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Friday, January 10, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 5 ShotGun Wedding for Sue

Dance Courtesy photobucket
There at the dance, I found myself sitting next to skinny Sue and a lot of thoughts going through my mind that had to be dealt with and at the same time carry on a conversation.

After observing her a few minutes I decided she wanted to be kissed.  The last time I kissed her it was with a “Kiss your mother type of kiss.”  The way she responded was worse than what I had done. 

I decided to show off with my new and improved technique.  I got her in position and gave her my best effort. 
Then much to my surprise she really responded.  Not as good as my teacher Alice but close.

I took a long breathe and said, ‘You have been practicing!”

She said, ‘You have too.”

I asked, “Who has been teaching you?” and she said, “None of your business.”

Then she asked, ‘Who have you been practicing on?”

Somewhat embarrassed I answered. “That’s none of your business, just enjoy it and be quiet.”

My uneasiness was because I was afraid she would guess it was Alice.

After twenty minutes Elle came running out and said Sue’s folks were looking for her and were mad.  They were saying “She better not be with Marshall,”

I looked at her red face.  She said, “We better get back inside quick.”  We ran around to the front and slipped in and found a seat. 

I decided that I shouldn’t be found sitting with her right now.  I heard someone say, “Here she is,” and a moment later her Ma was jerking her by the arm and saying all kinds of things.

As they went out the door I was glad that Elle had found us and I wasn’t sure what I just escaped from.  Pa came over to me and asked if I had been up to something and I said, “Just dancing.”

He said, “It better have been just dancing otherwise you would be in big trouble.”  I still didn’t have a clue what the big problem was so I went and got me some lemonade and sat down.

Elle and Alice came over and said, “Who is Marshall?

I said, “I don’t know, I never heard of a Marshall.”

Sue’s parents just found out she’s been doing something she shouldn’t have been doing.  Right now her folks are trying to find out who this Marshall is for that ain’t his real name.

I thought to myself, “Somebody in trouble could say anybody is Marshall even … wait, she better not say it was me.”

That was all the dancing and kissing I wanted to do this night so I started walking home.  The moon was shining bright and I could see pretty good when I heard more than one person running behind me. 

I slipped over into the woods and waited.  It was only a few seconds until some guys running past where I was hiding.  I recognized one of them as Sue’s cousin and they were saying I saw the kissing tonight so let’s get him for he must be Marshall. 

I stayed in the woods until they came back and they were saying we’ll have to get him later it’s too dark now.  After they passed me by I started to run and a little while later I was safe at home.

Things were trying to come together but there were too many pieces missing.  An hour and a half later my folks came home and wanted to know why I left early. 

I did something I only do in time of desperation and that was to tell the truth.  I told them what I knew and Ma looked straight at me in the eye and said he’s telling it like it is.

Later I was getting ready to get into bed when Elle came in and said, “Alice thinks she knows who Marshall is.  She is pretty sure it is a guy who was at the dance named Tom.”

I thought about the evening and the little things that started to come to mind. Could it be that they had tried to make it look like I did something I shouldn’t have done?  

Come to think about it Tom could have been older than he pretended to be, maybe sixteen or seventeen.  Sue was a little too young to be wed but the way their family was acting they might make an exception.

Alice had told Sue’s sister her suspicion before she came home and Sue’s family was on the hunt for ole Tom.  From what I heard they found him about three in the morning and after he told the whole story he was proposing marriage to Sue which after a suggestion by the belt by her Ma she accepted his proposal.

Shot Gun Wedding for Sue
The next day they had something like a shotgun wedding except all the men in the family carried long bladed knives and prodded him to the parson’s house with them.  

I went to the marrying and as Sue and Tom went into his house she whispered toward me and said something I didn’t understand in fact I don’t want to know.

After all that excitement last evening I kind of soured on the dancing but I went to the next one anyhow.  There were two or three gals who was friendly with me along with two or three fellers who wasn’t friendly at all.

Mad or not I danced with one of them most of the evening when they were playing a song I wanted to dance to.  The dance ended without anyone getting a fight which is the way it usually is unless someone has been drinking the hard stuff.  

When the weather would allow we finished the hog pens and the chicken houses.  As spring broke and grass was coming up I went over to Sue’s family home and made a deal for three sows with the understanding they would produce a litter this summer.

Then Pa and I went to the stock barn to bid and we won seven more sows. They looked good in their separate pens.  From the feed store we got around eleven hundred chicks free.  Course we bought some chicken food.

We expected to lose around a hundred giving us about a thousand fryers later in the summer.  I planned to keep a hundred pullets for laying and selling eggs to help pay for all the feed we have to buy.

Temporally we sold all the cows except one for the, milk, butter, and so forth.  By the time I was going on to age thirteen things were doing well and Pa put me in charge of part of the farm.

A hundred acres came up for sale next to us and they gave us the first chance to buy it. It wasn’t cheap but was less than what we would sell our place for, both being the same size.

Jake had gotten married and wanted to move into the house on the new acreage.  The family agreed it was okay for Jake had always contributed to the needs of the family.

We sold our chickens directly to a dealer and the same with our shoats for the sows had produced another litter already.  

The men I hired to help with the animals were satisfied with the low pay I give them. They said as long as they have a good place to stay, plenty of good food they don’t need much money to get by on.  

Without them I would be really busy and it would be hard for me to keep up.  I was glad they were trustworthy and they felt like they were part of the family.

Alice was getting nearer to the marrying age and every so often there would be a boy come and visit her but Sammie had already staked his claim on her.

Actually she was planning on marrying Sammie but I guess it was fun flirting once in a while.  He would get mad at her then she would calm him down a couple of kisses and a hug.  Then the magic words, “You know you are the only man for me” would work wonders and settle him down.

When it got to be too much Ma had a talk with Alice and told her to cut it out before it became a real problem.  Sammie was strong as an ox and could get mad enough to do some damage to one of these would be suitors.

Ma said it was time for the engagement to be official and in a couple of years the wedding which suited both Alice and Sammie.  That put an end to what could have been a nasty situation.

I kept my nose out of that circumstance for it wasn’t directly any of my business.  With the additional hundred acres we had a bumper crop of feed and in the fall I brought the whole family together for a meeting.  The business concerned everyone so I felt all should have a part in the discussion.

I wanted to do three things and I outlined what were and the reasons for doing them. First I wanted to build a large milk barn.  Two I wanted Jake to travel around the county and buy all the heifers he could get at the right price.  And third I wanted to eventually hire some hands to handle the milking process.

There were many questions and I had as many answers.  We cut trees and take them to the mill for lumber to build the new barn.  We breed heifers so they will calve in the spring and start giving milk.  We keep the best calves for additional future stock and have a second barn to store our feed.

The biggest cost was the cost of the heifers.  The question came up, “Why not buy older cows who would give more milk that the heifers.”  I told them the older cows would cost two or three times as much as the heifers and we needed to spend as little as possible to get started.

This plan with a few adjustments came to fruition and a year later we were in the milk business.  

Due to the success we were having, I began to get all kinds of invitations to come over and have dinner with them.  

At first I thought I would accept their invites because “It don’t matter” - -
But then Ma explained what was going on and I decided “It do matter.”

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