With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chapter Thirty-Two: Uncle Sam Steps In

"Well," said Daniel. "The good news is that the Kissstarter campaign has gotten over thirty thousand and it's been running less than a week and a half. Thank you, George."

Nancy said, "That's great news!"  She blew a kiss at George.

Sal said, "What's the bad news?"

"The bad news is that we have no way to track the money and if the government has any questions about our financial operations, we could be in big trouble."

"Don't worry," Peter said.  It was the second meeting of the old-timers and the lawyers. "If anyone has any questions, refer them to me.  You've reported everything to the police.  We can run a very credible defense if we need to."

"At this point I'm not sure what we can do," Dan said.  "At this point I wouldn't be surprised if a government agent appeared on our doorstep."

"A month ago I would have told you to stop fearing the worst," Luna said.  "Now, unfortunately, I'm inclined to agree with you."

"I think we all are," Viv said.  "Although I'm not sure what can happen worse than what we've had."

"Don't say that," Cat said.  "I don't want to find out."

"Look," George said.  "We know who's behind all this."

"Yeah," Fred said. "But we can't prove anything.  Believe me, I want to find some evidence that implicates them."

"What bothers me is it's got us not trusting any of the new folks," Nancy said.  "They're out there working away and we don't want them here in this meeting because we don't know who else might be one of Ms Reagon's plants."

"I know," Luna said.  "It bothers me too.  But I liked Barbara so much.  I can't believe she stole our money and then set the place on fire.  It makes me wonder what else we don't know about these folks."

"Well, don't let anyone new into the commune for now," Peter said.  "And that includes lawyers, bookkeepers, and any other professional who might appear on your doorstep.  I'll vouch for George and Fred.  And when we do get a bookkeeper, one of us will be with them the whole time."

"Right now we really can't use a bookkeeper," Dan said.  "Not until we actually have some books they can look at."

"Yeah," said Fred.  "We'll have to do something about that.  And I want add that I'm in touch with some folks that are investigating Ms Reagon and Monsterinsano.  I'll let you know what I find out as soon as I find out something."

"I think they know a lot more about us than we know about them," Sal said.  "And we still don't know if they have other spies that are living among us.  What are we going to tell the other folks about this meeting?"

"We'll tell them the truth," Luna said.  "They know all about our worries and they're all being pretty understanding.  Or at least they're acting that way.  We'll just report the results of this meeting in our commune meeting tomorrow night.  At this point all we can do is hope for the best."

"Or at least that things get better than they have been," said Marge.


Ken was the facilitator for the meeting.  He was very surprised when he saw that Edgar had put himself on the agenda.

"Okay, Edgar," Ken said when they got to that item.  "You wanted to talk about yourself?"

"Yeah," said Edgar.  "That's right.  Everybody should sit back.  This may take a bit."

He sat up straighter and his voice suddenly became crisp and authoritative. "My name is Special Agent Edgar J Gordon. I'm with the Federal Investigating Bureau."

"I knew it," Marge said.  "I knew it as soon as I first saw you."

"How could you tell?" Edgar asked.

"Those shiny black shoes," Marge said.  "No one else wears black leather shoes with jeans."

"Government regulation footwear," Edgar said.  He paused and started up again.  "I came here because we heard there were anarchists living here and we wanted to investigate."

"And?" prompted Sal.

"And, yes, I think there are anarchists living here.  However, at this point, anarchists worry me less than arsonists, not to mention thieves and saboteurs.  I'm much more interested in the fraud and deceit that's being perpetrated on you than whatever political beliefs you might have...

"In other words, I want to put a stop to all this."

"You mean you want to help us?" Luna said.

"That's right," Edgar replied.  "I'm on your side.  I've seen how hard you work and I'm watching a vast right-wing conspiracy trying to destroy this farm.  I'm going to try to make sure that doesn't happen."

"Can you do that even with a conservative congress in charge?" asked Dan.

"That isn't going to matter.  We don't work for congress.  Our ultimate boss is the president and, fortunately, there's a liberal in office."

"What can you do for us?" asked Nancy.

"I'm going to go back to headquarters and push to have the investigation expanded to include Mr Nixon, Ms Reagon, and Monsterinsano.  I'm only going to ask one thing of all of you."

"What's that?" Luna asked him.

"I want to be able to come back from time to time and help out with the farming," Edgar said.  "I was raised on a farm in Wisconsin and haven't had a chance to play in the soil since I was a kid.  I'd love to be able to help out here when my work isn't too busy."

"Well," Chuck said.  "You can till my fields anytime, big boy.  And I mean it in the nicest possible way."

"Absolutely," Luna said.  "You're welcome back anytime.  We can use your help."

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