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Monday, December 26, 2016

The Reluctant Bride Chapter 5 - After The Celebration

The Priest was Always Invited
to the Big Celebrations
Chapter 5

The next morning after the big celebration, all was quiet except for a couple of men stumbling around trying to figure out where they were. Seems everyone slept in the morning after. Elena and the girls she hired began to try to straighten things up.  

The noise awakened Sadie although she was having trouble getting her eyes open, due to the fact that in the late hours she was finally encouraged to take a sip of the hard drink.

She never drank that stuff in her whole life, but the girls convinced her it would pep her up so she could finish being the hostess.

As it turned out she had more than several sips and she couldn't remember when or how the evening finished.

She realized she wasn't in her bed for this one was much larger than hers. Another thing she became aware of was she had no covers on her and no night clothes on either. In fact she was buck naked.

She finally got enough strength to roll over and she saw a naked man in the bed with her.  The knowledge of that paralyzed her and she couldn't move for a while as she tried to remember how this all happened.

As her mind cleared a bit she wondered who was in the bed with her and what she was doing there with him. She looked for some covers but couldn't find anything except a pillow. The man didn't have anything on him either.

She observed her clothes scattered around the room so she slipped out of the bed quietly and started retrieving her things.

The man woke up and turned over. It was Lacey! He was laying there in plain sight of Sadie and she couldn't help but stare at him while he was trying to wake up.

Without much success, she tried to cover herself with the pillow, as he finally stood up and very slowly tried to find his clothes and put them on.

Lacey was totally unembarrassed even though he was naked and he took his time getting dressed.

Sadie was doing her best to keep herself covered as she dressed but it made it more difficult to put her clothes on.

He finished dressing and walked out without saying a word to her. She never said anything either.

When she left Lacey's room Elena looked her up and down with a suspicious eye and then began to laugh.  She continued to do this every time she saw Sadie that morning.

Sadie hadn't seen Lacey since early morning, and it was almost twelve now. A few minutes later he came in and had Elena's Priest with him.

He came over and kissed Sadie and said, “We might as well get this over with.”

Sadie said, “Get what over with?”

“Our wedding what'd think?”

She said; “I didn't say I'd marry you.”

He smiled and said, “Sure you did… maybe you don't remember saying I want you so badly now, we can be married tomorrow first thing.”

She said, “I don't remember anything like that.”

He chuckled and said, “What do you think happened last night?  Don’t you remember me proposing and you accepting?”

“No,” she answered.

He went on and asked, “You don't remember what happened afterward?”

She said, “I think I know what happened afterward whatever afterward was.”

He went on; “I thought you knew we were going to be wedded someday. It just so happens today is the day.”

She started to object further when Elena stepped up and whispered something in Sadie's ear.

Sadie turned back to Lacey and said, “Today is the day, Padre proceed please.”

After breakfast all the guests left and Lacey hoped they all made it home for some of them weren't too steady on their feet. Everyone agreed that it was the best party they had ever been to.

Sadie asked Elena why the Padre was there and she said; after these big doings there are a few who need to get married and it was that way here today. Two couples got married before you and two more afterward.

Sadie said it was mighty convenient that he was here today.

When the kids heard Sadie was their new mom they hugged her till she could hardly breathe. They wanted to know what to call her and she said either ma or mom whichever you like the best they agreed mom sounded the best. 

And so it was; after over two years of breathing the same air they consummated their love for one another.

As Elena predicted, Sadie she gave birth to her firstborn nine months later and that was just the start of many more that came after that.

As Lacey predicted he became rich from the mine.  

As Cousin Bette predicted she could get as many men as she wanted. So far she has wanted five and is working on number six. 

And everyone lived happily ever after.

The End

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Relucrtant Bride Chapter 4 - A Visit from Cousin Bette

Cousin Bette Came to Visit
Chapter 4
Unexpectedly a distant cousin came to visit and she immediately began to interfere with Sadie's work with the children.  She also began to make advances to Lacey some of which were unseemly in Sadie's eyes.  

As Lacey mostly ignored her undignified mores she stepped up her pursuit of him.  At times she was all over him and was getting a little response from Lacey.  

Sadie thought he was human and should be stimulated by the cousin’s seductive moves.   She finally said to Lacey; don't you think it is time for Cousin Bette to call it a visit and return home? The children have been observing the way she is acting with you and are asking questions about her unseemly conduct.  

She went on and said; perhaps it isn't my place to speak but unless you are interested in her as a mate she needs to leave and not come back.  

This shocked Lacey to hear Sadie to speak out like this. He realized what Bette was doing and truth be known he was enjoying some of it. He had been too long without female company and he knew it. 

It was a week later when Lacey took Bette aside and told her that he would have one of the hands take her to the station tomorrow. You better get started packing today so as not to miss your train.  

She looked shocked but said she would do as he said.  Later she was heard mumbling to herself; “What's the matter with that guy doesn't he know a good time when it's offered to him.”  She went on saying; “He missed the best night of his life, he just doesn't know it.”

 That evening the conversation was about the farm and the cattle. Nothing was said about Bette leaving except Lacey asking if she was packed and ready to go. She said yes and would be glad to get back home among her friends.  

Lacey was glad to hear she was taking his advice and going for he didn't know how much longer he could fight her off for she was very alluring although somewhat brash.

Sadie was all smiles after Bette was gone and this without any obvious reason. She had to admit she had no claims on Lacey. Her only tie to him was his children and her responsibility for their education.

As it turned out she took care of them twenty four hours a day not unlike a mother would. She could hardly get enough privacy for a bath for they were always in need of something.

During the warm season she would take them to the river a short distance away from the house and they would all bathe. She taught them all to swim. She didn't want to worry about them drowning when she needed to get out of their sight for a few minutes.

Unlike regular school there was no summer vacation. School continued year round for them except when Sadie took them town so they could see the shipping of cattle to market. They would ride on the stock train in the passenger car with Lacey and some cattle buyers. Lacey would get a little testy if someone made a suggested remark about wishing they could afford a schoolmarm. The inference being something unseemly was going on between him and Sadie.

When they got to Chicago they stayed in a hotel where Lacey and the foremen stayed. Lacey would join in on some of the shopping trips to make sure they didn't get to extravagant and buy stuff they would never use.

Sadie was more tight fisted than Lacey but he thought he kept tighter reins on spending than her. Sadie always made sure they experienced some form of entertainment and went to a museum or other place with historical value.

Lacey was very protective of his children and when Lacey couldn't accompany them on their excursions he sent one of the cow hands to keep watch over them.

When the business was finished and they were on the way home Lacey spent the time with the kids. Eating in the diner with their dad was a special treat for them. He was surprised at how far they had come with their studies. He congratulated Sadie on the job she was doing. He seemed to be in a good mood so she figured his business dealings went well.
He told her he would be spending more time at home now since he had made the deal he just finished.

He went on saying something I never talked about was a mine I have been developing and now that it is producing I was able to sell a half interest in it to a mining company. They will take over the running of it and we will share the profits made from it. If all goes well I will be a rich man shortly.

Sadie had never paid any attention to the money situation she just figured between the farm and the ranch there was enough money to keep them well fed and cared for.

Lacey was happier than she had ever saw him. He said we are going to have a celebration. As soon as we get home, you and Elena prepare the biggest party ever given in this part of the country.

She thought he would calm down by the time they arrived home but the opposite was what happened. Sadie left the food, drinks, and music to Elena and Sadie did the decorating and the inviting. Lacey kept coming up with new ideas as to what to do to the point where the women were hoping  the day would soon arrive and no more extra add on's coming forth from Lacey. 

The celebration day was here at last. It started with a big breakfast for everyone who had arrived the day before. Elena had hired a half dozen extra Mexican girls to help with all the preparation. As soon as the breakfast was cleared away the real preparation got started. A steer had been killed and was on a huge spit being turned over and over.

People were arriving and were eating the food as fast as it was put out on the tables. The musicians appeared and started playing so the dancing could begin.  Then in the afternoon the hard and soft drinks were brought out: and the party really livened up.  The festivity lasted well into the night and people were sleeping everywhere.

Elena was worn out from all the work and Sadie had all the celebration she could handle.   Sadie found a corner to rest and passed out from exhaustion.
To be Continued

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Reluctant Bride - Chapter 3

Sadie was Worried About her Future
Chapter 3

Sadie was mulling over in her mind knowing Lacey wanted to talk to her in the morning and it caused her to wonder what it could be.  Finally she was able to drift off to sleep.

Come the morning there were a half dozen roosters competing with each other on who could crow the loudest. They woke Sadie up and she lay there as the same thoughts returning to her from last night.

She wondered what time Lacey got up - - just as there was a knock at the door. It was Lacey and he said it's time to get up. Breakfast is on the table and nobody waits on any one else. 

Lacey's kids were all up and dressed and eating the grits and bacon. Elena's husband Joseph was almost finished when Sadie made it to the table.

Lacey was outside looking over the horse he got from the saloon cowboy and decided it might be alright for one of the kids to ride, but it wasn't a good cow pony.

After drinking some coffee, Sadie caught up with Lacey and told him he was hard to find in the morning. He said my mornings are usually busy.

There were several men that didn't fit the mold of how Sadie thought a farmer should look. Lacey had been talking to the men before she found him and after she interrupted his conversation he told the men that they knew what to do so get on with it.

He asked her if she had ate breakfast and she said, “Just coffee.”

He said he also had coffee but now he was hungry. They went in and Lacey told the cook to whip up a fresh batch of biscuits, ham and eggs and maybe some grits and gravy.

Sadie said you must be hungry to eat all of that. He said this may be my only meal today because I have a number of things to deal with.

They had some more coffee while waiting for breakfast to be ready and Sadie's thinking was all over the place. What does he have in mind? Does he want to marry me? Maybe just move in and live with him and on and on.

Finally Lacey spoke and said, “You need to consider your future and since you no longer have a job teaching you need to return to your home back east.”

He went on and said, “I have another situation for you to consider.”

Her mind snapped to attention and she was thinking, “What if he asks me to marry him how should I answer that. What if he wants me without marriage or maybe to wed some cow hand who works for him.”

She was getting all flustered just thinking about the possibilities. Just come on and say what you want to say she thought.

He wiped some gravy from his chin that fell from his biscuit and took a sip of hot coffee and then said; "I have a proposition for you since things are like they are.”

She waited for him to have another sip of coffee with her nervousness increasing.

He said, “You have seen my little flock?”  

She said, “Yes.”  

He went on they are almost too much for Elena and besides they are speaking Mexican half of the time I need someone to come in and take them over and educate them. It will be complete control where I will only be available if something serious comes up. This will be your full time job with better pay than you were receiving in the town school. If this interests you then I will fix everything up as you want it.

As he talked Sadie began to relax for this was something she could have only hoped for. After an hour of discussion with some give and take they understood each other and she said yes she wanted the job.

He reddened and stiffened as he said there is something else I wish to talk about somewhere down the road later on but that is all for now.

He called the children in and explained to them that Sadie was in charge as of now and they must obey her or be disciplined by her. They each said they understood and he ordered a few additions made to the house for a better teaching situation.

As Sadie thought about everything she was relieved as well as disappointed. She was concerned that he might want to marry her and felt let down that he didn't. He did say he had something else in mind for later on so she felt she might have that to deal with in the future. The next weeks she completely took the children over and they took to her both personally and her discipline.

Sadie was a little disappointed that she didn't see Lacey as often as she wanted to. She wanted to discuss the children's progress and just have time alone to talk to him. She learned that he wasn't just farming but had a large herd of cattle and something else she wasn't sure of what it was.

There were a lot of men working for him and they had separate quarters for each operation. Only three men worked at the farm house keeping things up and guarding the children, and another four families who actually did the farming.

Then there was Elena and her husband who were like a part of the family she saw to the cooking, washing and cleaning, with a couple of young girls to help her with all these tasks.

Sadie noticed Lacey was becoming gaunt and rawboned from too much work. She finally got up enough nerve to mention he had lost weight and was getting too thin. He said he knew it but soon he would be able to back off and turn most of the work to others. She felt she could speak up a little more now and said; "The children needed to see you more often and it is important to interact with them as much as your time would allow," to which he agreed and said, “Soon.”

A month later he began to spend most evenings with the family of which Sadie counted herself as being a part of.  She considered this to be her home for the time being and the kids as her own. What ever the foreseeable future was, time would tell.

To be continued.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Reluctant Bride Chapter Two

Sadie was Happy to be Teaching School in this Farm Community
Chapter 2

Sadie was excited to be in a place where everything was new to her.  A good night’s sleep took care of her tiredness from her journey on the train. 

The next day some of the ladies from town came to meet her and they discussed the opening of the school again for it had been closed for some time. Over the next week the women got everything in order and the school was ready to open once again.

Sadie was amused by the big school bell outside the school and felt it was the call to action when it was rang.

After a few problems she finally got a handle on how to deal with these rowdy kids. They were certainly different from the city kids she was familiar with.

One of the biggest problems was when the folks kept the kids home because they needed some extra help with the farming. Some times most of the kids stayed home and she had to adjust the lessons to meet the farming schedule instead of the school's agenda.

Six weeks later Lacey came to town again and Sadie was glad to see him.

There had been several men calling on her against her wishes which she made known to them. These vulgar men made their wants known like Charles had done, only they were a lot cruder than he was.  Seems they felt since she was alone they could be more forward which caused her to be more stringent and severe in her rebuke of them.

Lacey was completely different for he was unimposing but pleasantly charming.  She actually didn't know anything about him for he didn't talk about himself.

Several of the women would bring up his name in conversation and Sadie found out that he was their hearts desire.

Problem was he paid none of them any attention. He had a way about him where he could be friendly but unobtainable. This really put off the “would be suitors” but hope remained still.

He would always bring some food with him for Lacey, and he would have a meal with her. They would talk way into the evening and she could tell he was well read even though he was a farmer. He could discuss almost any subject which was refreshing to her.

Then things changed. Her trial period of one year was up and so far she hadn't been paid. They set up an account where she could charge a small amount each month but it wasn't enough to get by on.  By this time she had spent all her savings so she went to the county clerk and asked for her year's wages.

Over the year the clerk had been rebuffed by his advances so he was put off by that and rude to her.   He said she had not been satisfactory so she would only get half of her promised wages. This was quite a blow for she was counting on that money.

After listening to his sullied verbalizations she finally gave up and left.

A man followed her out of the clerk’s office and pushed her into a narrow alleyway and took the rest of her money. She saw him go into the saloon so she went to the sheriff and told him what happened.

He said it would be her word against his so it wasn't worth the effort to try to accuse him.

In tears, Sadie took off to her home crushed at what had befallen her.  Now she was broke and without a job. In the midst of her crying jag, Lacey showed up and she told him the whole story between sobs.

