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Another Look at My Past


Chapter 15
“So this is a road. Aren't you glad we found this road?”
“Dick, just shut up. This time yesterday you were complaining about travelling overland.”
Frank kept out of Timmy's argument with Dick. He was walking along the edge of the road, where the mud
was not as bad. Nelson insisted that traveling along a road of any kind, you would find other humans.
“Those wagon tracks in the mud look fresh. We are close to some kind of settlement.” Nelson spoke to the
whole group.
“Nelson, in an earlier time, your instinct for tracking would be a great asset.” Frank could be quite witty at
times.
His old friend Nelson regarded him with a baleful look. “No, in this era my instinct for tracking is an asset.
We are in an earlier era.”
“I see some houses up there.” O ne of the group announced. And yes, a little further down the muddy path
was a small collection of buildings.
After some more glopping through the mud, the group of young men came to the hamlet. Frank spied a
boney woman standing in a doorway. “Howdy” Frank offered uncertainly.
“Howdy yourself.” She returned. “Where are you from?”
Timmy spoke up. “I'm Timmy. This here is Frank, Nelson, Horace and Dick.” By saying something, Timmy
was avoiding the larger question of where were they from.
A rail- thin girl of indeterminate age appeared beside the woman. “Those men are really dirty.” was her
observation.
Frank felt the need to defend himself. “We have been walking along that muddy road. O ur feet are going to
be muddy.”
“Well yes.” she replied reasonably. “But you look like you have been rolling around in dirt. Most people
clean up before they come to town.”
Frank would have given much for Tracy and her friends to hear that. But he was sensing that their arrival
was creating a stir. A group of strangers walking into a small town will not go unnoticed. They had to say
something to state their business, and say it pretty quick.
“We are coming in to join up with the Greater Altgeld Defense Force. Who can we talk to about that?”
Nelson looked up and down the line of ramshackle houses.
“You really are lost.” That came from somewhere behind him, he did not see who.
“You boys want to enlist, talk to Gary.” This helpful statement came from a man picking tomatoes in a small
plot next to the road.
“Where's Gary?”
“In his house.” With that, the man turned and resumed picking tomatoes.
“So where is his...” Nelson began before Frank took him by the arm and spoke softly to him.
“I've seen this before in small towns. They think you know everybody and everything about them. Like
where Gary's house is. Let's just walk around a little and see what we can find out.”
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