Optimistic as only a young boy playing at Indians and pirates, Weedy doubled his efforts, spinning the stick madly between his palms, his face wrinkled up in concentration and determination...this was going to work!
"Ow..!" If anything was getting hot, it was his palms, and he suddenly dropped the stick, holding up his palms, that were reddened and starting to blister. "I don't think that's supposed to happen." It hurt a powerful lot, but he wasn't going to complain.
"Sure, all right." Weedy shrugged, pleased that Wyatt didn't want to take all the glory for himself, considering this was his house. But then, Weedy was his guest, so it made sense.
Squatting down, he took the stick between his palms, set the point in a low spot on the block and started rubbing...and rubbing...
Well, maybe it needed to be faster? The theory seemed sound, considering how his hands were starting to burn a little, and he had a splinter in his left palm, he was pretty sure, but he reckoned if Indians and pirates didn't complain, he wasn't going to.
Was that smoke? Or maybe just an overactive imagination? "Quick, get some of the pine needles and put them close!"
He doubled his efforts, but really, there didn't seem to be any advance toward fire of any sort.
Weedy wasn't exactly sure what the process was, but he'd heard Addy talk about it a couple of times, so he thought he had a pretty good idea.
"We need a stick, straight and round, we need to whittle a point on the end of it." He had a new pocket knife if Wyatt didn't! "And we need another piece of wood, kind of flat, oh, and kindling...like pine needles..."
That was all easily enough gathered, and while Wyatt made the end of the stick pointy, he arranged the pine needles under the chunk of wood.
Once they had everything set up, he knelt in the dirt. "So, what Addy said is that you put the end of the stick on the wood, then rub it really fast between your hands." He didn't really know why that should work, maybe Professor Browne could tell him one day...if it even worked!
"Yeah, sure!" It would take a few arm-loads to gather enough wood to get a decent, small-sized fire going, but at least between the two of them they were able to stack the wood properly over some kindling, mindful to be clear of any brush, or the barn. No sense in running the risk of accidentally igniting something they didn't intend to!
That done, it was time to light it, and Weedy had an idea. "Hey, we should try lighting it the way the Indians do, you know, rubbing sticks together?" He'd heard about that, but Addy just kept the fire in the stove going, and when she did have to relight it, she used flint. But hey, this was a Pirate adventure, and now it could be an Indian one, too!
For a moment, Weedy mulled over Wyatt's plan, then mused, "Well, I guess of we're careful and don't just burn up the whole thing?" Maybe by the watering trough, so they could splash it when they needed to. "I guess of there are gems or coins, fire won't do anything to them, right?" Just in case they got overzealous. "And paper will be wet, so that should protect it. We'll just be careful."
Dastardly pirates, Weedy and Wyatt would outwit them somehow!
Frustrated, Weedy sat on his heels, studying the lock. There had to be a way to get in.
"Maybe we could go back and look for the key?" Well, that was more of a needle in a haystack kind of thing, he figured, if the key had even been with it. But chances of that were pretty slim, whoever had dumped it out there probably had done that after he'd gotten as frustrated as they had trying to get it open.
"Or...do you think maybe we could turn it over and get in through the bottom?" If the lock was that stubborn, maybe they needed to turn their attention to another part of the chest.
Weedy nodded, certain that he could do better, but not wanting to point that out just yet. Let Wyatt try a few more times, then it wouldn't be so bad when he failed!
"Here, let me hold the chisel so you can use both hands." Stepping in, Weedy took the tool and wrapped both his hands around it, putting the end against the lock. It never occurred to him that this might not be a very good idea.
"Oh, oh...all right." Weedy had thought she was offering to teach him cooking, but now he'd have to find someone else. Maybe MIz Emeline, but now that she was married she seemed pretty busy. Or Miz Jemima? She cooked pretty good, and she had helped him help his Ma, and besides, she lived just behind their house.
But that could wait! There was good food here, and now that they'd been fortified, there was treasure to free!
"Thank you, Clara," he remembered that time! "may we be excused now?" He glanced at Wyatt and grinned. Time for some fun!
"Yes, Miss Clara!" Weedy quickly replied, grinning brightly. "If I can cook on my own, I won't need no wife to cook for me, so I can just stay free!" That was a great plan, and if he had to learn to cook, it was a small sacrifice to make. "Besides, then I can cook what I want to, when I want to, and I don't have to listen to some girl nagging me to wash up and make the bed!"
Sounded like a good deal to him! "Just so long as you can make me cook this good, Clara, I'll be happy!"
"Yes, ma'am....er, Clara!" Weedy still wasn't used to calling older ladies by just their proper names, so it would take a little time. Of course, being right here at their house would probably help with that. "Miss Addy just shot that bear that killed her horse, then she and Marshal Guyer give the carcass to the Indians! Feed them for a couple weeks, she said!"
He laughed. "'Course, that means without her cooking it!" But Clara was right, there were things Addy could do that a lot of other ladies couldn't (or didn't), and there were plenty of things regular ladies did that Addy didn't (or wouldn't!).
"But I'm glad you and Mrs. Emeline can cook, so sometimes there's good food! Maybe I should learn to cook?" That way, Addy wouldn't have to worry about it.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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