All too familiar

The three Dogs take a couple of days divert from their journey back to the Temple of Light, to make their way to Glenn’s Oasis.  During the journey Temperance remains very quiet, avoiding Brother Jesse, nor giving Brother Joshua any time.  Jesse explains the situation about the diversion to Glenn’s Close, about an old friend needing help with a courtship, requesting that they accompany him to town, which they happily agree with.  On the journey Jesse keeps ahead setting the pace.

 

The town is situated very close to a waterfall that comes from the Temple of Light, the name coming from the pool of water the town is build up around.  The town seems to shine as a jewel amongst all the rough land they have been travelling through, a bright patch of green standing out from the monotone brown they are used to.  There is only a small scattering of house in this town, with large gaps between any nearby houses, plenty of room for the flowers that grow within.  There is even plenty of live stock that is keeping the lush grass short.  A small wooded area can also be seen near to the town, an unusual sight indeed, roughly the size of a football pitch and fairly thinly spaced.

 

Some men can be seen tending to the crops in the fields as the Dogs ride in, they all appear to be coming towards the end of their career life, seen many a summer sun.  From the looks of it the town is self sustaining with no shops.  As the Dogs ride by, most look up, Jesse nods and taps is hat in greeting, only one seems to respond to this.  When the Dogs enter the town proper they can see that the houses are slightly raised up from the ground, the ground looking slightly moist.  One of the houses has a small wooden porch facing the fields, and sat in a chair on that porch is an elderly lady with knitting on her lap; she looks at the Dogs as they ride in giving a nod before shifting her stern gaze back to the fields.  Again Jesse nods and taps his hat her way as he leads the Dogs to the centre of town, and to the small chapel there.

 

The chapel like the rest of the buildings is raised up off the ground, and built using what looks like local wood.  There are plenty of careful carvings in the wood of the chapel with images of the Tree of Life.  The doors to the chapel are open slightly allowing the gentle breeze to enter the building, more than likely allowing the warm humid air to cool within.  Inside there are only about seven to eight pews, and on the floor is the steward, on his hands and knees busy cleaning and polishing, again this gentleman is of an older generation, busy humming to himself tunelessly.

 

Brother Jesse coughs for attention.  The old steward pauses what he is doing and pulls out a pair of spectacles, a very odd and rare sight to see, and places them on to the bridge of his nose.  The steward turns and looks up at them, “my, my, my.” he quickly rises to his feet.

“Greetings steward.” Brother Jesse replies.

“Greetings Watch Dogs.”

“Hope you don’t mind us coming to town?”

“It is an honour Watch Dogs.” He rubs his hand on his apron and proffers it, “Steward Jackson.”  Jesse takes his hand gently and shakes it introducing himself, then turns to the others and introduces them to the steward.

 

After the introductions Jackson asks if there is any particular reason for them to be in town, to which Jesse explains to him that they are only there to help assist in a courtship, nothing serious.  Jesse then asks him if there are any problems within the community that they need to know about, being new in town they would like to get the heads up on any possible problems, learn the background to the town.  Jackson explains that they do not have any problems, the only problem he has is with a man named Cyrus, he shifts uncomfortably while speaking discussing that they never have any difficulties, they have some high spirits but everything is always kept in check.

 

Brother Jesse shifts the conversation on to the subject of the courtship between Bonnie, his dear friend, and the young man that wishes to court her, wanting to know more about the circumstance and how much the steward knows.  Steward Jackson informs them that he was told that a new young lady was in town by Wiltshire, and he is glad to see that she has someone to help the poor lass, being that she has no family or any friends in town.  Jackson goes on to explain that a young man named Earp had spotted her on his travels.

 

Steward Jackson goes on to explain where Temperance will stay, along with the unmarried women of the town.  Jesse shares with Jackson that she is very good with children, and that she would be happy to help out with looking after them.  However Jackson explains that there are no young children here, the youngest would be Newton, now in his mid teens, and then it would be Earp.

 

Jesse thanks Jackson for all his help and information, just wanting to now know where he would recommend to stay in town, where to find Bonnie, and finally where to find Earp.  Jackson tells them that they will probably be able to find Earp down by the stream, more than likely fishing he would imagine.  Bonnie will be found over with the unmarried women, and suggests a building where the Dogs can go to stay.

