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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Larkspur: A Sidewinder Tale - 3. Chapter 3 Willard

A swift kick...

 

Willard

 

 

In starlit darkness, with the aid of a lantern turned low, Boone and Coy walked hand in hand to the barn. It was something they’d done many times since it was first built in the fall of the previous year. They were snickering quietly at the sound of snoring coming through the open window of Mitch’s bedroom. The noise nearly drowned out the river sounds from the other side of the cabin, and even the night critters seemed to hold their tongues at the steady racket.  

Boone loved that they could still act like kids with one another, no different from when they were sixteen-year-old cowboys on their first cattle drive, acting the fool anytime they were out of sight of the older trail-hands.

There was one big difference from those times, though. Now there weren’t no need hide his feelings for Coy. It took five long years before they finally figured out they both felt the same way, but it had proved worth every bit of the wait in the end. Boone’s gentle squeeze of Coy’s hand was returned… it always was.

Earlier last evening, after sharing a meal with Mitch, they weren’t long in realizing just how worn out he was. He could barely keep his eyes open by the time he’d swallowed his last bite, yet he’d gamely tried to keep the conversation going, asking all sorts of questions between trying to stifle yawns.

Coy was having none of it, though, and had shooed him off to bed, clucking at him like a mother hen. The man had cooed like a dove when he sunk into the mattress, mumbling his appreciation for the food and the bed as they left him alone, shutting the door behind them. The snores weren’t long in coming.

It was now the middle of the night, and they were doing another check on the new colt after grabbing a few hours shuteye. The previous time they’d gone out, the foal had been laying down, but this time he was up on his long legs, nose to nose with the filly through the cracks into the next pen. Boone turned up the lantern and hung it up on its wooden peg before they entered the stall.

Coy inspected the newborn while he went over Daisy, checking her thoroughly for any heat, swelling, or discharge—from either end. She was content, nuzzling into the crook of his arm, and that told Boone more than anything else did. Palming her an apple from his pocket, he stroked her forelock as she chewed, telling her what a good little mama she was.

“How’s he doing?”

“Couldn’t ask for better. He’s right up on his pasterns, so he’s even taller now. I sure like this fella a lot, Boone.”

“Course you do. You like everything born here,” Boone teased.

“Suppose I do. Thing is, we can’t keep everyone, and it probably ain’t smart to keep two stud horses… so are we gonna sell Duke… or this fella? We got two more foals coming next year if Molly caught.”

“I expect she did, but we’ll know in a week or so if she don’t come back in season. As far as Duke, we’re keeping him for sure and certain—he’s got plenty of work to keep him busy for the rest of his life, and we need him and Molly as a team—and we’ll keep this one too if he grows to be as fine as he looks. Stop fretting, all right? We’ll figure it out, but folks need their mares bred, and to be fair, I ain’t seen a whole lot of good horseflesh in the area. New settlers are coming in all the time, what need stock, and you know old man Corker goes far and wide to get his.”

“That’s true. He rode three days for that new pair of bays he got, and they’re decent and sturdy for sure, but they ain’t nothing special to look at.”

“Yep, so might be we can get some good trade for breedings, and we’ll do it smart. We’ve got Molly’s foal to come yet, either way, and it could be a colt too.”

“Maybe that one could go to Corker. You know, even with the new ones, he says he’s down in stock, and he does like to start ‘em as yearlings.”

“You think you’d be willing to let Molly’s foal go?” Boone asked with eyebrows raised.

“I… oh Lord, I don’t know, but we really can’t keep ‘em all, especially if it is another colt.” The thought obviously disturbed him and Boone understood, not feeling so different hisself.

“Plenty of time yet to make a decision like that. For now let’s be happy we got quality young’uns on the ground. Lots of folks looking for good horses—and we got plenty of fine, thick grass to keep ’em fed, so we can pick up a few more mares for ourselves when we’ve a mind to.”

“I suppose you’re right. I’ll likely want to keep Mouse’s foal too when it comes, but I’m mighty attached to the filly we got,” Coy admitted with a pained expression on his handsome face. Boone could stare into those eyes the whole day long, but he didn’t like when they were troubled.

“Coy… listen to me. Stop fretting, cause there’s no need. You can keep whoever you want, and besides, if we’re keeping Daisy, Mouse, and Buttercup bred each year, we’ll be needing new riding horses for ourselves.”

“Never thought that far ahead, but I reckon you’re right. You fine with turning Daisy into a brood mare?”

