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Headstall

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  1. Headstall

    Leaves

    I love writing haiku as well, and these are marvelous snapshots of the beauty imposed by a change of seasons. Stained glass dawn... so evocative and wonderful. Great work, buddy!
  2. Well said, my friend. Less? Well I guess it's closer to five now, and PATIENCE is a great virtue. I think you have it right that Boone moving on could be the best thing for both men. I guess we'll find out.
  3. Thanks, spyke. That's awesome feedback! It sometimes takes a story time to hit its stride and I think this one is doing that now. I loved Onim's comment, and I agreed with it... and now yours. In an ideal situation, the boys would stick together, and take this journey together, but it's looking like that isn't going to happen unless Coy changes his mind... that's where his 'nose' comes in. Boone , as you say, has sacrificed a lot, and for his own sanity, he needs to pursue a more fulfilling life. I'll go further and say Coy has finally been shown the truth now... as we can see in this passage... “Coy, don’t! Let’s not do this again. No sense tying each other down… I know you don’t understand that, but I haven’t been of a good mind for a long time. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to go up like a stick of dynamite, and other times I feel so hopeless I don’t even want to get out of my bedroll, and I have to think some before I can recollect what I did the day before… cause they’re all the same.” Coy’s eyebrows rose for a few seconds, and his head moved back as if he’d been slapped. “First I’m hearing this. Why didn’t you say something?” “Weren’t no one’s concern but mine.” Coy opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out before he closed it again, but Boone saw the hurt his words had caused before his friend turned away, clucking Mouse and Lee’s mare forward. Has Boone kept Coy in the dark about his state of mind? Absolutely, but now it's out there, and will likely factor in to what Coy does. I think he realizes Boone has done more than enough for him, so we'll see where he ends up. Yes, he'll be sad if he's left alone, but life is about challenges, and friendship is about sometimes putting others before yourself, and respecting their choices. I really like your two cents worth, buddy. So glad you shared your thoughts and are enjoying the story. Cheers... Gary....
  4. Hey, Ivor! It does sound enticing, doesn't it? Let's hope it lives up to Boone's expectations. Like Boone, I don't think I'd like to eat dust every day either. Coy has to figure out a path and take it. He's feeling terribly alone right now, and that hampers him, so I think he's having trouble with conclusions at the moment. Things have come to a head, and while it might be a shame Coy doesn't have a few weeks to clear his head, that's not how life works. He knows the truth of how his best friend has been feeling, and I'm sure it's opened his eyes to Boone's sacrifice. I suspect, though, the camp is going to be pretty lonely with Boone gone. Thanks for the support, buddy... hope you're enjoying the ride... cheers... Gary....
  5. My hay arrived this morning... nice stuff for the old girl.
  6. Lol. You could be right. I've dealt with a couple of mules, and while my friend swears by them, I am not really a fan. Blue is like the ones I've dealt with, so yeah, the trip might prove challenging at times. As far as Coy, yes he is used to Boone watching out for him with regards to Will, but he's a smart man. He struck out on his own before he met Boone, and I think he could do it again. Still, it's a good question because he's now carrying a lot of weight on his young shoulders... he's a god fearing man who is feeling the shame and horror for his brother's evil actions. He never thought him capable of doing such things, but he was wrong, and he feels guilty. Wes and Lee were his friends. Twelve hundred miles is a lot of miles on horseback. I've ridden thirty miles in a day before, but to do thirty five of forty that many days in a row would be really tough on man and horse. That's what I find so interesting about those days... nothing was easy back then. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, buddy... much appreciated... cheers... Gary....
  7. Headstall

    Chapter 4 Lawman

    I'm from a farming background as well. My best memories are when my mom left my dad and we lived in a little house across the street from my aunt and uncle's farm. They had seven kids, and there was always something going on. I do tend to have a green thumb... always have, and I used to grow African violets on our windowsills... cuttings from my paternal grandmother, may she rest in peace. Ah, the memories...
  8. Lol. Smoke signals. Appropriate. I'm not sure if they're mixed signals, or just that both men have so much on their mind. No doubt both of them are hurting... Boone had this idea of a clean break for his own sanity, but he wasn't prepared for how awful it was going to be. It was much worse than ripping off a bandaid. Yet, Boone is pretty sure he knows Coy isn't like him, and he should know better than anybody. As far as Coy, he's in a bad spot right now. He's feeling completely alone, but I think he finally sees the pain Boone has been in this whole time. It's not just about him anymore. What this means, we'll have to see, so yeah, another week, or two, or three, or four, or.... Thanks, buddy... you caught up fast... xoxoxo
  9. Aw, thanks, my friend! Sorry for making you use Kleenex... he he. Seriously, though, it really was a painful chapter for me to write, and I know it was hard to read. But, as you say, sweet lady, it was a conversation that needed to be had. As far as the separation, who's to say? I think Boone needs it, and while Coy might be feeling deserted, I think he needs to travel his own path as well. I do think Coy got it when Boone opened up about how bad he was feeling... to say he felt like he might go up like a stick of dynamite... I think that really threw Coy. Until then, I believe he was thinking more about himself... so I get your admonishment to him. I guess the main thing is the talk has happened, and now they need to come to grips with how they handle it... another installment on Monday. Oh, and thanks for thinking it superbly written... cheers... G.
  10. Headstall

