(2015-06-19) Berry Farm
Berry Farm
Summary: Quinton, Piper and Caro head to go get berries for Mamma Bea
Date: 06.19.2015
Related: None

Equestrian Center

Of all the places in the camp this is one of the few that is mostly used for it's original purpose. A large fenced off corral circles around a couple of large barns. At any given time there are a few dairy cows, six horses and a flock of chickens. Both barns are used to store the items necessary to tend to the animals and the garden in the south field as well as house the animals at night. To the west is a large fenced off meadow where the cows are allowed to graze.

It's morning and the sparse population of the camp is out and about doing their thing, be it weeding the gardens, helping build the perimeter fence or hunting. The equestrian center is abuzz with activity, mostly in the form of four young ones chasing chickens around with handfuls of grain trying to get the birds to eat out of their hands. All this under the watchful eyes of Bea and Piper, the latter of which is saddling up one of the horses while Caro stands nearby, holding a rifle in each hand.

"The orchards aren't far, follow two mile road west until it dead ends, go south down that road and it's up another few miles. Don't get apples this time either, they aren't near ripe enough. There are strawberries and blueberries, stick to those." Bea tells the young woman as she divides her attention between Piper and the scampering children.

Quinton comes in, dirt on his knees where he had been kneeling pulling weeds and doing general gardening. His pale green eyes go over the group, but he focuses on Bea. "I can go with, if you think more people is better." Well, the kids all add up to like 1 1/2 people. He's already told Bea and Sonny about the girl he met yesterday, and the fact she said she was with a group. Quin usually dons' mind going out alone, but he'd rather the kids not get hurt. He's wiping his hands on his jeans while he waits for a response, not that ti really helps, their dirty too.

With people in the fields nearby Piper is in non-verbal mode, even with Bea and the kids, but what's new. She gives a silent nod to the older woman as directions are given and grab the panniers to secure them to the back of another nearby horse. "You sure you don't want me to take care of Troy too?" Bea asks, sounds like she will be babysitting the others. Troy being the infant that is secured to her chest even now. The infant seems awake at the moment, and looks around at the goings on with waving hands.

Piper's reaction to the question is checked by Quinton's arrival and volunteering to accompany. That's when Caro pipes up "Morning Mr. Quinton!" she then looks up at Piper who gives a nod "Ever ridden a horse before?" Caro asks him, even before Piper leans over to whisper the question to relate to the girl.

"Morning Kathy." Good days still don't help him with names, unfortunately. Caro gets a smile and he shakes his head, "I was very young when I did…" Like he's that old or something now? He now glances between Bea and Piper, waiting to see what they want. He's just a s happy to go out himself, he doesn't seem to get bothered if folks don't want him around. in the back of his mind, he knows he can be difficult.

Even with Piper getting distracted from answering Bea, the older woman was expecting a refusal, "Caro why don't you run in and get another saddle so a horse can be readied."

Caro giggles at Quinton, she is learning that he is bad with names so this time takes it in stride, "I never rode one until coming here. It was scary the first time." when she is given a task though she shoves the rifles at Quinton for him to hold and she runs off to fetch a saddle.

For her part Piper doesn't seem put out by the man inviting himself and after tying a lead rope from her horse to the one with the panniers, goes to round up another one.

Quinton just nods to Caro, agreeing it can be scary. The gun is taken, he seems at least familiar and not uncomfortable holding it. Piper is given a nod of thanks as well before he turns to look at Bea and all the children running around. "Ruffled feathers and clucking, all of them."

"Better clucking than crying." Bea says as she scoops up the youngest girl Becca when she rushes past after a chicken "Ya'll are gonna scare those chickens bad enough that they won't lay for a week." she admonishes in a tone a grandmother would use on her grandchildren "Then what are we going to have for breakfast?"

"Worms!" Jack answers which gets a eww face and loud "Yuck!" from the girls.

Caro rushes back, burdened with heavy saddle though its actually more lumbers hurriedly, than a rush. Piper has been listening to the exchange a passive expression, bordering on amusement on her face, she doesn't quite get to the smile though. Taking the saddle from the young girl she proceeds to saddle another horse for Quinton.

