The first of Foreman Mitchel's hands to arrive for breakfast, was Sargent First Class, Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos was a 45 yo, 5'7” tall, man of Hispanic decent, was a decorated Special Forces, combat veteran, who had grown up on a south Texas, ranch, owned by his parents. His children still had and ran the ranch well, as they had been taught, by him.

He was no stranger to ranch work or leading and commanding the men who worked on one. He wasn't the Foreman but, might as well have been. The undercover men who worked at the ranch, trusted and liked him. Besides, he was an enlisted man and the Foreman was an officer. He had joined the Army after 9/11 as many had, to see to it that Muslim terrorists, paid for attacking America.

The civilian hands on the ranch, thought of him as the working foreman, he was older and obviously knew ranch work. As far as they knew, he was working here as top hand to earn extra money for his own ranch, that his kids were running while he was gone.

“Good morning, Mr. Gonzalez. I hired a new man this morning. That's his gear on the porch, he's in the dining room. Judging from his gear, what he's told me and what his former boss said, he's a damned good shot and experienced ranch hand. His former boss said he hated to loose such a good hand and I believe him.”

“As far as other ranch business is concerned, I have a loosely scheduled livestock movement that I'd like to get started on for today. You will need to have Mr. Nguyen and the new hires to help you move all of the livestock to the Southwest corner of the property.

Tell them, no rifles, shotguns only for long guns, those that have western side arms and can shoot, may bring them too. But keep an eye on them. I don't want them shooting up the country side. There are people living on the surrounding land in places and I don't want any accidents.

I want to do a planting of the section they're currently grazing on in our crop rotation schedule. The news said there have been some coyote and wildcat attacks of livestock on neighboring ranches and farms. If any of the new hires, show any signs of not knowing what they're doing, fire 'em on the spot and tell them they can pick up their pay at the end of the week.” Foreman Mitchel, said flatly.

Lt Mitchel heard boot falls, low voices and the rattling of dishes coming from the kitchen, “Damn! This ain't coffee! This is mud!” Mike heard a female voice from the kitchen, sounding very unhappy, saying. Then Chuck's voice said, “Tastes like it's been sitting in that pot for days. I'll choke this down 'till you get some fresh coffee made, Ma'am, thanks anyway.” There was some more rattling of dishes and the sound of running tap water.

“You got it, Boss. I'll get Quan and the new hires on it as soon as we're done here. I'm hungry and sure would like a cup of coffee, Boss.” Carlos said hopefully.

“It sounds like Miss Lowery is in the kitchen, whipping up some grub as we speak. Maybe, she's a good cook. After all, she is a woman.” Mike said sarcastically.

“She's a clerical typist, boss.” Carlos Gonzalez said in a conspiratorially low tone of voice, after looking around to be sure no “civilian” ears could hear him and continued. “We didn't get any cooks for our post, Sir.”

She was raised on a ranch and used to cook for the hands there, with her mother, stupid. If we served Army food, it would give us away, dumb ass. No ranch worth it's salt, would serve Army chow. Remember, we're ranchers, ya Moron. This is a working ranch. Sausage, pork chops, bacon, steak, eggs and hash browns with hot coffee, juice and milk, is our breakfast, out here. No Latte's or any of that fancy swill, that's so popular these days, on this ranch.”

“We need to make sure the whole ranch is secure from prying eyes, that's why you and Nguyen will be supervising moving the cattle to the Southwest corner of the property, for the next few days. And about that, I'll want you two to keep your eyes open for any possible attempts to compromise our security perimeter.” Lt. Mitchel said condescendingly.

The other hands were starting to file in for the usual group breakfast and fat chewing session that occurred every morning at ranches all over the country. There was a bit of horseplay between some of the civilian hands, which was to be expected, from hard working, young men. There was also some loud talk about how good at bull riding, Quan Nguyen was, for a little guy from a totally different nationality.

The hands were filing into the dining room and taking seats at the large, oval, dining room table, that was large enough to seat all the people who worked on the ranch.