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Sidewinder - 14. Chapter 14 Trailworn

James 1: 3-4

Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                  ***

Trailworn

 

 

It was still dark when he woke, and their positions hadn’t changed. He was on his side with Coy pressed against him, one arm hooked around Boone’s hip. He could feel the man’s breath on his neck, and there was no ignoring the hard cock wedged between them. His own was in the same condition.

Yawning, he moved the covers from his face and tasted the fog. Its heavy wetness hung in the air, and he was thankful for the warm body sharing its heat with him. He wondered if all the summer nights in the Larkspur area would be this chilly. He supposed not, but these last few nights proved they were now a long way from Red Bluff.

Stopping in the middle of a second yawn, he realized his nightmare hadn’t returned. He’d slept through the entire night! Pulling the covers back up over his face, he closed his eyes, hopeful his nightly ordeal was over… and suspected Coy’s close presence would be the reason. It wasn’t often a man felt completely safe when traveling unknown country, but he felt that way in this moment. It was a blessing, but he didn’t kid himself. There was real risk in what they were doing, and it was up to him to make sure he didn’t get hurt again.

No need to get up yet… so he dozed, knowing the heat of the sun would soon arrive to burn away the fog. The next time he woke, Coy had shifted. He was on his back with his eyes open when Boone turned onto his back and looked over. “Guess it’s time to start the day,” he muttered as he wiped his face with his hand. A full body stretch followed, and Coy joined him in it.

“How’d you sleep? Any bad dreams?”

“Woke up earlier, but it was too warm under here to get up,” he said with a grin and a yawn. “No dreams at all… slept like the dead.”

“Same here. Nights are getting cooler the farther we travel.”

Boone yawned again. “Been climbing higher every day.”

“Everything’s changing,” Coy responded after a long pause.

“Yep… change is good. I haven’t tasted dust for weeks.”

“I don’t mind the evening chill. Lot less mosquitos than we had back at our old camp, and the animals surely like it.”

“So do I… they leave same time the sun does, which is the opposite of Red Bluff.” Boone groaned, feeling some ache in his bones from the constant riding. “Guess I’ll build up the fire and cook us some breakfast.”

“Still trout in the pot… make a good soup. Ah… Boone?”

Boone turned his head back towards his friend. “You been thinking again?”

“A bit. Been doing too much of that lately,” he said with a chuckle. “I just wanted to ask you… is it fine for you that we cozy like we’ve been doing?”

“What are you really asking, Coy?”

“I don’t know… I suppose I want to make sure, ah… did you agree just cause I asked you?”

Boone sighed. “Okay, let’s get this straight. We’re friends, and for sure I have some feelings—I don’t deny that—but sharing a bedroll don’t make me expect anything more than that. I told you I got a good idea what’s in your head, and whether I’m right or wrong, you ain’t gonna cause me hurt. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure having someone close is why I didn’t wake up hollering in the middle of the night, and why I slept so good the night before.”

A smile appeared on the Coy’s face, but it was fleeting. “I was hoping it would. It helped me with the twins’ passing when Ma took me into her bed. Never had another bad one after that. I just wish I was….”

“You wish you were what?”

“Ah… nothing important… sometimes the words won’t come right. Ah… can I ask you another question?”

Boone snorted. “The way you jaw lately, could I stop you?”

“Likely not,” Coy answered with a snort of his own. “Don’t you think settling down on a farm is dangerous... for you?”

Boone rose part way up and frowned at his friend. “Why would that be dangerous?”

“Just something I've been pondering. I figure moving around might be better. People wouldn’t pay you no mind… I mean… they wouldn’t get to know you like they would in a farming community, and it’d be safer that way. Will told me stories about what kind of terrible things can happen when folks find out, like hangings and….”

“You mean folks like Will was,” Boone said, finally getting the man's point, one that gave him powerful sadness. “I need you to listen to me, Coy. I ain’t gonna spread my business around, and I know I’ve got to be mindful of those who’ll believe what they will, but I will not let another person decide how I live. Never had a home of my own in my whole life. Hardly ever slept in the same spot growing up, and the closest I came to my own room was a cupboard in the kitchen. Never had a pa, and I’ve been alone since my ma died—until I met you—and was mostly alone even while she lived, god rest her poor soul. So, if that’s what my life means to be—if I’m meant to be alone—I’m accepting of it. But, I’ll be damned if I don’t buy my own place… a place that’s mine where I ain’t beholden to anyone’s kindness.”

“So that’s the reason? You want a place you can call your own?”

“Yep.”

“Then why not… you could have a hunting cabin out in the woods. Don’t need to live among a bunch of farmers who know your business.”

