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 "The Mountain Man"

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Carol
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PostSubject: "The Mountain Man"   Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:35 pm

(Story takes place during Season 4)

The Mountain Man


Chapter 1: The Last Day of School

On a sunny June day, the Ingalls girls were excited beings as that day was the last day of school. “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks!” sang Carrie as she grabbed her lunch pail from her Ma and looked inside to see what was in it. Laura laughed at Carrie, “Aren’t you excited to start your vacation”. Laura was also excited and she showed it by being ready for school about half an hour earlier than usual. She now sat at the table eating breakfast and enjoying the morning. Mary was still up in the loft and adding the finishing touches to her hair. As she climbed down she said, “Are we all ready?!”. Ma greeted Mary, “My, don’t you look nice today sweetheart”. Mary smiled back at her Ma and gave Pa a good morning kiss. “Thank you Ma. I’m so excited today” said Mary as she took a bite from a piece of bread.

When the girls reached the school that morning, they found all the kids in high spirits. During class Mrs. Sims had a hard time trying to keep them calm. During lunch the kids had an exciting baseball game in which everyone participated, including the kids who usually didn’t play sports like Nellie and Mary. Nobody kept score since it was just a fun game and everyone was too happy to feel sad over loosing. Some of the kids made plans to go swimming after school. Laura told Andy she would go. “And you must come with us Mary!” said Laura smiling at Mary. Mary didn’t feel like going swimming but when she overheard that Jake, a boy she liked, was going she said, “Well, I guess it might be fun”. By 2 in the afternoon, Mrs. Sims, seeing how excited everyone was, had decided to let the class go ½ an hour early. She now had a group discussion going with the kids, asking them what they liked most about the school year and if they could make any suggestions. Carrie had raised her hand to say she suggested longer breaks to go to the outhouse and everyone laughed. Nellie suggested more work which resulted in several pieces of paper thrown at her. Mary said she enjoyed getting to know some of the new students that moved to Walnut Grove that year. Willie suggested a classroom should not have any corners. “Willie I think this year I have seen more of your back than your face, but I can see now you have grown quite a bit”, said Laura as she started to laugh which made the other kids laugh. At that moment Mrs. Sims told the kids they would leave early and everyone applauded and said their goodbyes to Mrs. Sims, giving her hugs, treats and farewell letters. “I’ll miss you all and have a good summer kids!” said Mrs. Sims.


Chapter 2: The Lake

When the Ingalls girls got home, they put their school books and slates away and asked their Ma permission to go to the lake. Ma said they could but to be careful and to look after Carrie really well. The girls met up with other kids on the way to the lake. Andy looked a little thoughtful as he walked. “Andy, what’s the matter?” asked Laura. “Laura, my Pa came home from Sleepy Eye this afternoon and was telling Ma and me about this crazy man who escaped from the jail. He has been missing for 6 months now and said the man could be anywhere, even here in Walnut Grove. Some people call him the mountain man because that’s where he has lived all his life. He is also kind of crazy. Can you imagine? A crazy man like that running around loose?”, said Andy as he looked around him. The other kids (10 in total) had over heard and were all listening to the news Andy was telling. “Well, what did this man do to be in jail?” asked Willie very interested. “Pa said he killed some people, he’s pretty dangerous and he’s crazy, I supposed that’s why he killed. I hope he doesn’t come near here”, Andy said. “Me either”, Carrie said as she grabbed Mary’s hand. Laura didn’t want everyone to feel scared, after all, they were celebrating the last day of school. They had reached the lake and Laura exclaimed, “Look! There’s the lake, last one there is a rotten egg!”. Everyone ran ahead except for Mary and Jake who kept on walking slowly. Soon, the news about the escaped convict was forgotten and everyone was having a good time. The kids were taking turns swinging with a rope and jumping in the river. Mary and Jake just sat by themselves talking. Nellie and Nancy were also talking and only getting their feet wet.

As the afternoon passed, they got a little quieter. Carrie was out of the water and was drying herself off, when she looked up she thought she saw a man in the distance. “Laura!”, she cried as she stood frozen. Laura had been on her way to help Carrie with her clothes and was actually behind Carrie when she screamed her name, so when she answered “What is it?”, it made Carrie jump. “Sorry about that, what’s wrong?” ask Laura as she dried Carrie. “There is a man out there”, said Carrie pointing. “Do you suppose it could be the mountain man?”. “Nonsense Carrie and stop thinking about that”, said Laura. Laura looked in the direction Carrie pointed and didn’t see anything except trees. She couldn’t help getting a little scared though. Then she saw him and she felt a chill ran up her spine. “Willie!” shouted the man. It had been Mr. Oleson! Laura felt so relieved and was never so happy to see Mr. Oleson. “See Carrie, it’s only Mr. Oleson, NOT the mountain man”. As Mr. Oleson got closer he greeted the girls and explained that he was coming to get Willie because he was suppose to help him with a delivery they had received at the store. As Laura saw Willie’s terrified face for forgetting to help his Pa, she couldn’t help but laugh. She then turned to Carrie, “Are you alright?”. “Yes, I’m glad it was Mr. Oleson”, said Carrie. “Why did Andy have to tell us about that crazy man?” she said to herself. But what if it HAD been the mountain man? Laura didn’t’ want to keep on thinking about it. After a little while, everyone got out of the lake, dried off and headed towards home.

