“There, there,” Georgie said as she put her arm around Tia.
Jenny watched from the stern of the boat as her crewmate made her move for their Canadian companion, a comforting arm around her shoulders while Georgie’s free hand patted Tia’s knee, each pat getting slower until she was on the verge of resting on it, ready to caress it slowly soon…
“Yeah, I’ve seen that before,” Jenny said aloud as she changed position on her bench to cause enough motion going through the boat to try and wiggle Tia away from her captor.
“Hey, my drink,” Charlie piped up.
“So who was Laura?” Jenny asked. “How well did you know her?”
“Visited the historic site, did a paper on her in grade four.”
“Wait, she’s a real person?”
“Yeah, a major Canadian heroine,” said Tia.
“What’d she do?”
“She was famous for warning the British about the Americans. It was the War of 1812, during 1813-”
Tomo gave a giggle.
“Yeah, she gets like that sometimes,” said Jenny. “Keep going.”
“Yeah, 1813,” said Tia, “and the Americans had crossed the Niagara, and were getting ready to invade further in. There were a batch of American officers who ended up staying at Laura’s farm, because officers liked doing better in the field than the troops they led, like always, and while they were stuffing down her food and drink she overheard them discussing the plan for the invasion.”
“Wait, she invited them into her house?” Dutch asked.
“More like they invited themselves in. Back then, soldiers could move in with families in conquered countries, and they’d allow them to stay, out of fear probably.”
“Like that ever happens anymore,” said Tomo.
“Yeah,” Jenny said. “Shaun told me this story Big Bobby used to tell, about his days in Mexico, when his tank platoon on deep patrol would roll into a village for the night, and they’d use the PA to threaten the people in the best house they could find to leave or else they’d blow them up. Can’t see Big Bobby being polite like that, ain-”
“Wait, what?” asked Tia. “Shaun used to crew with Big Bobby?”
“For four months, before he discovered what a psycho Bobby was. Left him behind, came to Buffalo to set up here, so there’s a bit of bad blood between them.”
“So, Laura,” Georgie prompted Tia.
“Yeah, Laura. She hears the Americans plan their troop movements, and Laura sneaks out of the house and walks the thirty-two klicks to St. Davids from Queenstown. She warns the British commander, James FitzGibbon, who gets word to his native allies to ready the attack, and they surprise the Americans and drive them back.”
“So she’s like a historic figure, then,” said Dutch.
“Yeah, a pretty famous one. They used to have a chocolate company named for her, before the cocoa plants started dying off from the heat and they couldn’t afford to sell chocolate anymore and went out of business.”
There was a long pause before Charlie noted, “Yeah, that makes sense.”
“What does?” Jenny asked.
“Giving her those names. I mean, ‘Canadienne’ and ‘Secord,’ they’re like huge, big tags to rub in our noses with. Bet they called this mad scientist with the robots ‘Uncle’ or ‘Sam,’ right?”
“Well no, it was-”
“Probably something equally bad,” he cut her off. “Like, ‘Washington Jefferson,’ or ‘Ronald Bush’ or some other Americans you don’t like up there.”
“I thought I said not too much to drink, there,” Jenny noted. “Maybe you should cap it and stow it, Charlie.”
“I’m thinking we need to cap and stow, too,” said Georgie. “It’s getting mighty uncomfortable out here for nothing.”
“Seconded?” asked Tomo.
Jenny took a quick but hard look at her crew and gave a light growl. “Dammit all, fine,” she said as she connected the battery to the motor. “If the only thing biting tonight is each of us on the other, then fine.”
“I don’t bite that bad,” she heard Georgie offer Tia.
“Cap and stow,” she said aloud as she got underway, the gloom of the failure of the night hanging hard over her on the way back to shore…
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan