New FREE e-book: The Old Man and the Widow

New FREE e-book:  The Old Man and the Widow
To Order my E-books click on the Book or "My Book"Tab

Monday, January 16, 2017

Moving on - Chapter 3 The Town is Growing

Leave Your Husband and Come Away With Me !!
The town is growing and us with it

After proving up on my ranch Mercy and I spent most of out time in town.

The town had grown and on a couple of our lots we built a hotel. Our rooms were full most of the time and the restaurant also had a full house.

The railroad made our town one of their stops and put up a station with cattle yards. This one particular year we had the round up and took our much improved herd to the railroad to sell them. We were the first herd for sale so we got top dollar for them.

There just happen to be a cattle buyer in town that bought cattle for a packing house in Chicago. He spent a lot of time out at Albert's place; in fact he spent too much time there. Sarah, Albert's wife had chosen that name when we arrived in New York and had smartened up a bit but still wasn't too bright. This buyer had pretty well mesmerized her into thinking he was madly in love with her.

A woman out on the prairie was not used to the wiles of a city dude. As you recall she was an immigrant and was married to Albert while still on shipboard. In any case Albert was in charge of the cattle sale and he insisted we receive payment in gold coin. The buyer agreed but said it would take a few days longer for payment to which Albert agreed.

When the gold arrived Albert was back at the ranch and Sarah who was staying in town signed for it. I had been watching over the transaction from afar not being active in the sale of the cattle.

Mercy came and told me that the buyer was going into Sarah's room from time to time and she didn't think that it was proper for him to do that.

I sent for Albert to come to town and deal with what I thought had suspicious overtones. By the time Albert arrived, silly Sarah had moved the gold coin strong box to the railroad station and had bought two tickets to the West coast.

Albert went directly to the station and took possession of the coins and removed Sarah from the train.

The buyer wasn't aware of what was happening so he got aboard the train and was looking for Sarah. When he couldn't find her he began to panic especially when he saw two of my brothers and me on the train.

As we approached ten mile trestle we escorted the buyer to the platform between cars after hitting him on the head with a six gun. The river was rushing madly below in the canyon and as we crossed the trestle we gave him a downward toss to the canyon some hundred feet below. He quickly disappeared below the surface of the rushing river. Our other brother had brought horses for us on the town side of the trestle and we stopped the train and got off telling the conductor we were going to look for some missing cattle. He smiled and said we might also look for a missing passenger while we were at it. Phillip said we would but doubted if we would find him.

Perhaps some might say that was a harsh treatment for the man but in our world people had a way of coming back and try to get even from some ill treatment and we made sure that never happened.

Meanwhile Albert was dealing with Sarah! He had used a whip on her and she could hardly sit down.  Papa had found out what had happen and was in full agreement with the lashing she had received. Papa said Albert should get rid of her right now but Mercy said; I will handle this and everybody stay out of it. She told Albert to come to her room for she had something to tell him. When Albert came in he was all flushed and highly agitated.

Mercy told him to have a big drink of whiskey and settle down. After three big shots he began to cool off and she started in. Her defense of Sarah went along the lines of her not being able to cope with someone that Albert had allowed to come to the ranch when he wasn't there.

After an hour later and a couple more drinks Mercy said Sarah hadn't laid with the man she had just been deceived with his telling her sweet things Albert had never said to her. 

Mercy said, “A woman needs to hear loving complements and things like that from her man once in a while.” She then told him, “Now go and makeup with her and do not beat her anymore.”  He told Mercy; alright he would do as she said.

He staggered out of the room as the whiskey was having it effects on his equilibrium to where Sarah was weeping. She was cowering in a corner when he came in.

He asked her questions about the affair the main one being if the man had bedded her.  She vehemently denied that anything happened yet, and he accepted her explanation as he fell into the bed and went to sleep.

Come the morning he became amorous and she did her wifely duty through the painful stripes she wore.

I was glad Mercy had intervened because Albert might have killed Sarah in a moment of rage. Albert was happy Mercy had settled him down also although he never said so.

