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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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The summer looked to be a busy time for the Riley’s with the
cowhands rounding up the cattle for branding and castrating the young bulls.
Of course they were dipped for ticks and other
parasites and checked for wounds. Then it would be time to cut out the cattle
that would be shipped to market after being fattened up.
The horse ranches were doing a similar task along breaking
the horses for riding. The mares and stud horses had been busy and there were a
good number of colts coming on.
The farms produced a good crop for the first year and by
summer there would be a lot of work needing extra hands. Les had put up a cannery to can several kinds
of food stuffs for the coming winter and sold quite a bit to the nearby towns.
Several ladies from town came and worked in the canning
process and took food for their labor.
thing followed another and when one task was finished the workers could take
over another job.
The cowhands complained the most because they felt other
labor was beneath them.
Les told they could either take the jobs that were available
or take their pay and leave. Almost all
of them stayed on and didn’t have to ride the grub line.
It appeared that buying the land and the machinery had been
a good investment.
As winter approached Sam and Alf thoughts turned once again
to the young girls, Caroline and Cherri Leng.
James saw that this could lead to some trouble for the girls
were acting up.
He told Alf and Sam to make whatever repairs that were
needed on the steam engines and then go visit their family for the winter. They grumbled about it but in the end they
left and went home.
makes the memory grow weaker
Two months later James got word from Alf and Sam that they
would be returning in time to get everything ready for the next year’s crops
and would be bringing their new wives with them.
It hadn’t taken long for the
guys to forget about Caroline and Cherri Leng.
There were some farm houses on the farm land James had
bought so he wrote back and said they better come early and leave their wives
at home. They needed to fix the houses a
bit and the wives could follow in three weeks. Again there was some grumbling
this time by the wives but they did it James’s way.
time for the wives
When the wives arrived and saw the houses they both said
this place needs a lot of fixing up.
After seeing the guys new wives Caroline and Cherri Leng
were a little disappointed and relieved at the same time.
James said, “Well if you don’t get the pup you wanted this
time there’ll be another litter in a little while.”
The girls finally got what he meant and laughed and I said,
“I guess we missed those dogs didn’t we?”
Alf had married a Swedish girl Carin that was very strong, but
Ginny the gal Sam married was a bit fragile. It was soon obvious that the country life was
going to be difficult for her.
he needed to get some help for her and he wanted to hire Cherri Leng.
James said, “No that wouldn’t work for she was much too
pretty to work for him,” and Sam got his meaning.
James said, “Betsy and I am going to town in the morning and
I’ll take the two wives with us and we’ll find you an older woman to help
The trip to town was a gab fest for Betsy wanted to know all
about how their wedding came about. Betsy
had talked to Mai about getting a helper for Ginny and told her they didn’t
want someone too young and attractive just a good worker.
Mai said, “I know who you want. My cousin has only been in America for a
year and doesn’t speak English very well but understands everything you tell
her. Once you show her what to do she has no trouble doing it the next time.”
Betsy told James, “ I think I have the right woman for
After they interviewed the woman Wu Leng, James said, “She
looks good to me but it is up to Ginny to choose.”
Betsy took Ginny aside and said, “This woman fills the bill
on the main count and that is she is in her thirties and isn’t pretty so Sam
won’t be tempted to… well you know.”
Ginny said, “I well give her a try out and if she does her
job then she’s my woman.”
James told the woman that there will be someone here
tomorrow to pick you up and bring you to the farm.
After the first week Ginny was convinced the woman
completely satisfied her and was going to work out just fine.
Sam felt relieved because he was afraid that Ginny wasn’t
going to survive the harsh life on the prairie.