Day 13. . . 00:13:08:15
“As I reached our tent I heard Judith shouting, “And you get back here right now!“ Stepping inside I saw she was still clutching her com unit. Mike being difficult again I thought.
“Lester,” she spun on me. “While you stayed after that meeting Mike went out to the lumber mill. What could he possibly be thinking about? Go out there and bring him back, he could be in danger.” That’s what Judith said and her tone and expression got my attention even as I worried about other things.
“Dear, he’s young and needs to get out on his own. He will be safe enough, I'm sure, under Fortson and Bartlett’s protection.”
“The same as Jack Seaworth? Is that what you are telling me?”
“Judy. Don’t do this, it’s not fair. No one regrets what happened last night more than I do. I was elected to the Council but no one made me God. The guard system was already in place and none of us questioned it. Mike will turn sixteen in another month. If we expect to have any influence over him when he does, this isn’t the time nor the issue to take a stand on.”
“Les, you are acting like raising our son is the same as running the Senate. Mike’s just a kid who still needs our protection, not a political ally or opponent.”
She was still angry but calming down. I figured it was time to change the subject. “Sinopa. ‘Queen of the Jungle’, came back into camp just after the meeting broke up. She and Stuart huddled together talking mostly about last night but I got the definite impression he is going to make a power grab to take over the township guard force.” That got Judith’s attention.
“He can’t do that. . . Can he?”
“I’m afraid he can dear, and he will, unless we can stop him before he gets started. Right now Stuart has his own private army and is expanding it rapidly. If he gets control of the township guard he’ll be defacto military governor and we can change our name from Liberty Township to Stuartsville. It might already be too late. We managed to get a land proposal out of Council and voted in the first day. Since then it’s been nothing but picking at nits with little or nothing to show. I am going to call for an emergency session tonight under the guise of a final report on Seaworth’s death. The real reason will be to get something passed giving government control over the military and guard. I look at the guard more like the police than an army of occupation which it might become under Stuart.”
“And what if your plan fails Les?” Judith asked with evident concern.
"Then I will have to resign dear and just become farmer Reye. I won’t head a puppet government for a military dictatorship.”
“Are you going to talk to Buchanan about this?”
I sighed and then said. “Much as I hate to, I see no choice. Burt has an uncanny political instinct, but more important than that, a voting block he controls. I’m going to go and talk with him now. There’s not a moment to waste, and I fear it might already be too late.”