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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Fourth Man - Chapter 24

Yes I am the New Teacher

A new school teacher

Rene’e was pregnant again and with caring for her first baby, teaching was getting to be too much for her.

She contacted her old professor and asked for recommendations for a new teacher. She explained to him the conditions they would be working under and she wanted someone who had graduated from college.  One other thing she told him was the new teacher would be paid more than they could make elsewhere.

He inquired if she wanted a man or woman and she responded; it doesn’t matter as long as the teaching skills satisfy me for I will be watching whoever it is.

Two weeks later a man showed up at Rene’s and said, “My name is Tom and I’m your new teacher.”

Rene’s was taken aback by this sudden arrival.  He handed her his resume with his diplomas and she was impressed.

She sat him down and asked a lot of questions about his past whether he had any trouble with the law. It appeared he had the yes and no’s in the right place and she was satisfied so far.

She said he could stay with her and Slim until they were finished with the school house additions which included living quarters for the teacher.

There was one more step that was needed and that was to go and talk to Les and Sarah.  While Billy and James handled most of the legal and financial ends of the business Les was still the main man and everyone respected him as such.

When Tom met Les he was nervous appearing before such an austere person. Les with his guns strapped to his waist was imposing to say the least.

They met outside by the porch and before they started to talk Les whipped out one of his guns in an instant and cut some feathers off of a chicken hawk flying above.

He said I got a speck of dust in my eye and that was that was why I missed. The fact was he could still draw as fast as either Billy or James.

The hawk circled and was setting up to make a dive on one of the layer hens and Les pulled his gun and shot the hawk out of the air and the dog ran off with it.

Les said, ‘So you’re Tom the teacher.”

Tom said, “Yes that is what they told me when I graduated from teachers college.”

“You know Rene’s is still in charge of running the school and will be assisting you with some of the kids.”

Tom said. “I didn’t know that but I have no problem working with her for she is a smart lady.”

Les said, “In a couple of weeks the construction on the school will be done and you can move into your quarters. You can go to town and buy or order whatever you need such as a bed and whatever.  We have a stove so you won’t have to buy one of them.  The school stuff has arrived and is stored in the barn waiting to be moved into the school. You can stay at Rene’s place till you move into you’re new quarters.

That pretty well takes care of the living but now we need to address the teaching. Until Rene’s has her baby Caroline and Cherri Leng can help you with the small children.  There are some other girls their age you can use if they don’t work out for you.  

There is one other thing that is very important for you to know and that is there are several of the older girls who are almost grown and are getting to be feisty if you know what I mean. The one thing I want you to keep in mind - - is that chicken hawk. That hawk was doing something I didn’t like and he paid the price for it. The same will go for you if you mess with any of the young girls of any age.

Now we both know there will be one or more flirting with you from time to time and you are not to respond to any of them.  They will test their power of female wiles on you and you are not to respond to them. Even though some of them look like full grown women they still need to grow and mature some more.

In other words don’t go getting familiar with the students or you will have to pay the price for it. If any of them get too frisky just tell Rene’ and she will handle it.”

Tom said, “I understand the rules and they are the same all over.”

Les said, ‘There is one difference and that is the punishment… just remember the chicken hawk.”  He went on and said, “If you have an overcoming urge you can sneak off to the house where the cowhands go and be relieved there or in town there are several good looking gals your age that are looking for a husband and you could do a lot worse than them.”

Tom said, “I think I will live solo for the time being. I had to deal with several hungry females while in school and I know some of them can be pretty persistent at times.  
I’m going by the school and then back to Rene’s for supper.

I want to thank you for being so up front and I’ll do my best to stay out of trouble and will remember that chicken hawk.”

How did the meeting go?

Slim saw Tom come up and went to help him unsaddle his horse.  He said, “I understand you met Les today.”

Tom said, ‘Yeah I met him.”

Slim went on and said, “Do you think you and he will get along?”

Tom smiled and said, “I would be a fool not to; as long as I remember the chicken hawk I’ll be alright.”

Slim laughed and said, “Les is a pretty good shot isn’t he?”

Tom said, “Yeah, the best I’ve ever seen.”

Slim said, “Put your horse in the corral and I’ll give him some hay then we can eat for I think supper is almost ready.”

Rene’ asked Tom how the work on the school is coming along and he said he should be able to move in his place in about ten days.

She said, “Between now and then you better get in your supply of wood for winter. I’ll get James to give you a couple of hands to help you just make sure you have enough for it is hard to cut wood with two foot of snow on the ground.”

Tom said, “I never thought of that, I’ll get right on it starting tomorrow.”

The next day he went to James and said he was going to start cutting wood for winter. James gave him the use of a couple of wagons and a couple of hands.

After the first day Tom needed some gloves for he had blisters on his hands. He discovered they needed a lot of wood to get through the winter so it was put your head down and keep pulling the saw through the trees.

Then it was time to split it into small enough pieces to get it into the stove. Each evening they loaded the wagons and hauled the fire wood to the school house where it had to be stacked out of the weather.

This took a couple of weeks and by that time the school house and living quarters was finished the wood was cut.

The school house had a storm cellar where canned foodstuffs could be kept.  Also in case of a freeze or a violent storm came up, it was a place where the kids could go there for safety.

Tom got his things moved in along with the furniture that was donated or bought and he was ready to start teaching.
To be Continued

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