Monday, May 17, 2021

Nothing at all

 Well...It's kinda gloomy down here today (and no change in the forecast for the rest of the week).  High probability of some rain every day. Which is good...

A couple of weeks ago

Yesterday morning

Yeah, it doesn't hold water very well.  So, a little rain to fill it back up would be nice.  So the rain the first part of May?  Not only did it fill up the stock tank, it made the grass, that we'd just paid a guy $75 to come and clean the wires on the riding mower battery so we could mow it, grow back with a vengeance.

I'm a little bored one afternoon, and Mrs J is involved with something, so I decide I'm going to go and get the riding part of the mowing done.  (This is usually Mrs J's part, mine is a love affair with a push mower and a weed eater cleaning up the areas where the rider can't go.  There's a lot.)  I sit down, check it's in neutral and brake is engaged, turned the key and....

Nothing!

Been there, done that, got the $75 certificate that says I'm checked out on cleaning starter wires.  Pop the seat up and realize Noah's flood had rusted the bolts holding the wires to the battery.  Replaced them with brand new ones that I happened to have on hand (No unnecessary trip to Lowes needed, which is HIGHLY unusual for me.) Sat back down, cranked and Voila' starts up.  

After almost break my arm patting myself on the back, I put it in gear and start to go.  Except the motor is kinda chugging.  I think "Well with the flood, some water might have gotten in somewhere, I'll let it run for a bit longer".  Shortly thereafter the mower gives a final cough and dies.  I try the normal restart boldface. (It's a fighter pilot thing.)
1. Put on Brake. 
2. Disengage Blade. 
3 Ensure Full Throttle selected 
4 Engage Starter.

Nada, not even a click.

So I give my new lawnmower mechanic friend a call (Beans, should he be on Speed Dial? Asking for a friend.) and describe the problem.  He says he thinks it's a stuck choke, and starts to tell me how to fix it.  I stop him immediately after he says, "Remove carburetor".  

A man's got to know his limitations, in my experience the next step in the process, should I attempt to fix it myself, would be "Buy new Mower."

"When can you come get it?"

"Saturday?"  (Day after next.)

"Sounds good, see you then"

Mrs J and I push it into the garage.

He's good to his word.  So, we've got the hood up and he sees the problem with the choke and fixes that, checks a few other things to include the oil.  

"Uh-oh!"

"What's wrong?"

"You've got gas in your oil, I'm going to have to take it to the shop to fix."

"How long do you think it might take?"

"Probably have it fixed and be able to bring it back by next Saturday."

I look at the lawn and the push mower, and my back starts aching.

"OK."

Two days later, I get a call.  It's him saying it's ready and asking whether I'd be there if he drops it by that afternoon. Mrs J and I had coordinated a rendezvous with our winemaker friends at the local farmers market that afternoon.  I looked at the jungle  lawn outside and say "Come on over."  Mrs J will just have to go drink wine with our friends by herself. (She's a trooper with sacrifices like that.)

He arrives, backs the mower off the trailer.  I get on and start it up, engage the blade, make a couple of passes.  All is well.

Ask him how much I owe him, expecting $250 or so with the delivery both ways.  He says "$144.12"

The Lawn gods were smiling that day.  Mrs J comes back, sees the mower in the garage, comes in and changes clothes.  I ask her where she's going.

"To mow the lawn."

"Done, now here's what you need to know to push mow around the trees and weed whack the yard"

I expect the bruises will fade very soon!


For some reason, this song is stuck in my head.  Enjoy






Peace out ya'll.


P.S. I did the push mowing and weed whacking the following morning.  It gets hot here in Texas in the PM. Mrs J used the riding mower to mow at our old house.




Sunday, May 16, 2021

Le Portage

(Source)

As night fell, the brothers once again dragged their canoe up on the riverbank. Jacques immediately began to collect small branches.

"What are you doing brother? You're not thinking of building a fire are you?" Alain asked.

"Of course, it's cool here by the water at night, a fire would be nice to have would it not?" Jacques often despaired of his brother ever relaxing for even a moment.

"We camp cold, no fire, we leave everything in the canoe, we'll have to portage around those in the morning." Alain said, nodding towards the roar from up the river, far closer now.

"But..."

"But nothing, there are Indians about. I can almost feel their presence."


