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Sunday, June 12, 2016

North of Austin chapter 19


Any Job Will Do
 
Chapter nineteen

One day a man about twenty two showed up in town and was at loose ends looking for a job.

He stopped me on the street and asked if I knew where he could find employment.

“Find employment,” I thought?  “This man has to be from the big city talking like that.”

I spotted Abner across the street so I told the young man to come with me and he did. After chatting with Abner I asked if he could use another hand and he said; “Well I could use someone to clean out the stables.”

I turned to the young man and asked what his name was. He said Lawrence but most called him Larry.

I said, “Larry will do - - just go with Abner and he will give you a job.

I must say this city boy went through hell for no one cut him any slack but he got tougher each and every day.  He learned how to care for the stock and began to ride.  Eventually he began to break horses, rope and all of the cowboy stuff.

Until he arrived at the ranch, he had never shot a gun.  Abner gave him one of his repeating rifles and taught him how to shoot.  As it turned out he had a keen eye and could hit anything he shot at.

So far he had spent all his time working on the ranch then one day Abner said for him to go to one of the farms and help out there.  Larry felt he was starting all over in the learning process.  He found farming was a little harder than ranching in many ways.  Up at dawn and plowing until dark, planting, weeding with a plow and hoe, and all of the other chores was a job to be respected.

After a year Abner called him back to the ranch which pleased Larry to no end.

Larry had been tested in both ranching and farming and Abner was pleased with the result of his labors.  Abner had protected Jeanie Ann after her bad experience to the point that no man would come near her. She was satisfied with the arrangement for the trauma she suffered was still having some affects. 
 
He was at the point now where he wanted her to find a man who was right for her and would consider getting married.  He thought he had found the right man in Larry. He was polite, well educated, good looking and wasn’t a trifling type like so many cowhands.  He had stood up to every task they threw at him and Abner was pleased with him.  Jeanie Ann was twenty years old and should have already been married so time was wasting.  
 
Abner told Larry to come to supper this evening which he did after cleaning up.  While eating he said to Larry, you know Jeanie Ann and Larry said yes but I haven’t got acquainted with her. Abner said well we should do something about that.  After supper you can sit in the parlor and get to know each other a bit better.

Jeanie Ann and Larry exchanged glances and were wondering what Abner had in mind. They adjourned to the parlor and after sitting and exchanging a few remarks Larry said, “Maybe I should go and get ready for work tomorrow.”

Abner said, “Sit down and get acquainted.”

After an hour the two of them began to loosen up.

Abner asked Larry, “Did you enjoy the food tonight?”

He said, “Very much it was so much better than our regular chow.”

Abner said, “You come again tomorrow and have supper again and get acquainted some more.”

This made Larry nervous for he knew how protected Abner was of Jeanie Ann. He didn’t want to end up getting shot.

This went on for two weeks and now Larry was expected every night. There was the usual time in the parlor. Now added to that was going for a ride for an hour or two each day.

Abner was getting a bit impatient for he wanted to see more progress in the steps to matrimony.

Actually there was more happening than he knew about. The fact was Larry had his eye on her before Abner began his attempt at matchmaking but he was afraid of showing any interest in Jeanie Ann; and she had cast an eye in his direction as often as she could.

She took Abner by the arm and sat him down at the table with her mother.

She said now that you have found me a husband when do you think the wedding should be?

Abner looked stunned for he thought he had set it up in such a way that - - - .

Her mother spoke up and said, “Will a month be enough notice?”

Larry just said, “Yes that will be okay.”

Abner said, “Don’t you think he should ask me for your hand?”

Jeanie said, “He asked me so consider yourself asked.” She said, “I told him about my bad experience and he said it didn’t matter.”   A friend asked her, “But do you think he meant it because men don’t want girls who have had a man.”

Jeanie Ann answered, “Well he said after the first night all women are the same so don’t worry.”

I liked Larry well enough but there was something that bothered me about him. During the time he had been working at the ranch he hadn’t spoken about his family and any attempt to get him to talk about his past was unanswered.

I decided to have the detective agency check him out and come to find out he was from a different city than he had told us at first.

He was from Chicago originally and the town he said he came from was just a place he stayed at for a month or two.

None of that bothered me but the agency found out he was from a wealthy family that didn’t know where he was at and his family had no idea he was going to be married.

Upon further investigation I found out that an uncle was trying to take over Larry’s father’s holdings and leave him destitute. The uncle didn’t have much of a claim but the father wasn’t fighting very hard to ward him off.

I decided to brace Larry and see how he felt about the uncle stealing his father’s estate. I gave him a copy of the detective report and at first he was a bit nonplussed about the whole thing - - until I asked him if he loved the uncle more than his father.

This riled him a bit and he said, “Absolutely not.”  He hated his uncle because he was a leach and had lived off of his father most of his life.

I went into the details a far as I knew them and told him what must be done to defeat the uncle’s suit. I asked about his father’s attorney’s and he said there was only one who could be trusted the rest were crooked.

We decided on a plan and headed to Chicago and I met with the attorney he could trust. We decided the first thing to do was get his father to give Larry full power of attorney. Without anyone knowing about it this was done.

Now Larry had full control of his father’s estate. We filed a suit against his uncle for fraud and filed to get all claims dismissed against the father’s estate. With the threat of many other suits being filed against him and the lawyers that were working with him folding and they quickly paid back the money they had stolen from his father.

The father apologized for breaking up Larry and a girl he was in love with. It was this that caused Larry to leave home and end up at the ranch. He met the girl he had been in love with and they renewed their relationship with the father’s blessing.

This left me with the task of telling Jeanie Ann the whole story and that Larry had decided he was going to marry his old girlfriend.

I wasn’t very popular around the home place for some time but eventually they all saw it was for the best.
TO BE CONTINUED

1 comment:

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

    ReplyDelete

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