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Monday, December 29, 2014

The Fourth Man - Chapter 5

 
 
My Continued Story "The Fourth Man: resumes
Four close by farms were purchased to make our spread bigger !
 
Bigger is better

I had made Jim my foreman some time ago for he was a top hand and could be trusted beyond a shadow of a doubt.  He said wasn’t interested in getting married although I had offered to build him a small house if he did.  

I had him go out and talk to some small ranchers he knew and offer to buy their spread if they wanted to sell. Their places were too small to make a decent living on and with no room to expand. As it turned out he was able to buy up four spreads right off. One was good for hay so I hired a dirt farmer to raise hay on it. One of the ranches had a good harvester and baler even though they were horse powered.

There were three hundred head of cattle on the three ranches which enlarged my herds so I now could sell off a couple hundred or more each year.

We were glad to get back home after our honeymoon and Chen welcomed us back with his cheery smile and said, “New boss enjoy cleaning lady wife?”

Sarah laughed and said, “Yes new boss enjoyed new wife very much.”

Billy started crying and hugging his mom for some time and Missy was much the same. They finally came to me and hugged me the same way.

Billy said, “I miss cleaning lady mom very much.”

I looked at Sarah and said, “I told you he would be talking like Chen by the time we got back.”

She said, “He will have to cut that out.”


Chen find nice wife from China
I saw something or someone new in the kitchen.  I asked Chen who that was and he said, ‘New boss got new wife, Chen need new wife.  Just come from China.”

He went on, “Too many men to cook for so got new wife to help.”

Come to find out he had been with her a lot in town and married her Chinese style. She had worked for some people in town and learned some English from them.  She actually spoke English better than Chen.

After thinking it over I concluded it would be better to leave things as they were than to fire him and have to hire two cooks to replace them.
Besides I was used to Chen and liked him.

Another thing happened after getting married and that was I put my past behind me.  I had done things that were evil but that was over in so far as I was able to put it behind.

I had taken on a far gentler tone in my voice than before. Sarah never asked me to change; what happened was the result of being with her and the children.

I want Jim’s job

Two months later one of the hands Jim had hired came to me and said, “I want Jim’s job and be top foreman.”

I asked, “What makes you think I would give you his job?”

He said, “I knew your wife’s old husband and I know some things about her that he told me.  Besides you don’t want the kids to know what their father was all about and how you treated him.”

This was a bit of a shock and because it was about my family and I knew I had to deal with it.  I wasn’t about to give him Jim’s job but I had to get him to keep his mouth shut.

I told him to meet me in the barn in an hour while I thought it over. After an hour I motioned for Jim to meet me at the barn and said for him to wait outside where he could hear.

I went in and told the man I couldn’t do what he wanted for there was nothing to keep him from coming back for more and more.

He started to threaten me as Jim walked in.  He became nervous and started to stutter as I asked him who had he told this story to.

He said, ‘No one… not yet.”

I said, “Tell Jim what you told me and that you wanted me to fire him and give you his job… tell him.”

The man was trembling and said he didn’t mean it he was just funning.

“You know you have to convince Jim you didn’t mean it for he likes his job and doesn’t take kindly to anyone who would take it from him.”

I said to Jim, “I’m going to let you deal with this issue for you have a vested interest in the matter.  Just remember he must not be able to spread his venom around so do whatever it takes to control that.”

I left them alone to settle this and listened outside the door.

Jim said, “So, you thought you could get my job and make them pay some hush money for the rest of your life.  Like a blood sucker take a little at a time so the victim lives to be controlled by you.”

I heard a sickening thud and then a few more punches thrown after which there was nothing but silence except for a couple of hens singing.

I saw Jim put the man on a horse and point him toward town.


I told Sarah I was going to town and pick up our new buggy which had come in.

When I got to town I went to the blacksmith’s where the buggy was and told him to harness up the team and I would be back shortly.
 
I made the rounds of the saloons and finally saw who I was looking for; the man who wanted Jim’s job.

As I entered the saloon a smallish fellow rushed the man I was looking for and knifed him.

He stabbed him repeatedly and the man collapsed on the floor.

I didn’t find out what the argument was all about but some people just rub folks the wrong way.

The bartender took the dead man by the collar and pulled him outside where there was a huge fire going. He put a rope around his neck and dragged him into the raging fire and watched him burn. An hour later there was nothing left but ashes.

