They were back five days later.
The Trollwork Team made lots of apologies, claiming that they had been called away on an emergency repair job and they just didn't have a chance to get back to the folks at the commune about the situation.
But once they got themselves back to work, they went to work quickly. Within a day, they had the basement foundation finished and soil bermed.
Next the walls went up, using lumberplanking for the framework and making walls out of crammed dirt plastered with corn on the cob. As they had promised, the crew used hay bucking to provide extra insulation to the exterior walls. The walls looked thick, solid, and secure.
“This is incredible,” said Grace. “I’ve never seen an actual house being built--and particularly using such alternative techniques.”
“I’ve seen some of this done at Squat Mountain,” Chuck said, “but we didn’t really know what we were doing. These folks are amazing.”
“And fast,” Marge said. “At this rate, they’ll have the whole house built by the end of the week.”
The house wasn’t finished by Friday afternoon, but it was close.
“About three more days,” Thistle said. “I expect we’ll be putting on the finishing touches on Sunday, and have it all complete by this time on Monday.”
“Who owns all the property around here?” Sorrel asked Cat as they were finishing up the building work for the day.
“Well,” Cat replied, “one of our neighbors is a lawyer and a friend of ours. Then we have an older woman on the other side of us who basically keeps to herself. We don’t see her very much.”
“Yeah,” said Grace, “and in back of us is a small dairy farm. We get our milk from them.”
“And what about that house across the street from you?” asked Sowbug.
“Stay away from them,” Will said. “They’re real bad news.”
“We heard,” said Sorrel. “We were told that they were the cause of your problems.”
“Well, we can’t prove it,” Cat said. “But you really don’t want to mess with them.”
“Okay team, let’s go,” Thistle said. “We’ll be back tomorrow.”
She turned to Sorrel and Sowbug. “You want to hang out with these folks, you can do it after the building’s done. And the building will be done by Monday night if I have anything to say about it.”
“Yeah,” Earthworm said. “Hopefully you can all come back on Tuesday and hang all you want. We should be all finished here. Wednesday we start on our new project, if all goes well. So let’s move now.”
“Hey,” Nancy said. “Tuesday we’re gonna have a party for all of you.”
“We’ll be glad to come,” Thistle said, “but I want to worry about completing the work on your house first. Then we can party.”
They held the party on Tuesday in the newly built house.
Everyone was admiring the beautiful structure and solid walls.
“This is gorgeous,” said Nancy.
“Notice how warm it is in here,” Earthworm pointed out. “You should be able to heat this house in the dead of winter with a dance party.”
“Great,” Sal said. “Now we’re going to need to find members whose only job will be dancing all winter.”
“If you don’t want to keep people dancing,” Thistle replied, “you could heat this place with a hair dryer.”
“Do you know anyone who actually has a hair dryer?” Chuck asked. “I didn’t even know anyone at Squat Mountain who had a hair dryer--and that place was full of hair and makeup queens.”
The Troll leaned back in corner, gazing over the gathering with a satisfied smile.
Luna approached him. “Your folks did a good job,” she said.
“Yeah,” he said. “They’re good workers. I wouldn’t expect anything else.”
“Where are you off to next?”
“We got a job quite a bit south of here,” the Troll said. “Almost down to the state line. Some Bratty town folks want us to put up a new residence.”
Dan was nearby. “Well,” he said. “If you want a reference, we’ll give you a good one.”
“I told you they were good,” Ed said.
“Thanks,” Luna said. “This new house is going to make a big deal of difference to the farm.”
“It’s the first thing that’s gone well in a couple of months,” said Viv.
“I hope this will start a trend,” said Cat. “I’d like things to be easy for a while, again.”