Horner Springs, The Institute Ch. 07


Jacqueline Bacon slid onto a barstool at Hoppy Daze, Horner Springs’ newest artisanal brewery. She looked down at her very slightly worn jeans and deliberately scuffed ropers. Then gazing around the room at the collection of cowboys, students, late season fly anglers, locals and dogs that inhabited the place, she decided that she didn’t look too out of place. Now, if she could just manage to keep the Boston out of her speech she might not be immediately marked as a newcomer.

“Hi,” the solid-looking man behind the bar greeted her from underneath an impressive handlebar mustache, “I don’t recognize you. Visiting?”

Well, so much for not being marked as a newcomer! “No,” Jackie chuckled, “I’m the architect responsible for turning the Bar Noon into an environmental science field station for the college. It will probably take several years so I’m a new resident—at least for now.”

“Aha! You’re just what I need, an outside opinion. Give this a try,” the man handed her a pint glass with a good head on it, “It’s my latest recipe, a chokecherry lager.”

Jacqueline blinked and then shrugged as she sipped the odd sounding concoction. “Gee, this is good. Chokecherries?”

The big man grinned. “Yep, all local ingredients. Water from the Springs, barley and hops from the valley, chokecherries from along the creeks and venture capital from Jay Horner. And labor from me, of course. I’m Cal Hoff, brewmaster, CEO and head barman.” He held out a big, friendly hand.

“Well, hello Cal,” she replied as her own hand disappeared into his mitt, “I’m Jacqueline Bacon.”

Cal had a warm, firm handshake and a cheerful manner that made him attractive, Jackie thought. Her next thought was that she’d never been eaten by a man with a mustache that big. What would it be like? Interesting . . .

“So how did you get into craft brewing?” she asked.

“It was a long, convoluted path,” Cal answered with a laugh, “I enlisted in the Army at seventeen to become a helicopter mechanic. Over the six year hitch I earned an AA in aeronautical engineering and applied for Warrant Officer flight school. I got in and became a helicopter pilot. By the time I had enough time in to retire I was a CW3 and had to decide whether to stay in for thirty or retire. I came home here and talked to the guys at the flying service over at Horner Field and they offered me a job on the spot. So I took my VA benefits and bought a house and started flying choppers and joined the home brew club. That’s where I met Jay. He and I are both big homebrew fans and mine was so good that he offered to help me start this place. So I used my GI Bill and some of his cash and here I am, a retired Warrant, part-time helicopter pilot and fulltime barkeep.”

Jacqueline shook her head in wonder. “Well, it sounds like you don’t have much time to be bored.”

“That’s true,” Cal allowed, “but it does cut into what ought to be my social life. I kind of have to sit here and hope that nice ladies come to me. And now and then, one does.”

Jackie burst into giggles. “Well, I’ve heard some pickup lines in my time but that may be the most creative, yet. I think I’ll just stick around for another pint or so, since you’re being so entertaining. I suppose that since you allow dogs in here there’s nothing to eat?”

Cal reached behind the counter and pulled up a folder with a selection of business cards in it.

“Nope,” he answered, “but all these neighboring businesses deliver so you just choose one and let them bring it here to you.” He leaned close to whisper, “Personally, I’d go for Otto’s Wursthaus. His Thüringer bratwurst is the best I’ve ever had and I ate a lot of it in Germany. And don’t forget to have him bring in his onion/garlic sauerkraut to put over it. Good eats? Man!”


Even with industrial strength mufflers, the big compressors driving the earth tampers at the Heityme Center were noisy. Jacqueline stood well away from them as she looked over the plans for the big stables Laurie and Michelle had decided to share.

“This is an interesting technique,” Anderson Standing Elk, the general contractor, commented, “Pouring concrete or blowing gunite or shotcrete we understand but hammering a cement/soil into a form is a new one on us.”

Jacqueline nodded. “Rammed earth is actually a very old way of building. The Chinese began using it over seven thousand years ago and it’s been used all over the world. Traditionally it’s been held in low esteem by designers and builders who don’t understand just how to do it. There’s been this feeling that it isn’t earthquake safe and that the walls erode in the rain. But sufficient rebar in the wall and enough Portland cement in the mix solves both those problems. It’s also really inexpensive. You just use the soil off the building site and mix in some quarry fines and some cement and start thumping. Your crew caught on really quick, Andy. I can see why Jay recommended you.”