“I reckon I already have, seeing what she can produce. Are you all right with leaving Mouse be to raise foals?”

“I suppose,” Coy answered with a thoughtful expression, not looking completely sure. “Might be we could use these two young’uns for our own in a couple of years.”

“Of course we can—and we couldn’t ask for fancier mounts. Coy, we don’t want for anything, and Tiberius says I’m getting real good at tanning leather and making harness. I’d rather raise horses than cattle anyways, and I do want to train a team by my lonesome… with your help,” he added with a grin. “And folks want pretty cart horses, so we could train some of the foals we get in the future for such.”

Coy nodded, and his expression cleared. “I know you prefer horses… think I do too, but we should get us some beef cattle next just the same.”

“Whenever you want.”

“You’re mighty agreeable all of a sudden.”

“Always agreeable,” he said with a wink and some wiggling eyebrows that got Coy to chuckling. “Just wanted to wait till we were ready is all, and I think next spring we will be… to run a few head, less’n you want to get some bred heifers this fall and raise our own?”

“Depends on what you bring home from hunting.”

“Game’s plentiful, for sure. There’ll be more elk in the valley come fall, and I’m sure every fall for years.”

“Then we’ll wait till spring. So any more thoughts on Mitch? I don’t like knowing he’s as sick as he says. Leaves a knot in my stomach to think of the unfairness of it.”

“I know. I don’t like it either.” Boone held the door open as Coy exited the stall with the foal trying to follow him. “He’s sure taken a liking to you.”

Safely secured, they leaned over the pen side by side. “He’s a friendly sort. We’ll get him out as soon as the sun comes up. It’ll be fun to watch him with the filly.”

“It will for sure. Speaking of that pretty little sorrel, you got to come up with a name for her. It’s been a week and we’re still calling her the filly.”

“I will. One just hasn’t come to me yet what feels right… needs to be special for something so fine. You got to do the same for this fella here.”

“Could call him Willard.”

“You serious?”

“Yep… think I am.”

“Why?”

“Sheriff showed up when he was born, and we owe that man no matter what he says. I don’t know… feels to me like the Lord had a hand in him being here. Mitch cared about you and me—that we found each other again—and got you steered right. That means something, don’t it? Besides, it’s as good a name as any, aint it?”

Coy expression showed his approval before he answered. “Yep. It’s as good a name as any, and Mitch should get a kick out of it. Fact is, he’s already looking like a Willard to me.”

Boone chuckled. “Willard it is then.”

“Boone?”

“Yep?”

“I know you said we shouldn’t be hopeful, but should Mitch be improving like he is if he’s supposed to have this godawful tumor disease?”

“Well… can’t say I know how the man should be feeling, but I didn’t say we shouldn’t be hopeful, Coy. I just want us to respect what he’s dealing with, and not push him.”

“Who’s pushing him?”

“Last time we came out here you were talking about getting him to see the doc in Larkspur.”

“So? I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Not sure I have faith in old Doc Bailey compared to Doc Jergens. He’s always reading up on medical stuff he gets sent regular by stage.”

“How do you know that?”

“Alan told me.”

“Course he did. Ain’t nothing that man don’t appear to know.”

“Always right in what he says, though, ain’t he?”

“Seems to be. Don’t know how he does it, but yep, he don’t pass along things what prove wrong. If he says Doc Jergens reads up on medical stuff, I’m inclined to believe him.”

“That’s all I’m saying. Besides, I think Doc Bailey was talking about tumors I’ve heard tell as cancers, and I also heard that was something to be found in the big cities.”

Boone wasn’t sure what Coy’s point was, but he obviously had something on his mind. “I’ve seen a few folks with tumors myself—saw one the size of a bullfrog on a cowboy’s neck once—but think how many folks you’ve known or heard about who did poorly for a while and then sickened and died. Most often, the doctors can’t give much of a reason. Could just as easily have been tumors inside what caused it.”

“Never thought of that—hear a lot about consumption and such, but who’s to say what it is without fancy hospitals to go to. So then, if doctors ain’t sure sometimes, what’s so wrong with wanting the sheriff to see someone different—someone who ain’t a hundred years old?”

Boone chuckled at the description of Doc Bailey, and then sighed. “It’s not that it’s wrong, but we don’t know what’s in his mind. If’n he wants to see another doctor, he’ll see another doctor.”

“I suppose,” Coy agreed, but Boone knew him well enough to know he wasn’t convinced.

“No sense fretting over it.”

“I ain’t fretting!”

Boone frowned purposely as he stared into those black-fringed eyes.

Coy groaned. “All right, supposing I am, but you said it yourself. He cares about us, and I’d hate to see him die, not without trying… something. Might be Doc Jergens knows a treatment for tumors… or can convince him to go back east. He could take the stage south to the train and be at a hospital a lot quicker than he could ever get to Bearpaw Lake. One of us could even go with him.”

“He could do that, and one of us could keep him company,” Boone said cautiously, worried that Coy was going down a path with a bad end. “But… I think we need be careful about doing the man’s thinking for him. I’m sure he’s pondered nothing much else but his sickness for a long time. Might be he don’t want to think about it no more—after months of being laid up in bed, and months of hard travel—so let’s leave him be for a few days at the least. Can we do that?”

Coy nodded slowly before pulling him close. “I know you’re right. If he’s accepted it, then I reckon I got no choice but to accept it too,” he muttered before kissing him softly. He then rested his chin on Boone’s shoulder while rubbing his back with gentle strokes.

Boone felt relief at Coy’s words, but he weren’t fool enough to think Coy had given up. “It’s what friends do, even when we might not want to.”

“Yep. I just want to be there for him—expect the man’s been powerful lonely since Wes and Lee and Dan got killed. They were his family.” A long sigh followed. “I’ve been thinking, though, about his mentioning Will Merrick. I ain’t so sure it was about bad blood between them.”

Boone leaned back so he could see Coy’s face. “If not some kind of bad blood, then what do you reckon it was? Looked riled enough to me, like he dreaded knowing the man was close by.”

“Ain’t sure, but I think he was more shook than anything. I don’t know that you get shook over someone you might have put in jail one time or another, or had to run out of town.”

“Could be anything or nothing, but he did seem bothered at Will, enough he called him a son-of-a-bitch. For all we know, he owes him money or cheated him in some way… maybe sold him a bad horse.” Something else had occurred to Boone—that their history was way more personal than any of that—but he left it sitting in his mind. Coy’s thoughts were galloping along enough different trails already.

“Will? Don’t seem the type for any of that.”

“Suppose not. None of our concern, though, don’t you think?”

“I hear you, Boone Dixon.” Coy’s eyes twinkled in the lamplight. “I won’t be poking into the man’s business, but I got one more thing to say. If’n these are the sheriff’s last days, I’d like him to stay right here with us. Wouldn’t want him perishing out on the trail alone. Deserves a proper burial at the least… not to have his remains picked apart by critters.”

Boone nodded, expecting Coy would feel that way. He did too. “We’ll make him the offer. Tell him he’s welcome for as long as he wants, and then it’s up to him. But don’t be getting your hopes up too high—especially about him traveling east. That man has a lot of pride, and it sounds like he’s needing a purpose. Might be riding to Bearpaw Lake is the one he’s considering… keeping on a trail to somewhere might be better than sitting still and waiting for what’s coming. Don’t think he has any intention of looking for work.”

Coy sighed and then nodded. “You’re a smarter man than me sometimes. I remember when Ma passed and how bad it got those last few weeks… and there was no escaping the waiting….” The words petered out as he buried his face in Boone’s shoulder again.

“I know… me too,” Boone said, thinking of his own ma’s final days as he squeezed his man with gentle tightness. He sure enough understood that helpless feeling.

 

A yawning Mitch came out of his room the next morning looking around the cabin as if seeing it for the first time. Boone reckoned the smell of frying bacon was hard to ignore, and was what was leading him to the table he sat at, munching on a piece from the pile Coy had just placed in front of him. “Morning, Sheriff. Help yourself to some good bacon.”

“Don’t mind if I do.” He bit down on a crunchy hunk and groaned. “Oh, this is hitting the spot.”

“Coy’s learning to cook, and he won’t let me help,” Boone said as he grinned at the man. Yes, he still looked tired, but something was different about him. He was relaxed as he braced both hands on one of Coy’s plain but skillfully made ladder-back chairs.

“Morning, Coy. Hat’s off to you for learning. Ain’t never been good at it myself, but there weren’t no one but me to complain.”

“Morning, Mitch. Boone’s being a pain in my backside. Always could cook, and he just gets in the way,” Coy said with a half-hearted scowl directed Boone’s way. “Lot easier to do it on an indoor hearth, but it sure heats up the room. Breakfast will be ready in a couple of minutes. There’s lots more than bacon to chew on.”

“In that case, I’ll partake of your fancy outhouse and wash up in the river. Seems a beautiful morn,” he said as he walked out the front door. “Be back shortly.”

“He’s looking better,” Coy said once the man’s footsteps could be heard moving off.

“That he is. Might be he’ll need something to do, though.”

“What do you mean? He’s wore out and needs rest… just got here after a heck of a long journey—did the same one ourselves, but we weren’t sick like he is.”

“That’s not exactly true, is it?”

Coy’s eyes widened for a second. “No, come to think on it. You were laid up a good while after you tried to drink the whole damn river, and then got back to riding before you were strong enough.”

“I was strong enough,” Boone objected with a scoff. “But that weren’t my point, Coy. He’s a proud man and he ain’t going to stick around less’n he feels he’s some use to us, even if he is tuckered out.”

“Ah… I see what you’re saying. Suspect you’re right about that, but he’s a mite older than us too, so we should be mindful of such. We could ask him to keep an eye on the colt and filly while we take that load into the mill. That won’t require no effort on his part.”

“That load could wait.”

“No, it can’t,” Coy insisted as he fussed with his cooking.

Boone eyed him for a time before he figured it out. “You want to learn what you can from Will Merrick about what happened, don’t you,” he accused.

Coy began to protest, but quit once he looked up and met Boone’s gaze. “I reckon I am curious.”

“Thought we weren’t going to stick our nose into the man’s business? You agreed we shouldn’t, didn’t you?”

“I did, and we won’t, but whatever might be between them, Will should know Mitch is our friend, no matter their history.”

“You really think he needs protection from Will?”

“Not… no…. I don’t know. Can’t forget the look on Mitch’s face, though, when he asked about him. I’ve been going back and forth on it.”

“Coy… I don’t think you need to worry. The sheriff’s a man who can look after himself.”

“But he’s sick, and we don’t know if he has much….”

“I’m telling you, it’s a mistake to stick your nose in. For all we know, they were close once.”

Coy spun around from the hearth, his eyebrows lifted. “Close? So that’s sticking in your mind too?”

Boone sighed at his slip. Couldn’t never keep nothing from that man. “Yep, I reckon is has been for a while to be honest. I sensed something in the sheriff I’ve sensed in other men like us, on the day I left Red Bluff—you know what I mean—and Will Merrick’s a damn good-looking fellow who lives by his lonesome. Might mean nothing, but—”

“I hear him coming,” Coy warned, cutting him off.

Booted footsteps clomped on the front porch before the sheriff’s lean but broad-shouldered frame filled the open doorway. “Supposing you’ll be getting that colt back out in the sun this morning?”

“We plan on it. Me and Boone been checking on him through the night, and he’s a right strong one,” Coy answered, sharing a quick look with Boone before putting the biscuits, eggs, and fried potatoes and onions on the plain, oak board table they’d built together.

“Suspected you would, but I didn’t hear a thing after I hit that fine mattress. Nothing like a good sleep in a soft bed.”

“Could see you needed it. Sit down and dig in. I cooked a mess of food, and there’s apple jelly made from our apples, so don’t be shy.”

“Don’t mind if I do. You fellas have been good to me with some mighty fine vittles. Last night’s supper was the best I’ve had in a year or more.”

“This land gives us plenty, Mitch. The larder under the cabin is full, and the cold room dug into the little hillside yonder is still well-stocked from last fall—and we can soon pick some of what we got planted.”

“You’ve done good here… can tell it’s a special spot,” Mitch said as he shoveled food into his mouth. Boone and Coy were doing the same.

“It surely is. We’ll have smoked beaver meat for supper if you like?”

“Won’t say no to beaver meat—haven’t had it in twenty years or more. So, how far does your land go to the east?”

“Right to the ravine,” Boone answered. "That’s our property line.”

“So you don’t own the ravine?”

“No, sir. That belongs to the next property.”

“Good neighbors, are they?”

“Ain’t none yet. Most of the land’s been bought on this road—only about four or five lots left I reckon—but with the south opened up for purchasing, folks are choosing to settle there… squarer lots with less trees… which suits us just fine,” Coy said with a grin. “I think the ravine scares some folks off. It’s a narrow property as it is, and the ravine would be hard to farm. Only about thirty, maybe thirty-five usable acres there, and most farmers with families want at least fifty.”

Coy chewed and swallowed the food in his mouth. “You know, if you’re looking to settle down somewhere, you couldn’t go wrong doing it around here, and Boone and me could stake you if you wanted.”

“Coy, don’t be putting pressure on the man… he just got here.”

“I’m not. Was just saying I wouldn’t mind Mitch as a neighbor, and no matter what he says, I feel we owe him.”

“There you go again. How do you boys owe me?”

“Well, you gave us good advice that led us away from panning and straight to here.”

“Yep, I suppose you could say I did such, but that was free. Never paid for any of it given to me over the years,” Mitch said quickly.

“Fair enough, but you did give us the gold we used to buy this land.”

“Lord above! How many times I got to say that was yourn by right?”

“Maybe so, but you still could have kept it. Wes and Lee were your friends too, and you knew them a lot longer than we did.”

“Coy’s got a point,” Boone said.

“No… no he don’t. The law is clear on who owns found gold if there ain’t no relatives, so don’t be bringing that up again. To tell the truth, I’m sick of hearing about that damn gold.”

“Then can we thank you one more time for caring what happened to us?” Coy asked. “Like I told you last night, you got me headed in the right direction, and that was here with Boone, right where I belong, and I can’t but help the gratitude I feel.”

‘I can’t neither,” Boone said. “Coy’s just trying to say we like you’ve showed up here, and we wouldn’t mind if you stuck around—we got plenty of room. That’s all we’re meaning.”

The sheriff’s frown lifted, and his eyes got to twinkling. “Well… all right then. Weren’t hard to tell what you boys were wanting back then, and you both needed a swift kick in the britches, no doubt for that. Love ain’t easy to find, so I did stick my nose into your business and if you want to be thankful for it, then go ahead… but don’t you dare bring up that damn gold again.”

Boone chuckled. “I can still feel the kick you gave me… told me I was forgetting something important when I was leaving Red Bluff, and you were right. Stuck in my mind, it did. Life ain’t never been this good for me.”

“True for me too,” Coy added as he slathered a biscuit with the sweet-smelling jam. “Just know what Boone said is right. We’re happy to have you here, and we’re hoping you’ll stick around, truly. Don’t like the idea of you being out on the trail if your sickness gets bad again. I mean… who would bury you out there if it came to that?”

Mitch sat there quietly, long enough Coy shared a concerned look with Boone. He finally spoke. “Wes and Lee were right about you boys. I appreciate your friendship, and I’m obliged to you both. Weren’t expecting such kindness when I pointed myself this way. Hard to say what the life I have left will be now. Know one thing, though. I got me more appetite than I’ve had in a good while, and breathing don’t take the effort it did, so I’m mightily enjoying this here breakfast.”

Coy nodded as he glanced Boone’s way. “Might be you should see Doc Jergens in Larkspur. Folks think highly of him for sure.”

“Coy,” Boone warned.

“Boone, I’m just saying Mitch is feeling better, and the doc might be able to tell him what to expect… next. He said hisself the doc in Red Bluff told him good air could make a difference.”

“Nothing wrong with giving me advice, boys, seeing as how my nose was in your business a time or two. I’ll think on it, Coy, I truly will. Appreciate the concern, but right now I’m just enjoying this fine mess of food. Might be I can catch some fish in that river and return the favor.”

He was changing the subject, and Boone hoped his partner would let up now. “Fresh fish would be nice. We got some dried trout what’s been smoked, and it makes for a good soup, but we ain’t had much time for fishing since last fall.”

“Well then, let me see what I can manage to wrangle from those shallows yonder.”

Boone cleared his throat. “Mitch, we was wondering if you could keep an eye on the place—well, the foals is what I’m meaning—while we take a load of logs to the mill? Don’t like to leave them on their own just yet.”

“Surely, I can do that. Yep, be glad to. I’ll take the opportunity to clean my tack while you’re gone… caked with mud and grit from all that time on the trail. So… I expect you’ll be seeing William Merrick there?”

“I’d say so. He’s always been around somewhere each time we go,” Boone answered.

“Well then, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention my name in that man’s presence.”

Coy’s eyes widened, enough Boone had to force down a laugh. There went his plans. “Won’t mention your name to him at all,” Coy finally said.

“Appreciate it, boys. I suppose I can tell you we have some history from way back, and it ain’t all good. Rather not deal with such while I’m here.” He stuffed his mouth with more food, and Boone got the message the conversation was over, at least about Will Merrick.

