Prepare for Winter: A Carbons Creek fiction
The newspaper office window was shattered. There wasn’t any note this time but Sarah and I both knew it meant our stories were making it too hot for the politicians. Every time the Sentinel was attacked, it was a minor triumph. Sarah didn’t see it quite that way when she came in though.
“You always see the bright side, John,” she said.
“This is a tough business, Sarah. Your tough too, or you wouldn’t be writing those editorials. Certainly you knew they are going to retaliate and try to stop us.”
“Yes, I know.” She sighed. “ Just once in awhile it gets tiresome to replace windows and have to go out armed against the folks who are supposed to be working for our good. See if you can get someone over here to replace the window before we freeze, will you. I have an urge to write another editorial.”
“You may just end up with the new window broken.” I shrugged. It was her newspaper and she was good at running it.
I went over to the general store and talked to Gustaf Hanson, the storekeeper. He agreed to take care of the window as soon as he could get over to the paper. Sarah had helped him get started here and he was always glad to oblige her. I let Sarah know. She was busy at her desk and only nodded. True to his word Gustaf came over with a new glass plate for the window. “It’s getting pretty chilly at night now,” he said. ‘Time to get your woodpiles supplied with split logs. People been coming to the store to buy warm clothes, axes and shovels. They think it be a bad one this year. Tell Sarah we just got some Franklin stoves in. They be nice for when you got to work on the typesetting. Help you keep hands warm. I’ll make her a deal.
I went down to the pressroom and started arranging type for the next edition. I checked some cases from past years there were a few things to use on weather. I found some articles in the Farmers Almanac predicting the coldest winter in at least ten years. Sarah will probably give me a hard time about using boilerplate copy but then go ahead and use it anyhow. There will be more than enough excitement when she places the editorial. I told her of Gustaf’s offer. “Good idea,” she said in a distracted sort of way.
“What’s on your mind?” I asked.
“You know all fall folks have been giving me excess produce and I appreciate it. I don’t have time to grow much myself. The canning and storage have gotten overwhelming for a city gal like me. I got a cool cellar to store some vegetables and fruit but I ‘ve got to do a lot of canning so it doesn’t go to waste “
“ I don’t know a lot about canning but if you like I could come over Saturday afternoon and help you with it and chop some fire wood for you.”
“John, that would be great.” Then she gave me a kiss.” I responded by putting my arms around her and kissing her back somewhat stronger than her original kiss. Since she was my boss it might not have been the best judgment on my part. Her face was flushed and she started say something. I thought she was going to slap me but she got an impish look on her face which oddly made her look even more attractive. “Maybe we better get back to work,” she said. Neither of us said anything about the incident.
After the paper came out on Thursday most of the comments from people were about the community dance Saturday night or Almanac article—the one about the cold winter coming. Most folks said they expected as much. What Sarah and I expected was a visit from some rough, A couple of rogues working for the corrupt politicians called on us once before. She expected her editorial to flush them our. I agreed. Both Sarah and I wanted to continue the crusade her uncle had when he ran the paper. That was before he got killed.
They are not a very imaginative class, even for criminals. I expect that they will try to break the window again. I waited in the shadows with a shotgun with birdshot. It shouldn’t kill anyone, but it might hurt for a while. Sarah decided to stay inside and start work n next weeks edition. She had a small revolver, which she called her “lady like pistol.” Pretty soon I saw a stranger sneak up with a rock in his hand.
I stepped out of the shadows. “I reckon you’re the messenger come to pay for the broken window. He was so startled that he dropped the rock. “What you talking about?” aren’t you here about the editorial in the paper. “It said to leave the paper alone or your are going to pay for breaking the window and any other damages.” The stranger saw the shotgun and raised his hands. Sarah came out. “Shucks,” she said, “ don’t I get to shoot nobody?”
The stranger didn’t hesitate when we marched him to the sheriff’s office.
After we dropped off the roughneck with the law I told Sarah that I’d be over to help her with the canning and wood splitting.
She got that odd look on her face again. “John if you try that kissing again you might have to take me to the dance Saturday night"
Copyright 2011 Don Hoglund
Some other Carbons Creek Tales
- Sarah Returns Home:A Carbons Creek Frontier Story
This is one in a series of stories about the fictional town of Carbons Creek.The deaf boy Sandy has stayed behind at the School for the Deaf. Sarah has to get back home to tend to her newspaper business.
- Trip To School, Riverboat Explosion:A Carbons Creek Tale
This is a fictional story in a series about Carbons Creek.Sarah,the newspaper publisher, goes with Sandy the deaf boy to see a school for the deaf.The escape dangers on the journey.
- Typesetter On His Own: A Carbons Creek Short Story
Newspaper publisher,Sarah, is away on a trip. Her assistant, John is in charge.He has trouble with unknown persons trying to put a railraod through town for their own ends, not the good of the town.
- Ed Visits His Pa: A Carbons Creek Story
Ed, part owner of the town saloon, takes a trip to help his father. He meets with a young wannabe gunfighter.
- Founder of Carbons Creek-Pioneer Short Short Story
A fictional story of the founding of a town somewhaer in Illinois.It is part of a series of stories with characters that continue in otehr storuies.
- Sara's Elephant Story: a Carbons Creek Tale
This is a short short story in a series about the inhabitants of the imaginary tpown of carbons creek sometime in the 19th Century. Sara is the publisher of the carbons Creek newspaper. She is trying to cope with an elephant that got loose from the
- Sarah's Halloween Story A Carbons Creek Tale
A fictional story of the American Weest. Sarah, the newspaper publisher, set out to get a Halloween story and finds a few surprises.
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund