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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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“Oh, how lucky you are to
have landed Charles for a husband. He is so handsome and has money of his own.
Oh Sadie if only I were you,” so said Sadie's best friend Jenny.
Jenny had been gushing over
Charles for a half hour and Sadie was tired of hearing how wonderful Charles
was. She had known Charles for several years now and wasn't sure she wanted him
for her bridegroom. It was the same with going to college. She didn't feel the
necessity for all this education she had gotten.
Now she was trapped into a
coming marriage that she wasn't as sure about as were all her friends, family
and Charles himself.
It was obvious to Sadie that
he could hardly restrain himself from wanting to jump on her and pound her. For
some reason this didn't appeal to her. She knew this was part of the marriage
arrangement but with him it was not what she felt she wanted to submit to.
Then sometime before the
wedding date she received a list of available jobs for women from the college
she attended. Her eyes fell upon a teacher’s position in Montana. She immediately wrote and stated
she would like to take the position and gave her qualifications.
The wedding was only two
weeks away when she received the letter saying she was hired if she still
wanted the job. She packed her belonging and left a note explaining where she
was going and why.
As she settled in her seat on
the train a feeling of uncertainty came over her. She realized she was going to
a town in the west that she knew nothing about. The people, their culture and
their habits were sure to be foreign to her. These thoughts began to unnerve
her as she listened to the wheels on the track. For the next three days these
thoughts became torturous.
On the third day the
conductor walked through the train saying “Grassland next stop.”
As she looked out the window
of the train everything was dried up and there wasn't any grass to be seen
anywhere. She told the conductor to make sure all of her baggage was set off at
the station. The conductor told her to get to the steps and be ready to get off
for the train would hardly stop at the station and she was the only one who was
getting off there.
He was right the train never
came to a complete stop and she had to jump off when the train came to it's
Two men threw her baggage off
some of which missed the small platform. One of her suitcases came open and
scattered her goods hither and yon. As the train cleared the road next to the
station a wagon crossed the tracks and stopped.
A farmer looking man got off
the wagon and proceeded to help her pick up her belongings. Some of the items
he helped her with were of a personal nature and caused both of them to blush.
He told her the town was down the road a ways and he would help her with her
stuff if she wished him to. She looked down the road and said she would be
grateful if he would help her for she had several pieces of luggage.
He introduced himself as
Lacey and wanted to know where she wanted to go to. She said the county clerk's
office. When the arrived there Lacey went in with her.
Right off, the county clerk
started getting fresh with her until Lacey told him to back off and give her
the information she needed and stop the untoward talk.
The clerk took offence at
that but said, “Take her down to the school house to the house behind it. That
would be her place to live while she taught there.”
When they got to the house
behind the school house Lacey carried her suitcases into the house after he
threw a couple of snakes and one varmint out while she stood on one of the
chairs in the living room.
Lacey had to laugh at that
and after Sadie got over her fright she joined in laughing with him. After he
got her baggage in he took her shopping and introduced her around. Finally he
told her he had to head home and hoped everything worked out for her. He said
he only came to town every couple of months but would look in on her the next
time he came to town.
After thanking him he left
and loneliness began to set in on her. She had never felt as alone as she did
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Grandpa suggested hard work would rest my mind.
Chapter fourteen (Conclusion)
I must admit that leaving the river wasn't easy for we had
gained a new intimacy there. From there
it was just one more step to becoming one in a spiritual sense.
The next six weeks seemed to be an eternity away and it was
clear I had to involve myself in an activity that would help the time to pass
I told Grandpa my predicament and he squelched a smile while
knowingly said he understood.
He said what I needed was some hard labor, something that
would make me so tired that all I could think about was getting some rest.
He said there was forty acres he hadn't planned on planting
this year but there was no reason not to go ahead and get a crop this year. He
said he had two teams I could use them alternating every other day or using
them just a half day each day. He said which ever way I decided on the teams
would always be fresh.
To be honest I wasn't to excited for his suggestion but I
knew it would take my mind off of the wedding. I managed to get word to Nell that I would see
her Sunday and tell her what I was doing.
