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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 17 Back in the Saddle Again

A Woman was riding John's Horse
courtesy shutterstock
After looking over the things in Santa Fe, John rented a buggy and headed for Senior’s hacienda for he was more home sick for the place each mile.

He had sent word of his return and they were expecting him.  Before he arrived at the Hacienda, he met some of the ranch hands.  Some he knew and some that had been hired since he had been gone.

The new ones stared at the two six guns he wore and wondered if they were just for show or if he could really use them.  As they were talking John pulled out one of his guns and shot the head off of a rattlesnake faster than their eyes could blink.  

John laughed saying, “I haven’t done that for a long time.”  

The new hands looked at each other and said, “I can’t believe what we just saw.”

John bid them goodbye and made it to the ranch house where Senior and the others were waiting to greet him.  The rest of the afternoon was spent getting acquainted with all the new kids that had been born since he had left.

Barbara his sister had four kids of her own and the rest of the nine kids of Senior had several of their own.

The married ranch hands likewise had several kids so the place was over run with children.  Senior said there were so many he couldn’t keep them straight as to which were grandkids or the workers kids.

He said it was too far to send the kids to school so we hired a teacher to come and stay here and teach.  

Barbara said since you aren’t married yet we ladies have invited every girl within fifty miles to come and look you over for we are going to get you married.  You have been single too long and we are going to remedy that right away.

John started to object but she and Senior’s daughters said you don’t have any say in the matter for we have decided.  

John thought, “These gals are just as bossy as when I left so I guess I had better humor them.”

That evening was the beginning of a week’s fiesta and people began arriving, planning to spend the whole week.  The girls had planned to have John married or engaged before the week was out.

John desperately needed to get away for a while so he went down to the corral and spotted his old horse all saddled and a woman just swinging up into the saddle.  He went over and told her that she was on his horse.

As she rode off, she said, “I didn’t see your name on him.”

He wondered who that smarty ass was.  He roped one of the better looking Arabians and saddled him and rode off in the direction she had gone.

While trying to catch up with her he was thinking, “She ain’t much to look at and her smart talk means she is probably still single and will remain so.”

After trying to chase her down he was trying to come up with some clever retort to put her down with.

Then he saw her watering his old horse and rubbing him down.  He stopped a way off and said to himself, “Well at least she cares for him, maybe I have misjudged her.”

He walked his horse up to the river and got off to water the horse he was on.

As he started to water his horse, she said, ‘You should slip his bit.  It will make it easier for him to drink or don’t you know how to do it?”

He said, “I know how and you are sassy aren’t you?”

She laughed and said, “Maybe a little bit.”  

She continued, “I just wanted you to know I’m not one of those girls who want to marry you so you can just relax.  
I’m not sure you will make a good husband anyway. There must be something wrong with you or you would have already been picked off by some prissy young thing.”

John had never been talked to in that fashion and was having a hard time responding in a civil manner.

After sitting there for some time he started to say something when she cut him off and said, “Oh, you finally thought of something to say?”

After swallowing hard he said, “You must be the school teacher aren’t you.”

She answered, “How did you know?”

He said, “It is because you aren’t as pretty as the rest of these girls they have gathered in.”

She laughed and said, “I guess you have me pegged.  I must admit that I fell in love with your horse.  He is the easiest horse to control, it’s like he can read your mind.  I have been riding him every day since I have been here. The barn hands said no one ever rides him since you left and I didn’t think that was fair to him.”

John said, “I appreciate that you have done that.”

They spent the rest of the day talking with one another and he danced several times with her that night.  His sister and the other girls couldn’t understand what the attraction was although she looked a lot better all dressed up instead of wearing her teaching garb.

Since there weren’t any classes during the fiesta they went riding every day and he was completely taken by her openness and none of the falseness he encountered with all the women he had met before.

The last evening of the fiesta he told his sister he had made up his mind who he would like to marry. He said he had talked it over with her and she had agreed to wed him.

The whole of the entourage became whipped into a frenzy wanting to know who the lucky girl was.  He went off the porch and took his future bride by the hand and introduced Mae as the one he intended to marry.

