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Cole Hornback - "Time for skoolin" Chapter 2
Time for skoolin
Penny was still somewhat traumatized over the whole deal. My Aunt Susan was due to arrive this afternoon. She would be good for my sister, who was still dealin with the loss of our Ma and then this whole Jim Spencer deal. As much as I loved my little sister, I was not the person she needed at her time of life. I had become short of words, and I was eager to start preparing on how I was to deal with Harlan and his two boys. Skinner, was a family friend who was getting up in his years, but still ornery enough to keep things in order while Pa was gone. He had been the one who got me interested in knowing the law, and how important it was to get more “skoolin” as he called it. He told me this was going to get mighty ugly. He had more than his fair share of dealing with the whole Spencer family over the years. Harlan Spencer was not one to walk away from such an ordeal as the one I created. I suggested that Penny should return back to Sioux City with my Aunt Susan, and Skinner agreed.
If there was one thing I learned from my pa was that if you fail to prepare for a situation, you may as well prepare to fail. Ol’ Skinner was just the person to begin to teach me such things too. He had fought against the Sioux Indians years ago and served in the United States Army. Even though his best years have past already, he was still full of energy and eager to step up for my Pa, and “skool” me on how to survive against bad people. He told me stories of his encounters with the Sioux and some of the battles that he endured with them. He also was a strong believer in negotiating peace first and foremost. He had many conversations with Little Crow, who led many attacks upon settlers in this area.
Even though I was still a teenager, Skinner knew I was plenty mature for my age. He figured I was more than ready to handle some responsibility and insisted I become his deputy. He swore me in, and gave me a beat up old tin star, and pinned it on my shirt. He was becoming concerned about the absence of my Pa. He should have had word from him several weeks ago and though he never said as much, we both were beginning to figure on the worst for him. We knew, once we addressed Harlan Spencer and his boys, we were going to journey out to find the Marshal.