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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Handy with a knife
courtesy free clip art

Elise kept to herself for the most part, but now Jean began to seek her out and talk to her.

He taught her how to bargain with people and get things they bought in at the lowest price and the things they sold at the highest price they could.

He told her all of the business life revolved around the ability to bargain successfully.  
Always remember this he told her, “You make your money when you buy, not when you sell.”  

There wasn’t much business going on due to the weather but between storms there were a few people who would drift in wanting some tobacco or other necessities.  
This gave her some time to learn how to deal with people in a real life setting.  The snow was beginning to melt and the trappers had left or were leaving.  They had just about cleaned the post out of foodstuffs.  

Jean had gave a few he thought were honest some things on credit.  They never disappointed him except some who were killed by the Indians.  Above the border the Mounties kept the tribes in order and would track down the guilty ones and punish them according to what they had done.

Unfortunately below the border they weren’t quite as far along as the Canadians in keeping people safe.  The first mule train was due and Jean was looking forward to receiving the goods as he was almost out of everything.

He went out and met them and hurried them up.  He wanted a quick turn around so he just unloaded the mules and hauled the goods into the barn structure to be dealt with later.  

One of Jean’s brothers (Acel) had come with the mule train to see if he made it through the winter alright.  When he saw how well the post was set up he was amazed how far he had come so far in a short time.

Elise had dressed down and tried to hide her good looks for the men who were hungry for female companionship were really stimulated by someone as attractive as she.
When Acel saw her he wanted to know all about her and if Jean had taken as a companion yet.   Jean said, “No and didn’t intend to as of now.”

Acel said, “I didn’t mean married to her.”  Jean said, “I know what you meant, but you have to know she isn’t something you take and then throw away.”

Acel said, “If you haven’t had her then I will give it a try.”

Jean said, ‘You leave her alone otherwise you will be sorry.”

Acel found Elise alone in the store and struck up a conversation with her which quickly led to him trying to overpower her.  She had her knife in her hand in a split second and slipped the blade up his nose.  She said, “Don’t move or I will cut it off.”

This is where the apologizing began in earnest and quickly led to begging her not to cut off his nose.  She said, “Don’t try that again because I won’t stop and talk about it next time.”

He was still saying he was sorry as she removed the knife from his nose and wiped the blood from it.  She gave him a rag to stop his bleeding and he said “Thanks.”

Jean saw him leaving the post and asked, “What happened?”

Acel said, “That crazy Indian cut me.”

Jean said, “I warned you not to mess with her or you would be sorry.”

He said, “I didn’t mean anything, she is just crazy dangerous.”

Jean said, “That she is, but she has never bothered me for I have always respected her and treated her accordingly.”

Acel suggested, “You should run her off for she may do you in.”

Jean said, “No, I don’t think so and I want her here, maybe forever.”

Acel said, “I’m loaded with the furs and I’m heading home and won’t be back as long as she is here.”

Jean said, “By the time you get back to St. Louis you will realize it was you were entirely to blame and she was only trying to defend herself from you.”

Acel answered and said, “Maybe so but don’t you go marring that nutty woman.”

Jean said, “I haven’t said anything about marriage you are the one who brought that up.  When you get back be sure to give Monet the list of goods I need.”

One thing Jean wanted was a doctor at the post so he sent a message to the medical schools saying that he needed a doctor for the many people who were settled in and had no medical care.
He offered to build a new doctor a building where he could practice without cost to him.  

To be Continued

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 5

Indian Maiden

Lucas thought about what the grandfather had told him, and could see how important Little Dove (Elisa) had been to him.  The Grandfather still referred to her as Little Dove for it was the name he had given to her.  

He decided that he should tell Jean about Elise so he wouldn’t think she was just an unlearned Indian squaw.  
She had been educated at the catholic school and wasn’t illiterate.  He went on and told Jean that she did indeed have blue eyes and her hair was Brunette and how she became to be three fourth white.  

Jean said, “Whether white or Indian she is very beautiful.”  Lucas said; “Aye that she is.”

From that point on Jean had most of the heavy work done by others who lived on the post.  Jean knew the lodgers at the post needed a little something to look forward to each day so he allowed them to have one drink at the end of each day until all was gone.

Jean suspected that some of them were trying to make some liquor so he searched all the sleeping area in the fort.  He did find some homemade paraphernalia to make some whiskey but couldn’t prove who it belonged to.

He smashed it and gave them the warning that he would kick the whole bunch out if he found out they were doing it again.  He went on, “The only way to save yourself is to come and tell me what is going on.”