To be Continued

Monday, January 9, 2017


Chapter two - Rush day

 Over the last year papa had made some friends who were the chief politicians and government men in the area.

The time was getting nearer to the land rush and papa had picked out several parcels he wanted, It was well watered land by a full flowing creek. He had all of us boys get familiar with the lay of the land and how to set the markers. All told we had several thousand acres we were going to lay claim to on rush day. I wasn’t too interested in living out on the claims but knew I would have to make improvements over the first years of ownership.

Then there was the new town that was going to spring up. Papa had picked out several lots that were laid out in what was going to be the new town. After waiting for what seemed to be an eternity it was only a few more days to rush day.

It wasn’t but five o’clock A.M. and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all the hundreds of people lined up to make the run for parcels they had picked for them selves.

Papa had us to be a part of what was later called Sooners, It wasn’t a title to be proud of but it assured you got the land you wanted. My brothers had already headed out to the place we were going to claim as ours.

After being amazed at the number of people who were already lined up I left the mass of people and circled around as if I was heading back toward what was going to be the new town then I turned toward our claims.

When I arrived there I saw some Sooners who had the same idea as Papa but they weren’t in very good shape after my brothers got through with them. We put them on their horses and told them there was some pretty good land to the east of where we were standing. Albert advised them to head over there before some other Sooners beat them to it.

Shortly thereafter all we could see was a cloud of dust.

The boys had already placed our stakes and markers. Papa had all the necessary paper work ready to file as soon as the clock struck twelve. He also had a bag of money to spread around to the officials. I headed back to town and met with Papa, his new wife, and Mercy and we claimed our lots in the town.

As the sun set we had prime land on the prairie and some of the best lots in town.

By the end of the week papa had wagon loads of lumber on their way to our new property. There was a lot of available labor due to many not getting a piece of land so our houses and barns went up pretty fast.

Papa sent me to some of the towns east of us to buy furniture and other supplies. When I finished shopping I had several wagon loads of goods and headed west.

I dropped off one wagon in town for Papa's and my houses in town and then headed out to where the brothers were overseeing the construction of the houses out there.

Even with the long list of goods I bought the brother's wives were arguing over who got what.

Since I was on title for one of the ranches I had to live there (at least part of the time.)  Mercy liked being out on the ranch because of the privacy we enjoyed but she also got pleasure from spending much of her time in town. When she was on our ranch it wasn't too far to visit the other brother's wives if she wanted to catch up on the latest gossip.

My next task was to find cattle for our ranches. I must say what I ended up with was a mixture of Mexican, scrub and longhorn cattle that were pretty much a poor looking bunch.

Papa had some unkind words for me about my selection even after I showed him how cheap I had gotten them for.  After a half days grumbling I told him to go himself and see what he could find. That shut him up for the time being for after one days search he came home with a sorrier looking bunch than I had found and paid more for them.

After seeing his demeanor when he returned I decided it would be best not to say anything about his poor effort and the result.

After a few months on the rich, lush, grasses the cattle began to look pretty decent and brought a good price when it came time to sell them. We acquired a lot of calves from them so we were on our way to building up our herd.

By running all the cattle together under one brand we saved a lot of money compared to what the other ranchers costs were.

After the second year a number of people had given up and we bought their terrain from them. They had found that even though the land was free it took many dollars to make the property profitable.

Mercy's and my lots in town were prime property and as the town grew they were some of the most valuable in the town.

Papa considered them to be his and wanted to sell them early on but Mercy and I balked at that notion. We felt if we waited they would be worth many times what he could sell them for at the present; and as it turned out we were right.

Papa had another idea which was to start a general store on one of the lots. Again Mercy and I objected because I knew too many people would buy on credit and never pay what they owed.

As usual Papa prevailed on that one. It turned out that things were better than we thought it would be at least for the first six or seven years. Then what we feared became to pass.