“That part about low cost caught the attention of the elders. Housing at the Gaziantep Saatlik Escort Reservation has always been substandard, mostly because there has never been enough money to improve it. How much would it cost to have you design a number of homes that could be put up quickly and under budget?”

“Andy,” Jacqueline replied sadly, “my family has so much money it would immoral for me to charge you anything. I only charge big bucks to those who have them. For the tribe? Pro bono, Andy. How many plans do you want and how big should these homes be?”

Anderson looked startled. “Your family is rich? Then why are you working?”

“My family’s wealth borders on the obscene, man. I’m an architect because if I wasn’t doing something useful I’d be a worthless society butterfly. Most of the rest are obsessed with horses. I like horses, too, but like my cousin Justin, I want to give back to the world for how much I’ve gotten. Tell me, would the elders be interested in a casino? I understand they’re all the rage among the First Nations.”

Anderson sighed. “The elders would love a casino. Unfortunately, there’s the problem of access. We don’t have a big interstate running by the Res so attracting anyone to the casino would be a problem.”

“And the tribe can’t afford a piece of property in Horner Springs? Hmmm, you know I think there may be a way around that. Let me call my grandmother and get back to you.”


Hester Heityme-Bacon read the email from Jacqueline and scowled. After drumming her fingers on the desk for a while, she opened the Google Earth application and zeroed in on the Horner Springs Indian Reservation. What she saw deepened that scowl into the black frown that three generations of her descendants and their relations had come to dread. If Grandmother ain’t happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy, ran the saying in the family and right now Grandmother was decidedly not happy.

Rising from her desk, she strode out into the main living areas in the ‘cottage’ that had been summer home to the Heitymes since the 1870’s. Approaching her youngest son, she held out the laptop with its image of squalor.

“Theodore,” she growled, “the family needs to talk. Get your siblings and cousins on conference call at once. We have a duty!”


Laurie came home from the store to find Justin and Michi sitting in the front room looking pale and shocked, cell phones silent on their laps.

“What in Hell?”

“Jacqueline sent Aunt Hester an email about the conditions on the Reservation. Auntie lost it!”

“Hester has a temper?” Laurie was intrigued.

“Remember my saying that she could be as remorseless as a crocodile?” Justin quavered.

“Uh, yes, I believe you said something like that.”

“Crocodile is only when she’s determined. When she’s angry . . .”

“Uuhh-oh. So who did what? Or do I really want to know?”

Justin shook his head and Michelle took his hand, stroking his arm.

“It’s not that any one person did any one thing. It’s that—even by Indian reservation standards, the Horner Springs Reservation is poor. If Hester was going to breathe fire at anyone it might be Jay Horner but since he isn’t family, he gets off. Still she thinks he should have done something but since he hasn’t, we will! Since Jackie and I are the family’s points on this, we have one month to acquire a piece of land big enough for a profitable casino resort with construction to begin immediately after the spring thaw. That means Jackie is about to start putting in design overtime like she’s never done before. I’m to give her ‘all possible help’ and in Aunt Hester’s vocabulary, that means all help whether possible or not.”

“She was really mad,” Michelle peeped meekly. “Justin’s parents are calling emergency board meetings of all the banks they have major interest in. All the other relatives are doing the same and calling in favors from Congress members and Senators. It’s going to be intense, Laurie, and poor Justin’s research may be collateral damage.” She started to cry.

Laurie took a deep breath. “How big a parcel is Hester thinking of?”

Justin shook his head. “I have no idea. How big a parcel does it take to build a casino with hotel and parking? That’s what she’s talking about and ‘no’ is an answer Aunt Hester simply won’t hear.”

Slowly Laurie reached down to her belt and withdrew her cell phone. Thumbing onto the Contacts function, she scrolled down to ‘P’ and punched Provost. The other end of the connection began ringing.


A lot can happen in two weeks, especially when a very rich, very determined and very angry elderly woman is driving things. And so a conference call started. Futter College was represented by the Provost, Otis Chandless, the President of the Futter Board of Regents, Jay Horner, and Laurie Beindre. Justin and Jacqueline represented the Heityme family’s interest in The West and Helen Growing Thunder, current Chief of the tribe, represented the Reservation.

Across the country Congressional staffers joined banking executives, the architecture firm Jackie works for (senior partner, Everett Peabody, Jr. presiding), an undersecretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and others—including, of course, Franklin Heityme and Aunt Hester.

“Hello, everyone,” she began sternly, “this meeting is called to solve a problem. Therefore, there will be no ‘yes, but’ nonsense, no quoting ‘policy’ and absolutely no ‘but we’ve never done this before’. The problem will be solved and we will do it—won’t we?

Heads nodded all over the continent.

“Now, Provost Chandless, would you please begin?”

Otis cleared his throat. “Some years ago, Ebenezer Milkwood and his wife, being childless, left the bulk of their estate to the Futter Foundation. Among the articles in the bequest was a parcel of land encompassing some twelve-and-a-half acres bordering on Horner Field. The college hasn’t done anything with it because we haven’t had any use for it. It would be ideally located for a casino resort. Unfortunately, as the BIA as advised me, just owning the land wouldn’t meet the ‘sovereignty’ aspect of the tribe. It would have to be part of the Reservation land before the tribe could legally open a casino. Unfortunately, the Milkwood bequest specifically forbids the College selling the land.”

“However,” Chief Growing Thunder interjected, “the bequest strangely omits any reference to exchange and in that omission I believe lies the answer to our dilemma.”

“Quite so,” answered Undersecretary High Elk (Oglala Dakota), “If the Milkwood property were exchanged for land within the boundaries of the Reservation the Reservation’s boundaries would be redrawn to include the land on the airfield and the tribe could do with it as it wished.”

“If I may,” spoke up Ms. Kropofski from the Nature Conservancy, “Horner Springs Reservation abuts the National Forest. Once the exchange is made the Conservancy will buy the now saleable land from the college and donate it to the National Forest System. All parties benefit.”


As the meeting droned on (and on!), out in the Provost’s waiting room Chief Growing Thunder’s teenaged twins, Malcolm and Marilyn, were raptly watching Michelle’s cell phone videos of polo games.

“Let me get this straight,” Malcolm began, “polo is like lacrosse played on horseback?”

“And girls can play with the guys?” added Marilynn.

“Mm-hm,” Michi replied, “I played with and against guys all the time back in Pemberton. Of course, we can’t use the mallet to check the way lacrosse players do.”

“Lacrosse—on horseback. Dude, how Indian can you get? We could do this! Forget all the fancy-pansy rich kid stuff. This is a dirt game just made for us.”

“Except that it’s really expensive,” Marilynn was less impressed. “I mean, it looks like fun and all but our ponies probably wouldn’t like doing all that close quarter maneuvering. They’re all about just get up and run.”

“You’d be surprised,” Michelle said with a wink, “some of the best polo ponies are U.S. quarter horse/thoroughbred cross. The same kind of agility a pony needs is what a quarter horse does cutting cattle. You guys would just have to get used to riding English.”

The two Indian kids were quiet and obviously thinking hard.

“Would—could there be polo scholarships to Futter?” Marilynn asked timidly.


“I’m amazed,” Laurie said as she drove home, “The way your father marshalled everything together in such a short time was positively military.”

“Naval,” Justin responded, “Dad went to Annapolis. All the Heityme eldest sons go either to West Point or to Annapolis. The family opinion is that business school is for chumps. The way to maintain the family fortune is through logistics, not market theory, we believe. Back in the early days we tended to be cavalry officers but since WWII, men like Dad and my brother Randolph have concentrated on Supply.”

“Just the eldest sons? What about eldest daughters?”

Michelle snorted from the back seat of the jeep.

“There aren’t any,” Jacqueline explained, “The last daughter born into the direct Heityme line was Grandmother. I’m sure she would have made one Hell of an officer but women weren’t allowed into the academies back then so she went to Smith. Didn’t make much difference. She’s still in command.”

Laurie nodded thoughtfully. “So Futter College can thank an accident of birth order for you’re coming here?”

“Yup,” Justin answered, “I get to be a scientist instead of a financier by being born second. I don’t know if I’d have done well at one of the academies, anyway. I suspect that I’m not only happier but much better off out here in Futter. Fortunately, Randolph loves the play of money and goods so the fortune is safe in his hands. Anyway, it’s a major relief to not have to do anything more in this project. Aunt Hester is happy now so we can all be happy again. I was really worried there for a while. Thanks so much for remembering the Milkwood bequest, lover. That saved so much time and sweat!”

Laurie reached over and squeezed the inside of Justin’s thigh. “I got lucky. Given a choice between luck and brains, go for luck every time! Anyway, I think this calls for some sort of celebration.”

“Heck, yeah,” Jacqueline laughed, “Justin’s off the hook, the tribe will prosper, the family will make even more money, my firm has a new project and even the city will be better off, now that Frontier and Delta are going to start flying into Horner Field once a week to feed the casino. Jay really scored points by getting the city council to agree to building a modest terminal and expanding the parking for private aircraft. I can see this place becoming quite the upscale tourist draw. Now all we have to do is keep them at the casino and the lodge and not start sneaking into town and upsetting the place’s comfort zone.”

“Yeah,” Michelle agreed, “We definitely don’t want word of Horner Springs most important attraction to get out to the press. No strangers allowed in our orgies!”

“Speaking of which,” Jacqueline purred and reached forward to run her fingers through Justin’s hair as they arrived at the house, “since we’ve decided on a celebration, I move we gang bang my cousin.”

“Do what?” Justin squawked as he got out of the car, “Jacqueline!”

Michelle moved swiftly to pin his arms at his sides from behind. “Gee, Laurie and I have talked about that. We think it would be fun. Come on, baby, you know you’d like being crawled all over by naked women. Besides, once the new house is built we’ll have this bed for eight so let’s start figuring out how to use it.”

Laurie looked speculatively at Jacqueline. “How about a gang bang withA your cousin?” She moved behind the younger woman, wrapped her arms around her and pressed her hips against Jacki’s buttocks, “Unless I’m mistaken you’ve been too busy to really embrace the Horner Springs lifestyle, sweetie. Kids, I’m for taking our architect out for a test drive, hmm?”

“What? All of you?” Jacqueline was torn between alarm and excitement.

“Sounds good to me,” Justin grinned and reached back for Michi’s crotch, “Don’t tell me you didn’t get into any girly sex at Dartmouth. That place’s reputation is well-known.”

“Well, not really,” Jacqueline squeaked, “I mean all we did was kiss and cuddle a little. I never really got into it heavy.”

“Then maybe it’s time for some serious experimentation,” Laurie whispered in the girl’s ear, “Michi and I are already lovers; you may as well join in. And I know Justin would love to get into those Lady Wranglers of yours. Come inside with us, my girl, and then you’ll cum with us inside.”

Justin opened the door with a leer on his face while Laurie and Michelle pulled Jacqueline indoors. Jacki had had erotic ideas of her own but suddenly becoming the object of desire unsettled. Still, it was bound to be fun one way or another so she smiled and shrugged and allowed the passionate play to begin.

The two women swiftly and efficiently stripped her down and then began kissing and fondling her from both sides while Justin undressed, eyes twinkling, and cleared the coffee table for action.

“Go in the bedroom and get the Feeldoes™, baby,” Laurie commanded her naked lover with a wink, “and some KY and towels. This is going to be messy.”

“The great thing about a guy like Justin,” Michelle said quietly as she fondled Jacqueline’s breast with on hand and squeezed her butt with the other, “is that he actually can do all three of us while at the same time taking it from all three of us. Not that I expect you to be in the Top position tonight, sweetie. Tonight you’re the toy. I may even order a collar for you to wear whenever you come over.”

“Shh!” Laurie said sternly before starting to kiss a line down Jacqueline’s neck, “we don’t want to scare her off, you know.”

A collar? Jacqueline was intrigued. She’d been bored to tears with the men of her acquaintance back in Boston but wasn’t sure why. Now the idea started to percolate through her brain that what she wanted was a completely different relationship in private from what she wanted in public. Naturally she wanted respect for her abilities within her profession but behind the bedroom door? A little dominance, perhaps even some discipline might be just the kind of spice that her previously humdrum sex life was lacking.

“I’m not scared. And after all, if I’m going to explore the edges of kink, who better to do it with than you guys? I mean, with Laurie Beindre? Do me!”

Laurie held up a hand. “Okay, Jacki, understand that kinky scenes are all scripted and agreed on beforehand. If all you want is a little orgy for four, we can just begin. But if you have anything more than that in mind we need to stop and discuss the rules. So what do you have in mind?”

“Uh—well, I’m not sure. What are the options?”

Michelle straightened up and moved from fondling to a hug. She looked over at Justin who was coming back from the bedroom with Feeldoes™ in one hand and two kinds of lubricant in the other. “Laurie just pushed ‘Pause’,” she told him.