Elise kept busy cleaning and decorating the living quarters of the post.  It needed a woman’s touch for it was pretty crude as it stood.  Her grandfather kept the fires going so it was warm as toast inside while it was freezing outside.

Elise had been cooking for her grandfather and herself separately from what she fixed for the men.  One evening Jean came in as they were getting ready to eat and she invited him to eat with them.  At first he hesitated but after giving it a second thought he said, “Why not?”

As it turned out it was the best meal he had since he left his mother’s table. He had expected the meal to be something the Indians would prepare ordinarily but it was similar to what he would eat at home.  E
Elise told him if he wanted he could eat with him all the time.  

She said, “It would be good if I could have access to more of your larder instead of the few things I now have.”  He said, “I would want to think about that.”

“Well,” she said, “You are welcome to eat with us anytime you want to.”

She and her grandfather went out one day and killed a Bison and then she came back to get a sled and a mule.  Jean saw what she was doing and wanted an explanation.  

She told him she had shot a Bison and grandfather was gutting it out and keeping the wolves away while she was getting a way to haul it back to the post.  He was skeptical that she could shoot well enough to bring down an animal that large.

She said for him to get his gun and go with her to help get the Bison on the sled.  He said okay and a few minutes later they were on their way.

When they arrived there were some wolves grandfather had been able to keep at a distance.  They loaded the fresh meat on the sled and headed home.

Grandfather said the wolves will feast on the guts and the head he had chopped off.  

When back at the post Jean said you have done enough.  I will get a couple of the men here to skin it and cut it up.  

From now on the men can cook on their own, and we will give them part of the fresh meat.  After this the men took a genuine liking to Elise and watched over her like their little sister.

The men were so embarrassed by her hunting skills and the success she had, that they asked her how she did it.  Soon after which they began to bring home some new kills, providing fresh meat for the rest of the winter.  

Every so often Elise would cook a large pot of meat and dumplings for them, and this only endeared her even more to them.  
The word was that no one should bother or try to molest her for it would mean death for them.  

To be Continued.

Monday, October 28, 2013


This story is entered at Tell Me a True story Blog Hop, and could be true.  My continued story will follow shortly.
Country Church

While gazing at the calendar it suddenly struck me I was almost thirty years old. 

A year ago I had been married to Sheila, a patient, under demanding, woman.  She was primarily interested in Horticultural.  Her main interest was in competing in Fairs and any show where there was competition and prizes.

As for me I had spent almost ten years studying for the ministry and had gotten more degrees than most professors in teaching facilities.

Me personally I would have settled for a pastoral ministry degree but my sponsor, my uncle insisted on several other disciplines and since he was giving what amounted to a salary to me I acquiesced to his will.

Finally I said no more studies; I’m ready for a ministry of some kind.

Because of my heavy scholastic load I seldom attended church, but I had what I thought was a thorough understanding of what was the aim and goals of the church.

The denomination I belong to was where I expected to work and so I applied for a position in one of the largest churches that I thought would benefit from my vast knowledge of theology and psychology.

After some time I decided to contact the head of the denomination and asked why the delay for my appointment.  His answer we are waiting for something to open up that somewhat meets your qualifications but so far there is nothing available.

He said he hated to use a worn out phrase but I was overqualified for a pastoral ministry.  This totally deflated me.  All I ever wanted was to be of help to people spiritually and now I find I have too much baggage in the form of education.

After spending some time with him and explaining what my desire was he said he would get back to me but not to get too much hope up, because they were lined up wanting a church to pastor.

I returned home and a month later he called me back and said there was nothing so far.

He said I was qualified for several secular positions and could go to work immediately in one of those fields at a good salary.  I told him I still felt called to a pastoral ministry.

I could hear him shuffling some papers and he came back on the line and he said there is a small and by small I mean very small country church that no one will take due to several factors.  The main one being the nature of the people.  Their complaints have run all of the past ministers out of the church.

While this may sound strange the constant criticism drives them to distraction and they leave with our permission.

Optimistically I thought, “How bad can it be?” so I said, “I will take it.”

I thought my psychology training would see me through.

Two weeks later we showed up at the church and met with the board and got into what they called a parsonage.  There was to be a pot-luck Sunday after church where I could get acquainted with everyone. 

After going through the formal part of the services I proceeded to preach a short sermon and I observed that people were gazing out the windows or fidgeting with something like going through a purse or wallet and taking things out that they didn’t need anymore.

