Brom: Well, howdy, Nephenee! Isn’t it a beautiful day?
Nephenee: Mmm-hmm. It sure is!
Brom: I bet your hometown is real busy now, what with harvest season approaching and all.
Nephenee: Yeah, I bet. I’m sure my brothers and sisters are grumblin’ at Ma for making them help in the fields.
Brom: Ho ho! All kids ever want to do is play. I should know! Say, how many people are in your family, Nephenee?
Nephenee: I have two younger sisters and three younger brothers. The boys are triplets. They just turned six years old.
Brom: That’s too much for your mom to handle all on her own!
Nephenee: Yep, I’m sure Ma chews ’em out every day. What about you, Brom?
Brom: My kids are a little older. I hope they’re helping Mother like they’re supposed to…
Nephenee: Don’t worry ’bout it, Brom. I’m sure they are.
Brom: Where are those barracks anyway?
Nephenee: Hmm… I’m not sure.
Brom: How do these guys know where to go without getting lost? Moving from one camp to the next every day, never resting, bad food… Oh, it’s got me all worked up!
Nephenee: It’s a war. There ain’t nothin’ you can do. We just have to get used to it.
Brom: I guess you’re right. You and I were strangers to war before.
Nephenee: I know. That’s why I don’t quite understand what passes for normal around here.
Brom: I tell ya, it sure was tough when I first volunteered! For one thing, we militiamen are nothing but a bunch of farmers and villagers. We had courage and determination to spare, but we sure lacked talent!
Nephenee: I know what ya mean, Brom! There weren’t even enough gear for us! They gave me a bow and told me to share it with another gal. But neither one of us knew how to use it, anyhow.
Brom: Yup! I hear you well! The war broke out so suddenly, the only decent training we got was how to stand for roll call! Every time we marched, people got lost or strayed or fled. We were losing soldiers before we even saw the enemy. That’s why I don’t feel bad about being taken prisoner… But this army is real good compared to my last one!
Nephenee: Well, what did you expect? We’re in a real army now. Horsefeathers! Where are those barracks?
Brom: Oh, enough walking! My feet hurt! And my back is sore. Let’s just ask someone.
Nephenee: A-ask someone? Um… Fine. You do it!
Brom: What? What’s wrong?
Nephenee: I… I’m not used to talkin’ with city folk.
Brom: What are you afraid of? Just talk like you always do.
Nephenee: Oh no! I-I’m a country girl! They’ll all set to laughin’…
Brom: Howdy, Nephenee.
Nephenee: Well, hello there, Brom.
Brom: I was just talking to one of those younger fellas. He said you don’t talk much to other people.
Nephenee: Th-that’s because I’m a country girl and… I’m embarrassed.
Brom: What are you embarrassed about? There’s nothing wrong with country!
Nephenee: You know I have a heavy accent! They’ll make fun of me. I can’t talk well like you, Brom.
Brom: Oh, that’s cow plop and you know it! Everyone in this army is so danged nice! They wouldn’t ever laugh at you! Don’t be so uptight. Just pretend you’re back in your own village.
Brom: You smile whenever we talk, right? Aw, you have a beautiful smile. It’s a shame that you hide it. Come on, try smiling now.
Nephenee: Um…all… All right.
Brom: Come on now, smile… Smiiiiile…
Nephenee: Aw, Brom! It’s embarrassing. Like…like this?
Brom: That’s right! That’s it! Yee haw! That’s the smile I want to see. You’re a good-looking girl, Nephenee! The young fellas in the company won’t leave you alone if you keep doing that! Say, why don’t you find a nice guy here and take him back to the village!
Nephenee: S-stop Brom! I’m embarrassed!