Challenged to Write at least 11 Stories:
1 for each character in this list:
Teaspon, Rachel, Sam, Emma,
Tompkins, Ike, Buck, Lou, Jimmy, Cody
There were 33 songs to choose from,
all of the songs are in the Statler Brothers
famous four part harmony.
This is Raye's 2nd set... she's finished her first 11.
These stories are all set DURING The Express!
|Kid has a rude awakening
|Sam's grateful for the
friends he's made and the family they've become.
Trust a Gal
|Buck goes back to the
Cantina for a visit... and perhaps more.
|Ike has a heart to heart
Familiar, Forgotten Feelings
|With Polly back in his
life, he begins to wonder.
|It's a rude
awakening for Emma when she gets a letter from Lou.
|What Do I Care
invitations to the wedding... everyone, but him.
|Joking's only really fun
if 'everyone' is laughing
|Have a Little
|Jimmy's going to face
Longley, problem is that Jimmy's not sure he's going to survive it.
|You'll be Back
Every Night (In My Dreams)
|Rachel is struggling to
put the past behind her and get rid of the bracelet are you
Have Been Me
|Cody ponders what he would
have lost if he died in Noah's place
Do You Remember These?
all tried to beat the others to the front of
the line. It wasn’t easy, on a day like today everyone wanted to be the
one there. The bank doors sprang open under the added pressure of their
and Cody nearly tumbled to the floor as Jimmy’s boots got tangled up
“Watch it, Hickok.”
outta my way, Cody.”
of you just quit it.”
stay out of their way, Lou.” The warning was a
moment too late as Lou laid an elbow into Cody’s side after he nearly
her off her feet.
pulled his friend out of the way as Kid
suddenly appeared in front of the line eliciting loud complaints from
of the riders.
ought to tell Mr. Hunter to take the Express
accounts to another institution,” Mr. Mathers cleared his throat as he
at them. “The problem is, we ARE the only financial institution in this
and our bank has had a long standing relationship with Mr. Waddell.”
waved to a young man with his sleeves pulled up
into garters. “This is David, he’ll help you boys today and-”
chose that moment to push and the whole pile
of humans lurched forward nearly over-whelming the teller who leaned
horror at their advance. “Wait your turn, all of you… this is not a
we know,” Cody assured him.
Hickok agreed, “the circus is more fun.”
forget the food.” Lou looked up at Jimmy.
“Circuses let you eat inside.”
shall be none of that,” called Mr. Mathers
from his desk in the back of the room.
answered him, but Mr. Mathers could only squint
at the young man. “What is it, son?”
looked over and translated. “He said, ‘We know,
Mather didn’t look like he believed it, but he
finally looked back at the papers on his desk.
grabbed Kid’s arm as he came back through the
crowd a few coins held in his hand. Ike’s free hand signed out a simple
just don’t believe it. This has to be wrong.”
and Cody peered over his shoulder. “What’s the
barely two dollars here.”
did you ask for?” Cody was busy staring at the
pile of coins in his own hand.
wages for the week.”
you got two dollars?” Jimmy barely choked down
his laughter. “What did you do?”
pushed him away grunting in satisfaction as
Jimmy stumbled back before dropping to his knees to search for a coin
from his hand. “I’m going to see Teaspoon.”
think you got cheated?”
gave Cody a withering look. “Not by Teaspoon.”
no, of course not.” Kid’s tone was distracted
as he weighed the coins over and over in his palm “It’s just a mistake,
sure… I’m sure it is just a mistake.”
looked up from his work, but he didn’t get
up from his chair at the bunkhouse table. “Boy, it looks like something
up into your bedroll and had kittens.” He shut his ledgers and laid his
spectacles on the table. “Is there something we need to talk about?”
stepped up onto the porch and scuffed the
bottoms of his boots to knock the dirt off the soles while he peered
desperate to be a part of the ‘conversation’. “He wants to know why the
me?” Teaspoon’s shocked expression turned to
concern when Cody answered back.
he thinks you did, Teaspoon.”
winced as Teaspoon’s chair scratched against
the floor. “You’ve done it now, Cody.”
blond was affronted, the emotion plainly written
across his face as he stepped inside the bunkhouse with the others. “It
my fault, Buck, and Kid’s the one that said-”
wound his arm around Cody’s neck and squeezed
ever so slightly. “Why don’t you let the Kid talk? You and I will go
corner and have our own little talk.”
moved back to make room for Ike who was the last
one in the door.
paced slowly back and forth before the table
while Teaspoon watched as much as he was able to without getting dizzy.
