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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Fourth Man - Chapter 3


Missy was Growing up Fast

“Like cleaning lady better now?”

As it turned out Chen made a good choice for Sarah worked very hard keeping things clean and again the doctor’s words came back to me (a fine woman).

I found myself becoming close with the boy Billy and spent a lot of my free time with him. The baby was eighteen months old now and she was getting into everything.

Sarah named her June but called her missy most of the time. She would come up to me with her arms up in the air, and I would pick her up and hold her. She had got over wetting her bottom cloths. She wet me a time or to before she was taught not to and I wasn’t used to that.

As far as I was concerned we weren’t a family as such; just a bunch of people who got along and each did our job.  I had a couple of ladies I knew in town and visited them once or twice a month.

Up until now I never considered Sarah as a female to be desired that is until I walked in while she was taking a bath.

She had sent Chen out of the house so she could have some privacy. When he saw me going into the house he just smiled and didn’t warn me as to what was going on. I walked in on her just as she was standing up and reaching for a towel to dry with. As I stared at her she said I’ll be through in just a moment and get out of your way.

She didn’t flinch or act disturbed but dried off and slipped her dress over her head.

When I came out of the house I started to get onto Chen for not warning me, but he said, “You like cleaning lady better now?”

I didn’t have an answer for that one so I went down to one of the barns and started cleaning out one of the stalls.

I never thought I would care for kids as I do Sarah’s kids but they have become close to my heart though I wouldn’t admit it out loud.

After seeing Sarah a few minutes ago - - it was from that time on I became warm each time I thought of her and realized she was one fine woman and very desirable. How could a man in his right mind leave a woman like that was beyond me.

New stuff I didn’t like

Gentleman Callers came to Visit Sarah
 
I don’t like a lot of things and something happened that I really didn’t like. Some men who came to do some business with me saw Sarah and wanted to know if she was my wife.

When I assured them she wasn’t and halfway lied when I said I wasn’t interested in her for a wife.  A couple of the gentlemen started to visit her. Sometimes when I wasn’t there they would show up and spend time with her and this I didn’t like for several reasons.

I finally told them not to visit unless I was there for they had become like a bunch of coyotes howling at the moon.

Chen asked me, “Cleaning lady get married?”

I said, “I don’t know and don’t care.” with Billy hanging onto my arm.  Then Missy comes and tries to climb up into my lap.  Next Sarah comes in and starts straightening up the room.

I put Missy down and got loose from Billy. I had to get out of there for I was feeling something I didn’t like.

I went for a ride and pretended to be checking the herd and came back at dusk.

Chen was just putting the food on the table so I washed up and took my usual place.

Billy came and sat next to me and wanted to talk about the branding that was soon to take place. I thought he is really getting into this cowboy thing. Maybe I should get him a pony if I can find one. I had seen him trying to rope the dog and he asked if he could ride one of the caves we were having to bottle feed cause the mother had died.

It was about a week later one of the men callers wanted to know if it would be alright if he asked Sarah to marry him. He was older by several years than she was but his wife had died and he was looking for a new one.

I told him he seemed like a good man but if she married him her life would be a difficult one and the same for the kids. He was a dirt farmer and lived many miles from other people.

I went on and said, “Let me talk to her and see if she wants to get married again or remain as she is and as things are. This will save any embarrassment for you if she turned you down.”

He agreed that might be the best way to handle it and if she was interested then he could ask her.

I told Chen to give him something cool to drink while I spoke to Sarah.

I went in the house and said; “Sarah there is a man who needs a wife and maybe you saw him come here today. Are you interested in having him speak to you about marriage?”

She said, “I know him and he seems to be a nice man but I’m happy as things are.”

I had asked Chen to seat the man near the window so he could hear our conversation and know I was fair with him.

I said, “I will tell him and then I want to talk to you further about this matter.”

When I went out on the porch the man was on his horse and almost out of sight. Jim saw the man leave and said, “What did he want?”

I just said, “Sarah.”

Jim said, “Well I don’t blame him for she is something to be desired. In fact she is the prettiest woman in the county. If I didn’t have Lily I would be courting her myself or at least trying to.”

Hearing those words from Jim, it went through my mind if I didn’t have feelings for her myself I would have I felt sorry for him for he needed someone but not Sarah.

I went back into the house and Sarah was sewing and rocking. I looked at her and thought, “She looks like she belongs right here and not off somewhere else.”

She said, “You wanted to talk to me about something?”

“Yeah, yeah I do, err you have several men callers, I guess what you might say courting you.”

She smiled and said, “Yes I do.”

“Well are you interested in any of them?”

She said, “Yes one of them.”

“Well which one is it?” while raising my voice.

She continued to smile and said, “Which one do you think it is?”

That made me angry and I went in the kitchen and had a big drink of water.  

In my mind, I could see each one of those men who had been coming here after her and envision them in bed with her. That just riled me up even more.

Chen said, “Cleaning lady get married?”

I said, “Shut up Chen this is none of your business.”

He turned away and was laughing while saying; “New boss like cleaning lady.”

I had about had it. I went back in the room where she was and said; “I want a straight answer which man do you want to marry?”

She picked up Missy and put her on her lap then said, “Go look in the mirror.”

Billy had his arms around my leg and his foot on mine like he does a lot and I said, “You don’t mean me, do you?”

She said, “Go look in the mirror and you will see the man I want to marry.”

Then it hit me. The only one I’ll see in the mirror will be me.

Chen slipped in and said; “New boss marry cleaning lady?”

I swear I would have hit Chen, if Billy had not been holding onto my leg.

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