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Bank Roll Excerpt

Yeah, sure, you betcha! Yup, this one is better than "Fargo" (the movie)


"I don’t care what you use the money for," Papa yelled. "You know how I feel about liquor. It is the curse of the white man, and now you want to give it to the Indians. As if they don’t have enough problems of their own!"

"But don’t you see?" Olaf Larson argued. "We can use the money to feed the families who are practically starving here on the prairie, what with the drought this summer and all."

"When I set up The Prairie Pioneer," Papa—as everyone called Joseph Levine—said, "I made it perfectly clear from the very beginning that the newspaper would not tolerate any hanky-panky about booze. It is man’s worst enemy. Now you, of all people, Olaf Larson, try to convince me not to drop your account because of some small piddling matter like your having a still on your farm! Ha!"

Mary Jane had busied herself in the kitchen, preparing dinner for her grandfather. She could hear Papa and Olaf discussing something, but when the voices grew louder she ran to see what was happening. Papa was a kind, gentle man and it took a lot to get him that excited.

"Papa," Mary Jane exclaimed, "remember your heart!"

"My heart! Enough with my heart," Papa retorted. "Always it is my heart. I have never had a pain in my heart in my life. My heart, indeed!"

Mary Jane knew he was right. She had taken care of her grandfather ever since they had arrived in this forsaken land of the Dakota Territory two years ago, in 1871. His heart was as strong as that of Nellie, their trustworthy horse, and she knew it. But she needed some sort of argument, and a weak heart was as good as any.

"Mary Jane," Papa warned, "this is between Olaf and me. It does not concern you. Go on about your work."

Mary Jane knew she could not win an argument with Papa. She would not interfere, yet she would stay on as an observer to make certain no one took advantage of her beloved Papa.

"I know the seed you fetch from Minneapolis is good and that it helps the farmers. I also know your price is fair," Papa told Olaf. "But if you get some of your money from that still of yours, I will not be a part of any further advertising you wish to do. You will have to go hunt up your own business. Good day, Mr. Larson."

Papa walked to the door, holding it open for Olaf. Seeing that he was not about to leave, Papa went about his work, sputtering to himself about the sins of the white man being sown among the red brothers. Olaf pursued the argument, making his sale of the proceeds from his still seem almost righteous.

Mary Jane watched the scene from the sidelines, unaware than an intruder had appeared on the scene. Sensing that the argument was not about to be settled, the stranger stepped into the arena of battle.

"If you don’t mind, sir," the man said, "I think I could offer a solution to this problem which would be agreeable to both of you."

He did not wait for anyone to acknowledge him or give him a go-ahead, but proceeded forthwith.

"I presume, sir," he said, looking directly at Papa, "that you are the owner of this fine newspaper."

Papa did not speak, but he nodded his head in agreement.

"And you, sir," he said, facing Olaf Larson, "must be a customer who has done a fair amount of advertising in the paper. Is that correct?"

Olaf nodded as well. Mary Jane could not believe her eyes. Who was this stranger? And what right did he have to interfere in the business which she and Papa had worked so hard to protect from such men as Olaf Larson?

"There seems to be a difference of opinion with regards to a still which one of you owns. How valuable is the advertising you get in the newspaper?"

"It is invaluable," Olaf replied. "I could not make a decent living for my family if I could not get any ads placed."

"Then," the stranger continued, "it would seem quite logical if you would agree to rid your land of the still and there would be no more problems."

"Is that okay with you?" the stranger asked Papa.

"It would be just fine," Papa said, "except that I do not trust him now that I know he has been hiding the firewater all this time. I could not be certain that he would destroy it."

"If I went along, sir, would that satisfy you that it was truly done?" the stranger asked.

Mary Jane had taken just about all the interference she could handle from this strange young man. In the first place, she reasoned, he did not look like he belonged in this part of the country at all. He was extremely well dressed, complete with his immaculate black suit, stiffly starched white shirt and necktie—even down to the shiny gold watch chain hanging from his pocket. Papa would certainly not trust such a man as this to prove that such an important task had been accomplished.

"And just who do you think you are?" Mary Jane demanded of the stranger.

"Begging your pardon, ma’am," he replied, so courteously it made Mary Jane almost nauseated. "I do believe we have not had a proper introduction. Jonathan Bohner, at your service." He bowed deeply as he spoke.

"So?" Mary Jane responded. "That is supposed to mean something to us?"

"I am here in response to the ad your father took out in the Minneapolis Tribune. It seems he had need of help with the newspaper, and I have wanted to come further west for several years. It seemed like the perfect answer to both of our problems."

Mary Jane laughed heartily. "You want to live in this place?"

"Does that strike you as funny?" he asked Mary Jane. "Did it ever occur to you that I did not expect to find a beautiful young woman like you out here on the prairie either?"

"Enough with the barbed-wire tongues," Papa admonished. "There is work to be done, and if you are willing to do it, Mr. Bohner, so be it. Bring back your report to me as soon as possible."

Olaf Larson and Jonathan left, without saying another word to either Mary Jane or Papa.

When it was time to eat, Mary Jane went into the print shop to fetch Papa. He came and sat at the table, trying to make conversation with her, but she sat pouting, not answering him at all.

"If you can’t be pleasant, you might just as well excuse yourself and go to your room," Papa said, scolding Mary Jane as if she were a little girl, not a grown woman of twenty-three years. She hated it when he treated her like that. Papa had raised her ever since her mother and father had both died on that dreadful trip from Wisconsin to the Dakota Territory, but she still did not like to be treated as a child.

"I’m sorry, Papa," Mary Jane said. "It is just, I didn’t know anything about you putting that ad in the Trib. And you don’t know anything about that man. He doesn’t look at all like the kind of man you could trust in this country. He looks like a city slicker!" Papa could detect the derision the word held for her by the tone of her voice.

"I didn’t realize that I had to ask your permission before I did anything," Papa snapped.

Mary Jane sat, her head bowed, staring at her plate and pushing the food from one side to the other. After a long silence, she spoke softly. "I am sorry, Papa. Of course you do not need my approval. You always know the right thing to do. It is just…"

Papa did not interrupt, but waited for her to continue.

"I thought you and I were doing so well, now that you were over that terrible cholera. I was so afraid that I would lose you, just like I lost Mama and Daddy."

Papa felt the pain she sensed. He had felt it too. He reached for her hand, taking it gently in his own.

"Don’t you see, Mary Jane? That is why I put the ad in the Minneapolis Tribune. I knew we needed help. Running this paper is too much for a woman. It is too much for me until I get my strength back. I placed the ad and left the answer up to the Lord. Judging by what we witnessed this morning, I would say that He has done a fine job of supplying our need."

Mary Jane did not want to admit to such easy defeat, but she knew in her heart that Papa was right.

There was little conversation during the meal, but once they were finished they busied themselves about the job of printing the edition which was due the following morning.

Since Papa’s illness, Mary Jane had assumed much more of the physical part of the printing job than she had done before. She never complained, but her shoulders and back often ached from the weight of the heavy platen as she pulled it up and down, up and down. She lifted her arms to bring the large metal plate down to print another copy of the sheet she was running on the press. It took both hands to move the heavy disc, and she felt it stick as she tugged extra hard. Just as she felt it free on her, her skirt—large and billowing as always—caught in between the two surfaces.

"Mary Jane!" Papa hollered. "Let me help you. Your skirt!"

Before she realized what had happened, Papa was pulling on her skirt to try to rescue it from a permanent impression of the Prairie Pioneer. They both fell backwards onto the floor, the platen making a loud clang as it swung back to its original position. Papa began to laugh. Mary Jane was angry for a moment, then she joined Papa in the laughter.

They were so engrossed in the situation at hand they did not hear the door open. Jonathan Bohner stood gazing at the pair, wondering if perhaps he had made a mistake. He had certainly never expected to find himself in the midst of a pair like these two!

"Oofta!" Papa said, standing up and brushing himself off. As a final touch, he swirled the ends of his handlebar mustache between his fingers. Feeling quite presentable again, he went to help Mary Jane to her feet. She knew she must look a mess. Her hair was disheveled from working over the press all day. Her white blouse, stiffly starched and crisp in the morning, showed signs of various headlines from the paper. She tried to smooth her full, long black skirt, as if that would right all the wrongs of her appearance.

"Do you remember what you said when I was so sick?" Papa asked. "You said that you and I would make a real team. What a team we are! I think God answered just in time, sending us this fine young man to help us. From the looks of both of us, we can use all the help we can get."

Mary Jane knew that this was not the best time to argue with him, but she was very uneasy about the stranger who had waltzed his way into their business with no forewarning. They had gotten along by themselves for this long; she was not willing to share the work of the paper with anyone else. It was Papa’s paper—and hers. She certainly did not want to share it with someone who looked so—her mind groped for an apt description—perfect.

"Might I be of some assistance?"

Mary Jane did not turn to look towards the door. She knew that the stranger, Jonathan Bohner, was there again. Why did he have to show up at the most inopportune times?

"We are doing quite well without you," Mary Jane snapped. She did not mean for it to sound the way it had, but what was said was said.

"I can tell," Jonathan replied, a smirk on his face.

Papa came to the rescue, trying to clear the air. "We do have a paper to get out before the morning. It would be a good time to find out if Mr. Bohner here knows his printing business or not."

Papa turned to Mary Jane. "Why don’t you fix us a fine supper? I am sure Mr. Bohner must be hungry." Adding it as a slight afterthought he said, "Did Olaf get rid of his still?"

"Totally," Jonathan replied. "It is dead and buried. I helped him bury the whole operation under a ton of dirt myself."

Mary Jane looked at Jonathan in wonder. How had he managed to do any physical labor and still look immaculate? It made her more conscious than ever of her own appearance.

"Speaking of food," Jonathan said, "I did not realize how good that sounded. I am hungry enough to eat a horse!"

Mary Jane saw her opportunity to get back at him, and she grabbed it gladly.

"How did you know what I was going to serve?" she asked, a gleam sparkling in her eyes.

Jonathan stopped dead in his tracks.

"You aren’t serious, are you?" he asked.

Papa laughed. "Eat Nellie? We may be a lot of things, but cannibals we are not! Nellie is one of us. Without her we would never get to the scene of the crime, or the story, whatever it is."

"Whew!" Jonathan said, beads of perspiration popping out on his forehead. "For a minute there you had me going. I have heard some strange stories about life on the prairie. I just thought…"

"Never fear," Papa said, patting Jonathan reassuringly on the back, "we don’t eat anything we talk to."

Mary Jane was glad to make an exit. She hoped that Jonathan Bohner would forget this whole affair, finding her and Papa on the floor in a heap.

Jonathan looked at Papa. "We have some work to do, I do believe." He did not wait for any further invitation, but went straight to the press. He took a large stack of the paper that was resting atop the workbench along the wall. He screwed it securely in place on the platen. He pulled the lever, making it look as easy as picking up a chair from the floor.

Papa watched the young man in amazement. Jonathan was not a large man. In fact, he looked rather fragile. But appearances can be deceiving; Papa had always known that.

Jonathan lifted the platen from the rollers, extracted one sheet of the paper and began to lower it for the second copy.

"How many of these do you want printed?" he asked.

"One hundred and fifteen," Papa answered. That was a job which usually took Mary Jane about three hours, putting one sheet at a time on the large metal plate.

Papa sat and watched, his eyes filled with wonder, at this man. "If he is half as much of a man on his ideals," Papa thought, "as he is on that machine…God has indeed been good to us!"

In the kitchen, Mary Jane set about preparing the wood cook stove so she could cook the meal. She had gathered wood early in the morning, knowing it would be a busy day at the paper. Now she was glad she at least had that much of the situation under control. She took the poker and carefully stirred the ashes to see if there was any life in the fire from dinner. Finding it dead, she took a piece of dry bark and lit it with the long, wooden match, dropping it quickly into the stove. The fire caught immediately on the small pieces of wood she had set in place. Seeing that it was burning, she carefully set a larger log on top, knowing that it would burn for the period of time she needed heat for her cooking.

It was late October, and even though the days had been warm, towards evening it got quite cool. The fire felt good and Mary Jane loved the smell of the wood burning.

Mary Jane chuckled to herself. She could hardly wait until Jonathan went to one of the farms in the country and smelled their fires. She would not warn him of things to come, such as the cattle ranchers who burned the manure to keep warm during the winter. Jonathan wanted to learn about prairie life, so learn he would.

Looking out the window, Mary Jane realized that it was getting late already. The sun was almost hidden behind the horizon. The days were getting shorter, and winter would be on them all too soon.

Mary Jane shuddered as she thought about winter. Last year had been her first without her parents. She was glad she still had Papa to face another winter with her. She would never get used to the horrible prairie wind. It howled as it came through the cracks in the house. In Wisconsin and Minnesota there had been many trees to shelter the buildings from the wind. In the Dakota Territory there was nothing around anything except wide open spaces. The only protection they had from the weather was the fire of the barrel stove Papa had built and the fire in the cook stove. Mary wondered if Jonathan Bohner would be of a mind to help her fetch wood from the banks of the Red River, or if that would be beneath his dignity.

Mary Jane looked up, hearing someone behind her. She expected to see Papa, but as she fixed her eyes on the person before her she began to laugh, then quickly covered her mouth to hide the grin she could not contain.

"What happened to you?" she asked, looking at a completely black-faced Jonathan Bohner.

"That dumb ink!" he sputtered. "Nobody told me it was nearly liquid. In Minneapolis we use paste ink. Where ever did you get such a hair-brained idea as to use liquid ink?"

"Didn’t Papa tell you?" Mary Jane asked. Not waiting long enough for an answer, she continued. "That is the winter ink. You just got ahold of the wrong can by mistake."

"Winter ink?" Jonathan almost shouted. "Whoever heard of winter ink? Ink is ink! Never in all of my born days have I ever heard of such a thing!"

Papa walked in, his eyes filled with tears from the laughter. Mary Jane enjoyed the way he lost his calm, collected image. She longed to say "Turn about’s fair play," but she bit her tongue and thought better of it.

"Wish you hadn’t come, lad?" Papa asked.

Jonathan was too busy washing his face and hands off in the basin to answer. Once he looked up, Papa and Mary Jane again burst into laughter.

"At my expense?" he asked. "What is it now?"

"You look just like a black man who white-washed his face," Papa answered. "Here, look for yourself."

Jonathan held up the broken piece of mirror that was all that was left of the mirror they had brought when they first arrived.

"The saints preserve us!" he exclaimed. His face was, indeed, white. But beyond the area he had cleaned was a complete circle of the black ink. Seeing how funny he looked, even Jonathan could not keep from laughing.

"Now," Mary Jane said, "would you two mind getting back to work so I can get on with the work of preparing the meal?"

Almost as if in obedience, both men turned on their heels and left the kitchen.

Jonathan pondered Mary Jane, standing over the stove, peeling the potatoes and cabbage as she dropped them into the pot of water that was boiling on the stove. She looked so at home there, yet she had seemed as if she belonged in the print shop, even when she sat in a heap on the floor. He wondered if there was any place she did not seem to belong.

"Well," Jonathan remarked, "I guess we are pretty well evened up now, wouldn’t you say, sir?"

"First off," Papa commented, "you may call me Mr. Levine, or if you prefer, most everyone in these parts calls me Papa. Papa is just fine. But ‘sir’ is a little too much. Sounds like some fancy high-falutin’ place. And as you have just seen, we aren’t exactly that."

The two men laughed. Papa put his arm on Jonathan’s shoulders. "I think I am going to like you, lad. I really do. And I think God has been very good to us. Welcome to Fargo, Dakota Territory. We are glad you are here."

Jonathan thought about his trip with Olaf Larson early in the day. Olaf had said that Papa had the strongest principles of anyone he had ever met. He told him that Mary Jane was his granddaughter, not his daughter, as Jonathan had assumed. He did not know much about his new surroundings, but he was learning a great deal about his employers in a very short time. Papa and Mary Jane were obviously totally devoted to each other. Their sense of humor was one of the rarest he had ever come across. He felt so at home, even after only part of one day, it was hard to realize that he had been there such a short time.

Papa handed Jonathan another can of ink. He very carefully opened it, fearing that it might spray him like a skunk attacking his prey.

"Oh, good," he said, "it is the summer ink."

Papa, between snorts, tried to explain. "In the winter it is so cold here in Fargo that the ink freezes up and it takes nearly a week to get it soft enough to run onto the rollers. So while it was still soft enough in the summer, I mixed it with some oil. But in the summer it gets so hot the stuff will melt right out of the press and the paper will turn into one big blob. So I took some tar and mixed it with the summer ink. So you see, the cans that are marked with an ‘S’ are summer ink, and the cans that are marked with a ‘W’ are for winter ink."

"You can’t be serious," Jonathan replied.

"Never been more so in my life. You haven’t seen anything until you have seen a Dakota winter!"

Jonathan wondered if Papa was trying to scare him off.

Jonathan snickered to himself. Never, he thought, had he ever seen a man like this one. The more he thought about Joseph Levine and his granddaughter, Mary Jane, the more fascinating they seemed. What would have driven them to this forgotten place called Fargo? Why was she with her grandfather? Why were her parents nowhere to be found? There were many unanswered questions, but, he reasoned, he was in no position to pry just yet. He felt certain he would learn the answers—in time.

Jonathan went about his work on the old creaking press. Papa marveled at how fast he could make the thing move.

"Young blood," Papa said, barely audible.

"What did you say?" Jonathan asked, not stopping to listen any more carefully than was necessary.

"Nothing," Papa replied. "Just keep on with the press. At the speed you are going, you will be all finished by the time we go to eat. Then we can relax for an evening. What a luxury!"

Jonathan screwed another pile of paper onto the platen of the press.

"By my calculations that should be the last one. Would you care to check?"

Papa went to the pile of printed papers and began to count.

"Yeah," he said, "that one should do it."

Papa began to assemble the sheets and folded them in half, ready to be sold for a penny a piece in the morning. He worked swiftly, feeling a new surge of energy from simply observing this young man. His strength seemed to be contagious.

Jonathan approached Papa and sat down beside him.

"Mind if I give you a hand?" Jonathan asked Papa. "Looks like you have it pretty well under control by yourself, though."

"Don’t mind if you do," Papa said. "The best way to tell a true boss is to see how little work he can get by without doing."

Jonathan could not imagine Joseph Levine as being lazy. There were probably many things he was, but lazy was certainly not one of them. He had noticed the strength in Papa’s eyes as he sat watching him pull the lever on the press, raising the platen up and down quickly. He was certain that Papa had done this for many years, but now he seemed too frail to exert that much pressure. Still, Jonathan was sure he could do it if it came down to his doing it himself or forsaking his beloved paper.

There were only ten papers left to assemble when Mary Jane came into the shop. "Anyone care for something to eat?" she asked.

Jonathan did not waste a second in jumping to his feet and racing towards the door.

"You two children go ahead," Papa said. "I will be along as soon as I finish the last few papers."

Jonathan turned back to face Papa. "I am sorry, sir. I did not think. I will help you."

"No," Papa argued. "I will finish them myself. You have already earned your keep today—and then some. Scat!"

Mary Jane felt uneasy as she and Jonathan entered the kitchen, alone together. She was glad Beulah Hegdahl did not know Jonathan was here. There would be some scandalous talk if she found out.

The food was already on the table and Jonathan went to sit at one of the three places that were set. He waited until Mary Jane took her place, then chose one of the other two seats.

"No!" Mary Jane shouted. "That is Papa’s place. He always sits at the head of the table."

Jonathan wondered how there could be a "head" to a round table, but he did not ask any questions. He silently moved to the other place and sat there.

"I prefer to wait for Papa," Mary Jane said, "but you may begin right away, if you like."

"Thanks, but no thanks," Jonathan said. "I will be glad to wait for your grandfather."

Mary Jane noticed the difference. She had made a mental note earlier when he had referred to Papa as her father. Olaf, no doubt, she thought.

It was only a matter of a few minutes until Papa joined them.

"What? Nobody is hungry?" he asked. Then he smiled broadly. "I know," he said teasingly, "Jonathan is afraid to try the meat. I can assure you, my boy, that it is not horse meat."

"It is dried buffalo meat," Mary Jane explained. "It is really quite tasty."

Jonathan had never eaten buffalo meat any more than he had eaten horse meat, but it did not hold the same vulgarity in his mind. He was willing to chance it.

Papa bowed his head, giving thanks to God for the safety of the day and for His provisions for them. "But especially," he added, "thank you, Lord, for our new friend."

Mary Jane and Jonathan echoed a resounding "Amen." Perhaps, Mary Jane thought, this will not be so bad after all. It was good to see Papa enjoying the company of this stranger in their midst. If it made Papa happy, she could put up with it.

Jonathan reached for the tall glass of milk in front of him. He sipped it slowly, nearly choking on it. He was not prepared for the warmth of it going down his throat.

"Sorry," Papa said. "In a few weeks we will probably have ice from the river. But what we cut and packed in sawdust last year did not last long enough. Hope you can put up with some few inconveniences around here. Trust you knew, before you left the big city, that this would not be your waiting ground for heaven. You might even have to make a few sacrifices. Are you prepared for that?"

Jonathan liked the straightforwardness of Joseph Levine. He did not appreciate someone who tried to paint a brighter picture than was the portrait of reality.

"I am quite prepared," Jonathan answered, "to do whatever is necessary. Your advertisement was very sketchy; I can see why. If anyone knew what this place was like, he would never come."

"Does that include you?" Mary Jane asked.

"No," he replied. "I am a glutton for punishment." Jonathan wondered if he should add something about his reasons for coming to the Dakota Territory, but he decided against it. There would be plenty of time for that later. He had always felt uneasy about sharing his dreams with others; they would think he was crazy. Somehow, he knew that Mary Jane and Papa would understand. At least Papa would.

During the meal, Papa asked Jonathan about his trip. He had come on the stagecoach, not at all like the trip they had made two years earlier. Papa told of the trip they had made, with his son and daughter-in-law both dying en route. Jonathan could feel Papa’s pain as he recounted the story. He told of the cattle they had brought, with over half of them dying from the heat. He told how they had brought a small amount of furniture in the covered wagons and had to use some of the wood from it for heat the first winter, as the blizzards were so severe they could not get to the riverside to cut any firewood. "The Indians," he explained, "attacked the main wagon, and when they saw how sick Mary Jane’s mother and father were, they went and got herbs and berries to try to nurse them back to health."

Jonathan watched Mary Jane as Papa talked. He wondered if she liked it here in the Dakota Territory, or if she was just here because Papa was here. Whatever the reason, she seemed quite adept at anything she tried to do. She certainly was a good sport, trying to run the press, even when it knocked her to the floor.

Papa continued, telling of setting up the printing press in the small tarpaper shack he had constructed as soon as they arrived in Fargo, and how they had later finished building the log house they now occupied. Tears filled his eyes as he related losing his beloved wife and the guilt he faced over this tragedy. He told of his fight to get a doctor to move to Fargo to eliminate further deaths, and how Doc O’Brien had kept him alive, nursing him back to health with the help of his wife, Margaret.

Jonathan jumped, having had no warning from Papa before he banged his fist on the table.

"Enough!" Papa shouted. "There have been some hard times, that is true. But God has been good to us. We have been able to fight some of the evils on the Red River Valley. We have had more success than in other towns. And now we have you. God has indeed blessed us. Don’t you agree, Mary Jane?"

Mary Jane nodded, sensing how much these two men were alike.

After talking for awhile, Papa said to Jonathan, "You are welcome to stay in the print shop, if you like. If you don’t like," he said, grinning, "you may stay wherever you want. But there are no fancy hotels here. The choice is yours."

"If you don’t mind," Jonathan said, "I believe I prefer the shop to the outdoors, with the buffalo and Indians out there to keep me company."

"Mary Jane," Papa asked, "where is the extra mattress? We will need it for Jonathan."

"It is on my bed. I will fetch it."

"No!" Jonathan protested. "I cannot take your mattress. I will sleep on the floor or a quilt."

Mary Jane smiled warmly. "I have another mattress. That one is there because I did not know where else to put it. You are welcome to use it."

Admitting that it had been a very long day and that he was tired, Jonathan said he would like to retire for the night.

Papa wished them both goodnight and went to his small room. He, too, was tired. Mary Jane checked all the lanterns to be sure they were extinguished. Ever since the awful fire at the Sloakum farm, she had been more careful about it. Satisfied that everything was safe and secure for the night, she too went to her room, climbing up the ladder to the loft, which was her domain.

"Goodnight, Lord," Papa prayed. "Thank you for your provision for us here at the printshop. What a blessing he will be." And Papa slept, peacefully.

"Dear Lord," Mary Jane prayed, "thank you for answering Papa’s prayers. Help me to be decent to him—and not jealous of his friendship with Papa."

In the print shop Jonathan prayed silently as he slipped into the warm covers Mary Jane had given him. "Help me to be all I need to be for these people. And help me find the fulfillment to my dreams here…" And Jonathan was asleep, unaware of the eyes which peered at him through the cracks between the logs.


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