People were beginning to fall on hard times because of lack of rain and failing crops; and  Papa began to buy up properties from people who owed us money they couldn't pay. Some just packed up and left while others sold out for almost nothing. Most of the land was as worthless to Papa as it was to the people who left it but Papa said some day the rains would start again and then we would make more money than we ever dreamed of. 

Papa refused to sue for the money people owed us but when he cut off their credit they had no other choice than to sell cheap or just move on.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Moving On - Chapter 1 - Becoming an Immigrant.


Today begins a new continued story. 

Sign up to follow by e-mail

so as to NOT miss the next exciting chapters.

MOVING ON - Chapter 1


Our neighbors invite us to leave the Old Country - -
It was late in the 1800s and being immigrants everything was still new to our family. We soon realized the city life wasn’t for us.
In what we still call “The old country” we had found ourselves disliked more each year after year. It wasn’t because we were bad people but because we were successful and gaining in wealth.
A lawyer for a big firm kept trying to buy all of our holdings and papa decided to sell due mostly to the attitude of our neighbors. He said these folks are not going to like it when the big firm takes over and replaces many of the local workers with people from other areas but they want us out, so be it.
Papa had decided to come to the new world as he called it and try to increase our fortune there.  He was thirty years old when he married our Ma and for the next five years she bore him a son each year. There were five of us boys but for some reason she quit bearing children after I was born.
Perhaps it was because of the neighbor’s attitude that we were a tight knit group. In our village it was well known that if you started a fight with one of us you had to fight all of us. It was because of that we were left alone and had little trouble with the neighbor’s kids.
We planned for a year before leaving and when the day arrived papa had converted all our holdings into gold and enough cash to get us by until we arrived in the new world.
Since we had money we had staterooms to travel in and ate the best food the cooks could provide. There were those who had to settle for steerage with little more space than a bunk and could only get on deck with great effort.
My older brothers spent a lot of time looking down on the deck where the poorer immigrants, especially the young females flitted about. They would slip down to the steerage deck and talk to the girls. They would get a good deal of information from them such as education, age, and more importantly if they were still a virgin.
By the time we arrived in America they knew everything about most of what they considered marriage material. The two older brothers had selected two girls to marry and the next oldest had found one he thought he wanted. She was alone and was vulnerable to the point where though he wasn’t sure he wanted her for a wife he wanted to bring her along with us.
Ma laid down some rules about keeping our hands to ourselves. My older brothers were married to two of the steerage girls by one of the almost captains.  Caleb being strongly urged by Ma, he finally agreed to marry Mercy (as my mother called her) because Ma didn’t want her to be lost in New York and taken advantage of.
They had an “I do” session by one of the crew after which Ma  said Caleb could just ignore his shipboard marriage when we were landed in America unless he decided to keep her for his wife.
Mercy told Ma that she didn't want to take up the wifely duties until she had been fully accepted as a wife by my brother Caleb. Mercy had told everyone she was eighteen years old but once we were situated in New York she confessed she was only fourteen.
Caleb decided not to take her for a wife because she was a little young and by now she was more like a sister in his eyes. He had told the Immigration officials she was his wife in order for her to enter the US.
So far the courtship of my brothers was a little strange but they were satisfied with the results.
After we arrived in America, the entire family managed to find jobs and we were living very well compared to some but papa wanted to move West for he was intrigued by the stories he kept hearing.
He was really taken by the Oklahoma land rush that was coming soon. The idea of free land was too much for him to ignore. Papa said he was going ahead to Oklahoma and would send for us when he needed us. Three months later he sent for the two oldest boys, Albert and George. These were the names they choose for themselves after we arrived here.
Papa had already changed our last name to Barkley and told us to select names that sounded English. He was determined to leave our old persona where we came from. Our accent didn’t sound exactly like Englishmen but the mixture of the north and south and all of the first year immigrants no one could be sure from whence anyone came from.
Another three months passed and papa sent for my other two brothers Phillip and Charles. This left mama, Mercy and me still in the big city. My brothers would write mama every so often and tell her about the West.
Finally when papa sent for her to come west she had made up her mind not to go. She had a job working for a man her age that had just lost his wife and he convinced Ma to get a divorce from papa and marry him. The man was very well off and liked mama very much and mama was also taken by him.
I had finished my schooling and was on my own but Mercy moved in with mama and her new finance. A year or so had passed since Phillip and Charles had moved to be with papa in what they called the west.
They had heard about something called; “mail order brides.”  They had become interested in a couple of women and were considering sending for them. Since I lived near the ladies my brothers wanted me to go and check them out.
I didn’t feel comfortable doing what they asked but finally along with Mercy we did as they wanted. After meeting the women, without revealing our intention, we had a pretty good idea about who they were.
Mercy decided to do the writing and we tried to be fair in our assessment of them. One thing for sure they were older than they pretended to be and Mercy put it best by saying if you need someone to keep you warm in the winter these women was large enough to generate a lot of heat even in the coldest weather. We went on with our negative evaluation of them and I felt sorry for them but I had my brother’s future to consider.
The brothers decided to heed our advice and broke off the correspondence with the ladies in question.
I was glad for I thought that ten years was too great a difference in their ages to be compatible. Papa sent for me and I didn’t want to leave Mercy for we were very close.
I asked her if she wanted to marry me and she said she did so we were wed by a preacher instead of a crew member. She had made some friends and two of them agreed to go with us and meet my brothers with the idea of marrying them.
By the time we headed west Mercy was with child and shortly after we arrived she brought forth a baby boy. He was the first of our eventually four children. Mercy wanted to call him Isaac.
Phillip and Charles were excited about meeting the two women and met us when we arrived.
Phillip wanted to go straight to the preacher and marrying the one he selected but Mercy insisted that the boys get to know the girls before they decided to take them for wives. She felt that getting married should be for a lifetime even though mama had divorced papa.
When papa met the two friends of Mercy he wanted to know if she knew any more like them for him.  She told him one of the girls had lost her father to disease and her mother was a fine looking woman and was available. He instantly told Mercy to have the girl send for her mother for he wanted her for a wife.
Mercy agreed to talk to the girl who said it looked to her like papa was in bad need of a woman for he had been alone for over a year. They laughed about that. The girl agreed for she said her mother needed a man about as bad as Papa needed a woman. When the mother arrived the two unmarried boys and papa all got married at the same time with a grand ceremony.
We heard mama had married the man she was working for and for some reason she was going to have another child after these several years. The man she married was very happy about having a family and that was the last we heard directly from mother. She cut the ties she had with us but from time to time Mercy would get some news from friends she had in the city.
To Be continued

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Reluctant Bride Chapter 5 - After The Celebration

The Priest was Always Invited
to the Big Celebrations
Chapter 5

The next morning after the big celebration, all was quiet except for a couple of men stumbling around trying to figure out where they were. Seems everyone slept in the morning after. Elena and the girls she hired began to try to straighten things up.  

The noise awakened Sadie although she was having trouble getting her eyes open, due to the fact that in the late hours she was finally encouraged to take a sip of the hard drink.

She never drank that stuff in her whole life, but the girls convinced her it would pep her up so she could finish being the hostess.

As it turned out she had more than several sips and she couldn't remember when or how the evening finished.

She realized she wasn't in her bed for this one was much larger than hers. Another thing she became aware of was she had no covers on her and no night clothes on either. In fact she was buck naked.

She finally got enough strength to roll over and she saw a naked man in the bed with her.  The knowledge of that paralyzed her and she couldn't move for a while as she tried to remember how this all happened.

As her mind cleared a bit she wondered who was in the bed with her and what she was doing there with him. She looked for some covers but couldn't find anything except a pillow. The man didn't have anything on him either.

She observed her clothes scattered around the room so she slipped out of the bed quietly and started retrieving her things.

The man woke up and turned over. It was Lacey! He was laying there in plain sight of Sadie and she couldn't help but stare at him while he was trying to wake up.