I’m not sure I even want to ask but-”
our pay day.”
nodded. “Yes, it is.”
I went to the bank with the others. I have
something I wanted to get… somethin’ for someone.”
that… uh, is a nice idea, Kid.”
said I was paid two dollars.” Kid took a step
away and then whirled around. “How is that possible?”
flipped open the ledger and nodded. “That’s
what I told them.”
mouth gaped open.
promised twenty-five dollars a week.”
Teaspoon agreed. “For work done minus
What are you talking about?”
is the matter of a few… broken things around
thi-” Kid paced a quick square on the floor
of the bunkhouse, “what are you talking about?”
expression changed from confused to concern
and then just plain disbelief. “Did you get kicked in the head
boy, this is gonna be good.”
rolled his eyes at Cody’s words. “This doesn’t
course it does, Buck.” Cody leaned up against
the wall. “This is instructional.”
that what they call it*
nearly choked on a mouthful of water. “Ike,
keep quiet, Teaspoon’s talkin’.”
you, Jimmy.” Teaspoon pushed back his chair
and got up, “Although I don’t know that I’d worry about Ike talkin’
He pushed open the door of the bunkhouse and stepped outside to the
Picking out a few pieces he slipped back inside. “Well, Kid… you
wasn’t my turn to chop wood, Teaspoon.”
say it was, son, but I thought you’d
recognize this wood, since you’re the one that split it for us,
um, Gentlemen of the Jury, Exhibit One: the
remnants of our eighth chair. Meaning that now, our friend Mr. Kid here
sit on an old crate until Mr. Tompkins can get in the order to replace
Then, Exhibit Two: there was the wood needed to replace the horse
trough on the
south side of the barn. Which I might add, Miss Rachel is more than
having her bath tub used for a watering hole.”
was a mistake.”
have a lot of those mistakes around here, Kid.”
enough out of you, Cody.”
Cody flopped down on his bunk. “Wasn’t
there another chair, Teaspoon?”
man’s expression lit up like a firecracker and
he scanned his notebook. “Ah yes, thank you, its right here. There were
chairs at the Founder’s Day Dance. It seems like you got a little… how
say it… overly excited when one of the Randal boys cut in on a dance
and a few
‘words’ changed into a few ‘shoves’ and then,” he slapped his fingers
the notebook, “here they are… on my list. I had to pony up the money
that night and I have to tell you, I’m not really happy about it.”
is that it? Is that all the damage, Teaspoon? I
can’t think of anything else-”
about the water pitcher?” Buck took a seat at
thank you, Buck, that was the next thing on my
water pitcher?” Kid pressed a hand over his
eyes blocking out the light.
mean the white one that was on the table over
there?” Kid pointed to the table in the corner, a simple blue pitcher
court over its meager kingdom of blue checked gingham.
Teaspoon let out a long suffering sigh, “that
would be the one.”
Kid looked off toward the window his hands
shoved into his pants pockets, “I didn’t break that.”
wait a minute, Kid.”
didn’t,” repeated Kid, “that was Jimmy.”
Teaspoon leaned back and looked around the
room, meeting the gaze of the other riders. “What did he have to do
broke the pitcher,” Kid insisted.
chuckled. “With his head.”
you knocked him into it.” Cody elbowed Ike.
“You sure know how to end an argument, Kid.”
ah,” Teaspoon gave him a knowing grin, “you
gonna have an issue with anything else on my list?”
sank into a chair, his head dropping into his
hands as Teaspoon flipped to the next page of his notebook. “Oh, that’s
the beginning, Kid, that’s just the beginning.”
Thank You World
Sam dragged his feet a bit,
waiting until the boys had all washed up before he stepped up to the
spigot. It wasn’t a matter that he was a ‘visitor’ and the boys lived
there. He knew them all well enough and they knew him, but he was a man
that had a lot to think about and he needed to ponder a few things
before setting down to Emma’s table.
He knew the boys. Knew them well enough to cross the street and chew
the fat a bit. Knew enough to ignore Jimmy when he was frettin’ about
something or when to step in when he let his tender ego in the way of
somethin’ bigger’n’ he could handle. Same for all the others, really.
