I know those of you who commented are waiting for the second part, so I'll just post it.
The Emancipation ofSuddenly a new and to him dreadful thought struck him, and he slapped his head with a cry that made the little man beside him turn in a hurry and stare.
Chester Reginald Donavan; Esquire
Chester Reginald Donavan; Esquire
“This is just great. Just great! Now what am I supposed to do. Everything was on that i-phone. How am I supposed to get internet access without it? I can’t get on facebook, or on twitter. I can’t even work on the case I’ve got now. Ugh!” Growing frantic Chester grasped his blonde hair with both hands and growled. He stomped his foot in vexation. “This is not a vacation, this is . . . is . . . plain torture! I’ve got to have that phone!”
The other man tried to encourage him. “Well, it is only for a few days. Why don’t you just relax and try to enjoy this break?”
“Look, E-bay, you obviously have no clue what that i-phone was. I mean it had everything on it!”
“Your gear wasn’t on there.” The logical statement only seemed to make Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., more disgusted than before, for he answered sarcastically,
“Okay, so my gear wasn’t on there. Big deal. I suppose I should be glad I have water in my canteen.”
His companion nodded. “That’s an important part of camping out.”
Chester fought to get his temper under control before he said, “E-bay, or whatever your name is, I know you probably think I’m nuts, but really, I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I’ll be bored stiff if I have to go for three days without the internet!” He shrugged as he tried to express himself in words that maybe his companion could understand. “It’s my life. Everything is online. Even all my files and research for this case I have coming up.” He sighed.
“Well, no use crying over spilled milk,” the little E-bay man remarked sagely. “Shall we continue on and try to find a good spot to settle down for the night?”
“Might as well.” There was no spirit in Chester’s words; indeed he hardly seemed to notice as they set off down the other side of the mountain. His mind was still raging over his stupidity, his idiocy, his dumbness. He called himself all kinds of names, many of which it wouldn’t do to repeat. Finally he began to lecture and chide himself, saying this ought to teach him a good lesson to never leave his i-phone anywhere but in his pocket or pouch again. So busy was he with his thoughts that, had his companion not grabbed his arm, he would have continued walking, right off the edge of a cliff!
“Wake up, Chester! Bring your mind back to earth or you’ll wind up trying to fly.”
Chester started and stared in horror at the yawning chasm before him. “Hey thanks, E-bay! Yah, I guess you’re right. I should pay attention.” He gave a shudder and turned away. “So what do we do?”
“Well, first thing is to find a place to pitch our tents.”
“Right. Uh, where would that be?” Chester was expecting, when he signed up for this trip, to find their campsite like those he had seen as a boy. Of course he had always stayed in a camper and never in a tent, but still, he had seen the places for tents.
The little E-bay man spoke again. “First we need to find a good source of water. I think we should head up this direction as I’ve been hearing a stream for several minutes.”
Chester merely nodded. He didn’t voice his thoughts. Why did they need to find a stream? Didn’t all campsites have water? At least a pump if not faucets.
It was a good fifteen minutes at least by Chester Donavon's watch before his companion halted and, looking about him with a satisfied air, declared, “I think this is a perfect spot.”
Gazing around, Chester looked in vain for the water pump. At last he asked, “How are we going to get water, there is no pump?”
“Pump? Of course there is no pump. This is the wilderness up here, Chester. It isn’t some local camping site for city folks. This is the real thing. We get water from the stream. Of course we’ll have to boil or filter it before we use it, but who cares, right?”
The young lawyer’s mouth dropped open, but for perhaps the first time in his life, he was speechless. In silence he followed his companion’s directions about getting a fire ring set up so that they could start a fire. Then digging in his gear to pull out his tent, he noticed for the two dozenth time that his feet were killing him.
“How about I go get some water while you set up your tent?” E-bay called over to him after his own tent was set up.
“Sure.” Chester was shaking his head. Now how in the world was he supposed to get all these pieces together to make his tent work? After messing with it all for several minutes, he finally pulled out the directions. “Hmmm,” he muttered. “Okay, doesn’t seem too hard. Here goes.” So saying, he set the paper down and began to push and pull, tug and tighten the poles, loops, knots and so forth that comprised his tent. So intent was he that he didn’t notice the mischievous wind begin to play with the instructions. First it blew it a little to the side, then it tossed it up to let if fall back down and finally with a sudden gust it carried it completely away never to be found again.
When Chester discovered his loss he began to fume and fuss, for without that paper he could never hope to get the tent set up. “E-bay!” he shouted.
“Do you need some help,” a perfectly calm voice replied behind him.
“I guess so,” growled Chester. “My directions blew away and I can’t get this ridiculous thing set up.”
“The wind does like to blow things up here. Have to be careful to put something heavy on the light things or stake them down or we’ll wind up losing ‘em.” The little E-bay man worked as he talked and soon had the small one-man tent set up. “All that needs done now is to stake it down. I usually stake it first, but with this size it doesn’t matter.”
“No problem. Think you can stake it while I go start the supper?”
At Chester’s nod, he walked away leaving his young companion to hammer in the stakes. After hitting his thumb three times to every two he hit the stake, Chester managed to get the first stake in. Then he glanced with dismay at all the stakes still left. “There is no way I need that many stakes,” he mumbled to himself. “Besides, I don’t have that many thumbs left. If I just put one on the opposite corner I should be fine. I mean it can’t blow away because I’ll be in it.”
In a minute he was done and leaving his pack in the tent he limped over to the fire with his mess kit.
“All set up?”
“Well the food’s ready. Dig in.”
Chester needed no second invitation for he was ravenous after hiking all day. He did notice the momentary pause and bowing of the head of his companion, however, and thought, “Great, not only is he some E-bay freak but also a religious nut no doubt.” Then he shrugged and continued eating.
Finally both men were satisfied, and their cooking and eating dishes having been cleaned, they were packed away in their packs again. The sun was setting in the west and one by one the stars were beginning to show themselves to the two solitary beings on the mountain. A cold wind blew down upon them as they sat before the fire. Chester shivered in his windbreaker and sighed.
“If it weren’t for my feet hurting so much I’d go dig out my coat.”
“Here,” The little E-bay man tossed a jacket to him. “I always carry an extra one just in case it is needed. What’s wrong with your feet?”
Chester put on the jacket, though it was rather a snug fit, and immediately felt the difference as the wind could no longer get through to him. “Blisters.”
“Take your boots off. It won’t hurt you to walk the short way to your tent without them. Besides you should be careful about blisters. They are mighty uncomfortable if they get infected.”
Chester followed this advice and then sat toasting his stocking feet before the flickering flames of the camp fire.
“E-bay,” he finally asked, “What do you do?”
The little man laughed. “You know I rather like that name you’ve given me. It kind of fits. I’m a teacher in a local high school back home, and as a hobby I buy and sell on E-bay. In fact that is where I got most of my gear. It saves money if you know how to use it right. And what about you? Did I hear you say something about having a case?”
“Yah, I’m a lawyer. Just passed the bar six months ago. I’ve won every case I’ve tried. Of course they were easy. I don’t know why they even bothered going to court about them, but it gave me some easy dough.” Chester yawned. He hadn’t noticed it before but he was really tired. More tired than he remembered being for a very long time. In fact, he was so tired he didn’t even remember his missing i-phone.
The little E-bay man also yawned and stretching asked, “What say we turn in for the night?”
How long he had slept Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., had no idea. Undoubtedly it had been for some hours, but he was so exhausted he never stirred until he was startled awake by something falling on top of him. For a moment he tried to realize where he was, then it hit him. He was camping in the mountains. Then what had fallen? He could hear the wind roaring and could feel a small cold draft coming from a crack in the top of his sleeping bag. He didn’t want to stir from his cozy, warm nest, but he had to know what had happened. In a dazed, still half-asleep manner he wriggled and squirmed and tried to sit up. That is when he discovered to his great amazement that he couldn’t do it. Instantly he was wide awake. Reaching out a hand he could feel the cold nylon sides of the tent on either side and Great Scott! It was over his sleeping bag too! His tent had fallen down! Where was his flashlight? He knew it had to be somewhere for he had had it when he went to bed. In his frantic searching he soon became all twisted up in his sleeping bag, and he still couldn’t find the flashlight. The roaring of the wind sounded to him like a vicious beast about to attack. Where was that light? He felt himself growing panicked. “Stay calm,” he whispered, but the very fright in his voice only added to his terror and when his foot, which was somewhere down in the tightly tangled, twisted mess, bumped against something hard, Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., the great budding lawyer let out a yell so loud that it awakened echoes up and down the mountain side. “E-bay!”
Join us next week for Part 3 to find out what happens.