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    R. Eric
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His Royal Highness, Prince Vincent - 4. The American Ambassador is a Cowboy

HE'S ALIVE! ALIVE! Before you sling rocks or insults, you know inspiration is a bitch. We had two cases of Covid 19 in the house. Both were hospitalized, but I was spared, but busy. My second vaccination is on the eighth of March. I was reading through and I thought the story needed more. The stories don't really end. Artistic License allows name changes, but I try to keep some historical accuracy. All stories will be finished. I swear. Read the first three chapters to remember the plot.

The American Ambassador is a Cowboy

 

My life was very different than…well…everyone’s life. I was born in the Wyoming Territory, which was now a state in the United States of America. Face it, I was a cowboy. Everybody in England, Denmark, Norway…everybody’s first question when they found out where I was from was if I were a cowboy. It was a little embarrassing when I first arrived in England with Dad. The first person to just come out and just ask me right out was Vincent! My first, best friend at the Wentworth Academy for Young Gentlemen. I didn’t realize how important he would be to me. My greatest heart soaring joy and almost my greatest heartache. The source of my greatest was the loss of my father. He was my biggest supporter and mentor. I missed him. He was my inspiration and he liked me. He was my father. Love was there, of course, but he really liked me as a person. I liked him, too.

Vincent had fulfilled his duty, married and was producing an heir with Angelica. Having Vincent suddenly there as I shared a drink with my father’s memory was so startling for me. There were things that needed handling and talked about and things were still up in the air about Vincent’s and my future. It wasn’t settled. It never would be. Medical Science was improving, but childbirth was still risky. Angelica could die and the baby could die. She was healthy, young and a princess; she would have the best care. Both Denmark and Norway would do whatever was needed to have a healthy baby.

I didn’t care. Nothing against Angelica, she was just as big a pawn as Vincent was in this whole royal chess game. One thing I determined as soon as I saw Vincent, I was never leaving him again. Our kiss had gone from overwhelming relief and passion to a more, less desperate longing to just plain love. He felt good, he looked good in the dim light of the stars and crescent moon. “I love you, Vince.”

His laugh was still a little soft because his emotions were still on the surface, “I love you, David. Come home.”

He was right. I wanted to go home. Not to the ranch house, but back to Denmark or England. Dad was the ranch. Mom was, too, but without my father it had lost a lot of it’s hold on me. I never felt that with Vincent. Whether we were in Copenhagen, London or Paris, I was home. “If my house is still available,” I grinned.

Vincent chuckled, “Still available.” He looked at me in mock annoyance. “Do you think I would move all your stuff out!?”

“I think you could get a couple of your fellow Vikings to move it for you.” I said lightly.

“Mom wouldn’t let me,” Vincent grinned a little evilly.

I moved my head back an inch, “Queen Maregete?” I said to be clear. “Your mother, the Queen of Denmark?”

Vincent nodded quickly, “She has really relaxed about the whole situation. She even smiled at me as I came over here! She wants you back. Dad does, too.”

I gave a grudging nod, “I guess.”

Vincent bent over picking up the bottle of bourbon from my father’s grave, “Would your Dad mind if I had some of his bourbon?”

“He’d be offended if you didn’t! I didn’t bring a glass.”

Vincent grinned, “So?” He lifted the bottle and drank from it. He smiled as he swallowed. “Vikings weren’t necessarily neat and well mannered, you know?”

It had been a whole bottle when I came out there. It was almost empty when we staggered back to the house. We were together again!

Bendt and Nakia stood up as Vincent and I came in, arms around each other’s shoulders to hold each other up. The two trusted guards were smiling at each other as it was clear what happened.

“Bendt!” I said in delighted surprise. “Nakia!” I almost let Vincent go, but he began to slump a bit. “Oops! Vi kan ikke kronprinsen på gulvet.”

Both Bendt and Nakia chuckled and came over to help me. “No, the Crown Prince shouldn’t be on the floor.” Bendt nodded.

“I guess things are good for you now?” Nakia asked.

I looked at them puzzled, “You’re both speaking English!?”

Bendt got a better hold of Vincent and Nakia had me. Bendt smiled and said, “We could speak English before, but you were so happy speaking Danish, we didn’t bother. Why would we?”

I hugged Nakia, “It’s great to see you!” Then I nodded, “Yes, things are very good with me. What about you, Vinnie?”

Vincent was drinking another swig from the bottle he sloshed around and glared at me, “That’s it, give me the ring back!” He held his hand out to me. “You know I hate that name! You do it on purpose!”

“Yes, I do!” I said happily, “It’s fun!”

“I’m so happy you’re enjoying yourself,” Vincent growled. He looked at Nakia. “I’ve never been better.” His head jutted at Bendt. “Does he bother you like this?”