Without much success, she tried to cover herself with the pillow, as he finally stood up and very slowly tried to find his clothes and put them on.

Lacey was totally unembarrassed even though he was naked and he took his time getting dressed.

Sadie was doing her best to keep herself covered as she dressed but it made it more difficult to put her clothes on.

He finished dressing and walked out without saying a word to her. She never said anything either.

When she left Lacey's room Elena looked her up and down with a suspicious eye and then began to laugh.  She continued to do this every time she saw Sadie that morning.

Sadie hadn't seen Lacey since early morning, and it was almost twelve now. A few minutes later he came in and had Elena's Priest with him.

He came over and kissed Sadie and said, “We might as well get this over with.”

Sadie said, “Get what over with?”

“Our wedding what'd think?”

She said; “I didn't say I'd marry you.”

He smiled and said, “Sure you did… maybe you don't remember saying I want you so badly now, we can be married tomorrow first thing.”

She said, “I don't remember anything like that.”

He chuckled and said, “What do you think happened last night?  Don’t you remember me proposing and you accepting?”

“No,” she answered.

He went on and asked, “You don't remember what happened afterward?”

She said, “I think I know what happened afterward whatever afterward was.”

He went on; “I thought you knew we were going to be wedded someday. It just so happens today is the day.”

She started to object further when Elena stepped up and whispered something in Sadie's ear.

Sadie turned back to Lacey and said, “Today is the day, Padre proceed please.”

After breakfast all the guests left and Lacey hoped they all made it home for some of them weren't too steady on their feet. Everyone agreed that it was the best party they had ever been to.

Sadie asked Elena why the Padre was there and she said; after these big doings there are a few who need to get married and it was that way here today. Two couples got married before you and two more afterward.

Sadie said it was mighty convenient that he was here today.

When the kids heard Sadie was their new mom they hugged her till she could hardly breathe. They wanted to know what to call her and she said either ma or mom whichever you like the best they agreed mom sounded the best. 

And so it was; after over two years of breathing the same air they consummated their love for one another.

As Elena predicted, Sadie she gave birth to her firstborn nine months later and that was just the start of many more that came after that.

As Lacey predicted he became rich from the mine.  

As Cousin Bette predicted she could get as many men as she wanted. So far she has wanted five and is working on number six. 

And everyone lived happily ever after.

The End

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Relucrtant Bride Chapter 4 - A Visit from Cousin Bette

Cousin Bette Came to Visit
Chapter 4
Unexpectedly a distant cousin came to visit and she immediately began to interfere with Sadie's work with the children.  She also began to make advances to Lacey some of which were unseemly in Sadie's eyes.  

As Lacey mostly ignored her undignified mores she stepped up her pursuit of him.  At times she was all over him and was getting a little response from Lacey.  

Sadie thought he was human and should be stimulated by the cousin’s seductive moves.   She finally said to Lacey; don't you think it is time for Cousin Bette to call it a visit and return home? The children have been observing the way she is acting with you and are asking questions about her unseemly conduct.  

She went on and said; perhaps it isn't my place to speak but unless you are interested in her as a mate she needs to leave and not come back.  

This shocked Lacey to hear Sadie to speak out like this. He realized what Bette was doing and truth be known he was enjoying some of it. He had been too long without female company and he knew it. 

It was a week later when Lacey took Bette aside and told her that he would have one of the hands take her to the station tomorrow. You better get started packing today so as not to miss your train.  

She looked shocked but said she would do as he said.  Later she was heard mumbling to herself; “What's the matter with that guy doesn't he know a good time when it's offered to him.”  She went on saying; “He missed the best night of his life, he just doesn't know it.”

 That evening the conversation was about the farm and the cattle. Nothing was said about Bette leaving except Lacey asking if she was packed and ready to go. She said yes and would be glad to get back home among her friends.  

Lacey was glad to hear she was taking his advice and going for he didn't know how much longer he could fight her off for she was very alluring although somewhat brash.