She wasn't sure if it was a smile or a smirk after she finished but he said, “C'mon lets go.”

Their first stop was at the clerk's office.  Lacey had strapped on his six gun and loaded his double barrel shot gun.  He went in to the clerk's office and grabbed him with one hand and shoved the shot gun under his chin with the other.

He firmly said, “Give her the money that's coming to her or say goodbye to this world.”

As the clerk heard the hammers on the shot gun click as Lacey pulled them back, the clerk was screaming, “Be careful with that gun it might go off.”

He said, “Here is her money except the sheriff had taken half of it.”  Lacey said, “Give her all of it and you deal with the sheriff.”

A minute later Sadie had her money and as they were leaving Lacey said, “Let's go get the rest of it.”

Sadie followed Lacey into the saloon and pointed to the man who robbed and hurt her.

With that Lacey hit the man with the barrel of the shot gun and knocked him down. Then he shoved the double barrel under the man's nose so hard it was bleeding profusely. He said, “Return the money you stole from her - - now.”

The man emptied his pockets and then said, “I spent some of it.”

Lacey said, “Then I guess we will have to take your six gun.”  With that he unbuckled the man's gun belt and took it off of him.  He then took the scoundrel outside and asked which horse was his.

When he pointed it out, Lacey hit the man and knocked him senseless. He tied the horse behind his wagon and drove to Sadie's place where they loaded up all her goods. She didn't ask where they were going but just leaned over on him and went to sleep.

When he stopped she woke up and saw they were at a nice looking home. Coming out to greet them was a Mexican couple smiling and glad to see them both.  From behind the Mexican couple came running four young children the oldest being about eight years old.

Sadie was taken aback at what she saw. She said, “You are married?”

He said, “I was married but my wife died. This is my brood so far.”

“So far?” she replied.  He laughed and said, “Yes, so far.”

It was getting late so they had dinner and he said it has been a long day so let's get some sleep and tomorrow I have something I want to talk to you about.

The Mexican woman, Elena showed Sadie her room and in a few minutes all was quiet except for a coyote howling in the distance.

Sadie was tired but her mind was rehearsing the day's events and she kept wondering what Lacey had on his mind.

To be continued


Monday, November 28, 2016



Sadie Waiting for the Train and Her New Adventure
 Chapter One

“Oh, how lucky you are to have landed Charles for a husband. He is so handsome and has money of his own. Oh Sadie if only I were you,” so said Sadie's best friend Jenny.  

Jenny had been gushing over Charles for a half hour and Sadie was tired of hearing how wonderful Charles was. She had known Charles for several years now and wasn't sure she wanted him for her bridegroom. It was the same with going to college. She didn't feel the necessity for all this education she had gotten.

Now she was trapped into a coming marriage that she wasn't as sure about as were all her friends, family and Charles himself.  

It was obvious to Sadie that he could hardly restrain himself from wanting to jump on her and pound her. For some reason this didn't appeal to her. She knew this was part of the marriage arrangement but with him it was not what she felt she wanted to submit to.  

Then sometime before the wedding date she received a list of available jobs for women from the college she attended. Her eyes fell upon a teacher’s position in Montana. She immediately wrote and stated she would like to take the position and gave her qualifications.  

The wedding was only two weeks away when she received the letter saying she was hired if she still wanted the job. She packed her belonging and left a note explaining where she was going and why.  

As she settled in her seat on the train a feeling of uncertainty came over her. She realized she was going to a town in the west that she knew nothing about. The people, their culture and their habits were sure to be foreign to her. These thoughts began to unnerve her as she listened to the wheels on the track. For the next three days these thoughts became torturous.  

On the third day the conductor walked through the train saying “Grassland next stop.”  

As she looked out the window of the train everything was dried up and there wasn't any grass to be seen anywhere. She told the conductor to make sure all of her baggage was set off at the station. The conductor told her to get to the steps and be ready to get off for the train would hardly stop at the station and she was the only one who was getting off there.  

He was right the train never came to a complete stop and she had to jump off when the train came to it's slowest.  

Two men threw her baggage off some of which missed the small platform. One of her suitcases came open and scattered her goods hither and yon. As the train cleared the road next to the station a wagon crossed the tracks and stopped.  

A farmer looking man got off the wagon and proceeded to help her pick up her belongings. Some of the items he helped her with were of a personal nature and caused both of them to blush. He told her the town was down the road a ways and he would help her with her stuff if she wished him to. She looked down the road and said she would be grateful if he would help her for she had several pieces of luggage.  

He introduced himself as Lacey and wanted to know where she wanted to go to. She said the county clerk's office. When the arrived there Lacey went in with her.  

Right off, the county clerk started getting fresh with her until Lacey told him to back off and give her the information she needed and stop the untoward talk.  

The clerk took offence at that but said, “Take her down to the school house to the house behind it. That would be her place to live while she taught there.” 

When they got to the house behind the school house Lacey carried her suitcases into the house after he threw a couple of snakes and one varmint out while she stood on one of the chairs in the living room.  

