Beginning of story
I was sad, of course, to see my saplings had been cut down that first night, but it was no surprise whatsoever once I knew that they had discovered the Shelter. I was actually also relieved. My worst fear had been that they had dug them up, or at least completely obliterated them. But there was a tiny stump left revealing where they had been -- not enough to grow back from, mind you, but enough for what I needed them for that next day.
Someone watching me set to work might have thought I had actually expected and prepared for being exiled. They would soon learn how unprepared I really was, but it would be quite a bit later before I let them know just how much it had caught me by surprise. In my youthful arrogance, I believed I would never be caught. But I was arrogant, not naive. I was well aware of the danger of being found out, I just thought I would always be able to outsmart them.
One problem criminals have had since time immemorial is what to do with their ill-gotten gains. In the Crazy Age they would actually wash their money to hide its origin. In the City it wasn't so easy. My Beans provided a method for other criminals to accumulate wealth in an easy to hide manner. For me though it made little sense; I could pretty much always get more. You can only spend so many Beans on "personal services" when you only have 7 Free Hours a week. While I had figured out how to free up more time for myself, no one else could join me during the times I was supposed to be be working. With the periodic but random health and cleanliness inspection of everyone's personal living space, it was difficult for anyone to accumulate any kind of luxury goods. So, for the most part I ended up getting practical stuff with my Beans, stuff that wouldn't draw any attention if someone happened to get an extra one.
I didn't just want some form of wealth other than Beans, however. I couldn't afford to draw any attention to myself by getting the equipment necessary to process the Beans myself. I had to start with basic tools and raw materials and build everything I needed myself. It was really rough at first, when my tools were simple and my end product was crude. It took a long time to get everything set up to run smoothly, with a lot of careful trading. Like I said, I was not naive; I was aware of the possibility of getting caught, and I did not want to have to start from scratch again.
So, using the Bean tree seedlings as markers, I followed the example of the pirates and buried my treasure.
Part 8: A Hard Day's Work