Welcome to Fridays in Two Pan. A place for Pioneers who hate change.
Bricker, anxious to begin panning for gold, put little effort on “proving up” our farm. So me and the 6 kids went about building a stick home like we had in the Midwest prairie.
It allowed a breeze through and kept the coyotes away. I couldn’t cook in it, but after months in a moving wagon train. I could make anything in a Dutch oven.
So I whipped up the chili recipe given to me by a Curmudgeon who sold us supplies as we passed through Colorado. He had peppers that would make you go blind and give you the runs for a week. I used deer instead of pork (like his recipe called for) because we have deer lounging behind every tree out here. They’re sagey tasting, but I added more peppers to kill the deer flavor.
Bricker , ravenous from sluicing grit out of a stream all day, ladled up a heaping bowl of chili stew. After a few bites, he broke into a sweat, and drank out of his snake-bite jug. By mid-bowl he swore he couldn’t feel his tongue. Food was sliding out of his mouth, and he was acting like he’d been kicked in the head.
After the first issuance of intestinal gas, the kids and I cleared out of the stick house. However, Bricker stood in the doorway, emitting gases and lighting them like a torch ( much to the delight of the children. And while I thoroughly disapproved, it was touching to hear their laughter.) His eyes were spinning in their sockets, and he swore his lips had burnt away. I’m not sure if that was the chili or the snake-medicine talking.
For a finale he tried lighting both ends of his body, by spitting 100 proof and spewing gas at the same time. He succeeded in burning down our hovel.
The resulting guilt and hangover weighed on Bricker like ravens on a carcass. (Perhaps a bit of nagging on my part also helped?) He gave up prospecting long enough to build a new domicile for me and the kids. How quickly things happen in this new country. I’m hoping this “new” Bricker, who says his gut has finally unkinked and his eyes uncrossed , will be inclined to return to Smith Mountain where we abandoned my 4-burner stove before we started up the pass into this country.
I have just enough peppers for one more batch. I’d like my stove by Christmas.