The guarded expression on Mitch’s face, though, had a few cracks and twitches in it, and those narrowed pale blue eyes told him it might not be as simple as some old history between him and Will. Nope. Coy was right. Sheriff Willard was shook for sure, and having trouble pretending otherwise.

 

 

* 

Thanks for reading. All mistakes are mine alone. Please be so kind as to share your thoughts with me on this chapter, and also, if you think the story worthy, please leave a story like and a recommendation so others might give it a chance. Cheers!

Copyright © 2021 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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30 minutes ago, CincyKris said:

Maybe Coy will mention the new colt Willard to Merrick at the mill.  You know, just small talk about horses.  As an aside, the mention of the ladder back chair brought back a 30+ year old memory of an episode of Little House on the Prairie.  It started and ended with a modern family buying a piece of furniture made by Charles, wondering if there was a story behind it.  I have a few old, rustic hand-made chairs.  I've wondered about the hands that made them.  What were their stories?  Chairs and tables similar to the ones made by Coy exist today, going from one family to another.

I'm sure Coy's wheels are turning. We'll find out if he's going to be a good boy soon enough. :P Oh, Little House! I used to watch that. I feel the same way you do about old furniture. I have a few pieces that were obviously home made a long time ago, and I wonder about them. I do have a large wooden sewing box made by a soldier for his fiancee before he went off to war, and it is a special thing to me. My sister has a rocker that's been in my family for generations, and originally came over from Scotland. It was supposed to be mine, left to me in my mother's will, but I knew she loved it, so I never picked it up from her house. She can pass it down to her daughter. :) 

As far as Coy, he can't seem to help himself, but there is nothing wrong with having such a big heart. Cheers, Kris, and thank you for the interesting comment. Gary. :hug: 

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20 minutes ago, Albert1434 said:

Well we settle down to farm life so much to learn about things now that Mitch is living with the boy. We have much to find out about William Merrick:yes:

Coy with have to watch his P's and Q's around him! Great chapter love it.

Thanks for sharing Gary:thankyou::worship::worship:

You're welcome, Albert. Thank you for the support, my friend. :hug: 

This story is sprinkled with what life was like on homesteads back then, and I try hard not to dwell too much on boring stuff. :)  Lol to Coy watching his Ps and Qs. I don't think the man can help himself. He's decided he needs to do whatever he can to keep Mitch from riding out on his own. Yes, we still have lots to learn about Will, and Mitch too for that matter. The journey will start unfolding a little quicker, soon. Thanks for always being there, buddy... :kiss: 

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20 minutes ago, Geron Kees said:

Things are moving along nicely. Pleased the Sheriff seems better, and that we have some hope there. The thing with Will Merrick is also intriguing. Can't wait to see what happens with that.

Boone and Coy are happy and prosperous, and things look good for their future. Just very pleased to be back with this comfortable duo. :)

 

Thanks, Geron! Yes, the sheriff is having a good spell, and I think that is confusing Coy somewhat. It's tough to have hope after what Mitch told them, but Coy doesn't give up easily. He wants Mitch to stick around. :) 

I'm pleased to be back with these guys too... and it's so nice to have the company. Cheers... G. :hug: 

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1 hour ago, centexhairysub said:

Another top notch chapter, writing and pacing just first rate as always.  The trip to the mill will be interesting, not sure that Coy will be able to hold his tongue fully or not; plus if nothing is said, where would the drama for the story come from...  LOL.

Going through this chapter and all the casual mentions; makes you realize how much people in that day and age had to know just really to survive, much less live in a little comfort if they were not wealthy.  

Can't wait for the next update...

Thanks for the kind words about my writing, buddy. :D I do try. :) Let's see... Coy holding his tongue? Yeah, that's going to be tough for him. :)  And you're right, the drama has to come from somewhere lol.

It was a tough life back then, and for some reason I find a certain romance to it. The idea of total reliance on your partner to bet the chores done and hunt and gather and farm enough to ensure your existence. There is no social media to take your attention... just what and who is right in front of you. :yes:  I'll stop now because I am getting into one of my rambling moods. :rolleyes:  Cheers, centex, and thank you for the support. G. :hug:  

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I'm glad Mitch agreed to stick around for a little while. Being told he's welcome to stay and even offered help procuring the neighboring land lift some of the burden of uncertainty from the man's shoulders, I expect. Whether or not he seeks out a second opinion from Doc Jergens, just having a roof over his head, friends to spend his time with, and work to keep his hands busy will do wonders for him. After all, what's good for the soul is good for the body.

