a brief excerpt whilst I edit

They followed a game trail through a mixed forest of beech, elm, oak, maple and pine; each with a different shade of green forming a canopy above the forest floor.  They climbed to the heights northwest of the fort and the village just beyond.   ‘Well I’ll be,’ remarked Oliver, ‘the Shawnee have flown the coop.  Their camp was just down in that meadow yonder.  You know what that means don’t you?  The French are all alone.’  Daniel looked at Liam and thought he saw a sigh of relief in Liam’s eyes, but it was fleeting and soon the hatred had returned.  ‘General Amherst was due to start his way here first part of May and now it’s June and he still hasn’t gotten on the road, ‘said Daniel.  ‘Let’s head down to the village and talk to Angus; see what he knows about the doings with the French; maybe learn something that’ll speed old Amherst up a mite, ‘replied Oliver, ‘though I think my savage friend here should stay behind.  Mohawk warriors built like the maple tree he’s named for would be a bit noticeable and, oh, Liam, leave your bow as well, not too many white men toting Mohawk weaponry.’

Angus McGee was a slightly built man but with a muscled frame from years of forging metal into instruments of farming and of war.  He was seated on a bench outside his workshop mopping his brow of the sweat of the day and the furnace when he saw Mary and Oliver with two strangers heading his way.  When they arrived he stood up and gave Mary a big bear hug, ‘when you gonna leave that vagabond hunter husband of yours? ‘He said with a mischievous grin, ‘Oliver, always good to see you.  Who are the serious looking young’uns?’  As Oliver took Angus’ arms off of Mary and shook his hand, Mary said, ‘Husband, another man lifting me like a sack of flour.  You know a woman could get used to this.  I rather like it myself.’ ‘To answer your question you would be a stealer of other men’s wives,’ replied Oliver, ‘these are the Mallory brothers, Daniel and Liam.  Working for General Amherst, come to have a look around.  One thing we noticed was the number of bateaux crowding the harbor.  Another was the lack of a guard on the village gate.’  ‘The Mallory brothers; well, now is that a fact?  You boys have picked up quite a reputation.  The French are most eager to meet you,’ he said with a menacing look but then burst out laughing, ‘come into the cabin.  We’ll quench our thirsts and plan a siege.’

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