Chapter Six – TRUTH’S BLOOD

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I hope your all enjoying your holiday weekend.  For those following along, here is Chapter Six and if you enjoy the story, it’s only $2.51 for the ebook on Amazon or 2.99 at Barnes and Noble.  If you have comments I’d love to hear them.  Some have said the book starts a little slow, but hang in there, you wont be disappointed.


“The people will be crushed under the burden of taxes, loan after loan will be floated; after having drained the present, the State will devour the future.”

 Frédéric Bastiat, French economist, 1850

“The more stable the currency was, the more stable society would be – And the more successful as well.”

 Friedrich Hayek

Thomas and Mary Jefferson were feeling the pangs of loss common to most parents leaving their son or daughter alone at college for the first time.  They’d driven to the University of Texas to help Davis with the move and settle into his dorm.  It was all great fun for Davis, but you can’t have a personal adventure with your parents tagging along and he was ready to see them off.  Now, as they were saying good-bye, his excitement was only slightly dimmed by his mother’s tears.

“Don’t forget to call and let us know how things are going,” Mary said as she hugged her son.

“I will Mom.”

Then it was Thomas’s turn, “Let us know if you need anything.”

“Ok, Dad. Maybe an air conditioner?  It’s gonna take me a while to adjust to this heat.”

They all agreed it was hot and the glare of a white sun bearing down the black pavement kept their good-byes short.

“Drive safe.” Davis said.

“We’ll call when we get home,” Mary replied.

Thomas rolled up the windows and turned on the Mercedes air conditioning, then looked to Mary. “Time to head home.” The tears were silently running down her cheeks and he took her hand in his own.

“He’ll be all right sweetie.”

Her response was a mixed sob and chuckle.  “I know, silly me, but I can’t help it.”

“Let’s catch up with some of that country we planned on seeing on our trip home.”

Thomas maneuvered the car out of the parking lot and away from campus, but within a few short blocks an angry mob had surrounded the car.  Thomas locked the doors and looked for a way out.

“Damn!  These idiots are going to scratch the car.  What’s wrong with them?”

Thomas slowed the car to a standstill to avoid running someone over and the raucous crowd closed in.  The sneering, angry faces forced Mary away from the window to huddle in the center of the car.  The crowd had begun rocking the Mercedes and yelling absurd things about the rich, but it was the overall din and fury of the mob that scared her the most.

Waves surged through the crowd like ocean surf, forcing people against and nearly onto the car.  Some carried signs about needing jobs, homes and money.  One protester pushed his face into the window and yelled at Thomas, “You need to share, pig!” Ahead of them on a grassy hill, a banner stretched out above the crowd read, “Society owes us.”

In the crush of threatening people there appeared to be no way out and now two men were atop the hood of the car, jumping up and down.   Thomas had had enough and gunned the engine.  The car burst forward into the mass of people before screeching to a halt.  One of the men on top of the car toppled backwards.  The other fell forward on top of two other people the car had knocked down.  All four scrambled to get up and out of the way.

Thomas put the car in neutral and revved the engine.   The crowd backed off for a moment creating the gap he was looking for.   Gunning the engine, he squealed the tires and the car shot into the opening in front of him.  Slowing slightly to avoid those struggling to get out of the way, he spotted his chance to escape and quickly made his way free of the crowd.

Anger and fear shuddered through Thomas’ limbs and after making sure he was well away from the crowd, he pulled the car to the side of the road.  His heart beat wildly and he reached across to embrace Mary’s trembling shoulders.  Thomas peered out the back window to see if anyone had followed.  Assured no one had followed he stepped outside to look over the car.

Upon resuming their trip home, Thomas was confronted with a reality he found hard to ignore.  Have I been so insulated in my world of academia that I missed what is happening right outside my door?  He couldn’t bring himself to believe it was true, but the mental wrestling match would continue all the way home.

Back in Oregon, Jean and Cliffson were gathering the fruits of their labors.  Raspberries were stored in the freezer and Jean had already canned numerous pints of green beans.  Pears and peaches were dried and stockpiled on the shelves.  Now it was time to can tomatoes for later use in sauces.

It was one of those sweet autumn days Cliffson relished.  The air no longer retained the prickly bite of summer heat and it reminded him of the endless days spent as a youth, plowing fields on a Palouse wheat farm.

Welfare approached when he set a large kettle of water on the propane burner to heat for water bath canning and Cliffson scratched his ears.  They seemed to have a direct tie to his tail which uniquely swung in a circle.

“Time to get to work Welfare.”  Welfare knew what that meant and went and laid down in the shade.

After lighting the burner Cliffson went inside to assist Jean with the canning.  There he blanched bright red tomatoes for Jean to skin before filling the canning jars.  It was a project they shared together every fall and in the good company of a friendship that was more than three decades old they both found it perfectly enjoyable.

“Your tomatoes really did well this year hon,” Cliffson said as he dropped a new batch in for blanching.

“They did do well.  We might get as many as thirty quarts.”  Jean smiled and stuffed another jar full of the red fruit.  “My grandmother would be proud.”

“Always did like your tomatoes,” Cliffson winked.

“You stick to business so we can get this done,” Jean warned.

Cliffson chuckled to himself and moved the blanched tomatoes to a sink of cold water. “Your grandmother would be shocked at what a lost art caning’s become.”

“True, but you can’t expect people to know how to can when few even know how to sow a seed and grow a plant.”  Jean turned to Cliffson.  “I have enough for our first batch.  Is that water boiling yet?”

“I’m sure it is.  Get your timer and we’ll get started.”

Both were thankful for the bounty that came from the garden.  The neighbors might poke fun at the fools working in the dirt, but those same neighbors were paying through the nose at the grocery store for produce the Lang’s grew nearly for free.  While Cliffson and his wife did their best to save, the neighbors were going deeper in debt to buy boats, expensive new cars, campers, hot tubs and luxurious trips.  After all, you were nobody if you didn’t keep up with the Joneses, or the Murrys or Allens or the Zombies next door.

Returning inside after placing the jars in the kettle to cook, Cliffson suggested they turn on the television to check the weather report and they both sat down to watch.

“Temperatures should remain mild with no threat of frost.  Tomorrow’s high should be…”

“We interrupt your regularly schedule programming for this news bulletin.  China has invaded Europe on four separate fronts.  Struggling under stone-age conditions after termination of its energy supplies, Europe is given little chance of surviving China’s attack.  Italy has already fallen and massive numbers of Chinese troops are gathering near the border for attacks on France and Germany.”

The remainder of the Jefferson’s trip home was uneventful.  They visited Hoover Dam and enjoyed a few nights in Las Vegas, before taking in the Napa Valley vineyards.

Although the riot was still fresh in Thomas’s memory, he’d come to think of it as an isolated event.  The government was promising to roll out new programs to reduce unemployment, though they hadn’t said specifically how they were going to create more jobs.  The president also made a special appearance on television to announce that anyone unemployed for more than two years was eligible to receive a $10,000 grant from the government.  “It will stimulate the economy,” he’d said.

Shortly after arriving home Thomas put the incident behind him.  He wasn’t sure what to make of the Chinese takeover of Europe, but it was not his concern.  The school year would begin soon and he felt himself slipping into a familiar and comfortable routine.  Considering the poor economic conditions the nation faced, he was even more determined to demonstrate to his students the wisdom of Keynesian economics.


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