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Monday, April 14, 2014

ELLIOT JOHANSON STORY CHAPTER 14


 

It seems as if I have lived two lifetimes already and I have just turned twenty one.

Clarisse is three years older than me and is already married for three years and Missy is my age and has been married for a couple of years.  I never hear from or about them but I suppose they are doing fine.  They used to call me Cousin Elliot but we ain’t any kin just raised together.

Normally I’m not afraid of anything but there is something beginning to happen that scares me.  It is almost like a disease that comes upon people and they have no power to fight it off.  Whatever it is seems to give people pleasure though it is a driving force in those affected by it.  This a little hard to define but the symptoms are; they have a driving that can only be squelched by finding a mate for someone.

Though it is just beginning there are a multitude of people who won’t be satisfied until they get me married.  So far I have been able to fight off their attempts to accomplish this.  

Because of the violence in my past brought on by others such as my whole family being slaughtered it has been difficult to find the ability to love. I have substituted loyalty for love but that doesn’t fully satisfy.

Lately being around Sid’s kids have stirred an unknown something in me but it has a long way to go to become a deep down passionate feeling for someone.

The good side of my nature has allowed a stream of people to parade their marital choice before me but none of them has tweaked any interest in me at all.  In fact it has had the opposite effect in most cases.

Mayfield’s wife Clara has been quite active in this pursuit and apparently has become vexed by my no responsiveness to her efforts.  I guess she figured if she ran enough females before me I would be obligated to select one for martial bliss.

Also I have had to fend off most of the community’s effort on my behalf.  It is as if I’m lost and they are trying to save me while I don’t feel or want to be saved.

I’m hoping this is a temporary illness and eventually it will run its course though I fear some may be addicted to this malady and after they have got their fix by marrying me off they will seek another fix by getting someone else some happiness.

Clara, being a little perturbed came right and said to me, “Just what are you looking for in a wife and what will you settle for?”

I hesitated to answer that for I knew she would have just what she wanted me to have. I thought I had a safe answer, but I was mistaken.

I said, “Well, the nearest one to what I would be satisfied with would be Missy but she is already married so that isn’t going to help me with my perceived problem.”  

I thought she was going to dance all over the place.  I was afraid of what was coming next.  

She almost shouted, “At last we are getting somewhere.  Missy is available! Her husband got the fever and has died, so she is a widow after a year and a half.  It’s almost as if she has never been married for her husband wasn’t around very much, if you know what I mean.”

That almost got me.  I said, “I hate to disappoint you Clara but I didn’t make myself clear.  I want someone like the old Missy before you changed her into what she has become, her schooling, her association with the society people and her marriage to the unwarranted snobs’ wasn’t what I was thinking of.  I wanted the old Missy not the new one.”

This was too large of a drop for Clara.  She was in the heavens and now she is back on earth evidenced by her saying; “Hell with you, find your own wife.”

This was uncharacteristic of her but the next day she was her old self again and on the hunt.  I was facing what boxers call the one-two punch.

One I wasn’t looking to get married and two I knew about every marriageable gal in the country and none did anything for me.

There were a couple of women that was already married that was of some interest but I wasn’t going there.  I was just being honest but quiet about it and didn’t want to peak their interest.

Finally all this pressure from Clara and others was getting to me and I was going to starting offending if it kept up.  The ranch was running smoothly and I wasn’t needed unless there was trouble so I decided to take a trip.  I didn’t care where just so long as it wasn’t here; South, north, east or west or any which way.

It seemed there was more land to the west and fewer people so west it was.  I took enough money with me and set it up where I could get money out of the bank if I needed it and after saying goodbye to everybody at a party they threw for me I was away.

After I was gone Sid said I hope you all are satisfied.  You run him off with your meddling into his affairs.  This brought out a chorus of denials that they had anything to do with it.  I spent two months going up and down the west coast and then headed to Oregon.  It was pretty green country unless you got over into the eastern part which was pretty dry.

I was planning to go on up to Washington but changed my mind and caught a ship to Alaska.  Alaska was a place where you would wear your guns which didn’t bother me. 
 
There was a job for a deputy open but no one wanted it.  I can’t say I wanted it either.  
After a few days it was cut fish, roust drunks, or head for the gold fields.  Oh yes there was another option and that was to go back to Oregon which is what I eventually did.  

The main reason I left Alaska was sooner or later I would have shot someone.  There were a lot of men who were potential back shooters there.

They were men who failed at mining and were desperate for some money.  If they spotted someone with money they would tail him until they were alone and then either knife him or shoot him with a small caliber gun.

The small caliber gun made less noise and couldn’t be heard over all the racket that was coming from the saloons.  After the third attempt happening me I decided it would be best to leave there.  I busted the guys up pretty bad but it was better than them being dead.  From those encounters I got a couple of small guns and a couple of knives.

The boat ride was a lot of fun both ways.  The card sharks tried to get me in their games but to no avail.  Once again I didn’t want to get into an altercation with a card cheat.  

At the fort some years ago a card sharp had to run for his life and he joined the army and came west to the fort.  It was he who taught me how most of the cheats worked.  If a guy cheated me I would challenge him and the result would be him drawing a derringer and me killing him.  This was good enough reason for me not to gamble.

I landed in a town called Eugene where there was a fairly new school that was a university or they were working on it. I took a job as a security officer. 

It was mostly walking around and making sure everyone was behaving themselves.  I used the athletic room to help keep in shape.  Running was something I had never done and I enjoyed watching the guys do things I couldn’t like jumping in the sand box. 

It wasn’t too far to the woods where I could do some shooting.  I noticed I was slowing down a little in drawing and getting a shot off.  After going out in the woods for three weeks everything became normal again.  I was planning on doing everything I could to stay out of trouble.

While making my rounds in one of the dorms I saw one of the students cheating at the card game they were playing and winning the money for school from them. I took him outside and slapped him around until he agreed to return all the money he had fleeced from them.

After I had been at the college for a year and been gone from the ranch two years I received a letter from Sid about some serious trouble there. I packed up and headed home.

While at the school I met some of the prettiest girls I had ever seen.  They were smart and while this may sound strange, they were clean.  I went out with several of them but was told by the administrators not to get too friendly for it might affect how I did my job.

As I was on the train going home I thought about the ones I kinda liked and there was one that stood out from rest. Looked like nothing would ever come of it since I was going to be fifteen hundred miles away from her.

 
To be concluded 

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