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Barry A. Coughlin, home of
A pinch of romance, a bit of comedy, a dash of mystery and a dose of history is the recipe for Living the Dream.
William Bassett is a land surveyor in the small Midwestern town of St. Elsewhere. While surveying along US Highway 40, he is accidentally struck by a car. He goes into a very deep coma. At first his past flashes through his mind, the free-spirited parents from California that adopted him, Mick and Stevie Woods, Jed Gerken, the surveyor and father figure that took William under his wing and the love of his life, the one that got away, Maggie Magnolia.
Then something unexplainable happens. His past becomes entangled with someone else, someone with the same name, William Bassett! It is December of 1818 and Illinois just became a state. William is a United States Deputy Surveyor in the new Capital city of Kaskaskia. He has been given the task of finding a more centralized location for the state’s Capitol. He must form a survey party, gather supplies and be ready to embark on a journey through uncivilized territory in just a couple of months.
In the local tavern, he finds Duke and Montgomery Longhorn, brothers and buffalo hunters. Two French trappers, Martin St. Louis and Jacques Black agree to join the adventure. Two surveyor's helpers already with William, John and Wayne complete the crew. In his search, he finds more than he bargained for - a woman. The angelic vision of Mary Margaret Rose would capture William’s heart.
The journey is more than an adventure of a lifetime, it is two lives intertwined through time, but only one makes it to the end.
Chapter Six: The Expedition
It was a cold, damp morning. William wasn’t sure if the fog was real or in his head. The smell of coffee piqued his senses and motivated him to emerge from his cocoon of blankets.
“Good morning Boss! Can I get you a cup of coffee?”
“Good morning Wayne. Yes, please.”
“That sure was nice of you and Miss Marie to fix us up that nice basket of grub! Yes sir that was some mighty fine eatin’ last night.”
Wayne liked his vittles. He wasn’t very tall and if it wasn’t for the hard work and extended stays in the woods and prairies, he would probably be as wide as he was tall. On the other hand, John was tall and slender. While Wayne enjoyed cooking and eating all kinds of food, John didn’t care if he ate or not. He could eat the same thing for every meal.
“I’ve warmed up some biscuits and fried some ham, so come and get it,” Wayne said.
Last night the trio of co-workers and friends ate, drank and talked about the Governor’s offer to explore the Kaskaskia River. John and Wayne excitedly agreed to go along.