Well, Mike knew she would set those dogs on him so he took off for the fastest way out of there. As he got to the edge of the property, he was burning up with anger and shame; so of course, he decided to blame it all on Gracie. 'I'll get back at her one day, if it's the last thing I do', he vowed. Then he could hear the dogs barking and so he took off even faster.
"Who was that man, Miss Gracie?" asked Sammie
"That was a no-good, low-down, not even a man! If you ever see him, do NOT go anywhere near him. Find an adult and tell them that Mike Tanner is in Town, OK?" replied Gracie.
"Ok. I knew he had to be bad because the kids didn't like him and they like everyone that is good and kind." said Sammie.
"That's right and you can always trust the kids! Now how about we go fetch that milk and finish up the chores and see about some supper?"
Later that night as Sammie was tucked in bed; Gracie knew she wasn't going to get much sleep. The kids would warn her if Mike decided to be stupid and come back, so she wasn't too worried about that. It was just that she was so angry. So she decided to put that anger to some good use.
First off, she sliced up three good roasts that had thawed, for jerky. She knew that Momma Sue would send one of the boys over with the truck, so she was going to take all the meat over there the next day. But, she wanted some jerky.
After she got the meat sliced and put in her special marinade made out of teriyaki sauce, garlic, mustard, onion powder, a dash of salt and pepper, a bit of ginger, red pepper and just a tad of "medicine". (Moonshine kept only for medicinal purposes); she went out and got the fire going in the rock pit.
She had made the dryer/smoker by herself a couple of years ago. The rock pit was about two feet square and about one foot deep. All lined with proven rocks that would not bust from the heat. When the fire died down to coals, there was a square metal smoker that fit over it. The smoker/dryer had a few air holes in it and had wooden handles that made lifting it up and down very easy. It wasn't too heavy and Gracie had no problem with lifting it. Inside were grooves that wire racks slid into. Gracie had regular racks and her special jerky racks that had every other wire cut out so she could drape the meat more easily over them and it also let the air circulate better. Once the coals got going, you only had to check them about every six hours. Perfect timing for rotating the jerky.
Next she decided to check her herb supply while the fire died down.
Many of Gracie's herbs were dried, so she took a quick inventory. Many would go to town for the clinic. Like a good supply of cayenne for shock and bleeding, peppermint for teas, enemas, and fever, some garlic that helps fight infections, slippery elm for diarrhea, Echinacea for infection (when combined with Goldenseal, Yarrow and Cayenne it makes a powerhouse infection fighting formula). Many more herbs went into the bags.
She noticed her blue and black cohash was low, so made a mental note to ask Momma Sue if she had any extra. The clinic's pharmacy wouldn't last forever and she knew there were a few women in town that would be needing them.
She also wanted to go over some herbal combinations with Momma Sue to use for birth control. She didn't think many would want a crop of kids come nine months or so from now. The town needed to get settled and secure before too many kids came along.
As she was going through the rest of the herbs, she came across the Coata Flowers that her sister had sent her just before the "Event". She kept some for herself and put the rest in the "pile" for the clinic. Coata tea was good for the kidneys. She looked at the two burlap bags for Momma Sue and the clinic. They both were full. She knew that tomorrow Momma Sue and she would be mixing a lot of them up into different formulas for different aliments.
She had already planted her herb gardens; but, now she didn't know if she had planted enough. They would have to try to plant some more. They would need them.