This lack of attention to what I was preaching caused me some concern. Immediately I thought, “How rude.  Here I’m giving them words that could help them and they don’t hear my message.” 

I must admit I was some what disappointed but acted as if everything was wonderful.

Sad to say, I ended up not getting any encouragement because of people telling me what I should have included in the service. 

While I stood there with my plate full of food I tried to explain if I added all of their suggestions we would have been there all night.  This didn’t faze them for they kept on talking.

I saw that some people were getting ready to leave so I put my plate down and went to greet the people as they left.  Many of them said they didn’t attend there and wouldn’t be back but felt they should be polite and welcome me to the community and don’t forget to come and patronize their store.

After most had left I saw my plate of food had been thrown in the garbage and my plate washed.  All the leftover food had gone home with the people and there was nothing else to do but leave also because the janitor was waiting to lock up.

As we walked to the parsonage I asked my wife what she thought and she said well the food was good and filling; but I didn’t care for the flower display for some of the tips of the petals were beginning to show decay.

Must admit I had a thought come to mind and that was the church was misnamed.  Instead of wildwood church it should have been “The church of Godly Criticism.”  I quickly squelched that line of thinking and began to try to remember if there was anything to eat in the refrigerator.

The next day Shelia went to the town nursery and to see what kind of plants they carried.  She hit it right off with the owners for she criticized about everything in the place.  I went and introduced myself to all the merchants and invited them to the services.  They were pretty open with their remarks like, “I’m already depressed so why should I add another layer of misery on top of it.”

I just smiled and said I will be telling some good jokes you might enjoy so consider it. After a month the congregation had dwindled down to the core group.  The curious ones had seen all they wanted to see and didn’t come back.  In each service there was a saintly looking man who always arrived late and sat on the back row.  He would leave before I could get to the door and greet him.  It was almost as if he disappeared.
Then one day I was at the church when he came in and introduced himself. He said I’m the Reverend Mike Nelson, but you can call me Mike and forget the Reverend part for I have retired.  He asked me how things were going.

I was tempted to lay out all the problems but restrained myself from doing so and said, “There are a few problems I am dealing with.”

He said, “That is understandable for you are working with people.”  For some reason I felt a small wave of desperation roll over me and asked if he had any suggestions to increase interest in the church. 

“No not really,” he said, “Except for a couple of things.  One you need to find out where their interest lay and then work from there.

It has taken them a long time to become who they are and the other is found in the scripture.  There are terms you are familiar with and are found in Romans and elsewhere that have to be given first place in your life.  Not only when you are in the pulpit but always.

Do you remember words like “Be led by the Spirit” and “Walk in the Spirit” and again “Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” Another, “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

We see it is by the nature of things we must yield to God’s Spirit to function spiritually.  I suggest you search the scriptures and learn from them concerning the work of the Spirit in you.  Then and only then can you be led by the Spirit.  

Without this all you are doing is depending upon your secular training and that will produce secular results.”

I told him he had given me a lot to think about and I would seek out the scriptures pertaining to the things of the Spirit.  

He said, “If you want the Spirit to change your people, He must first be allowed to change you and then He can work through you to change others.”
He said, “I must go for I’m late for another appointment.”

I began in earnest to follow what the old pastor had told me and without embellishing anything I must tell you it worked just as he told me.

One night my unassuming wife asked me how I made the great change in the congregation that had grown to a full house.  I told her; “Do you remember the little old man who came in late and sat in the rear and left as soon as the service was over?”

She said, “I always sit it the very back and pass out the bulletin and greet everyone who comes in and there was never a man as you described, especially when we only had twenty people.”

I argued with her, “He sat in the very seat on the back row and all the way to the left.”

She said, “That seat was broken and couldn’t be sat in until last week when I had it fixed and besides I have sat few feet from it every since we have been here and there was no old man who ever sat there.”

I didn’t dare tell my wife and I didn’t want to admit it but there was no other explanation!

I had been honored with a visitation from an angel or by some other Heaven sent being as I cried out from deep within my spirit in my hour of need.

* * * * * * *

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Indian Maiden
Jean was taken aback by the way she spoke to him.  

Women, especially Indian women were not as brash as she was.

He thought she would not be able to stand up to the grizzled back woodsmen.   When he asked her if she had any experience in dealing with these types of men, she spoke right up and said I have had to fight off dozens of them who thought they could have their way with me.”

