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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

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