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For All Nails #218: Southern Men

Payne, VA, SC, CNA (1)
Oct. 17, 1975
12:15 PM

Brian Donaldson and Harold Pickett sat on a park bench
10 feet east of a flagpole.  The CNA flag flapped in
the wind, which was threatening to blow Harold's cap
from his head.  He took it off and held it in his lap.
 Brian looked at his watch impatiently.  They were
supposed to be met fifteen minutes ago.

A voice from behind said to them, "Are you mates new
in town?"

Harold turned around.  "Why yes, we're driving through
and needed a break," he answered.

"The fish and chips are good here.  So is the
whiskey," their contact answered back.  "Come, I know
a diner that's good to talk safely in."

As they got up from the bench, an attractive woman
passed the flagpole and spat in the grass around it. 
She was the fifth person to do that since Harold and
Brian had been sitting there.

A sign above a storefront about two blocks away read
_Arnold's_.  The three men walked in and found the
place half full.  They seated themselves toward the
back.  Brian introduced the contact as Theo Simon.  A
large man got up from the booth across from them and
sat down next to Simon.  Brian introduced him as Shane
Gartner.  Simon said, "Try the fish 'n' chips, mates,
best ones for miles around."  A waitress came up just
then and they all wound up having fish.  

"Does everyone around here spit on the flagpole so?"
Harold asked in a low voice.

"Oh, yeah," said Brian, Theo, and Shane all at once,
then the three laughed.  Theo went on, "They've been
doing it since that flagpole went up after the town
was founded in 1800.  We were founded by patriot
refugees from the coast after the Trans-Oceanic War. 
The patriot spirit has always run strong hereabouts. 
Hasn't hurt that the CNA has never been good to this
area; we've always been a little poor."  Harold knew
then that reading the book Brian had given him was a
good idea.  It was still surprising seeing things for
himself, though.

"Actually," Gartner took up the explanation, "the town
was named for Thomas Paine, but they figured back then
that'd raise some eyebrows in the wrong places.  So
they did the easy thing and changed the spelling."

Harold raised an eyebrow at this.  It all seemed a
little strange.  It was then that their drinks
arrived:  coffee for Gartner, beer for the rest. 
Brian took a pull on his, and then shifted topics. 
"You know why we're here.  George in Boston thinks the
time to make a major move is soon. (2)  There's
hostility building toward the British over the New
Grenada thing.  I guess they're looking to carve up
the area, set up a Venezuelan puppet government, and
then loot the whole place for its oil.  Which would be
good for us by itself, but the CBI is taking a lot of
heat over Endicott.  Negative press, hearings, and
protests not even connected to the movement.  The
situation is ripe for the true patriots to move in."

"So what's our part?" asked Simon.

Brian started to talk, but waited until a group of
noisy coal miners passed by on their way out.  "For
now, make sure your town is ready.  You've got more
manpower per total population in this region than the
rest of the movement does nationwide.  In the
short-term, George is planning something big in Boston
for next month.  As big a protest as we can muster. 
In a week or two, you'll be contacted with further
instructions.  We'll be needing you to send a
contingent.  We also need you to stay in contact with
the other towns that are big in the movement here. 
Ask them if they can send people too."

"How many?" Gartner wanted to know.

"About fifty or a hundred from each town should do. 
All the chapters up north and in Indiana will be
sending people.  We're looking for a total of about
1,500."  

Theo nodded with a smile on his face.  "I like it! 
It's a lot more than they've accomplished in Maine,
that's for sure."

Brian scowled.  "Bank robbers hiding behind ideology. 
What's happening in Maine is just an organized crime
racket.  Or ex-racket now I suppose."  (3)

The fish and chips arrived then.  Harold decided that
they were as good as he'd been told.

1. OTL Morehead, KY.

2.  See FAN #162 for George.

3.  See FAN #203.