I realized that this episode was over and I could rest in the knowledge that someone else did what I set out to do.

Sarah’s ex-husband had played his last hand and lost badly. He had armed the cowboy with information that he would have been better off not knowing.

No one should try to mess with my family and they do it at their own peril.

When I arrived back home, I filled Jim in on what happened in town and that the man wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

He said, “Good for I’m not in the killing mood right now.  That was the reason I let him go with just a beating.”

I had picked up our new buggy and it smoothed out the bumps the road with its soft springs.

When I brought it home both kids wanted to sit in it until supper was on the table.

To be continued
 
 

 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

IF IT’S LEGAL IT MUST BE ALRIGHT


Note:  My continued story will resume soon!
 


We say it is LEGAL !  So it must be alright !
 
 
A word for the young

This bit of logic is the driving force for a large percentage of the people on earth.

They have elevated the conclusions of man as to what is right and wrong far above what is recorded in God’s Book.

Things like adultery, fornication, and the gay life style to name a few are all brought into the status of being legal.

Everyone has vices that are legal and are pursued by them yet what does the book say about that which you allow.

The principle of, “If I don’t believe it then it isn’t true,” controls the actions of the masses; yet their unbelief is often contrary to the Good Book.

The idea of, “If it feels good then do it,” is in sharp contrast with what the Book declares to be the truth.

The Book declares in plain words “If it’s right, do it” feelings aside.

From the pulpit to the pew, from the throne to the beggar all are commanded to obey the book. The Book excludes no one, all are commanded to obey it’s rules.

An issue that is easily over looked is;  Romans 14:7 For every man's life and every man's death has a relation to others as well as to himself.

The question is; how am I affecting the lives of others around me. I would add especially those I’m directly committed to.

My conduct may be legal but is it according to the Book.

What we do today remains with us into the future. One may be involved in legal adultery today but it will be a part of a future marriage.

The so called relationship will it be part of your future marriage?

The foolish virgin who, “Gives it up,” will bring her lover to her future always.

He will always be a part of what she does for there is no eraser because it is a life time experience and will always be a part of her.

Knowing this the question is, ‘Do I owe my future mate to be virtuous now in my daily walk.”  The Book says yes you do. 

Just because it is legal it doesn’t make it right in the sight of GOD and he judges based on his declaration of right and wrong.

The most bitter words of all; “Thou are without excuse oh man.”

Bitter but true, you, me are without any defense; not one excuse for our actions.

Should you join with the psalmist and say; Psalm 119: 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Or should you submit to the world to be used at it’s pleasure?

People speak of treasure and which is the greatest treasure of all.

I submit that the greatest treasure of all is your life and it is precious.

Treat your life with the respect it deserves and live it according to GOD”S Holy Word.

 

Friday, December 26, 2014

THE LAND OF MIGHT HAVE BEEN2


My Continued Story The Fourth Man - -
Will Resume Soon


 
She was on the north side of twenty when I first met her and her mate. As we became better acquainted she revealed to me a part of her past.  

As she remembered it her prince had come. Together they were the manifestation of impeccability. None had ever approached the essence of perfection they had attained. She went on to say; “Alas he was of the noble scion and she was ordinary. He was a lord and she was a commoner.” 

While they saw beyond these walls of stature, the wicked Queen Mother declared it would never be and thus it was not. The prince once snatched from her bosom, was never to return.  

Now alone she made a vow to live in the despair of what might have been.  

I was getting more uncomfortable as I was trapped into listening to this tale of woe and I wondered, why me?

She continued, “This was but only the beginning.” With wounded heart her existence went on until another suitor came on the scene and tried to woo her, but the place where passion dwelt was locked away never to be opened to anything but a memory, the place where "if only" reigned as king.

Many days of little significance came and went until she under pressure from every source finally agreed to sacrifice herself upon the altar of matrimony.

Numb from the disappointment of the past she entered the marriage with her body only and that begrudgingly. No one, nothing could go beyond the veil of flesh for the soul belonged to someone else, evermore.

She went on and restated how perfection exuded from the prince's every pore and how together they were a whole. But now her lot was to live being only half of what she was meant to be and that could only be expressed by "Woe Is Me", continually.

Now what of the one she wed?

He worshipped her like a goddess, treated her like a Queen but that wasn't enough, he wasn't her prince.

There were always three that slept in their bed and she projected thoughts of her prince when - -

She went on telling of the glory the images of her loved one. Sometimes adding, sometimes repeating, ever reliving as her story gushed forth.

Sometime later her husband arrived and the story stopped.

I have thought of her tale of woe over the years and concluded several things. One issue was the fantasizing of an unreality that no man could compete with for we all fall short of perfection.

The image she treasured was the embodiment of perfection and which she felt was hers for a short time and kept alive not tainting it with reality.

She did not bring her whole self to the marriage thereby robbing her husband of a fulfilled marriage experience.

She went to her grave preferring to live in the despair found in the land of might have been than to experience that joy to be found in a real life.

There is a question asked in the Bible; "Will a man rob God"? The response was wherein have we robbed Him? One answer is; "By sinning."  When we sin we withhold that which belongs to God, full, open, and unfeigned fellowship with Him.

When sinning, like the woman in the story we fail to bring our whole self to the relationship with God.

That part of us remains alienated from the savior and neither He nor the withholder can enjoy the fullness that is to be found in Christ.
 
Today is the day to surrender and embrace the Christ of the now and to experience peace, contentment and satisfaction found in His Loving arms.

This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I WANT IT ALL FOR CHRISTMAS


My Continued Story will resume after Christmas !
 
Thinking up Some Convincing Words to Pray
 
Many years age I saw a cartoon depicting a man in prayer. You could see he was wrestling with what to say and how to say it.
 
You see he was one of those who thought, if he expected to get his prayer answered he had to butter up GOD a little and impress Him with a thoughtful collection of words.
As he struggled to find just the right words he finally gave up and just blurted out “I want it all.”  I suppose most of us would agree with that prayer. 
We want it all! The problem is we run head on into some scriptures that indicate that we should be satisfied with “less than all” 
1Timothy 6:8 As long as we have food and clothes, we should be satisfied.
Proverbs 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 
Sometimes it is well to check out the words of others concerning contentment for we should have no goals that doesn’t espouse contentment. 
Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get. - Spanish Proverb 
What makes us discontented with our condition is the absurdly exaggerated idea we have of the happiness of others. - French Proverb  
Happy the man who can endure the highest and the lowest fortune. He, who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity, has deprived misfortune of its power. - Seneca  
Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty. – Socrates 
You can't have everything. Where would you put it? - Steven Wright  
Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and a happy purchase. - John Balguy 
It is a wise man that does know the contented man is never poor, whilst the discontented man is never rich. Frank Herbert 
Strive to only have that which brings with it “Contentment.”
 
Remember the words of St Paul, "Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain."
 
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

GRANDMA’S LYE SOAP2


This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”
My continued story will resume soon

 
Lye Soap
 
Isn't it wonderful how the passing of time makes nostalgic moments out of usual experiences? Something that was usual way back when - - was the making and using of home made lye soap.  

I liked the description by the soap shed; “This homemade lye soap is an Appalachian tradition, with its historical use including the elimination of head and body lice, bed bugs, mites, as well as general household and floor cleaning. There was a time when a Lye Soap recipe provided the only source of basic hygiene available. Lye soap was generally made once a year, coinciding with Autumn Harvest and the killing of hogs in preparation for winter.” 

As time passed soap was improved upon and became available in many forms such as bars, granules and liquids with or without perfume and lye soap lost its appeal. 

Most married men have experienced times when wives get bored and look for some kind of relief. At that time husbands know that they are going to encounter something they are not looking forward to.  

One of the main fears is that some old flame might show up, and might not be fat and bald but still look good, and would ask the magic question “Are you happy?” 

What husbands hope for is that the wife will instead choose some almost harmless endeavor that isn't too expensive. 

One such period of time that I lived through was when my wife had a great inspiration which was to make some lye soap.  I knew this was going to affect me in a negative way.  

In the weeks that followed my entire existence was bordering on misery. She was gathering lard from every source imaginable. She tried to recruit all her friends to get involved it this project. Our entire home became a soap factory and grease was everywhere. That disgusting muck was placed in my soap dish for me to use. It left a greasy spot everywhere it was laid.  

I’m happy to say that after a few weeks of this experiment, lye soap making lost its appeal, and life returned to what was our norm. 