Bendt nodded, “Without mercy.” He began moving and I was moving, too. “Bedtime, Gentlemen.”

“We sort of went a little far with the drinking,” I smiled as we began climbing the stairs. “We normally don’t just get drunk. We just couldn’t stop.”

“I know,” Nakia smiled. “We’re good.”

 

The morning was another story. That was not so good. Quite the opposite. Drinking was not new for me and God knows my father enjoyed his bourbon! I’d seen him drunk only a few times, but Mom was never happy with Dad getting drunk. He never got angry or hit anyone when he drank. He wasn’t a mean drunk. Never. I realized the reason he wasn’t! He was a happy man! There were no reasons to escape troubles; there were none!

My eyes opened slowly and knew I was in bed at the ranch. My clothes were still on. Remembering how I got here the night before was hazy in my memory. Sharing my father’s bourbon with him I remembered doing that, but… I sat up quickly as I remembered, “Vincent!!”

“Keep it down,” a muffled, gruff voice said beside me.

Then the pain came. This intense dull ache in my head that covered my entire head where my brain was and this queasy feeling in my stomach just added to the pain with nausea and the threat of throwing up, but Vincent was here!? Now I remembered all of what happened. “Vinnie!” I said to him and the pain couldn’t stop me from throwing back the covers that covered him.

Vincent groaned taking the pillow he was using and put his head under it, “Call me whatever, but do it quietly?” He suggested.

I threw myself across him. A hangover didn’t reduce my joy. “You’re here!?”

He lifted the pillow up and I saw the grin, “For a very smart man, you’re repeating what you know already! I am Vincent Henrik and yes, I am here.”

We kissed again, but we both needed to feel better. “It’s so unbelievable, I’m overwhelmed.”

“And I’m hurting,” Vincent chuckled. “I know you are. Surprising you was great, but I hadn’t planned on getting drunk last night.”

I nodded, “It wasn’t the reunion I imagined, but it was. I missed you.”

“This is some headache,” Vincent complained.

“We’ve drank before, Vince,” I smiled. “You know what a hangover feels like.”

Vincent nodded, “I have. This one is number five.”

I stood up slowly and grinned, “My grandmother had many cures. I know she had one for this. I’ll be right back.”

 

There were many changes and not just for Wyoming. My father was gone, my grandmother was gone and even Cookie was gone. (The very elderly man that was still here when I came back this time.) My father died suddenly of a heart attack, my grandmother (my mother’s Shoshone mother) just went in her sleep and Cookie…well, he was just tired! Remember? Even he didn’t know how old he was! Most guessed he was in his seventies or eighties! He died on the front porch whittling. He looked like he’d simply fallen asleep. No trauma or pain…his body just stopped. We should all be so lucky.

Coming in to the kitchen, I saw Maggie who was washing dishes after all the ranch-hands had finished breakfast. We had anywhere from fifteen to twenty hired hands depending on how the ranch did, which was always good. It hadn’t taken long for Maggie to just blossom after her “aunt” Charlotte left. This “Mr. Proctor” was going to have to find another person to keep his house clean and watch his children. Aunt Charlotte hadn’t even confirmed whether Mr. Proctor was hiring for that job. I assume he did because he paid for Maggie’s and Charlotte’s trip to Billings. Mom had sent him the money back and told him Maggie now worked for her. Maggie, or Margret Dwyer, was a sharp young woman and a hard worker. She was pretty with long, dark red hair and a love of reading, just like I had. The many hired hands were all good men. They varied from their late teens to early fifties. To be hired by my father, they had to be good men. They were gentlemen. Just as my mother insisted they learn to read here, they had to behave like gentlemen. Mom and Maggie were the only two females here on the ranch, but my cousin Jacy was only a few miles away. If my mother or Maggie were threatened, there would be a war party on the threat in no time. There were hands that have been here for years! One had been here for twenty-five years. He would defend my mother, Maggie and the ranch with his life. Others were not as long in years, but just as loyal. Occasionally, we hired people not as trustworthy. The other hands kept them on the straight and narrow path. My mother has knocked a few heads and even knocked a man on his ass that harassed her. Mom and Maggie lived in the main house. When the stagecoach arrived and guests needed to stay, one of the hired hands…or two…would stay in the house.

Maggie turned and smiled at me, but it was a knowing smile. As Vincent and I had returned to the house the night before, only Bendt and Nakia had been up to make sure Vincent had returned safe and sound. That was their real job. They were our good friends, but they were guards hired to protect Vincent. There was no doubt in my mind that they had checked on us while we were drinking with my father’s memory. Who else would be better to do that? She saw me looking in the cabinet where we kept the various cures and treatments for everyone on the ranch. “It’s on the third shelf up and four bottles over from the left,” she said.

