|WAS HE ABBY'S DAD ??|
Monday, May 23, 2016
North of Austin Chapter 16
It was three years later when Pa and I sent Ben down to
to buy some cattle. We had a large contract to fill and we were a
thousand head short. We wanted to drive the cattle from Mexico to our
range and then feed them out for about six-eight weeks. That would give them
time to fatten up and their new brands time to heal. Mexico
Ben finally got home with the herd and had brought several Vaqueros’ with him. He kept them here until we had branded the new herd and then paid them off.
In the meantime Ben said he thought he had seen Vince at the ranch where he had bought the cattle. There was a man who spoke both English and Mexican fluently. He said he couldn’t be a hundred percent sure but he sure looked and sounded like him.
I questioned Ben for some time and he said the man drove a hard bargain and we were a few hundred dollars short of the amount the man wanted. He let me have the cattle with the promise I would return with the money very soon.
Ben went on to say this man was married to a very pretty young Mexican girl and had two babies with her.
I had to ask Ben once more, “How sure are you it is Vince?” He replied, “as sure as I can be without really knowing.”
I got him to promise he wouldn’t ever tell anyone what he had told me because it could be a big problem for a lot of people if was true.
I knew Ben to be pretty sharp and he wouldn’t be easily fooled so I decided to go and see for myself.
I told Abby where I was going but not why. I contacted Long Hair and asked if he wanted to go with me and he declined. He said he just got him a new young wife and wanted to spend a lot of time with her. I guess I couldn’t blame him for I would have wanted to do the same.
I took a couple of hands who had family south of the border and the Vaqueros’ who came with Ben and we headed south. We took the chuck wagon they had brought with the cattle to return it to the Mexican rancher.
Six days later we arrived at Grande El Rancho a few miles below the border. We were greeted by the owner and were given the royal treatment. They quickly decided to have a fiesta on the spot. The Vaqueros’ were glad to be back with their families and they introduced me to their family members. They said their names so fast I couldn’t remember hardly any of them but no matter.
On the evening the owner of the hacienda brought out his grandchildren. I noticed a couple of them were a little whiter than the others even though they were sun tanned. Their mother was a very pretty young woman in her twenties. A short time later her husband appeared and to my surprised it was Abby’s father.
I recognized him by a scar he had on his neck. He had been cut by a defendant he had found guilty and the scar stood out like no other I have seen. He wore Mexican garb with sideburns and a mustache yet it was him.
I could understand the Mexican language very well but only spoke English around Mexicans. I wanted to know what they were saying without them knowing I knew what they were saying. The two hands that came down with me were at their family’s home and were to meet me in a week.
During this time I wanted to find out who Vince had become and how all this came about. As it turned out he was attacked on the way to the town where he was to hold court. Apparently it was one of the defendants or plaintiffs depending on how you look at it who wasn’t sure of his position and had attacked him leaving him for dead.
When he came to - - he couldn’t remember anything about who he was or where he was from. Some of the Mexicans from this hacienda found him and brought him there. He physically got well but he still couldn’t remember anything about his past. Since he spoke Mexican fluently he had no trouble fitting in.
He became attracted to one of the Patron’s daughters and married her. He now has two children and she is pregnant again. All in all it seemed to me to be an okay arraignment. What was to be gained by trying to upset the life he now enjoyed?
Having made that decision I headed home as I wondered how to handle things when I arrived home and what to tell Abby.
TO BE CONTINUED