The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters Chapter Fourteen: Fire

6 02 2010

The Property of Lee Harrison Peeters

Chapter Fourteen: Fire

The General begins to growl. the stranger’s horse slows down. Seems upset. the stranger reaches down and pets the horse’s neck. The dog barks.

The stranger: “You can smell it, boy.”

The stranger looks around. In the distance he spots a flash of light. Inside the woods a fire has broken out. the stranger tests the wind.

The stranger: “We’re up wind. Should be headed the other direction. But…”

The stranger steers his horses off the road and moves farther away, taking a circuitous route around the woods. Later that day he sets up camp. Starts a fire. Lights up his pipe. The dog has curled up near the fire. The stranger stares into the flames.

Stranger: “Fire. Danger and comfort… Last night I had a dream, General. About the Queen of Sweden.”

The dog looks up at the stranger quixotically.

The stranger grins.

Stranger: “Beautiful blonde lady… Napoleon and the Queen of Sweden. They weren’t just dancing around the mulberry bush.”

The dog wines.

The stranger: “I know. You don’t like all that sex stuff. And there is a point to my dream, General.”

The dog turns his head to one side.

The stranger: “Even though old Napoleon was bedding the Queen of Sweden, it didn’t keep him from marching into Russia. Right in the middle of winter.”

The dog barks.

The stranger laughs.

The stranger: “You don’t have to get sarcastic, boy. I know why I’m here.”