He’d been around long enough for Emma to school him in the way of
things, even bringing something to his attention that he felt a little
chagrined that he hadn’t figured out on his own.
It had been late one night and Sam was nearly asleep on the swing
beside Emma when Lou had peeked out of the bunkhouse and came out a few
minutes later fully dressed. He’d leaned over and commented that “he
seems to have more common sense than the other boys.”
“Really?” She’d looked up at him in the soft moonlight and given him a
bright smile. “How so?”
Shrugging, he answered her. “Well, most of the others probably wouldn’t
anything of comin’ out here to talk to you dressed in nothin’ but them
union-suits, but Lou, saw that you were out here and put on pants and a
I think it says somethin’ about Lou’s character.”
By then the smaller rider had sidled up to the fence and given them
both a nod in greeting. “Emma, Sam.” Clearin’ his throat he’d
continued. “The boy’s wanted me to remind ya that the Founder’s Day
picnic is comin’ up.” Lou fished into a pocket and pulled out a piece
of paper. “They made out a list of what they wanted to take and they
said…” Lou had gone on to detail the whole transaction, all the while
lookin’ like he was about to be sick to his stomach, “So, you want me
to leave you the list tonight…”
Emma shook her head and leaned into Sam’s shoulder. “We’ll go over it
tomorrow, Lou… go on and get some rest.”
The boy’s face had bled relief and he’d disappeared into the bunkhouse
a minute later. “I was thinkin’ that if it weren’t for his size,” Sam
had whispered in Emma’s ear, “I’d ask Lou to work part time as a
deputy. Teaspoon ain’t never got anythin’ bad got say about the boy.”
“True...” Emma nodded slowly, a giggle hiding in her voice, “but I
doubt Lou’d take the job. It’s one thing to have to outrun a gang of
thieves or a renegade Indian or two, but Lou’s got a brother and sister
to think about,”
“I pay pretty well,” he started to interject before Emma got a hand on
his chest and distracted him with more than her pretty smile.
“And the fact that she’s a girl.”
He knew the truth of the statement before Emma nodded.
Now, he had to remember the secret before he could talk about Lou, even
in front of Teaspoon.
Lou opened the door and Sam held up a hand to say he was comin’ and he
was, but there was still a bit on his mind. “I’ll be right in.”
“Alright, Marshal. I’ll let Emma know.”
Teaspoon ambled out of the stable and walked over to stand beside
him. “Forgot the way to the bunkhouse, Sam?”
“Nope,” Sam shook his head slowly, “just had a few things to puzzle
“Made any headway in the puzzle?” Teaspoon looked up at the stars high
above the Station.
Sam, wondering what Teaspoon found so interesting did the same. “Not
really, I was just thinkin’ over the last few days…”
They walked a few paces to the left, Teaspoon following Sam, letting
“When everyone was comin’ down on me, turnin’ their backs; you and the
boys didn’t.” Sam scuffed at a rock beneath his boot. “I told myself it
was just because of Emma. That their loyalty to her… kind of bled over
They paused by the coral, Sam leaning on the top rail, thoughts rolling
through his brain.
Sam took a moment to acknowledge Teaspoon’s question. “But… I don’t
think that’s it.” He turned a little trying to gauge Teaspoon’s
“You want me to tell you, Sam? You want me to tell your fortune like a
swami with,” his hand circled around and around over his bare head,
“one of them towel things wrapped up or a crystal ball?”
Turning to the bunkhouse, Sam watched the scene inside the room, the
boys shoving one another back and forth as they watched Emma pile the
food on the table. He saw Teaspoon’s place at the far end and two empty
places on the end closest to the window. One he knew was the Emma’s the
other, for him. “Nope. I don’t really need anyone to tell me what’s
right in front of my face, huh?”
Teaspoon thumbed his suspenders and cleared his throat. “Well, I don’t
mean to be rushin’ ya at all, Sam. I’m a big believer that men need to
work things out for themselves rather than have folks shovin’ it down
their throats, but,” he gave Sam a wry look, “I am getting’ a bit
hungry and Emma ain’t servin’ a damn thing until you sit down at the
“Point taken, Teaspoon.” Sam walked into the bunkhouse in companionable
silence with Teaspoon and greeted the riders with smiles, handshakes
and congratulatory slaps on the back. Jimmy even got up, his napkin
dangling from his collar as he pumped the Marshal’s hand in a firm
He took the head seat where Emma usually sat and gave her a quick peck
on the cheek that set her cheeks aflame with a mixture of emotions. She
set the last trencher down on the table and took the seat next to him.