“No! You’re not hearing me. I want to farm, and I get it’s not for you—”

“I didn’t say that!” Coy said, looking pure indignant as he sat up.

“No, you didn’t, but is it a passion for you? Because it is for me. I want to build something, you understand? I want to build a home. I want to grow my own food and raise stock, and hunt and fish, and raise a barn that will last a hundred years. I want to go to sleep at night knowing what I did that day mattered, and I want to wake up the next morning knowing what needs doing. I don’t want to spend all day with my back bent and my feet wet, standing in a river doing something that don’t give me a lick of pride! I don’t want to be herding and chasing someone else’s cattle and eating their dust day after day, either!” He lowered his voice, realizing he was sounding angry. “It’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was knee high to a grasshopper—I don’t want to spend my life moving from place to place and just making do—and now I’ve been blessed with enough gold to make it happen.”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to get you riled.”

Boone sucked in a deep breath. “I’m not riled, Coy. It’s fair to ask, and I know there’s reason for fear, being like I am, but there is reason for fear with any life I choose. You hearing me?”

“Yep. I hear you, loud and plain. So… you’re intending to be careful?”

Boone nodded, trying to tamp down his frustration… not at Coy, but at how there was even a need for caution. “Course I am. From where I sit, Wes and Lee did just fine raising Dan and managing to be together for a lot of years. If it weren’t for Will, they’d still be doing that, and I think most thought they were just two nice old bachelors who took in an orphan kid. Never heard an unkind word about them, excepting from Will.”

“But we were pretty isolated out at camp, and no one paid us any mind.”

A sigh blasted out of Boone. “I need to get up and get moving. We’re burning daylight.”

“Boone, wait! I’m sorry, but it’s hard not to worry for you.”

“Like I’ve worried for you for years after seeing through your snake of a brother?” he snapped. “Don’t waste no worry for me, Coy. I don’t intend on letting my guard down again, or ever letting a man like Will into my life. Sure and certain, I didn’t do a good job of hiding what I felt for you, from your ma or him—or you—but I learned from that. I ain’t gonna run scared, but I’ll keep my life private, and if I find someone looking for the same, people can talk, but they won’t ever be sure. Lots of men share their life with another for different reasons, and lots of men don’t marry. Look at Sherriff Willard, for one, and there are lots of cowboys who never settle down with a woman.”

“That’s true enough,” Coy agreed with a thoughtful frown.

Boone just let the subject be, figuring enough had been said. He was about to get his morning started when Coy spoke again.

“Every cowboy on our cattle drive, ‘cepting the trail boss, was a bachelor. I never told you, but one of them wanted me to move my bedroll over near him one night. Wasn’t hard to figure out what he was wanting.”

“Rafe?”

“Yep, that’s him. How’d you know who I meant?”

“I remember the way he watched you. I knew the look… seen it a lot in the dance hall, and other places.”

“I told him I was staying put, and he never asked again.”

“He make you mad?”

“Nope… I can’t say he did. He was a nice enough fellow.”

“He was,” Boone agreed. Rafe had paid attention to him too, but he’d long before learned how to shut interested men down without any fuss.

“Did you and him…?”

“No. Back then I wasn’t accepting of who I was. I was beginning to, but he didn’t interest me none.”

Coy was watching Boone’s face intently. “I admire you, Boone.”

“What for?”

“Ah… there’s no one reason… just always have. Time to stop jawing, I suppose.”

Boone couldn’t help thinking being admired was a long drop from being loved. Had Coy made his choice? “You sure have been talkative lately.”

“Yep, but I’m learning.” Coy hesitated for a few seconds. “You know something? I gotta admit now Will kept me on a knife edge most of the damn time… hard to think like I do lately. Lot different with him not around.”

“Different is good.”

“Yep. Sure is.”

 

They rode for three more days before they found the road to Larkspur. It was late afternoon, and plenty of wagon wheel ruts were proof they’d reached the right spot. Some of the tracks looked like they were made by a four-horse stagecoach, likely coming and going from a town closer to the railway line to the south.

“Think we’ll get there by nightfall?” Coy asked.

“No telling how far it is, but I’d rather arrive in the morning. Even if we get close, I think we should set up camp one more night. No need to pay for a night in a hotel,” Boone said as they followed the tracks north, riding side by side.

“Fine with me. Last time we did that, I made a damn fool of myself.”

Boone, after making a suddenly flighty Blue mind his manners on the wide trail, disagreed. “You didn’t make a fool of yourself—you was grieving a loss, and anyways, that barkeep weren’t no friendly sort at all.”

