I wasn’t alone in wonderin if we was gonna get paid. Bailey had been quick to take the ice, fer sure. But bringin back the money? Hm. I liked him and all, but you just don’t know with these little out worlders. Soon as knife ya as look at ya. Not like back home.
Over dinner Roark asked “How’d you learn to drive a team, Doc?”
“Oh” the Doc waved her hand vaguely, “in the course of my research I lived in some very remote areas. There is even a place in the Georgia system where grav carts don’t work. In a place like that, you learn to rely on the old methods.”
“I like animals.” Lu smiled broadly. “And this is fine vittles, too.”
I caught Miss V’s eye. “I’d like a word later, Miss V. If you don’t mind.”
She smiled and stood up. “Swei, you can help me with the dishes.”
“We could use a hand and that Lu, well she is a strapping thing. She can lift a turbine by herself! She’s quiet and does as she’s told. I could use a helper, and –”
“Swei. It’s fine. We could use a little more help around here. She seems very nice. And Imago checked her on the Coretx. She’s a bit um, preachy, but I think she’ll fit in well.”
The next morning Bailey Sackett was at the port with the chitty.
“Here it is, all made out official.” He handed it to Prudence, who handed it to Miss V. Miss V promptly handed it to Roark. “I am sure it is all in order, my dear Mr. Sackett.”
Roark held the paper to the light. “Looks right enough. Take her to the bank right now.”
Sackett held up his hand. Well now, that’s the thing. We got this here parade and all. And the bank….” He stopped when he saw the look on Roark’s face. He grabbed his hat and motioned to Prudence. “Come on, missy. You & me are going to the bank. Blair knows me and we’ll just get him to open up long enough to deposit this!” He stopped short when he saw the Doc come down the ramp. “Oh, er, the horses are right over here, um ma’am. We’ll be back lickety split.”
We hadn’t gone but a block when Miss V just wilted like a plucked flower. “It is so hot! How do you stand it? I just….” She wobbled a little on her fancy shoes. The Doc was right there. “Brigid, when’s the last time you had any water? I’m afraid you are dehydrated.” The Doc turned to me. “Get Roark. Tell him to bring the mule. This is crazy.”
When Roark arrived he didn’t come in the mule. “Something wrong with the stabilizer, Swei. I bet when we plopped down, something snapped. I brought a grav-cart. Will that do? What are we haulin?”
“Um, well –”
“We’re hauling Brigid, actually. The grav-cart will do.” The Doc nodded curtly.
They scrambled up on to the cart, the Doc, Prudence and Miss V. I waved at them from the ground. “I’m good. I’m good here on the ground. Besides, we’re going the long way. Lu here promised to show me the new jail. She says its real pretty. Y’all go on.” (more…)Older Posts »