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Friday, March 21, 2014

ELLIOT JOHANSON STORY Chapter 9 Argentina

The Ship took us to Argentina
guess what?
 
With his money safely tucked away, El’s cuts and bruises were healing up pretty fast.  
 
He didn’t or wasn’t ready for riding but spent a lot of time messing with his horse Buck.  No one else would get near Buck for fear of being bit or kicked but he was like a dog wanting to be petted when El was around.
 
This day everyone was off doing their chores except El who was sitting, rocking on the big front porch.  Clara was cleaning and cooking as usual but when she discovered El on the porch she came out and sat next to him and said, “I want to talk about something with you.”
 
El said, “Okay but I was enjoying this rocking chair.  When I get a little older I’m going to get me one of these and do little else but rock and doze off.”
 
Clara said, “You are a long way off before you’re ready for that.  As soon as you are healed up you won’t be able to sit still.  What I want to talk about is this; you know a few weeks ago when the girls were teasing you and I came in?”
 
He said, “Yes I guess I remember.”
 
She said, “You and the girls were naked.”
 
He said, ‘Yes but don’t think anything about it, we have seen each other since we were young and went skinny dipping every warm day.  We just make fun of the way we look without clothes.”
 
Clara said, “Have you noticed that the girl’s bodies have changed quite a bit the last couple of years?  And for that matter so have you.”
 
He said, “Yes, I guess so, now you mentioned it yeah we have.”
 
Clara said, “I think it’s time for you to quit undressing like that.”
 
He said, “Okay, that’s fine by me, but tell the girls to stop for they usually start it. They come in and pull the sheet off me in the hot weather… that is if I have it on me. Sometimes it’s too hot to wear clothes to bed these hot nights when the breeze isn’t blowing.”
 
“Well I have already talked to them and they said you are the one who starts it.”
 
“Yeah I guess we both are guilty.  It has just been a game with us, but not one I would think about playing with someone else.”
 
Clara said, “There is something else and I might as well come out with it now.  I want these girls to become lady like and as long as they are around these country folks it isn’t going to happen.  
 
We are too easy going and don’t do much the proper way.  Thanks to you we now have enough money to send them to school back East where they can learn to be more proper and meet some fine young men.”
 
El said, “I have met some of these fine young men and there isn’t much difference in men when you strip off the … what you call façade.”
 
She said, “I know that, but being in society is better than being around cow pokes cause you can figure how that is going to turn out.  These girls are beginning to have feelings they don’t understand and I suspect you do also.”
 
He said, “I suppose I have feeling like boys my age have.”  
 
After thinking over what she had put out there El said, “Well it seems you have made up your mind, so why are you telling me about this?”
 
She said, “They won’t go as long as you are here.”
 
“Sounds like you want me to leave, is that it?”
 
Clara said, “Not exactly.”  
 
She went on, “You know Mr. Allenby who owns the big store in town?  He has two boys who went to school back east and are coming home.  They have been getting in trouble back there and he wants to send them to a ranch in Argentina.  
 
 
A friend of Allenby has inherited a large ranch and has agreed to allow the boys to come down there.  Allenby hopes the experience will straighten his boys out.  The problem is he wants someone he can trust to keep an eye on them while they are there.”  
 
El said, “Why should I want to go to Argentina?”
 
She said, “I’ve invited Mr. Allenby to have Sunday dinner with us and maybe you should ask him that question.”
 
“Yeah, maybe I should,” he replied.
 
Come Sunday Mr. Allenby showed up on time and Clara and the girls served a very satisfying meal after which the men went out on the porch where some smoked and one or two others spit tobacco juice.
 
Mr. Allenby said, “Clara has told me she explained what I had in mind for my boys and the part I hoped you would play along.”
 
El just nodded at first but later he asked several questions just to be clear. One of which Mr. Allenby made clear was that El wasn’t to be responsible for his boys but just be a steadying influence on them.
 
He offered El a goodly amount for watching over them for a year.
 
El acted as if the money tilted his decision in favor of going.  
 
Actually it was the opportunity to see how the “gauchos” handled cattle and their mounts.  He had read about their exploits and the wars they fought in order to maintain their style of living so unless something else came up his decision was made.
 
He casually said, “It might be something he would be interested in if Allenby’s sons agreed to listen to him whether they took his advice or not.”
 
His sons were ready to go as soon as they arrived home.  They had heard how pretty the Argentinean women were and that they were very friendly to American men.
 
Two weeks later it was: on the train and then, on the ship to South America.
 
During the two weeks Clarisse and Missy had a fit for they didn’t want El to leave them.  He was their main man and protector.  
 
