could see. The last time he'd come through they'd all been manned, an odd contrast to the previously deserted town, and now it was the opposite. Maybe this was how they ran their shifts in the morning. Either way he trusted Fred knew what he was doing, so he put it out of his mind.
By the time they reached the General Store near the silos they'd drawn a crowd of dozens of townspeople trailing along after them, drawn by the spectacle. The crowd's main attention was the truck, though, and as Lucas drove it up the street and into the General Store's parking lot he even drew a few cheers, like it was a parade. Trev supposed a vehicle was a rare sight these days, worth gawking at, but he hoped the crowd didn't get any ideas as Fred led the family inside to help them find what they needed.
A few people did, drifting into the store after them. Those curious and hopeful townspeople introduced themselves, struck up conversations, offered valuable personal possessions to sell, or subtly probed the family about the possibility of buying their way onto the truck when they left. Fred put a stop to that pretty quick by shooing everyone else out and having a few of his men wait by the doors to keep order, leaving them to make their purchases in peace.
Trev had noticed those deputies hanging around outside the store, maybe to keep order with the morning bustle. Aside from the lookouts he'd spotted earlier they were the only ones he'd seen. Another oddity of the morning shift probably.
His family wasted no time in spreading through the store searching for specific items to meet their needs, although he saw more than one stop to look closer at something that had caught the eye. Trev never thought he'd be along for a shopping spree after the end of the world, but this came pretty close.
The first thing Lucas did was head over to where Deb and Clara waited behind the counter. Deb looked excited by the morning's events, and had waved to Trev and called out a greeting when he came in, while Clara seemed more impatient at all the bother.
After his uncle introduced himself to the two women he got right down to business confirming the value of his gold coins. It turned out, like Trev had learned before, they were still trading pretty well. After that it wasn't so much a matter of deciding what they could afford but of what they needed and had room to take with them.
Wheat came first. Trev and his dad went out to the truck to do some simple calculations on how much space a sack of wheat took. They decided to use sacks rather than buckets, even though they wouldn't store as well long term that way, because it was way easier to fill every square inch of space with grain in cloth sacks. Besides, there were plenty of empty buckets available at home. As for weight, they were pretty confident the rugged vehicle could handle whatever they put in there, short of something like a full load of lead bars.
It turned out they could fit thousands of pounds in the back, stacking sacks right up to the tarp at the front half of the truck bed and halfway up the rest of the way. That created a fairly flat surface where the people who'd have to ride in the back could sprawl, packing the other things they planned to buy around them.
Definitely claustrophobic, but in a way comfier than the hard benches over long periods of time. While the rest of the family got everything else Trev and his dad started hauling the wheat out and packing it in, helped by Max and a couple other General Store employees. Even Fred pitched in for a few trips.
With the wheat taking up most of the space they had to be selective about what else they bought. They focused on getting a few sets of rugged clothes each, complete with boots, socks, and underwear, along with coats, gloves, and warm hats for when it got colder. They also got backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, several full 5-gallon water jugs, a water purifier, and other useful camping supplies.
Lucas purchased the only AK-47 the