Lacey had to laugh at that and after Sadie got over her fright she joined in laughing with him. After he got her baggage in he took her shopping and introduced her around. Finally he told her he had to head home and hoped everything worked out for her. He said he only came to town every couple of months but would look in on her the next time he came to town.  

After thanking him he left and loneliness began to set in on her. She had never felt as alone as she did that night.


To be continued

Monday, November 14, 2016

Randle Chimes chapter 14 The Wedding

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Grandpa suggested hard work would rest my mind.
Chapter fourteen  (Conclusion)

I must admit that leaving the river wasn't easy for we had gained a new intimacy there.  From there it was just one more step to becoming one in a spiritual sense.

The next six weeks seemed to be an eternity away and it was clear I had to involve myself in an activity that would help the time to pass quickly.

I told Grandpa my predicament and he squelched a smile while knowingly said he understood.

He said what I needed was some hard labor, something that would make me so tired that all I could think about was getting some rest.

He said there was forty acres he hadn't planned on planting this year but there was no reason not to go ahead and get a crop this year. He said he had two teams I could use them alternating every other day or using them just a half day each day. He said which ever way I decided on the teams would always be fresh.

To be honest I wasn't to excited for his suggestion but I knew it would take my mind off of the wedding.  I managed to get word to Nell that I would see her Sunday and tell her what I was doing.

The next morning I hitched up one of the teams and after breakfast headed off to the field. As I figured it - - there was more than enough time to plow the entire forty acres and drag and harrow it making it ready for planting.

I had no interest in putting the crop in while dreading the rain we were sure to get. Dirt and water equaled mud and I hated to try to plow a muddy field. The only good thing about the rain was the teams got some extra rest which they would need.

Come Sunday I was glad to go to church. I surely wasn't cut out to be a dirt farmer. The thing I hated the most was your shoes were filled with the new turned soil and was uncomfortable to walk in.

When I saw Nell the juices began to flow in my mouth. I didn't know what that was all about but I knew it was somehow connected with Nell.

She wanted me to have dinner at her folks place which I agreed to but told them I couldn't stay long for I had to get home and get ready for the coming week.

During dinner I talked to Nell's folks about everything except the wedding.  Seemed the subject was off limits at this stage of the engagement.

After we finished eating, I helped clear the table and her mother told us to scat and visit until I had to go. Nell brought me up to date about how everything was going and I tried my best to show some interest in what she was doing.  To me it seemed like a lot of extra work but it was so very important to the females in both families.

I had to stop at the mercantile store and pick up some new harness for the teams. The store owner grumbled for having to open up for business on Sunday but he didn't dare to refuse because we bought so much stuff from him.

I had brought the buckboard from him, and also picked up a lot of miscellaneous stuff for the ranch like barbed wire, bacon, beans and, flour.

When I arriver at the ranch I got a couple of hands to unload the buckboard while I swapped out the new harness parts for the worn out ones.

The ranch hands looked puzzled because I was going to do the plowing myself when I could have hired three or four farmers to do the work in a weeks time. I didn't bother to explain my reasons I just went on repairing the harness.

After finishing that task I felt proud of the job I had done. Both teams had their own set of harness and at least one extra set in case something broke.

The next morning I was up farmer style before daybreak for breakfast. We men were proud about the work we did but as I was eating it struck me that the women were up earlier than the men to fix breakfast for us and start preparing the rest of the day’s chores.

I never said anything but I had to admit the women really earned their keep.

I hitched one of the teams to the wagon with the new plows and other equipment and tied the other team to the back of the wagon. Just after daybreak I was hooked up and plowed my first furrow.

This continued till about ten when I took a break and watered the horses. I gave them a fifteen minute rest and then it was on till dinner time.

Once again I watered the morning team and removed their harness. Then I let them graze till time to head back to the ranch house. Just before evening came I stripped the harness from the second team and put it on the wagon with the first.

I rode one of the horses and led the others to the barn and then rubbed them all down. One of the hands had put some feed in the corral so I let them loose to feed and rest till morning.

For the next three weeks this continued the same each day. My feet hurt and I was sore all over. It made me appreciate the work the farmers did year after year. I had brought in another team so every third day a team had a full day off.

With the fields plowed I took the next and final week running the drags and harrows over the fields and prepared them for planting.  Once finished I turned the planting over to our farm hands.

It was one more week until I would be a married man. I had waited for this moment for all my life and I felt both excited and worried.

I knew the mechanics of being a husband, the part and responsibilities the man played so it wasn't that but how I was going to measure up to the job had me bothered not just a little.

I took a lot of good natured teasing about the coming event. A lot of it revolved around the wedding night and talk of a shivaree where the bride was whisked away and kept the whole night.

Although I knew it was all in fun I still had a little apprehension about the whole idea.

The wedding day arrived and I drove the decorated buggy to the church.  Nell and family were late and I was left standing down in the front of the church with the preacher. After the longest ten minutes of my life Nell and her father appeared in the back of the church and started walking down the aisle in step with the music.

