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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 15 Ten More Acres


Ten More Acres
Courtesy photobucket.com
 
Pa usually goes to bed with the chickens but this night he wanted to talk about ten acres next to the home place that the owner wants to sell.

It is good bottom land and we could use the extra feed we could raise on it.

I ask him why he had not already bought it.  He said, “You know things were uncertain for a few days and I was waiting until things were straightened out in my head.”

He asked, “How much do you reckon this place is worth?”

“Oh, maybe a hundred thousand,” I told him.

He said, “If a man could buy it for a thousand dollars he would have a real good bargain wouldn’t he?”

“Yep, that would be a pretty good deal, why do you ask?” I said

Pa said, “I don’t know, I was just asking for some reason.”

Then I realized that the recent shock of what happened recently had caused both of them to lose most memories about what took place.  Nothing was to be gained by going through and explaining the last few weeks to them.  

I had seen men who had been kicked by a mule lose their memory for a while and some who had got in a fight and were beaten severely be in the similar condition.

I never saw a shock cause this kind of memory loss before.  The situation wasn’t going to change so the less said the better.  The next day I went over to see about the ten acres with Pa and had to agree it was a good parcel.

We bought it for a good price; almost too good after thinking about it.

As we left the property we faced two men one of which was the spokesman.

The other one was the one you would have to watch if trouble started for he was big and mean looking.

The man said, “You just bought my property and I want it.”

I told him if he really wanted it we would sell it to him for three times what we paid for it.

He replied, “I am going to pay you half what you paid for it for that is what I offered him.”

I said, “Pa you walk over the hill and ask Jake if we paid too much for our new property.”

As Pa left the big man was counting out the money he was offering us and wanted the deed to be turned over for our sale hadn’t been recorded as of yet.  He wanted to scratch off Pa’s name and put his on the deed.

Jake and a couple of his hands were on their way down the hill as I kept telling the two men that we were not going to sell for we needed this acreage.

As Jake arrived the big man stepped forward taking up a fighting stance. Jake was carrying a rough walking stick.

As the big man started to attack Jake he was struck hard in the throat with the stick. He went down on his knees and was trying to inhale enough air to survive.

We could see that all the fight was gone out of him so we helped the other man get his wounded buddy in the buggy and we haven’t seen or heard from them again.

Jake was always a good man to have around if trouble started.  He wasn’t afraid of anybody and I depended on him in a tight situation.  

After three days and two fights later I decided to head home for a man could get hurt around here.

Ma didn’t want to let Bessie go home with us for she was fast becoming her favorite grandchild.  We promised to come back as soon as we could but being busy it might be a while.  

I told Nan that if we didn’t get a new buggy soon we might end up walking and leading the horse.  She said, “We should go ahead and order one with softer seats and one with lights on it so we didn’t have to hang a lantern on the shaves.”

I told her I had been waiting to see if one of those horseless buggies were going to catch on or just fade away.  I wasn’t planning on buying one of those contraptions but just wanted to see what her reaction would be.

She said I think a horse would be more reliable for you for could always just ride the horse if the buggy broke down.  All four of us could ride on ole Ransom here for he is big and strong and could carry us without and trouble.

I decided that we weren’t quite ready to step up into the new generation machines so a new buggy it is.  I waited a few days before going to the buggy dealer.

He didn’t have many buggies in stock and none that I wanted.  But he had a lot of photos and drawings of them. He said he would have to order it from L. S. Gladding and would take three months to get it.

I asked why so long and he said Gladding not only make buggies but they also make parts for the horseless carriages.

There was one with two seats a wrap around top for the back passengers and just a top for the front riders. He stressed the new lights and either a two or just one horse model. He said, “One horse could pull the buggy easily but the two horses made the driver look more affluent.”

He said, “If the horseless carriage keeps catching on it will be hard to get a new buggy.”

I placed my order and I wondered what was this world coming to?  With all these new machines soon there would be no more need for field hands.

I wanted to get some polled Hereford cattle for our ranch and see how they would do. I thought they were way over priced but went ahead and bought thirty cows and one bull.  I figured if it didn’t work out we would eat them.

As large as out family has grown we could go through them pretty quick.

I try to read and keep up with what is going on in the world but as soon as I sit Bessie is right there ready to crawl up into my lap.  It makes it difficult to read and hold her while she keeps moving around.  Her sharp knees can cause a lot of pain when they dig in to your bodily parts.

Matt is two and walking and kind of talking.  Up until recently he was all mama’s boy but now with some help he started saying Da da.  He tries to climb up into my lap but can’t make it by himself me and whines for some help from me.  So here I sit with both kids on my lap.

At least it gives Nan a little time for herself.  

I went by the church and told the pastor that I was going to get a new buggy and if there was anyone who wanted my old one I would give it to them.  Of course it needs some repair but I would have it brought back into good shape first.

He said it would be handy for making his calls on the members for it just had one seat. He said his was a large two seater and made it hard to get back into some of the farms he visited.

I said it was his as soon as I got my new one.

He said, “You know the Bristol’s have a new one coming in a week or so don’t you?”

I said, “No I didn’t know that.”

He said, “You know how jealous they are.  I’m afraid they might think you are copying them and bought one because they did.  Well I guess you can’t help what people think.”  

“Just one seat was getting too crowded for us.  With Bessie in the middle and Nan having to hold Matt in her disappearing lap it was too much to handle.  We will have another little one by the time the buggy gets here and sure will need it.”

Being near to one another has now been reduced to a little hugging and the occasional kiss.  I was looking forward to the birth of whoever it is going to be.  

Bessie noticed that Nan was getting bigger and told her she was eating too much.  She decided it was time to tell her about the new baby.  When she finally understood Bessie said, “We don’t need another baby so send it back when it gets here.”

Nan said, “I can’t do that for it will be a sweet little girl like you or a tough little man like Matt.”

Bessie said, “Mama it would be better if it was a girl like me.”

I had heard her say, a tough little man like Matt.  She had said Matt’s father was a tough but very gentle man.  He had scared off most of would be suitors.  As I thought about that I felt it would have been difficult to scare me off once I was into her for a wife.  

Then again I concluded we probably have the same taste in a woman.  Lucky him he met her first but she is mine now and will always be.

His life wasn’t easy and he was doing the best he could for his little family.

I wish there was some way I could tell him how much I love all three of them and would see that they never had need of anything.  

I was a little jealous of him and at the same time sorry for his early demise. And again I was glad that he wasn’t around anymore for that was the only way for me to be in the position I am in today.

At this time, however the situation came about “It don’t matter”… or does it.

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