The next morning I hitched up one of the teams and after
breakfast headed off to the field. As I figured it - - there was more than
enough time to plow the entire forty acres and drag and harrow it making it
ready for planting.
I had no interest in putting the crop in while dreading the
rain we were sure to get. Dirt and water equaled mud and I hated to try to plow
a muddy field. The only good thing about the rain was the teams got some extra
rest which they would need.
Come Sunday I was glad to go to church. I surely wasn't cut
out to be a dirt farmer. The thing I hated the most was your shoes were filled
with the new turned soil and was uncomfortable to walk in.
When I saw Nell the juices began to flow in my mouth. I
didn't know what that was all about but I knew it was somehow connected with
She wanted me to have dinner at her folks place which I
agreed to but told them I couldn't stay long for I had to get home and get
ready for the coming week.
During dinner I talked to Nell's folks about everything
except the wedding. Seemed the subject was
off limits at this stage of the engagement.
After we finished eating, I helped clear the table and her
mother told us to scat and visit until I had to go. Nell brought me up to date
about how everything was going and I tried my best to show some interest in
what she was doing. To me it seemed like
a lot of extra work but it was so very important to the females in both
I had to stop at the mercantile store and pick up some new
harness for the teams. The store owner grumbled for having to open up for
business on Sunday but he didn't dare to refuse because we bought so much stuff
I had brought the buckboard from him, and also picked up a
lot of miscellaneous stuff for the ranch like barbed wire, bacon, beans and,
When I arriver at the ranch I got a couple of hands to
unload the buckboard while I swapped out the new harness parts for the worn out
The ranch hands looked puzzled because I was going to do the
plowing myself when I could have hired three or four farmers to do the work in
a weeks time. I didn't bother to explain my reasons I just went on repairing
After finishing that task I felt proud of the job I had
done. Both teams had their own set of harness and at least one extra set in
case something broke.
The next morning I was up farmer style before daybreak for
breakfast. We men were proud about the work we did but as I was eating it
struck me that the women were up earlier than the men to fix breakfast for us
and start preparing the rest of the day’s chores.
I never said anything but I had to admit the women really
earned their keep.
I hitched one of the teams to the wagon with the new plows
and other equipment and tied the other team to the back of the wagon. Just
after daybreak I was hooked up and plowed my first furrow.
This continued till about ten when I took a break and
watered the horses. I gave them a fifteen minute rest and then it was on till
Once again I watered the morning team and removed their
harness. Then I let them graze till time to head back to the ranch house. Just
before evening came I stripped the harness from the second team and put it on
the wagon with the first.
I rode one of the horses and led the others to the barn and
then rubbed them all down. One of the hands had put some feed in the corral so
I let them loose to feed and rest till morning.
For the next three weeks this continued the same each day.
My feet hurt and I was sore all over. It made me appreciate the work the
farmers did year after year. I had brought in another team so every third day a
team had a full day off.
With the fields plowed I took the next and final week
running the drags and harrows over the fields and prepared them for planting. Once finished I turned the planting over to
our farm hands.
It was one more week until I would be a married man. I had
waited for this moment for all my life and I felt both excited and worried.
I knew the mechanics of being a husband, the part and
responsibilities the man played so it wasn't that but how I was going to
measure up to the job had me bothered not just a little.
I took a lot of good natured teasing about the coming event.
A lot of it revolved around the wedding night and talk of a shivaree where the
bride was whisked away and kept the whole night.
Although I knew it was all in fun I still had a little
apprehension about the whole idea.
The wedding day arrived and I drove the decorated buggy to
the church. Nell and family were late
and I was left standing down in the front of the church with the preacher.
After the longest ten minutes of my life Nell and her father appeared in the
back of the church and started walking down the aisle in step with the music.
Everything went off well! Nell was the most beautiful woman
I had ever seen. We and the family greeted everyone and had a feast on the
It was getting on in the afternoon by the time the people
Nell and I headed to the hotel where we would spend the
first night of married life.
Since my family owned the hotel we had the entire
top floor to our selves with a couple of tough guards making sure we were not
Once in a while I think about Jenny and wonder what my life
would have been like with her instead of Nell.
My conclusion is the same always; it couldn't have been any
better for Nell was simply wonderful.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.