All currency converted to nuts upon entering

Edmonson County
Kentucky, 1867

Arbutus had traveled
back to 1867 with the
sincerest hope of persuading
Stockton Dupres to leave
her to the humans in 1881.
She had lied about being his
cousin in order to find him.
And now she found herself in
an underground cave,
surrounded by moon shiners,
headed by none other than her
old friend from the future,
Nanny Vanfleet.

Dupres was very fit and rugged.
Arbutus marveled at his fine bushy tail
and deep knowing eyes.
"He would tempt any female," she thought to herself.
And perhaps he had already tempted her,
for she decided to lie to him.

"Why did you say you were my cousin?" He demanded.

"Because I want to join your rebel squirrel army,"
she said without hesitation.

Nanny, who was sitting in a corner of the chamber,
took a large swig from her whiskey flask.
"She's a pretty little thing," she laughed. "And ambitious!"

Dupres was unaffected by Nanny's comment.
"If you know of the rebel army, then you know what we do."
"Well," she looked around, "By the looks of things,
you make illegal whiskey."
He drew near to her. "Do you know anything about making whiskey?
She lowered her gaze. "No."

"Do you know anything about bomb making?"
"Have you ever killed a human?"
"Of course not."
He sighed and turned his back on her. "Then what can you possibly offer us?"

"I can't be killed." She declared softly.

He spun back upon her. "You're here from another time!
How did you learn about the tree?"

Arbutus looked over at Nanny, who was taking another drink
from her flask. "Nanny told me." She said.

At that, the old woman spewed whiskey from her mouth as
she rose to her feet. "Liar!" Came the raspy denial.
"I've never seen her before today!"

Dupres looked at Nanny and then back to Arbutus.

Arbutus explained. "We know each other in the future.
In fact, we are very good friends."

To be continued...

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and photo alterations by b.kee(c)2003

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