“Wasn’t the loss I thought it was at the time… and I was talking about making a fool of myself with you.”

“You drunk wasn’t something I hadn’t seen before.”

“Not too drunk to try hauling you on top of me,” he muttered.

Boone hadn’t been expecting that subject to come up, or the remorse he heard in Coy’s voice. “You were grieving, and you thought I was all you had left, that’s all.”

“Maybe. That was the night I knew in my gut you were leaving, and I wasn’t thinking clear. It plumb terrified me you was soon to be gone, but it weren’t the right way to go about things, that’s for sure.”

Boone reined Daisy in, calling “Whoa” to Blue. “Was no harm in it. Sometimes we get ourselves in a mess at the worst times, and you thought that was something I wanted.”

Coy stopped a couple of feet ahead and turned to face him. “You didn’t want it, though, did you?” he asked with a shameful expression.

“Not like that… no, I didn’t,” Boone answered truthfully. “One time, I hoped you were made like me, but you’re not. You got nothing to be ashamed of. You hearing me?”

Coy scowled at Boone for an instant, but it softened to a sad smile. “Not even for punching you for something we both did?”

“Especially not that. I understand now more than I did, and you feared for me. We had no business doing that anyways. Listen good, Coy—we‘ve already been down this road, and you’ve been mixed up a while because of me, but the only way not to have regrets is to not make stupid mistakes.”

“And you and me would be one of those?”

Boone nudged Daisy into a walk. “Yep… because I can tell you still carry fear about letting me down, and that tells me plain it would be. Maybe you aren’t sure yet you’re not like me, but I can’t help you figure that out. So don’t be looking for me to try to convince you one way or the other, cause I won’t. Might could take you months or years to do so, and that’s between you and yourself.”

Coy, traveling at his side again, took his time in speaking. “You sure are a confounding man, Boone Dixon.”

Those softly uttered words surprised him—Coy had been doing a lot of that lately—but he was pretty sure he had the man figured out, even if he didn’t. “Suppose I am at times. Life is confounding, and that’s the truth of it.”

 

The land was full of little valleys and gullies, mixed with forest and small meadows, and not at all like what they’d been used to. Game sign was everywhere, and so was water, in the form of springs that bubbled out of the ground, and streams that crisscrossed the land. That was something different as well. Other than the one big river and a few cricks, water wasn’t plentiful around Red Bluff unless you dug a good, deep well. It all was beginning to feel right to Boone, and he was getting more and more excited the closer they got to Larkspur.

Coy complained about being tuckered out towards early evening, and after moving away from the winding road, they found a place near a little brook that sung quietly over some rocks. The spot was maybe five hundred yards in, on the downside of a tree-dotted hill, and it would do nicely to set up camp on. They hadn’t seen a single soul in their travels, but still, there was need for safety. Boone expected they weren’t more than a few hours from Larkspur, and that meant they would soon be seeing people.

Setting a snare in low brush, he heard the distinct sound of a wagon and team of horses thundering by. It was heading north as well, and judging by the speed, he figured it was trying to make Larkspur while there was still daylight. That meant they were close.

Supper was another rabbit, a curious one, killed by a bullet when Boone spotted him forty feet from camp. They cooked him up with their last piece of salt pork fat. It would be good to restock—their combined supplies were about gone, seeing as how they’d been stuck in one place while Boone mended.

“Can’t wait to turn in,” Coy said as he slurped up his last spoonful off his tin plate.

“I’m plenty tired, myself. I’ll clean these up, and then I’m hitting the sack.”

“Me too. Was going to gather some of those wild oats we walked through, but it’s getting too dark.”

“Are the oats gone?” Boone asked.

“Fed the last of them this morning.”

“We’ll get a sack in Larkspur.”

“We’ll get a lot of things in Larkspur. Could use a slab of bacon and some cheese. Wouldn’t mind an apple or two.”

“Low on beans, flour, and sugar too. Got some salt and coffee, but they won’t last more than a couple of weeks.”

“First thing we do is go to the bank?” Coy asked.

“I reckon, but I still have two double eagles in my boots for supplies.”

“Saw those. I got the same in mine,” Coy said with a grin.

Boone chuckled. “I’m getting kind of used to them. Maybe we should find the land agent first and see how things work.”

“I suspect you give them money and they give you a paper if’n we… if’n you find a good piece of land.”

“Like what I’ve seen so far. I just hope all the available land ain’t sold off.”

“Will you move on if it is?”

“Won’t have much choice, but I reckon the agent will know where to head.”