"Did that girl you run into yesterday Quinton give you any indication how long they would be in the area?" Sonny's and Bea's worry is that the girl was actually part of a bandit outfit and that Quinton was followed back.

Quinton watches the kids and Be a with a little bit of fascination. But then squats down to watch the birds. Maybe it was the birds that had him so entranced? his head shakes, a suing his hair to flop some, "No….Said someone was hurt, they were looking for bandages…" His hand reaches out towards a bird, but he doesn't actually expect one to come to him. he's got no food for them. "I went into town…stayed there long, found stuff and then took the long way back…I was careful." He may be odd, but he's usually careful. From his crouched position he looks up at Bea and then to Piper, "Thank you Pippen."

"Well we haven't seen any sign of them, and we sent some men out to look for where they are camping and to keep an eye on 'em." Bea explains as she puts the squirming Becca down, who proceeds to examine the horse being saddled.

Of course Piper doesn't respond, she doesn't even respond to Piper some of the time, so it isn't unexpected. She pats the horse as she finishes checking the straps and moves to mount up, then pulls Caro up behind her when she is settled, whispering something to her in the process "Mr. Quinton, the rifles please." Caro says as Piper holds her hands out to take the pair.

Quinton nods, "She could have been lying…" About being in a group. It's a safe lie to tell, he gets that. A small shrug and he stands up. The riffle is handed up, carefully pointed away from anything living. Quin isn't quite as grateful, but he's at least been on a horse before. He'll eventually get used to it, and hopefully the horse won't get spooked so he doesn't have to test his lack of skills.

The rifles are put into holsters that hang from the saddle, and Piper gives a last check of the saddle bags that hang from her horse as well. Hopefully they don't run into trouble, not with her horse carrying triple, not that the infant really weighs that much, so maybe double and an eighth. "I would have." Caro isn't what is being talked about, but like most kids she wants to be part of the conversation…"Lied about what?" she asks afterward, incase it is something she wouldn't have lied about. Piper motions for Quinton to mount up and making a chck, chck noise with her mouth she gets the horse to moving. It is almost like a scene from an old western movie.

Quinton's on his horse already, so he just nods to Bea and the remaining kids before moving to follow the other horse. It takes him a minute to answer Caro, trying to get his bar rings and feel for the beast underneath him, "About being with a group. She may have been scared when she saw me." Cause he's so scary? Well, maybe to people that don't know him.

Both of the females look back at Quinton with quizzical expressions. Neither of them can imagine a scenario in which the odd man would be scary, but then they haven't known him long. Caro then nods deciding "Yes, I would have definitly told someone I was with a group, especially if I wasn't." unlike the the younger children she has a far greater understanding of the situation then the younger kids.

Quinton sits a little taller on his horse when they look at him. Myabe to make himself look bigger, or intimidating. Eitehr way, it doesn't really work. Or maybe he's looking slightly beyond them at the trail. "Yes, Cindy…always tell that…." His head tilts, "How far down did Bea say it was?" He came in halfway through that, and has only been to the orchards once, when he first got here and he was havin a bad day.

Piper leads the way through the camp, past the administration area and out to the main road. Until they get to the main road she seems relaxed enough, but that does away when they pass the gate. "It's at the end of Two mile road…which is how far Piper?" Caro asks then continues "Then two miles south." Piper holds up four fingers indicating 4 miles. "So if it is a mile to that road, and then another two miles, that's seven miles in all." on horse back they can probably be there is less than 20 minutes "Is that right?

Pale green eyes start scanning the area as they ride. He's a little tense, but that could be from riding the horse. His voice is soft and not condescending, "Try again, Wilma." Quinton lets a hand fall to touch the beasts neck he's riding briefly, feeling the muscles move under his hand. Everything is an experience for him to write down alter. Not that he shares those, but still.

Caro wrinkles her brow in confusion when she is told she is incorrect, "Four plus two plus one isn't seven?" her tone is just os confused as her expression and she looks at Quinton and then pulls at Piper's shirt to get an answer from her. Piper nods at the math and rubs a hand over the babies fuzzy head when he starts to act a bit fussy.

