Nugget Nate Saves Thanksgiving pt.2 of 3

24 Nov

Here is part two as promised. If you missed part should read it first here. I hope your enjoying this little Nugget Nate Adventure. Please comment below and let me know what you think of this story so far. PG


Nugget Nate and Nathan rode back into Harlan. Nate knew that it would take no time to get a shoe and handful of nails to replace the shoe that Penny’s mare had thrown. But even though the pull of the Callin’ was still centered on the old homestead, Nate decided to take care of a couple of things that were sort of fighting for equal room in his thoughts. “Nathan, why don’t you take this money bag and head over to the Mercantile and grab a couple of saddle bags full of camp staples. Flour, canned fruit and veggies, coffee, sugar, beans, and hard tack; you know the stuff we need. Also get some trap twine and more ammo for our rifles. I get the feeling that once we get back on the mountain were gonna need that stuff.”

“Okay, Grandpa, where will I meet up with you when I’m done?”

Meet me at the blacksmith shop. I’m gonna go to the telegraph office first. I want to send a wire to Smythe and see if he’s heard anything about the Campbell’s, something ain’t settin’ right about them. Oh, and don’t know why, but grab an axe while yer shopping and a cover fer the head.”

“Yes, sir.” Nathan turned Thunder towards the store while Nate headed further up the street towards the railway depot where the telegraph office was. Nate entered the telegraph office,  grabbed a pencil and telegraph form.

To Jefferson Smythe Attorney at Law New York, NY STOP

From Nate Ryder STOP

In Harlan KY STOP

Any word from Campbell STOP

Answer quickest STOP


Handing the paper and a quarter to the operator Nate settled in to wait on an answer. “Hey Mister, are you asking about Niall and Moya Campbell up on Catron’s Mountain?”

“Yes, sir, that’s them. You know something?”

“Well, I heard that Niall got himself killed a few months ago. Far as I know Moya and the kids are still up there. Can’t reckon it’s easy on her trying to provide for them three little ones. What are they to you?”

“I’m the land owner. How did Niall die, do you know?”

“Word was a tree fell on him right before harvest season. Left Moya with them two young boys and a three month old baby.”

“Wonder why my men didn’t let me know about that?”

“Don’t know. I know that Solicitor Ainsworth was up there at the end of harvest season. He ain’t sent word to your man Smythe yet about the harvest either.”

Well I’m going to head down to the blacksmith for a bit. I’ll check fer a response before I leave town. I need to get up the mountain quick. If I don’t get a response by then I’ll send someone to check for me tomorrow. Be a young boy about 16.”

“Sure thing, Mister Ryder. Do you want me to let Mr. Ainsworth know you’re here?”

Nate handed the operator a double eagle. “No, I’m gonna pay you to make sure none besides you knows I’m in town.”

The man looked at the twenty-dollar piece. “Yes, sir. Ain’t seen hide nor hair of Nugget Nate Ryder since he left here seven years ago.”

Nate smiled. “Good, keep it that way.”

With a new horseshoe and nails procured and Nathan back with bulging bags, Nate stopped one last time by the depot before heading back up the mountain.

“Did I get a reply yet?”

“Yes, sir, let me get it for you.”

The operator handed over a yellow telegram. Nate thanked him and neatly folded the sheet and slipped it in his pocket. The response had been six words. “No news. No funds reported yet.” Nate decided to get back up the mountain and get Penny back on horseback, then check in with the Widow Campbell. Once he was sure that things weren’t dire he would be finding this Lawyer Ainsworth and having a few words with him.

He stepped into the saddle and looked over at Nathan. “Let’s go boy, reckon yer grandmother ain’t gonna wait all day on us.”

He kicked Lightning into a trot and by the edge of town both horses were at a full gallop. The sooner they got there the sooner Nate could get the answers he needed.




Two hours later Nate and Nathan were at the spot where they had left Penny. Like he had expected that woman hadn’t waited on him. He could tell from the signs where she had gone. He looked over at Nathan; here was another chance to see how well his lessons in surviving in the wild had paid off. “All right, boy, looks like she done gone and wondered off. Track her down fer me.”

