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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 9 A New Project

The Land Backed Up to the Woods

It seems like I’m plagued with new ideas and things I want to do.  There are several things stirring around me but it will take time to accomplish them.

With each acquisition there has to be a change in me to be compatible with the new program.  Missing this step usually results in failure.  The next thing I want to do is to acquire two hundred acres of land that is only fair and not like some of the bottom land we own.  

The problem is at this time the family doesn’t have the money to pull this deal off. Jake is the best negotiator in the family so I got him and Sammie together and went over every detail with them.

I knew it would take some convincing to get Sammie on board for it would entail him and Alice moving.  I knew the owner of the property I wanted and that he was looking for a buyer.  

He was hard to deal with except on his terms.  What I wanted to do was trade straight across the forty acres Sammie lives on for the two hundred acres the man owned. When Jake and I suggested the deal he laughed and said he wanted a lot of money to boot.

We expected that from him so it didn’t disturb us.  We ran his land down and told him what he already knew.  Our property was prime where his was only producing a fair crop.

This jockeying went back and forth the whole day but in the end we got what we wanted.  The deal happened when I whispered, “Remember sweet Ellen,” to Jake.  He looked at me and at the man and said, “You are missing the deal of your life,” and we turned to walk toward the door.

He said, “Wait, we have a deal.”  The details are a little complicated for he got all the farm equipment on the forty acres and in turn we got his.

The one thing that was a plus on the two hundred acres was it backed up to wooded property and we bought that for a small price.  We were going to need barns and a new house for Sammie and Alice and we would get the logs for lumber from the wooded property.

I wanted to farm forty acres and I intended to raise feed for the animals on the other one hundred and sixty.  It would take a year to complete this project but there was a lot of excitement in our camp.  Even the women wanted to be heavily involved.

The first deal we made was to have the lumber mill cut the logs and haul them to the mill.  Afterward they would haul the lumber back to the building site.  

We gave the mill about half of the trees on the property for providing the lumber we needed.  They had some lumber that had dried out which they traded some of the newly lumber they were cutting.  This allowed us to begin building right away.

We had a new well dug with a windmill so there would be water in the new house.  I hired some men to fence off the forty acres so the cultivation could start.  

We didn’t have time to plow up the acreage we were going to plant so I hired a steam engine to come and plow it up.  Due to the power of the engine they plowed the soil deeper than it had ever been previously dug.  This new soil produced a bigger crop than it had before.  

The one hundred and sixty parcel had two year round creeks and my next task was to find the cattle to put on it.  

Cowboy looking for word
Clayton said a young man came by looking for a job.  He had been a cow-boy in Texas but had some trouble and had to leave.  He said it wasn’t his doings but nobody would hire him afterwards.

I went to the sheriff and had him check the man out.  He contacted the sheriff in the county where the man had worked.  It seems the man had told the truth about his part. It had something to do with the rancher’s wife but the young man was innocent of wrong doing.

After getting this news I looked the man up and I told Clayton to give him a temporary job until I needed him which would be soon.  There was to be a large cattle sale about a hundred miles from us so I took the young man, Charlie with me to the sale.  

As it turned out he knew a lot more about beef cattle than I did.  We bought a hundred head and had them shipped by rail to the nearby station.  I also bought a couple of bulls and Charlie picked out three cow ponies.  Before we bought the cattle I asked Charlie if he knew a couple of cow hands who would like to work for me.  He said he did and they were waiting for us when the stock arrived.

They had brought their gear so all I had to do was to saddle up and drive the cattle to the acreage.  What a year this was.  A total of fifteen buildings built forty acres planted and harvested.  All the cattle settled in with more grass than they could eat.  

We were a little short of cash but we had a lot to show for it.  I didn’t need three cow hands full time so they pitched in with things like the harvesting but they were there when I needed them to handle the herd.

Ma and Pa couldn’t believe what the family had accomplished for all the family was involved in everything to some degree.

With everything under control I decided to do something I wanted to do for some time. I had contacted Dr. Lester about coming to spend three months studying how banks work and accounting.

They told me when would be the best time to come as it turned out it was during the summer break.  When I arrived Dr. Lester had set me up with a couple of professors who were on summer break and were willing to tutor me for a price.

I had done some studying on my own so I wasn’t completely in the dark on the subjects.  Being tutored six days a week and studying at night I seldom saw Maxi except on Sundays.  I took that day off to let my brain settle down.

Maxi introduced me to the staff and some people who were associated with the college. This of course included many young women.  They were all too intellectual for me but they were understanding of my plight and were nice to me.

I never actually went out on a date with any of them but I spent some Sunday afternoons with one whom I was attracted to.  While there I celebrated my eighteenth birthday, and Maxi invited this young lady I liked to celebrate with us.  Each time I was with her I found out more about her and didn’t find anything unlikeable.

A week before I was to go home Maxi took me aside and said, “I hope you aren’t getting serious about Nan for there are a couple things I should have told you but I didn’t expect you would be attracted to her.  You aren’t you?”

“Well yes.  I suppose I am.”

Maxi said, “If ma knew the situation she would be mad at me.”

I said, “Will you please tell me what is going on?”

She said, “The thing is, Nan was married before at the age of sixteen.  Her husband was trying to support them and he worked for the railroad.  He was killed in an accident and left her with two little kids.  

She is living with her mother but hasn’t fully got over the shock of what happened. One child was born after her husband died and is a year old. The other is age two and both are healthy.”

Maxi said, “I’m assuming you haven’t committed yourself in any way to her, have you?”

I said, “No not really.  She knows I’m leaving in a week or so.  Come to think about she didn’t seem too happy about me leaving.  Most of my studying is done and I would like to meet her family and her kids.”

Maxi said, “I don’t think that’s a good idea for there is no real purpose in during so.”

I said, Let me be the judge of that and you could go over there with me and keep me out of trouble.”

We set the time to visit and I don’t know what I had in mind.  The one thing certain; I wasn’t thinking about matrimony.  

After Maxi introduced me to Nan’s mother she wanted to talk to me in private.  She asked me several personal questions and after a bit she seemed satisfied and we went back into the living room as she called it.

While I had been interrogated by Nan’s mother, Maxi had excused herself and left for home leaving me with the two women.

Then the mother asked me if I would like to see the children.  I wasn’t really sure if I did but I said, “Sure I would love to see them.”

Sleeping Babies
She said they are sleeping out on the patio.  We went out to where the children were and they were just a couple of babies.  The two year old woke up and after checking her diaper Nan took her out of her sleeping bed.

After a bit she asked me if I would like to hold her as she handed her to me. After she made sure I was holding her secure she released her into my care.

I was surprised that the babe could talk to me and I was getting nervous so I handed her back to Nan who sat her down on a small chair.  
Then the other one woke and after her diaper was changed she was hungry.

Nan took one of her breasts out and proceeded to suckle the little boy.  I had seen numerous women nurse their child before but for some reason I was embarrassed by watching Nan.  Somehow I never saw myself looking at any part of her exposed anatomy.

Several hours were spent with her and the babies and to my surprise I enjoyed every moment of it.  Finally I said good bye to her mother and Nan walked me to the door.

While standing there something about the moment caused me to take her and kiss her several times.  Holding her while kissing seemed to be a natural thing to do and was without any unnatural feeling about it.

It is hard to judge other people by appearance but if I’m correct she was feeling some of the same things I was.

As I walked back to Maxi’s house I thought about the whole evening and her being married and the two kids, the breast feeding; the spontaneous kissing and a certain desire for her that came from deep inside. 

Then as my mind began to sort the whole matter I thought so she has been married. 

It don’t matter”… or does it?

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