I hung my head, “Yes, we drank a little too much last night.” That wasn’t the best example on how to behave we’d shone.

“The two with Mr. Henrik told us this morning,” Maggie admitted, but smiled a bit meanly. “You two hadn’t seen each other in a while.”

I shook my head, “Not for a while.”

“He’s the Crown Prince of Denmark, isn’t he?” Maggie asked.

I knew Bendt, Nakia, Mom…no one would have told her that, “Why do you say that?”

She was smart and well-read, “You’re going to be the ambassador for Denmark and Norway. You lived there.” She began listing how it was obvious. “Recommended by Queen Victoria and it was in the Denver paper with his name. Vincent Henrik. He will be king. It’s simple reasoning.”

I chuckled as I nodded, “I knew you were smart.”

“Even Aunt Charlotte could have figured that out,” Maggie said. “If she ever read anything other than that Bible.”

“The Bible reading is fine,” I got the other things I needed to mix the cure for Vincent and me. “It’s a big and beautiful world. The Bible is a great book. My grandmother’s people know that in their soul. My mother does and I do. It’s just a shame for anyone to miss out.”

Maggie nodded, “You sure aren’t.” She chuckled, “When you got her to see what she was doing to me, that was worth it.”

“I’ll be more than willing to discuss it more,” I pressed my head, “after the pain is gone.”

There were many cures the Shoshone used that worked for thousands of years. Grandmother knew them and used them on the ranch for everyone. My mother did, too. It worked! I used it on myself, Vincent and my friends in England and Denmark. I made the tea needed and boiled up the cure. Grandmother would tell me our bodies were out of balance. This cure got our bodies back in balance.

Upstairs, I got Vincent to sit up again. I had a pitcher and two large steaming mugs. “First, drink the tea,” I instructed. “And drink it all. Then we’ll both drink some water…after the tea has begun to work.”

“Is it an Indian cure?” Vincent grinned taking the tea and sniffing it. “It smells good.”

“Yes,” I nodded. “It is an Indian cure. Herbs and American Ginger Root will take away the headache and nausea. I added the sugar, the little honey and cream you like in your tea.”

“You do know me,” Vincent smiled as he sipped. “This is good.”

“Yes, I do know you,” I said. “You know me.”

“I do,” Vincent nodded. “But you know more than just how I like my tea.”

“Because you let me in,” I said. “I know you are a man of truth and duty. You’re honest…” I cocked my head, “and you never lie to anyone.”

Vincent’s eyes lowered, “I won’t. So, I won’t lie to you.”

“Can you?” I asked and sighed sadly. “We will be living a lie we’ll tell the whole world.” I held my hand up. “I can’t let you go. I refuse.”

“Neither can I,” Vincent nodded. “I told your father the night of that cattle drive, that I would let you go. I know that was a lie. I can’t.”

“Well,” I nodded, “You didn’t lie. What you said was; you considered letting me go. You also told him you didn’t want to let me go. You needed to decide what was best for me. Letting me go would not be what’s best for me. Who do you think you are? You want to decide what’s best for me!?”

Vincent’s chuckled and shrugged, “I was taking responsibility.”

“I told you,” I smiled. “I started this relationship with my eyes wide open. We are both smart enough to figure out how to make it work. Your parents did.”

“And you’re willing to do that,” Vincent said.

I looked at him, “It’s our only choice. You have a job to do. I have a job to do. A lot of people are counting on you. My father sent me to England for a future. You’re it. It is what it is. Until the world changes; this is what we have to do.”

“That’s not fair,” Vincent growled.

“So?” I shrugged. “No one ever promised us life would be fair. We need to work together to make life fair.”

Vincent’s eyes widened, “That’s an Indian thing?”

I shook my head, “Nah, that’s a Daniel Richards thing.”

Vincent grinned and nodded, “Your Dad.”

“Yep,” I smiled. “He was a very smart man.” I watched as he drained the last of the tea. “Feeling better?”

He held the mug out smiling, “Much better! This really works.”

I grinned, “Hi, Vincent.”

“Hi.” He smiled.

We had a reunion we were too drunk to have.

 

We had a potential schedule to keep. Vincent’s baby was due and I had a job to do. I also needed to let President Cleveland know I was taking the job. We would do that as soon as we got to Cheyenne, our new state’s capitol. That was in the lower southeastern corner of Wyoming. Railroads were being constructed, but for the moment they only ran along the southern edge of Wyoming. Oh, and Casper. They was a connection coming between Cheyenne and Casper, but it wasn’t finished. It was about a hundred and seventy miles from where we were. It was that or go a hundred miles north to Billings. The stagecoach still came through two or three times a week.

