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Epinetus dozed off again. George assumed that he was exhausted from his imaginary journey. Like before, Epinetus awoke after a few minutes and acted as though nothing had happened. He continued;


“God answered Grandfather’ prayers. The pain in my uncle’s hand subsided more as each day passed; and, – – – – the wheel stayed secure as their journey progressed. Their good luck continued in another way. The highway robbers repeated their appearances from nowhere and just as quickly disappeared back into the brush. The number of people in Grandfathers family must have scared them off.”


Epinetus suddenly appeared very sad as he remembered something else told to him.


“Grandmother Abashaby told me that every now and then a drifter would appear. Sometimes there were several in a group. These drifters could be seen camping along the turnpike. She also told me that most of these people were those who – – – for one reason or another – – – could not complete the trip. They had nobody to turn to and nowhere to go. They lived off the land until either a benefactor took them in or they signed indentured servant contracts for a wealthy landowner.”


Indenture Contract


Epinetus continued his turnpike story as George listened intently.


“Some of these drifters had specific skills that they would use to earn a meager amount of money. There were a few fiddle players and one man who played the Irish flute. Grandfather gave some coins to one man who entertained the family by playing his concertina. The instrument was made of very shiny black material inlaid with mother of pearl. The sound came through several openings covered with very thin bright red and gold cloth. Father told me that the man stored the concertina in  a container  that was beautiful. He said it was made of finely crafted reddish wood and the box was lined with velvet.”




Epinetus smiled at his next thought but kept it to himself for a minute.



© wtomosky