Nathan looked at him. “Me?”

Nate looked around. “Well I don’t see no one else round here, do you?”

“No, Sir.”

“Then get to it, boy. Daylight’s a wastin’.”

Nate watched as the boy looked around and swelled with pride as he picked up the signs and started out in the direction of the homestead. Figured that Penny would know exactly where the farm was, and knowing his wife, she’d already learned everything about the situation and had a solution planned out. Within half an hour Nathan lead them straight to the farm that Nate had grown up on. Sure enough, in the paddock was the mare Nat had bought for Penny in Lexington. “Good Job, Nathan. You led us right where we were going and you followed your grandmother’s signs as good as I could’ve.”

Nathan smiled as he slipped out of his saddle.

“What are you doing, boy?”

Nathan looked over his shoulder. “Going to the cabin to see if Grandmother is in there.”

“Stop! How can you follow sign like a injun but forget the most important thing about riding up to an unknown camp?”

Nathan stopped and looked back at Nate just as he put his hands to his mouth and yelled out, “Hello the house!”

The door open and out walked Penny. “Hello, yourself, you old mountain goat. What took you so long, couldn’t follow my simple trail?”

“Wife o’ mine, the day I can’t follow any trail you make will be the day they plant me six feet under.”

Well, I got tired of waiting in those woods and found my way to this farm. The lady of the house has been kind enough to allow me to wait for you here. Did you get what you need to shoe that horse?”

Nate took in his wife’s demeanor and realized that she didn’t want him to announce himself as the farm’s owner yet. He reckoned from what his Callin’ had shown him and what the Telegraph Operator had said that if he did so the widow would be afraid he was here to evict her. “I did, and if the lady of the house would be obliged to let me and Nathan rest a minute then I’ll get right on that.”

The young widow had appeared in the doorway behind Penny. “Of course come in and rest I’ll have one of the boys fetch some water for your horses and for you and your grandson.”

“No need, Young Nathan can see to our mounts and bring me a cup when he’s done. Thank’ee much, Ma’am.”

Nate slid from Lightning’s back and walked over to the woman and held out his hand. “Name’s Nate, I’m much obliged fer y’all looking after my Penny in her time of need.”

“It’s been a pleasure. We’ve been having a good time chatting and getting to know each other. We don’t get many visitors this far up the mountain this time of year.”

“Well, let me offer to pay you something for the help you gave my wife today.”

Nate stifled a laugh as the woman looked at his ragged buckskins and the almost too short ones on Nathan and judged them as poor mountain folk. “Oh, that isn’t necessary. I didn’t really do anything.” She directed him towards the house. As he entered he took in the piddly stack of firewood beside the hearth and the two scrawny boys sitting at the table shoveling apples and fritters into their mouth like it was the best thing they ever ate. His heart broke over all that this woman had endured, and then angered at the fact that she endured it at the hand of his man in his name. Nate climbed onto a stool by the fire and propped his moccasins up on the hearth. Penny introduced Moya and her three kids and Nate did what only Nate could do to make everyone comfortable. “Hello, young fella’s. How you like growing up in these here mountains? You know I grew up in this here parts too. I was abringin’ my grandson up here to show him some of the places I had my first adventures. Why, just up that there mountain a ways is where I kilt my first bear. It’s also where I met Davey Crockett fer the first time and saved his life.”

Penny saw the boys eyes grow big but she also saw a flash of recognition on Moya’s face. “Nate,” she cautioned but it was too late.

With a hitch in her voice, Moya asked “Nate? Are you Nugget Nate?”

“Yes, Mrs. Campbell I am called that on occasion.”

She turned to her boys. “Ronan take Colm and see if Nathan can use help with those horses.”

“Yes, Mama,” The older boy took the younger by the hand and outside they went.

Mr. Ryder, please don’t make me leave today. If you will just give me a little time to contact my family in Ireland we will be gone from your farm.”

Nate stood and looked at the broken woman who was holding in tears that were threatening to spill over her eyelids.

