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Epinetus looked at George to determine if he was still listening to his story.

 

He was; so Epinetus continued.

 

“The next six miles were a steady uphill climb. The tangled brush, stumps and boulders added to the constant falling. The exertion of the uphill trek was taking its toll. The exhausted state of the pilgrims was soon replaced by joy as the hills and tree tops melted away into a blue sky! They were at the summit of the hills that had drained them of their energy. Of course there were other hills in the distance but they appeared to be lower than where the family stood. Grandfather announced that it would be all downhill from there to Greene.

 

A Summit

 

By now George was intent on hearing what Epinetus had to say.

 

“The Birdsall family held a short meeting and decided to quit early and enjoy a small celebration. A cooking fire was lit and the children gathered wood for a larger fire to warm themselves by. Pickled pork was pulled from a barrel and Grandmother Abashaby mixed flour and spring water for biscuits. Prayers were said both before and after the meal. The warming fire was lit and Grandfather Henry told stories about his grandfather. The stories centered around Great-Great-Grandfather’s trip from Europe to Long Island, and, the final settlement in Connecticut. My father told me that it was dark and cold by time the last story was finished. Everyone was wrapped in a blanket and they collectively contemplated the stars.”

 

George pulled a pocket map from his coat and unfolded it in his lap. Epinetus was curious as to what he was looking at. Finally he asked, “Looking for something Mr. Parks?”

 

Old Map

 

“Yes, I am attempting to determine where you stayed that night.”

 

Epinetus replied “As far as I could ever figure it was somewhere near Coventry or Coventryville. We looked for their camping spot years later but could never quite determine where it was. Nothing looked familiar to my father or Uncle Henry. Trees had been cut down and other trees had grown – – – nothing looked the same.”

 

Epinetus hung his head down.

 

”It was only nine miles downhill to their next destination but they had no idea of how horrible those nine miles would be.”

 

Epinetus shuddered. At first George Park thought that Epinetus was cold. But as the story progressed he was sure that it was the painfulness of the story that made him shudder. George’s thoughts returned to the thoughts of cold night and the family wrapped in blankets.

 

 Epinetus retold the story as he had heard it.

 

© wtomosky

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