A gasp went through the crowd and they were whispering, “It’s the school teacher.” The crowd was filled with unbelief for it didn’t make any sense.

Every reason for him choosing her was explored; from her bewitching him to having sex with him and becoming pregnant.

After some time Senior went over and congratulated them saying you have made the best choice.  He went on, “I must admit it surprised me for I didn’t think you were that smart to fight off all of the attempts to get you hooked up with one these air heads. You done well!

John said, “That’s the way I feel about it.”

Later that evening Barbara got over her shock and came over and said there’s got to be more to her than I was aware of.”

John smiled and said, “You may be right.”

To be Continued

Sunday, December 29, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 16 Now for Some Fun

John Put his Gold Coins in a Large Trunk
Having concluded their business Mandrel took their gold and set sail back to the plantation.  John decided to spend a few days in New Orleans visiting with old friends.
There was a lot more to the city than slime pits where most people plied their trade.

He stayed at a plantation that rivaled his own island holdings.  The parties were lively with pretty young ladies some of which were not very lady like when alone.  John wasn’t very impressed with them for he figured that most were looking for a man they could control and dominate.

So many of the men were mama’s boys and John didn’t like to associate with them.  

The word came that the war was spreading closer to New Orleans and there was an air of uncertainty among the people.  This caused John to decide to go home and get away from all the dying that was sure to follow wherever the war spread.

He thought about Rancho Reyes and the cattle and horses and the demand there would be for them.  Thinking about the ranch made him a little home sick for that was the only real home he ever had.

Over the next four years ships would come and load the coffee and then either run the blockade of New Orleans or make a deal with them and enter for a fee.  John didn’t want anything to do with that part of the business.

While they felt isolated on the island, it was better than being in the midst of the war. As the war wound down there were a few young men from other islands that were coming to see Lorry.  She was blossoming into a very pretty woman.

Mandrel was hoping that John would take an interest in her but that never happened.  It would be a little too much to say he was haunted, but the fact he had killed men and violence had been a part of his life at times and so far it still was.

Once again John was becoming restless and he felt it was time to move on. He told Mandrel that there were a couple of men he could depend upon, and he should let them be his protectors for he was leaving.

He said he had decided to go to San Francisco for the war had not had much effect on it.  Mandrel said he didn’t have the money to buy him out to which John said that it had been his when John had won it in the poker game and now it would be his again.

John packed his gold pieces in a couple of trunks and sailed from New Orleans for San Francisco.  There were times when he wasn’t sure they would make it but finally they sailed through the Golden Gate.

John got his luggage and found a Hansom cab to take him to the largest bank for he didn’t want to have to continually protect his gold coins.  He just kept enough to take care of himself and pay his way.

He didn’t know what he wanted to do if anything at all as he had enough money to take care of himself for the rest of his life.

It wasn’t long before word got around the there was a dude with a lot of cash in town and the shysters began to show up with all kinds of money making schemes.  He listened as if he was interested just to get the lay of the land and what he considered to be thieves.

There were a couple of men who seemed genuine but he wasn’t ready to get involved in something he had to watch over day and night.

The one thing he did was to find a nice place to live in one of the upscale hotels where the food was not too fancy but was tasty.

It seemed that a lot of men wanted to get him into a card game.  These were all rich men who just played for entertainment and not trying to make their living that way. John won just enough from these men to keep the games friendly and not to try to make a killing.

John kept his two derringers handy.  One in his sleeve which was spring loaded and the other in his vest pocket.  Over the weeks he had to take a half dozen sharps who tried to cheat these men out and have a talk with them.

A couple of them paid the price of trying to get huffy with John and he alerted the hotel that these men were sharpies and shouldn’t be allowed back in.

The word got around to the honest men, about what John had done and they appreciated it and told him so.  More than one said; I thought they were dishonest but couldn’t catch them.  

They told John they didn’t mind losing to him for it was worth it to have him in the game. He got to know a few of these men who knew how to make money honestly and they were always trying to get him to invest with then.

He finally got talked into some deals that were money makers and would continue to be over the years.  The next three years his net worth increased several times.

Still he missed the ranch life and had bought a small place where he kept a couple of horses that he rode almost every day.  Finally he couldn’t stand it any longer he said goodbye to his business partners and to friends he had made.

