Freedom's Harvest Part II November 23 2014
(continued from Part I...)
The reverie of the flames triggered a flash-back from zerohedge yesterday – the picture of the French farmers and the burning tax office which induced an image of much longer vintage-recalled from another life- the image of fragments of burning Willy Pete arcing gracefully back to earth as the endless barrage of 155’s shook the night while you kept your mouth open to equalize the pressure in your head.
Enough of that, he caught himself, gotta stay in the here and now. That’s an indulgence you can’t afford. Nothing you can do about old ordnance. Those demons were exorcised a long time ago.
Steam was rising out of the boiling water. He added some instant powder and stirred it with a stick. A rush of wings caught his attention as a flock of starlings wheeled overhead and settled at the far edge of the field.
OK, time to get to work.
He gulped the bitter liquid and walked back to the truck to retrieve a five gallon bucket, husking peg and the hand sheller. Walking down the rows, he pulled a few ears at random from different areas of the field, stripping off the husks with the husking peg as he went along.
“Get out of here birds! You’ve had enough.” The flock took off in a swirl leaving damage in their wake. They always started pecking out the ears from the top. “Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie… I wonder how many I could get with #8 shot?" Fewer than one would think.
The trick is to pick out one bird and shoot it. There will always be collateral damage - think the most I ever got with one shot was six or seven. If you get flustered and shoot the bunch, chances are you’ll get nothing
When the bucket was full he went back to the crib, sat down on the edge of the floor through the open doorway and shelled the kernels back into the bucket.
“These ears are done. They shell real easy”. The moisture meter confirmed his prognosis. Three different samples indicated a moisture content between 25 and 30%. Below 30%, the shucked ears can be thrown into the crib to finish drying to less than 10% moisture content with little chance of mold or freeze damage.
The geometry of the crib and its orientation to the prevailing wind combined with loose and airy construction would facilitate the process.
The legs were sheathed with sheet metal to keep out rodents and the sloped wall allowed rainwater to drip onto the ground without penetrating the interior. Other cribs in locations not quite as windy as this one were constructed entirely of wood slats with small spaces between the slats to allow the wind to blow through the whole structure. This particular crib was subjected to extreme wind so only the door was made of slats. The floor was 2 X 10 inch boards with about 1/8 inch spaces between boards. The area where the walls met the roof were left open under the roof overhang.
I reckon we oughta harvest this sucker right away. Looks like the deer are starting to move in here too. Some say you should plant enough for the critters but it’s too easy to get wiped out. Better to harvest the field and the critters.
Looks like I better spend the night here and mobilize the crew for the harvest tomorrow and take care of business this side of the mountains. Jim down there in Deep Crick will be expecting to hear from me soon.
He headed back up to the divide and pulled off on an old logging road to a clearing at the edge of the timber where he had a view across the valley to a steep defile in the mountains.
Finding the bench above Deep Creek in his binoculars he noted the azimuth on the compass and adjusted the directional antenna mounted on the camera tripod. The old Motorola i355 cell phone lit up, ready to transmit. It could not find a cell tower because it no longer functioned as a cell phone. With a new SIM card it had been converted to a field radio with the extremely secure Motorola digital frequency-hopping technology. Low power coupled with a directional antenna resulted in a very small electro-magnetic signature. Even if in the off-chance a satellite managed to detect and suck up a transmission, the NSA would have to devote non-trivial super-computing resources in an attempt to crack the transmission. Nonetheless, it was SOP to never say anything that might even be construed as illegal. Forget about the alpha, bravo, charlie military alphabet. Just be a good old boy out cutting firewood.
At precisely on the hour, “Hey Jake, if you go into town today, pick up six chain saw files for me. Thanks.” He shut it down and did not wait for a reply because he knew there would not be one. He put everything away, pulled the chain saw out and headed over to the Doug fir in the jumble of deadfall at the foot of the saddle where the winter storms blew through.
Each day was getting markedly shorter. The evening shadows reached across the gravel bar to the big eddy where Deep Creek ran into the river. On the second cast upstream the fly floated through the eddy and hesitated at the boundry of the quiet water when it disappeared with a slight slurp and the line tightened. “ OK, fish on. Hope it’s not another cutthroat or one of those rainbow hybrids.” He had caught and released two of them in the past fifteen minutes. “Here he comes.” There was a flash of yellow as a good sized brown trout left the water and shook his head in an attempt to throw the fly in the corner of his mouth. “Good. Looks like Jim is going to get a trout dinner after all.” He cleaned the fish, walked back to the pickup full of firewood and waited for dark behind the locked gate on the private property bordering the river.
After his night vision was pretty well settled in, he locked the truck and headed up Deep Creek two miles and up to the bench. The old barn was dark. He waited for some time, surveying the scene carefully before issuing a low warbling whistle. He was rewarded in about fifteen seconds with the racous call of a mallard hen, ostensibly settled in the pond beyond the barn.
The brightly lit room inside the barn revealed twelve men gathered around Jim Bridger. Blackout curtains covered the windows and not a ray of light escaped. No one drove up to the barn. They had all made their way on foot by various routes when the word went out. A security team covered all the paths with night vision and listening devices as the meeting progressed.
“Gather round boys, I have something here to show you."
“Submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burst trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsible or folding, magazine - 30 rd. capacity,” Jim read. He continued,
“Well, boys it looks like they are sure getting ready for something but remember, let them make the first move. We will take the first blow as the causus belli.” He lowered his voice and the men gathered closer.
“Listen up now and let me brief you on what our guy at the Fusion Center in Fort Sherman says they are planning…” to be continued
In the next episode: The Deep Creek Rangers expose the truth and invoke the Hungarian Solution.