A second snippet to tempt you to a full story:
Ben had not slept well, dozing and waking during the night as he often did these
days. Unfortunately, he
had dozed off just before dawn and then overslept. He awoke with a
start when he heard Hop Sing shouting somewhere
below and realised that he could smell
breakfast cooking. He climbed out of bed, feeling as tired as
when he had climbed in, and
walked to the window. The snow had stopped but the drifts where deep and piled against the
the house. His bad mood was not improved by the sight of Hoss and Joe throwing
snowballs at each other
instead of clearing the snow away from the doors. He dressed
hurriedly and went down to stop the fun and
put them to work.
was eaten in silence. Hoss and Joe were wary, having been lectured on
getting chores done before play, and Adam had
no intention of opening a conversation that
might lead to a discussion of the previous evening. Finally,
Ben pushed back his chair and
'It’s getting late. You two should be on your way
to school by now,' he nodded at Hoss
Joe scowled and Hoss protested,
'But Pa, the snows real deep. I thought.....' His
trailed away as he saw the look on his father's face.
'I don't care what you thought, young
man. The weather is perfectly clear and there
is no reason why you can't ride to school.
If it snows again later, I'm sure Mr Lawson will
send you home. You get plenty of days off
in winter without wasting anymore than is
necessary.' Ben stood up and put his chair back under the
table. 'And when you get home
tonight, you can both spend some time tidying up your rooms.
Hop Sing has enough to do
without running after you two,' he added. Turning his attention to his
eldest son he spoke
sharply 'Adam, we need to get some hay up to the herd. You can get a couple of the hands
you and when you get back we need the rest of those logs split.' He moved towards
All three boys sighed and then adjusted their expressions when Ben turned around
and glared at them. 'It’s
about time the three of you took your responsibilities a little more
seriously,' he snapped.
'That reminds me, Adam, I want to talk to you before you go out,'
his tone leaving Adam in no doubt that it wasn't
about taking hay to the herd.