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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 26: Beam 130
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 239
“I think tonight we should camp in the woods,” Beam said. “It doesn’t look like rain, and I don’t want to impose on Ashleigh’s family.”
“What about food?” Bron asked, and Beam had forgotten that they no longer had their food cart. He paused a moment in thought.
“Maybe I can shoot something.”
“Shoot something?” Ashleigh asked, obviously surprised.
“Do your people not hunt?” he responded.
Her face scrunched. “I suppose some do,” she said, “but not many. And not with bullets.”
Right. If each bullet was hand-crafted, they were going to be expensive. The fact that no one actually bought them—they would be issued to the soldiers for their guns and were stolen by the outlaws for theirs—did not mean they weren’t individually precious.
And, it occurred to him, his own stock was not inexhaustible. On top of that, neither he nor Bron had ever made bullets, and the bullets used in this world were all the same caliber, and he thought did not fit any of their guns.
On the other hand, he’d had enough vegetable fried rice lately.
“If I can’t kill a deer or a turkey or something with a single shot—” He let the thought hang.
“Anyway, the first thing is to find a place where we can camp, where we can build a fire, and then we have to get some food, and you and I,” he said, pointing to Ashleigh, “have some work to do.”
“Yeah. You’ll see. First, though, you’re the one who knows the area. Where do you suggest we camp?”
She nodded thoughtfully, looked around them, and then struck off further up the mountain. Already the trees and the air were thin, but Beam had put them in her hands for this, and wasn’t going to reject whatever she decided without first seeing it.
She took them over a rise and then headed down into a ravine to a glade by a spring. It really was ideal.
“What would be the most efficient use of our resources to find and kill an animal that would provide a meal for Bron, Ashleigh, and me, and perhaps a bit of brain for Bob?”
She appeared to think for a moment, then said, “Sir, the most efficient way to accomplish that would be for me to sweep the area looking for such a creature and select the appropriate weapon when I find the target.”
He nodded. “Do so. We will be here. Bron will protect us until you return.”
“Sir, yes, sir,” she said, and followed the stream into the thicker trees below.
“Keep watch, Bron. Bob, let us know if there’s anything dangerous nearby.”
Trusting his people to do as directed, he pulled his duffel over next to a log and brought out his clipboard with the pad of graph paper and a pencil. “Now,” he said to Ashleigh, "you and I are going to sketch a map.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #463: Characters Unsettled. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: