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Monday, December 16, 2013

RANCHO REYES Chapter 6 Unwelcomed Guest

Indian Brave
Juan went out to the barn and gave each horse a small amount of hay.  He had to cut back on their food since there were two horses instead of one.

The woman was still asleep and Juan decided he should put her bottom garment on her some how.  It was difficult to dress her, with her broken leg, and this was just a wrap that she could pull aside when she needed to.  He carefully slipped it under her and positioned so she could cover herself the way she wanted to.

Juan made some soup and she began to wake up.  He fed her some of the broth while she stared him.  It was as though she was trying to make sense out of this situation.  After all she had been unconscious for at least 24 hours.  As the afternoon wore on she became more alert and was becoming more restless.

Juan got the bucket and made some examples of what it was going to be used for.
Finally later in the evening she acted as if she needed to use the bucket.  Juan clumsily tried to help her and she managed to relieve herself.

For the next week he struggled with the situation and it was the most difficult week of his life.  The most embarrassing part for both was when he had to wipe and clean her up.  By the end of that period of time, she was able to take care of most everything herself.

He tried to find out what her name was and the closest he could figure out what she was saying was No-nee.  He knew it wasn’t right but both settled for that.  This was a learning time for both of them.  Two different cultures being forced to go beyond their present understanding of each others view of what life consisted of.

They began to make some head way when they just accepted each as human beings without all the trapping which identified them and their purpose for being.  He made her a crutch and helped her learn to use it.

She seemed anxious to get outside and sit as the sun came out each morning. Juan went and got her pony and brought it to her so she could see he was alright.  This seemed to put her at ease more than anything else he had done.

The leg was healing very well.  He had found an old pair of chaps and cut them up so he could wrap them around her lower leg.  The chaps were stiff but rubbing some lard on them made them pliable.  
After removing the splints he gently washed the calf and wrapped it with strips he cut from an old shirt and then laced the cut up chaps around it.  This gave her protection and strength as she began to walk.

The snow had melted enough for the horses to walk without a struggle, so Juan got both horses out and readied them for a ride.  Her pony was pawing for he was raring to go.  

It was still a little difficult but the horses made it over to where the cattle were waiting for some hay.  It had been two weeks since he had made it to the feeding barrier.  No-nee got off her pony with Juan’s help and sat on the frame work of the barrier because the pressure in her leg was building up from dangling free on the pony.

In any case she wasn’t ready for any long rides across country.  As they rode back to the cabin several thoughts came into his mind.  In a short time the ranch hands would be coming to check on him and the cattle to see if they made it through this very difficult winter.

Questions plagued his mind, what… how could… how could he explain her presence and what had been going on these last few weeks.

As he looked at her, really for the first time he realized she wasn’t too bad to look at, for an Indian.  These and many more thoughts were flooding his mind.

When they arrived back at the cabin she dismounted and tied her pony to the corral then went into the cabin to fix some food.  He was getting used to her cooking and could finally keep it down.  

A couple more weeks went by and while he was at the feeding barrier one of the ranch hands came by and said he was on the way to Santa Fe to pick up some medical supplies and didn’t have time to stop.  He said Senior would be coming up in another two weeks.  

Senior first wanted to check on the other herds and see how they made it through the winter.  This made Juan feel a little better for now he had some idea of what was going on.  

As he rode a slow gallop to the cabin and he started to rub his horse down when all at once he was covered with a large shadow and before he could draw his guns there were huge arms around him slowly squeezing the air out of him.  The person had both of Juan’s hands in his so Juan couldn’t reach his six shooters.  

Slowly Juan was beginning to grow faint when he heard No-nee’s voice screaming. He could feel her beating on the interloper.  Then he realized she was speaking in her native tongue.  Little by little the huge man released his hold on Juan and he could breathe again.  

Although he wanted to pull out his guns, he didn’t have the strength to do so.  As he gained his strength he asked her what was going on for now he was a good position to shoot this monster.

As Juan could understand her, this man was her fiancé, and he had been looking for her since the storm first struck.  When he saw her pony he assumed she was being held against her will and was going to set her free.

Juan said he would leave them alone to get reacquainted.  He wanted to rub his horse down and give him a little feed.  He waited until he thought they had enough time to explain how all this came about, then he knocked on the door but got no response.  Looking in Juan was embarrassed as he viewed her fiancé on top of her and she was moaning.

He quietly shut the door and thought; “It looks like they got everything settled.”

Just before dusk they came out and indicated they would be leaving in the morning. Juan said he would sleep in the barn to which she answered that wouldn’t be necessary.
They had supper after which Juan made himself a pallet while they spent the rest of the night getting acquainted all over again and again.

As a result Juan didn’t get anymore sleep than they did.
He was up early and fixed some breakfast for them before they left and was glad that episode in his life was over.    

To be Continued

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