Chapter 37 Continues
The story so far: Anton heads for Duluth to pick up supplies for the miners.
When Anton came back the next day, his cart was loaded with crates of food. He stopped his horse next to the tavern door. Samo, Dusca and Old Joe came out to help him unload.
“Where do you want these?” Samo asked.
“Load ’em up behind the bar, I say. Lily and Katka can get it all organized once it’s there.”
Katka and Lily were already behind the bar. In fact, they’d been there for about an hour, removing bottles and wiping down shelves. When the crates came in, they began to unload the wares. Sugar. Salt. Rice. Canned Beans. Flour. Coffee. Yeast. They carefully organized the shelves, then re-placed the bottles of spirits in front of the food items. “Tomorrow we’ll go into town, first thing in the morning,” Lily said. “We’ll go see Mrs. Sherek. She can find out who has the greatest need and take orders.”
“What if the company discovers we are selling food on credit? Won’t they shut down the Slovenski Dom?”
“They probably would if they found out, but they won’t. I got it all worked out. I found us a delivery man who won’t reveal our identity.”
“Andy. The soda pop distributor. He travels all around the Range anyway. No one will think anything of it.”
“You are grand, Teta Lily. Truly, you are.”
• • •
Later that night, Anton asked Lily and Katka to join him outside. “Ten minutes, I think,” he said. “Thereabouts. We’ll have a beer and enjoy the night that is so lovely.”
“But Gregor’s asleep.”
“Bring him in that old country contraption.”
Lily gently put the sleeping infant in a cloth sling that swung from her neck. Then the two women put on their bonnets to protect their ears from mosquitoes, grabbed ales from the tavern and walked toward the wooden table in the back yard. The night was dark and moonless. They stumbled a little in the dark, until their eyes adjusted and they could see. Anton was already there and when he heard them, he lit a small candle.
Katka could see that Anton was not alone. Paul was there too. He stood up, grabbed Katka’s hand and kissed it.
“Hello, Kat.” They embraced.
“You don’t greet me like that,” Anton said to Lily. “How come not?”
“Mostly it’s your smell. Too many beans.”
Tomorrow: Chapter 37 continues.