Joe almost tipped the canoe as he leaped out and waded through the flood-water towards a wooden container that bore his initials. He pointed to the lid of the box and called back to the girls, Sally! Mary! This is one of my pack-boxes. Look here, he said, J.L., thats me!
The lid of the pack-box was set in place with two hinges and two leather ties at the front which held the lid closed. Joe opened the lid and peered inside. The box was half filled with water. He closed the lid and tipped the box over on its side to drain it, being careful to hold the lid partially shut. When most of the water had been drained off, Joe again looked inside. His pack-box was empty.
Find anything, asked Sally? The girls had turned the canoe around and were preparing to paddle back to the open river.
No, complained Joe, The darn things empty. Ive just got to find Mr. Anderson. Hes the one that was looking after all my gear. And, the Wall Brothers, theyve got my rifle. If I lose my 1886 Winchester, I dont know what Ill do. And, my Smith and Wesson 32. I should have kept that old Lemon-Squeezer in my pocket. Gall-darn-it! Shavens!
Joe was some upset.
Good day, Joe, said Mary. The girls waved goodbye and slowly glided back down the main street in their canoe. Joe carried his pack-box to higher ground.
Thanks for the ride, Ladies, he yelled after them. Still lugging the pack-box, Joe headed down to the dry end of Main Street towards the Tte Jaune train station. As he passed by the Cache Lunch Counter and Fruit Store, on his left, he noted that the building was still above the flood level.
Joe knew that all his supplies could easily be replaced someday. He was, however, worried about his specially designed saddle-bag falling into the wrong hands. The many pockets on the saddle bag were made to fit bottles of moonshine.
If the Police find my saddle bag, thought Joe, Ill be in big trouble!
In the next episode, AT THE STATION, an interesting blend of passengers were waiting for their ride out of town; A ride that will take them away from the flood-waters of Tte Jaune Cache.