 

As they leave the church Jesse notices that there is something etched into the wall near the floor, a name ‘Cyrus’ can be plainly made out.  Once outside and walking away, Jesse shares this information with the other two Dogs.  Brother Joshua easily spots this now Jesse points it out, also as the other two turn there backs, Joshua spots the elderly lady from the porch walk over to the chapel, she looks over at him then enters the church and closes the door.

 

The building the Dogs were instructed to go for their accommodation is an empty house, empty windows with no glass, the walls have a slight moistness about them, some of the wood warped from prolonged exposure to the wet, three simple places are set side by side for them to sleep upon.  The place looks to have been recently occupied but for some reason is now empty; the temperature within this building is very humid, warmer than it is outside.  Temperance had gone on off to the area she was instructed to go, bidding Brother Ambrose a good day while ignoring Jesse, and just glancing at Joshua.

 

Brother Jesse suggests to the other two that it may be a good idea to go see this Earp guy first before doing anything else.  While they are discussing this, a knock comes at the door; Joshua goes and answers the door, after both Jesse and Ambrose look over at him while he busies himself with his rifle.

 

The door opens upon an older lady, a shocked expression on her face under her bright red hair tied up on her head; she blinks a few times at the sight that opens the door, a shake passing through her body.  There in the door is stood a Dog in his long coat, small knife on one side and a large one on the other, a large rifle in hand and a pistol at his hip.  Brother Joshua calmly greets her asking what she is in need of.  She stutters a response, nerves showing through her voice, that she only wished to greet the Watch Dogs to the town.  “I, I just wanted to see if there was anything you needed.”  Joshua looks other his shoulder at the other two Dogs asking them if there is anything they need.  Jesse asks him who is at the door, to which Joshua turns back to the lady and asks her who she is.  At this point Jesse walks on over to the door and takes a look himself.  She introduces herself as Relief, and Jesse apologises to her for his colleague startling her, explaining that he always travels prepared and the fact that we have only just arrived.  Jesse then thanks her for coming to welcome them to Glenn’s Oasis, he explains to her that they will be going out and take a look around town in a few minutes, so they will be in need of some food and drink when they get back, they will be most grateful.  She offers them to come over to her place to share a meal with her and her husband, she will be happy to make more for them, and her husband will be happy of the extra company.

 

Relief asks the Dogs if they had gone over and seen Steward, whether he had mentioned a Bartholomew, to which Jesse replies with a negative, “Who?”  She explains that Wiltshire as mentioned him a few times, and that she is quite right he is quiet through the services, “It doesn’t seem right, maybe it would be best if you have a word with him first.”

“Who is this Bartholomew?”  Jesse asks of her, and she informs them that he is the deer hunter, he had come to town a few years back, and she doesn’t trust him.  She also shares that he has a son that he never seems to take to service all that often, not bringing him up right.  Again she states that Wiltshire had said, at which point Jesse asks her who this Wiltshire person is.

“Oh, oh a fine old lady, very prim and proper.  Wouldn’t have a bad word about her.” Relief stutters.  “A very upright believer of the faith. She keeps an eye on the things happening in the town.”

 

At this point Jesse thanks her for visiting, and tells her that they can all talk more over the meal later, but they first must get on before the day gets old.  Jesse bids her a farewell nodding his head.  She walks off pulling a small handkerchief out and dabbing her forehead muttering, “…that was a big gun…”

 

The Dogs soon come upon the stream within the small wooded area, which runs more or less straight through the centre.  It feels somewhat cooler here within the woods, especially as they draw closer to the stream.  A boy dressed in grey, probably in his mid teens is seen scrambling up a tree near to the stream.  The Dogs go a little closer, to have a better view, before stopping to see what the lad is up about.  The lad pulls out a stone from his trouser pocket, and genteelly toys with it in his hand, as he balances on a thinner branch that stretches out towards the stream.  The branch bends slightly with the boy’s weight, as the lad keeps his gaze on a young man sat next to the stream, a fishing stick in hand, dressed in a reserved grey with fuzzy hair.  They guess this man to be the Earp they are looking for.

