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Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE WRANGLER - Chapter five

Joe said, "I have seen those kind of Ladies"
Joe could to ride his horse, but had to use a stool or fence to get in the saddle.

He told Huston he would like to stay on the ranch and he could do enough to earn his keep but without any wages. Huston said, “What about money for going to town with the men once a month. You need to bust out once in a while.”

Joe said, “You know I don’t drink and as for the women in town, I have seen them and I would rather not.”

“What do you mean you’ve seen them?”

Joe explained, “After my mother died my father would go to town and take me with him.  I was five when it started and he would make me sit in the corner with my face to the wall while you know.  It was one of the few times I disobeyed my father. I would turn around and watch and I have seen them.
After a couple years I refused to go in and sit in the corner and would stay outside until he was done. I just am not interested in the type of women the boys are into.”

Houston agreed to let Joe stay and do what he could for his keep. He told him he didn’t have to do anything but Joe wouldn’t have it that way.

As the months went by he gained strength and was able to do more things.

Mrs. Huston began teaching him how to keep books and carry on the things pertaining to business.  Soon he was able to handle all the ranch’s business dealings.  Huston was glad not to have to deal with it. 

The youngest daughter, Cindy had grown close to Joey as she called him, and they were very good friends so much so that Huston took her aside and had a talk with her.

He told her that he was very fond of Joe but he didn’t want her to marry up with a cripple.

She was quite perturbed and said, “I love Joey like a brother and that is as far as it goes, but I couldn’t find a better Man than him. 
I would be proud to have him as a husband but I don’t feel that way for him and he knows it so I hope that satisfies you.”

Huston felt embarrassed and relieved at the same time and apologized to Cindy.

Joe knew his limitations and while he could do most things, riding and roping like he used to do was no longer possible.

Like in a dream there were times he could feel the rope being stretched as a calf would come to the end of the slack in the rope and be snapped to a stop. Then it was off and tying the legs for branding. The riding and the bucking was another thing he could still sense and feel.

That was when life was the hardest for he could no longer do any of that.

He was with Cindy much of the time since she finished school and Lynda would come to visit often.  Joe was the happiest when Lynda was there.

The three of them would go riding and although it was painful for Joe he enjoyed the being out with the company of the girls.

Over the months Lynda was becoming friendlier with Joey but had trouble in getting him to respond in the way she wanted him to.  When she would try to become closer to him he would draw back and it was confusing to her for she knew he cared for her.

Finally she couldn’t take it anymore and told Mrs. Huston how she felt and wanted to know what to do.  Lynda said, “I have had enough of this as it is and am to the point of giving up on him.”

Betty (Mrs. Huston) said, “It is almost beyond me also.  I think it has something to do with him and his physical problems.  He has the idea that in order to be a Man you should be able to do all the things he could do before he was hurt.  I have showed him that a Man can be a Man without being a cowboy but he just can’t perceive that fact.  It is going to take something like love to overrule this idea he has.”

Lynda said, “I love him but when I try to express it he turns me off.”

Betty suggested, “I want you to leave and not write him or anything for some time. Go out with some young men and write Cindy all about it and she will let Joe know about all the details.  I won’t tell Cindy what we are doing but knowing her, she will just do it spontaneously.”

Lynda said I might as well have some fun for I sure am not getting me anywhere with Joe.


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