After my ride the next morning I checked the mash. I found it still working as I expected it to be. I drank two cups of coffee at my house before I walked down to open the gate for Jeremy. He actually got out of the car and hugged me. It was really quite strange as it was the first time he had ever done so.
I went immediately to the Jerry’s trailer to wait for Jeremy to help me hook it to the SUV. When we had it ready, he took off while I made one last coffee to travel. I went down town to watch the The Brit and Jeremy decide what to do with the furniture. There were two floors, so to keep from moving it twice, I suggested they decide or just leave it by the door. It ended up in a pile by the back door. I rode with The Brit to take the trailer back to Jerry.
“Jerry what you doing home in the middle of the week?” I asked when he came out to greet us.
“I didn’t get a job till the end of the week. I’m going to New York City to pick up a load of costumes for a road show company of ‘The Bird Cage’ or some such thing.”
“Sounds like fun. Here is your hundred bucks,” I said handing him the single bill.
“Silvia, wouldn’t you like to buy this thing?” Jerry asked.
“Jerry, I got nothing to pull it with. I might could pull your little horse trailer looking thing,” I said.
“I need that one. This is the one that is surplus,” he said.
“How much you need for it Jerry,” The Brit asked.
“Nine hundred,” Jerry said. I didn’t comment though I knew it was too much. I might step in, if The Brit was about to get taken.
“Jerry, if it were brand new it might be worth close to that but in the condition it is in now, it is hardly worth half that. Probably we have paid enough in the two rentals to cover it’s real worth,” The Brit said.
“You might ought to look it up,” Jerry suggested.
“I did Jerry. I found that with this many road miles on a trailer like this, I would be a fool to pay more than five hundred, and we have already paid you two. I think three hundred is more than fair,” The Brit said.
“To be honest I need some cash right now. If you want to do that five cash right now, I’d probably take it,” Jerry said.
“Can I store it at your place Silvia?” The Brit asked.
“Sure,” I said. If it were anyone else I would have said, hell no. So instead of dropping it off we took it back to my compound, where I had The Brit drop it near the still house. Even so the Brit had to give me a ride back to town.
Before I left The Brit’s pub, I called the gun store. Fed Ex had brought both my weapons. All I had to do was deliver the pistol permit and fill out the long gun paperwork and it was all mine.
I drove the twenty minutes to Dobson. From a town where two cars was a traffic jam, even the five stop light main street of Dobson was too big for me. I found the gun store on the outskirts of town to be almost empty. I showed my Identification and my permit. They delivered my two weapons only after I gave them the cash remaining to be paid.
The .22 magnum revolver was larger then my current pistol The current pistol frame was as heavy, but the new one had a longer barrel and longer hand grips. I wasn’t sure how it would fit in the upside down rig. Since it had a flap with Velcro it probably would do fine.
I put the weapons in the cruiser and then drove straight home. I didn’t want to have any problems with some clown trying to car jack me. I had way too much firepower for the gun control nuts to overlook. In spite of my concern, I made it home with absolutely no problems.
I checked the mash and it was working down pretty well. It should be ready to cook the next day or the one after. I wanted to shoot the two new guns, but I didn’t want to do it till I could go to a range. I did not want to shoot them on my property. It wasn’t flat land, but there wasn’t a good spot to use for a backstop either. Shooting a shotgun was one thing, a rifle with an effective kill range of over half a mile was quite another.
I locked the new rifle in the gun safe I had purchased on line a few months earlier. I also locked the pistol that the SBI had once had in their lab in the safe. I managed to get the new pistol in the upside down rig. It was way to big a frame for the pocket of my cargo pants. It looked like for those it was the five shot model. That or the two shot derringer toy. That derringer was just barely better than throwing rocks, but it was cute.
A couple of days later I started the cook off, while The Brit and Jeremy were working out their plans for the future. I didn’t start it till the mash had worked off completely. Then I added a little more pot stalks to the strained mash in the cooker. I cooked it almost 24 hours before it all distilled down to alcohol. A lot of the time was spent in getting the mash up to 175 degrees. It took a while since there was no pressure in the pressure cooker. The lid was on just to catch all the steam then condense it back to alcohol.
It was four days of continuous cooking to get all thirty gallons of mash cooked off. Fortunately I could take naps and watch TV on the computer. The on line TV was a benefit of having WIFI on my compound. When the run was over, I bottled a little over eight gallons at 120proof green dragon. The value of it hooch was about $2500. It had taken a little over ten days all told to get it cooked. Best of all it was tax free money.