(Chapter 3 coming soon) Cool




Last edited by on Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Carol
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PostSubject: Re: "The Mountain Man"   Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:36 pm

Chapter 3: An Unexpected Event


After the sermon on Sunday morning, Reverend Alden announced that Mr. Hanson and Mr. Garvey had some important news to tell the community. Mr. Lars Hanson informed everyone about the escaped convict. “We know he escaped from a jail in Sleepy Eye, but that was about 6 months ago and he still has not been found which means he could be anywhere and it is not our intention to alarm everyone, but consider this a warning, and take extra precaution. Mr. Garvey?” Mr. Hanson stood to the side and let Mr. Garvey address everyone. “As Mr. Hanson said, we must take extra precaution and I just wanted to offer my services. If anyone is interested in installing locks in their doors I’ll be glad to help out, just let me or my wife know”. One by one, they started asking Mr. Garvey and Mr. Hanson questions to get further information about this man. The news was not meant to alarm people but that is exactly what it had done. People who didn’t have locks in their doors headed over to the mercantile to see if they could purchase a lock to install them.


After two weeks had gone by with no sign of danger, people started to forget about the escaped convict and resumed going about their ways as if the news was never given. That Monday morning Charles and Jonathan went to Sleepy Eye to pick up an order for the Mill. Caroline had decided that today was a good day to have some delicious apple pies and started making preparations for a good hearty meal. She would surprise Charles when he came home and have his favorite dish. Mary, Laura & Carrie decided to go fishing with Andy and Willie. They had a nice time fishing, even Mary enjoyed herself being that she didn’t really go fishing but was just glad to be having fun this summer. “I’m getting hungry”, said Laura. “I’m starting to see these fish already fried and on a nice hot plate.” “Well, it’s time we started heading home anyway”, said Mary as she stood up. “Besides, remember Ma said we could all eat some apple pie”. The kids gathered their fishing poles and started heading towards the Ingalls’ place.


At Sleepy Eye, Charles and Jonathan were on their way home but stopped at the jail to find out if there had been any news about the man who had escaped. When they walked into the sheriff’s office, they noticed a group of men who were all excited. Charles tapped one on the arm. “What is going on?”, he asked. The man replied with a loud voice to be heard over all the excitement. “We found out where that crazy man is!” was all he said before he headed out with some two other men and got on their horses. Charles and Jonathan got really excited all of sudden. “Where did they find him?” asked Mr. Garvey to anybody in particular. A man standing next to the sheriff said, “Well, he has not been caught, but we know he is in Walnut Grove somewhere. Some of the men are headed over there now to see what we find”. Charles and Jonathan froze for a moment before they headed to a hotel and make a call to Mrs. Oleson and have her warn as many people as she could.


It was about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Mary, Laura, Carrie, Willie & Andy were all talking excitedly as they walked towards the Ingalls’ place. “Laura, you may have caught more fish than me, but mine were bigger!”, said Willie as he showed Laura his fish. “Well, it’s about time you beat me at something Willie” said Laura as she smiled at him. Willie stuck her tongue out at Laura. “Oh, I can start to smell your Ma’s apple pie now Laura, it would be nice if I could eat a whole one by myself”, said Andy as he rubbed his stomach. Mary laughed and said “I think she made enough for you to eat two whole ones Andy”. What happened next was so unexpected that Mary thought she had imagined the whole thing. They had been walking on the dirt road, had just passed by a tree when all of a sudden a man who had been hiding jumped out, behind them and said, "Stop right there". He had a shotgun and was wearing a bandana on his face. They could only see his eyes and Mary noticed he had a scar in his left eye. All the kids started walking away but he grabbed Laura. “I’m taking her with me”, said the man. Carrie started to scream. "Carrie get behind me!" Mary could not believe this was happening. She was so scared she didn’t know what to do, she just kept staring at Laura who was also really scared. Everyone had dropped their fishing poles and fish. Mary started taking steps toward the man to get a hold of Laura but the man grabbed Laura tighter and pointed the shotgun to Mary’s face. “Stand back or I’ll shoot you! I’ll shoot you!”. Andy's hunger had vanished at the sight of the man holding his best friend. He could not believe the escaped convict was in front of him and he felt powerless, he couldn't do anything for Laura which made him clench his fists with anger as he saw Laura's scared face. Willie stared with tears in his eyes, he was as scared as everyone else. The man started to back away and leave when Mary tried once again to come foward and grab Laura's hand. "Laura!", she screamed but the man pointed his shot gun once again which made everyone back away. "You try that again and you're dead". The man walked away into the woods rapidly, taking Laura with him. Mary’s heart was beating so loud, she knew she was screaming Laura’s name as loud as she could but couldn’t hear it over her own heartbeat. Tears rolled down her face from the anger she felt. There was nothing they could do to help Laura right now, she must get some help. "Let’s go!”, yelled Mary as she told everyone else to head towards her house. She had to let her Ma know and get help as soon as possible. She had tried to save Laura, she knew she couldn't do anything yet she felt like she had let Laura down and felt responsible for not being able to protect her 13 year old sister.


Caroline was putting the pies out in the table when Mary burst into the house. “Mary, what is it?!” asked Caroline when she saw Mary’s white face. Carrie immediately ran to her Ma, hugged her and started crying. Mary looked frantic. “He took her Ma!” He took her!”. Caroline, seeing Willie and Andy but no Laura knew what Mary meant. Caroline covered her mouth to keep from screaming. "Ma, the mountain man.... he had a shot gun and... he.... to-to-took Laura!" Mary was shaking all over but tried to calm down. Tears started to run down Caroline's face. "Oh dear Lord, please protect my baby", she said as she left the house and headed to town to get help.


(Chapter 4 coming soon) :peace:


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Carol
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PostSubject: Re: "The Mountain Man"   Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:37 pm

Chapter 4: Laura held captive

Laura could not believe this was happening. Her legs were tired but she had to keep on running to keep up with this crazy man who was holding her tight by the arm. They were going deep into the woods and Laura thought the farther they went the less of a chance she had of being found. The man showed no sympathy for her though. “Come on! Come on!” she heard him say. As they ran, Laura scraped her legs and arms with twigs or fallen branches but she didn’t think about the pain, she was too stunned, she still couldn’t believe this was happening to her. She remembered the kids’ faces when the man took her. She had been scared for Mary, this man was really crazy and he would have shot her. At last the man stopped and let Laura go. Laura fell to the ground; she was out of breath and was glad not to be running anymore. She glanced over at the man who was looking around him to make sure there was no sign of anyone. Laura came to realize that this was really happening to her. She looked down at her legs and tried wiping the blood off with her dress. She looked over at the man again. “Wh – why are you doing this?” she said with her voice sounding like a whisper. The man took his bandana off revealing the man’s face. Laura saw that he had a scar starting from his left brow and going down all the way to chin. He grabbed Laura by both arms and turned her to face him and said “You be quiet! You hear?! I know my reasons!” and he let her go. Laura’s arms hurt from the strong grip. Then they came. The tears started rolling down Laura’s face. She became very afraid and sat back against a tree and pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged them. “But….I’ve n-never seen you b-before….” Laura covered her face with her hands. “I d-don’t know … y-you”. The man ignored Laura’s sobs and sat on a fallen tree branch.

As Caroline ran to town she passed by the spot in the road where she saw the fishing poles on the ground. She felt a lump in her throat as this was where it had occurred. She kept on running and soon got to the Mercantile. Mrs. Oleson walked towards Caroline to tell her about the call she had received from Charles and Jonathan earlier that day but as she saw Caroline’s face she asked “Caroline, why dear, what’s the matter?” Caroline tried to keep as calm as she could. She saw Mr. Oleson coming out of the storage room. “Mr. Oleson, I need help. The escaped convict has taken Laura”, was all Caroline said with a quivering voice before she broke down to cry. Mrs. Oleson immediately hugged Caroline, Mr. Oleson told Nellie to call as much men as he could while he went out of the store to let the people in town know what had happened.

It was almost dark when Charles and Jonathan arrived at the Ingalls place, they found the kids at home. The news hit them like a ton of bricks and Charles immediately grabbed his shotgun. They headed to town with all the kids in the wagon. They saw there was a meeting already at the schoolhouse and they all got down and entered. As soon as Caroline saw Charles she ran to him. “Oh Charles, our baby!”. Charles with one arm around his wife and holding a gun in the other had a sorrowful look on his face. Jonathan felt sorry this was happening to his friend; Charles loved his girls so much and would do anything to protect them and the thought of a crazy man taking his Laura captive made Charles shake all over with determination of getting his daughter back. Doc Baker explained to Charles that some men were already out in the woods and a couple of more were going this minute to join them. Immediately, Charles, Jonathan, Mr. Oleson, & Doc Baker headed out the door. Mary & Carrie went to their mother’s side and hugged her. Reverend Alden went up to them. He put his hand on Caroline’s shoulder. “Don’t you worry Caroline; you have a big group of friends who will not rest until Laura is back, safely with you”. Caroline had been touched by everyone’s offer to help. She nodded with tears in her eyes. Reverend Alden suggested they do a prayer to help them get through this hard time. He began, “Our heavenly Father…”

(Chapter 5 coming soon) Wave


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PostSubject: Re: "The Mountain Man"   Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:38 pm

Chapter 5: A Night Search

Three hours of searching had gone by with no positive outcome. “This crazy man could be anywhere! For all we know, he spent the last six months here and knows his way pretty well around these parts”, said one of the men from Sleepy Eye. “You might be right about that”, said his friend. “Come on, we have to report to the Sheriff, let him know what the status is. I think four of our men are staying here to continue with the night search”. They rode off and passed by Mr. Ingalls on their way. They stopped briefly and explained to him that 4 of their men were going to stay in Walnut Grove and that they would return in the morning. It was getting really late but Charles had explained to Caroline that if he didn’t come home that night, to not worry, that he would be fine. There was no way Charles could sleep tonight. He kept on riding, holding a lighted torch in one hand to make him see in the dark of night. His arm was starting to hurt but he did not care. “Laura!”, he screamed. What if she wasn’t found tonight? No, he couldn’t think about that. He stopped for a moment to hold the torch with his other arm and kept on riding and calling for Laura. Jonathan Garvey, Nells Oleson and Hiram Baker doing the same.

-----------

Laura lay on the ground and felt cold all of sudden in the dark night. She had fallen asleep and when she woke up, for a brief moment she thought she had woken up from a terrible nightmare, but the pain and scratches on her legs reminded her it was all real. She remembered that the man had made her walk farther and farther into the woods, she must have been so tired when they had stopped because she didn’t remember going to sleep. Her braids had become undone and her hair was loose now and part of her hair stuck to her cheek. She touched her cheek with her fingers and noticed she had a little bit of blood there. She probably scratched her face somewhere. “There’s some meat for you”. She heard the man say. She turned around to see him sitting against a tree, while he ate. He held on to his gun. Laura grabbed the piece of meat and put it in her mouth. Then she started to cough and spit out the meat. “Ugh.. what is that?”, she asked. The man kept on eating his share. “It’s your problem if you don’t like it”. Laura was hungry but she felt that if she kept eating that meat, it would just make her throw up. “I suppose you’ve heard stories about me”, said the man. “People calling me ‘the mountain man’ and saying I’m crazy”. Laura just stared at him. “My name is Floyd though.”. He extended his hand to Laura. This man was crazy Laura thought. What other explanation would he have for taking her? Laura didn’t want to make the man upset so she shook his hand briefly and let it go. “What... what are you going to do with me?”, asked Laura with quivering voice. The man just stared at Laura then said “You belong to me now”. All of a sudden they thought they heard a voice in the distance. Could it had been a coyote? No! There it was again. It was Charles! “Laura!”. They could barely hear it but it definitely was Charles looking for Laura. Laura felt her strength come back to her. Laura prayed that her Pa would come closer. The man grabbed his gun quickly and grabbed Laura putting his hand over her mouth. “One peep, just one peep out of you and you’re dead”. They walked further into the woods in the dark night.

-------------------

Jonathan Garvey looked at Charles with concern. “Charles… I think we must get some rest and continue looking tomorrow”, he said tactfully. The others had already turned back and had promised Charles to continue in the morning. Charles looked at Jonathan and shook his head. “Charles, you want to be strong for Laura. We have done all we can tonight, you must get some rest if you want to be able to continue looking for Laura tomorrow. I’m sure we will have better luck in daylight”. Charles didn’t want to stop, what if he was close? He wanted to keep going but he was starting to hurt and his voice was getting raspy from the yelling. “I feel like I’ve let my daughter down”, Charles said with a broken voice. “Stop thinking that way. I know how much you love that girl”, said Jonathan. After a little while, he convinced Charles to head back and get some rest and so they did. As they rode in the moonlight Charles couldn’t help feeling powerless as tears rolled down his cheeks.


(Chapter 6 coming soon) :study:


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PostSubject: Re: "The Mountain Man"   Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:21 pm

Very good story, Carol! You've done really well! Can't wait for the continuation.



"I would fight for you - I'd lie for you - walk the wire for you - ya I'd die for you..."
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PostSubject: Re: "The Mountain Man"   Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:54 pm

Well, now I'm dying to know what happened! LOL I didn't read this story until now. Did you finish it, Carol? I had to know what happens to Laura!




"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
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