Tall Elk motioned to his band, they followed him back into the forest above the river. "We make camp here, les français look to be done for the day. They will probably portage tomorrow."

Spotted Owl let out a breath in frustration, "Why don't we just talk to them? Why must we follow them?"

"Do you speak the tongue of les français? What would you tell them, 'Hello, this is our land, why are you here?' I tell you, the sachem said follow them, see they come to no harm. There is war brewing between les français and les anglais, we shall have to take sides. Perhaps it will be a chance to hurt the Mohican, they have grown bolder this summer." Tall Elk seldom spoke at length, but when he did, people listened. Spotted Owl, being young and impatient, did so as well, but he grumbled anyway.

Little Wolf put a hand on Spotted Owl's shoulder, "There will be blood soon enough cousin, be patient."


Big Teeth watched from the woods across the river. Two men pulling a canoe out of the water, they looked like the people of the north, those their English friends called the Huron. The river was far too wide here to cross, but Big Teeth knew a place just north of the Great Falls which was shallow enough for his war band to cross into Abenaki territory. He regretted not having his canoes nearby, they were at the main camp a day's walk away.

He Laughs watched his cousin's back, the man was like a caged animal when he scented prey. The two men across the river were certainly prey. A Huron raiding party had killed his father when he was still a small boy. The man had been big and happy, which was all that He Laughs could remember of him. Now with thirteen winters under his belt, he was ready to seek his revenge.

One Leg came limping through the brush behind the scouts, he had been answering a call of nature. Born with one leg slightly shorter than the other, he had a strange gait, but he could move like a startled deer through the forest. As he liked to say, "I may walk funny, but I run as well as anyone." And he did.

"So Big Teeth, do we make for the crossing before first light? There is a good path to get there, the animals use that ford as well I think." One Leg asked.

"Yes, at first light. I want to speak with these Huron." As Big Teeth said that, he lifted his tomahawk and shook it. None of the men wanted to 'talk' with Big Teeth when he was in this kind of mood.


The pale quarter moon lent just enough light so that the brothers could pick their way along the rough trail Jacques had found. While he had wanted to wait until morning, Alain was still spooked, so they moved off when the moon came up.

"The natives don't like going out in the dead of night, they fear the spirit world. Remember when Papa told us that?" Alain had mentioned this as they lifted their canoe and its contents onto their shoulders for the trek around the roaring falls.

"I don't like going out at night either, my brother. Remember the old shaman who told us of the Wendigo?" Jacques sounded fearful.

"It's a story to scare children with Jacques, it isn't a real being. Remember what Father Yves said? A good Christian should not believe such things..." As those words left his mouth, the howl of a wolf came from the mountain above them.

"But we should hurry along, this place is not Christian at all!"


Tall Elk came to a stop, something was wrong.

He had roused his small band at moonrise, they feared the night, especially so near the gorge surrounding the Great Falls, evil things liked to dwell in such places. But he had his task set by the sachem, he needed to see les français safely through his people's lands, and Spotted Owl had been scouting the riverside to the north and had spotted people across the river.

"It's a Mohican war band, well, part of one. Men in paint skulking through the trees. I think they have spotted les français." Spotted Owl had made his report, still panting from his run back from the riverside.

"Then we must move, the Mohicans may know of the ford. We need to block them from crossing the river. Then les français can travel safely up the river for at least two days without fear of the Mohican. That will also take them out of our territory and they become someone else's problem."


"Can't we rest a bit Alain? I am exhausted." Jacques looked down at his feet, he truly was tired.

"Help me get the canoe in the water, once we get going you can rest, I will paddle." Alain had seen something on the bank not far away, on the same bank they were on, an Indian!

The two boys got the canoe into the river. Once they had gotten into the deeper part of the stream with both paddling, Alain had made Jacques work hard until there was a good distance from the man he had seen back in the trees. When he told his brother of that, Jacques had no trouble paddling.

"I don't want to meet Indians this far south, we don't know the tribes down here, do we?"

"You and I don't, perhaps not even Papa knows, but better to be safe, than sorry!"


Big Teeth's impatience was wearing at the other men's nerves.

"Take your time, there is no reason to think the Huron moved at night." One Leg had chided him.

"We did! Perhaps they did as well. Hurry, I want to get across the shallows before the Huron awaken and take to the river!"