 

The lad in the tree is taking careful aim with the stone as he pulls his arm back.  The stone arches through the air, glinting in the sun as it curves pass Earp and hits with a splash directly in front of him, sending water up in to his face.  Quickly Earp turns around looking from where the stone had travelled, “Gee. Dag-nam-it.”  Earp looks around, “Where are you. Come out.”  He then notices three men in large long coats standing watching him, “Oh, it wasn’t you was it?”  Earp begins to brush off the wet, while Jesse walks up to the tree and looks up at the young lad clinging to a branch with a huge grin on his face, then does a little dance as he jumps down from the tree.

 

Jesse asks the boy his name, to which Earp looks over “Ah shocks, I should have guessed. Newton, get down here.”  The boy looks over at Earp and laughs, then runs up to him and wraps his arms around him.  Still laughing the boy states with glee, “I got you all wet.” In between laughs, “You’re all wet.”  Earp just ruffles the boy’s hair.

 

Eventually Earp disengages the boy from him, “Not now boy, we have Watch Dogs here.”  The boy looks quite surprised with this news.  “In threes, shocks, the Dogs in threes.  Is there something wrong?”  Brother Jesse reassures him that there should be no trouble, as they are only just passing through.

 

Soon Jesse brings the subject around to whether Earp as started any courtship, to which he replies shyly with a yes.  Earp goes on to explain that he is trying to, but the lass is having problems not having anyone to help her with the courtship.  He jests that he has even asks Newton here to go along, to which Newton sticks his tongue out at him.  Jesse goes on to ask if he has known the young lady for long.  Earp tells them that he had been out to see more of other towns when he had met her, which would be a couple of months ago in a place called Knoxville, explaining that he didn’t think much of the place.  When asks why he was going to the towns, Earp explains that his parents had suggested to go see what the other towns are like, and he informs them that he had been talking with the stewards, finding out more about the faith.  Earp goes on to share with them that he had thought that she may have already been spoken for, hearing that she had hung around with this guy for years, his name being Jesse and that he had left town.  He then notices something wrong with Brother Jesse and asks him if everything is alright, to which Jesse explains that it is nothing, just his throat getting used to the difference in air around here.

 

Earp soon realises that he hasn’t done the polite thing and introduced himself, or to keep calling them Watch Dogs.  Brother Jesse introduces himself as Brother Blake, and then introduces the Brother Ambrose and then Brother Joshua.  Joshua looks at Jesse with a slight puzzled look as to why he has suddenly used his family name instead of the usual Jesse.

 

“Hey, hey are we still on for tomorrow night?” Newton looks up and asks Earp.

“Now I told you before.  I am hoping to be meeting up with Bonnie tomorrow night. I told you.”

“Ah you never want to do anything fun anymore!” Then Newton runs off, Earp calls after him but gets no reply.  Jesse (Blake) reassures him that it is probably down to his age, and being jealous that he is spend so much time with Bonnie, as if she is taking all the time away from him and Newton.  He shares with the Dogs that he is worried that they will soon be no one but ‘Witch’ Wiltshire to look over them, and he doesn’t want that.  Earp suddenly turns white as he realises who he is speaking to, and quickly apologises saying that he didn’t call her that, begging that they do not tell her.  Ambrose asks him if she really is that terrifying, to which he assures them that she is a very fine old lady, very pure of the faith.

 

As the Dogs begin to head back to town Earp offers his hand in friendship, Jesse happily take his hand in his.  Earp’s hand turns white from the pressure, and his eyes begin to water before Jesse lets go.  “My, that is some handshake.” He then nervously offers it to Ambrose, who gently shakes his hand, however Joshua just keeps to the background and nods to him not taking his hand.

 

The Dogs head back to Relief’s home and warn her that they will be a little be late, and if she would not mind holding off on the meal for them.  She happily complies with the request, seeing her husband is already there in from the fields, however he seems to be nursing a swollen knee.  They inform her that they will return promptly and then head off to see Bonnie.

