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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.
 

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