As Big Teeth splashed into the river, he quickened the pace, his men followed, not happy but anxious to engage these Huron. Their sachem would be pleased at having captives from the people of the north.


"Are you sure of him Little Wolf?" Tall Elk watched with approval as his brother drew back on his war bow. He had selected his arrow with care, they didn't want to kill all of the Mohican, one or two would drive the others back across the river, giving les français time to move further up river.

"Of course I am sure of him brother, how often do I miss?" Little Wolf responded.

"Almost never." Spotted Owl whispered.

"Send his spirit to the next world." Tall Elk grunted.


Big Teeth looked up in shock, he saw the flight of the arrow too late. He hissed as the arrow penetrated his chest, he knew he would be in the spirit world soon, his breath was leaving him even as he fell.

He Laughs looked up to see Big Teeth fall into the water, the man struggled weakly as the blood-tinged river current began to tug him down towards the falls. As He Laughs began to step back and lead the others back across the river, another arrow came from the trees.

Lone Pine's scream was choked off as the Abenaki arrow pierced his throat. He turned and staggered back towards the western bank of the great river, but all too soon he weakened and fell to one knee. The others tried to help him along, but it was no use. Soon Lone Pine's spirit fled.


The sun burned through the river fog, it promised to be a hot day. But Alain only noted the beauty of his surroundings for a mere moment. They were deep in unknown territory and no time could be lost admiring the rays of the sun sparkling on the river.

After another half hour Alain woke his brother, shaking his shoulder, "Jacques, I need to sleep, can you paddle for a while?"

Jacques sat up and looked around, "How beautiful this place is brother, I could live the rest of my days here." Yawning he looked at his brother, Alain looked ready to keel over.

"Rest a while Alain, I'll keep us moving north."

As he paddled, Jacques began to sing a song that he vaguely remembered his mother singing to him when they still lived in France. All he remembered of her was the way she smelled of bread and that song. Of her face he remembered not a thing.




Link to all of the Chant's fiction.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Dog Ate My Homework


Well alrighty then...

I had a post in mind, another episode in the new book, but it seems my eyes are dilated. (Okay, my eye surgeon did that during my annual post-op check. Wasn't a bolt from the Heavens...)

I really thought they'd recover quicker, but they did not.

Tough to see, tough to type.

It also seems that Chrome is misbehaving badly on my machine.

Using Edge for the moment.

Sigh...

As Buck used to say, "It's always something..."

Back tomorrow, once my eyes return to normal.


Friday, May 14, 2021

The Cannitticutt¹

(Source)

Just before the bow of the canoe scraped the bottom of the river, Jacques had jumped out and was now pulling the vessel ashore. His brother Alain soon followed and had also waded ashore, they had learned through harsh experience that a rough river bottom could tear the bottom out of a birch bark canoe.

Once the canoe was firmly ashore, the brothers listened to the sounds around them. On the riverbank the sounds of the forest continued unabated - the song birds, the insects, the distant chittering of a squirrel all blended together to give the men a sense of comfort. Only when the forest went silent was there danger.

To the north was a continuous dull roar signifying nearby falls. Both men knew that they would shortly have to portage around that part of the river, hopefully the falls weren't too extensive. The last one had cost them a day and a half. While they were in no hurry, there was a certain urgency to return to Montréal. While it was still summer, it was late summer, autumn was not all that far away.


The boys had come to the New World with their father when both were still young, Jacques had been four and Alain six. Their father, Étienne, had been a farm laborer in Gascony. When the land he had worked since childhood had been sold to an aristocrat from Bordeaux, all of the families who made their living there were evicted.

Étienne had taken his family to Bordeaux and had found work as a day laborer, working on projects throughout the city. Eventually he found work as a fisherman, something he soon discovered that he enjoyed. Unfortunately that occupation took him away from home for long periods of time. The cod fishing along the coast of the New World required a long journey across the Atlantic.

While returning from one such journey, Étienne had resolved to take his family to the New World, people there ate fish didn't they? One of the other men on the boat had extolled the benefits of New France to Étienne, so that was that.

Upon his return to Bordeaux his reunion with his wife Marie was short lived. She sickened and died of the bloody flux within two weeks of his returning home. So he took the two boys and convinced the captain of his fishing boat to take them to the New World, he would work their way over, Étienne would forego his share of the catch, paying the way for the boys.