“You look like you got a load off of your mind, Sam.” Cody shouldered
Ike who sat next to him. “Glad this is your first meal as a free man,
instead of bein’ your last.”
“Shut it, Cody.”
The blonde rider glared at Lou, who gauging upon his hiss of pain,
kicked Cody under the table. She turned and nodded to Teaspoon. “Since
it’s a special occasion and all, Teaspoon, what if Sam said the grace?”
The riders agreed and all heads turned to the end of the table. “I
think that would be fine idea, Lou. A fine idea, indeed. Marshal?”
Sam gave a simple nod and took Emma’s hand in his, running his thumb
over the back of her hand. “Thanks, Lou… Teaspoon. I’d really like a
chance to say grace tonight.” He bowed his head slightly and the others
and the table bowed in turn. “Sometimes a man feels alone. So alone he
wonders why he’s even breathin’ or livin’ one day to the next. Then he
hits the lowest part of his life when even he starts to question if
what he’s done good in his life is enough to keep his soul out of
trouble in the hereafter.”
He took in a slow breath and felt Emma squeeze his hand gently, lending
“Then he looks around him and he sees what amounts to a miracle. He
sees friends who step up and help when everyone else has written him
off. He sees folks that he thought only as a passing acquaintance or
friends of circumstance; and they treat him like family… like he
matters.” He cleared his throat a bit and continued on. “So thank you
Lord for the world you have created, that it ended up where I have a
group of friends, seated around this table that I consider family.
Every Time I Trust a Gal
The bed shifted beneath him.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the movement turned him onto a wooden
beam that he could clearly feel through the mattress it probably
wouldn’t have bothered him much. “What’s wrong?”
She giggled and he cracked open an eye to see her tying the top of her
blouse together, her delicate fingers making quick work of the numerous
lengths of cotton. “Nothing, eres preciosa, its jus’ that mama won’t
like me spending the day in bed… even if she knew you were in it.”
Rosa gave him a wink left the room with a flounce of her skirts behind
Shifting over into a more comfortable spot on the thin mattress Buck
took a moment to stretch out as he stared up at the fluttering ends of
the curtains above him. Spending the day in bed had sounded like a good
idea, but if he were honest with himself, the blanket was a bit
scratchy and really… he wasn’t the type to ride into town and take
advantage of a woman. Was he?
Rosa barely looked up when he walked in through the front door and took
a seat at a table against the wall. She had her hands busy with a few
gringos that looked like they hadn’t slept off the whiskey from the
night before. He watched the exchange carefully from his table, one
hand resting on his thigh… within reaching distance from his revolver.
“No no,” she smiled at the men, fairly dancing away from their grasping
hands, “we serve food, not me.”
“Awww… don’t you go sayin’ that I can’t have you. That’ll make me mean
and when I’m mean… ain’t no one safe.”
“Then you,” she leaned close enough that she was nearly nose to nose
with the man, “will find yourself bleeding on my floor!”
The others laughed as their friend grabbed her upper arm with his hand,
meaning to drag her into his lap, but they all stopped when he squeaked
Buck’s advance stopped when a flash of sunlight illuminated the wicked
little dagger she held in her hand. If he could trust his eyesight
after a night of mescal, he would swear that the tip of her blade had
already drawn blood.
“Git off me!”
“Uh uh, you will let me go first.” She twisted the blade to the side
and the man lifted his chin in reaction, his hold on her arm loosening
until his hand fell limply at his side. “That is better… you have
proven yourself to be a smart man,” she pulled the blade back a
fraction of an inch as her gaze circled the table, meeting with the
other men that were sitting with him, “So, do you want to eat or do you
want to bleed?”
Buck’s heart was pounding in his chest, when he finally found himself
back in his chair. He noted that the blade disappeared a moment later
and he watched a calm, almost cheery smile transform her features and
when she sauntered over to his table he had enough control of his
faculties to answer her questions as she took his order.
“Is there something else you’d like?”
He saw the twinkle in her eye and the saucy smile playing across her
lips, but if truth be told he couldn’t seem to let go of the fear that
had gripped him the moment that man had touched her.
She raised a questioning brow at him. “Querida, are you sick?”
“What?” He shook his head, trying to wrap his brain around the
question. “Sick? No… no…”
Rosa set down her tray and leaned on the table, to stare at him,
concern darkening the look in her eyes. “Is it the heat?”
She sat down on the edge of the table and slid her fingers through his
unbound hair, her palm resting on his forehead. “Then what is it? You
look…” She murmured something in Spanish and laid her other palm on the
side of his face and he was left staring up at her in amazement. The
very touch of her skin against him stopped the frantic pounding of his
heart and the fear turning his stomach upside down fell away when she
brushed her lips against his. “I think you should go back to bed.”
His hands reached up and settled on her hips, feeling the shift of her
muscles beneath the indigo colored fabric. “I’ll go… when you can join
Rosa slid from the table, slowly extricating herself from his touch,
her skirt swirling around her as she moved. “Now that order, senor, I
I've Had a Good
Ike took his time in the barn. Shadow was having a bit of trouble
getting used to the barn and the other horses. Ike saddle-broke the
horse a few weeks ago, but there was something in the way he shied away
from the others… it kept them from accepting him.
“Sure you should keep him in here?”
“They don’t like him.”
Ike pulled the brush through Shadow’s mane and shrugged his shoulders.
*he’s not a barn horse*
Buck watched the way the stallion leaned into Ike’s touch. “He’s
comfortable around you.”
*I caught him*
“You put a saddle on his back and made him live indoors.”
*should he go back*
Buck leaned against the wall and looked at the way the horse watched
Ike’s every move. The gentle way that Ike seemed to respond without
even looking; hand sliding along the animal’s coat in a soothing
motion. “He’s probably too used to the moonlight and the crickets
to get settled into a place like this.”
*are you talking about you or the horse*
Stopping for a moment, freezing in place, Buck looked away and then
back to Ike’s face. “What do you mean by that?”
Ike put the brush away and stepped out of the stall reaching out to
close the gate behind him. *he’s like you*
Walking alongside his friend, Buck helped Ike put away his tools and
even thought he had a bunch of questions he remained silent as they
It took him a moment to realize that Ike wasn’t standing beside him
anymore. He turned and caught site of his friend standing at the open
door of the barn looking first at him and then back at Shadow. It was
unnerving, how Ike’s look reminded him of Red Bear. The way his gaze
seemed to measure him up in a moment, but what was going through Ike’s
Ike’s expression shifted as the stallion clipped his hooves on the
wooden side walls of his stall. *I change my mind… he’s half like you*
Buck followed Ike out of the barn and into the clear night air. He had
to work to catch up to Ike since he had the head start. He managed to
jump up to the porch a breath before Ike could get there.
“What did you mean?”
Ike’s smile was bemused with a hint of satisfaction. He shrugged his
He waylaid Ike with a hand on his arm. “No, wait… what did you mean?”
Ike turned and leaned against the wall, smiling at his friend. *you
were wild too* His eyes held a far away look. *when we met*
Buck scoffed at the memory. “You were the one with the silly faces… and
They both nodded. “We’re both good at that.”
*you didn’t stay inside for months* Ike’s shoulders shook with mirth.
*sneaking out to sleep under the stars* He paused for a moment. *shadow
would too, if he got the chance* Ike nodded toward the barn and then to
his friend. *same… different… wild*
“A horse.” The idea seemed to bother Buck.
Ike thought it was the most natural comparison in the world. His lack
of reaction said it clearly.
Buck sulked back into the shadows of the porch roof and turned his face
down toward the floor. “Sorry… I never realized it was such a
hardship,” he hazarded a look back up to Ike, watching his expression,
“being my friend.”
An exasperated huff was the immediate reaction and Ike looked like he
wanted to throw something at Buck. *you know that’s not it*
“What am I supposed to think? You tell me I’m this wild creature that
doesn’t fit in and I’m not supposed to think that it’s this huge
problem being my friend?”
Buck wasn’t one used to being ordered around… especially by Ike, but he
stopped talking and stared… waiting for Ike to say what he wanted to
*I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you* Ike smiled and nodded at his
friend. *you let me smile – really smile and now we have jobs doing
what we like to do*
“You’re good with the horses… you calm them.”
