1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 22
“But they couldn’t buy it,” Mrs. Sanderlin said. “They didn’t have the money.”
“But they could buy shirts easier than they could buy shirt factories. They could buy cars easier than they could buy car factories.”
Hayley’s memories of up-time were starting to get more than a little vague. Three and a half years is a much higher percentage of a teenager’s life than the life of her parents. But here, experience in down-time business was fresh. “Competition?” she asked doubtfully. “Competition isn’t that much of a problem, Dad. There is always more market than product to fill it.”
“Selling up-time products down-time, sure,” Sonny told her. “But up-time the competition of established industries was a real problem for start-ups.”
They continued to talk about the meaning of opportunity and the effect of the Ring of Fire.
“Here you go, Mrs. Simpson,” Brandon Fortney said as he poured some grain into the bird’s food dish. Mrs. Simpson was his favorite Rhode Island Red and was normally a good layer, but she was upset by the move. Brandon had four dozen fertilized eggs in a Rosin Foam incubator, a Rhode Island Red rooster, Captain Jack, and another hen, Eliza, also a Rhodie. He hoped that would be enough to establish a good up-time laying flock in Vienna. Meanwhile, the hens weren’t laying, and though he knew it was probably just the trip, it still worried him.
Well, that, and the whole business of heating water for the hot water bottles that had to be in the incubator. That was really a hassle on the road, but he had managed.
Once he was done with the chickens, he moved to the rabbit hutches. He had a pair of Satins, which had a good growth rate and a good meat to bone ratio. Some girls might make those silly Angora rabbits into pets, but in Brandon’s mind, you took care of the animals you intended to eat, only it didn’t pay to get sentimental about them. Besides, his big sister Hayley was rich and it was embarrassing not to have a business of his own. Animal husbandry was all he had been able to come up with, since there didn’t appear to be a lot of money in entomology.
Brandon sighed over that. He had a great bug collection and it was utterly unfair that Hayley’s Barbies had been worth so much more than his bugs. He’d been afraid that Mom and Dad might make him leave it in Grantville, since they were so concerned over weight. And honestly, on the overland trip before they got to the Danube, he had almost regretted bringing the bugs. They had a whole wagon train just of their stuff, not including the cars for the Austrian prince guy. But now that they were on the river, it was a lot easier. He had more time to take care of the chickens and rabbits, which was a good thing because it was getting real close to time for the eggs to hatch. It had taken them longer to get to the river than they expected, and then they had sat in Regensburg for a week, waiting for word that it was all right to come ahead. He was pretty sure the eggs were going to hatch before they got to Vienna. They were moving a lot faster now that they were on the river, but it was still only about nine miles an hour. They would still be on the river when they hatched, not situated in Vienna, according to plan. That was going to be another problem. The chicks would have to be kept warm, fed, and watered.
The next day Brandon’s concern became fact as the eggs started hatching. Before they reached Vienna, he had thirty-eight chicks. There were chicken sexers in Grantville now, but Brandon wasn’t one of them. The chicks would have to wait till they got older before he would know how many of each sort he had. He hoped for more hens than roosters, but it would probably be about even. Meanwhile he had all those chicks to take care of in circumstances that were hardly ideal.
“Brandon! When is that chicken pen going to be ready?” Dana Fortney was trying to sound severe, but it was hard. First, the chicks were cute as buttons. Chicks usually are. Second, it was hardly Brandon’s fault that the trip had taken longer than expected. He had expected to be in Vienna when they hatched. Meanwhile, he had hired one of the boatmen to help him weave a fence out of tree branches and currently had boxes containing the chicks. Well, almost containing the chicks.
Docks, Vienna, Austria
The barges pulled up to Vienna carrying two cars and several tons of up-time or up-time designed goods. They were met at the docks by a royal factotum. Who set about organizing the transport of the cars through Vienna and out to what would become the race track. Oh, and the rest of them too.
“Chicks?” the official said, in slightly offended tones. “Why on Earth did you people bring chickens? We have chickens. What do we need with up-time chickens?”
“Not like my chickens, you don’t,” Brandon said stoutly. “My chickens lay bigger eggs and more of them. They are also bigger than your chickens, more meat. And they are my chickens, not yours. We just need a coop to hold them.”
“We have the cars, the prince’s 240Z,” Bob Sanderlin said. “And ours as well, but there isn’t a lot of room for them here in the city. I doubt the 240Z could get through a lot of your streets. They ain’t wide enough.”