A part of me knew I was looking at this probably for the last time. I would keep in touch with the people here, but I had a job to do now. I really didn’t worry about the ranch. Mom handled the business just fine. My cousin Jacy would help Mom. He was family. There were plenty of people that would and could help my mother whether they were Shoshone or hired hands. Jacy and the other family in the tribe knew about the gold mine under the house and how to get it. American Natives didn’t really have possessions. Yes, Dad had used the mine to buy the land the tribe called home. The concept of owning land was just…beyond their comprehension. No one could own land! When the United States Government began relocating most tribes onto reservations, Dad bought the land and then gave it to the tribe. No one was driving them from their homes. My father even hired a top, internationally known law firm in the United States, Canada and in Europe that would intercede if anyone challenged that. My point is; I was leaving the ranch in very good hands. My house in Copenhagen was given to me by Vincent. There was no sale, the house was King Fredrick’s Aunt’s house, Vincent’s great aunt was the king’s sister. It was surrounded by a wall and you entered by a gate. There were ten bedrooms and twelve bathrooms. It was a palace of its own. I was going to be making money, paid by the United States Government. I still had the money I’d been sent by my parents to live on. I was not poor.

There would also be a staff. Making me an Ambassador was more than just a reason to keep Vincent and myself together. My staying in Scandinavia meant I would work! Norway and Denmark were on my side already. There was also Finland and Sweden, but I hadn’t been asked to be their ambassador. Having Queen Victoria supporting my job…and let’s be honest. George Washington was the father of the United States, but all the Royals in Europe and Scandinavia were all related! Queen Victoria was the mother, grandmother, aunt and/or cousin of almost all of them! They didn’t always get along. There was no armed conflicts. Yet. There would be American military at what was to be the Embassy or Consulate of the United States. Why not?

I would be the American Representative. Relations with that world were okay, but I would have meetings, introduce treaties and negotiate trade. Denmark wasn’t a big Scandinavian country as land volume, but there weren’t as many mountains. The crops Denmark produced was needed and used. I was determined to get the United States to export more of our produce, grains and yes, beef! Not just beef from the ranch. There were many cattle ranches from coast to coast in the United States. I was an American! I was a cowboy from birth and also part Indian. I would always be an American Cowboy, even if I spent little time in the United States. Half of my life was spent in England and Denmark. My home was with Vincent. His home was Denmark. So, it was my home, too.

I needed to go to Norway. I was their Ambassador, too. Getting to know Angelica needed to be done by me. There needed to be assurances to her that I understood what they did and I didn’t blame her or was afraid she would take Vincent away from me. Her father King Olav liked me and so did his Queen Martha. What they knew of Vincent’s and my relationship, they would never ask about. What sort of relationships they had I would never ask about. That was the way it was.

 

My mother was crying as wagons were being loaded. We were saying our good-byes. It was decided we didn’t need to wait for the stagecoach. One wagon was just for luggage. Somehow, I was returning with more than I came with! How did that happen!? I was only here just six months!?

I had been given things by my mother she told me Dad had wanted me to have. Photography had been new, but my father insisted he and my mother have portraits done. I had several of both of them and the ranch. There were several emotions swirling in my head. There was the sadness of leaving and I was anxious to get back to life. That life was in Denmark. Jacy was speaking with Vincent as my mother expressed her emotions.

“You come to Copenhagen,” I said again. “You promised you would.”

She nodded, but let her tears flow unchecked, “I will.” She promised again. “Next summer.” Her face had hurt again, “I never traveled without your father.” She then smiled and reached into a pocket on her dress and pulled out something with shiny gold something. There was a long chain attached and I knew what it was. “He wanted you to have this.”

Who the hell ever said men don’t cry!? I cried a few times. I have emotions! I took my father’s prize pocket watch. He never went anywhere without it. Not working on the ranch, but everywhere else! I pressed the button used to wind and set the watch. It had two covers, one on each side. Under clean crystal were the roman numbers to tell time. The soft ticking could be heard. The other side opened and a light tinkling music played a waltz I knew once. The composer I knew, but…I could see Dad reach in the little vest pocket and check the time. Now I was crying again! “I’ll wear it proudly.”

“He was so proud of you, David,” Mom said sniffing. “I’m proud of you.” She hugged me again and I felt she was having a hard time letting me go. I was entering my late twenties, but I was her baby. I didn’t mind. She loved me and I loved her. She let me go and turned to Vincent. “I know you will, but…” her hand stroked my face, “take care of him.” She hugged Vincent and kissed his cheek.