    Chapter 4 Lawman

    In researching, I read a lot of actual accounts, and there have been some excellent documentaries on the old west. The fact is there were a lot of dedicated lawmen during that time period. I had Sheriff Willard figured out pretty early, and absolutely loved writing him. He's a caring man, and he knew Wes and Lee well... they may have been his very best friends, so having Boone and Coy provide justice for them likely meant a lot to him. The sheriff has seen a lot of gold fever in his lifetime, including that of his friends, so I think he gave Boone and Coy great advice... the fact he cares about them speaks of a man with a good heart. Finders Keepers was actually a thing back then if there was no one with legal claim, so legally they had the right to the gold. In later years, that changed, but for this time period, unbranded stock for example, belonged to those who found them unless someone could prove ownership. Yeah, between the gold and the reward money, there is definitely enough for a farm or two, but remember, land by itself wasn't enough. You needed stock, seed, tools, lumber, wagons, plows, food staples, etc., etc.. Even when land was free, farms folded in great numbers back then. It was a hard and harsh life. Thanks, buddy... hope all is all with you... G-man.
  11. No worries, buddy. It's here waiting for anyone who wants to read it. I think most readers want Coy and Boone to stay together, but a lot can happen before this story draws to a close. A lot of paths each man can take. Boone had no doubts Coy would make the right decision... despite the amount of wealth involved. That says a lot about both their characters. and what they share. Thank for the support, as always, dear friend. Enjoy the next one. G-man. xoxo
  12. It's funny. I almost wrote that adage in another comment reply. What a great comment, bro, but I should expect nothing less. Friendship like they have should never be undervalued. Unfortunately, it's not enough for Boone anymore, and I can't fault him for wanting more for himself, but he was wrong to think it means he had to say good bye to Coy. I think he might realize that now, judging by his backtracking, but the truth is out, and Coy's pride is involved now, and I expect their fates are somewhat decided. It's hard to say what Coy feels for Boone. We may see things differently, but it's what Boone thinks that matters here. In his eyes, Coy made it clear as he could with that punch. Boone is concluding he has maybe confused Coy some, but the fact is they're made different. And he may well be right about that. We don't know. What you say about Coy makes perfect sense to us, though. I wonder if Coy even knows what he really wants? My guess is no... and that's where separation might be good for Coy. He needs to better understand himself, and he needs to grieve his family in its entirety. He might also need to understand his friend better.... The one thing both men do seem to be sure of... they don't have the fever. Thanks, my friend... love this comment, but I can neither confirm nor deny anything.
  13. Me neither, although this pandemic isolation makes me feel more alone than I've ever felt. Re the Proverb, Boone knows he has to do something... his explanation to Coy for what he was feeling leaves no doubt how unhappy he is. I think he's been craving something solid his whole life... he needs that fulfillment. I like what you say about Coy just reacting to his losses... I think you're right... and Boone has been his constant for the last five years. So yeah, tough love might be good for him. I don't think Coy is weak... more that he looked at his brother with rose colored glasses, or maybe thinking he owed him allegiance because they were the last. He needs to know he's better off without Will... and the gunny sack was a huge step for him. Boone knows what he wants... and why he has to leave... now Coy has to figure out what he wants from life, and separation might help him with that. Let's hope. Thanks for another thoughtful comment, Kris... and I appreciate hearing the bible quote meant something to you.
  14. Yes, exactly, Dave. Coy's world has collapsed, and Boone was the only piece left. You know when we work things out in our mind, but the reality turns out to be nothing like that? I think that's the case for Boone, and now his regrets are huge. It['s one thing to know Coy will be hurt... it's quite another to witness it. Still, I admire Boone. He continued to stay and protect Coy long after the punch broke his heart, and he deserves to put himself first now. He did backtrack, but Coy finally sees the sacrifice Boone made. I doubt he will change his mind. Thanks for the comment and the support, buddy... cheers... Gary....
  15. Yes they did. It was a conversation that's been coming for a while, and like all emotion-laden talks, some of it might have been more honest than intended. I don't know that Boone is trying to lead so much as doing what he feels he must, and that has caused Coy some pain. I'm not sure his pride will allow Coy to follow... but he will certainly feel the loss. Boone will too... this is likely the hardest thing he's ever done. For now, going their separate ways seems a given... maybe it's exactly waht both men need after relying on each other for so long, in an inequitable relationship. Thanks, Parker... glad you're looking forward to more of the journey... cheers... Gary....
  16. What a great idea, Wes. It could be called "Spelunking Kevin.... a Poor Soul's Journey to the Priesthood."
  17. Ooops. My bad. I thought you might have missed the poor misunderstood fellow.
  18. Sorry... not sorry. I love to hear when reader's are moved to strong emotions by something I've written. What Boone said just poured out, and the last thing he wants to do is hurt Coy. So many times we blurt things out we don't mean to put into the light, and only realize after the effect it has... but Boone is hurting too, maybe even more than his friend. I understand there has been some tough going so far... but there is nothing wrong with hoping. Side by side farms could work, but only if that is something they really want. We shall see. Thanks for sharing how this chapter made you feel. It means a lot, David. I, for one, enjoy a good cry at times... and it's nice to know I'm not the only one who cried over this chapter. Cheers... Gary....
  19. Hey, Wes! Are you getting riled? All kidding aside, I know what you mean, but Boone has been at Coy's side for five years, and it has been hard on him... particularly on his heart. If Coy has feeling s for him, he hasn't shown it... what Boone sees now is that Coy is desperate to keep their friendship. I tend to agree with him. He thinks he's maybe been confusing his friend... and Coy has never really said otherwise. Imagine what it was like for Boone to watch Coy go off to Miss Patty's... and then to hear about it later. That would be tough, and probably the final kill shot to his hope for something more. I think Boone needs to feel like he is getting on with his life, but who knows where he will end up. Thanks, buddy... at least you're not reading about Kevin again. Cheers... Gary....
  20. Hey, drsawzall! Time apart is something they haven't had since they met. Maybe that will help them get on with life after the pressure cooker of a life with Will, and calm the 'roiled waters' as you say. At the very least, they'll have time to think... it's a long trail ahead for Boone, and trouble could arise for sure. I know it's been rather tortuous so far... well... I didn't exactly know, but I suspected it was pretty tough on readers. That's the major drawback of posting weekly... we can't forge ahead and get through the tough parts quick. I hope you continue to stick with me, because I can promise you there is light ahead... but yeah, it's a slow dance. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts... this was a great comment, and I appreciate knowing how you're feeling about the story... cheers... Gary....
  21. Headstall

