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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ELLIOTT JOHANSON CHAPTER 3 Mayfield’s Two Daughters

Mayfield's Two Daughters Arrived Home
As they rode along back to the ranch El told Sid what he had done and that he was going to go back to town in the morning and pick up his dog.
Sid asked what the name of the dog was and El said “I don’t know.  We have called him dog every since he was a pup.”
Sid said, “How old is he?”
El said, “Around two I guess.”
“Since you are going to town tomorrow you better take the buggy in stead of the wagon for you will be picking up some passengers.”
“Who might that be?” said El.
Mayfield said, “My two girls are coming home. We sent them back to live with Clara’s sister when it got too dangerous for them to stay here.”
El said, “I will do it but if it wasn’t for dog coming I would rather someone else take care of it.  I don’t get along with girls.”
When El went into the buggy shed and saw it he was surprised.  It was a two seater with a top on it and two horses had to pull it.  Since they didn’t live that far from town, Mayfield’s family used to go to church on Sunday.   
When the thieving started they stayed home for all the good it did.  Clara said, “With the girls coming home and Sid being here they would start going to church again.”  
El had bitter sweet thoughts while trying to go to sleep.  Sweet because dog was coming and bitter because of having to get and put up with the girls.
When he arrived in town the next morning the train had just pulled in and a man got off with dog.  When dog saw El he started whining and wagging his tail.  El went over and thanked the man and offered him five dollars for taking good care of dog.
The man refused and said, ‘You have already given five dollars to the station master and we will share that.”
El thanked him once again and the man said it’s good to see someone take good care of his animals.  Dog was still stiff so El picked him up and put him on the front seat with him.
As he turned a smartly dressed girl said, “What are you doing with my father’s buggy?”
El said, “I’m here to get dog.”

The girl said, “Well! Who is picking us up?”
El said, “Well if you wish you can ride in the back seat otherwise it wouldn’t hurt you to walk.”

A porter brought their luggage out and El said, “Lets put that on the back rack.  What’s it to be ladies, walk or ride?”
It seemed to El they must have exhausted their vocabulary on him because they climbed in and they were off.  The older one who was around thirteen and never stopped complaining until two rough individuals rode up along side the buggy and started making lewd remarks.
Dog started growling until El said for him to stop.  One of the men took hold of the reins of the drive horse and was grinning at the girls.
As he reached for his rifle, El said, “Turn him loose and be on your way.”
El just stared at the men as he put a shell in the chamber. He said, “Will you be able to work with just one hand,” and raised the rifle and aimed at the man’s hand that held the horse.
The man jerked his hand back and said, “We gonna get you.”
El said, “Here I am get me now or get out of the way, last warning.”
The two men looked at each other and rode off at a gallop.  The way they left reminded him of the rustlers as they rode off from the cattle they tried to steal.
El asked, “You girls okay?”
They said, ‘We’re alright,” in subdued voices.
A while later they arrived at the ranch, and the girls were both talking at once telling their dad what occurred on the trip home.
Sid after hearing what the girls said and what they told Mayfield he said, “You and I better go over and straighten this matter out so it won’t happen again.  I want to tell them how lucky they are to still be alive.  If the girls had not been with El things may have been different.  El can get off three shots before they could blink and he hits his target every time.”
Mayfield said, “Maybe El should go with us.”
Sid said, “Ask him if he wants to go.”
El said, “Sure, as soon as my chores are done.”

When they got to the Sanders place the father came out and wasn’t any too friendly. Mayfield told him what happened and the father called his boys out and asked them about it.  
How About Chicken for Dinner?
courtesy Pixabay
Of course they lied and as the father started to refute what Mayfield said, El spoke up and said, “Do you like chicken for dinner?”
“What are you talking about?” the man said?
Before Sanders had finished speaking, El had shot three chickens in their heads and asked if that would be enough for their dinner?
Sid said, “Boys don’t ever bother the Mayfield girls again, please.”
The oldest said, ‘No sir, we won’t and we’re sorry for being foolish.”
With that they went back to the ranch.  No one said anything until they arrived there when El said, “What’s for dinner?”
As the days passed the older of the two girls, Clarisse continually made fun of El and criticized him.  Then came a day when she started in on him and he quickly put a shell in his carbine which he always carried and shot between her feet.
The bullet caused small rocks to fly up her dress and made two or three cuts on her thighs.  Clarisse pulled her dress up to look at the cuts and she had wet her pants.  She ran into the house crying and her mother patched her up.
A little later Mayfield cornered Sid and said, “That boy is dangerous to have around.  How old is he anyway?”
Sid said, “I reckon he is about twelve, maybe thirteen, I ain’t sure.  He used to be full of fun, laughed and played until his folks were killed but since then he is very serious minded, he won’t take much foolishness from no one.
You know Clarisse had been dogging him every since she got home and he finally had enough.  He won’t hurt her but he wants her to stop.  He might be the best friend she will ever have if she behaves.”
Mayfield said, “I reckon you’re right about her bothering him but speak to him and I will talk to Clarisse and tell her to stop… although… maybe after this episode I might not need to tell her.”
The next day when El came in from checking the herd Clarisse came and said to El; “You scared me and hurt me.  Why did you do that? You might have killed me.”
For the first time since she first saw him he smiled a little and said, “You are too mean to kill.”
She said, “That I am but if you don’t scare me again I promise not to make fun of you… but you need to take a bath cause you stink.  Now that isn’t making fun it’s just telling the truth.”
Sid heard their conversation and said, “Maybe we both better take a bath and change our clothes.  It’s kinda hard for people who keep clean to get used to folks who don’t.”
They took some new store bought clothes and went down to the river to bathe and have a swim.  After about a half hour El asked Sid if he thought they were clean yet.
Sid said, “Pretty close I expect.”
As they were drying off they heard Clarisse’s voice from behind the reeds, “You didn’t wash behind your ears.”
It was too late to try to cover up so they went ahead and dressed.

El said, “I’m going to get that girl.”
Sid said, ‘She is just funning and it didn’t hurt either one of us.  Promise me that you are not going to let this bother you for it don’t bother me none at all.”
Clarisse was still nearby so El hollered out, “I’ll let you know the next time I’m going to take a bath and you can scrub my back.”
Sid thought El may have turned a corner and could be more like his old self as time goes by.
To be Continued

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