Vincent chuckled, “I will, but really…” he pointed at me, “he takes care of me.”

Jacy swore again to watch out for things, “You will not be returning.” The smile was sad, but resolved to the logic of the situation. His eyes were beginning to well with tears, too. I guess men who are Indians do cry. That would count for me, too. Being a quarter Indian was apparently enough. Vincent had cried, so Indians and Vikings cry?

Shaking my head, “You never know.” I smiled. “Vincent could need to relax somewhere. Where better than here?” But there was truth in his words. The idea was there, so I said, “You could come to Copenhagen! Mom doesn’t want to travel alone. Who better than you to come with her? It would only be for the end of spring and then summer.”

Jacy reached up and scratched his head as he thought, “I dunno.” He said long and in uncertainty. Then he chuckled. “White men get upset when they just come here. Will they get upset if I go to where most of them came from?”

“Let them get upset,” I grinned and tapped his chest. “I have two kings and three queens in my hand. That’s a full house in poker!”

Jacy laughed, “If you say so. I never played cards.”

“It’s a good hand and hard to beat.”

He reached out and touched my clothes, “Should I wear clothes like this and cut my hair?”

“Absolutely not!” I said adamantly. I touched his hair that hung past his shoulders. “This is who you are. I dare anyone to make you uncomfortable. Be yourself.”

Jacy nodded, “That’s good advice. You need to do that yourself. Be who you are.” He chuckled. “It will be worth it to shake them up.”

Clasping wrists, I smiled at him. “We’re family, Jacy, but you’ve always been my good and best friend. Thank you.”

“And you are mine,” Jacy nodded and hugged me. “I always will be. Take care.”

Getting in the covered wagon, I sat by Vincent. Bendt and Nakia were across from us. We used two of the ranch’s hired hands to take us to Cheyenne. They would have to stay the night in Cheyenne and return in the morning.

We waved and began to head out. There was a longing in my heart, but I refused to look back. Being raised on that ranch I would never forget. Looking back would just hurt. I held the watch and looked at it.

“I remember that watch,” Vincent said with a smile. “He was wearing it the day we met.”

Those memories had sweetened and didn’t hurt. I nodded and couldn’t help the warmth the emotions of that brought. In fact, there were many funny things to remember about my father and I couldn’t stop the laughter that came. “Dad always said he could be just as snobby as anybody. The fathers at Wentworth Academy with their sons were certainly that. Dad told me this watch just made him feel comfortable among them. He wore it every day when in London.” My laughter took on an edge and I grinned a little meanly. “I knew Dad could win any conflict with any and all of them and never be even a little tired. That conflict could be intellectual or physical.”

Bendt and Nakia were both smiling when I said that and Bendt laughed and said, “We’ve seen him bring down very big male cow.”

This was not normal protocol. Assigned guards, even choice guards, didn’t just enter a conversation with royalty. Then again, we weren’t normal. The four of us were the only passengers in the carriage and they knew they could. They spoke English, but I heard the accent and knew many people in the United States would not understand Bendt or Nakia unless they really listened. “That’s steer or bull,” I grinned at him and nodded. “I’ve seen him do that many times.” Bendt’s smile just grew and he shrugged. “The best I could do was trip the bull to get him down.” I laughed harder at a memory. “He wrestled them down and became my hero as a small child and that never went away.” Opening the watch again, the soft tingle of a melody could be heard. Smiles came on everyone’s face when they heard it.

“Don’t let those feelings go,” Vincent said. “That you feel this way tells how important he was to you. He’s not really gone.”

I looked at Vincent surprised and leaned away a few inches, “He’s not.” I shrugged. “He was as much a part of the Pohogwe as any of my Indian relatives.”

Nakia’s eyes grew, “Po og we?” He struggled to pronounce the word he could never have known.

Vincent did! “It’s pronounced Po hog way.” He smiled. “That’s David’s tribe.” It did sort of sound a little smug.

“I thought he was Shoshone!” Bendt blurted.

Vincent laughed, “He is! Do you know how many there are? There are thousands.” He looked at me. “How many Shoshone tribes are there? Thirty?”

I shrugged, “No one has an exact number. The Shoshone cover five or six states. The Pohogwe are growing as they own the land they live on. They now have roughly over six hundred tribe members.”

“Oh,” Bendt simply said.

