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Monday, April 25, 2016

NORTH OF AUSTIN - Chapter 12

Sweet Jeanie Ann
Chapter twelve

Today when we got home Abby announced she was with child for the second time.  I said , "I haven’t got used to Daniel yet and we are going to have another one?" She said, “Yep we sure are.”

I replied, “If we keep this up we are going to have to build a bigger house.”

A couple of months passed without any more upsetting things happening until Jeanie Ann, Abner’s oldest girl who was fourteen years old went to a dance and box supper where she was molested by an older man.  We set out looking for him but had no result finding him.

Days went by and everyone had to get back to their business so the hunt stopped.
Jeanie Ann came to stay with us for she wanted to be near to Abby.
I had to go out to the storage room to get some more covers because winter was coming on and as I was leaving I saw the army singletree I had used on the men that beat Howie and Ada. It looked different for some reason and then I realized that it had been cleaned. The last time I saw it there was a thick layer of dust on it. But now it was completely free from any sign of dirt.

All of a  sudden I got the picture of what had happened to the man that molested little Jeanie Ann and the reason we never could find him.

I knew it wasn’t me that had used the singletree and washed it. It had to be someone who knew what I did and what I done with it. As far as I knew there was only one person other than Abby who knew the whole story of the singletree which caused me to stop thinking about what might have happened. I don’t know for sure what occurred and I don’t want to know.

The one thing that came to mind was the fence rows had been cut off on the farming part of the home place. This was necessary because of the shade they provided would prevent any crops from growing there.

About every five years this had to be done and the brush had to be burned. The fires were extremely hot from burning the small trees that were cut down. We burned any dead animals in those fires that happened to die around that time. If the molester happed to fall into the fire no one would ever find or hear from him again.

Jeanie Ann was still staying at my house for she felt like Abby was her older sister. They would chat away about girl stuff and she was spoiling Daniel. She either held him or played with him and he loved it. The baby in Abby’s stomach was beginning to move quite a bit and Jeanie Ann liked to feel it moving.
Her mother would come over every so often to see if she was ready to come home but so far she always said, “Not yet.”

Up until the time I decided the culprit had been dealt with, I was too busy to stop and think about what had happened and the after problems. However for the last four weeks I had been getting more and more upset about the whole issue.

I wanted to do something to even the playing field somehow, but with him dead what more could I do. The circuit judge had been a friend of my Pa for many years. He also knew Abner and Jeanie Ann. After giving it some thought I went to see the Judge and said we were suing the molester in absentia.

Since there was no evidence the culprit wasn’t still alive the judge agreed to hear the case.
He said for me to bring the papers to him and he would rule on the case.  I told him I just happen to have the papers with me and gave them to him.
He looked them over and ruled in favor of Jeanie Ann after I told him there were no other members of his family that could contest the matter. He ruled that all properties including bank accounts were now the property of Jeanie Ann. He said the county clerk was away because of a death in the family and he was filling in for him.

He said if I would go down to the clerk’s office with him he would sign everything over to Jeanie Ann. The whole transaction had taken less than two hours. The judge said we couldn’t undo what has been done but he hoped what we did would help her in the future.

Jeanie Ann was now the owner of a thousand acre ranch with over twelve hundred head of cattle half of which was ready for the market. She had a bank account of 15,000.00 dollars. Actually none of which meant much to her at her young age for she had everything she ever wanted up till now.

I took all the deeds, bank books and paper work to my Pa’s and Abner and explained what I had done and told them it was up to them to set the ranch in order for I had done my part.

It took me two hours for me to convince them what I was telling them was real. Eventually they believed me and said tomorrow they would go over to the ranch and check out the ranch hands, the foreman and the rest of the people working there. They wanted to make sure no one had designs on stealing anything on the ranch.

Abner decided to move onto the ranch for there was too much at stake to trust it to the foreman. As soon as the hands heard Abner was moving in some quit and left the country for they knew Abner was all business.  Abner suspected they had already stolen a few head and they were afraid he would find out.

After a couple of months Lilly, Jeanie Ann’s mother wanted her to return home. Jeanie Ann said she was going to stay until Abby had her baby and a few months after to help her. Lilly didn’t argue but she was missing her first born.
She realized what her daughter had gone through and being with Abby was the best thing for her at the present.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Robert for sharing your story with us here at Tell Me a Story.


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