Then I prepared for the next time when boredom returned, and new inspirations would open up untouched horizons.   

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Fourth Man - Chapter 4


What is Love Like ?
 

Boss man like cleaning lady very much

After all that marrying talk I said, “We will finish this in the morning for I have some thinking I need to do.”

I went to bed but didn’t go to sleep for I argued with myself most of the night.

This woman has said she wants to marry me.  Marriage is something I never considered before. I thought things were fine like they were. The words love was not ever used by me but in fact I love those kids and I was trying to sort out my feelings for Sarah.

It was sure I respected her; I could say I liked her but to say I loved her was something I hadn’t allowed myself to consider.

Then I thought how much would it hurt me if she left me? It would be a big hurt, more than I wanted to feel.

Near dawn and time to get up I decided I must be in love with her I just didn’t know what it felt like until now. So this is what love feels like. I couldn’t describe it, only feel it.

Perhaps if I had experienced a mother’s love I would have been different but I only knew my father’s hardness. I accepted the fact I loved Sarah and the kids but what to do about it?

She seems to be willing and I guess I want to marry her, but being a husband has to be different from being a boss. She has been married before so I suppose she could teach me what to do and how I should act.

All these thoughts had me confused. There was one thing that seemed clear and that was she wasn’t going to remain unmarried forever, and if I wanted her I had to move on it and do it now. She needed a man in her life and she wanted one now.

At breakfast no one said anything.

Afterward I said Chen and I am going to town to day and if anyone wants to go with me then get ready. Sarah said she and the kids wanted to go. I hitched up the team and told Chen to come with us and do his shopping. As we loaded up I noticed Sarah wore her prettiest dress which made me wonder why she would do that.

The preacher ties the knot

Just before we got to town I said if you meant what you said last night then we should find the preacher and have him marry us. She said I meant it and I’m dressed for it.

When we got to town I drove to the preacher’s house and told him we wanted to get married. He looked at the kids and said; “Well it’s about time.”

I felt like telling him these aren’t my kids but it just hit me; “These are my kids and I have been a father to them ever since they moved in with me.”

He said a lot of commitment stuff to which I agreed to but then he came to the sticky part. It was something he said after he said I now pronounce you man and wife. He said, “You may now kiss your bride…”

I hate to admit it but I had never kissed a woman. I didn’t know how to do it. I hesitated and I was having trouble looking her in the eye.
Then she put her hands on each side of my face and gave me a long kiss that embarrassed the preacher.

He said, “You better save some of that for later.”

I had finally been kissed and I must say I enjoyed the way she did it. I was sure people could hear my heart beating, it was beating so hard.

Honeymoon with new honey

We went to the café and had dinner and then met Chen. He had two suitcases with him. Sarah took two boxes from the wagon and started putting the clothes in the suitcases.

She said, “We better hurry for the train is leaving for Chicago soon. Chen is going to care for the children while we are gone. He already cares for them most of the time during the day so they will be fine.”

Chen left for the ranch with both kids sitting next to him. I told Sarah they will be talking like him by the time we return. I was still uncertain as to what was happening as we boarded the train.
The last time I was on a train was to rob it.

We sat in the back seat in the passenger car and Sarah kissed me several times on the way to the big city. She made me take my guns off and put them in the suitcase for she didn’t want me to shoot anyone who made a pass at her which was bound to happen.

Sarah knew her way around the big city so we made it to our hotel without any trouble.

It was a week I’ll never forget. She taught me so much during that week about married life, and we saw the sights of interest in our spare time.
If I wasn’t in love before our honeymoon I was deeply in love afterward.

Several times a day my mind would bring up the children and wonder how they were.

We headed home after the week was over and Sarah would hang on to me like I was going to run away.  She would call me “My man,” and that set pretty good with me.

Jim met us when we arrived at the station. He had spent a couple of days in town visiting his girlfriend. We had been talking about putting on some more hands and he had picked out three possibly four that would work out for us. Before we left for home I had him tell them to show up tomorrow with their gear.

While in Chicago I bought us a brand new buggy cause a family needs a buggy to go to town in. It was to be delivered in a month or so. Sarah wants to go to church from time to time and I didn’t want her and the kids to have to ride in the wagon to get there in.  Besides the buggy has a top and can be closed in on the sides if it rains.  As soon as it was built, they were going to ship it to our town.

