Well, some of the plan is working. They are eating. We are rationing the food. Kim says feeding them too much too fast will screw ‘em up somehow. I’m not sure how, but she’s the Doc. The Jones’ are just grateful to be eating and have some security. They aren’t real trusting yet. Brian asked if he could have a gun. I tried to explain to him why the answer was no. He yelled at me and said we were treating them as if they were nothing more than prisoners. I was going to get mad at him and tell him how ungrateful he was…then I started thinking about what they had been through. I said he and his family were free to leave whenever he wanted. Janet calmed him down and begged him to stay. They did.
Jared showed up with a huge bundle of clothes on his back. I am telling you it was the biggest bundle of anything that I had ever seen anyone carry…ever! It was clothes and shoes. He said he found a ranch whose occupants decided to generously donate all this stuff. The way he said it…I question what led them to that decision. But who am I to judge! And no, I didn’t ask what went on at the ranch he was talking about.
All of them got new clothes, they don’t all fit exactly right but they are new for them and fit well enough. We burned their old clothes. The shoes are a different matter. Only one of the kids has shoes that fit right. Everyone else is making due…but they are shoes and they are not falling apart. I think we can head out in the morning. We were going to leave tonight but the Jones’ were terrified of walking in the dark. Understandable. We leave at first light.
I sent word back to the main camp with Jared to Jim to tell them we would be there sometime tomorrow so please have an appropriate reception ready. We would hold up there that night, the following day, and head out with everyone that night. Jared said he had spotted some antelope between us and the main group. He was going to try and bag an antelope or two to take back into camp. They had to be running short of food. I know they had been fairly successful with snaring rabbits and harvesting some of the local desert delicacies…but food had to be running short. An antelope would go a long way towards feeding some hungry bellies.
Problem…Tanner’s ranch is still at least a good 40 – 50 miles from here…4 – 10 nights worth of walking. Much more at this rate. How the heck are we supposed to eat, drink, walk, and defend ourselves with 8 new people to care for? We were already on thin ice as it was. Now, now I think we have entered desperate territory. And I am not talking the country we are walking through. Maybe I made a mistake. I could always blame Jim…say he talked me into it.
Ah, no. He’s a good man, we made the decision together. We’ll figure out something. We just couldn’t let that family be on their own. We made the right decision. Let’s hope Jim’s God comes through for us.
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