He had, had all the good times and parties he could stand and decided to try the train back to New Mexico.  It had been several years since he left there and he was anxious to see his old friends.

When he arrived he saw that a few things had changed but mostly it was the same.  He had sold his small ranch and horses before he left San Francisco because when he got to Santa Fe he wanted to buy an Arabian.

To be Continued

RANCHO REYES Chapter 15 Plantation Owner “John”

Coffee Plantation
The three of them were at sea two days when then finally eased into the dock that Mr. Mandrel had constructed to protect the boat when they had heavy storms.  
John commented that it was worse than being in the saddle for thirty hours with out of having a break.

Since they left in a hurry they didn’t have much time to pack and left behind many of the things they had bought.  Mandrel’s daughter was named Lorry and John had got to know her on the trip home.

Mandrel told John that he now owned a large part of the Island that was tillable.  He said the house was still his for it was not part of the property he had wagered.  He said he would help John get acquainted with the workings of the estate.  He also said John was welcome to stay in his house for it was the best place to stay on the Island.

John said I hope we are close to eating for I’m getting hungrier by the minute.  After dinner he said I want you to know you still own half of the estate for you were being cheated but I feel I earned the other half.

Mandrel could hardly speak for the land had been in the family for several generations. John asked if there any horses here on the island and Mandrel said yes we have some of the finest from Europe.  John said that’s good for I have been in need of a good ride.

Lorry took John down to the stables where he said, “Your father wasn’t kidding these are fine stock.  Which one is yours Lorry?”

She said, “I just ride the first one I can get a bridal on.”

After looking them over John said, “This one is mine from now on.  It will take him a while to adjust to me but he will learn.”

She said, “Tomorrow we will look the place over and see how the horse handles for you.”

When they returned Mandrel asked, “Is everything alright?”

John said, “Yes it’s fine.  Actually I would like a western saddle but I’ll get used to the English saddle for I learned to ride bareback.

Mandrel said, “There is a saddle maker in the next Island over.  We could have him make a custom saddle for you.  He is an expert in making gear for horses and ships it all over the world.”

John said, “We will have to visit him after I get settled and understand the workings of the plantation.”
The plantation kids were fascinated by the six guns John wore and how fast he could draw them out of his holsters.  They would hang around him whenever they could and their parents would have to make them get back to their duties.

On occasion he would let one of the children ride with him through the plantation and that was their greatest desire.  They felt like they were something special.  Of course when one of the girls got to ride, the boys were pretty unhappy about that for girls were equal to the boys.

The news from the states wasn’t good for the war had started.  

The crop of coffee beans was ready to be picked.  One of the buyers from Florida came down and wanted to buy the whole crop and Mandrel sat down with him and after some back and forth they agreed on the price.

The buyer produced a contract with the conditions and price on it which satisfied Mandrel but John said I would like to read it before we sign it.

Everything seemed alright except the method of payment.  

John asked, “How do you intend to pay for the merchandise?”

The buyer said, “What do you mean how we are going to pay for it?”

John said. “What are you going to use for money?”

The buyer said, “We will pay in good confederate dollars.”

John said, “We don’t take either confederate dollars or greenbacks the only thing we accept is gold.”

This led to a heated discussion where John said, “It’s either gold or no deal.”

The buyer said, “You will accept good confederate money like everyone else or you won’t sell to anyone.”

John informed the buyer that he would escort him and his party to the dock and they could leave.  The man tried to argue further but John said, “There will be no more talk so get on you boat and leave.”

Mandrel didn’t know what to say for he had done business with the man’s company for many years.

John said if he can’t pay in gold that means they don’t have any money and once they get the coffee there is no way we can get our money.

John said tomorrow we go to New Orleans where I know some honest men that are buyers.  The next day they went to New Orleans and met with friends of John and after an afternoon of haggling over price they made a deal.

The buyer said, “I don’t know how much the war will affect us but in any case we need some coffee.”  John had left instructions for the men to start loading the ship and set sail for New Orleans as soon as they were loaded.

A couple days later the ship arrived with a full load and the unloading began.