I had forgotten to put my guns on at the station so I did when we arrived home. I had been without them during our time in Chicago and didn’t miss them at first but this isn’t the big city.  

I did buy myself a small but powerful pistol to carry when I go to church with Sarah. It can be hid out of sight but easy to get to if needed.
 
To Be Continued
 
 

 

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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Fourth Man - Chapter 2



Men - Cows Come !
 
A pleasant surprise

The next afternoon two white men with four Mexicans drove a large herd of cattle to the small lake on the property.

Chen said; “Men, cows here.”

One of the cowboys rode over to where I was standing and said; “Well we made it with very few losses.  The Mexicans want to be paid so they can go visit some relatives in town before they head back south.”

I found out how much they had coming and paid them off with a small bonus.

The other cowboy joined us and said my name is Jim. Then the first one said, yeah, yeah you can call me Jones.

I asked Chen to fix supper and had the men tell me all about them picking up the cattle and the drive to my place.  

After stuffing ourselves we went into the office and I told them I was the new owner and the cows were now mine.

Jones said there is something like five hundred head plus a half dozen bulls.

I judged the guys to be what some call saddle tramps but it seemed that though they were young they could do their job.  I asked what their plans were and they said they had no plans other than to find a job with some outfit.

I asked if they would like to work for me and they both started smiling.  Just one thing and that is can you shoot?

Jim said, “I ain’t much with a hand gun but I never miss with a rifle once it is sighted in.”

Jones said, “I’m good with either one.”

I told them their first job would be to clean out the bunk house and for Chen to give them some bedding.

I wanted to see the herd so I saddled my horse and got ready to ride out to where they were grazing.  Before I went I told Chen on the morrow I wanted him to go to town and hire a cleaning woman that could live with us.

I spent the next day checking the herd over and decided that they were in need of some good pasture.  I wasn’t concerned because it wouldn’t be but a couple of weeks before they were looking like I wanted them to.

I must say that Jimbo knew what he was doing when it came to setting up a good working ranch.  If he had only acted different and paid me off he could be enjoying the fruits of his thievery.

Another (not so pleasant) surprise

I got in about dark and put my horse away after brushing him down and feeding him.


I was ready to eat and called Chen to set the table.  As I waited for my food a small boy appeared and sat down next to me.  He must have been nigh unto three or four years old.

I was speechless but he looked at me and said, “Hi.”

Chen appeared about that time and I asked him, “Where did this child come from.” He smiled and said, “Come from where all children come from, their mother.”

With that I stood up and demanded he tell me what was going on.

He said, “The cleaning woman, she has child.”

I had to ask, “What cleaning woman.”

He answered, ‘You say get cleaning woman so I got cleaning woman.”

“Get her out here; now,” I said.

Shortly a young woman appeared carrying a baby who was fretting and about to cry.

I just stared at her and she said, “She is hungry and needs to be fed.”

I just shouted, “Well feed her or it then.”

She left the room and the noise stopped suddenly.

Chen gave me my food and said; “New boss eat.”

He gave the boy a plate and he began to eat like he was very hungry.

Chen said, “Boy no eat for long time.”

I had pushed my food away from me, but as I watched the boy eat hungrily I began to eat my food along with him.

I asked, “What’s your name boy?”

He said, “William but you can call me Billy if you want.”

By the time I was finished the woman came without the baby and Chen gave her a plate of food.  She started to eat for I could see she was hungry.

I let her eat while I found Chen in the kitchen and asked what was going on.

He looked proudly and said, “I got cleaning woman.”

I said it looks like you got more than a cleaning woman.

He continued saying, “Yes nice family, you got family now new boss.”

“No, no I don’t have family” (I was beginning to talk like him).

With a stern voice I said, “Chen, last chance, explain yourself.”

He said, “No could find cleaning woman except this one.  She need job.  Got to feed babies.”

I could see I wasn’t going to get a straight answer from him so I went to bed and would clear up this mess in the morning.

The next morning I got up and forgot a woman was in the house for I was slightly exposed sleeping in the nude. When she saw me she turned away.

I grabbed my pants and put them on and found myself apologizing to her.

She said, “No never mind,” and started feeding her baby.

I had seen a lot of women nurse their child, but this embarrassed me to see both of her breasts exposed as the baby suckled.  
It was my turn to look away.