“Now who said anything about you leaving? I reckon iffen you want to leave that’s all well‘n good. Do Ya?”

“No, but we didn’t meet the share quota this year and Mr. Ainsworth said he figured you’d make us move.”

Darlin’, you didn’t make the quota because yer husband died leaving you with them two young lads and a newborn. Not his fault from what I heard tell, just an unfortunate event. Every farm has years when crops go bad. What I want to know is did this Ainsworth know your husband died at the start of the harvest season?”

“Well, yes, everyone around here knew when Niall died.”

“Then I want to know why he didn’t hire some men to come and take care of my crop? I know you can’t answer that but he will, you mark my word. Now tell me how much seed corn do you have for next year?”

“None. Mr. Ainsworth took everything we got harvested.”

“He didn’t leave you any seed?”


Penny stepped in then. “Nate, he didn’t leave her anything; no seed and no corn for those children and her to eat.”

Nate strode over to the door, yanked it open and bellowed, “Nathan get them saddle bags and come here.”

He continued to stride outside and around the side of the house. By the time Nathan got the four saddle bags unloaded and he and the Campbell boys toted them to the porch, Nate had made a complete circuit of the farm house.

He took the four bags and then looked at Nathan. “You think you can do some hunting on yer own, Nathan?”

“Yes, sir. I saw some deer tracks while following Grandmother’s trail a few miles back.”

“Good. You get yer rifle and don’t come back without some meat.”

“Yes, sir.” Nathan walked over to his saddle and drew the rifle out of his saddle boot. He reached into his saddle bag and pulled out a revolver and holster and emptied half the cartridge rings, filling them with rifle cartridges, then strapping the belt and gun to his waist. He placed the rifle in the crook of his arm and took off into the woods, back the way he’d come earlier.

Nate watched and then motioned to the Campbell boys, “Help me carry these bags inside, youngsters.”

He strode inside again and once they were all in he handed the bags to Penny. “Here, take them two young’uns and go unload those in the kitchen, Mrs. Campbell and I have business to discuss.”

Penny smiled. “Of course dear, just don’t let your anger at that man flow onto her. She’s as fragile as my tea set right now.”

Nate nodded and kissed his wife’s cheek. “Thank you, dear, you’re right.”

He turned to Moya. “Let’s you and me go walk around the farm and have us a chat iffen you don’t mind.”

“Oh but I can’t leave your wife with both the boys and Róisín, too.”

Penny stuck her head out of the kitchen. “Oh, don’t you worry about that, Moya. I can handle them and if I can’t I’ll send Ronan to find you.”

Moya’s voice trembled with fright at what the legendary Nugget Nate might want to talk to her about. “Oh, okay, if you think it will be alright.”

Penny walked over and hugged the woman. “Go on, dear, and don’t your worry; Nate never bit a woman. Way he is today I wouldn’t count on that snake Ainsworth not losing an ear or finger but not you.”

Moya exited the house to walk with Nugget Nate Ryder who held her and her children’s fates in his hands. All she could do was pray that he would understand more than he already had.



Nate whispered a quick prayer to the Almighty as Moya Campbell walked over to where he stood by the well. He stalled a few minutes by drinking from the bucket as he asked God to keep his temper at that fool lawyer in check while he dealt with this scared filly. He sighed and made a show of wiping water from his beard and mustache as he smacked his lips. “I tell ya, Moya girl, I know just what King David meant when he told them Mighty Men of his that he long for water from his home well. Been all over this great country and ain’t no water sweeter than that from right here on this mountain.”

The young woman smiled a nervous smile at her landlord. “It is very satisfying when you’re thirsty.”

Nate motioned for her to walk along with him as he headed for the barn. “Been noticing that you’re down to almost nothing here, girl.” He raised his hand as she began to explain again. “No, I’m not accusing you or Niall of anything. But it does lead me to ask you this question before we get too far into things. Now answer me honestly here, you mentioned contacting your family earlier. Is that what you want to do? Contact them and leave here?”

