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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ELLIOTT JOHANSON STORY CHAPTER 4 School Days

school by free clip art
Dog was coming along well.  He was now able to run, not as well as he could before he was shot but he was getting better everyday.
 
El was going to start letting him go with him if he continued to get better.
 
He wasn’t sure he would want to go for Dog had taken up with Clara.  It might have something with the fact she fed him everyday and would pet him.
 
It was time for school to take up and Clarisse and Missy were readying their clothes they had made or bought.  Missy asked if El was going to go with them and if he knew what grade he was in.
 
El just said, “What for?  I already know my ciphers and can read and write.”
 
She said, “What about history?”
 
He said, “I know about my great grand father, and all about this part of the country, the forts and Indians and the railroad and how the telegraph works. What more do I need?”
 
Missy said, “I know you are pretty smart, but you still need to be educated… and what’s more you need to know the difference.”
 
Then she said, “I’m afraid to go to school alone just me and Clarisse, maybe you should go with me, err us.”
 
“Why are you afraid?”
 
“Some of the older boys try to mess with us and they don’t pay any attention to the teacher.  I think she is afraid of them.”
 
El said, “I don’t believe you.”
 
Clarisse said, “Yes it is true, but we don’t need you to go with us.  We can drive the buggy and unhitch the team when we get there.”
 
El asked Mayfield if what they were saying was true.
 
He said he had to go to the school three times last year and threaten those boys.  They are just about grown and shouldn’t be in school anyhow.

Missy said, “Please El, go with us.”
 
El said, “It sounds like you are trying to get me beat up which wouldn’t set very well with me.”
 
Sid told El that everything was under control at the ranch and maybe he should go with the girls.  He said if El got beat up he would go and straighten it up.
 
The next morning Clara fixed three lunches while Sid hitched up the team and put a little grain in a toe sack.  El told dog to stay with Clara, and he and the girls were on their way.
 
As they pulled into the school grounds the teacher was ringing the bell.
 
El saw the big boys the girls were talking about.  As El began to unhitch the team one of them came over and pushed El very hard.  He came over and started to do it again.
 
This time El was watching for him and kicked him on the side of the knee. The boy folded up and was screaming in pain.
 
The teacher came over and looked at his knee and said it’s dislocated.  She had a couple of the older hold his shoulders while she pulled the knee back into the socket.
 
She looked at El and asked who he was.  Clarisse said, ‘He’s with us, he’s our cousin.”
 
Missy said, “School hasn’t started and rowdy has already learned something.”
 
El finished hobbling the horses so they could graze and reached into the buggy and got his carbine.  He told the girls he could use some more education so he would stay with them.  The class went well except the teacher wanted El to take the bullet out of the chamber.
 
After school El caught up the team and the girls were helping put the harness on when the other two older boys said, “You hurt brother and now you are going to pay for it.”
 
(While El had spent time with Sid at the fort there was an Irishman who had been a boxer.  He had whipped every one that would fight him even though he was smaller than them.  El saw him fight several times and wanted him to teach him how to fight like him.  
 
Little Arin as he was called told El the idea was to hit without getting hit back.  He taught him how to avoid the other man’s blows and then he said this is the hard part. We are going to spar so each day you’re here.  Whenever El was able to get to the fort they spared a few rounds as Arin called it.
 
Even though Arin pulled his punches it was really painful but El was determined to take it without wincing. The last thing he wanted was to get hit with Arin’s full power for he had seen him knock some big men out.
 
He finally learned to avoid most of Arin’s punches and hit back occasionally. Arin said you are not ready for the ring but with the dirty stuff I taught you, you should be able to defend yourself.)
 
The biggest oaf swung at El and he easily avoided the blow for he saw it coming.  El hit the guy in the throat as the other one tried to grab him in a wrassling hold.
 
El hit him with two jabs and a hook to the temple which laid him out.  They finished fastening up the team and were on their way to the ranch without looking back.
 
Mayfield asked El how the day went.  El said, “I learned a few things and I may have taught some also.”
 
Mayfield just let the last remark slide by him and went about his business.
 
From that moment on the girls never poked fun at El and started calling him Cousin Elliott.  
 
The three rowdies never showed up for school the rest of the week but the next Monday their mother showed up with them and wanted to see the big thug that had beat up her boys.
 
When their mother saw El and he was smaller than any of her boys she tongue in cheek told the teacher she was taking her boys out of school before the monster attacked them again.  
 
She went on to say they were needed at home for the crops anyway.  She continued that she might let them return in the late fall if they promised to behave themselves.
 
El decided to get back to his chores since the girls problem had been solved at least for now.  
 
Clarisse said she would tutor El at night for she didn’t want a dumb cousin around her. El started to protest that he wasn’t her cousin but he realized it would be a waste of time for she never listened to what he said to her.
 
It was a month or so before Mayfield found out about what happened at the school and he asked the girls for more details.
 
He couldn’t believe El had whipped all three of those boys for most men were afraid of being beaten by the three of them.  He told Sid you know that boy could be dangerous.
 
Sid said, “That is the second time you said that and I’ll tell you again he is never the aggressor but since his folks were murdered he won’t take any foolishness - -  and if he can’t whip them he’ll shoot um.

To be Continued

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