While they were unloading a customs officer came with the buyer from Florida with the contract he tried to use to buy the crop.  It was all signed and a receipt was produced showing payment had been made.  
The man told a fanciful story and John and Mandrel just listened.  When he finished the customs officer asked for Mandrel’s version of what happened.

When Mandrel finished the officer said he couldn’t decide who was telling the truth and the Buyer from Florida had the paper work.  

John suddenly grabbed the buyer’s hand and drove a knife through it fastening it to the table where they were sitting.  As he moved his arm around with the man screaming, John asked if he would like to tell the truth about the matter.

The man gushed out, “I lied about everything.”

John said as he twisted the man’s arm, “That’s not good enough we need the whole truth and who is behind this.”

The man said alright I’ll tell you. John pulled the knife out and said, “Okay let’s have it.”

The man was holding his hand and for a moment it looked like he might change his mind when John said, “I see you have another hand shall I - - the man cut him off and gave out all the details and who was involved.

The customs officer said, “I know some of these crooks and if they ever come here again they will go to jail.”

To be Continued

Saturday, December 28, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 14 Learning as You Go

Poker courtesy
John had been in Florida for a year and had become friendly with Macon who was a card shark. 
Long ago Macon had been banned from playing because he couldn’t keep from cheating.  

He could deal himself four aces after he had John remove them from the deck and put them in his pocket.

John enjoyed spending his evenings with him.  He taught John how to spot a cheater and how to beat them at their own game.  

The most fun was in learning how to stack a deck while he was being scrutinized.  
John always took Macon the card shark with him when he played on the weekends.  

If he missed something a player was doing, Macon would point it out to him during a break.  

John was winning a lot of money which he split with Macon although Macon would object saying it wasn’t necessary for he was well fixed.

This went on for quite a while when they heard there was going to be a big game on Saturday.  The game was by invitation only but John decided to invite himself.  
When the house man started to object, John pulled out one of his six guns which he wore this night and spun the cylinder under his nose.

After that there were no more objections.  From the beginning John saw the game was fixed and the person who was losing was a distinguished looking older gentleman.
John took a few pots which irritated the main player but it didn’t deter him from fleecing the mark.  

After a break Macon talked to the older man and asked him if he knew he was being cheated.

The man said, “Yes I know but they have my daughter in the back room and have threatened her if I don’t lose all I have.  They could just take my money but they want wittiness’s that I lost it playing cards.”

Macon relayed that information to John and said, “Be careful. The dealer shark has position two thugs behind the game against the wall,” and the game continued.  

The game everybody was waiting for began.  The man had lost all his cash some to the shark and some to John.  The betting went higher and higher with each one raising the bet. 

The old man finally put the deed to his plantation on one of the islands in the pot.  And everyone called.  John had to get some money from Macon to cover his bet for it took all the money he had.

The old man had four cards and he drew his final card.  John also got his last card and the shark drew his.  John looked at Macon who nodded his head to confirm what John knew.  The old man had a pair of queens and John put down three sevens.  

The shark had a hand that could be a possible straight but needed a queen. He drew his last card and before he turned it over John said, “That better not be the queen of hearts for it was the second card from the bottom and that would mean you were cheating.”

The men stiffen up while the thug behind John started to reach for his gun.  Before he could pull it John had his forty five pointed at the thug’s heart while the other man was caught mid draw with John’s other gun pointed at him.

John said to the card shark, “You can either throw in or show that card and if it’s a queen you will pay for your cheating.”

The shark tried to release his spring loaded derringer up his sleeve, and John shot the two thugs who were trying to pull their guns and had crashed one of his six shooters on the player’s head.  His head was split open and the game was over for him.  

Macon had ran to the back room and got the old man’s daughter while John collected the money on the table.  Macon said, “You had better get away as far as you can for they will be looking for you.”

John said, “What about you?”

Macon said everyone knows I’m harmless and couldn’t be involved in a killing.”

The old man said, “We must leave; my boat is ready to leave for what used to be my home.”  
John said, “That sounds good to me, which way do we go.”  

A half hour later they were on the sea heading for the old man’s plantation or what in fact was now John’s plantation.   
To be Continued


Friday, December 27, 2013

Resolutions I Should Keep This Year

"I Resolve to Keep my New Years Resolutions"
I am making a list of resolutions for the New Year that I Intend to keep.