“So, you plan to keep looking till you find something?” Coy asked, his tone striking a nerve with Boone.

“Of course. You hoping I won’t?”

“No!”

“You sure?” Boone challenged.

“Yes! I might be worried for you, but I want you to find the right piece of land, I swear, and I intend to help… if’n you want me to.”

“You don’t need to put me ahead of what you want to do.”

“I know that,” Coy said, sounding hurt.

Boone felt bad for making a fuss for no reason, and chalked the tension up to being tired. They hadn’t shared a bedroll the previous night—Coy had asked, but he’d said no, that it was warm enough… and it was. He’d had no dreams, but he hadn’t slept well at all, and knew from listening to his friend toss and turn in his own bedroll, he hadn’t either.

It’d been a hard thing for Boone to turn down, but getting used to being that close was doing him no favors. He’d been holding his breath, waiting for Coy to tell him what he wanted to hear, but he hadn’t, and Boone figured the physical closeness was only confusing the man more… and maybe him too.

“Sorry. I do know you want that for me, and I appreciate you keeping me company and wanting to help… I truly do, and of course I want your help. Long as you’re comfortable with sticking around.”

“Closer we get to Larkspur, I reckon… ah, pay me no mind,” he said, sounding unsure… and worn out. “I’m gonna piss and go to bed. I’ll check on the horses.” He stood up quickly and turned away, striding off with shoulders hunched.

Yep… Coy might not know what his future held, but he knew what it didn’t… leastways, that’s what Boone saw. The last of his hope up and went, right along with Coy.

They let the fire die down, and climbed into their separate bedrolls. This time there was no request from Coy for cozying, even though the night was nearing on chilly again, and the silence between them seemed to grow as they settled in for the night.

Boone finally turned over, away from his friend. It turned into another long and lonely night, and while he was excited for his future, he couldn’t shake the sadness he felt deep in his bones.

 

 

 *

Thanks for reading. Well, how are you feeling after this chapter? Please share your thoughts... it would be much appreciated. Cheers!

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37 minutes ago, Bard Simpson said:

Hi Gary, I came close to deleting this weeks response and starting again. It was naive and didnt reflect the turmoil that both Boone and Coy are going through. As part of my job you sometimes have to baldly summarise an issue and profer a solution and that's what I did at the end of a busy day.

The reason i didn't rewrite it was because I believe that there were still good points about Coy, in particular. What I should say is that I believe Coy is way beyond where Boone believes he is, in his thinking. Boone is not expecting Coy to change and won't budge from that position unless Coy makes it patently clear that he wants a life with Boone.

However, I do believe Coy has already considered that as something he really  wants and has moved on to questioning the issues that his decision will entail. So when Coy asks wouldn't it be better to live far away in the woods, he is trying to get help from Boone on this matter. There's no one else to ask. Coy  can only ignore the noise in Boones response as he answers for himself. Coy gets that but is trying to make sense of whether he can accept that too. In the absence of Google, psychologists or a dear Abbey, it's the best he can do. 

Meanwhile Boone is answering truthfully, preoccupied with his own situation and is oblivious to the real motivation for Coy's questions. As I said, you can't blame Boone for that nor does it look like he will wise up soon. Coy may have to gain the wisdom he needs all by himself. Does that make Boone a Muppet? That's a question we  have to answer for ourselves. 😉

Well first of all, I'm glad you didn't delete your first comment. I enjoy ones that make me think... that stir me to show another side. :) 

Okay so this one... yes, Coy could well be beyond what Boone thinks with regards to his struggle, but is he being forthcoming with it? He bites off sentences, and pulls back, which I think is understandable for a man in turmoil. I'm sure Boone is aware of that and has an opinion of what it means. Again, understandable. One of the biggest enemies to life, love, and relationships/friendships is impatience. Boone learned that the hard way with the kiss that ended in a punch. Coy, despite us learning of his fears for Boone, wasn't ready then, and Boone has the right to assume he isn't ready now. Which brings me to your excellent observation... Boone won't budge unless Coy makes it patently clear he's wrong. :) 

And yes, I think you are safe in saying Coy is considering... that's the process he's in... does he want to farm? Does he want to move on? Does he love Boone the way Boone needs him too. Can he see himself living a life as a couple. Is he made like Boone? Will friendship be enough for Boone? For Coy? You're right... the best he can do is ask himself these questions, and talk to Boone. Let it sort, and seek information when he needs it. And that comes down to these vulnerable conversations he's initiating. 

