The Pen and Quill


Home ~ Mission Statement ~ Trap Talk ~ ADC Forum ~ Trap Shed ~ Trap Chat
Trapper Tips ~ Links ~ Gallery ~ Basic Sets ~ Convention Calendar ~ Trapper's Humor
Fur Buyers Directory ~ Trapper's Tales ~ Words From The Past ~ Legends ~ Archives
~Catalog~

Print Thread
Hop To
The Otter King, Chapter 1, Part 3 #8137240
05/10/24 07:49 PM
05/10/24 07:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 47
Connecticut
J
Johnny Skunk Offline OP
trapper
Johnny Skunk  Offline OP
trapper
J

Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 47
Connecticut
“It’s him, alright. He’s got that no-good hound with him.”

“Why ain’t he got rid of that mangy dog yet? Seems like it ain’t good for much of nothin’, said Frank.

“Rumor has it,” said Cappy, “that Jake takes the dog along for emergency rations. You know, to keep himself from starvin’ to death if’n he runs out of food on the line.”

“Enough with the g-dd-mn mutt,” Frank grumbled nervously. “Remember now, when he comes in that door, don’t slip up and call that dead squaw a squaw. Refer to her as a lady, or as his lovely wife, just as if she had been any normal sort of woman.”

No one in the cabin had mentioned the child. Certain topics were off-limits, even for this crude lot.

As the men huddled and watched through the window, the hound leapt from the bow of the canoe to the shore and set the craft on a perilous rock. The stalwart man in the back cussed up a storm that was heard all the way to the cabin. “G-dammit Foxer, I’ll skin you alive and add your worthless red hide to the stack!” The hound skittered away with his tail tucked while his master stepped angrily out onto the frozen riverbank. Jake beached the canoe and gathered up a burlap bundle from beneath the yoke. He hefted the load over his shoulder and trod briskly through the snow towards the cabin. The trapper pushed open the door like the return of Odysseus. He was of average height, perhaps a bit taller, spare and wiry and with a certain air about him that would give pause to a charging black bear.

The room was warm for Jake’s liking, but he found the familiar odors of raccoon lard, skunk, and black licorice somehow soothing. He kicked the snow off his boots and removed his beaver fur hat to reveal a head of blazing red hair as tangled as any patch of brambles. He swatted the snow from his hat before stepping inside.

“Howdy Jake,” said the captain.

“Hey J-Jake,” said Percy with a muffled smirk, still grasping the long straw in his grimy fingers.

“How-do, fellas.” Jake strode across the room and set his bundle down heavily on the counter before approaching the others. He rubbed his hands before the stove. Warm hearths were few and far between for him in the two years since the tragedy. But he liked it that way. Big Frank lowered his eyes when Jake met his stare.

“Little early in the morning to be pullin’ on a flask ain’t it Frank?” Jake said.

“Never too early out here,” said the captain with a smile, offering the whiskey. Jake took a healthy swig and swished it around then spat the entire mouthful out onto the wood burner. The stove hissed and spat and seemed to jiggle on the floor as the spray hit the hot surface. The other three men jumped back, but no one dared object.

“I see someone’s got a friend outside. That yours, Percy? Why don’t we invite him in to thaw out with us?”

“I reckon he’s g-good and dead, Jake, there ain’t no thawin’ him out. The t-tubercosis got him. I gotta take him into town to the m-m-mortician-man. Just stopped in fer a little drink with the boys,” Percy said, defensively.

“It's tuberculosis you dimwit,” said Frank.

“For a minute there I thought is was ol’ Louth-Mouth Slim Forester,” Jake said. “But then again, I heard tell he’s gonna pull through. So, who is it?”

“Old Tom Jones. The consumption finally got him.” Said Captain Woody.

“That ol’ b-stard’s finally kicked off, has he? His wife remarried yet? I hear she’s had the itchin for years now,’” Jake said.

“It ain’t right to talk ill of the dead,” said Big Frank, cautiously.

Jake sniggered. “What’s that old buzzard gonna do, get down off that cart and waltz on in here to give me his what-for? Dead’s dead, and nothing anyone says is gonna change that.”

All three men nodded solemnly.

Jake continued. “Any of you ratbags need a no-good rotten coon hound? That red sack of bones nearly dumped me in the goddam river. Again.” He turned to face the other men, drew a plug of tobacco from his coat, and bit off a chunk.

“Everyone knows your hound don’t hunt.” Frank winced and quickly added, “Of course, he’s a quality canine otherwise.”

“The dog hunts fine. Just not coon, on account of his fear of the dark. But you won’t find a better fox hound, ain’t that right Cappy?”

“That’s a fact Jake. That dog must’a been a chicken in previous life, and just come back for revenge. He’s a real livin’ terror on foxes. I still got those pelts you brought in last time. Can’t sell ‘em though. They’re too torn up from that red he-l-hound.”

“I – I’ll take the dog, Jake,” said Percy. “I’ll chain ‘im up to the coop and he kin guard my chickens,”

“He’s all yours. And good riddance. Saves me from having to shoot ‘im. You can have the whole of ‘im. For five dollars.”

“F-Five dollers? I thought you said you’d give ‘im for free?” said Percy.

“I never said he’s free,” said Jake, “I wouldn’t unload a worthless dog like Foxer on anyone for free. Not even you, Percy. Just wouldn’t be right.”

Percy smiled proudly at being singled out for such praise. “You say I can have ‘im fer five dollers?” Percy was digging into his coat pocket.

“It’d make more sense for me to drag him to the woods and put a two-cent bullet in his skull,” said Jake. “But he’s all yours … For fifty dollars,”

“Fifty dollars?! I thought I heard f-five dollars. I ain’t never heard of no dog worth f-fifty dollers,” said Percy.

“He-l, Percy,” said Jake, “I gotta charge that much so you’ll know what’s in store for you with a good-for-nothin’ hound like Foxer. If you don’t have fifty dollars, I reckon I’ll take him out in the woods and shoot him. That way, we’d all come out ahead. What do you think, fellas? Should I take ‘im out back and shoot ‘im?” He gave a subtle wink at the other two men.

“That’s what I’d do,” Jake. Take ‘im out and shoot ‘im,” said Cappy, stifling a grin.

“Shoot ‘im,” said Frank. “Two cents beats fifty bucks any day of the week.”

“That settles it then,” said Jake. “Percy, if you ain’t got the fifty, I’m gonna take that worthless red sack of bones out to the woods and shoot ‘im.”


BREAK

Re: The Otter King, Chapter 1, Part 3 [Re: Johnny Skunk] #8137962
05/12/24 08:59 AM
05/12/24 08:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,322
Ontario, Canada
S
slydogx Offline
trapper
slydogx  Offline
trapper
S

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,322
Ontario, Canada
I'm enjoying this. The plot is really engaging and I appreciate the well written dialogue.


Just happy to be here.
Re: The Otter King, Chapter 1, Part 3 [Re: Johnny Skunk] #8137987
05/12/24 10:13 AM
05/12/24 10:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,746
Idaho, Lemhi County
G
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"
Gulo  Offline
"On The Other Hand"
G

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,746
Idaho, Lemhi County
Good writing. Good story. Keep it comin'. Thanks,

Jack


Re: The Otter King, Chapter 1, Part 3 [Re: Johnny Skunk] #8138150
05/12/24 07:02 PM
05/12/24 07:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 47
Connecticut
J
Johnny Skunk Offline OP
trapper
Johnny Skunk  Offline OP
trapper
J

Joined: Apr 2024
Posts: 47
Connecticut
I was wondering. Thanks for the feedback. Ill keep them coming.

Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1