Monday, March 28, 2016
North of Austin - chapter Seven
Chapter Seven The Dance
Sometimes we went out to the farm and had Sunday dinner with my folks. Usually there were some of the other brothers and their families there also so it was good to see them all. Their kids were growing up fast. A couple of the boys were big enough to do some plowing now and that didn’t seem possible.
Abner called me aside and asked how things were going and I told him everything was pretty much as he explained things to me. I thanked him for all his advice for it saved me a ton of embarrassment. He said if there was anything else he hadn’t covered then just ask him. I said Abby had a pretty good handle on everything and she had taught me a lot since we got hitched. Abner said I was lucky to get a good woman like Abby and I agreed with him. He asked if we were going to the dance on Saturday and I told him Abby wants to go so we would be there.
The week had passed and Saturday was here and time for the dance. It was held in the community hall which was quite large. The family had showed up and some were out on the floor having a good time when we arrived. My nephews reminded me of myself just a few years ago. I was about their age when I first spotted Abby and decided she was mine. It took a few years before I finally convinced her that was the case but she was fond of me from the start also. They seemed so young to be into girlfriends but that was me in those days and I felt so big and sure about things in those days.
The dance had just started when four mean looking men came storming in with an air of intimidation about them. My family left the floor and stood near the wall where the sheriff was standing. All the men were big men but one of them was a lot bigger than the others. The three smaller of the group had grabbed some of the girls pulling them out on the floor and were dragging them around the floor. I guess what they were doing was what they called dancing.
When the monster of a man spied Abby he come stomping across the floor and stood in front of her. He reeked with some foul odor when he said; “you mine.”
I glanced over at the sheriff and saw he wasn’t going to do anything so I stepped between the giant and Abby and said; “no.” I expected to get whipped but not as quick as it happened. I found myself being driven almost all the way across the dance floor and was waiting for the pain to catch up with me and then it hit, hard. The other three were laughing at me as I lay there writhing in pain.
Then I saw Abner pull his hand out of his pocket and just saw a flash of his arm shooting out followed by a series of blows. Then along side of me lay this monster of a man. He was bloodied, unconscious, and I could see a bone jutting out of his jaw. One of my brothers pulled me to my feet and steadied me for I was yet unsteady on my feet. Then I saw Abner go over to the other three and he asked if any of them wanted to take up where the giant had left off.
They all said no they just came to dance. Abner told them to take this trash out of here but to stop by the doctor and get his jaw wired back together. Later the doctor said his jaw was broken in four places and may not ever be able to eat very well. As it turned out the doctor was right he had trouble chewing and wasn’t exactly right in the head ever again.
Other than being pretty sore I was in good shape. Everybody settled down and had some punch and sandwiches while the blood was cleaned up then the dance continued. Abby could knock a mean step but had to dance with some of the other men for I was just too sore to keep up with her.
I noticed that the men kept their distance while dancing with her for they could see Abner out of the corner of their eye. I talked to the sheriff and asked why he didn’t intervene when that man accosted Abby and he said that man broke up the last sheriff and he wasn’t able to be the sheriff after that.
That disgusted me so instead of continuing talking to him I asked Abner how he manage to hit that man as hard as he did and he showed me a pair of brass knucks.
He laughed at me and asked when are you going to learn to fight?
I told him I didn’t know but he had to admit I can take a pretty good punch.