I will however, disagree about Boone being oblivious. He understands Coy's struggle, and he knows why he's 'jawing so much'... but he has no real idea where the man will end up. How can he? He can only go by what he knows and has experienced, and what Coy tells him... or doesn't tell him. He has no clue what Coy's decisions will be, but that is different from being oblivious. He knows Coy has feelings for him that confuse the man. "It's something you just know."  Remember Boone saying that to Coy when Coy asked him? Boone knows it can take a while, but in the end, you 'just know.' He also knows that could take Coy years. :(  It's not about wising up, and he isn't leaving Coy to fend for himself... he's been open and honest, he's shared his bedroll, and he tries to control his hope. Coy is the one who needs to sort himself out. Boone can't, won't, and shouldn't be the one to do it. 

As for being a muppet, they're cute and furry and adorable, so yeah, I'll give you that one. :P 

Thanks, buddy... I enjoyed these thoughts as well... Cheers! :hug: 

 

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1 hour ago, rockycs said:

Geez...  Farming.  Work your butt off all year and bang - a sudden rainstorm, or no rain at the right time, or  a swarm of grasshoppers - and suddenly you are wiped out.

The boys couldn't be satisfied with a Stable?  A Saloon?  A decent Dance Hall?  A mid-market Bordello?  😀

 

Lol. A bordello? :lmao:  Everyone has a different dream, Rocky, and Boone knows what his is. :D You're right, though... farming is not for the weak of heart. Still, it can be a good life... and something he can call his own. Thanks for the chuckles, buddy, and thanks for sharing your thoughts, such as they are. :P  I hope you are enjoying the journey. Cheers! :hug:   

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59 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Lol. A bordello? :lmao:  Everyone has a different dream, Rocky, and Boone knows what his is. :D You're right, though... farming is not for the weak of heart. Still, it can be a good life... and something he can call his own. Thanks for the chuckles, buddy, and thanks for sharing your thoughts, such as they are. :P  I hope you are enjoying the journey. Cheers! :hug:   

 

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1 minute ago, rockycs said:

 

😀 yeah, I hear you.  Me, I'd buy a plot in town and start a nice Livery Stable.  Over time a good Blacksmith Shop next door.  As the town grows I'd probably end up with a couple more businesses as well.  Would still take hard work and a bit of good luck! To each his own, I guess.  😀

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56 minutes ago, rockycs said:

😀 yeah, I hear you.  Me, I'd buy a plot in town and start a nice Livery Stable.  Over time a good Blacksmith Shop next door.  As the town grows I'd probably end up with a couple more businesses as well.  Would still take hard work and a bit of good luck! To each his own, I guess.  😀

Sorry.  Try as I might I just can't  seem to figure out quoting on this site and how to do it properly.  I think I will just give up commenting.

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49 minutes ago, rockycs said:

😀 yeah, I hear you.  Me, I'd buy a plot in town and start a nice Livery Stable.  Over time a good Blacksmith Shop next door.  As the town grows I'd probably end up with a couple more businesses as well.  Would still take hard work and a bit of good luck! To each his own, I guess.  😀

I like a man with ambition. ;)  I'll tell you a secret. I'm a trained farrier (blacksmith/horseshoer). I gave it up after a year, other than doing my own horses, because I have a long torso, and it was wreaking havoc with my back, which interfered with me showing horses. I'd probably have been happy back then with a livery stable and shoeing horses... I used to make my own shoes from stock steel, which is what they did it in those days. 

Differences make the world go around, and that's why to each his own means there is someone for everyone. We just got to hope there is someone for Boone when all is said and done. :)  Cheers!

 

 

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6 minutes ago, rockycs said:

Sorry.  Try as I might I just can't  seem to figure out quoting on this site and how to do it properly.  I think I will just give up commenting.

No, no , no... don't do that! I live for comments from readers... it's what keeps me motivated to keep writing. All you have to do is hit the quote button on a post you want to quote, and then make sure your cursor is flashing beneath it when you start to type. Then hit the add comment box when you're done.

If that doesn't work for some reason, just type your comment anyway. Please don't stop commenting, rocky. :hug: 

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6 hours ago, Headstall said:

Well first of all, I'm glad you didn't delete your first comment. I enjoy ones that make me think... that stir me to show another side. :) 

Okay so this one... yes, Coy could well be beyond what Boone thinks with regards to his struggle, but is he being forthcoming with it? He bites off sentences, and pulls back, which I think is understandable for a man in turmoil. I'm sure Boone is aware of that and has an opinion of what it means. Again, understandable. One of the biggest enemies to life, love, and relationships/friendships is impatience. Boone learned that the hard way with the kiss that ended in a punch. Coy, despite us learning of his fears for Boone, wasn't ready then, and Boone has the right to assume he isn't ready now. Which brings me to your excellent observation... Boone won't budge unless Coy makes it patently clear he's wrong. :) 

And yes, I think you are safe in saying Coy is considering... that's the process he's in... does he want to farm? Does he want to move on? Does he love Boone the way Boone needs him too. Can he see himself living a life as a couple. Is he made like Boone? Will friendship be enough for Boone? For Coy? You're right... the best he can do is ask himself these questions, and talk to Boone. Let it sort, and seek information when he needs it. And that comes down to these vulnerable conversations he's initiating. 