Everything went off well! Nell was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. We and the family greeted everyone and had a feast on the grounds.

It was getting on in the afternoon by the time the people left.

Nell and I headed to the hotel where we would spend the first night of married life.
Since my family owned the hotel we had the entire top floor to our selves with a couple of tough guards making sure we were not disturbed.

Once in a while I think about Jenny and wonder what my life would have been like with her instead of Nell.

My conclusion is the same always; it couldn't have been any better for Nell was simply wonderful.

The End

Monday, November 7, 2016

RANDLE CHIMES Chapter 13 Randle Proposes to Nell

A Plain Gold Ring was All I wanted
Chapter thirteen

As I think back over the years it was again the memory of that evening I laid Jenny to rest in my mind.  

I realized I couldn’t go through life loving someone who died and be married to another. It wouldn’t be fair to the new love to be sharing myself with someone else, someone who the new love couldn’t compete with.  I wanted someone who gave her whole self to me and in turn I would do the same to her.

Instead of going home with the grand folks I stayed in town. As I thought back it had been almost two year since Jenny fell ill and I saw her last. As long she was still alive there was still some hope but now she was only a pleasant memory.

Especially after kissing Nell I knew I had to have some female company. If Jenny had lived we might have had a family started by now. Sister or not I admitted to myself I wanted Nell for my wife… err maybe a girlfriend at first and then a wife, but I felt time was a wasting.

I went to see a man who always has a supply of rings for sale and told him what I wanted and he asked; “Didn’t I sell you an engagement two or three years ago?”

I didn’t want to get into a long story about why I needed another ring so I just said it didn’t work out.  Jenny was buried with the ring on her finger for neither I or anyone else wanted to remove it.

I selected a wedding ring for I didn’t want to waste time with a long engagement. Then I picked up a horse from our stable in town where we kept several horses and rode over to where Nell spent the night.

I knew it was early and the two girls might not be up yet but when I arrived Nell was up, dressed and preparing to head home.  I asked her if we could go for a walk before she left for home and she said as we went out the door, “What do you have on your mind?”

As we walked I stumbled around but finally got it out. “I know you will have several guys wanting to marry you and I certainly am one of them,” then I blurted it out, “Will you marry me?”

Before she could speak and say no I tried to build a case which would make me seem to be more worthy in her eyes.  

It was her turn to be flustered for this was the one thing she didn’t expect. Maybe ask for another date but marriage… no way.

I said “I make up my mind rather fast but am always sure when I speak.

“She regained her composure and said, “You are a fast thinker aren’t you?”

Yes was the only thing I could think to say so I said it, “yes.”

Then she did it again. She just stared at me with that stare of hers which caused me to say,  “If you rather…” 

She cut me off and said, “Well, you know how to sweep a girl off her feet don’t you?”  At this point I didn’t know what to say so I looked away and said nothing.

After what seemed to be about a week, she spoke and said one word, “When?”

Upon hearing that my legs went weak and I almost fell.  She said yes I was thinking. Yes, yes, yes, what she said went around and around in my mind.

I said, “Now, next week, a month from now, you decide but not too long from now if you please.”

For some reason she was counting on her fingers and said six weeks then.

Breathlessly I wanted to kiss her but was afraid to break the spell of the moment and cause her to change her mind.

Finally she spoke and said, “Aren’t you going to kiss the bride to be?”

Without speaking I covered her face with kisses until she said, ‘Down boy, just on the mouth please.”

I still couldn’t tell her how I was feeling for I never had felt like this before.

After some time and a lot of kisses, I asked her how she made up her mind so fast?

I thought don’t stare, please don’t stare at me.  Thankfully she didn’t but said, “Oh I made up my mind several weeks ago.”

I felt embarrassed but managed to get enough courage to say, “How did you know I would ask you?”

At that she just broke out laughing and winked at me a couple of times while I got redder and redder.

After being more embarrassed that I have ever been I said, “How?”  

She said, ‘Because I wanted you to, that’s how.”

I hastily retreated from that line of questions for I had been embarrassed enough.

We returned to the house for me to get my horse and Nell’s friend had just got up. I looked at Nell and said, don’t not yet and she got my meaning and nodded yes.

I didn’t want the news to get out yet, at least until I talked to Nell’s folks.

I as they say "Forked my hoss," and headed off at a gallop right in time to meet Nell's folks coming to pick her up in the buggy. I stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes but I wanted to get away from them, at least until Nell had an opportunity to tell them the news.

When I arrived at my Grandpa’s ranch I was still unsettled in my spirit. I told them I needed so time to my self so I was going swimming. It took about an hour and a half to get the swimming hole, actually a deep place in the river. I stripped off my clothes and made my famous dive onto the water. It must have rained upstream for the water was a little muddy.
Across the river was a creek which was pouring forth clear water so I figured I could clean up there.

I left my clothes on the other side of the river and I heard a big splash down stream. I thought I was alone so it startled me for a moment. I made it back across the river in record. My pants were a bit damp and hard to get back on.

