New FREE e-book: The Old Man and the Widow

New FREE e-book:  The Old Man and the Widow
To Order my E-books click on the Book or "My Book"Tab

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 21 Land Good for Sheep

Sheep and Lambs
I had one of my share croppers, Josh who was successful a successful farmer go over all of my families properties that were being sharecropped.

His opinion was that some of the ones that I bought at the tax sale couldn’t be successfully farmed.  I told him I was giving them two thirds of the earnings.

He said, “You could give them one hundred percent and they would still go hungry.”

I told him that I didn’t go over the property before I bought it and that was the reason I was having him do it.  

He said, ‘They are large in acreage but the soil is too rocky and hard to cultivate. About a fourth of it could be used for hay but the rest is just good for pasture.”

He laughed and said, “You could become the biggest goat rancher in the county.”

I had to laugh with him at that for that wasn’t my cup of tea so to speak.

“Okay,” I said, “Let’s get serious and decide what to do to make this profitable.”

“All told you have three hundred acres that you could graze and about fifty good for whatever kind of hay you wish to sow.  It would seem that sheep would be your best bet for they will give you two shots at making money. Their lambs and the wool they would produce.”

“What would that entail?” I asked.

“Except for the hay fields pull down all the fences so they could range the whole property.  You might see if the properties next to yours would be for sale thereby increasing your grazing area and being able to increase the flocks.”

I told him, “You sure have a handle on this problem.  That only leaves a couple of issues to deal with.  One is to find experienced hands to handle the sheep and what to do with the people who are trying to farm the land now.

I don’t want to just run them off for they have enough problems as it is.  I’m going to leave it up to you to figure out how to locate sheep to stock the land and find the needed help.  Then I will see what I can do about getting jobs for the men in the families that will be displaced.”

Josh said, “You know I have the place I’m sharecropping for you to keep up and I don’t know if I can spare the time to do what you want me to do.”

I suggested, “You have two grown sons that can handle the place when you are away.”

He agreed they were already doing a lot of the work and he would still be there most of the time after everything was setup.  

I said, “You can probably use the extra money you will be earning for your services.”

He said that was an understatement for as the kids were getting bigger it was costing him more to care for them.

I sent Josh to tell the farmers that they were no longer needed and to come and see me. I sent two of the families to the oil fields where Jake said he could use them.  

One went to work at the locker and butcher shop for he had a lot of experience in butchering.

Another was to handle the production of the hay fields.  Then there was two who had enough of farming and were returning back East.

Nan said, “You trying to help those people turned out to be a large task.”

I had to agree with her on that one but the end result was we were now in the sheep business and I could see where it was going to be profitable.

As time went by it was a pleasure to ride by and see the fields with the sheep grazing and making money for the workers and the family.

We had an event that got the attention of the town’s people which was a new doctor named Dr. Samuel come to town.  Our doctor was so busy you could hardly get in to see him so a new M.D. was welcomed.

People still flocked to our old Dr. but the new doctor was getting the over flow.  After six months there was some grumbling about the new doc wanted to operate on people a lot more than the old one did. He was quick to want to open people up and oft times he wasn’t too successful.

I decided to send Dr. Lester, my brother-in-law to the big city to check on the doctors past.  Where he was supposed to be from and check him out.

Information was hard to come by but at the hospital he discovered that he had his license taken from him for performing unnecessary operations on patients.  This was an eye opener.  

When he came to our town he just opened an office and started doing business.  He had all kinds of official looking certificates of graduation from the best schools of medicine so we never looked any farther.  

Doctor and Nurse
courtesy photobucket
I went to the local hospital and talked to a couple surgical nurses and asked about the surgeries that he had done and if they seemed to be necessary.

For the most part they had to be done.  There were one or two that might have been questionable but some things you don’t know until you open a person up and then a hard decision needs to be made.

I went and had a long talk with the doctor.  He had admitted he had made a mistake in one or two cases but he said truth be known every doctor has done the same but it isn’t brought to light.

He acknowledged that he had one case where the operation wasn’t necessary since he has been here but the problem was caused by the lack of diagnostic equipment at the hospital.  He said medicine is at the stage where you proceed on an educated guess while risky it is all we have at present.

After talking to him for three hours I was convinced that the punishment was too harsh and brought about by the politics of the governing board.  

Everyone admitted he was one of the best doctors in practice today but had lost his license to practice medicine.  

He said their censure had nothing to do with his ability to practice medicine and he thought he could get away with setting up an office here in our small town.  I figured I was a pretty good judge of character and we should give this man a chance for we needed a good surgeon on staff at the hospital.

I had Dr. Lester to start working on getting Dr. Samuel reinstated and his record cleared.  We hired a couple of lawyers who liked to sue institutions and after they talked to the review board, Dr. Samuel was restored and licensed to practice medicine.

We never let all this become known in town about what was going on and Dr. Sam kept doctoring while we cleared the matter.  I went over and told him we expected his best efforts and would, “Beat the hell out of him” if we discovered any funny business.

He assured us that he understood what we meant and was prepared to give us his best and he said I want to settle here for good and will be looking for a wife to help me.

I must confess that last part leaked out and all a sudden Doc Sam was inundated by the women who considered themselves marriageable material.

Jake had sent Luann, one of his daughters to college and she just graduated and was staying with us for awhile.

I had nothing to do with what happened next for I stayed as far away from being a matchmaker as I possibly could.  Nan was another story.  

She considered herself to have knowledge of who should marry who in our town and as it just so happened the Doctor was being asked to dinner almost every night.

He couldn’t resist our chef’s cooking, so he showed up each time he was invited.

Nan made the kids eat in the kitchen and that left Me, Nan, Luann and the doctor at the main table.  The doctor and I concentrated on eating our food while Nan and Luann carried on a conversation.

Nan would bring up the subject of marriage as often as she could.  Some of he lead-ins would be like, “Dr. Samuel at what age do you think a girl should be wed, take Luann for instance.”

Or “Dr. Samuel do you want children and what kind of a mother do you want for them?”

This went on for about three months and as soon as I and the Doc was finished I would get us out of there.

Now I did observe that the Doc was turning down many of the invites from mothers of daughters and was instead coming to our house.  I supposed he was looking favorably on Luann.

Then after our meal on a Saturday night in June he spoke up and said I would like to ask Luann to be my wife if she is willing.

I was dumbfounded.  This had to be the strangest courtship ever.  The thought came to mind, the chicken dinner courtship.

I had to hush Nan up so Luann could answer.  Nan considered it a done deal but I wanted them to discuss it and be sure they were in agreement about this whole thing.

I had to all but drag Nan out of the dining room so they could have some privacy.  Nan had her ear at the door trying to hear but they spoke in whispered tones and after an hour they announce they had decided to wed but…

I could see it in Nan’s eyes, “No, no no, buts.”

We want to have a courtship and get acquainted without the chicken holding sway.

Nan had been holding her breath and finally started to breathe normally again after hearing what the “But” was.

After Doc had left Nan had to know how long the courtship would be.

Luann said, “A month or six weeks and if everything goes well we will be married then.”

I supposed if it took a little longer “It don’t matter” but Nan didn’t see it that way.


No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are having trouble making a comment - select anonymous but please add your first name to the comment.