*you were the one that got Teaspoon to hire me* Ike’s memories turned
back to that first day for just a moment. *being here is good… because
Funny, Familiar, Forgotten Feelings
Marshal Teaspoon Hunter left
the jailhouse in the capable hands of his
deputy Barnett Hamilton, and walked slowly across the dusty street
toward Rachel Dunne’s house. He knew the vivacious redhead would be
holding dinner for him, but still he couldn’t seem to make his feet
move any faster. He was going to ask her to marry him. Having made the
decision only a short time earlier, Teaspoon wanted a chance to go over
in his head how he was going to actually do the proposing.
“Rachel, you and I have known each other for awhile now,” Teaspoon
snorted. *Just dripping with romance aren’t you?*
He thought for a moment before trying again, “Rachel, I’ve come to care
for you deeply over years since we’ve known each other.” Teaspoon
stopped and shook his head. “I know that I don’t have much to offer you
in the way of material things and I’ve got a few years on you,” * Great
way to go there Hunter, remind her that you’re poor and old. Yep,
that’s a sure fire way to get her to accept your marriage proposal. *
Growling in frustration at his inability to come up with just the right
words that he wanted to say, the marshal halted in the middle of the
road. He wasn’t going to take another step toward Rachel’s house until
he came up with just the right phrase. Unfortunately, a group of rowdy
cowboys feeling their oats had other plans. They charged down the
street in his direction and if one of them hadn’t yelled, “Hey, old
man, get out of the way,” and broke through his thoughts and alerted
him to imminent danger. He hastened his steps and reached the other
side of the road as the cowboys sped by. At any other time, Teaspoon
would have turned his full attention onto chasing after the reckless
cowboys, and tossed them all into jail, but tonight he gave them a free
pass. He had more pressing matters to tend to. Asking Rachel to marry
him was of the utmost importance to him that evening.
Once he had cleared his thoughts, he again searched his mind for the
words that he wanted to ask Rachel to marry him. “Rachel, all I have to
offer you is me, but if you marry me I promise, you won’t hurt for
Teaspoon replayed the words he had just spoken aloud inside his head
and deemed them a fitting enough proposal. The words weren’t eloquent,
but they were honest and heartfelt and he knew Rachel would appreciate
them. The marshal didn’t allow himself to dwell on the possibility that
Rachel would turn him down. He accepted that it could very well happen,
but for now he would refrain from focusing on a possible negative
He reached the front door of the small clapboard house and knocked on
it. He knew Rachel would be surprised by him knocking instead of coming
in like he usually did, but he didn’t care.
The door swung open a few moments later and a beautiful young woman
with reddish blonde hair and wearing a green skirt stood before him.
“Teaspoon is everything
okay?” she asked him with growing concern.
Suddenly Teaspoon’s mouth went dry, as he gave her attractive figure an
appreciative glance. “You look real pretty, Rachel,” he told her and
then remembering her earlier question, quickly assured her that
everything was fine. “I was wondering if you and I could sit outside on
the porch for a few minutes so that we could talk.”
“All right,” Rachel agreed, stepping out onto the porch and closing the
door behind her.
Teaspoon gestured for her to seat herself in one of the two chairs on
“Okay,” Rachel replied with a perplexed expression on her face. “I’m
Teaspoon pulled the other chair closer to hers, before sitting down in
it. He worked hard to come up with just the right words to say to
her that would indicate how much she had come to mean to him. He
reached out and silently took one of her smaller hands in his, enjoying
the way the soft skin felt against his roughened one. Everything about
Rachel complimented him. She was soft curves to his rough edges, open
and caring to his hardness. He knew that he wasn’t worthy of such a
woman as Rachel Dunne, but he couldn’t imagine his life without her.
She made him feel young and whole again, and he only hoped that his
instincts weren’t off in telling him that her feelings for him had
deepened as well.
Rachel, you have come to mean the world to me. I know I don’t have much
in the way of material things, but what I do have, is yours. Will you
Silence settled between them for a couple of moments as Teaspoon waited
breathlessly for Rachel’s response. He could see that his question had
moved her, but were the tears now flooding her beautiful eyes joyful
ones or an expression of remorse for the hurt she was going to cause
him? He tried not to let his inner turmoil show on his face, not
wanting to put pressure on her to say yes to his proposal out of some
sense of duty she owed him, but because she really and truly wanted
He knew his instincts had been accurate the moment Rachel raised her
head and gazed into his eyes. Her love for him was shining in the
depths of the green orbs and he felt relief and happiness spread
through him, even before she spoke.