I heard noise behind me and just got a glimpse of someone heading up stream toward me and a moment later Nell came into full view. She barely had any clothes on which cause me to redden up once again. She just laughed at me and said; I didn't know who it was up here so I decided to come and see.

That really set me back for she was all but naked and to think she was going to expose herself to someone was too much for me. She saw I was flustered and began to laugh as she took off the bit of clothes she had on.

I had managed to get my pants on before she appeared but I was starring at her as she was wringing the water out of her under garments. She said, “You know you could have turned around when you saw I wasn't dressed.”

That was too much for me, I said, ‘What is it with you girls both you and Jenny showed yourselves to me here at the river.”

She laughed and said Jenny wrote and told me about that so I said if she could do it then so can I. She said I stopped at your folks ranch and they told me where you were. I still wasn't satisfied with her explanation and said, ‘Yes but to show yourself like you did…”  

She caught me in the middle of a sentence and said, “I saw you buck naked while you were swimming so I thought fair is fair.”

By now she was standing right next to me. She then turned serious and said, “We both loved Jenny but she is only a memory now and you are my man now and soon we will be married.”

She went on saying; “It's time to grow up and realize there is no one else, just you and me.”

She said something else I had to think about which was; we have to play the hand we are dealt. I got her message loud and clear and from that time on there has only been me and her and to be frank… she is all I want.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Randle Chimes Chapter 12 - The Funeral and Jenny's sister Nell

Chapter twelve

A few months later we received the news that Jenny had passed in her sleep. This was difficult news to bear for all of us. They had contacted George and he sent the news on to the family. He said he would escort the coffin back home for the funeral.

George arrived two days later and brought my Ma with him. I was shocked and glad to see her at the same time. I didn’t know how grandpa would act to seeing her. She appeared well, in fact better than she had looked for a long while.

I put them up at the hotel for I didn’t dare take them out to the ranch. The funeral director picked up the coffin and the funeral was the next day. The preacher conducted the service grave side. The families gathered together and were in their own family groups.

It was when the casket was being lowered into the grave that Grandpa saw my Ma. He was visibly shaken when he saw her.

As the grave was being filled almost everyone was weeping.  My Ma was crying out loud along with most of the people for Jenny was loved by all. I couldn’t take it any longer and burst out crying so much my tears blurred my vision.

Someone came up behind me and placed their arms around me. I turned around and hugged the person tightly as I continued to weep. After a while I released whoever it was for I couldn’t see clearly.

Then I saw both my grandparents hugging my Ma.  Grandpa was saying under his breath; “I was wrong,” over and over and saying “Please forgive me.”

All grandma could say was; “My baby, my baby.”  We all went to the church and had a time of remembrance and dinner on the grounds.

I was surprised at myself crying like that.  I thought I had dealt with my loss and moved on but I still needed to express my grief that way.

Now things are different, the past is just the past and I’m moving on. My life is before me and I feel ready to think on having some female company. The only problem was there was no one I was interested in. I would meet new women but I wasn’t attracted to any of them.

My mind went back to the funeral and the person who comforted me. I didn’t know who it was but it was someone soft and kind. That was the only thing I could remember, she was soft and - - -.

I embarrassingly asked a couple of people if they knew who she was. If she was old or young and they said they didn’t know that any one consoled me.

I didn’t go over to Jenny’s folks anymore except for business.  On this last occasion Jenny’s dad Luke wasn’t there and her ma was busy cooking so Nell entertained me.  She said dinner will be ready soon and Dad should be back shortly.

This was the first time I had sat down with her and had a conversation. She was a year younger than Jenny and had wanted to go to a girl’s school instead of being stuck at the ranch. She talked about her time away from her folks and wondered if she had done the right thing.

As I listened to her I realized she was completely different from Jenny even though they were sisters. There was a reserve calmness about her that was a strong attraction to me.  Nell was a warm woman but without the boisterousness associated with most of the women I had met. She exuded confidence without being offensive.

As I was being mesmerized by her, Luke came in and broke the spell. I wanted to discuss once again the delivery of the cattle to the packing house. He and some of the others ranchers were part of the deal. We had to schedule when each rancher would have their steers at the rail head. After three hours we had everything sorted out and Luke said, “Well its supper time so let’s eat.”

I said, “I’m still full from dinner,” and he said, “Nonsense. A healthy growing boy like you could eat five times a day and still be hungry.”

I agreed to stay the night and ate a great meal. It had been some time since I had stayed overnight at Luke’s place. While Jenny was alive I stayed there often. This time it seemed strange for some reason. It was as if I was out of place although I knew I was welcome.

I talked with Luke for an hour after supper about the things relating to the coming winter; the selling of the saleable stock and getting the hay in to feed the stock through the winter.

Then all at once he said, “I’m going to join Ma in the bed,” and he got up and left with these words; “I’ll leave you young folks to discuss things that pertain to you.”

We just sat there for a minute looking at one another. Then I said, “What do you think he meant by that?”  Nell smiled and said, “I guess we should talk about things that pertain to us although I’m not sure what that means.”