I will however, disagree about Boone being oblivious. He understands Coy's struggle, and he knows why he's 'jawing so much'... but he has no real idea where the man will end up. How can he? He can only go by what he knows and has experienced, and what Coy tells him... or doesn't tell him. He has no clue what Coy's decisions will be, but that is different from being oblivious. He knows Coy has feelings for him that confuse the man. "It's something you just know."  Remember Boone saying that to Coy when Coy asked him? Boone knows it can take a while, but in the end, you 'just know.' He also knows that could take Coy years. :(  It's not about wising up, and he isn't leaving Coy to fend for himself... he's been open and honest, he's shared his bedroll, and he tries to control his hope. Coy is the one who needs to sort himself out. Boone can't, won't, and shouldn't be the one to do it. 

As for being a muppet, they're cute and furry and adorable, so yeah, I'll give you that one. :P 

Thanks, buddy... I enjoyed these thoughts as well... Cheers! :hug: 

 

I have to say I agree with @Bard Simpson. Boone does seem oblivious to some of what Coy is saying. Perhaps it's a case of your readers seeing one thing in him while you as author have a differing view. You "know" your characters motivation, his "thoughts" because he is your creation. We interpret those same things from what we read. It's a bit like your readers having a broader view of the situation than either Boone or Coy because we are privy to both characters "thoughts". You have an even more extended view because of your deeper knowledge of the story you've written. You're just a step or two further down the trail than we are. Like these two we'll get there in the end.

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16 minutes ago, Headstall said:

I like a man with ambition. ;)  I'll tell you a secret. I'm a trained farrier (blacksmith/horseshoer). I gave it up after a year, other than doing my own horses, because I have a long torso, and it was wreaking havoc with my back, which interfered with me showing horses. I'd probably have been happy back then with a livery stable and shoeing horses... I used to make my own shoes from stock steel, which is what they did it in those days. 

Differences make the world go around, and that's why to each his own means there is someone for everyone. We just got to hope there is someone for Boone when all is said and done. :)  Cheers!

 

 

Hmmm.  May not work but what about a stall for the horse with a two foot trench on the side allowing the farrier to be a bit lower?  Of course there would need some guard to prevent the horse from stepping off the edge.  You should be proud.  Creating things from metal with just heat and force is an art.  There are still quite a few blacksmiths around, oddly enough.  At least in Canada.  Out in the country, of course.

On the quoting thing my problem is there can be a comment followed by a response. I  want to quote both the comment and the response with my new comment.  Can't  seem to figure it out.  I can quote the reply portion only, but not both.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, rockycs said:

Sorry.  Try as I might I just can't  seem to figure out quoting on this site and how to do it properly.  I think I will just give up commenting.

No! Don't quit commenting. Gary loves comments, it's his, and every other author's, reward for the efforts put into creating the story.

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4 minutes ago, rockycs said:

On the quoting thing my problem is there can be a comment followed by a response. I  want to quote both the comment and the response with my new comment.  Can't  seem to figure it out.  I can quote the reply portion only, but not both.

 

 

I see your problem. You need to quote the comment and response as separate things. First quote the original comment. Then immediately under it quote the response. Does that help?

Edited by dughlas
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14 minutes ago, dughlas said:

I have to say I agree with @Bard Simpson. Boone does seem oblivious to some of what Coy is saying. Perhaps it's a case of your readers seeing one thing in him while you as author have a differing view. You "know" your characters motivation, his "thoughts" because he is your creation. We interpret those same things from what we read. It's a bit like your readers having a broader view of the situation than either Boone or Coy because we are privy to both characters "thoughts". You have an even more extended view because of your deeper knowledge of the story you've written. You're just a step or two further down the trail than we are. Like these two we'll get there in the end.