I went into the box house and slept for a whole day. Some of the time the sun was down but some of the time it was up, it made no difference, I still slept. When I awoke, I was starved. I decided not to go out, so I found a couple of frozen hamburger patties I used for making sandwiches. That particular Thursday I felt the need to eat something on a plate.
I broiled the burgers in the toaster oven and thawed the Mac and Cheese. I even manage to juggle the cooking times to make some muffins. It was a banquet compared to what I usually ate. I was almost impressed with myself.
After dinner I checked the messages since I turned the phone off when I went to bed after the marathon cook off, I found I had one message from Andrew, Two messages from The Brit and One from Jeremy.
I decided to return Jeremy’s call to boost his self esteem. “Hey there Jeremy, what can I do for you?” I asked.
“I was calling to see how you were. You have been out of touch a while,” he said.
“Yes I was exhausted, so I feel into bed and just woke up. So how is the new business coming along?” I asked.
Much better than I expected. For one thing the shop Mary Ellen kept was very clean. I managed to get Nita’s younger sister to come help me clean it. We got all the things we bought during our last two trips in the place and it looks good,” Jeremy informed me.
“Sounds like you have everything under control. Is Allen in control of his life?” I asked with a laugh.
“Yes. we are planning a weekend buying trip. Allen wants to ask if you will stop by to make sure everything is going okay in the pub.” Jeremy said.
“I would be pissed, if he asked anyone else. I’ll stop by tomorrow and talk to you guys,” I said.
Then I returned the call to the number Andrew gave me. “Andrew is that you?” I asked.
“Of course it is. So how are you Sylvia?” He asked.
“I have been worse, sorry I wasn’t home when you called. Well I actually was home but I had the phone off. I needed sleep badly,” I explained.
“Say no more I understand. So are you going to be home this weekend?”
“Yes but I might not be around the house the whole time. The Brit is going on a road trip with Jeremy, so I’m babysitting the pub.” I explained.
“A few of us are coming to town and would like you to have dinner with us,” Andrew said. I knew that he wouldn’t talk about it on the phone, so I just said, “Sure come on up.” That is how we left it.
I was the replacement bartender at the pub when they showed up. There was Andrew of course, Colonel Martin, the Sergeant Major and then there was the Training Sergeant. “Well my God what can I get for you guys?” I asked.
“I haven’t seen you for almost a year, and that all you have to save,” the Colonel said.
“Okay would you like some pretzels,” I asked with a smile.
“Still the insolent bitch,” the Sergeant Major asked.
“What made you think I would change, Sergeant Major?” I asked.
“True, you have had some luck this last year and a half,” he said. “We only learn from our adversities.”
“Wouldn’t you rather have a beer, or analyze me?” I asked.
“Well I for one would like some of that dark ale. The one of which you are so fond,” Andrew said.
“Make mine the same,” the Colonel remarked.
“Do you have a good draft?” the Sergeant Major asked.
“If you aren’t too snobbish we have Michelob on tap,” I said.
“That will do,” the Sergeant Major replied.
“Make mine the same,” the younger Training Sergeant said.
We drifted into small talk. There was absolutely no mention of the Dobson thing. We may have over reacted, but the men who disappeared wouldn’t be missed by the world as a whole. They might be missed by the people they supported, but you play the devils game you had to expect it to turn and bite you on the ass one day.
“Since there are four of you, and County Seat is on the way to nowhere, you are here for something. So what brings you to town?” I asked.
“So suspicious,” the colonel said. “We are looking at some real estate not far from here. I thought it would be nice to stop in for a visit.”
“I see, and what did you think Sergeant Major?” I asked.
“I thought it was a waste of time. We can neither learn anything here, nor can we teach, those who will not learn, anything,” he said.
“Surely you can teach us country girls something. We can all learn from a man of your background. How many royal marines did you take into that village in the Falkland island campaign?” I asked.
He looked up at me very cold for at least five long seconds before he replied. “More than I came out with, but then we weren’t really there were we?” he asked as an answer.
“No, I suppose you weren’t really there,” I said.
“If it hadn’t been for the sergeant major, none of those men would have gotten out alive,” the colonel said. “And how did you know about that?”
“Colonel, we all have a bit of rust on our shining armor. It isn’t that hard to find out what that rust really is. An ex- cop would just take a glass from the mess hall that had the Sergeant Major’s fingerprints and run them through interpol ect. Nothing to it. Us country girls are a bit slow, but we have our ways.” I said.