I said, “I haven’t seen you at many of the doings going on in town, the dances and such.”

She said, “No I had enough of the social life while I was in school. Every week there was something you needed to attend.  I grew weary of what amounted to a lot of falseness.”

I said, ‘You must have a boyfriend.”

She said, “Well there a lot of want-a- bes but I found them boring.”

I said, “I was about to invite you to the dance on Saturday night but I guess that is out.”

She smiled and said, “Why don’t you ask and see what happens.”

I said, ‘No, there is a good chance I would be a lot more boring than the hot shots you met in school.”

She said, “Well if you didn’t mean it…”

I said, “Yes I did mean it, will you go?”

She kinda of looked out in space, waited, and then she smiled and said, “Yes it sounds like fun.”

After the dance I will stay at a friend’s house. I could see she was playing with me.

I went to bed and as I lay there waiting to go to sleep I wondered if I was doing the right thing dating Jenny’s sister. I concluded that after the dance Saturday I might be clued in as to whether I was on the right track.

Nell’s folks were going to the dance this Saturday which was something they didn’t always do.  It made me wonder if it had something to do with the fact I had a date with Nell.  Could that be the reason for them attending?

Luke kind of set the whole thing up but that meant she would be coming with them instead of me picking her up. I thought meeting her there made the date little less meaningful which was alright. I would be taking her to her friend’s house after the dance and that would be some time alone with her.

Saturday night came and I was ready for it. My grandparents decided to come for they still like to knock a step or two every once in a while.

But there again I wondered if it had something to do with Nell being my date for the night. I met her at the door when she arrived and as soon as we entered the ball room guys rushed over to us and was asking her for a dance as the evening wore on. She graciously said that she was with me for the evening and that I had asked for all her dances.

I received some hard looks and I said it would be alright if she wanted to dance with someone else. She said, “Only if you want me to, if you want to get rid of me for a while.”

That took the breath out of me and when I could speak I said; “Forget I said anything I was just being foolish. After all why should I share my pleasure with those yokels?”

She laughed at that and said; “No wonder Jenny loved you so, you are a very sweet boy.”

The very mention of Jenny’s name caused the pain of losing her rush to the surface again. It had only been a few months since we buried her.

After the first dance I came back to myself and put all my focus on Nellie. During the evening a couple of guys came and asked Nell to dance and her answer was always the same; no thank you, I’m with Randle. Those words gave me a boost in confidence; she was with me and didn’t have a roving eye looking for someone else as virtually every other girl was doing.

You could see games being played all over the room. Some trying to attract attention to trying to make their date jealous or get a fight started over them.

I noticed her father watching every move I was making and my grandpa had his eye on me also.  I felt like a fish swimming in a small pool of water.

Nell said for me to relax and not to be afraid to hold her a bit closer. She said, “You know I won’t break so loosen up.”

That helped a little but it also put a little more pressure on me for I knew her folks would see me doing that.

I thought if I was here with Jenny I would be squeezing her to me of course she and I had shared a lot of time getting to know each other.

After sweating it most of the evening I finally said to myself forget this and when the next slow dance began, I pulled her close to me so I could feel her body touching mine. She was a real live woman and I could begin to see me spending the rest of my life with her. That moment was a breakthrough for me and from that point on all my focus was on Nellie.

I could tell she had felt something also for she relaxed in my arms. After the dance I walked her to her friend’s house. We walked behind her friend and her date. I had become bold enough to put my arm around her as we walked and we didn’t talk.

When I felt like speaking some words to fill the silence I would pull her closer instead. When we arrived at the friend’s home her date said goodbye and Nell invited me in. Her friend said I’m worn out from being pushed around the whole evening so I’ll say good night.

I said perhaps I should go also, but Nell said, “Do you want to leave?”

I replied, “No, not yet.”

She said, “Well stay then.”

We just sat next to each other saying very little. Finally I got the nerve to speak some of what was going around in my mind.

I said, “I know you have dated a lot of guys who were pretty slick with words and I have only had one girl-friend so I am a bit clumsy with what some would consider to be courting but I have developed feeling for you. It isn’t something I’ve worked up it has just happened. I don’t know where this will lead to but it would be a good time to tell me you aren’t or couldn’t ever have feelings for me.”  

I went on and said; “Perhaps I shouldn’t have said this but there isn’t any sense wasting time on something that has no chance of amounting to something if you can understand what I mean.”

She just sat there and said nothing.

I thought to myself, “Boy I have made a fool out of myself.”

Then she looked directly into my eyes. I waited for her to speak and she just kept staring. I thought I don’t know if I could ever get used to her doing this. One thing that was encouraging she moved closer to me.  While still staring at me she leaned over, closed her eyes and kissed me.

Naturally I kissed her back… several times.

She said, ‘Did that answer your question?”  We embraced for some time until her friend came out and said, Perhaps  you better leave before this gets serious.”

I said, “Yes I better go.” I had to kiss her a couple of times while her friend watched.

As I left I heard her friend say; “Wow, you sure know how to get a man going, you need to teach me how to do that.