Saturday through Tuesday kept the newly titled Serenity foremen busy orientating and training their new hires. April’s weather was pleasant and sunny with an occasional bountiful but short-lived rainstorm. The buds of future leaves were returning to the trees. Very little snow was left on the ground. LaRoque, Mashpit, Rosicot and Bradley Hamer were together in the living room of the main house.
“Jake wants both of you to be familiar with firing a pistol and a rifle.” LaRoque had the weapons spread out on an oilcloth covering the dining room table.
Bradley and Rosicot picked up a pistol. There were two rifles and two shotguns left on the table.
“I tried shooting a pistol several times, John. I can’t hit what I’m aiming at.” Bradley Hamer put the Colt back on the oilcloth.
“What we do is called point shooting. We don’t really aim. We pull out the guns and fire at what we’re looking at.” LaRoque had his two-pistol holster rig on and drew both guns in demonstration. “You’ll just have the one handgun, but you should be able to use the rifle. You do have to aim it and it has accuracy for long distances. The Colts aren’t much good beyond 50 yards–for accuracy I mean.”
“Monsieur, I can use the pistol but I prefer this to the rifle.” Rosicot picked up a shotgun. “In my country, a shotgun is very useful for hunting birds and for causing fear in aggressors.”
“It’ll do that all right.” Mashpit hefted the other shotgun and handed it to Bradley.
“I think you’re right Andy.” Hamer lifted it to his shoulder. “The shotgun is my kind of weapon. I’m bound to hit something with buckshot peppering the area I’m pointing at.”
They all laughed. Bradley Hamer put the gun down and assumed a serious expression. He looked directly at Mashpit to make sure his words were understood.
“Have you all considered what Mrs. Hamer and I proposed? It is the only way we could stay in good conscience with the prospect of violence.”
“But of course,” Rosicot brightened, “Going to church is trés magnifique. In France, we have God in our lives and going to le Church is good.”
“I think I know what your French words mean, Fabian, and I agree it’s okay for us to become Church-goers. In fact, it seems like a logical thing to do, after the war and all. Don’t you think so John?” Mashpit looked at his friend’s face.
“As long as I’m becoming humanized again–why not?” LaRoque looked around the room and focused on Bradley. “What about Jake?”
“Jake talked to me this morning about this.” He paused. “Well, he talked to Mrs. Hamer more than me. He feels religion, or God, is an active player in our lives. He sees it help his patients. He feels it his good fortune to be back in medical school and have a new circle of trusting friends. We all ‘make church appropriate’. Those were his words.”
“Monsieurs let us not forget that another of Jake’s friends is his amour. All of these things are good, non?”
“Yes and that’s why Jake isn’t here tonight.” LaRoque raised his glass of wine to a toast with the others. “Here’s to tomorrow and all other tomorrows. May our shooting tomorrow never have to be tested.”
Mashpit added, “May tomorrow’s training be effective if it ever is tested.”
“May God be with us if we ever have to use these weapons,” Bradley Hamer clinked his glass to the others.
In unison they said, “Amen.”
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