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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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Randal Chimes Chapter 4 - Maturing and Learning to Fight
Randal was Learning to Fight with His Feet
Jenny’s family went to the big city on the same train as I
rode, so we got to sit together with her brothers keeping their eye on us. When they weren’t there her Ma and Pa were
We arrived at my town while they were going on to the
biggest town on the East coast. I got my few belongings and she kissed me several
times in full view of her mother.
Ma and her husband George met me and I was glad to be home
again. At times I feel a dark loneliness but then I snapped out of it in a few
minutes. I continued to do my routine of
boxing at the gym and shooting at targets. A birthday made me thirteen and the
workouts increase my muscle tone. I was beginning to look a bit manlier.
As the year went on I found myself changing much like Jenny
was. I also found myself being interested in some of the girls at school. Seems
I liked the ones who were worldlier than the reticent ones.
George took me aside and explained that I wasn’t ready to go
in the direction I was headed.His
advice didn’t altogether match my feelings but after several sessions I began
to get the picture.
He said it would be easy to get stuck with someone I didn’t
really want to live with the rest of my life especially if the ranch life was
to be my future. After all I was going to inherit my grandpa’s ranch someday.
I began to get anxious to return to the ranch and learn more
about ranching and what it took to run a large operation like grandpas.
While here at home with Ma, I had learned a lot more about
women from George and yes, from the girls I dated. Some bordered on being raunchy but they were
the best teachers.
The day was here. It was time to return to the ranch. I had
spent time riding and roping things like fence posts and was now able to lasso
whatever I aimed my rope at.
Once again Ma and George saw me off and George gave me one
last bit of information about diseases some of the town girls sometime carry.
The trip seemed much longer this time for I was anxious to do
what I needed to do. Then was the unanswered question about my relationship
with Jenny. How much has she changed? I
hoped, not as much as I have.
Pecos met me
at the station with my horse or the one I rode all the time when I was here
before.He said no one had ridden him
since I was gone so he might be a little frisky. Well he was just that he threw
me twice before I got him settled down.
thought it was funny so we both had a big laugh. I was glad to see him for he
had kept me from getting myself killed when I was here before.
Pecos said I
should sleep in the big house, for the men would get too friendly with me and
want to take advantage of that friendship which would lead to trouble.
He said I was just a boy before but now you are going to
have to act like a man.
He also said some of the hands were kinda ornery and might
challenge him to fight. He said sometimes it is better to talk it out than to
fight but occasionally it’s the other way around.
He said he would take up the argument and handle the matter
in order to keep me from getting beat up and then grandpa would shoot whoever
it was. I told him it would be best for me to fight my own battles and if I got
whipped we could keep it from grandpa. I said have been whipped before and it
won’t be the last time.
All of the information Pecos
gave me was right on and seldom would I overrule him.
When I got to the ranch everything was pretty much as I left
Right off when I was stabling my horse one of the hands said,
“Here’s that snot nosed kid who needs to learn a lesson or two and I’m the one
to teach him.”
I didn’t respond while some of the other hands were watching
to see if I would take it or respond.
I said, “You’re fired get you gear and be out of here in an
hour. If you didn’t ride your horse here then you will have to walk to town for
you don’t ride one of our horses.”
Everyone was shocked that I stood up to the smartass. He said a couple of things and took a swing at
me. I remembered what George had taught me about dirty fighting and I kicked
the man on the side of the knee. He folded up like a fan and was screaming with
his leg out of joint.
Grandpa heard the noise and came down to see what was
him what had occurred and grandpa said; “Throw him in a wagon and take him to
town and leave him.” Grandpa handed the
man his wages and that was the last we saw of him.
Grandpa came to the house and said, “You are here only a
minute and already ran off one of my hands.” He added, “Good riddance,” and gave me a big
hug till grandma pushed him out of the way and took over.
She gave me her usual kiss on the forehead and hugged me
some more. I heard him tell grandma “I don’t know who that boy’s father is but
he sure is my grandson.”
I determined to make the most of the time I had with my
grandfather this time.
I had already learned how to rope and ride as they say but
now it was the business I was interested in.
me up with one of grandpas hostlers, one that had been cut down for a fast
draw. He said we are going to town and buy you a new gun.
I felt like a fool wearing a tied down hostler but it added
a bit of a swagger to my walk. As we
came out of the gun smiths I ran into Jenny. She was surprised to see me, as I was to see
As soon as I recovered from the surprise, I pulled her to me
and kissed her and said I have waited for eight months for that kiss. She
started to say something but I kissed her as passionately as I possibly could
for a long time with all the passersby watching.
When she got her breath she said, “Now wait a minute I have
I looked into her eyes and said, ‘So have I but that doesn’t
mean that you aren’t still the one for me.”
She said, “I have a fiancé and we are going to be married
I said, “No you’re not for you are too young. You will only be fifteen and I want a fully
mature woman not a school girl. You and I will be married when you are eighteen
and not before. What kind of a man wants
to marry a girl this young.”
She answered, “He is twenty five and comes from a good
I said, “We’ll see about that. It sounds like he is a money grabber and since
your family has plenty of it you are the perfect target.”
I went on saying, “Where can I find this cad? I will get this straightened out right now but
answer me this; Have you had relations with him?”
She said, “Absolutely not.”
“Then you just saved his life for if you had…”
Jenny said, “He is down at the railroad station getting our
tickets to New York.”
I said, ‘Fine this will be settled in a few minutes.”
Sending a wire to George, I asked him to check this man out
I asked Pecos if he knew
the man by sight and he said, “I think so.”
When I told Jenny to give me the ring he gave her, she
Trying to scare her, I said, “I will cut your finger off if you don’t give it to
me right now.”
When I pulled out my knife she took off the ring and pressed it
into my hand as hard as she could.
I said, “That’s good for I don’t want my wife to be short a
Pecos and I went down to the station and Pecos
pointed him out.
The man was a good looking guy and about two inches taller
than me and a little huskier than I am. I went up to him and told him the
wedding was off and for him to get him a ticket out of town on the next train.
I said, “It doesn’t matter where it is going just get on it.”
He became irritated and wanted to know who I thought I was.
I told him “The Pinkerton was checking him out right now and
he would be in jail in a couple of hours if he was still in town.”
With that he swung at me and missed. I used the ole kick to
the side of the knee to settle him down and told the station master to give me
a ticket on the next train he said it was a cattle train and I could ride free
if I didn’t mind riding with the steers. I said fine. He said it is about to
leave now so you better hurry. Pecos and I
found a car that wasn’t very full and threw the Romeo in.
Jenny had watched the whole thing and said for me not to
come around for she didn’t want to see me ever again.
I told her if that was what she wanted then I wouldn’t come
courting her ever.
Pecos said, “Whooee,
that gal is going to be hard for you to put your brand on.”
I said, “Now that we’ve taken care of that business let’s go
On the way there I said under my breath, ‘She will be mine
in a couple of years if she knows what is good for her.”
We caught up with her and her driver on the way home and Pecos and I rode by without recognizing her.Pecos tipped
his hat, but I kept looking straight ahead.
She grabbed the reins and whipped the horses to a gallop and
ran me off the road.
she is a little riled or something. I laughed and said she is a woman scorned.