Tillamook, part 11

“In war, everything is simple. But the simple things are hard.” ~ Clausewitz. This was a part of his discussion of the idea of friction in his tome, “On War.” I’ve long been aware of the idea and have run up against my share of friction now and again. And now is again another time. My Lenten commitment was to post something daily, preferably content. Except for the bunny with a pancake on its head I think I’ve been keeping up pretty well.

However, my copyedit of “A Texas Naval Affair” is back and my cover designer is about 60% complete. If I want a proof copy in my hands by Easter, then I must spend time this weekend implementing the edits and inserting maps and family trees for my next book. That means I will not be able to see to “Tillamook” as closely as I want. I do have an idea for another podcast, so perhaps I can toss that out on Sunday.

Having said all that to say this: thanks for reading and following along. All of this friction is one of the reasons I am cutting my DayJob hours. What I need now is time, not their wages.

PS A free, signed hardcopy of any one of my books to the first person in this post’s Comments who identifies the source of Gil’s “three handed logic.”

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

There was just enough twilight to recognize Mayor Peale and his two aides.  He opened the door and stepped out onto his porch.

“Evenin’, Mayor,” he began with a smile.  “We’d just finished dinner but have some left if that’s why you came…?”

“Thanks, Gil, but no,” Peale said, dismounting.  The other two did not.  “After Bob, here, sent your report off to Salem, we got a message back about a half-hour ago and I thought it best to let you know right away.”

“And that is?” Gil asked, stepping off the porch.

“There will be two airplanes at the old strip south of town about two hours after dawn, tomorrow.” The mayor was visibly shaken.  “The message didn’t say who is coming but used the term ‘very top VIPs.’  And that you will be there to answer questions.”

Gil tried to take that all in.  On the first hand, the old airstrip hadn’t seen a plane since they’d moved to the area.  On the second hand, the local government in Salem had ordered whoever was running Tillamook to keep it semi-passable, just in case.  But on the gripping hand, who had functioning airplanes?  He’d heard nothing of the sort in the generation after escaping Portland.

Why is this so important?

Excusing himself, Peale and the others rode off to the east, darkening quickly.  Gil went back inside and whistled sharply.  His family reappeared and he told them what he had been told.

“All this?” Mac asked.  “Just because of that ship?”

He let his eyes slide left, back to the mantel.  Hers followed his.

“Oh,” she said. 

“You were as much a part of her life as I was,” he said, ignoring Erin’s snicker.  She knew Nichole was once my lover.  “And yours was espionage.  I was just a stupid militiaman.”

“Oh, Dad…!” Erin sighed.

“But what’s germane here is politics, not emotions,” he said, turning to stare at this oldest girl.  “And that’s what tomorrow morning will be:  politics.  Given that, I’d think to take you with me, dear wife.  But as my dear wife, I’m asking you to stay here and keep an eye on the kids.  In case… things get out of hand.”

“What does that mean?” Mike demanded, gripping his bolt-action rifle a little tighter.

“I don’t know…” Gil trailed off before nodding.  “Joe?  Find those four old walkie-talkies in the shed.  Make sure they’re charged and work…”

“They’ll never reach that far, Dad,” Joe began.

“Which is why when I’m at the airport, you’ll be atop the old theater building in town and you, Mike, up on one of the old Creamery buildings.” He looked at his two boys before looking at his wife.  “If I am, er, detained, I’ll likely be able to get no more than a word out; hell, maybe only two clicks.  So, if you hear anything from me at all, pass it on and bug out.  Mac?  I want you and the kids packed for a hiking trip for a week.  If I go, you all disappear.  Clear?”

It was obvious his sons wanted to go with him as much as Mac did.

“Clear?” he asked again.

“Yes, father,” the five chorused.  Mac merely nodded, her eyes wet.

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