Upon landing in New France at Port Royale, Étienne had found a job on the docks, he couldn't very well continue going to sea when the boys were still young.

After a year on the docks Étienne had heard that there was money to made in the backwoods of New France as a trapper. So he picked up and moved deeper into New France, eventually making his way to Montréal, his two sons in tow.

Years passed, Jacques and Alain followed their father into the wilderness and learned to trap and to hunt. Étienne made himself welcome in the camps of the native peoples of the region, by the time the boys reached their late teens, they looked more Wyandot than French, which helped them to blend in when out in the wild. Until one day when the boys traveled down The Great River. They would be entering lands where the Wyandot were looked upon as enemies.

(Source)

Suspicious eyes were focused on the two young men from a nearby stand of maples. The two were dressed as the Wyandot dressed but they did not cut their hair as those people did. Their facial features were all wrong as well.

The leader of the small hunting band looked at his three companions, while they could have easily overwhelmed the two men, they wanted to speak to their sachem first. The river valley had been at peace the entire summer, the leader, a man called Tall Elk, did not wish to disturb that peace. He gestured at two of the band, they would follow the strangers.

Turning to his brother he nodded and moved off, and his brother, Little Wolf, followed. Let the sachem decide this, Tall Elk thought, he had no desire to take to the warpath, let other men make the decision to shed blood or not.


"Alain, this river is full of fish, we should catch some for our supper." Jacques was going through their baggage, he had a fishing net for this very purpose and he was very tired of eating pemmican. Fresh fish would be a treat.

Alain was nervous, he sensed that they were being watched. His younger brother was not cautious enough for his tastes. Encroaching on a tribe's territory was fraught with danger. They were far to the south on the Great River, further than anyone had gone before. He didn't know what people inhabited this area. He had been told that a branch of the Iroquois confederation, the Mohican,² lived in this area.

The Iroquois were friendly with the English and hated the Wyandot, being caught by them would mean a long lingering death by torture.

"Jacques, be quiet, I think we are being watched. Let's get back onto the water, we can make the falls by dusk I think. There is something here which frightens me."

Jacques realized that his brother was very nervous, he also knew that his brother knew how to avoid trouble. Without another word, the two brothers slid their canoe back into the river.


The sachem was an old man of sixty-three winters, he had led his tribe for a long time and was respected for both his wisdom and his wit. Though his hair was as white as the snows of winter, a fire still burned inside of him.

"Two men, dressed like Wyandot, but not Wyandot?"

Tall Elk nodded and added that the men didn't look like anyone he had ever seen, narrow noses and facial hair.

"These men may be the friends of the Wyandot, les français. The men along the great water to the north. Go back, do not molest them. If they dress like the Wyandot they may be enemies of our enemies. It does not make them friends, but they are not our enemies. Watch them until they leave our lands."

Tall Elk stood, "We shall go back in the morning, it will be night soon and I would rather sleep with my wife tonight instead of some raccoon in the woods."

The sachem chuckled, "Then go in the morning."



¹ The word "Connecticut" is a corruption of the Mohegan word quinetucket, which means "beside the long, tidal river". The word came into English during the early 1600s to name the river, which was also called simply "The Great River". It was also known as the Fresh River, and the Dutch called it the Verse River.

Early spellings of the name by European explorers included "Cannitticutt" in French or in English. (Source)

² Not to be confused with the Mohegan, a different tribe. Also spelled "Mahican."

Link to all of the Chant's fiction.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Tired

(Left Right)

Seriously, I am.

Went up to New Hampshire for Mothers Day, which was awesome as I haven't seen my Mom or my two brothers since Christmas of 2019. That part was awesome.

The get up early on Saturday, drive 150 miles, then do the same on Sunday, left me rather wrung out. It's also been a very busy week at work. Testing stuff, getting ready to go West to test more stuff in the July/August time frame.

Sleep has been hard to find. And the bloody taxes are in the offing. Ah well, I'll sleep when I'm dead. Maybe...

As to that pending trip, sure hope you're going to be in town Tuna as I'll be in your AO for a week or three. You as well Big Sox Fan. And any other denizens of that fine town. You who dwell there know whereof I speak.

It's been a while since I've been here, and I need to, a pilgrimage of a certain kind dontcha know.

Anyhoo, might also get the chance to see two of the progeny and some of the grand-progeny. OTOH, I'll be at sea for a few days as well.

There ya go, a puzzle to be figured out...


In the bad news department...

 I have a favorite English muffin, it's made by these folks. The very best English muffin I have ever had (it's a personal preference mind you) and I've been unable to score any for a few weeks. So today, while at my local grocery store, whilst on a muffin quest, I encountered the manager of said emporium who inquired as to my needing assistance.

"Why yes my good fellow, where, pray tell, are the Vermont Bread English muffins?"

"Oh dear," sayeth he, "I'm afraid they've gone out of business, rather suddenly."

Stunned beyond measure, I staggered from the store. Bereft of my favorite muffin, apparently forever.

"Adieu sweet muffin, I shall remember thee, for as long as the jam lasts, and the toaster shall toast, you shall not be forgotten."

Sigh...



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Prelude

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
William Halsall 

It is difficult to say what the New World looked like before the arrival of large numbers of Europeans. It was not the pristine Eden beloved of so many writers, no place populated by the human species has ever been so, except perhaps the original Garden. We know how that turned out.

Our species is clever, adaptable, curious, and often loving and caring. We are also extraordinarily violent when the mood strikes us. This will be a story of two alien cultures, clashing in the forests and farm fields of that corner of the United States now known as New England. Of course, as warfare and other forms of human endeavor are not easily contained, the story will spill into New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada.

The goal is to tell a story involving characters drawn from four main groups of people. First, of course, were the people who lived in the northeast of what we now know as the United States and the southeastern part of Canada (Quebec) when the Europeans arrived in the area of which two main groups stand out: the Wyandot (Huron) and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). Then there were the Europeans: those from England and from France. While the Dutch were in possession of the New Netherlands (what we know as parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), though I don't foresee any of the main characters being from that colony, it could happen. 

No, I haven't forgotten the Abenaki, the Micmac, the Pennacook, the Pequot, the Mohegan, the Nauset, the Narragansett, the Nipmuc, the Woronoco, and the Wampanoag - or any of the other tribes from the region I now inhabit. How could I, many of the place names here came from the language of those peoples. While I don't envisage any of the main characters being from those peoples, you never know what The Muse will decide.

The following wars were fought in this area from 1609 until 1783:
  • Beaver Wars 1609-1701
  • Pequot War 1636-38
  • Kieft's War 1643–45
  • Peach Tree War 1655
  • Esopus Wars 1659–63
  • King Philip's War 1675–78
  • Dummer's War 1722–25
  • French and Indian War 1754–63
  • American Revolutionary War 1775–83
It was a bloody time. I hope to portray the peoples of that time accurately and objectively. I have ancestors in three of the four camps, Haudenosaunee, French, and the "English" (which I use as a generic term for the colonists from Great Britain).

Research is ongoing (I even have a pretty good source for Indian names) and I'm still cogitating on plot lines. One of the characters will have descendants who return to the Old World and fight under Napoléon. Which would, of course, lead into a book on the Napoleonic wars. Am I being too ambitious? Maybe, only time will tell. I'm still thinking of a prequel and a sequel to the just finished book (for which I still need a title, feel free to suggest one in the comments). I have lots of ideas, I only need the time to make them happen.

Be prepared to travel back with me to the days when the frontier was not far from Boston and the people on that frontier had harsh lives.

Here's a taste:

Europeans had been visiting what is now New England for at least a century prior to the
landing of the Pilgrims in 1620, drawn there by the plentiful amounts of fish along the coast. The English and French fishermen were shorter than the natives, dressed in strange garb and were generally unbearably dirty, many having never had a bath in their entire lives, as opposed to the natives, who were scrupulously clean. The natives found the newcomers often surprisingly incompetent at what seemed to them like basic tasks, but they also made useful and beautiful goods such as copper kettles, glittering colored glass and steel knives and hatchets. Moreover, they were willing to exchange these goods for furs that the natives looked upon as cheap and useful only for blankets.

On March 22, 1621, a Native American delegation walked through what is now southern
New England to meet with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. The party was led by Massasoit, the sachem of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of southeastern Massachusetts. Accompanying him was Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north, and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had brought along as an interpreter.