Sadie was all smiles after Bette was gone and this without any obvious reason. She had to admit she had no claims on Lacey. Her only tie to him was his children and her responsibility for their education.

As it turned out she took care of them twenty four hours a day not unlike a mother would. She could hardly get enough privacy for a bath for they were always in need of something.

During the warm season she would take them to the river a short distance away from the house and they would all bathe. She taught them all to swim. She didn't want to worry about them drowning when she needed to get out of their sight for a few minutes.

Unlike regular school there was no summer vacation. School continued year round for them except when Sadie took them town so they could see the shipping of cattle to market. They would ride on the stock train in the passenger car with Lacey and some cattle buyers. Lacey would get a little testy if someone made a suggested remark about wishing they could afford a schoolmarm. The inference being something unseemly was going on between him and Sadie.

When they got to Chicago they stayed in a hotel where Lacey and the foremen stayed. Lacey would join in on some of the shopping trips to make sure they didn't get to extravagant and buy stuff they would never use.

Sadie was more tight fisted than Lacey but he thought he kept tighter reins on spending than her. Sadie always made sure they experienced some form of entertainment and went to a museum or other place with historical value.

Lacey was very protective of his children and when Lacey couldn't accompany them on their excursions he sent one of the cow hands to keep watch over them.

When the business was finished and they were on the way home Lacey spent the time with the kids. Eating in the diner with their dad was a special treat for them. He was surprised at how far they had come with their studies. He congratulated Sadie on the job she was doing. He seemed to be in a good mood so she figured his business dealings went well.
He told her he would be spending more time at home now since he had made the deal he just finished.

He went on saying something I never talked about was a mine I have been developing and now that it is producing I was able to sell a half interest in it to a mining company. They will take over the running of it and we will share the profits made from it. If all goes well I will be a rich man shortly.

Sadie had never paid any attention to the money situation she just figured between the farm and the ranch there was enough money to keep them well fed and cared for.

Lacey was happier than she had ever saw him. He said we are going to have a celebration. As soon as we get home, you and Elena prepare the biggest party ever given in this part of the country.

She thought he would calm down by the time they arrived home but the opposite was what happened. Sadie left the food, drinks, and music to Elena and Sadie did the decorating and the inviting. Lacey kept coming up with new ideas as to what to do to the point where the women were hoping  the day would soon arrive and no more extra add on's coming forth from Lacey. 

The celebration day was here at last. It started with a big breakfast for everyone who had arrived the day before. Elena had hired a half dozen extra Mexican girls to help with all the preparation. As soon as the breakfast was cleared away the real preparation got started. A steer had been killed and was on a huge spit being turned over and over.

People were arriving and were eating the food as fast as it was put out on the tables. The musicians appeared and started playing so the dancing could begin.  Then in the afternoon the hard and soft drinks were brought out: and the party really livened up.  The festivity lasted well into the night and people were sleeping everywhere.

Elena was worn out from all the work and Sadie had all the celebration she could handle.   Sadie found a corner to rest and passed out from exhaustion.
To be Continued

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Reluctant Bride - Chapter 3

Sadie was Worried About her Future
Chapter 3

Sadie was mulling over in her mind knowing Lacey wanted to talk to her in the morning and it caused her to wonder what it could be.  Finally she was able to drift off to sleep.

Come the morning there were a half dozen roosters competing with each other on who could crow the loudest. They woke Sadie up and she lay there as the same thoughts returning to her from last night.

She wondered what time Lacey got up - - just as there was a knock at the door. It was Lacey and he said it's time to get up. Breakfast is on the table and nobody waits on any one else. 

Lacey's kids were all up and dressed and eating the grits and bacon. Elena's husband Joseph was almost finished when Sadie made it to the table.

Lacey was outside looking over the horse he got from the saloon cowboy and decided it might be alright for one of the kids to ride, but it wasn't a good cow pony.

After drinking some coffee, Sadie caught up with Lacey and told him he was hard to find in the morning. He said my mornings are usually busy.