Moya couldn’t help but look behind the house on the hillside where a relatively new grave sat beside two older ones. “No, Sir. My Niall is buried right up there beside your folks. I don’t want to leave him here alone with some stranger.”

“Okay then, tell me, can you run this farm?”

“I’ve already explained that I couldn’t bring in the harvest so you know the answer is no.”

“I don’t know any such thing. Lookee here, your husband had just died, you had two young’un’s that weren’t big enough to be much help and a new born to look after. I see a wagon and a plow but no animal to pull either of them. So this harvest don’t count. Let me ask y’all another way. If you had everything you needed to work the land could you run this farm?”

“Mr. Ryder, I know how to run a farm. I grew up on one in Cork County and worked every day along side Niall here, but even if I had a team and seed I couldn’t plant, nurture and harvest and take care of those three children.”

“If ya had help during planting and harvest could ya?’

“Yes, of course, but I don’t.”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, girlie. In a world where money wasn’t your concern, could you make this farm back into a success?”

Moya straightened herself and with fierceness Nate had been looking for, simply stared at him as she said one word. “Yes!”

Nate nodded, “Tell me what you would do.

She looked around. “If money wasn’t an issue I’d first get two mules and plow under the fields. There is corn that’s rotted that could be used to fertilize the soil just sitting there going to waste. Then I’d put up a second fence on the far side of the barn and get a couple of pigs. A boar and a sow. By this time next year we’d have sucklings and could keep raising hogs to help feed us in the lean times and sell in the not lean times.”

“Sounds smart, but pigs are hard work and they smell up a place.”

“Not if we cleaned the pin weekly and used the waste as fertilize on the fields.”

“All so a two purpose to pigs then.”

“Three actually. They eat what is left over when nothing else can be done with it.”

“What else?”

“Chickens, a dozen to start. would build the coop behind the barn. Eggs to eat and sell. Chicks to hatch and sell or replace those that needed to be eaten.”

“What about a crop?”

“I know that corn, wheat, potatoes and tobacco all are grown around here. I also know that we’ve only grown corn because you have a buyer for all the corn we can produce.”

Nate stopped and turned to the widow, shocked. “I do but how do you know that?”

“Because Mr. Daniels came by two years ago to talk to Niall. He wanted us to plant a different verity of corn. He said it made his product taste smoother. I asked Niall what that product was and he refused to tell me. Anyway Mr. Daniels gave Niall a hundred pound of seed in exchange for the seed corn we’d put up so we made the switch. I guess I’d need to find out where Mr. Daniels is and see if I could buy more seed off him.”

Sounds like you know what you need, so here’s the deal, girl. I made a deal with yer husband to run this place fer me and split the profits 65/35 with old man Adams as my legal representative. Now I don’t know how this Ainsworthless feller got involved but I ain’t impressed with him. So here’s what were a gonna do. You and I are gonna go back ta the cabin. We’re gonna draw up a new agreement without that worthless feller involved. I’m gonna set you up with everything we jes talked about and a few more things I think yer gonna need. I’m also gonna put a set fund in the bank fer ya. You use it in an emergency iffen you need to and you use it to hire men to help with the planting and the harvesting. Unlike what I did with yer man, I’m going to list you as a 50/50 partner of this here farm. If things go well I’ll even put in a clause that you can option to buy me out in ten years. You can dissolve the partnership at any time before that iffen you want to. Only thing I ask is that you send quarterly reports to my lawyer in New York. I’ll get you his information before were done. You agree to those terms?”

“I’d be a fool not to,” Moya said as tears began to slip past her eyes, “but why, Mr. Ryder, why would you do this?”