Massasoit was an able politician, but he faced a thorny dilemma. About five years
before, most of his subjects had died as a result of contacting European diseases. Whole villages had been depopulated. Adding to this disaster was the fact that the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west, had been spared because of a lack of contact with the Europeans. As a result, Massasoit believed that it was just a matter of time before their enemies would realize their weakness and overrun them. The only solution he saw was to court the Europeans and form an alliance with them. This alliance between the Wampanoag and the English colonists marked a crucial moment in American history. (PDF)

That bit about many of Massasoit's subjects having succumbed to disease? According to one source I've read, the coast for 200 miles and 40 miles inland had been scourged by diseases brought by European fishermen.

A once vibrant set of communities brought low by disease.

Damn.

What a setting for a story!



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

In the New World

Fort Carillon¹
(Source)

THREE HUNDRED YEARS ago, before the authors of the Declaration of Independence were even born, the American frontier was not out west but much closer to the Atlantic coast, in places like western Massachusetts and what is now Maine and New Hampshire.

At the time, this was a harsh, unsettled land full of Indians, who, along with their French Canadian allies, aggressively contested– often preemptively–any hint of westward expansion by English colonists.

For their protection, many colonial villages formed militias. But settlements along New England's frontier required more than your average able-bodied men. They needed especially strong, fierce men who could muster quickly and take the fight to the enemy.

This need for elite forces spawned the creation of small units that became known as "snowshoe men." They patrolled the frontier, protecting settlements from attacks. They operated in all types of weather and conditions. This included winter campaigns, which were conducted on snowshoes, and the name stuck.

The snowshoe men were the nation's first commandos. They were rangers decades before Rogers' Rangers gained fame during the French and Indian War.

They were minutemen long before the colonial Minutemen reaped renown early into the Revolutionary War. (Source)


I am a New Englander, born and bred. I grew up on tales of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. Many of the events from those wars took place within a day's travel of where I grew up.

King Philip's War, which preceded both of those wars, mostly took place within an hour's travel of where I live now. I drive to work on a road named for the leader of the Wampanoag who fought against the colonists. (Metacom Avenue, Metacom was King Philip's Wampanoag name.)

A comment from Comrade Misfit the other day sent me down an interesting path, that excerpt above about the Snowshoe Men. That article also taught me that one of the oldest units in the United States Army traces their lineage to those very men - 

The 181st Infantry Regiment was organized 13 December 1636 in the Massachusetts Militia from existing train bands (i.e. local militia companies) as the North Regiment. Redesignated 7 September 1643 as the Middlesex Regiment. Expanded 13 October 1680 to form the 1st (or Lower) Middlesex Regiment and the 2nd (or Upper) Middlesex Regiment (consisting of companies from Concord, Bedford, Sudbury, Marlborough, Chelmsford, Billerica, Groton, Acton, Lancaster, and Dunstable) (1st Middlesex Regiment – hereafter separate lineage (182nd Infantry Regiment). (Source)

Long story short, the next book will cover the period stretching roughly from the Pequot War to the American Revolution. I started this tale, some time ago, here's an excerpt:

The Beginning...

Just audible over the burbling of the small brook there was a cry. Not the sort of noise made by a four legged animal. It was a human sound. A cry of terror.

And of pain.

Weeish looked at me for a moment, eyebrow cocked.

A quick nod from me and we headed towards the sound.

Cautiously.

A musket shot, another scream, we were close.

Staying under cover we drew near, in time to see the last of the whites fall to the ground, his musket still in his hand, the long arrow protruding from his chest signifying that his hair would be decorating a lodge pole before nightfall.

Weeish and I stayed under cover, there was nothing we could do for the small party of men who even now were being plundered of whatever useful items their conquerors might make use of.

The Onandowagas moved off, exultant as they headed back for their village. They now had muskets and powder. Fine knives of steel and heavy wool clothing to cover themselves in winter. It was a good kill. (You can read the whole thing here.)

I covered some of that war (with a wee bit of fiction as well) in this post. It's a fascinating period of history, but I want to go back further, when the Indian nations were more powerful and the contest for North America was a bit more even.

While researching this topic I learned other things which I hadn't known before. I'll try to convey this in my latest endeavor. Not sure when I'm going to start but I'm thinking soon. It seems that I've been bitten by the writing bug and I can't stop now.

Hopefully this is a good thing...



¹ Carillon is the original French name of the fort. The British renamed it Ticonderoga. I've been there a few times, need to go back. One very bloody battle was fought there in the French and Indian War.