She in an instant flashed a knife under his nose and as she waved the seven inch blade before his face he decided he wouldn’t have to worry about her but rather he was concerned about what would happen to some half drunk trapper if he got out of line.

He looked at her a little closer and decided he could use a little more help in keeping things in order.  He said I guess you can stay but we will have to build a cabin for you and the winter is upon us and we will need to hurry to get it done.

We will build it joining the main post building and that will save building one of the walls.  

That night he told everyone to roll out early for they had some work to do.  In the morning the day started about five o’clock with a lot of grumbling but after a big breakfast and the promise of a jug to warm the night they shut up and from there they worked feverishly in order to keep warm.

By night they had the logs cut and hauled into the fort. The next day they were a little slow getting started due to the jug, but again after a big breakfast they worked real hard for if they finished the building they had been promised another jug.

They were done about darktime and wanted their jug.  It was going to be the last one until they were off to the trapping grounds in spring.  Jean had warned then if there were any one getting drunk he would throw then out and none wanted to spend the winter outside the fort/post.

The new room had a door that opened into the post and one to the outside. Jean had one of the men to fix them some beds and the room was heated with a fireplace.  

Not much business was going on at the post, but occasionally some one would brave the snow and cold to come and buy something, but for the most part things were quiet.

The girl was called Little Dove but Jean gave her the name Elise.  A French name he liked.  At first she paid him no mind but eventually she began to answer to it.  She did most of the cooking for the post and the grandfather kept the fires going and kept the animals fed and the stalls clean.  

Jean started to look at Elise a little closer and decided she had blue eyes and hair that was almost Brunette.  He asked Lucas to talk to the grandfather about her.  Lucas went to the grandfather and asked why she had blue eyes. 

The grandfather stiffened up, but after a bit he said; the sqauw that became my wife had been with a trapper before she came to me and she had a girl child.  The trapper had left her and went back to his home.  

The girl child grew and she took a Frenchman for a mate and she had this girl child before she died.  

The Frenchman left her with me and went away.  Lucas said she is only part Indian then.  The grandfather said that is true.  In fact Lucas said she is one fourth Cree.  The grandfather looked away without saying anything. 
Lucas asked how old she was and then the grandfather said she is seventeen moons. Ah! Then she is seventeen years old.  

Seventeen moons

Seventeen moons, seventeen years,
Eyes where Dark or Light appears,
Gold for yes and green for no,
Seventeen the last to know...
Seventeen moons, seventeen turns,
Eyes so dark and bright it burns,
Time is high but one is higher,
Draws the moon into the fire...
Seventeen moons, seventeen fears,
Pain of death and shame of tears,
Find the marker, walk the mile,
Seventeen know just exile...
Seventeen moons, seventeen spheres,
The moon before her time appears,
Hearts will go and stars will follow,
One is broken, One is hollow...
Seventeen moons, seventeen years
Know the loss, stay the fears
Wait for him and he appears
Seventeen moons, seventeen tears...
by ~Alyss FromWonderland,
  To be Continued

Friday, October 25, 2013


Trading with the Indians
In Canada the French had the trading of furs business pretty well wrapped up; but at the tributary waters of the Mississippi Jean saw an opportunity for trade with the Indians.

The last time when he went north he was alone and had some skirmishes with the local tribes but he wasn’t giving up.

An old trapper named Lucas who had trapped north of the border came into the trading post with a few furs and tried to bargain with Jean for some food and other necessities.  
Jean was going back and forth on the value of the furs while gaining a lot of information about how to trade with the Indians along the U.S. Canadian border.  

There were several tribes Lucas had contact with and so far they hadn’t killed him.  All this intrigued Jean for he had decided to establish a trading post there if at all possible.  He would stay well below the Canadian border for he didn’t want any trouble with the British.

He had convinced one of his brothers named Monet to come and run the trading post at St. Louis while he and the old trapper went north.  They took several mules laden with trading goods and settled near the head waters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca.

The first thing to do was to build a shelter to protect them from the weather and from any unfriendly natives.  Lucas began to engage some of the local Indians in conversations and explained why they were there.  Then he showed them a few of the goods they had for trade.  
The Indians expressed a great interest in doing business but they needed to come up with something to trade with.

During the next couple of months they proceeded to erect some permanent buildings.  
They enlisted a few if the Indians to help them with the heavy work.  

The Indians were interested in the mules and Jean made a deal for two of them for their help with the construction of the small fort/ trading post.

By this time the Indians were bringing in some trading goods and the word got around to trappers in the area.  
Before the winter set in Jean loaded up the remaining mules and headed to the trading post in St. Louis.  This only gave him enough time to unload his goods and buy a few more mules for he needed a lot of trade goods.

It seemed wise to take a couple of extra hands to go with him and when he got back to the northern post after unloading they turned around and headed home.  With them they took what furs Lucas had traded for and made their way home.

As soon as Jean was settled in he had a lot of things to do.  There was still some building to do.  A smoke house was needed to store their meat, and another building where some of the trappers could stay after everything had frozen and trapping season was over.

They paid their way with some of the furs they had.  Then they filled the smoke house with meat and lastly they cut enough wood to keep them warm enough to survive the winter.  From time to time Jean would have to settle disputes between his lodgers for they would get cabin fever waiting out the long cold winter.

Just as the winter set in and the snow drifts began to pile up an old Indian showed up with a half dozen beaver furs and he wanted to give them to Jean in exchange for a place to stay for the winter.

About the time Jean was going to say to him; “I have no room for you go somewhere else.”  About that time, the old Indian’s grand daughter came around the corner of the main post and Jean couldn’t see her very well but he could tell she was a female.  She talked to the grandfather in the Cree language.  He told her they had no place for them to stay.

She spoke to Jean and said we must stay here for the old man was sick and couldn’t make the winter without shelter.  She said they would work for their keep.  
Jean asked her what she could do and she replied, “Anything. I have worked in a post like this before.  I cook and clean and am able to keep men at bay so I will not cause any trouble on that account.”

Jean didn’t feel he could turn the old man out so he said there is a back room that will be used for storage in the spring. You can stay in there now until we can do better.  
The woman said that would be great.  

To be Continued


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Trading Post and Restaurant
courtesy photobucket.
The river had frozen over but as soon as the river was clear of ice, Jean headed down the river to find his family.

Along the way down, he made several deals, buying things people needed to sell in order to buy food.  He would only give them twenty five percent or less in the case of jewelry of what the stuff was worth.

He had accumulated a large stash of stuff, but then he had to protect his  goods for there were some rowdy men on board who would kill you and throw you overboard after robbing you.

The word got out that he was an expert with a knife and had killed several ruffians which may or may not have been true.  In any case no one bothered him after this story got out, for the hooligans were looking for an easy target.

Jean was almost broke when he arrived in New Orleans so he set about selling all of the bounty he acquired on his trip down stream.  

As he finished selling his prizes his oldest sister Alma saw him and ran and hugged him and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  She said everyone was worried about him for it had been a year since they had heard from him.

When he arrived at the home place, he told them about all he had been up to, and that he would again be heading back north as soon as he could get some farm equipment and horses.  They tried to get him to stay for they were making out right well in the businesses they ran.

Jean declined and said if any of the brothers wanted to return with him he would see to it that they prospered along with him.  One or two showed some interest but elected to remain in New Orleans.  

He managed to make some good deals on the equipment he wanted but decided to get further up stream before looking for good work horses.

Many people arriving at the river were deciding not to go any further and were willing to sell their whole outfit for a very reasonable price.

At one of the stops he found three wagons with teams and household goods for a cheap price and made a deal for the man of the house to drive the teams to St. Louis which was only four days away.

He paid half down and the balance when they arrived at their destination.  To be sure they would fulfill their part of the bargain he said that if they tried to not keep their promise he would find them and harm them.

They kept their word and were in St. Louis in the four days as they promised.  They also promised to help him load everything on a ferry to cross the river to the other side and then down to his property on the West side of the river.  

One of the men had a family with a wife and two sons that were big enough to start to work.  Jean discussed the possibility of the man going to work for him.  The man had said that he had farmed all his life and after a long discussion they came to an agreement.  

There was a house started on each of the five plots Jean owned and the first thing was to finish the houses that had been started by the former tenants so they could get out of the wagons and into a warm, dry environment.

While Jean wanted to own a lot of land, his main interest was in trading.

He knew he could make more money by trading than he could ever make by farming but the thought of owning land intrigued him.  Soon he was able to make a couple of more deals for some more plots of land the people had left.

This winter convinced some more of the growers that farming wasn’t for them.  There were several more that wanted to sell but Jean put them off by telling them to get their crops in, and he might talk to them about making a deal.

Jean found two more families that were on hard times and made a similar deal with them to come and work for him.  He had more tools than he needed so he went to some established farmers and sold them for a profit.

After managing to buy six more plots of land, he made an arrangement with four of the families to work them.