    Chapter 4 Lawman

    Never stay silent, David. I mean, I won't change what happens, but I listen to every reader, and don't mind when they express that they're not well pleased. I am so glad the dialects are coming across as authentic. I now hear their voices in my everyday life, it has become so ingrained. And I'm with you on the sheriff! I love the guy... he was a great character to write, and I can picture him in great detail. That's the thing about the old west. There were a lot of good, caring people during this unusual time in history... and while there was lawlessness, there was also social decency. I wanted to showcase that with the lawman. And yeah, I wanted to show the acceptance of a gay couple... not just acceptance, but real lasting friendship. As far as the boys splitting up, that's up to them... I am only their vessel... they make the decisions. Cheers, buddy, and thanks for the wonderful comment... Gary....
  22. It was an illuminating conversation. I agree with you, Bard, that they both should try to keep their friendship viable by being closer together, but at this point, their dreams appear to differ. Maybe Boone is wrong, and Coy does want to farm, but I'm not sure Coy has any idea what he wants, other than he will miss his best friend. He is carrying the weight of a murderous brother on his shoulders, and that, I think, is having a profound effect on his ability to sort things out. Pride goeth before the fall, and Coy has been hurt. At this point, I would think Coy wants to prove something to himself... it's exactly as you've said. He's realizing now just how much Boone sacrificed for him, and wants no more of that. I'm not sure he could be convinced, after that conversation, to 'tag along.' I see precisely where Coy is at, and hope readers do as well. So many times pride has dictated my actions... and it took years to recognize the damage it does... and frankly, I still find myself doing it. Thanks, buddy, for the great comment... cheers... Gary....
  23. Yeah, we did know this was coming. I agree it might have been kinder to wait a few more days, but Coy did bring it up. I honestly don't think Boone is sure of anything, but he has been waiting a long time. I wonder how much more of his life he would have dedicated to Coy if Will had lived? Regardless, he spelled out his state of mind to Coy and us pretty well... not sure he intended to do that, but it might be best Coy knows. And yes, Coy is still young... they both are... and yes, they had to grow up faster in those days, but this is going to be a tough blow to both of them. Each was the other's shield against loneliness, and there is great sadness in where they find themselves. I have to say I do admire Boone's courage, and his determination to build a happy life... and hopefully find a real, reciprocated love. Glad you liked it, centex... thanks for sharing your thoughts... see you Monday... cheers... Gary....
  24. Yeah, this was a sad and necessary chapter, for sure. I think it was difficult for Boone to be so honest about how hard it's been for him. He spent all that time protecting Coy and starving a major part of himself, and that takes a serious toll. I like what you say about this being like the separation most good friends go through in one way or another... and I suspect many times unrequited love is involved. At some point we have to break the ties that bind, particularly when we've lost who we are. Maybe a sea of newness will do them both good. We can hope for that. Thanks, CincyKris... I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this chapter. Try to keep the faith Boone will find his happiness... and Coy too. Cheers... Gary....
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