Yeah, I get that, and often think about how others see the story... but I can only go with how I see it, to provide that view, whether differing or not. I learn so much from comments, and I really do a lot of thinking when I comment, as you know, bro. As a matter of fact, I sometimes wonder if getting in depth with my responses turns some readers off from commenting again... like I have added some pressure when all they want is to read and enjoy the story, and don't want to delve so deeply. :unsure2: 

It's true what you say too... it takes some readers time to understand the characters... to get the whole picture, while I have full view form the beginning. Thanks, dugh... much appreciated. :hug: 

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19 minutes ago, rockycs said:

Hmmm.  May not work but what about a stall for the horse with a two foot trench on the side allowing the farrier to be a bit lower?  Of course there would need some guard to prevent the horse from stepping off the edge.  You should be proud.  Creating things from metal with just heat and force is an art.  There are still quite a few blacksmiths around, oddly enough.  At least in Canada.  Out in the country, of course.

On the quoting thing my problem is there can be a comment followed by a response. I  want to quote both the comment and the response with my new comment.  Can't  seem to figure it out.  I can quote the reply portion only, but not both.

 

 

You never want your head that close to a horses foot. Your only defense is bringing the foot UP to you, and having a good grip on it( and always remember to wear a leather apron--nails can rip you to shreds). You couldn't do that with a trench, and horse can strike out so quick, even gentle ones if they get spooked. :)  I am proud... I was an excellent blacksmith... and I had a great eye for balance and can spot the reason for lameness easily.

You have to multi quote then. Go to the original quote and click multi quote, and then go to the response and click the same button again... then click the 2-quote box, and presto! :) 

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25 minutes ago, dughlas said:

No! Don't quit commenting. Gary loves comments, it's his, and every other author's, reward for the efforts put into creating the story.

You know it, bro. Feedback is something we all thrive on... something some of us need. I've said it plenty, but writing is hard work, and sometimes we need the extra push a comment gives us. :hug: 

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24 minutes ago, dughlas said:

I see your problem. You need to quote the comment and response as separate things. First quote the original comment. Then immediately under it quote the response. Does that help?

Exactly... what dugh said!  *high fives dugh* 

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16 hours ago, dughlas said:

Coy is evolving ... and I like it. Boone seems stuck in denial ... that bothers me.

Coy is working through the strictures placed on him by his momma and brother. He's sorting what he thinks and feels for himself.

Boone seems determined that Coy can't feel for him what he feels for Coy. I think he's wrong.

These are two virile young men and young men tend to focus on the physical expression of their affections but you don't have sex 24/7/365. You do spend much of that time in companionship. Much as they've been doing since they met. I once asked a counselor how I could love and marry a woman if I was gay. He told me love and sexual orientation didn't negate one another and that orientation wasn't a this or that but a scale. I believe Coy loves Boone beyond just friendship. Is he "gay"? I don't know. Could he share himself with Boone? I think so and quite happily.

For now I intend to enjoy the journey and leave it to the hopeless romantic spinnin' this yarn to make it happen.

I agree with you about Coy evolving and Boone in denial! I hope they come to terms with themselves as a friend as well (hopefully) as more! We all need that kind of relationship!

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3 minutes ago, Sherye said:

I agree with you about Coy evolving and Boone in denial! I hope they come to terms with themselves as a friend as well (hopefully) as more! We all need that kind of relationship!

Hey, Sherye! Dugh made some good points. Coy is evolving... he's seeking information, and Boone is doing his best not to get his hopes up and not get hurt again. I totally agree that friendship is not to be diminished... it can be enough on its own, but yeah, Boone wants to have love. :heart:  Thank you, my friend... cheers... Gary.... :hug: 

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A bordello is totally the way to go. Boone’s House of Beef has a catchy ring to it, don’tcha think?

Seems to me their past together is clouding each man’s view of the present in that one is so positive he knows what the other is thinking/feeling that he can’t or won’t accept the changes happening.

Boone is so sure Coy’s feelings come from a place of confusion and/or fraternal affection that he won’t allow himself to harbor any (more) hope. It’s premature given how long the poor guy was under Will’s thumb — er, trapped in his coils. While I don’t blame him for guarding his heart, he’s not giving Coy enough of a chance to come around or the time necessary to do so.

Coy, on the other hand, seems to be under the impression that, where Boone is concerned, that ship has sailed. His friend’s plans don’t include him because they want different things and because Coy doesn’t know what he wants. He’s letting Boone make that decision for him when, even if he isn’t 100% sure what he wants, he does know what he doesn’t want: to lose Boone again.

I feel bad for Coy. He’s been pressured to think and feel a certain way by basically everyone now, including Boone. If he’s going to be happy, he needs to stand up for himself. Deciding on his own has got to be scary for him, but at least he’s asking questions he wouldn’t have before now.

Oh, and I’m beginning to think Blue is a barometer for where they stand with one another. The less that mule acts up, the more trouble they’re in. 