For himself he set up a trading post and a restaurant and would trade for almost anything.  Some things he would ship down river for there was no market for it in St. Louis and there his kin would find buyers for it there.

There was one fellow named Wyman who had experience in merchandising that understood the principles of buying and selling that he put in charge of the post at St. Louis until Monet arrived.

Jean explained that he wanted to setup another post further to the north and he needed someone like themselves to run the post in St. Louis to ship goods north to the new post.  
After six months he felt Wyman and Monet had everything under control and the weather was breaking so he could head north.

To be Continued

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 1 Coming to America

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St Louis Levee
courtesy free clip art

In the mid 1700s two brothers were contesting for the leadership of the family.  By rights Andre should be the leader of the clan but he had been sickly during the early part of his life.

The father’s rejection of Andre due to his condition caused him to gravitate toward Alard to be the leader of the family.  

Andre had met with the approval of the numerous siblings but in his mid teens Alard blossomed into a strong personality of his own.  He became strong and was a fighter without fear.

Everyone knew that this situation would eventually split the clan into two vying groups upon the demise of the father.

To further add pressure on the two young men they both wanted to marry the same girl.  Eventually Alard won out and Andre moved to one of the small castles belonging to the family.

The marriage of Alard was not the greatest issue for his wife died in child birth a year later but the support of the father for Alard was something Andre couldn’t overcome.

Both men took wives; for Alard it was the second one and their families grew very large due to both having several mistresses.

At the same time there were battles fought among the groups whose loyalties were to one or the other of the brothers.  Because of so many of the family members dying in combat the families began to spread throughout Europe but maintained their identities and loyalties to as far as the twentieth cousins.

Even at that level there were duels fought oft times over some perceived wrong doing, usually over money or women.  

Finally in order to save the “La Famille” they at the end of the century began to cross the Atlantic to the new world in what was to become Louisiana and settled upriver to the St. Louis area.

It was impossible to maintain the same old world culture with the exception of family loyalty and that was the saving grace for the “La Famille.”

One of the reasons for settling in St. Louis was it was primarily a French settlement being first settled by a Frenchman Pierre Laclede Liguest.


The city was named after; Louis IX commonly known as Saint Louis, King of France.

He is the only canonized king of France; consequently, there are many places named after him, most notably St. Louis, Missouri.

The offspring of Andre were the first to make the journey across the big sea and first settled in New Orleans and then some migrated to St. Louis which was still in its infancy.

As they became rooted in the area most thought they were Gypsies due to their trading skills.  They had a way of making deals with people that the people didn’t want to make, and it left them wondering why they did it.

The children of Andre consisted of three boys and two girls with his legitimate wife and several more with his mistresses.  His wife left off bearing after the last child which was a boy.  

There wasn’t much difference in the ages due to the fact she had one child each year for the first five years of their coming together.

It was somewhere in the 1790s when they arrived in New Orleans where they spent a year buying and selling with some of them buying homes and settling there.  

The eldest boy, Jean in his mid teens journeyed up the river beyond where St. Louis had begun.  

Due to a couple of skirmishes with the Indians he returned to St. Louis and found settlers were beginning to inhabit on the west bank of the river.

He remained during the winter and discovered several families who were not fit for this rugged existence.

They were willing to sell, and Jean purchased five plots of choice land from them as they headed down stream to one of the more established cities where the living was easier.

To be Continued   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pig in a Poke Chapter 14 Matrimony causes a split

Today is the final chapter to this continued Story. 
A new story begins soon.

Change in Plans  - to Country Living
A new ferry line started up with its headquarters in Sacramento.  Their equipment wasn’t the newest so this limited their challenge to the Bartlett line.  Still they siphoned off some of the business north of Stockton.

Bartlett was getting a little disturbed about the way things were going until I come up with the idea of having one of our ferries run from San Francisco to Sacramento. 

Hauling freight to Sacramento was a little different because there were more passengers and since it was larger than Stockton it was more merchandise oriented than goods for miners and farmers.

After eighteen months the new line folded in part of the competition from the Bartlett line.

We made them an offer for everything and they took it.  This called for some reorganizing.  We sent the old ferry down to San Francisco to serve the south bay and one of the Sacramento ferries to just provide service between Oakland and San Francisco.

There was a small ferry service running over to Sausalito which we bought in order to cover the entire bay and its environs.

Cindy had another child which was a girl.  I let Cindy name her since she was a girl and she named her Misty instead of Julia as we had talked about.

It wasn’t long before Misty took over and ruled the household including Sammie.  He was fond of her and spent a lot of time entertaining her.

