this,” Bob asked.
“Because Smythe promised them rifles in exchange for the land to build a trading post on," McGraw
“Can’t we get hung for this,” Muldoon asked.
“That’s why we shouldn’t be a’tellin’ anybody,” McGraw answered him.
Truthfully, McGraw wasn’t thrilled with giving the Shawnee rifles and powder either. But greed and the pouch of coins won over any misgivings he had about the venture. As he made his way through the village to the community house, Shawnees poured out of their wigwams to stare at the four white men.
As they approached the community house a stocky warrior stepped out. Dressed in leggings and a breech clout, the muscles on his upper body looked like coiled springs. His mouth was a cruel slash in a scowl across his face.
Behind him came a taller version of the first warrior. His face wasn’t quite as cruel as the other ones, but McGraw didn’t want to test it.
“I am here to see Swooping Eagle,” McGraw said in Shawnee.
“I am Swooping Eagle,” replied the stocky warrior. “This is my father Running Deer, how is it you speak our language, Waapa Hileni?”
“My mother is of the people,” McGraw answered.
“You bring me the rifles the one called Fox promised?”
“Yes, the great man Smythe has sent 40 rifles, 40 kegs of powder and lead for each one.”
“Whut’re you sayin’ Tyler,” Bob asked.
“Shut up you idjit, and maybe we’ll get out of here with our hair.”
McGraw turned back to Swooping Eagle.
“Smythe also would like to make a present of the mules to you,” McGraw said.
“They will make a fine feast, when is Smythe coming?”
“Soon, he is gathering his trade goods now.”
“You will stay with us and eat?”
“We wuz figgerin’ on headin back to Pittsburgh.”
“You refuse Shawnee hospitality?”
McGraw knew he was treading on thin ice. He didn’t trust the Shawnee any further than he could throw them. But to spurn their hospitality meant instant certain death. The alternative was probably certain death with a full stomach.
“We would be honored to feast with you,” McGraw said.
Field 5 miles north of Pittsburgh
Doo Carter stepped lightly into the camp. What he saw alarmed him. Shapes of men under blankets were spread everywhere. No guards had been posted and no one was rousting around. This didn’t bode well.
He looked over at Clancy who simply shook his head in disbelief.
“I wonder if it’s too late to back out,” Doo pondered out loud.
“Hold on, Hoss, we gave Smith our word and took his money.”
“Thunderation, these idjits are goin’ to get us killed,” Doo said motioning to the sleeping forms.
“Maybe they’ll improve on the trail.”
Clancy turned to speak to Mighty Beaver.
“I’m asking you to watch over Janie along the trail, no matter what.”
“You do not have to ask this, my friend, Little One will be taken care of,” Mighty Beaver said solemnly.
“I don’t get a say in this? I can take care of myself,” Janie insisted.
Clancy and Doo turned their eyes towards the slip of a girl. Zack Carter had outfitted her from head to toe for the trip.
Janie was dressed in moccasins, buckskin britches, a loose linsey-woolsey shirt, and her hair tucked up under a black wide-brimmed flat crown hat. Instead of seeing a 16-year-old girl, Janie looked like a 14-year-old boy.
A 14-year-old boy armed to the teeth. She carried a shorter version of a Lancaster Rifle, a brace of .36 caliber flintlocks pistols were tucked into a wide leather belt around her waist. She carried a hunting knife and hatchet on each of her hips.
“Ho, Janie you look ready for bear,” Doo observed.
This made Doo chuckle.
“I reckon you are.”
“What in blazes is all the racket out here?
Godfrey Smythe walked out of a tent, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
Doo, Clancy, Janie, and Mighty Beaver all started laughing hysterically at Smythe, who was wearing a sleep shirt and cap.
“It’s the bloody middle of the night, these men need their rest.”
Doo was the first to respond.
“We’re burnin’ daylight Smith, roust this scum and let’s hit the road.”
“Carter, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, it’s Smythe not Smith.”
“I’ll call you whatever I want, now get these layabouts ready, we’re pulling out in half an hour.”
“That’s hardly time to get packed and breakfast eaten.”
“You’re going to have to eat on the trail, and yore down to 29 minutes.”
Smythe started to bluster, Doo cut him off.
Smythe stalked off towards his tent, kicking sleeping forms as he went.
“That was kind of a harsh way to treat him, Mr. Carter.”
Doo whirled around to come face to face with Roseanna McCallister, and her brother Richard.
“Needed to be done,” Doo growled.
Roseanna laughed at that.
Doo took stock of the contrast between how Roseanna and her brother were outfitted.
Richard had on a pair of tan breeches, a red broadcloth shirt, and a pair of knee length calfskin boot which were highly shined. The outfit was topped with a black beret.
“What in Thunderation is that on yore head?” Doo asked.
“It’s a beret, the latest in men’s fashion from Paris,” Richard sniffed.
Doo, Clancy and Mighty Beaver all threw their heads back and laughed at that.
By contrast, Roseanna was dressed much the same as Janie, she was ready to head into the wilderness in buckskins and a low crowned black hat. She was as heavily armed as Janie with a rifle, pistols, knife, and hatchet.
Richard’s face became red as found himself as the butt of the joke.
Roseanna felt uncomfortable for her brother, but didn’t come to his defense. She had warned him and offered to make him some clothes suitable for the wilderness, but he had refused.
There was a growl from some blankets that Smythe had kicked. A mountain of a man rolled out and stood up.
“Who’s the idjits that are the reason we’re getting’ up in the middle of the night?”
Doo didn’t even miss a beat in answering him.
“Me, you have a problem with that?”
“I sure as Hell do, and who the Hell do you think you are?”
“That don’t hold no water with me, you ain’t as tough as they say.”
“Whut’s yore name pilgrim?”
“Why do you need to know that?”
“I figger everybody ought to be buried under a cross with their name on it.”
“Hoss, you better slow down, don’t you know who that is?” Clancy interjected.
“Nope, don’t care.”
The man rose to his full height, forcing Doo to have to look up a good four inches. He figured he was giving up 100 pounds easily.
“That’s Bear Rogers, and he’s killed more men than smallpox.”
“The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Rogers pulled his knife, let loose a growl, and charged at Doo.