Reba and I agreed not to go public with our plans for three months, but we also knew once we crossed a certain line it would be impossible to stay away from one another. I sat Berg down and told him what was going to happen, and he took it as if I had told him we needed another ten sheets of plywood. He ran through the possibilities, including the one that Reba was using me to move up the social ladder, and I had to admit that was true because she had said as much. It would enrage the Johnsons, but after they had fallen apart over trying to find Miles they wielded a lot less social power. This would end them because Reba was single and therefore valuable. Any plans they had to leverage that value would be gone once she jumped ship. She planned to move out of their section of the school in a month. Berg brought up a very serious issue when he said there wasn’t a real preacher among us. Several men and a couple of women had written and given sermons, but mostly on Sunday mornings everyone was just too damn tired to get up early. If we were serious about controlling civil authority, Berg told me, we had to be damn careful who we gave the power to marry to, and how that power could be used. The man never really stopped thinking. There wasn’t an angle he hadn’t covered.
I asked Berg if he intended to be one of the first to marry and if he did who did he have picked out and he smiled at that. “I have that kind of time?” he asked. Suddenly, it made sense why he drove himself the way he did, and why he put such effort into keeping most people away from him. A couple of other pieces would fall into place later on, but it really didn’t matter.
The day Reba moved out of the Johnson’s residency that was all anyone could talk about. Berg decided this would be a great day to send me into Quitman on a hardware run and I agreed. We went in with six men, swept the road carefully, and didn’t see even one creature. In town, however, we ran into two of them, both of which showed signs that we had painted them. Ray popped them both and we knew it was a good sign when one of them refused to follow Ray. We thought it might be a sign the thing was dying but it kept trying to follow the group. Ray finally lead it away and we stripped the hardware store of everything we could, leaving very little, not even the shelves. This would be out last trip to this store because it was nearly empty now. Most didn’t think about it but I knew what we had right now was all we would ever have, until we started making things ourselves. Not even Berg knew how to do that and we would have to figure out a way to create or do without, which was slowly becoming a way of life.
End part ten