Amish Country Arson

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Authors: Fay Risner
Tags: Fiction, series, Amish, amish drama, amish woman, nurse hal
to do this much. We
will get rid of the skunk for her.”
    “Sure enough,” Daniel declared, catching on
to Noah's notion. He picked up the trap with the sheet still
covering it.
    Stepping away from John, Hal confessed, “I
was going to dump him in the gully.”
    “A gute place to take the skunk,” Noah said.
“Go with me, Daniel.”
    John took the rifle from her. “Come on, Hal.
You need to take a bath before breakfast. You do not smell pretty
gute.” He put his arm around her waist and walked down the pasture
    When they passed the tool shed, Biscuit's
frantic barking made Hal remember. “John, we have to go back to get
the skunk. The vet will need the brain to test for rabies so we can
let that poor dog be free again.”
    “I did forget. You go on in and take your
bath. I will tell the boys to bring the skunk back here for the
vet,” John told her as he turned to go back down the lane.
    He met the boys. “Where did you really throw
the skunk? The vet has to come get the brain for testing.”
    “We know,” Noah said. “We threw the skunk
behind the tool shed. I was going to call the vet as soon as we
finished chores.”
    “How's Mama Hal?” Daniel asked.
    “Very unhappy with herself, but she
remembered we needed the skunk brought back to the house. She sent
me to tell you to fetch it,” John said.
    At breakfast, Nora and Aunt Tootie praised
her for her bravery to get rid of the beast that trampled her
flowers and dug holes in her flower bed. Both women darted scalding
looks at Noah and Daniel for being so mean and watched them squirm
for making Hal get rid of the skunk.
    That morning while the boys helped fix fence,
Noah said to his father, “I think we better tell Mama Hal we got
rid of the skunk. She might feel better if she knows she did not
shoot the animal.”
    “We did not know she was going to take it so
hard when she thought she killed the skunk,” Daniel said.
    “You better give this more thought, boys. In
a few days, the scent will be gone. The women will have other
things on their minds, and Hal will forget about the skunk,” Jim
    “But, Dawdi, …,” Noah started.
    John put a warning hand up. “Jim is recht.
Hal will not like knowing you boys played a mean joke on her. She
is better off thinking she killed the skunk even though it hurts
    “I feel so guilty,” Daniel said.
    “Live with it,” John declared.
    “We should not lie. God will not like it,”
Daniel persisted.
    John thought a moment. “Daniel, what you did
was not a lie. You teased Mama Hal, and she misunderstood. There is
a difference.”
    Jim stopped hammering on a staple. “Keep what
you did in mind the next time you want to play a trick on
    “We did not plan on playing a trick on Mama
Hal,” Noah declared.
    “Maybe she will understand if we explain,”
Daniel said hopefully. “If she had only looked over the porch at
the trap before she threw the sheet on it. She could have seen the
trap was empty.”
    “I would not count on Hal seeing this your
way. Not yet,” John warned.
    Jim added, “Maybe not ever.”

Chapter 5
    Tuesday night was cloudy with a chance of
rain. The raw air had a chilled dampness to it, but that didn't
matter. This was the perfect night for a midnight ride if the rider
didn't want to be seen. Mounting the work horse was hard with a
sore leg. Staying on the hard stepping horse was even more
difficult when the throbbing pain increased, but Rudy Briskey's
farm wasn't far away. What did the pain matter?
It was nothing to suffer pain compared to getting the task at hand
    Rudy Briskey needs to be taught a lesson for
giving Jonah Stolfus all that hay. How was my burning Jonah
Stolfus's barn teaching the man a lesson if Rudy Briskey gives him
hay for the winter? His charity encouraged other farmers to do the
    Rudy Briskey had a large cornfield on the
south side his property. With the draft horse at a quiet walk, the
rider moved past the

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