 

We left in the morning. The time it took to get to Cheyenne depended on the conditions of the road. Maintaining the conditions were now a Wyoming State issue. Rain storms, flashfloods and melting snow would wash away the ruts the wagons rode on. The stagecoach services kept up with that between Cheyenne, Casper and Billings and it was a popular route. Casper and Cheyenne were close together, but until the railroad tracks were finished, you had problems getting from one to the other. You had to go into Nebraska if you took a train. We hit a few holes rough parts and the idea of just riding an individual horse grew more appealing. This was the Wild West! The idea of outlaws riding through the streets, firing guns in the air, made good stories but didn’t happen often. I put the blame for that on those cheap stories sent to the cities like New York and London along with the scalping done by Indians. Did it happen? Not now. Train robberies happened. Gunslingers challenges happened; in the past! The world was changing and Americans were trying to keep up. We were just a few years from the twentieth century. We had to.

Cheyenne had changed. Now there were the many wires that were strung up from pole to pole for electricity, telegraph and telephones.

Pulling my father’s watch out, I checked the time and I stuck my head out as we traveled down a wide road. “Do you know Ferguson Street?”

The driver looked at me and grinned, “Sure.”

“Does Joe Carson still have his shop there?”

He shrugged, “I dunno. We’ll find out.”

I asked the driver with the luggage wagon to go on to the train depot and have the luggage securely stored. I gave him a few gold coins and he gave a nod. He would meet us at the hotel.

“Joe Carson?” Vincent asked me as I sat back.

“Oh, yes,” I chuckled. “Dad went there almost every year! He sells clothes.”

I watched Vincent’s eyebrows come closer together as he was confused, “You’ve got clothes. We can unload and you can get what you need.”

I smiled at Vincent, “Did you know Dad was a cowboy when you first saw him?” I was challenging him to tell the truth.

“Well, not exactly,” Vincent said. “I knew he was different, but until he spoke. He was big, but just different.”

I nodded, “Uh huh. How many times was I asked if I was cowboy in London or Copenhagen? You did. Your sister…even Queen Victoria wanted me to prove it!” I poked him lightly on the chest. “No one will have to ask me that again! I am a cowboy. I have the blood of many cowboys. Dad got some good suits and things from Joe. I need one tomorrow when we go to the capitol and see the newly elected Mayor Stahle and I bet Governor Osbourne will want to be included.” I tapped his chest as I said the next words, “No one in London or Copenhagen will have to question me again.”

Vincent’s eyes grew as I did that, but the smile also grew, “Okay. What brought this change?”

I explained about my cousin Jacy who told me to follow my own advice. “It’s only three o’clock. It should be still open if it’s still there.” It was both.

Joe Carson had died before my father had, but his daughter and son-in-law ran the business now. Juan Martinez was dark haired like me in his early thirties. He was a little chubby, but not ugly. He looked puzzled when he saw me. He heard my last name and an eyebrow rose. “Richards?”

“My father was Daniel Richards,” I answered the question I saw in his eyes.

“You look a lot like him!” Juan smiled coming over to me quickly and stuck his hand out for me to shake. “He spoke of you often. I thought you were in Denmark or England.” He suddenly stopped as he gasped at a memory, “My apologizes, I heard he died not long ago. I’m so sorry. It slipped my mind.”

It was still uncomfortable, but it didn’t hurt as much, “Thank you.” I turned to Vincent, Nakia and Bendt. “Vincent is a good friend I met in school. Bendt and Nakia are friends, too.” I watched as they all exchanged greetings. “They speak English, but accented…”

“I speak English just fine!” Vincent said indignantly.

I nodded, but didn’t look at him. “Yes, you do, Vinnie.” The snort of breath was heard. I felt the right side of my mouth rise only slightly, but I went on. Pointing at Bendt and Nakia, “They don’t.” I looked at the two friends from Denmark. “Jeg er ked af det, men du har brug for mere øvelse. Det vil komme.” I apologized and told them they’d get it. They both smirked and shrugged. Then I turned to Juan. “I have a very important meeting tomorrow morning. I need two suits that tell people I’m a cattleman and a cowboy. One I need sooner, but the other I need when we head east. Can you ship internationally?”

Juan’s eyes grew, “I don’t see why not.” He shrugged. “It will take a while to get some places, but yes.”

There was a remarkable difference in the styles of suits from Joe Carson’s in Cheyenne and London, Rome or Paris. The lapels were thinner, the cut was different. I got several colors of vests each with a little pocket for Dad’s watch. The pants fit over boots. (I got two pairs of shiny black boots) A tie is a tie, right? No. I got several leather-string ties you slipped a clasp up to tighten. And two Stetson hats also the color black. I even got Vincent, Nakia and Bendt boots and a hat. When I asked Juan to make warm clothes, too. It was cold over yonder. I saw his smile grow as his eyes opened widely.

 

We got in the carriage again.

“You could have any style you want in Copenhagen,” Vincent said, but he wasn’t bothered. “Or London, Paris or Rome.”