“Yes, Teaspoon, I’ll marry you.”
“I love you, darling,” Teaspoon said as he pulled her into his arms.
“I love you too, Teaspoon,”
Teaspoon lowered his mouth to hers and sealed her acceptance of his
marriage proposal with a kiss.
She's Too Good
Sam let the door swing shut
behind him and headed for the coffee pot on the stove. It was his usual
stop this late in the afternoon. His deputy was good at catching
criminals, so-so at filling out paper work… hell on coffee.
As Sam breathed in the heady sent of Emma’s strong coffee he gave a
little sigh. His deputy knew how to make a good pot, but the man never
understood the need to keep it hot. He thought they should save on the
cost of wood and let it burn out in the stove. That didn’t help when
Sam came back in from his rounds.
The coffee by mid afternoon was like the sludge you find when you check
a stage axel after a long hard trip. It was thick and goopy and wasn’t
good for anything more than caulking the walls.
He set the pot back on the stove and started to head back to the door,
stopping just inches from the screen. “Honey?”
Emma sat at the table, near motionless.
Sam looked around the room and then back at his wife. “Sweetheart… are
you feelin’ all right?”
When Emma didn’t answer he set down his coffee and pulled out the chair
beside her. He watched as she shuffled the papers in her hand and
folded them back into the envelope on the table. Her gaze never
left the papers as her fingers traced the edges.
When she unfolded and folded the papers again Sam put his hand over
hers and stilled her movements. “Emma…” the only reaction to his touch
was in her jaw, the muscles in her lower jaw clenched tight behind her
seemingly relaxed lips, “Emma, look at me.”
It took an effort. He could see it in the way she seemed to make the
movement as though she were teaching her muscles to carry her head to
the right. He was even more worried when she finally met his gaze.
She was lost. He couldn’t see anything of her smile in her eyes.
Sam reached out and gently held her chin in his hand, guiding the turn
of her head, until he knew she was looking at him.
“What happened, Honey? Bad news? Did something happen to one of the
boys? That last letter said they were all fine… they just needed to
find a housekeeper and-”
“It’s more than just being a housekeeper, Sam.”
He didn’t know what to make of the ‘outburst’… it wasn’t so much that
she was shouting at him, but her tone matched the fire in her eyes.
“What?” He tried to smile and lighten the mood. “I know that,
honey… I just… it was just the first thing that came to mind and-”
“Is that all you thought I did out there at the Station?” She snatched
her hand away and sat back in her chair. “I have to wonder
how much free time you thought I had. How little time did I need to
accomplish such a small feat?”
Sam reached up his hand to scratch as his hairline just under the brim
of his hat. His mind whirred around and around, looking for a quick way
out of this mess. When Emma shoved her chair back so that she could
stand up from the table, the resulting ‘scrape’ across the floor made
him cringe. “I said no such thing.”
“But I’m sure you thought it, Sam Cain.” She turned away from the
table, her hand picking up the coffee cup from the table and taking it
to the counter. “You thought it… and now that’s what the boys think
He resisted the urge to snatch up the letter and read it for himself;
he’d give anything for a clue as to what set her off on this tirade.
She stopped at the counter, her hands braced on the top of the counter;
her head hung low between her shoulders. It was more than a word
he’d used. It was more than that. It was easy to see, but still so hard
to get at the whole truth.
He shook his head and approached her slowly. Any sudden movements might
have her turning on him like a cornered wildcat. She’d done it before
and he’d bled for days… from a wounded heart. “Emma?”
When she didn’t react, he slid his arms around her waist and pulled her
against him until her head leaned against his chest. He couldn’t
see her face, but he felt the subtle tremors of her body. He felt the
soft hiccups of breath she managed to take in and knew… Emma was crying.
“They don’t need me anymore.”
Sam leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her temple. “What makes you
say a silly thing like th-“
She turned in his arms, pushing him away, her hands on his chest.
He knew he’d done it then… He knew when he saw the outrage on her face
that he’d really stepped in it.
“You don’t understand, Sam. “ Her countenance dropped down into
despair again and her fingers worried at one of his shirt
buttons. “Teaspoon hired on a housekeeper for the Station… six
actually. The first few women where horrible and everyone said that
they’d never find someone to replace me… never. “ She looked as
though she’d fall down in a heap if he said anything, so he stayed
quiet. “Now, they found someone … someone that Lou wrote me about.