Then something happened that changed everything.

Bartlett had met and married a woman from the east and she wished to return there.  He wanted to sell our ferries and I agreed for it was a full time job with no time off.

There were several big time investors bidding for it so we got more than it was worth.

They had big plans for it including gambling and special entertainment.  We split the fortune we had amassed and I was glad to control my own money.

Neither Cindy nor I felt secure in being in business with Bartlett after he remarried for his new wife had wanted to take over and run the business.

It was at this time that Cindy stepped forward and put a stop on that so in order to not have dissension in the family we sold out and split up.

We took a year off and did almost nothing while Bartlett went east.

We then decided to move to the Los Angeles basin and bought a hundred acre ranch.  It had plenty of water and was planted with fruit trees.  We kept the ranch hands on for we knew nothing about running a ranch\orchard.

Sammie and Misty thrived on the ranch and Cindy and I felt more at ease than we ever did.

Eventually Sammie went on into politics and made his own fortune.  Misty married into a rich family which she captivated them as she had done us.

Cindy and I have lived these Golden years at ease on the ranch. 
Sometimes we make a lot of money and sometimes we try to break even but at all times we are happy grand parents.


Pig in a Poke Chapter 13 Sammie the sailor man

Captain of the Ship
Sammie went weekly to see his grandfather with his mother if the weather was favorable.  We wouldn’t carry passengers if the weather was bad.

When Sammie had to start school this year and it messed up his visits. We ran the ferries seven days a week except time off for maintenance so Sammie begged his mother to make their visits on the weekend.

He spent most of his time in the wheel house.  Captain Jack got him a box to stand on so he could see where they were going. 

He would stand for hours with his hand on the Helm while Captain Jack or the mate did the actual steering. 

Captain Jack lived on the ferry with his wife and they were both very fond of Sammie.  He started calling them Uncle Jack and Auntie Dell.  Her name was Adele but she was Dell to him.

I tried to get him to call Captain Jack by his position but he wouldn’t, it was always Uncle Jack and Auntie Dell. 

Then he started to go down to the engine room and spend time with the Chief Engineer.  He almost had more questions than the Chief had answers.  He wanted to know everything about the ferry and what made it go.

Since it was coal fired the second mate had to make sure there was a continual flow of coal into the firebox and took on more at the end of the trip.

Sammie got into trouble when he wouldn’t obey the Chief and was messing with things he was told not to touch.  The Chief finally had to tell Captain Jack who in turn informed Cindy. 
When they arrived back home Cindy told me about it and I let Sammie know he couldn’t go into the engine room or the wheel house anymore. 

He started to tell me it was their fault and I cut him off and said he wouldn’t be going to see his Grandfather for a month but would stay with me if his mother went. 

This really set him off and he started throwing a fit so I advised him it would now be two months and if he didn’t straighten up it would be another month for every time he acted up.

At that he went to find his mother and started to pout.  After hearing him out she said, “This is a good lesson in respecting people who are in charge.  Two months isn’t that long if you don’t add to it.  Now straighten up and go wash your face.”

True to his father’s word Sammie didn’t get to sail or even board the ferries during the stated time.  He would go down to the docks and longingly look at the Captains who would wave at him but no words were exchanged.

Sammie’s time out was about as hard on Captain Jack as it was on Sammie.

His grandfather also missed him and told him so when his time out was up.

He asked Sammie if he had learned his lesson and he replied, “I hope so.”

To be Continued

Monday, October 21, 2013


This story is fiction – but it could be true some day.  
Sharing this Rant at: Tell Me a Story

My continued Stories will follow shortly
Many Colors are Beautiful

Rev Al was a mighty man.  When he spoke people of all colors would quiver and shake for it was the voice of doom to the disobedient.

He proclaimed all the trouble of one particular color was the fault of the other colors especially this one certain color.

As he gained influence over the offended color he gradually brought his favorite colors to the point where they were ready to go to war against the offending colors.

This was to be known as Rev Al’s war.  It was kill, kill, kill in the name of Al.  In the end he obliterated all of the other colors and then the one color owned it all.

Then Rev. Al told the people they would have to work, something many knew nothing about.

There were no food stamps, no welfare no free medical no nothing… except work.

The colors turned their anger toward the new system but to no avail for the answer was always the same “work.”  The people would declare how can we work “We don’t know how to work.”

All they were getting each day was a new dose of “Rev Al” which was “It is those of this color that is the problem which left the people confused because that color doesn’t exist any longer.  