 

At the house for unmarried women as the Dogs arrive outside they can hear Temperance voice, “..no! He did what…..” shock in her voice, “I will never look at him the same again.”  As they stand at the door, “..he always seemed so moody and scary.  Like he is ready to pounce and tear it apart.”  Then Jesse hears a familiar voice laughing that he has not heard for many a year, “Ah sugar, you should have seen him back then, he was ten times as worse.  But he is just a big cuddy bear…” Bonnie’s voice can be heard sharing.  Suddenly Jesse coughs loudly to cover the voices and knocks on the door making as much noise as he can.

 

The door to the unmarried house is opened by a woman with black hair, most of which is tied up, and as her eyes meet with Jesse a smile crosses her face.  She throws the door open and throws her arms around Jesse.  “Oh I haven’t seen you in ages, dear Jester.”  Jesse embraces her back forgetting his position for now, having not seen his childhood friend for so many years now, “Hello B, it is good to see you again.”  Jesse gives her a big bear hug lifting her off her feet, and then his lips begin to pucker up before he quickly puts her back on the floor letting go of her, coughing and straightening his coat.  “It is good to see you again.”  Jesse tells her now gaining his composure.

 

Bonnie is shocked to find that what she heard about him was true, that he had actually become a Dog.  Jesse introduces her to his fellow Dogs, and informs her that he can see that she has met Temperance.  Bonnie begins to show her dissatisfaction with Jesse going elsewhere before coming to her first, but Jesse explains that they need to survey the town first, business before pleasure.

“I take it you had got the message I had sent?”  Bonnie asks Jesse.

“That is why I am here, you know I could not refuse, I had to help you out.”  Jesse replies.

“Ah the ol’ big brother I never had watching out for me.”

“That’s why I am here.  I may have had to do some other things before coming to you first, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting, I didn’t want your wrath.” Jesse jests as he winks at her.

“Well the young girl here has been keeping me entertained, telling me all about your travels.”  Jess looks over at Temperance hearing this.  Temperance doesn’t look at him, avoiding any eye contact at all.  “All good I hope.”

“You punched a steward?”  Bonnie enquires.  Jesse looks around at the gathered audience, then gives her a furtive wink.  “A Dogs got to do what a Dogs got to do.”

“You haven’t changed that much have you.  All in the King of Life’s name.”

 

Jesse chats with Bonnie asks how she is and what had brought her to this town, she reassures him that she is fine, telling him that a guy named Earp had brought her to this town.  Bonnie tells Jesse that Earp was passing through her town when he had asked her if she would like to meet him at his town.  “Who could resist a chance to get out of that town.  It is helps that he is a charming young man.”  She shares with him that she was worried that she would end up an old spinster.  During the conversation Temperance whispers something in to Bonnie’s ear, she nods then Temperance can be seen leading the other women out of the room leaving her and Jesse alone.  Temperance can barely be heard muttering “Jester!?” to herself as she leaves.

 

While Jesse is busy catching up with Bonnie, Ambrose and Joshua make there leave, they head back to steward Jackson.  The steward asks after the other Dog, “the calm one, Brother Jesse.”  Ambrose tells him the Brother Jesse is catching up with an old friend.  Jackson enquires if the watch Dogs are there about the Cyrus incidence, after Ambrose asks what incidence Jackson tells him not to worry it is old, in the past.  Ambrose checks that if he has it in hand then that is fine, and tells him that they noticed the name carved in the wall, to which Jackson assures him that it was an earlier occurrence.

 

Ambrose asks Jackson about Wiltshire, says that she seems to have quite a name for herself.  Jackson explains to them that she is a faithful woman, who believes in helping people find the correct way, pointing out an indiscretions, she is a good lady very much alive.  Ambrose tells him that there seems to be a lot of gossip about town of her, and Jackson reassures him that she rather ceases it than starts it.  The steward explains to the two Dogs that he is focusing his time on trying to bring Cyrus back to the King of Life.

 

Once The two Dogs have left steward Jackson at the Chapel, they see him close up the place and when he thinks that they are not looking at him, he can be seen heading off towards the lady Wiltshire’s house.  They head back to meet up with Jesse, and catching him as he is leaving.  Temperance can be seen in the window looking out.

 

After around thirty minutes of time spent with Bonnie, Jesse makes his way back to Relief’s home for the feast set out for her family and the Dogs.  He comes across Ambrose and Joshua on his way out, and they all head over for the meal that is awaiting them.