Nate shuffled his feet, a bit embarrassed at Moya’s tears. “Well there are four reasons really. The first one is that the Good Book tells us to take care of the widows and orphans; this is my way of doing it. Iffen you’d wanted to leave, I’d have helped ya do that. Which leaves the second reason; those three young’uns of yourn deserve a place to call home. This one stood me well growin’ up, I reckon it will stand them well too. Third reason is you showed you had the grit it takes to make it in these Mountains. My mama was widowed on this farm, too. She never let it stop her and I see a bit of her in you. Finally, fellers like that new lawyer make my blood boil and I want to stick it to him fer treating you and yourn like you was worthless. It’s fellers like him that are worthless and I have a plan to light a shuck to him. Now let’s get back to the house, Penny should have all the foodstuff unpacked by now and she’ll need you to tell her where to put it. I’ll draw up the paper we need while you do that and by then my grandson should be back with some venison. Oh, gonna have to fix the smokehouse and show ya how to use that before we leave. And tomorrow Nathan and I’ll ride into town to get you a team and some mules as well as look for chickens and pigs. Plus I noticed that tree that fell hasn’t been cut up so we’ll get a cross cut saw and we’ll get it turned into firewood for you. And I saw a couple more widow makers up by the fields, we’ll drop and chop them up before we leave.”

“How long do you plan to stay, Mr. Ryder?”

“We’s partners now, Moya girl, it’s Nate or Nugget Nate until that lawyer feller comes around, then its Uncle Nate ‘til I says otherwise. As for leaving, well let’s see. Next Thursday is Thanksgivin’. I promised Nathan’s parents I’d have him home for the holidays so I need to leave here the end of November. By then we should have you back on your feet and able to hold out here ‘til spring.”

“I don’t know what to say, Nate, except thank you. I was so sure you’d come to run us off. That was what Mr. Ainsworth said you’d probably decide.”

Nat pulled his coonskin cap off and flung it on the ground. “See, that there’s what gets my goat. Where does this snotty waste come off, speakin’ fer me? He ain’t never met me or even conversed with me in writing. I worked too hard to build an honest and fair reputation to have some low down legal snake in the grass ruin it like this.”

He picked up his cap and thrust it back on his head with one hand while his other had crept down to the worn handle of the hatchet he was wearing. Moya kept her mouth shut but thought she didn’t envy Mr. Ainsworth when Nugget Nate finally got hold of him.

As they stepped on the porch Nathan called out to them. He was half bent over with the carcass of a buck on his back. Nate hurried over to help the boy. “Good job, Nathan, let’s go hang this in the barn and get it skinned and some of it to the women to cook up fer supper.”

“I got three rabbits and I set some slip traps along the trail that we can check tomorrow, too.”

“That was good thinkin’. Reckon yer getting sneaky on me, didn’t see you grab the trap line.”

“I didn’t, but when I started seeing signs of rabbit and squirrels I pulled some young grape vine and set some up along their trails.”

Nate beamed and slapped the young man on the back. “We is gonna make a right good Mountain Man outta ya yet, Nathan.”

Nathan smiled and he and Nate set to work. Soon they had the hide off of the carcass and Nate set Nathan to skinning the rabbits while he started butchering the deer meat. Once the rabbits were skinned, Nate had Nathan take them and a hunk of the deer inside to the women. They finished the butchering and Nate went to the edge of the woods and quickly cut some young saplings and wove a hide frame and stretched the deerskin on it. Then taking his Bowie knife he began scrapping the rest of the meat off the hide. He’d have to move it into the barn at nightfall to keep the animals off of it, but it would make a good piece of leather that would make one of the boys a pair of trousers. If he and Nathan could get a few more deer they could have Penny make both boys a new set of clothes. His thoughts were interrupted by Penny walking up to him and Nathan, who had started scrapping the rabbit hides. “Dinner is ready, boys, and then we need to decide what we’re going to do about sleeping arrangements. That cabin isn’t set up for all of us.”

Nate nodded. “First things first. Let’s go watch them young’uns fill their bellies and fill ours, too. Then I got to get that agreement written up so I can take Moya to town tomorrow to get it witnessed.”


As the sun rose the next morning Nugget Nate woke Nathan and the two of them took the cross cut saw and two axes up to the tree that had fallen and taken Niall’s life. First off, they trimmed off the limbs so that all they had was a pile of limbs and the trunk. Then, Nate measured out a length the size of the planks he needed to fix the smoke house. They cut that length off and then cut the planks they needed. Next, they sawed the rest of the trunk up to split for firewood. Nate took the planks and went over to replace the missing and broken ones on the smokehouse. He set Nathan to chopping firewood. If they could fall the other three dead trees then the Campbells would have plenty of firewood. Ronan was using a hatchet to cut the trimmed limbs into kindling. His little brother was taking the kindling and stacking it beside the woodpile that Nathan was stacking as he split it.