Again, I leaned back and looked at him puzzled, “You mean all those people who only know about Cowboys and Indians from those cheap stories?” I shook my head. “That won’t happen.” I grudged a nod. “I might once they see what it should look like. And what’s wrong with supporting my own state? I am an American born in Wyoming.” I said proudly.

“Yes, you are,” Vincent smiled and nodded.

 

The Interocean Hotel was a three-story building on a street corner. My father preferred to stay here when he and my mother came to town. It was about twenty years old, but a good one. It was practically the only one that had private bathrooms. The problem with a new state and new technology, it only works if you have access to it. Cheyenne had it. London and Copenhagen had it. The ranch did not. Hanging electrical wires of any kind would take work and then it required upkeep. Casper was the closet town to us in distance. Billings was the closet north of us, but they were Montana. They could, but worried about their cities and towns, not a ranch in Wyoming.

I didn’t play the connections game often. Never once did I tell anyone I knew kings and queens. The kings and queens told people they knew me. Because of Vincent! However, when we walked into the hotel, it was busy. Good for them! Two men were working at the front desk where one was writing something and turned around and slipped a piece of paper in a slot for a guest in a room. He was older than Vincent and I were in his mid-thirties with short dirty blond hair. He was thin and could have been attractive, if he ever smiled. His face looked as if smiling was something he rarely did. The other man was off to the side and thumbing through some ledger to check something. He was in his fifties with thinning salt and pepper hair. Both wore suits, but the older man had one on that was more…expensive. He was either a manager or the owner. Maybe both.

Then thin man never smiled, “Can I help you?” He saw four men carrying cowboy hats walk up. A gentleman takes his hat off when coming inside even if he’s a cowboy. Gentlemen cowboys.

I waved at Vincent and our Danish guards, “I need a suite or at least two rooms for a couple of nights.”

“There will be nothing available until tomorrow,” the man frowned. He did that facial expression easily enough. “Advanced notification would have helped.”

“There is no other hotel available?” I asked.

“None to my knowledge,” the man said crisply.

Vincent knew the man was just being unfriendly, “And what should we have done? Send up smoke signals? Run some wires upstate to the ranch and we could have!”

I held my hand up and said calmly, “Vincent, Bliv ikke ked af det. Vi finder ud af det her.” Telling him to not get upset and we’d work it out.

My peripheral vision saw the other man to look up and his eyes grew. He walked over to us, “Are you David?”

God was working, because I was surprised, “I am.” I saw his hand come over the front desk and he shook my hand. “David Richards.”

“I’m Matthew Cheney,” he smiled at me wanly. “I haven’t seen you in…” he stopped and thought, “it must be ten or twelve years!”

“Sure!” I grinned as I remembered and pointed at him. “Now I remember you! You have been many things here from bellman to front desk.” I leaned closer to the man, “And one of Dad’s drinking buddies!”

The man nodded with a light chuckle, “Yes, he was such a happy and delightful man. I’m so sorry to hear he died.”

“Thank you.”

The other man behind the front desk was looking very uncomfortable. Why? If there was no room, there was no room.

“He and your mother would come and it was always a pleasure,” Mr. Cheney said. The thing was, he sincerely meant it. “Is your mother doing well?”

I grinned and nodded, “She’s fine and running the ranch. She has good people working for her and there is family nearby.”

“A lovely woman,” Mr. Cheney motioned for the other man to come so he could speak to him more privately. My hearing is just fine. “Put David Richards and his friends in 302.” The other man said something I didn’t hear, but Mr. Cheney said a little harder, “Yes, but they aren’t here. They paid to have the suite until Friday. If they show up, which they haven’t for two days; give them my name and tell them I authorized it.” His smile came back on as he turned to me. “Some of our wealthy and more…” he thought for words, “eccentric guests?”

I smiled at that, “Good words.”

Mr. Cheney grinned and bowed slightly, “Thank you. They think they might be here a day in a week and reserve it for a week!”

I chuckled, “But they pay for it.” I confirmed.

“Of course!” Mr. Cheney nodded. “She fell into money marrying a prospector who struck it rich and then died, so it’s no imposition for her.”

“I don’t want to cause problems,” I said.

“You aren’t,” Mr. Cheney assured. “When I heard the language you used, I looked up and knew you were Daniel’s son. You really look like him. You have the size, too.”

“Thank you,” I looked at Vincent. “This is my good friend Vincent from school; this is Bendt and Nakia.” I stage whispered, “They’re great friends, but those two don’t speak a lot of English. People might not understand them because the thick accent.”

“I’ll let the others know,” Mr. Cheney said smiling. “Was that Danish?”

“Yes, it was,” I smiled thinking he picked that up.