 

Relief is happily serving up the food at the table, but she does request that Brother Joshua does not bring his big gun to the table.  Her husband Nathaniel is still sat with a cold press around his knee, he greets the Dogs as they enter, excuses himself for not standing.  Jesse enquires if there a doctor in town, to which Nathaniel tells them that people tend to go to Wiltshire if they have any problems.  “She is quite the daub-hand with the needle.”  Jesse suggests that maybe Joshua could take a look at it later, but first they have their meal.

 

The dogs complement Relief on her cooking and food, it has a somewhat spice taste to it.  The conversation around the table is mostly small talk, however Relief brings up the subject of Bartholomew and his quiet ways, much to her husbands dissatisfaction.  Nathaniel shares that the guy is a quiet person, sometimes it is hard to get anything out of him.

 

Brother Joshua asks Nathaniel to kneel before him and bow his head in prayer, however Nathaniel looks at him confused asks if he has done something wrong.  Joshua explains to him that he wants to try and help him with his knee, and Nathaniel tells him that it is nothing, he doesn’t want to cause any problems.  Joshua checks with him to see if he is sure about having him not take a look at his knee, to which Nathaniel refuses the help thanking him but not wishing to cause any problems that it is fine.  In fact Nathaniel looks quite relieved when Joshua accepts in not taking a look at his knee.

 

After the meal they thank Relief and Nathaniel once again for their kind hospitality and enjoyable feast and head out.  Joshua suggest that he would like to know more as to why Nathaniel was so reluctant to accept help, and goes off to the fields finding someone still out there.  The guy appears to be a little younger than Nathaniel, he is busy buttoning up his shirt, his skin pink from where he has been rubbing himself down of the day’s toile.  He notices the eyes looking at him and looks up, “Yup?”  Joshua walks over to him.

 

Brother Joshua asks the man how his day has been, but all he got was another “Yup” as the guy chewed on a piece of corn stuck out from his mouth, “not so bad.”  Joshua tells him that he had seen him out in the field earlier with another man called Nathaniel, who he had seen earlier to find him with an injured knee.  “Yup, he stubbed his foot on a stone. He was cussing the King of Life’s name.” The guy explains that he could not help it really, stubbing his toe on a stone, but he did regret it afterwards.

 

As Joshua engages the man in small talk, generally about the weather and crops and such like, the guy does point out the stone Nathaniel stubbed his toe on.  The stone in question is a very small stone.  With this Joshua takes a closer look around the area of the stone.  The stone looks like it has been loosened in the soil from where Nathaniel had kicked it, also there looks to be around five other footprints around where people must have ran up to help him.  The soil shows signs of where Nathaniel had fallen down on both knees.  However there is about five metres of unspoilt soil between the stone and the foot and knee prints, no sign of anyone falling over.

 

Joshua goes back to the man in the field and talks some more about exactly what had happened, the guy carries on chewing on the corn, clarifying that Nathaniel’s knee had gone out.  After a few more words from Joshua trying to get more information out of him, the guy suggests that they should meet up in the morning, “things always seem clearer in the morning.”

 

As the guy begins to walk away, Joshua grabs him by the scruff of his neck, pulls him back and up off his feet, then places his face in to the guys face telling him that he hasn’t finished with him yet.  At this point the guy backs down, asking to be put down and he will talk.

“I wanted to stay out of this…” the guy begins, “but she just walked okay.  She went right up to his ear and told him that he should not blaspheme.”  He explains that she lent on his knee cap and then he collapsed.  “She doesn’t like people blaspheming.”

 

Suddenly torches can be seen being light back in town, and a voice is heard shouting out.  “Has anyone…please, somebody please.  I can’t find my boy, he’s gone.  Has anyone seen him, has anyone seen Newton?”

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2 thoughts on “All too familiar

  1. Wow! Another epic And marathon read.
    A fabulous piece of text describing Glenn’s Oasis.the town is clearly liable to flooding.
    A rare pair of glasses being worn,must be a Specsavers somewhere nearby.
    Looking forward to next game.

  2. I believe that is one of the such a lot vital info for me. And i’m happy reading your article. But want to observation on some common things, The website taste is perfect, the articles is in reality great :D. Excellent job, cheers.

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