Quinton's not sure where the one came from in her equation, but he's not really paying all the much attention. He seems to be getting lost in thought as they ride, frowning at some lost memory. He'll stay quiet until they have to turn at the end of the road, "Momma Bea said there was what fruit there?" Food can make any man perk up.

A pacifier, scavenged from some store someplace, plenty of those laying around, no one thinks of baby supplies when the world is ending, is dug out of a saddlebag and put plugged in, fussiness abated. "Strawberries and blueberries and apples." Caro says as Piper puts a hand on the girl's calf "She says there are peaches, blackberries and raspberries too, but they aren't ready yet. Like the apples." who she is Bea or Piper is unclear.

Quinton nods, finally looking back to the two on the horse, "That's good…I like blueberries. It's been a while since i had any…" He thinks he had a pei a year ago…maybe…it's kinda blurry. His memory…not the pie. He loosk to the baby, who seems happy for the moment, "Do you need more clothes for him?" He can put that on his fuzzy mental list for when he goes out searching for things.

Piper glances back and then slows her horse so he can catch up enough so they are walking abreast instead of single file. A mmmm noise comes from the older girl probably agreement about liking blueberries "Mamma Bea said she would make blueberry pancakes tomorrow for breakfast." which will be a rare treat, usually it's whatever was left over from the previous night and maybe cold beans and hard boiled eggs. The Matsons were quite prepared, but food, any food is still a precious commodity. The question has Piper nodding and then she drops the reins a moment to move her hands first they are held about 20 inches apart and then she spreads them. Caro interprets "He's growing fast. Mamma and Pappa Matson didn't think about babies so they have little in the way of baby stuff.

Quinton's smile quirks at the mention of pancakes and he nods, "We'll have to make sure we get plenty then." He studies Piper's hand motions and then looks to the babe on her back, "I'll start looking." He can do that, find baby clothing and stuff. He bets he might even find some diapers if he digs enough.

As they approach the crossroads and turn onto two mile road, a herd of deer in the field on the other side get spooked and begin to quickly move away, not quite bolting, but close. Piper begins to reach for her rifle, but then thinks better of it. She could get one sure, but the noise is sure to hurt the baby's ears. "For me too? And the others?" they are kids, they grow like weeds. Caro's pants are already looking for like floods on her. There is a gentle nudge from Piper "Please?" she adds thinking that is what the nudge was for.

Quinton tenses, eyes sweeping the field to make sure that it was them that spooked the deer and not anything else. He doesn't answer Caro until he's sure the deer aren't going to turn back on them, "Yes…i can look for all of you." He may need to write this all down…there's too many of those kids to remember.

A sigh comes from the older of the pair, please wasn't what the nudge was for; a fact that totally goes over the young girl's head. Piper makes a motion, the move out one with two fingers toward the direction they are going, she then chck, chcks the horse into a trot. Being out in the open like this makes her nervous, especially since there hasn't been drones the last few days. That would comfort some, but it just makes her more nervous. "Th…thanks, Mr. Quinton." Caro manages to get out as she is bounced up and down.

Quinton just nods and follows. He's less nervous about the drones, but for different reasons. He lets Piper set the pace and speed. Well, he lets his horse follow, he doesn't have much control over it really.

With the ground eating trot of the horses, the orchard, or as the sign says "Bateman's Berry Farm, U Pick, We Pick. Best Berries in Dodge County" is reached quickly, with Caro asking a question or commenting about something along the way. More deer can be seen in the distance, nibbling at the log growing strawberry plants. Upon seeing them Piper stops her horse and puts a finger to her mouth, then frees the baby and passes him to Quinton. She makes a few hand motions to indicate her intentions, which is to shoot on of them.

The baby is cradled, he never had one, but likes kids enough to be comfortable holding one. When Piper shoots, He covers the infant's ears. After that, they pick till they can fit no more in their bags(or bellies), and end up having to haul the deer on Quinton's horse back. He seems fine walking, maybe even a little more steady. They're going to eat well then next few days, at least. And that makes for a happy afternoon. At least for Quinton.

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