Nate was on the roof of the smokehouse when he saw a short, overweight man in a suit driving a buggy enter the farm’s clearing. The man looked right at Nate and started waving his arm as he tried to climb out of the buggy. “You, You there! Hey you on that shed.”

Nate turned toward him, “Who me?”

“Yes, You! Stop what you’re doing.”

“Ain’t got time to stop. I need to get this smokehouse roof fixed so I can smoke the deer we got yesterday.”

“You will stop this instance. Who told you to make improvements to this place?”

Nate had a good idea who this was but decided to play along a little while longer. “No one, I jest saw it was missing some boards so I went to fix it. A smoke house full of holes ain’t gonna do anyone no good.”

The dandy finally got to the ground and stomped over towards Nate. As he came Penny and Moya came out of the cabin. Moya’s face went a bit pale at the sight of Jonathan Ainsworth. “Mr. Ainsworth, what are you doing here?”

“Mrs. Campbell, who is that man on top of that building?”

“You mean my Uncle Nate?”

“That man is your Uncle?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Well, tell him to come down immediately. I have received word from Mr. Ryder that we need to discuss.”

Moya stepped past the lawyer and looked up at Nate. “Uncle Nate, can you come down here please. This is Mr. Ainsworth, he works for Mr. Ryder. He says that he has word from Mr. Ryder for us.”

Nate stood and dusted the sawdust and dirt off of his buckskins, then jumped down as easy as if the smokehouse roof wasn’t a good ten feet off the ground. “Is that right? Well, why didn’t he jest say that?”

“I don’t owe you any explanation, sir,” the lawyer said, looking Nate up and down with disgust. “My business is with Mrs. Campbell and no one else.”

“Then why did ya interrupt me in my work?”

Ainsworth turned and faced Moya “Perhaps we can go inside and discuss our business in private, Mrs. Campbell.”

“Anything you have to say to me can be said in front of Nate and Penny. They came to help me get back on my feet again.”

“Well then, let me just be frank. I received a wire from Mr. Ryder this morning. Because you didn’t meet your sharecrop quota this harvest you are to vacate the property immediately.”

Nate’s face froze as he tried to control the anger building in his body. With the steel that made hardened outlaws tremble plain on his face, he walked up to Ainsworth. “Let me get this straight, Mr. Lawyer. Y’all is saying that you received a telegram from Mr. Ryder this morning telling Moya to leave this here farm?”

“Yes, you ignorant hick, that is exactly what I’m saying.”

“Show it to me.”

“Excuse me?”

Nate grabbed the lawyer by the front of his suit coat and pulled him right up to his face. “I said show me that telegraph, you self-important bullfrog.”

“Now see here, you aren’t doing your niece any favors, man. I don’t have the telegram with me. It is in my office in Harlan.”

Nate’s other hand joined his first one on the man’s jacket and he proceeded to drag the overweight man towards his buggy. When the man’s backside connected with the buggy, Nate took his hands off him. “Go get it and bring it here.”

“I will do no such thing.”

Nate’s left hand streaked to his Bowie knife while his right grabbed Ole’ Davey’s hatchet. The knife stopped at the man’s belly and the hatchet at his hair line. “Well, then you decide bullfrog. Do I gut ya first like my friend Jim Bowie would have or do I scalp ya like my brother Sittin’ Bull would?”

Penny placed a restraining hand on Nate’s shoulder. “Nate, not in front of Moya and the children.”

Nate looked at Moya whose hand was at her chest in fear. “Well, Penny my dear, you better get them in the cabin then because I’m gonna get this bullfrog ready for plantin”

“No, Nate, I think the civilized thing to do would be to give this young man another opportunity to consider his options.”