But Rev Al insisted it was their fault whether they existed or not for it couldn’t be us that is the problem.  This would pacify the people until their stomach would begin to demand relief in the form of food.

Then the people realized that Rev Al was the problem and his rhetoric and not the people of color that doesn’t exist.  

The people started to resist and Rev Al sent out the troops and ordered the military to kill the people who had no ability to fight back for all their weapons had been taken from them.

When the fight had been squelched from within the people through starvation, Rev Al taught them to work and support themselves.

There was nothing free anymore.  They had to pay for everything.  If they couldn’t pay they did without and did without they did.  The people cried out but no one listened.  
Oh, that things were as that they were when the people of the one color gave us everything we needed without us doing the work.

Oh that we could bring them back.  Then a search was made over the whole earth to try to find persons of the hated color that had escaped Rev Al’s wrath and after a diligent search there were two of the species found.

Everyone rejoiced for they were going to breed them and restore the free stuff society.
But alas, their endeavor was brought to naught for the two were of the same gender and try as they might there could be no offspring for the two could never be one.

The end


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pig in a Poke Chapter 12 Who needs sleep?

Sammy was Hungry All the Time
courtesy free clip art
Cindy said, “How are you? You look a little pale.”

I said, “I’m fine just a little tired and sleepy but that isn’t important, how are you doing?”

The doctor spoke up and said, “She is fine. Everything went well and she could have a dozen of these little guys.”

I said, “I think I would settle for a half dozen or so.”

He said, “Cindy needs some rest.  She should see if the boy will nurse, and then get some rest.  My wife will stay here as long as needed.  The first thing she needs to do is fix some breakfast for us. 

She had put Samuel in the cradle one of our workmen made for him and he was asleep with his thumb in his mouth. 

It was hard to keep Cindy in bed for she was restless and kept going to see how Sammie was doing.  Her favorite time was feeding him.

Sammie was becoming aware of things around him and making some unintelligible sounds.  I was kept busy handling the receiving and dispersing goods the ferries brought in. 

After Sammie was a month old Cindy setup a crib for him in the office warehouse.  She wanted to get back to helping me keep everything in order.  We were training one of the men to receive goods and do the paper work.  This would relieve us from a lot of the paper work.

Cindy nursed Sammie and I told her to cover herself up when doing so, for too many of the guys were interested in watching her feed Sammie.

She didn’t think it was out of line to feed him when he was hungry and I agreed with her but with her breast size I still insisted she find a little privacy.

Sammie was a good size boy and was hungry all the time. Cindy hired a woman to keep house and do the washing. 

Most of her time was washing Sammie’s diapers.  He began to try to stand at around six months and by eight months he could pull himself up and take a step or two.  He loved to ride on the ferry.

Cindy went to San Francisco once a week to see Bartlett and let him see Sammie.  He was as taken with him as Cindy was and tried to spoil him.

When they were gone overnight I could hardly sleep without Cindy taking the middle of the bed and Sammie waking up every couple of hours wanting to eat.

Cindy at times was too tired to stay up so she would bring Sammie to our bed where he only takes two or three sucks and goes back to sleep.  Such is fatherhood, I guess.

Time slips by and the first thing I know Sammie is three years old.  He is walking and talking using his reasoning powers to explain life to us or his version of it anyhow.

Not everything goes as well as we would like it to in shipping as in other endeavors.  Even though our ships are nearly new hitting a sand bank caused by shifting currents and storms can cause much damage.

So far the damage has been repairable still losing a ship for a time can create delivery problems.  Extra runs for the remaining ferries puts stress on both equipment and crews.  We found an older ferry in Washington that was for sale and bought it.

We had to take our time sailing it to our home base for the weather was not always predictable.  We had to duck into some harbors at times until the weather calmed down. 

Eventually we got it to San Francisco and had it worked on.  After checking it out it wasn’t in as bad shape as we thought.  Most of the repairs were more of the maintenance type. 

We decided to dock it at San Francisco due to the fact that most all of our cargo originated from there.

Now we had a backup in case of a problem with our regular ferries.  Bartlett came up with the idea of renting out the state rooms when we weren’t using it for shipping purposes. 

Some of the men living there were sailors and when we used it for hauling the over flow of merchandise we only had to get a couple of deck hands.

When Sammie first saw it he said he wanted to rename it Frisco Queen. I told him that would be a problem because it would have to be reregistered.

He was insistent so as usual we let him have his way.

To be continued