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9 hours ago, Danners said:

A bordello is totally the way to go. Boone’s House of Beef has a catchy ring to it, don’tcha think?

Seems to me their past together is clouding each man’s view of the present in that one is so positive he knows what the other is thinking/feeling that he can’t or won’t accept the changes happening.

Boone is so sure Coy’s feelings come from a place of confusion and/or fraternal affection that he won’t allow himself to harbor any (more) hope. It’s premature given how long the poor guy was under Will’s thumb — er, trapped in his coils. While I don’t blame him for guarding his heart, he’s not giving Coy enough of a chance to come around or the time necessary to do so.

Coy, on the other hand, seems to be under the impression that, where Boone is concerned, that ship has sailed. His friend’s plans don’t include him because they want different things and because Coy doesn’t know what he wants. He’s letting Boone make that decision for him when, even if he isn’t 100% sure what he wants, he does know what he doesn’t want: to lose Boone again.

I feel bad for Coy. He’s been pressured to think and feel a certain way by basically everyone now, including Boone. If he’s going to be happy, he needs to stand up for himself. Deciding on his own has got to be scary for him, but at least he’s asking questions he wouldn’t have before now.

Oh, and I’m beginning to think Blue is a barometer for where they stand with one another. The less that mule acts up, the more trouble they’re in. 

Lol. Hey, Dan. I must admit that is a catchy name for a bordello. :) 

I guess I have to bow to the masses, but I see Boone in a different light. I don't see him as stubborn or closed... or all that confident in his convictions. To me, he's just a guy who's been hurt, and is putting his friendship with Coy over any hopes he has. What he cares about most is that Coy is finally happy, and yeah, he thinks that might entail living a different life from Boone, but he still wants him around as a friend if that's all Coy wants. 

As far as the confusion aspect... that's not a projection of Boone's. Coy has readily admitted he is confused... that he isn't sure what he wants... that yes he has feelings, but he really hasn't worked out what he means. Boone accepts that. Is he biting off his nose to spite his face? A little bit, but that's his only defense against getting hurt. Remember the reason wanted to leave Coy behind in the first place? Boone was miserable... he'd spent five years pining for something he couldn't have. Five years! So yeah, of course he's not going to believe there's a possibility unless Coy tells him in plain English there is.

As far as giving Coy enough time... I disagree... time is exactly what Boone is giving Coy, and he's making sure Coy feels no pressure from him while he works out what he wants his life to be. 

I also don't think Coy thinks the ship has sailed. Sure, it's an awkward subject, and it has been since the kiss and punch, but Boone has just recently admitted he still has feelings for Coy... but expects nothing. He doesn't want Coy to think he owes him anything in return, and he's made that clear. 

I will agree that Coy doesn't want to lose Boone again... and Boone knows that... and he knows it's a powerful motivation for tipping the scales for a confused man. Again, that's the last thing he wants. If Coy is made like Boone, it's for him to decide. 

I feel bad for Coy too... but I think he is fortunate not to have pressure put on him. I don't think he feels one bit of pressure from his friend... certainly not like he did from his ma or Will. He might feel some from himself, though. 

Making any kind of decision about your life is scary... and I agree Coy is scared, for a number of reasons. He has to figure out what his feelings for Boone actually mean...and he's the only one who can do that, so let's give Boone a break. This is not easy for him... in fact I would go so far as to say it is agonizing for him, not knowing whether Coy is going to stay in his life in any capacity.

Coy is asking questions, as you point out, and Boone is giving honest answers in an attempt to help his friend, but that's all he will do. More than you or I, Boone wnats Coy to stand up for himself... Boone knows the struggle he faced with his own identity... and the bottom line is he loves Coy from the bottom of his heart, and likely always will.

All this said, I understand why you and other readers see Boone the way you do. :yes:  

Lol to Blue being a barometer. :P   As always, I love hearing your thoughts on my stories, buddy, and I thank you for them. Cheers! :hug: 

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I haven’t felt frustrated with these two for a few chapters and now I can’t help but feel we are all back to square one again. All the progress that happened during the trip to Larkspur dissipated once they were close to their destination, because once again Boone is in his self-preservation mode. He should stop pushing Coy away, has he forgotten the last time he did that to Coy? He almost died without him. Whether Boone likes it or not, he has to accept that he won’t be able to live without Coy and that Coy is his life long partner (or soulmate?), even if it’s just the platonic kind.

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I was also laughing for a bit because I read the title of this chapter as Trailworm and was confused when I got to the end without a mention of some kind of worm haha.

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