I met Jake the next morning in the town hall; it was full of the hopeful pilgrims, some from my ship and other pilgrims who had heard of the mission. As being part of the team was much safer than trying to go it alone.
Jake stood behind a small table to his right stood a short man then I stood to his left. I told Jake that my recommendations were the Thompson twins from Ireland and their wives; my others were then Lou Antonella and Mario Rosetta from Italy. He thanked me with a few loud claps he called for the pilgrims that I had recommended to step up to the table.
He started with the Thompson's, he asked why they should be on this mission, Brian looked Jake in the eye then said we are all young, strong, fit and healthy. I worked for the past three years as a butcher; I have skinning and tanning knowledge. My brother Neil and I laboured for many years part-time on a small piece of hard rocky land left to us in our father's will.
The land was poor soil and crops would not grow. My wife Kate worked in the bakery for two years before our departure, Neil is an excellent marksman he won all the shooting trophies back home.
His wife Daisy is a qualified nurse; we are not quitters and are team players.
There is nothing left for us back in Ireland, no family nothing but a constant uphill struggle day after day.
We all know this new land will work for us because we will make it.
Well, Jake said that is exactly what I am after, then there was a loud shuffle and most of the pilgrims lost hope and left.
Then the two Italians told of their past struggles working in a marble quarry since the age of ten. The long hours six days a week with pick and shovel, they told Jake, that they would move a mountain to find gold.
Jake continued until the selection had completed then he introduced Mr Carlton. He is a former army drill sergeant so he will be making you ready for the trip over coming weeks.
Mr Carlton then addressed the group he said I have set up a training course on that steep hill at the east of the town.
We will meet there at six every morning then you will get details of your training. Go now to get some rest and I will see you in the morning, you will meet the rest of the chosen team members then.
The forty eager pilgrims gathered at the training site, they introduce themselves to each other. Mr Carlton sounded a large triangle then asked everyone to gather around him. He said I have trained hundreds of foot soldiers for survival in this land of extreme conditions and challenges.
You will all make every effort to keep up with your training and follow my directions. If you fall behind at any time then you will go, there are many others waiting for the chance to join this mission.
Now select your dress kit from the piles laid out in front of me, don't put your boots on, you will need to follow a process to soften them, or you will get blisters. The mission will be on foot, you will at times be carrying heavy weights in your backpacks. So during the training you will feel the weight increase every day.
You will learn all the survival skills from Ben Harper, a mountain man with over ten years of experience; Ben's role is shooting hunting and shelter. Now I want you all to walk the course at your own pace then put on your backpack, then put a bag of sand in it then walk the course again. Each two days you will add another bag of sand, each day the number of times around the course will also increase.
Ben then stepped forward and asked for the shooters to make themselves known to him. He had six-shooters approach him; he asked if any of them had seen a grown hungry grizzly bear on the charge.
They all shook their heads, Ben said well I hope you never do, I want you to take a look at the stuffed one standing inside my trading post if you haven't already.
This is a killing machine, it's hard to stop, it will outrun you and out climb you and it will take more than one good shot to stop it.
You will only get one shot each, so you need to work well together to stop this charging beast.
I want you standing five paces apart, your weapons ready facing up this hill as that bear is about to charge you.
Then this huge barrel rolled down the slope at speed, six shots rang out.
On inspection of the barrel, there was only one hole, Ben said if this was for real a few of you would be dead now or wish you were.
Ben then gathered the rest of the team and led them to a wooded area where he had built a makeshift bark shelter.
There he explained the methods used, told them that before their training was over they would be able to build a log cabin.