ROW80 Update: Not much writing since Sunday. I have a pretty clear idea of how to tighten Section 1 in Rivers of Stone (that current wip with volcanos and mountains and polar bears), but the result is not many new words, so I can't rely on increased word count to motivate me. I'm seeing more "want to" than "done" on my daily journal. But maybe this week and next, I just will do what I can.
Weds WIP: Today's snippet comes from my current Section 1, Rivers of Stone. September (9th month) + 1 for the first week = 10 paragraphs.
Context: Orkneyman Dougal and Cat, his wife, disguised as a boy, have joind the Hudson's Bay Company with younger brother Colin. It's late summer, 1842, they've landed at York Factory (Upper Manitoba), and Dougal meets with John Hargrave, Chief Factor, to learn his assignment.
“The Métis, sir? I don’t know much about them.”
“You’ve seen them around the Factory, half-French, half-Indian. They wind up working for us as guides, sometimes on the Fur Brigade, but they don’t always show up, unless they want their pay.” Hargrave sighed. “And sometimes not even then. The Company used to encourage intermarriage.” He stared straight at Dougal and frowned. “But not if you want to advance. The voyageurs are a rough lot. Just as ready to fight as they are to drink. You’ll see. We’re short a few men. I’m sending you out on the Fur Brigade.”
“That’s what I hoped for, sir. But my two brothers both hired on with me. Can they come west as well?”
“Are they strong men, like you?”
“They’re hard workers, sir. Colin’s next oldest. He’s near eighteen and Cat, we call him Cat, is younger.”
Dougal thought as fast as he could. “Fifteen, sir.”
Hargrave gave him a hard stare. “He’s too young to go.”
“Cat’s a good worker, sir.” Dougal leaned forward. “He can read and write. Ever since we heard about the Fur Brigade Express, sir, he wants to go.”
“Reading and writing won’t help him on the road. He’s still too young. Tell him to report for duty at the Trading House. I can use another copyist. He can bunk at the Clerks’ House.” Hargrave sniffed. “He’s too young to be in the barracks. And you, tell Jacques Fronteneau that you and your other brother, not the younger one, have been added to the roster.” Hargrave made a note in his ledger book. “I’ll need that youngest brother of yours to start today. We’re still taking pelts in as fast as we can. That’s all, McDonnell.”
|Frances Anne Hopkins, "Voyageurs at Dawn, 1871" (Wikipedia)|
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May your week go well.