So far I haven’t wrote anything down but am still thinking.

Something that has come to mind and is halfway to the paper is “Don’t talk yourself into doing anything you shouldn’t do.”

You will be able to concoct as many reasons for doing it as your comfort level needs but it still won’t be the right thing to do. 

If there is a small voice that had been pushed as far into the background as you could push it - - is still saying this isn’t right, then don’t do it!

What is a conscience for if not to save you from doing a wrong thing?

Those who are spiritual are supposed to listen to the quickening of the Spirit of GOD when they are going to sin that is to Talk themselves into doing a wrong thing.  But based on personal experience at times my batteries have been allowed to run down in my spiritual hearing aids.

People like to put mottos on plaques on their walls to encourage whoever reads them but one I haven’t seen on any wall is: “If it ain’t right then don’t do it and don’t talk your self into doing it.”

While it isn’t popular to buy into accepting what the bible says about always doing what is right but it is the right thing to do.

Genesis 4:7 “You will be accepted if you do what is right.  But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master”.

"DON”T OPEN THE DOOR.”  There is nothing on the other side but bad news not only for yourself but everybody that could be involved.

Well my pen has made its way to the resolutions paper and I have written;

“Don’t talk yourself into doing anything you shouldn’t do”. I think this will help me have a “Happy New Year”.

Thank you Free Clip Art


Thursday, December 26, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 13 The Horse and Cattle Business

Courtesy photobucket
Juan decided to take a Train Ride and go East

After they had returned with the horses and made the decision as to what the horses would be used for; attention turned back to the five rustlers who had helped them to retrieve the herd.

All talk about hanging them had ceased and they had become as one of the regular hands.  Juan called them in to talk to Senior for he was the one who would make the decision as to what would be done with them.

While it was pretty much a forgone conclusion as what Senior would decide, nevertheless it was a process they must go through.

There wasn’t any law available to sort things out so to have order they needed to be adjudged as not guilty and this was the decision.

With things settled down the five daughters took a shine to the not guilty rustlers and after a reasonable amount of time all of Senior’s daughters were wed to the young men.

Raul kept after Barbara until she agreed to marry him and the rest of Senior’s kids were married or soon would be.

For the most part Pablo and Reynaldo dealt with the raising and selling the cattle and the five new husbands were put in charge of the horse herds.

Juan found himself having to look for something to do.  Once a month there would be a party and some of the richest families would be invited along with people from the east who were the buyers for the people back east.

Juan was getting restless and decided he should move on.  He advised Senior of his decision who said, “I was hoping you would have married one of my daughters but that didn’t work out.”  He went on to say, “How can I help you on your way?”

Juan said I have enough money to see me through for sometime but you might keep a welcome light in the window in case I return.  The next person he needed to tell he was leaving was his sister Barbara.

She was pretty well situated so he didn’t have to worry about her but not seeing her often would be hard to deal with.  Soon he would be an uncle and he would also miss that.  

Just before he was leaving Barbara took him into the barn where her wagon was kept and she told him to lift the floor boards of the wagon.  It had a double bottom and after he lifted the first layer there was a lot of gold under the boards.

He asked where it came from.  She said, “While I was with the rustlers they hid all their loot in the wagon where no one would find it.”  She went on saying, “I never mention it because I thought someday we might need it.

She told him to take what ever he wanted; especially the paper money for no one knew how long it would be worth anything.

Juan put a thousand dollars or so of gold coins in his saddle bags and most of the paper money.  He said, “Don’t mention this to anyone for they will just worry and want it.”

The supply wagon was going to pick up some supplies in Santa Fe so Juan hitched a ride with him.  He carried his saddle bags with him but that wasn’t too unusual to see a trail hand do that but it did tweak people’s curiosity.

Since Juan had no idea where he was going but he saw there was a train leaving shortly for Albuquerque and points east.  Purchasing a ticket he quickly boarded the train.

Juan saw there was an obvious difference between him and many of the passengers on the train.  The further East he went the more the difference was evident.  

