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Monday, November 28, 2016

THE RELUCTANT BRIDE Chapter One


 

Sadie Waiting for the Train and Her New Adventure
 
 Chapter One

“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 slowest.  

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 that night.

 

To be continued

Monday, November 14, 2016

Randle Chimes chapter 14 The Wedding


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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 quickly.

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 Nell.

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 families.

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 from him.

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, flour.

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 ones.

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 the harness.

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 dinner time.

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.

Epilogue
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 grounds.

It was getting on in the afternoon by the time the people left.

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 disturbed.

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.

The End

Monday, November 7, 2016

RANDLE CHIMES Chapter 13 Randle Proposes to Nell


A Plain Gold Ring was All I wanted
 
Chapter thirteen

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