Nate slid a quick wink at Penny then blew out a breath like he was aggravated. “Fine, but it ain’t gonna do anything but delay the inevitable. I’m gonna has to kill ’em before the day is out and you know it.”

“Maybe not, Dear, Mr. Ainsworth looks like an intelligent man. I’m sure he sees the wisdom of your request. Isn’t that right, Mr. Ainsworth?”

The lawyer glanced up at the hatchet then down at the knife poised to plunge into his ample stomach and swallowed hard several times as his mouth opened and closed without any words coming out. Finally he was able to squeak out a simple, “Yes, Ma’am I believe I have.”

Nate sheathed the knife and pulled the hatchet away from the man’s head. He didn’t put it back in his belt, though, but used it to point at the buggy behind the lawyer. “Alright then, git and don’t come back without that telegram.”

The man scrambled up into the buggy and turned it back to town. He looked back over his shoulder and yelled, “I’ll be back this afternoon and I expect you to be packed up and ready to leave when I get here.”

Then he grabbed the buggy whip and gave the horses several hard licks to get them galloping.

Moya looked at Nate, “Why didn’t you just tell him who you were?”

Nate smiled, “And miss all the fun. Did ya see his eyes when I threatened to gut and scalp him? Ain’t had that much fun since Ole Davey and Jim went and got themselfs kilt in Texas.”

“But he’s going to come back with the sheriff, you know that don’t you?”

“‘Corse he will, and won’t he be surprised when Bill tells him who I am.” “Then we can get Bill to witness them there papers we wrote up last night.” He patted Moya on the arm. Don’t you worry none, girl. I done dealt wit harder nuts that Mr. Ainsworth. Before this day is done he’ll done been cracked and rolled over to show me his soft belly. That y’all can take to the bank.” Now go get that meat dressed up. I’ma gonna nail down that last roof board and start stoking the fire to get that meat smoked before it turns on ya.”

Nate walked off to finish and heard Moya asking Penny. “He wasn’t really going to scalp and gut Mr. Ainsworth, was he?”

“Well, I don’t think he would have done it in front of you and the children but I can’t be certain of anything when he gets like that.”

Nate smiled. Oh, his wife was as diabolical as any Comanche warrior he’d ever counted coo with or fought against. Nathan caught up with him just before he climbed back on the roof. “I’ve got all the wood split and the boys are stacking it. I thought I might go check the trap lines and see if I can get another deer or a couple of turkeys, after all Thanksgiving is less than a week away.”

Nate nodded, “That’s fine, but be back here before supper. I expect to have dealt with that lying lawyer by then and I want to get an early start tomorrow. Want to get them dead trees down and then we’ll need to go into Harlan and see about getting the things Moya and the boys will need to make a go of it.”

“,Yes, sir. I’ll be back by supper hopefully with a bag full of game.”

“I know them lil’ boys are gettin’ on yer last nerve, Nathan, but they just want to learn whacha know. So maybe when you get back you can show Ronan how to skin the game and both of them how to clean the hides.”

Nathan sighed, “Alright, Nate.”

“Tomorrow you should take him with you and show him how to check and reset the traps. It will be something he can do to help his family with food.”

“Yes, sir.” Nathan’s shoulders drooped a little at knowing that his solitude and place of peace wouldn’t happen tomorrow.

“Don’t worry, boy, you’ll have lots of time to get tired of them two young’uns. Nate chuckled, “Think of it this way, you’re their Nugget Nate. What you teach them will be the type of men they become. So teach ’em well, Nathan.”

Nate knew Nathan got it because he could see the weight of his declaration settle on his spirit. Nathan turned and without a word grabbed his rifle and headed back into the woods. “Yep,” Nate thought, “He’ll do.”

1 Comment

Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Book Reviews


One response to “Nugget Nate Saves Thanksgiving pt.2 of 3

  1. Virginia McVey

    November 25, 2015 at 5:49 am

    As always I really enjoyed the save Thanksgiving . This is a on going series that I can’t wait to read the nex one. I’m waiting for the book to be finished. You know the one about Nathan’s father and mother when Nathan comes back home with his aunt.


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