Starting with his clothing we move on to his long hair and him packing tied down six guns, people moved away from him as far possible.

By the time he got to Dallas he decided that people had made their point and that was they wanted conformity in the persons they associated with.

He got off at Dallas and proceeded to become more civilized with bath, haircut, shave, and new clothes.  He bought a new suitcase to put his money and guns in except for the two derringers he kept on his person.

The one other thing he decided was to change his name.  He was now to be known as John instead of Juan.  

The one person who he felt comfortable with on his trip to Dallas was the conductor. In his spare time he would sit with John (as he was now known) and advised him of how to avoid the pitfalls of the East.  The conductor said, “The only difference between a rustler and an eastern banker was the hat.”

He had many such comparisons between the East and West which later on were very helpful to John and saved him much money.  Before he left the conductor he said you can’t shoot all the crooks because there are too many of them so you have to out smart them.

All of this talk made John uncomfortable about his decision to go east so he turned south until he was in Florida.  He spent a year there making deals and a lot of money.

He would ride the ferries on the Mississippi and watch the gamblers play cards and occasionally play a few hands.  
At first he would just ante up and throw in after getting his cards for he didn’t want to challenge the professionals until he got the drift of how they played the game.  

After six months he got to the place where he could match their skills.  He discovered he could make more money playing cards on the weekends playing the amateurs than he did with his other enterprises during the week.

Along with that he figured the key to success in gambling was to avoid a certain kind of woman for he saw them get the best of many men.

It wasn’t that they were inherently bad but they distracted you and changed the direction you needed to be headed.

To be Continued  


December 26 by Norman Rockwell
The Trifecta of Christmas once again has come and went.

The start goes off with a bang, 
 “Tis the night before Christmas,”
 so the story goes.

The wants have far out distanced the needs and so “Many” wish to be our supply.

At this point there are so many believers; they are almost equal to the hopers.

I looked in the mirror and behold. I saw “Saint Nick” and “Down through the chimney” echoed through my mind.  Like it or not ‘twas a duty I must perform.

The next day all were up early and bows and ribbons were torn asunder. Paper thrown everywhere that can never be used again I wonder.

Here and there a short expression of glee and several expressions that said “Oh me.”

After the brief foray the thrill in part was gone. 
But there were smiles all around.

Some were right side up but alas some were upside down.

Tis the day after Christmas, here and there are broken toys. 
Still some batteries have a little power left, hence all the noise.

For some it’s “Joy to the world” the toys have come.

For others Tis sox and underwear and making a new list for next year.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 12 To Hang or Not to Hang

A Herd of Arabian Horses
Free clip art

 Juan found Senior and rehearsed the situation to him.  Senior asked Juan; do you believe them?

Juan said, “It sounds like the truth me.”

Senior said, “We will take them with us and we will sort it out when we get to the ranch.”  The horse thieves realized that they were hanging by a thread and if they didn’t cooperate they would be hanging by a rope.

The rain didn’t stop until the next morning and all they had to eat was some jerky they had thrown in their saddle bags and the little food the rustlers had with them.

The ranch hands weren’t in a good mood for they had a seven hour ride ahead of them. By the time the Hacienda came into sight the men were getting testy and hungry.  It had been over a day and a half since they had a good meal.  

After eating a good meal all they wanted was to go to bed and sleep.

Juan saw to it that the rustlers were fed and locked up in a storage room until the morning for he was too tired to question them further this evening.

Barbara and the sisters wanted to see the rustlers and afterward they agreed; “They don’t look so bad.”

Juan upon hearing that decided he would never be able to understand the female mind. The women thought they looked nice and the men wanted to hang them.  

Juan thought, “I better put on an extra guard to keep the women away from them.”

For the next three days Juan asked the men every imaginable question.  He would follow each question with something like “What if or in case of,”

When he got through he knew more that they thought they knew.  Juan filled Senior in on what he found out and what he wanted to do.  

Juan had firmly set in his mind on what he considered to be the recovery of his father’s herd of Arabian horses.  He was expecting to get a little over a hundred of them.

After Senior agreed the first step was to contact the chief of the Mescalero and arrange for transportation thru their land.  After they struck a deal then setting up water stops was next. Finally the last thing was the overpowering the riders who were watching over the herd.

