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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 16 Back From the Grave

New Baby Free clip art
New Baby Boy
We, that is Nan, and I are both only twenty she being about four months older than me. Soon we will be the parents of three children and who knows if there will be more.  

I am older than my years because of the fact I became the leader of our clan while still a youngster.  I just had a head for business and directed the family business and finances.

Nan aged quickly having two children and the loss of her husband shortly before Matt was born.  She was left with some money and had to fight off a myriad of trashy men who wanted to take advantage of her.

The thing is now that we have a good life ahead of us we need to not allow ourselves to become bored with our life and each other.  We must keep enough excitement in the marriage so it doesn’t grow dull.

The adoption papers came back and now it is official; I am the children’s father.  I don’t know how much this will mean to them now but sometime in the future it will be of great importance.

Ada, Clayton’s wife has been staying with us for the last couple of days expecting the birth of our third child.  Then in the middle of the night I was dispatched to get the doctor.  By the time we got back Ada said, “You have another…” she stopped in mid sentence and smiled, and said, “A boy.”

I couldn’t keep my feet still and had to knock a step or two at the news.  The doctor went in and checked Nan over.  When he was finished he said you are made for having children.  You will be up and around in no time meanwhile see if he is hungry and if he can figure out how to eat.

Nan sat up a bit and stuck the nipple in his mouth and he had his first meal. She said look at him go, he has his father’s appetite.

I had trouble getting Bessie to suckle but this guy knows what to do.  After Nan thought he had enough at this setting Ada took him and said, “Eating so fast he is sure to have some air so I will burp him.”

After a few pats on the back out came some swallowed air and some milk also.  After Ada was sure he was finished burping and spitting up she wrapped him in a blanket and gave him back to his mother.

The doctor said, “What is his name going to be?”  

Nan said, “I want to call him Mark.  My two sons will be Matt and Mark.”

Ada said, “Is that alright with you papa?”

He said, ‘Yes we discussed it before hand.  If it had been a girl she would have been named Martha.  It looks like Martha will have to wait a while to claim her name.”

Nan said, “Right now I feel like it will be a long while.”  

Ada said. “That is pretty normal after having just suffered ‘Them birth pangs,’ but you will get over that sooner than you think.  It’s something you forget as time goes by.”

Matt and Bessie were asleep in their beds and missed the arrival of their new brother but would soon get acquainted.

The doctor said everything is under control so I’m going home and get me some sleep. I have three more women expecting to birth right away so I had better get me some rest.  Some of these women go two or three days before finally having the child.

Ada fixed breakfast for the children, me, and Clayton my brother.  Nan said she wanted to wait for a while before eating.  Mark woke up and was ready for another meal and he was hungry as a little guy could be.

Bessie wanted to see little brother right off.  She ran and hugged Nan and said, “Where’s he at?”  

Nan uncovered him and Bessie said, “He is so red and so little will he ever grow to be big like me?”  Nan assured Bessie that he would grow into a big boy.  

Since the railroad was finished and had a lot of surplus land for sale I bought up as much as I could afford.  I divided it up and bought a well digging machine and dug a well and put up a windmill on each parcel.  I opened an office next to the general store and was in the land business.

Ada needed to get back to her duties so I had a widow woman come and help Nan with the kids and the baby.  With everything under control I went down to my office where I handled all of the family business as well as the land sales.

Back from the Grave

A man who didn’t look too prosperous came in.  He was tall and was nice looking under the long hair and beard.  He looked around and said, “Looks like you are making a lot of money here in this area.”

His tone and actions were condescending.  He said, “I went by your new house and it must be worth quite a bit of money.  I hear you just had a new kid didn’t you?”

I just said, ‘Yes that’s true but what’s that to you?”

He said, “It’s everything to me for you are living with my wife and kids.”

I swallowed hard at what he said. I was confused and just stared at the man.

From the way Nan described him he did look like the man Nan was married to but he was dead and buried.  She had a written notice to that effect.

He went on and said, “I’m here to claim my wife and have you put in jail for marrying an already married woman.”

He pulled out a marriage certificate with his and Nan’s name on it.

He said, “I want you out of my house now and I need some money, a lot of it.  I figure you should have fifty thousand dollars you could part with instead of going to jail for bigamy.  Give me the money and I will leave and keep quiet about all of this.”

I said, “You are supposed to be dead and here you are alive and well?”

He said, “Yep, I wanted out of being married and to go to California.  A girl who worked in one of the railroad offices got me some stationary.  She typed up what amounted to a death certificate and sent it to Nan in a company envelope.  

She and I have been on the road ever since then but now that is over and I’m ready to settle down.  I don’t know what happened to that girl I was with and furthermore I don’t care.

I excused my self for a moment and went to the feed store.  I knew Jake was down there.  I explained to him what was going on and what the man was threatening to do.  

This could be a big embarrassment for the whole family if this got out.  

Jake said, “I never had to deal with something like this, but I will step into the office and entertain this man while you go to Judge Larson and find out what you can do about this.”

I said, ‘Okay because I’m not sure how to handle this.”

I saw the judge and explained the whole thing to him.  He said, “I never had a case exactly like this but close enough to know how to handle the legal end.  It will be up to you how you handle him.”

After five minutes the Judge handed me a paper and said, “This should take care of the whole thing.”

I looked askance for I was confused.  I said, “What is this?”

He said, “A dissolution of the first marriage based upon abandonment.  He abandoned her and the children and I have made it effective back before you married Nan.”

I have to ask Judge Larson, “Is this legal?”

He said, “It is if I say it is and I say it is for I have the final say around here.”

He said, “Now go and deal with that no good skunk severely enough to make him wish he had never came back here.”

I thanked the Judge and returned to the office where Jake had the man sweating and wanting out of the office.

I showed he man the dissolution of the marriage and the effective date.

Then I said to Jake, “Here is a hundred dollars.  Go down and buy a burial plot for this man and a ticket out on the train that leaves in an hour.  He is going to use one or the other. 
Grave site
courtesy photobucket
If he decides to leave we will be anxiously waiting here for your return, because if Nan ever finds out he is still alive we will need the burial plot.”

A half hour later Jake returned with the receipt for the burial site and the railroad ticket.  He grabbed the man by the throat choking the air out of him and shaking at the same time.

Then as he let the man breathe again he said, “What’s it to be the choice is yours; the ticket or the ground?  Jake went on and said, “It will be the ground if you ever utter this story to a living soul.”

The scoundrel said, “The ticket please.”

Jake slapped him and said, “Louder.”

He yelled, “The ticket please.”

“And you will never come back, right?” Jake added.

He yelled, “Right,” and grabbed the ticket and ran for the train that was just leaving.

I thanked Jake for his help for without him I would have been in trouble.

Thankfully the man never came back to use his grave but I heard he had an accident which ended his life.

After an interesting morning I decided to check on Mark and his momma.

Bessie met me and said, “He is too little.”

Matt was pulling at my leg wanting to be picked up.  I lifted the two of them up and we went in to see the newest member of the family.

Nan said, “What you have been doing this morning?”  

I said, “Nothing important; you know stuff that - - -

‘It don’t matter’  does it matter?  All that type of stuff.”

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