There were several men that didn't fit the mold of how Sadie thought a farmer should look. Lacey had been talking to the men before she found him and after she interrupted his conversation he told the men that they knew what to do so get on with it.

He asked her if she had ate breakfast and she said, “Just coffee.”

He said he also had coffee but now he was hungry. They went in and Lacey told the cook to whip up a fresh batch of biscuits, ham and eggs and maybe some grits and gravy.

Sadie said you must be hungry to eat all of that. He said this may be my only meal today because I have a number of things to deal with.

They had some more coffee while waiting for breakfast to be ready and Sadie's thinking was all over the place. What does he have in mind? Does he want to marry me? Maybe just move in and live with him and on and on.

Finally Lacey spoke and said, “You need to consider your future and since you no longer have a job teaching you need to return to your home back east.”

He went on and said, “I have another situation for you to consider.”

Her mind snapped to attention and she was thinking, “What if he asks me to marry him how should I answer that. What if he wants me without marriage or maybe to wed some cow hand who works for him.”

She was getting all flustered just thinking about the possibilities. Just come on and say what you want to say she thought.

He wiped some gravy from his chin that fell from his biscuit and took a sip of hot coffee and then said; "I have a proposition for you since things are like they are.”

She waited for him to have another sip of coffee with her nervousness increasing.

He said, “You have seen my little flock?”  

She said, “Yes.”  

He went on they are almost too much for Elena and besides they are speaking Mexican half of the time I need someone to come in and take them over and educate them. It will be complete control where I will only be available if something serious comes up. This will be your full time job with better pay than you were receiving in the town school. If this interests you then I will fix everything up as you want it.

As he talked Sadie began to relax for this was something she could have only hoped for. After an hour of discussion with some give and take they understood each other and she said yes she wanted the job.

He reddened and stiffened as he said there is something else I wish to talk about somewhere down the road later on but that is all for now.

He called the children in and explained to them that Sadie was in charge as of now and they must obey her or be disciplined by her. They each said they understood and he ordered a few additions made to the house for a better teaching situation.

As Sadie thought about everything she was relieved as well as disappointed. She was concerned that he might want to marry her and felt let down that he didn't. He did say he had something else in mind for later on so she felt she might have that to deal with in the future. The next weeks she completely took the children over and they took to her both personally and her discipline.

Sadie was a little disappointed that she didn't see Lacey as often as she wanted to. She wanted to discuss the children's progress and just have time alone to talk to him. She learned that he wasn't just farming but had a large herd of cattle and something else she wasn't sure of what it was.

There were a lot of men working for him and they had separate quarters for each operation. Only three men worked at the farm house keeping things up and guarding the children, and another four families who actually did the farming.

Then there was Elena and her husband who were like a part of the family she saw to the cooking, washing and cleaning, with a couple of young girls to help her with all these tasks.

Sadie noticed Lacey was becoming gaunt and rawboned from too much work. She finally got up enough nerve to mention he had lost weight and was getting too thin. He said he knew it but soon he would be able to back off and turn most of the work to others. She felt she could speak up a little more now and said; "The children needed to see you more often and it is important to interact with them as much as your time would allow," to which he agreed and said, “Soon.”

A month later he began to spend most evenings with the family of which Sadie counted herself as being a part of.  She considered this to be her home for the time being and the kids as her own. What ever the foreseeable future was, time would tell.

To be continued.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Reluctant Bride Chapter Two

Sadie was Happy to be Teaching School in this Farm Community
Chapter 2

Sadie was excited to be in a place where everything was new to her.  A good night’s sleep took care of her tiredness from her journey on the train. 

The next day some of the ladies from town came to meet her and they discussed the opening of the school again for it had been closed for some time. Over the next week the women got everything in order and the school was ready to open once again.

Sadie was amused by the big school bell outside the school and felt it was the call to action when it was rang.

After a few problems she finally got a handle on how to deal with these rowdy kids. They were certainly different from the city kids she was familiar with.