Senior agreed with Juan to let the Rustlers go free if they would help recover the horses.  When faced with a rope the decision was easy to make.

The water wagons and equipment was the first to leave.  Their job was to set up the watering stations and destroy them after the horses had drunk.  Then they would move back to the next one.

After that they retreated to the river they where they were to provide rifle fire if needed.  The next moonlit night they were off.  When they came upon the water troughs they watered the horses and were off again.  

One the third day they reached the herd around midnight.  Two men slipped in among the herd and overpowered the guards.  It only took a few minutes to get the herd moving.  The out riders were tied on their horses and were being led.

By the time the discovery was made it was two days later and impossible to catch up with them.  

As it turned out that they were two hundred mares and about fifty young studs in the herd.  This was far more than they expected so the water had to be rationed.  

While the herd finished crossing the river the Indians collected the last of their promised cattle.  The cattle moved out of sight and the riflemen got into place.  No one ever showed up so no one got hurt in this operation.

The horses were moved north of the Hacienda where they could be watched over and cared for.  The best studs were separated and the rest were Gelded to be sold for riding horses.  A lot of arguing went on about which should be sold and kept.  All of a sudden everyone was an expert on horse flesh.

All Juan was interested in was four of the studs and about seventy five of the mares.  He separated them out from the rest and moved them into a long valley that had plenty of grass and water.

Another feature of the valley was the difficulty to remove in a hurry making it almost impossible to steal them.  

A good number of the mares left were bred to mustangs for cattle horses.

The gelded studs were sold back East to riding stables, and thus all were accounted for.

 To be Continued  


Monday, December 23, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 11 Big Ideas

Party Time
courtesy photobucket
It was celebration time but there was little time to get ready for it.
Every one who was a part of Senior’s domain was invited to some part of the Gala.
It was estimated that as dirty as the men were if they hadn’t bathe in the river the wells would have been run dry for the women used a lot of water in cooking and bathing.
The sisters found some nice clothes for Barbara and she cleaned up as nice as the sisters did.  Though the time for preparation was short they had a festive time.
As it turned out Juan was a better dancer than expected and Barbara did very well but only on the traditional dances.  The sisters promised to bring her dancing skills up to date.
Raul kept Barbara to himself most of the evening.  When she didn’t know the dance they strolled through the Hacienda or just sat and talked.  The party went well into the night with the ones who had early morning chores going to bed first.
Juan having danced with all of the five sisters excused himself and retired but not before he reminded Senior to place an extra couple of guards around the Arabian horses.
In the early morning hours a shot was fired and someone had got away with five of the Arabians.  At first light Juan was off after the horse thieves.
Senior wanted him to wait until they had a full posse but Juan said, “I’m going now for it looks like it might rain and wash out the trail.  You can follow as soon as everyone is ready.”
All the time Juan was catching up to the thieves he was thinking how dumb these men were to do such a thing. As Juan topped a tall hill he saw them about an hour ahead of him.  He figured out how he could get ahead of them by taking a steeper pass.  
As he worked his steed over the pass he thought how glad he was to be on a mustang instead of an Arabian because the Mustang was so much more agile.
Two hours later he positioned himself between them and the river.  As they came into view he fired one shot and yelled for them to give up and throw all their weapons down including their knives they had hidden away.
There were only five of them and four complied with his command but one tried to draw his gun. A split second later he lay on the ground writhing in pain.
The others upon seeing the man being shot made a move toward their guns. Juan drew both of his guns and shot the bottom of each ear lobe on the other four.  This froze them in place.  They thought they were lucky he almost missed or was the best shot they had ever seen and he didn’t shoot to kill.
One said, “Don’t shoot.  We will lay them down.  Juan ordered one of the men to see if he could aid the man who was shot.  They got the blood slowed and then it stopped all together.
Juan ordered another man to take a rope and tie up the rest in order to save their lives in case they got foolish. He sat all of them on the ground except the one who was wounded. He was allowed to lie down.
After an hour one of the men wanted to know how long they were going to wait there. Juan answered; sounds like you are in a hurry to be hung.
It was another two hours before Senior arrived on the scene and the rain began to fall just as they got there.  Senior said there is an abandon barn and house a few miles from here.  

