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Why it is so unfairly? When it's a day off time flies, when it's a work day time seems to stop... Again I left some chores undone.
Stored 80 kg of potatoes, 20 kg of carrots and 1 kg of onion for winter. It's funny how little onion I use, probably it's really enough for me. Carrots won't stay long. I have already started drinking carrot juice. I'll try to have one glass of carrot juice a day. They say too much of carotine can make your face yellowish. Well. Let's see how many glasses of carrot juice will make my face get yellowish.
I completed 70 exercises of the course "Solo on the Keyboard". I can type not looking at the keyboard, not very fast though. Last year I gave up on session 68. If somebody knew how it's hard to pull myself together to keep on studying...
Anyway, hello to the second month of Autumn!!!




Part1
Deception
1
STEADY throbbing of the engine and rocking of the Valencia as it steamed northward through Puget Sound lulled Sven Olafsen to sleep.
After a night and morning of tension he relaxed. From early evening he had watched and waited until the cabin darkened before he sneaked on board. He curled his willowy body a coil of rope and pulled a tarpaulin over himself. Through the morning hours he feared discovery as men rushing for Alaska’s gold fields swarmed aboard. He feared discovery as soldiers, arriving that afternoon of April 7, 1898, crowded on deck. He listened to shouting, swearing, arguing; to boxes and bundles thumping down; to shoes tromping close to his hiding place. He prayed until, underway and undiscovered, he slept.
---
“Oof.” Air forced out of Sven awakened him. Something heavy pinned him to the deck. He pushed against the weight.
“Drat it all.” He heard someone swear and the weight shifted. “Who’s under there?”
“Get off. Let me sleep.” Sven acted as if he belonged there.
Cool evening air chilled him as the tarpaulin was pulled away. He stared up into the probing blue eyes of a tall army lieutenant with light brown hair and a blond moustache.
“Get up.” The lieutenant reached down, grabbed Sven’s hair and yanked him to his feet.
“Ow.” Sven raked his fingers through his tangled blond hair. He tottered on his stiff cramped legs and stretched.
“Are you a stowaway?” the lieutenant, holding Sven at arm’s length, asked.
“Oh, no, Sir.” Sven felt blood rush to his pale cheeks.
“Why are you hiding there?”
“I wasn’t hiding, Sir. I needed a dark, quiet place to sleep.” Sven’s quick wit helped.
The hint of a smile curled the corner of the lieutenant’s lip. “You’d better go find your father.”
“That’s what I intend to do,” Sven said. “He’s in Circle City.”
“Circle City?” The lieutenant scrutinized the tall, thin, smooth-faced youth clad in brown canvas trousers and wool plaid shirt.
“Yes, Sir. That’s where I’m going.”
“What’s your name?”
“Sven.”
“Sven what? What’s your surname?”
“Johanson,” he lied, and his face became warmer. His parents had taught him to tell the truth. “Who are you, Sir?”
“I am Lieutenant Castner, Joseph Castner, of the United States Army.” The lieutenant stood straighter, taller with pride in his military position, as he answered. “Are you a runaway?”
“Oh, no, Sir.” Sven face grew hot as Lt. Castner stared into his pale blue eyes. He looked down and bit his lower lip.
“Hmm.” With his fingers Lt. Castner lifted Sven’s chin. “Hmm.”
“’Cuse me, Sir. I have to… nature calls.” Sven grabbed his duffel bag from beneath the tarpaulin and, looking for a new hiding place, walked toward the stern.
He glanced back as he ducked behind a mound of miner’s supplies. Stroking his chin, eyes narrowed, Lt. Castner watched him. Sven crouched and weaved his way among stacks of tarpaulin covered boxes. When he felt safe he sank to the deck, leaned back, closed his eyes and prayed.
“You, Boy, get away from there.” A burly, dark-eyed man towered over Sven. “Nobody steals while I am watching.”
Sven twisted away as the man aimed a kick at him. “Sorry.”
He scrambled to his feet and hurried to the rail before stopping long enough to look around. Stacks of supplies with little space between them crowded the deck. Each stack had a man sitting or lying atop it. They differed in size, shape, and dress, but they shared one trait; each glared at him.
Sven walked toward the stern until he found a gangway and descended. He stood at the bottom of the ladder as his eyes adjusted to the dimness. To his left soldiers ate their evening meal. Lt. Castner stood with his back toward Sven.
As he ducked behind a support beam he heard the lieutenant say, “…think he is a stowaway. Watch for him.”
Sven did not wait to hear more; he hurried into the darker interior. With each step he looked into another scowling face. His hope of finding a friendly miner with whom to journey from Skagway to Circle City faded.
Sven descended another gangway into the musty, hay-smelling blackness of the hold. He sat on the bottom rung of the ladder and ate a dry cheese sandwich from his duffel bag. He listened to the loud throbbing of steam-driven pistons as his eyes focused on an orange glow.
Feeling along what seemed to be a high board fence, Sven shuffled toward the glow. He inched his way to the open door of the ship’s furnace room. A bare-backed muscular black man rhythmically shoveled coal into the fire box.
“Ouch.” The word escaped Sven as he bumped his head.