Monday, June 6, 2016
North of Austin - Chapter 18
When we went to bed Abby said, “I don’t think it will be necessary to bring up old news after all,” and that was the last I heard about her father’s new life. Except one night she said; “You know they aren’t divorced.”
I had been waiting for this to come up so I said, “I knew you would bring this up someday so just to ease your mind, remember when Len was back east and I filled in as judge?”
She said, “Yes I remember.”
“Well while he was gone I annulled your folk’s marriage and filed the annulment so far back in the files no one will ever find it.”
She said, “Does that make me illegitimate?”
I told her turn over and go to sleep.
She said, “Yes but…”
I said, “When I married you it made you legal, okay?”
She answered, “Okay, thank you.”
The days were passing and the pregnant duo was getting bigger as the days went by. Then it happened. Sally gave birth to a little girl. This put a lot of pressure on Abby for she wanted a girl also. Then a week later her dream came true. She was the mother of a screaming female who made twice the noise as both of the boys. I had kinda wanted to call her Missy but her mother overruled that and named her Sally Loraine.
She said, “I will call her Lorry and will shoot the first boy that comes near her.”
I chuckled at that and said, “If she is anything like her mother you better go buy a lot of shells for you will need them.”
Abby retreated a bit by saying; “Well they had better behave is all I have to say.”
I looked into Lorry’s blue eyes and thought, “Momma you got your work cut out for you.”
The second stage of weaning was taking place as the boys were taking to me more than their mother. The first stage was giving up the breast feeding. Somewhat reluctantly I might add.
After a year Abby told each in turn you’ve been pulling on these things long enough. Neither of them gave up their comfort zone without a fight. They would crawl up into her lap and slyly unbutton her top to try to stroke her. She put up with that for a short time and then it was hands off. So now it was time to find comfort from dad.
The boys being close in age almost progressed at the same speed. What Daniel did Sammie wanted to do. As I said before there were distinct differences in them but the way they related to me was the same.
My cousin Howie, had four boys and Cody the oldest one was great friends with Abner. He and Abner’s boys also got alone real well. He thought the sun rose and set in Abner and the boy stayed at his house most of the time. Abner had taught him to ride and shoot better than most. He taught him how to draw his pistol before some of the fastest gun hands could get theirs out of the holster. He also taught him how to fight to win. He said you fight to win whatever it takes. He said confine fighting like a gentleman to the boxing ring. I never saw any body whip Cody.
Our sheriff was getting a little long in the tooth as the saying goes so Abner took Cody to town and told the sheriff to hire him and he would last a little longer for Cody would do most of the difficult tasks for him.
The sheriff looked Cody over and said I’ll give him a try for these deputies I have are worthless. Several hoodlums in town were always causing the sheriff trouble and his deputies wouldn’t back him up. The sheriff gave Cody a badge and something he called a black jack.
He also gave him a black vest and a hat to match. His badge stood out on the vest and the hat made him look like a man with a mission. The first action Cody had was a call from the general store where a man didn’t want to pay for his goods.
The sheriff called him by name and told him “Pay up or get out.”
The man cursed and said he wasn’t paying for anything.
Cody stepped up and rapped the man across the nose with the black jack the sheriff had given him, smashing him to the floor.
The sheriff had a couple of men who were friends of the man take him to the doctor.
The doctor said to Cody if you have to hit these men this hard try to not to break so many bones. His nose will never be what we like to think is normal again. He likely will have to breathe through his mouth from now on.
Cody said “I gotcha doc. I shouldn’t have done so much permanent damage to him but maybe from now on people won’t deserve it as often.”
Doc said, “Maybe not, I know I won’t.”
The sheriff said, “Son you going to make a good deputy after I teach you a few things.”
The sheriff taught him some restraint and what to watch for when patrolling the town late at night. He said, “Always have a deputy on each side of the street when patrolling. That way you protect each other being able to see across the street things you might not see walking close to the buildings.”
Sheriff also taught him to shoot to kill but only when necessary.
“If they draw on you they mean to kill you, so stay calm and shoot fast and hit what you are aiming at.”
Years later Cody admitted that the things the old sheriff taught him either saved his life or from being shot up very badly.
As soon as the people got to know Cody the crime rate went down for no one wanted to tangle with him. The drunks sobered up rather quickly when he told them to settle down and behave themselves.
The sheriff walked proudly down the street with Cody walking behind him. He remained sheriff years longer than he would have had it not been for Cody backing him up.
The day came when he had to give the reins over to Cody and he did so proudly. He learned to love Cody like a son and Cody always respected him as his elder.
Cody had been working with two of his brothers teaching them and training them to be his main deputies. His other brother just didn’t take to facing down ornery men so he stayed home with his folks.
Our town was what you might call peaceful except for the week end drinking. Seldom would it get out of control but there was that occasion with someone from the outside - - thought he was tough.
They usually ended up with a head split open from being whacked with a pistol barrel and put in jail.
To Be Continued