David Hanson, had just finished his earlier than normal, boot camp and had been assigned to this post, due to his upbringing. He had been raised on a ranch in the northern part of the state. He had turned eighteen in boot camp, was only 5' 8” tall, weighing in at 140 lb, with light brown, conservatively cut hair. He knew quite a bit about sheep, how to herd and care for them as well as sheer and gather their wool. The dour man that had given his orders was creepy and he was ruminating on that meeting, trying to figure out why.

David had just poured himself a cup of coffee from the large coffee urn and was taking a long, slurping sip, when Kelly was answering Foreman Mitchel about the kitchen noise. He busted out laughing while swallowing, sending coffee spewing out of his nose.

David exclaimed, “Gaahh! Shit!” He snorted, inhaling, for a long second, through his nose, swallowed hard and after coughing said, “Damn! Smooth move, Ex-lax. Only you, man. Wonder Klutz.” David took another sip and sat down, shaking his head, still thinking about the strange, dour man, dressed in black with a pencil thin tie.

More jeering and ribbing was aimed at Tommy from the rest of the hands, for a minute or two.

“Okay, boys, that's enough, that's enough” Foreman Mitchel said, raising his hand and choking down the last of his cup of coffee. “You know, Miss Lowery, I think it might be time to retire this old pot of mine, I'll just drink from the big pot from now on.” he said seriously. Then he turned to Tommy and asked, “Are you going to be able to work, kid? We have a hard day ahead of us and if you're gonna pull up lame, we don't need ya. And if your hand blisters, you won't be able to handle a rope and the reins at the same time.”

Tommy had been blushing from the ribbing and embarrassment until Foreman Mitchel had addressed him. The color blanched from his face, he swallowed hard and stammered, “Oh, oh, No Sir, I'm fine, really. It just hurt a little bit, Sir. Scared me more than hurt me, Sir. I'm fine, really.”

Mike was attacking his eggs and bacon with what looked like a vengeance and spoke around a mouth full of food as he stabbed a pork chop from the tray. “Okay, then. We'll see.”

Mike, continued eating along with the rest of the hands, there was some low talk, a lot of chewing, sucking of teeth and slurping of coffee, from around the table.

When the eating began to slow, hands were starting to dig into the fruit bowl and Mike had nearly finished his breakfast, he spoke up and said, “Okay boys and girl, listen up. Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Nguyen will be taking most of you boys out to move our livestock, to the southwest corner of the property for grazing and crop rotation. It's a simple operation for experienced cowboys. So, you shouldn't have any trouble rounding up and herding our livestock. So, when you're finished here, take your dishes to the kitchen and meet me or Mr. Gonzalez out back.”