“Your father told me you were spending a lot of time in Denmark,” he shrugged. “It just made sense.”

“My father spoke a lot about me?” I asked. It wasn’t surprising, but always nice to hear.

 

We were escorted to the suite. There was no comparison with the hotels in New York City and Europe. It wasn’t Wyoming’s fault, but this was much newer. They were just getting started in the American West. There were two rooms, a bedroom and a living room. The bedroom had two double beds and what looked like a wide door in the living room. It was a murphy bed. You know, you pull the door down and a bed was on the inside of the door? It took up a lot of floor space, so we left it up for the moment. Suites like this were rare in any hotel. Forget in the Wild, Wild West!

“I remember this suite!” I said as another memory came. “Mom, Dad and I stayed here twice. Dad and I did a few times.”

Vincent shook his head as he walked up to me with grin, “Of course, Your Majesty.” The bow he gave me was the exaggerated bow given to royalty back home in London or Copenhagen.

Bendt and Nakia did the same thing as they smiled.

“Okay,” I waved them off. “What’s this about?”

“You are a king!” Vincent said and then shrugged, “Or at least a prince.”

“I am?” My question was more to confirm and have proof given as to how that conclusion came about. “No.” I shook my head, “You are Denmark’s Crown Prince.”

“And you are the Crown Prince of Wyoming! Hell, the western half of America!” He shrugged at me, “That merited the bow.”

“It’s true!” Bendt agreed, “Your family is known by name by many here. Your name got us a suite when they had no vacancy.”

“And you didn’t even tell them what your name was at first!” Vincent marveled and pointed at me. “Mr. Cheney told you!”

I nodded, “I look like Dad.”

Nakia had been thinking and now he frowned, “Is my accent really that bad?”

I laughed at that, “Not for me, but yes.”

Copyright © 2016 R. Eric; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Nice to see the boys back and off to new adventures!!

Glad to see you survived the Covid scare and the second shot is coming soon!

Stay safe and be well!

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HALLELUJAH!!! I am so happy and relieved that you are all right!!! 🥳🥳🥳 

Of course, I’m thrilled that you’re continuing this story and will finish your other ones! 😚😚😚 

I look forward to reading what adventures you have for your Cowboy and Viking. 😊

Edited by Cafeaulaitdame
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Oh how i love a Viking. the two that I have know have been my best friends, mind you the one from Norway made me live on 'Fish Soup' for weeks when we got short of cash.

King of Wyoming sounds fun... The lived with a family from there when I lived with the families off the American Airbase of Mildenhall. They were the best and most down to earth people that I have ever known (other than us Yorkys). 

I wisht he Brits had learnt from David and opened a store with the style of clothes that he purchased, the ones over here can be a bit boring, but I would love the boot, jeans and hats to be on sale in England. This Brit would wear them 🤣🤪🥰

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4 hours ago, Kev said:

Oh how i love a Viking

Me, too. Their story was really just beginning and I saw that. The statement I wrote about "inspiration is a bitch" is true. During the two Covid 19 cases hit us...(twice in one month!), both hospitalized, but no deaths. I got the first of the vaccine and it lived up to it's side effects. Nausea came and I was sore on my left side for a week. I wasn't allergic to it. (If you can, get it. It's worth the price if you don't get the virus). Practice washing hands often, wear protective gloves when cleaning effected areas. Yes, I was a medic and still know Asepsis Care. (Disease free cleansing.) Anyway!! I have grown as a person and so has my style of writing. Anyone can see that. I had to create my own country for the gay royal prince marrying a commoner from the United States. I changed some names, but kept my eye on history to have a more accurate story. Vincent and David's live will be challenging. You will see the challenge. Back to Wyoming! Chapter Five. :wub:

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1 hour ago, R. Eric said:

I got the first of the vaccine and it lived up to it's side effects. Nausea came and I was sore on my left side for a week. I wasn't allergic to it. (If you can, get it. It's worth the price if you don't get the virus). 

Over here they seem to be doing it in stages and even though we know people who have had the jab we are still slightly under the stage that they have just started to work on. At the moment they are concentrating on everyone over sixty and both of us are 60 this year. 

We did have bad news at the weekend though, My partners best friend at work  is a third of our age and has tested positive... When you are told people over 60 are the at risk group you don't expect someone so young as he is to be hit so bad. That has hit me hard because we think he got it at work, as my partner has to be in the office most of the week I now have the fear it will be similar with him. Front line is one thing, but so close to home is another.

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I know this virus has everyone on edge.  I friend of our in his late 20's was hospitalized and on a ventilator for a couple of weeks and almost died!!  Fortunately he turned the corner and is doing much better!  Take care of yourselves and thank you for continuing this amazing story!  

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