Chapter 28

August 13th, 2010

Progress With The Trees

I arrived at The Cabin on Sunday morning around 7:45am, pulled into the 1,000ft driveway and saw Arborist Bill Knaub's Team hard-at-work, felling the 20+ trees I'd marked for removal. I was surprised that he and his guys would be working on a cloudy, drizzly Sunday, but I was pleased.

I waved to Bill & C0, and drove to the front door, unarmed the building, and carried-in my duffel bag and weapons (Remy 11-87 Auto Loader, Kimber 1911 sidearm and Beowulf .50cal). I unpacked, put on 12" LLBean Main Hunting Boots, fed and watered Jenny, and went outside to chat with Bill. I've always been a believer that unless you *have to work* on Sunday, it's a day of rest, as God commanded. But Bill said business was down 60% and he could use the work. We walked around The Cabin once more, and I sprayed 5 more trees with orange paint, to be taken down. Bill was pleased for the extra work. It was a chilly 73°F, so I was glad I'd packed my heavier coat and a sweater.

He said it'd be 2-3 weeks until all trees were down, loaded onto logging trucks, and the debris fully-cleaned-up. No problem, as I had plenty of time in this virtual project. I told him to

leave and cut the smaller limbs into 18" and twigs for me to use as kindling, and 3-4 whole trees, each split into 18" lengths for firewood. He had a log-splitter on site, and said he'd do that, and add it to my invoice. My supply of firewood was down to 3-4 cords anyway, and no sense in running out if we have another bad Winter. Although I have a central furnace, RUDD tankless and AC unit, extra firewood is always a necessity up here in the mountains, in case power goes down for days or weeks at a time, which it occasionally does. It was already 11:30am, and I could see the guys were hungry.

I went back inside and made Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hot Chicken Noodle Soup, in a 5gal pot, for Bill and his crew. I yelled-out for them to come in for lunch. They were very grateful to get something hot and nutritious to eat on such a crappy day. Their work went swiftly after lunch, considering most of them just had cold baloney, tomato and lettuce sandwiches along.

I went to the back porch, and carried an armload of older, seasoned wood inside, and build a nice roaring fire, with two large 3ft whole logs in reserve. I planned to the stay the day and evening, and be back at work on Monday by 6:45am. I still had scores of books to read, but I opted to curl-up in my oversized leather chair next to the fireplace, and take a nap. I thought about going into town, but on Sundays, pretty much everything is shut-down after Church services, until Monday morning. I was still tired from Saturday's retail business at the Garden Center, so I used the heating pad to soothe my aching back and painful Sciatic Nerve. Jenny curled-up on her Kodiak Bearskin. It was noisy outside with all those chainsaws screaming, but I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep in front of the giant hearth.

What woke me up wasn't the chainsaws' noise, but rather the silence and yelling. Five of the notorious Holtzapples — I'd killed Dewey on June 4th in a "justified" gunfight — had stopped Bill & Co from any further logging. I immediately called Sheriff Brian Bunce, and his 5 deputies, including Corporal Clay Atler, the Chief's son-in-law (three tours in Iraq with MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force), for help. I took the Remy 11-87 Auto Loader and Beowulf .50cal to the front door, including my .45 Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" sidearm, and waited for the police to show-up. I desperately wanted to kill all the Holtzapples myself, but could only probably get 2-3 for sure, and Bill and some of his crew would get shot by them as well. I was sure they were armed. Prudence was the word.

I walked on to the front deck with the .50cal Beowulf w/ 3 x 11-round mags, and asked what the problems was. They replied that this 64-acre property was still their land, though legally-purchased by me, and that we had no right to take any trees down, let alone be on the property. I challenged them to be at the county courthouse Monday morning, with me, a judge and clerk of records, to disprove their bullshit statement. I told them that if they didn't get off the property now, I'd kill everyone of them with my .50cal, like I'd done with my .45cal 1911 Kimber, with that asshole, Dewey. Just then, 4 police cars came roaring-up the driveway, and took the Holtzapples into custody for trespassing, and 3 or 4 other felony charges, including possession of stolen handguns with filed-off serial numbers. That would mean definite jail time. They were searched, full-disarmed, cuffed, placed in the back of the squad cars, and carted-off to the county jail, for trial. I signed the necessary paperwork for the Sheriff.

Both Sheriff Brian and Corporal Clay warned me to let them handle this through the legal system, and I promised I would. The saw the firepower I had brought to bear, and were envious, but were adamant that the DA might not find a "justified shooting", as in Dewey's case, if I had killed the 5 remaining trouble-making, scumbag Holtzapples. I agreed and put the weapons back inside The Cabin, except for my always-with-me Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP "Eclipse Target II sidearm.

With 8 trees down, Bill & Co decided to call it a day, as it was raining harder and they wanted to get home to their families before starting another workweek. I couldn't blame them. The front meadow looked like a mess, but Bill promised they'd be back for the next 2-3 weeks and get all of the trees down, carted away, 2-3 trees split into logs for me, kindling piled in the Firewood Storage Shed in the Backyard, and all debris cleaned-up. The guys were just a "little shaken" from what happened today, and wanted to go home. I couldn't blame them.

I went back inside, re-filled my duffel bag, checked Jenny's dishes and water, armed the building and left for York. I had to be at work at my GC&N Complex by 6:30am for a meeting with Alan about the next two-day job, and the crew and staff would be showing-up at 8:00am for work.

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