He told them to stop whining for they wouldn’t be there anyway.  They were going away to school and he couldn’t stand being there without them.  
 
Hearing that made them feel a little better though there wasn’t much truth in the statement.

The two sons of Allenby, Bert, and Maris spent the first two days hanging on the rail due to sea sickness.  El wasn’t bothered by the pitching and rolling.  He said it’s like breaking a bronco only slower.
 
About the third day the boys were back to their normal selves and going after the females.  El saved them a couple of lickings but then told them he wasn’t going to step in for them any more so either be more selective and avoid married women even if they were open to advances or ignore women altogether.
 
They laughed at that suggestion but heeded his advice and left the married ones alone.  
 
El was having his own problems for several young girls were after him. They were doing things to prick his interest he never knew women would do.  The happening on the rest of the voyage best be left untold except to say it was educational.
 
Having survived the voyage without experiencing mayhem, the trio debarked from the vessel with fond memories.  They were met by real genuine Gauchos sent to bring then to the huge ranch that was to be their home for the foreseeable future.
 
El was planning to be there only for a year but if he liked it, maybe longer.
 
Allenby didn’t care if his boys stayed there forever for he had enough of their foolishness.  
 
One of the things El was told he should put his guns away for he wouldn’t need them. He didn’t like that suggestion but when they gave him a waistband and a large knife they called a Daga he relented.
 
After travelling for three days they came into view of the main ranch house and El found it to be much like the ranches at his home.
 
The hired help were much more attentive and respectful of the owners than what he was used to.
 
He and the boys were given bunks away from the main house in a building separate from the Gauchos but they all ate together.  
 
Since they weren’t regularly invited to the main house they found their life to be at the real Gaucho level.  This was a shock to the Allenby boys.  They had envisioned parties every night with wine, women, and song.  What they got was dirt, sleeping under the stars and often cold food… and oh yes, no women.
 
El wasn’t too disappointed for he admired the cowboy skills of the Gauchos and the horses’ conformation was nicer than what was on the range where he came from.  The exception being Buck for whatever his breeding he gave no ground to any.  
 
Allenby’s boys were worthless when they arrived but had improved a little.

El had no trouble with anything except the different lassoes made from leather and shorter than he was used to.  Then they insisted he dress like them.  The poncho, bombachas and knee-high leather boots and their main tools the facon and the boleadora.
 
After a week El could handle his job well enough to get by.
 
Everyone was invited and enjoyed the fiestas especially the Allenby boys. They were all over the young girls.
 
Time went by quickly and a year ended, and El’s time to return home was almost here. The ranch hands showed up to say goodbye.  They said, “You aren’t as good as a Gaucho but were a nice man anyway.”  
 
El realized they had to leave some distance between themselves and the Yankee man.
 
The Patron showed up to wish him well and have him bid hello to his old friend, Allenby.
 
El had decided to have fun on the trip home and that he did.  He was without
responsibilities and he used his good sense to avoid situations that could have been unpleasant.  
 
Several girls gave him their address and said, “Write Me, or come see me.”
 
Then it was New York and a Three day train ride home.  
 
Upon arriving home several said, “It’s been a while since we’ve seen you, you been sick?”  Or some other nonsensical greeting.
 
In any case he said to himself, “I guess people didn’t miss me much, just goes to show you.”
 
He had one more duty before going home tomorrow and that was to report to Allenby and collect his money.
 
He went to Allenby’s office and he was excited to see El.  The first thing he said was; “I suppose you are here for your money?”  To which El said, “Yes and to give you a little report on your boys.”
 
El took an envelope with his money and began to tell him about the trip from the beginning.  He summed it up by saying, “All in all the boys did better than expected except; in one area, they had a bit of a problem.”
 
Allenby said, “I can guess what that was.”
 
El said, “They have their own version of the shot gun wedding down there.
You are soon going to be the grandfather of your first grand child.  
 
I couldn’t keep the boys away from the women.  They have both married well and I don’t think they will stray because their father-in-law is an expert with a knife which he promised to use should either of them stray from their vows.
 
Allenby said, “Good, do you thing they will come back home sometime?”
 
El said, “I don’t think they will try to escape for the Patron has people everywhere and escape isn’t possible.  In his words; No one leaves my girls.”
 
Allenby said, “That is good news, thank you for a job well done.”
 
The next day Sid showed up with Buck all saddled up and said, “Let’s go home.  Buck first looked at El and then reached out and smelled him and then gave out with sounds of greetings for an old friend.
 
To be Continued

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