Work was progressing steadily on the Jackson property. The trusses were in place and the exterior walls were being built.
Hank showed up on his buckskin gelding, jerking the animal to a sudden halt. Dan Gardner, Jason’s father, laid his hammer down on a board and briskly approached the rider.
“What can I do for you, Hank?” He wiped his brow with his shirt sleeve.
Hank reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of money. “Senator wants y’all to use this to help pay the expense of rebuilding the house. Wanted to get it here sooner but there’s been a lot going on.” He started to turn his horse.
Dan counted the money. It was a larger sum than anyone in the holler would have dared expect. As he raised his eyes to look back at Hank he noticed the pointed boots. They were expensive boots and definitely not made by the local shoemaker.
“Nice boots you’ve got there, Hank. Special order?”
“Yep. Ordered ‘em through the mail all the way from Charlottesville.”
Dan changed the subject. “You sure the senator wanted us to have all of this money? Seems a bit much. We already got most of the materials.”
Hank shrugged his shoulders. When old man Jackson was dying on the battlefield he pressed a deed into the senator’s hand and told him to use the money to take care of Jackson’s family, what was left of it. So it’s really their money anyway.”
Dan’s mouth opened and for a few moments there was only silence. He rubbed the side of his face once, then dropped his hand.
“You don’t s...