|A Plain Gold Ring was All I wanted|
Monday, November 7, 2016
RANDLE CHIMES Chapter 13 Randle Proposes to Nell
As I think back over the years it was again the memory of that evening I laid Jenny to rest in my mind.
I realized I couldn’t go through life loving someone who died and be married to another. It wouldn’t be fair to the new love to be sharing myself with someone else, someone who the new love couldn’t compete with. I wanted someone who gave her whole self to me and in turn I would do the same to her.
Instead of going home with the grand folks I stayed in town. As I thought back it had been almost two year since Jenny fell ill and I saw her last. As long she was still alive there was still some hope but now she was only a pleasant memory.
Especially after kissing Nell I knew I had to have some female company. If Jenny had lived we might have had a family started by now. Sister or not I admitted to myself I wanted Nell for my wife… err maybe a girlfriend at first and then a wife, but I felt time was a wasting.
I went to see a man who always has a supply of rings for sale and told him what I wanted and he asked; “Didn’t I sell you an engagement two or three years ago?”
I didn’t want to get into a long story about why I needed another ring so I just said it didn’t work out. Jenny was buried with the ring on her finger for neither I or anyone else wanted to remove it.
I selected a wedding ring for I didn’t want to waste time with a long engagement. Then I picked up a horse from our stable in town where we kept several horses and rode over to where Nell spent the night.
I knew it was early and the two girls might not be up yet but when I arrived Nell was up, dressed and preparing to head home. I asked her if we could go for a walk before she left for home and she said as we went out the door, “What do you have on your mind?”
As we walked I stumbled around but finally got it out. “I know you will have several guys wanting to marry you and I certainly am one of them,” then I blurted it out, “Will you marry me?”
Before she could speak and say no I tried to build a case which would make me seem to be more worthy in her eyes.
It was her turn to be flustered for this was the one thing she didn’t expect. Maybe ask for another date but marriage… no way.
I said “I make up my mind rather fast but am always sure when I speak.
“She regained her composure and said, “You are a fast thinker aren’t you?”
Yes was the only thing I could think to say so I said it, “yes.”
Then she did it again. She just stared at me with that stare of hers which caused me to say, “If you rather…”
She cut me off and said, “Well, you know how to sweep a girl off her feet don’t you?” At this point I didn’t know what to say so I looked away and said nothing.
After what seemed to be about a week, she spoke and said one word, “When?”
Upon hearing that my legs went weak and I almost fell. She said yes I was thinking. Yes, yes, yes, what she said went around and around in my mind.
I said, “Now, next week, a month from now, you decide but not too long from now if you please.”
For some reason she was counting on her fingers and said six weeks then.
Breathlessly I wanted to kiss her but was afraid to break the spell of the moment and cause her to change her mind.
Finally she spoke and said, “Aren’t you going to kiss the bride to be?”
Without speaking I covered her face with kisses until she said, ‘Down boy, just on the mouth please.”
I still couldn’t tell her how I was feeling for I never had felt like this before.
After some time and a lot of kisses, I asked her how she made up her mind so fast?
I thought don’t stare, please don’t stare at me. Thankfully she didn’t but said, “Oh I made up my mind several weeks ago.”
I felt embarrassed but managed to get enough courage to say, “How did you know I would ask you?”
At that she just broke out laughing and winked at me a couple of times while I got redder and redder.
After being more embarrassed that I have ever been I said, “How?”
She said, ‘Because I wanted you to, that’s how.”
I hastily retreated from that line of questions for I had been embarrassed enough.
We returned to the house for me to get my horse and Nell’s friend had just got up. I looked at Nell and said, don’t not yet and she got my meaning and nodded yes.
I didn’t want the news to get out yet, at least until I talked to Nell’s folks.
I as they say "Forked my hoss," and headed off at a gallop right in time to meet Nell's folks coming to pick her up in the buggy. I stopped and chatted with them for a few minutes but I wanted to get away from them, at least until Nell had an opportunity to tell them the news.
When I arrived at my Grandpa’s ranch I was still unsettled in my spirit. I told them I needed so time to my self so I was going swimming. It took about an hour and a half to get the swimming hole, actually a deep place in the river. I stripped off my clothes and made my famous dive onto the water. It must have rained upstream for the water was a little muddy.
Across the river was a creek which was pouring forth clear water so I figured I could clean up there.
I left my clothes on the other side of the river and I heard a big splash down stream. I thought I was alone so it startled me for a moment. I made it back across the river in record. My pants were a bit damp and hard to get back on.
I heard noise behind me and just got a glimpse of someone heading up stream toward me and a moment later Nell came into full view. She barely had any clothes on which cause me to redden up once again. She just laughed at me and said; I didn't know who it was up here so I decided to come and see.
That really set me back for she was all but naked and to think she was going to expose herself to someone was too much for me. She saw I was flustered and began to laugh as she took off the bit of clothes she had on.
I had managed to get my pants on before she appeared but I was starring at her as she was wringing the water out of her under garments. She said, “You know you could have turned around when you saw I wasn't dressed.”
That was too much for me, I said, ‘What is it with you girls both you and Jenny showed yourselves to me here at the river.”
She laughed and said Jenny wrote and told me about that so I said if she could do it then so can I. She said I stopped at your folks ranch and they told me where you were. I still wasn't satisfied with her explanation and said, ‘Yes but to show yourself like you did…”
She caught me in the middle of a sentence and said, “I saw you buck naked while you were swimming so I thought fair is fair.”
By now she was standing right next to me. She then turned serious and said, “We both loved Jenny but she is only a memory now and you are my man now and soon we will be married.”
She went on saying; “It's time to grow up and realize there is no one else, just you and me.”
She said something else I had to think about which was; we have to play the hand we are dealt. I got her message loud and clear and from that time on there has only been me and her and to be frank… she is all I want.
TO BE CONTINUED