I said, “We need to palaver a bit because I didn’t expect to have a cleaning woman with children.”

She didn’t say anything for a while and then quietly said, “I understand I’ll leave but will it be okay if Billy has some food before we leave.”

 I yelled for Chen. “Get in here Chen and feed these folk.”

After he put food on the table I called him outside and chewed him out.

“You make me feel like a bad man running this woman off. Why did you put me in this position?”

He said, “She good cleaning woman and babies need home. They no bother me.”

“Maybe no bother to you but I’m not used to having to have clothes on when I sleep and get up.  I don’t want to have to watch myself all the time.”

Chen smiled and said, “She not bothered for she had man before.”

The straight story at last

I finally gave up and said, “Tell me the whole story as you know it.”

He said, “Sister wife (his married sister) tell me this woman husband no good and throw her out with babies.  

She have no place to stay and need job.  She not bad woman, husband no good and leave her starve.  She work hard, see house already clean and clothes washed.”

That was something I hadn’t noticed or considered. She did have the place clean and my clothes were washed and neatly folded up.

About that time Billy came in to where I was and said, “Hello new daddy.”

That was too much for me, and I told Chen, “She has to go.”

I went out to the barn and was working on some harness and the woman came in and told me she would be leaving and thanked me for their food. She was carrying her baby and Billy was walking along side of her.

Billy said, “Goodbye new daddy,” as they walked off.

I said, “Wait it’s too far for you to walk and carry that child. Wait till someone goes to town with the wagon and you can go with them.”

I could see she was almost crying so I took the baby and walked back to the house with it and put it in a crib like devise Chen had fixed up for it.

The woman lay down on the bed completely drained, and I could see she wasn’t well.

I thought to myself, “I should look up her husband and beat some feeling into him. How he could treat this woman like this, he isn’t human.”

The more I thought about it the madder I got, so I went to town and took Jim with me.  He was a large rawboned man strong enough to pick up a good sized heifer. I told him how I was feeling about her man and he was madder than I was for he had seen her condition and it wasn’t very good.

He said we should stop and have the doctor go to the ranch and check her out.

The reason I had Jim with me was if I found the husband and got started I would probably just shoot the man but with Jim with me he would keep me calmed down.

After asking several people some questions we found him drinking with a saloon girl and having a good time.

Jim shoved me aside and dragged the man out behind the saloon. I made sure no one else came out the back door and the fight was on.

Jim slapped a knife out of the man’s hand (as he had a reputation of being good with a knife) and proceeded to beat the man half to death.

“It will be months before he will be able to get around without help,” Jim said.

I was glad Jim went with me for once he bared his knife toward me he would have been dead instantly.

I felt good about the way things turned out for he needed the beating Jim gave him.

After it was over Jim said, “I feel better now.”

Jim said, “Let’s get the doctor and have a drink before we go home.”

Jim and I got home before the doctor arrived so I checked on the woman. Billy was in the kitchen with Chen and the baby was asleep in bed with the woman.

The doctor arrived and went in and checked the woman over. He came out and said she just needs some food and rest and she will be alright.

Doc said, “I don’t know what to think about a man who would throw a fine woman like her out with her kids.”

Cleaning woman stay

The next day I and the hands worked the cattle in the morning and when we came in for dinner Sarah was up stairs cleaning my room and Billy was trying to sweep the floor without much success.

Chen came over and said; “Cleaning lady stay?”

I said, “Yes Chen, cleaning lady stay at least for a while.” (The doctor’s words were ringing in my ears I don’t know what to think about a man who would throw a fine woman like this out).

The thing of it was; I would be the man who would be throwing her out now.

The next week I took Sarah and the kids to town in the wagon and Jim went along on his horse. He wanted to visit his girlfriend Lily while we did our business.

I took Sarah to my lawyer and she filed for a divorce based upon “Abandonment.”

She had brought Chen’s list and purchased all the goods he wanted along with some other personal things she needed for herself.

I didn’t question her about those things for I knew women needed some things men don’t.  I bought Billy a candy stick and the baby a rubber thing to suck on.

I was glad I didn’t have any friends in town for they would have teased me unmerciful about having a family.

As it turned out people never paid much attention to us even though some knew Sarah had a husband and knew it wasn’t me.