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And What Do You Think You're Doing?
Senior Member

588 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#41
"I have no doubt," Tobias said, as he turned the wagon out of the Esk valley onto a road leading up to the moors. The kid had to be hardy to have endured living alone and providing for himself at such a young age.

"You'll do all sorts, depending on what needs doing. Daily tasks involve milking the cows, and I'll show you how to churn it. Feeding the animals. If there's a lot of birds, I might put you on guard over the fields, though Jimmy would probably be more suitable for that. There's cleaning out the stables, which is more work than you probably think. And then there's haymaking, twice over the summer at least. There's the fields, weeding and watering and all that, and if you stick around, there will be the harvest, but I hire extra hands for that too."

He always got tons of unemployed men willing to take on a few days work, as well as women and children eager to make a few extra pennies to add to the husbands' incomes and get a wholesome hot farmer's meal at noon. Some came all the way from Whitby for the purpose, for there were always more willing hands than farms. Tobias actually preferred the women and children, for they tended to give him less trouble than the rowdy men who had been out of jobs for a long time, and though they weren't as strong, they were a great deal cheaper.

"Then there's deliveries to be made, once you've proven yourself trustworthy. And I might ask you to accompany my wife or the wetnurse to town now and then. Then if you stick around even longer, there will be ploughing and other work for the winter, but let's see how the summer goes."
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Member

108 Posts
4 Threads

Age: 19
Occupation: Trading, taking apart things, and pickpocket
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=454
Height: 5'1"
Registered: Apr 2021

#42
She listened carefully.  She had helped at a stable a time or two but most of her jobs had been in towns or cities.  A farm would be new to her.  It sounded interesting.   "I've helped Gus a time or two in the stables and in other towns when they needed a hand.  But I've never milked a cow.  So, I'll need to learn that and the other things.  Feeding animals sounds easy enough.  I can drive a carriage.  There was one guy teaching me when we waited for the fancy people at those parties.  I figure a wagon would not be any different."  She chuckled.  "Won't have to let down steps for a wagon and do all the bowing stuff."
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Senior Member

588 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#43
Tobias' initial impression of the child had not been overwhelmingly positive, what with pickpocketing and being defiant. But as he listened, he found himself beginning to like the boy more and more. He seemed sensible and hard-working and didn't ask for much. That put Tobias somewhat at ease about his decision to hire a random kid of the street. The boy's presence might actually make life easier at the farm, rather than add to the chaos.

They reached the higher moorland, where the wind was strong and the views wide. The wagon trail across the brown heathland ahead of them continued as far as the eye could see. On their left the land dipped down into a pleasant valley, before climbing up to yet more moors and on their right, beyond the moors was the glistening of the sea.

"Seems you've done a lot of work and been on your own for a long time," Tobias said after a lengthy silence that had probably made it seem that he hadn't been listening to what Nat had said in the first place. "Say, Nat. How old are you?"
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Member

108 Posts
4 Threads

Age: 19
Occupation: Trading, taking apart things, and pickpocket
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=454
Height: 5'1"
Registered: Apr 2021

#44
While enjoying the ride, Nat made a note of landmarks just in case she needed to know how to get to and from the farm.  She wasn't used to not looking for signs and kinds of buildings, but land features that didn't change with the seasons, like large rocks, types of fences, and water shapes nearby, would work.  She had really begun to relax and be at ease with the company when he asked a question that she dreaded when anyone asked.  She didn't lie, but she didn't go detailed.

"I haven't kept up with my birthdate for a while now, several years, to be honest.  My mum always called me her small bean."  She gave a light laugh, but then her face became sad.  She didn't like thinking about her parents as it brought back the memories of that night.  "I don't like thinking about it, makes me think of birthdays Mum and Papa would make it a big deal."  She looked away to hide the sadness.  Again, she wasn't lying, just not giving all the details.
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Senior Member

588 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#45
Tobias glanced at the child, before turning his eyes back on the horse. That only suggested Nat had been out on his own from a young age, for given the fact that he hadn't reached puberty yet, he couldn't be older than thirteen. He made a mental note to write to the register's office to find out the child's age. For all he knew, the kid had distant relatives who could take him in. And anyway, somebody ought get into trouble over this child having lived on the streets for so long. "Have you finished school?"
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Member

108 Posts
4 Threads

Age: 19
Occupation: Trading, taking apart things, and pickpocket
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=454
Height: 5'1"
Registered: Apr 2021

#46
She nodded.  "My parents started me learning early with helping with the shop.  I went to school too, but I was advance most.  I helped with the inventory and putting the numbers in the ledger.  I worked the till too.  So, I am good knowing how to give change and make sure no one shorted us.  Mum taught me to read early too.  It was her that made me like books."  She nodded.
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Senior Member

588 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#47
"That's all very well, but do you have a school leaving certificate? Were you in school long enough to obtain one?" He'd have to send the kid to school if he didn't. Tobias wasn't even sure if he could set Nat to work during school hours otherwise.
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Member

108 Posts
4 Threads

Age: 19
Occupation: Trading, taking apart things, and pickpocket
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=454
Height: 5'1"
Registered: Apr 2021

#48
Nat had not had a regular full-time job.  She had worked at her parent's shop after school and during breaks, then full-time once she finished school.  Her paperwork would have her full name and give up her secret.  She had kept it, folden carefully in the frame under the picture of her family deep in her backpack.  She thought about it, she couldn't let him know about her, not yet.  She needed to make sure it was safe to let him know.  She thought maybe soon she could, if this place worked out, but she had to be safe about it.

"I think so, I am not sure though.  I have some things that I kept from then, but not much.  I'll have to look.  I haven't ever needed it, as I just went from job to job."  She again was honest.  People were always hiring the street kids for this or that.
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Senior Member

588 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#49
"It will be important later in life, if you want something better," said Tobias. "If you don't have it, you must go to school in Castleton and do your work outside of school hours. That's what Jimmy does."
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Member

108 Posts
4 Threads

Age: 19
Occupation: Trading, taking apart things, and pickpocket
Plotter: https://bywitandwhitby.rpginitiative.com...hp?tid=454
Height: 5'1"
Registered: Apr 2021

#50
She frowned.  Having to do all that over again with a bunch of kids in a schoolroom was not a happy thought.  She would have to figure it out later when it came to be an issue.  For now, she needed to see how this situation would go.  There was time to deal with that issue. 

Relaxing back, she continued to look at the scenery and making mental landmarks.  Though she was mainly enjoying the ride and the lovely landscape.   "How long have you lived out here, Mr. Appleton?  It sure is pretty."
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