Coy is such a meddler, I love it. If he didn't mean well, it'd be another story, but all of his doting and nosing his way into Mitch's business comes from a place of gratitude and kinship. I suspect he'll find a way around not being able to bring up Mitch's presence or his history with Will Merrick, perhaps by following the letter of the request to not mention the man by name. It isn't in his nature to let that bone drop.

Speaking of which, I see what Boone did there when he included himself in taking the load of logs to the mill. Coy probably could've taken the shipment by himself, but he needs someone to watch his ass . . . and keep him in line. I love their dynamic in that respect -- well, in every respect, really.

Now, if you don't mind, I need some alone time to bask in the image of Mitch washing up in the river (since you robbed us of that display, you big meany) . . .

Spoiler

Sexy Dance GIF by Love Island Italia

 

Edited by Danners
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11 hours ago, Danners said:

I'm glad Mitch agreed to stick around for a little while. Being told he's welcome to stay and even offered help procuring the neighboring land lift some of the burden of uncertainty from the man's shoulders, I expect. Whether or not he seeks out a second opinion from Doc Jergens, just having a roof over his head, friends to spend his time with, and work to keep his hands busy will do wonders for him. After all, what's good for the soul is good for the body.

Coy is such a meddler, I love it. If he didn't mean well, it'd be another story, but all of his doting and nosing his way into Mitch's business comes from a place of gratitude and kinship. I suspect he'll find a way around not being able to bring up Mitch's presence or his history with Will Merrick, perhaps by following the letter of the request to not mention the man by name. It isn't in his nature to let that bone drop.

Speaking of which, I see what Boone did there when he included himself in taking the load of logs to the mill. Coy probably could've taken the shipment by himself, but he needs someone to watch his ass . . . and keep him in line. I love their dynamic in that respect -- well, in every respect, really.

Now, if you don't mind, I need some alone time to bask in the image of Mitch washing up in the river (since you robbed us of that display, you big meany) . . .

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Sexy Dance GIF by Love Island Italia

 

Boone and especially Coy are doing their best to make the sheriff feel welcome. You're right, Dan. Staying with the boys will give Mitch a lot of what he's been missing. Maybe it will extend his life a little longer than it would have been. 

I'm pleased you like Coy and his meddling. He is who he is, and I wouldn't change him, but I did expect some readers would be annoyed with how determined he is. He's a man who's come into his own, and after the meanness and control of his evil brother, he is finally allowed to be the big-hearted person he is. As well, I think he sees Mitch as an extension of Wes and Lee... the men his brother shot in the back. :( 

I don't think Boone would let Coy take the load to town on his own under any circumstances. Moving that kind of weight by team is dangerous, and there is safety in numbers. I expect they always go to town together. But yeah, Boone might want to keep Coy from going too far when he sees Will. Good luck with keeping Coy from being Coy. :) 

Lol. I hope you enjoyed your alone time. I'm sure Mitch can put on quite a show. ;) 

Meany? I usually get that for not posting more than once a week. :P

Cheers, buddy.... appreciate your thoughts as always.... :hug:   

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Well, I am wondering how Will will react when Coy and Boone tells him their new foal's name is Willard? I bet it will bring back memories of Mitch and hope Will tells them. Now curiosity will kill me for a week not knowing about that. I am thinking that Mitch will stay indefinitely and buy the land the creek is on.

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1 hour ago, Story Reader said:

Well, I am wondering how Will will react when Coy and Boone tells him their new foal's name is Willard? I bet it will bring back memories of Mitch and hope Will tells them. Now curiosity will kill me for a week not knowing about that. I am thinking that Mitch will stay indefinitely and buy the land the creek is on.

Hey, Sherye! There's no telling what Coy will say when they go to the mill. I would expect they will keep their promise to Mitch and not mention his name, but Coy is on a mission to get Mitch to stay. As far as him buying land, he'd have to have a good reason to do so, because his diagnosis is that he won't live much longer than another six months at most. Curiosity is a great thing, my friend. See you next Monday. :)  Cheers... Gary.... :hug: 

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It's such a pleasure reading your stuff; there's such depth and warmth to your writing. Thank you! I truly enjoy it 😚💗

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