One of the biggest problems was when the folks kept the kids home because they needed some extra help with the farming. Some times most of the kids stayed home and she had to adjust the lessons to meet the farming schedule instead of the school's agenda.

Six weeks later Lacey came to town again and Sadie was glad to see him.

There had been several men calling on her against her wishes which she made known to them. These vulgar men made their wants known like Charles had done, only they were a lot cruder than he was.  Seems they felt since she was alone they could be more forward which caused her to be more stringent and severe in her rebuke of them.

Lacey was completely different for he was unimposing but pleasantly charming.  She actually didn't know anything about him for he didn't talk about himself.

Several of the women would bring up his name in conversation and Sadie found out that he was their hearts desire.

Problem was he paid none of them any attention. He had a way about him where he could be friendly but unobtainable. This really put off the “would be suitors” but hope remained still.

He would always bring some food with him for Lacey, and he would have a meal with her. They would talk way into the evening and she could tell he was well read even though he was a farmer. He could discuss almost any subject which was refreshing to her.

Then things changed. Her trial period of one year was up and so far she hadn't been paid. They set up an account where she could charge a small amount each month but it wasn't enough to get by on.  By this time she had spent all her savings so she went to the county clerk and asked for her year's wages.

Over the year the clerk had been rebuffed by his advances so he was put off by that and rude to her.   He said she had not been satisfactory so she would only get half of her promised wages. This was quite a blow for she was counting on that money.

After listening to his sullied verbalizations she finally gave up and left.

A man followed her out of the clerk’s office and pushed her into a narrow alleyway and took the rest of her money. She saw him go into the saloon so she went to the sheriff and told him what happened.

He said it would be her word against his so it wasn't worth the effort to try to accuse him.

In tears, Sadie took off to her home crushed at what had befallen her.  Now she was broke and without a job. In the midst of her crying jag, Lacey showed up and she told him the whole story between sobs.

She wasn't sure if it was a smile or a smirk after she finished but he said, “C'mon lets go.”

Their first stop was at the clerk's office.  Lacey had strapped on his six gun and loaded his double barrel shot gun.  He went in to the clerk's office and grabbed him with one hand and shoved the shot gun under his chin with the other.

He firmly said, “Give her the money that's coming to her or say goodbye to this world.”

As the clerk heard the hammers on the shot gun click as Lacey pulled them back, the clerk was screaming, “Be careful with that gun it might go off.”

He said, “Here is her money except the sheriff had taken half of it.”  Lacey said, “Give her all of it and you deal with the sheriff.”

A minute later Sadie had her money and as they were leaving Lacey said, “Let's go get the rest of it.”

Sadie followed Lacey into the saloon and pointed to the man who robbed and hurt her.

With that Lacey hit the man with the barrel of the shot gun and knocked him down. Then he shoved the double barrel under the man's nose so hard it was bleeding profusely. He said, “Return the money you stole from her - - now.”

The man emptied his pockets and then said, “I spent some of it.”

Lacey said, “Then I guess we will have to take your six gun.”  With that he unbuckled the man's gun belt and took it off of him.  He then took the scoundrel outside and asked which horse was his.

When he pointed it out, Lacey hit the man and knocked him senseless. He tied the horse behind his wagon and drove to Sadie's place where they loaded up all her goods. She didn't ask where they were going but just leaned over on him and went to sleep.

When he stopped she woke up and saw they were at a nice looking home. Coming out to greet them was a Mexican couple smiling and glad to see them both.  From behind the Mexican couple came running four young children the oldest being about eight years old.

Sadie was taken aback at what she saw. She said, “You are married?”

He said, “I was married but my wife died. This is my brood so far.”

“So far?” she replied.  He laughed and said, “Yes, so far.”

It was getting late so they had dinner and he said it has been a long day so let's get some sleep and tomorrow I have something I want to talk to you about.

The Mexican woman, Elena showed Sadie her room and in a few minutes all was quiet except for a coyote howling in the distance.

Sadie was tired but her mind was rehearsing the day's events and she kept wondering what Lacey had on his mind.

To be continued