As they started to go to the barn the rustlers begged to be allowed to relieve themselves before they went on to the abandon farm.  
By the time they arrived at the ranch house the rain was pouring down.
Senior said, “If you hadn’t left earlier we wouldn’t have caught these men and got our horses back.”
Juan said, “That’s what I figured.”
There was a lot of grumbling about whether they should just go ahead and hang the rustlers at the barn or to display them at the ranch for a while and then hang them.  
Some reasoned that putting them on display would have more of an effect on any potential thieves in the future.
Senior said Juan would decide since he caught them and after thinking that over the grumbling faded way.
Juan took Senior aside and said, “I want to talk to these men and get some information I may need in the future.”
Senior said, “Listen up.  Juan will deal with these men so everybody relax until the rain is over.  You did a good job and that was all I could expect you to do.  Sunday we will have a barbeque and celebrate the capture of these fools here.”
Juan went over to the one who was shot and looked at his wound.  The bullet just grazed his ribs and should heal in three weeks time or at least stop hurting by then. The scar would remind him of a foolish move that could have got him killed.  
Juan took the men to the old house and told them to sit down which they did.  They didn’t want to cross him for their ears were still stinging from having the tip of their earlobe shot off.  They were trying to get a read on him and it came out like: he ain’t to be messed with.
Juan had taken a rope with him and was making a hangman’s noose as he started to question them.  To start with he saw they had a way with horses and wondered where they had learned their skills.
The answer to his line of questioning wasn’t what he expected to hear.
They started telling him of being raised on a ranch where they were taught how to control horses without being mean to them.  Juan thought of his own background which was somewhat similar.  

They said the men that were chasing Juan had come by the ranch where they were working, killed the owners, and took all their horses except for the ones they were riding.
That was what they saw when they returned from taking in some hay for the winter. They had been following the men for several weeks hoping they would get careless and they could get the horses back.
When they saw the men had been poisoned they were hoping to retrieve the horses and head back south.  They only managed to get the five he found them with.  They had decided to head back home and give up on their quest.
The people who owned the horses were dead and the ones who stole them were dead also.  They said what they were guilty of was taking back what Senior had taken from the horse thieves.  
Juan said I will settle this when we get home.
To be Continued.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


My Continued story will follow soon - - this is a musing for Christmas !!

courtesy photobucket

Here it is Christmas and every thing is for sale!

Glitzy ads are the norm, and its buy now or miss out on these great (ha ha ha) prices.  

It would seem that 50% of the American economy is based on man made holidays.  

As a lesser intelligent being whose forte is naiveté one might think that the holidays are for the purpose of the stated reason instead of the enriching of the merchandising world.

New years day, Presidents day, Valentines day, May day, Fourth of July, Labor day, Halloween, Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, Hanukah, the Muslim holidays, Kids day, Mothers day, Fathers day, Grandparents day, Bosses’ day, Secretary’s day, Earth day, Martin Luther King day, Columbus day; and then comes the weeks and months of recognition for groups like black history month and April 15 tax day.

This is just to name a few and there are new ideas for more special days in the works.

What about Uncle and Auntie day,  Cousin day, Adopted kids day, Divorce day, Death day, Debt day (where all debts are forgiven and paid for by Uncle Sam), Fast Food day, Secretary Day, Wal-Mart day, Fireman’s and Policeman’s day, Union bosses’ day, Politicians day; and oh, soooo much more.

And there are many worthy things that need to be recognized like DOG days, CAT days, RAT days and Hat days.

If we can establish all these days as national holidays then no one will have to work for every day will be a holiday with pay.

It looks like, if we banned all these days, our economy would fall apart for we are dependent upon this boost in our national product to keep us afloat.

I submit that if we set aside all these holidays, we would be none the less for it, except in the area of economics.

Should we include Christmas in this holiday dismissal?

Well when properly understood the Christian celebrates the CHRIST day every day of the year and does not need to reduce the celebration to only one day a year.

Since this is “Think it over day,” - - perhaps we can figure it out.

Celebrate Jesus 365 days a Year !