She’s nice… a good cook… and she doesn’t take any guff from the boys.”
She took one breath. Then another. And another… until finally she was
able to look up at him. “She sounds perfect, doesn’t she?” She didn’t
need an answer; she knew it when she read the letter. “She is…
and they don’t need me anymore.”
Sam held her gently in his arms as she cried, tucked her head beneath
his chin and softly told her the truth… even though she wouldn’t
believe it… even though she didn’t want to hear it. “They love you,
Emma… that’s all that matters. They love you.” She clung to him
her eyes bleeding tears. “And you love them right back.”
What Do I Care
“Did I hear you correctly,
“Oh, I think you did, Harriet.”
Tompkins turned back to his shelves, stacking up the new shipment of
canned peaches he’d received from Saint Joseph. The two ladies were old
friends and even older enemies. There was no way to know what they were
going to argue about, but the day had been slow and Tompkins was hoping
it would be fun.
“I still don’t believe it.” Harriet Commons tapped her foot, impatience
in her every gesture. “In fact, I won’t believe it until I see it.”
Tompkins could see the two ladies in the reflection of the glass
windows and so he continued to stack as he enjoyed the show.
Muriel Hawkins swung her purse from its ribbons. “See it? Then just
take a look in here.”
With a look of triumph, Muriel loosened the ribbons at the ‘mouth’ of
the purse and reached in her stubby little fingers. A moment later she
lifted out a folded white note card.
Harriet’s face dropped. “You got one?”
Muriel nodded and wiggled the paper in the air. “Would you like to read
Tompkins saw the effort that it cost Harriet not to grab at the paper
and read it right then and there. She was fairly hyperventilating from
the need, but she held her composure together and managed to only
“Of course, I’d like to see it.” She sniffed, lifting her nose high in
the air, “it’s more of a morbid curiosity, dear.”
“Morbid curiosity?” Muriel gave a little sniff of her own to match
Harriet’s, and started to drop the paper back in her bag.“Then I’ll
just put it right back-”
Harriet ran up and snatched the paper from her fingers, trying to
ignore the shocked look and smug smile of her rival. “Don’t be silly,
Muriel.” She grasped the ends in her fingers and prepared to open it.
“There’s no sense in bringing the thing out and not reading it. Common
sense, dear girl.”
Tompkins scoffed at the superior tone. ‘Common sense… ha!’ Both women
had been customers of his since they came to town and if there was one
thing that he could be sure of when it came to Harriet and Muriel,
common sense was not something that either woman was plagued with.
Finished with his canned peaches he moved onto to the ready-made shirts
he sold. They were forever falling from their stacks when folks shopped
around. Tompkins never understood why everyone had to touch and undo
all the shirts he had on display. They came in four colors and three
sizes. Each had a tag pinned on. What was the reason they had to touch
“Am I reading this correctly?”
“That’s what I thought too,” answered Muriel, leaning in to reread the
words herself. “Scandalous, isn’t it?”
“Scandalous?” Harriet sounded as though she was near hysterics.
“Preposterous is more like it! You can’t say… they can’t expect us to
believe…” she gasped in some air to continue her tirade, “that she’s
been hiding under our noses all this time?”
Muriel pointed out the line they’d just read over. “It says it right
there.” Her finger pushed into the paper again and again to illustrate
her point. “Why would they send out such a thing?”
Harriet shrugged. “I’ll never understand it, but that man, Hunter-”
“Teaspoon,” Muriel continued, “as if that were a name for man of his
Now, Tompkins wasn’t even pretending that he wasn’t listening. The
conversation was impossible to ignore.
“Yes, yes,” Harriet agreed, “ridiculous, really.” She folded the paper
and opened her reticule, but Muriel saw the action and rescued the
paper from her friend’s grasp.
“You’ll have to wait for yours to arrive, Harriet. This little wedding
invitation is mine.”
“Wedding… humph.” The two women walked toward the front of the store,
“It makes no sense,” Muriel scoffed, “that little boy… Lou? You can’t
get me to believe that he’s really… a girl. Really, what kind of
simpletons do they take us for?”
Nodding like a hen searching for feed in the pan, Harriet agreed.
“Don’t they realize that we would know the truth at a glance? We, my
dear are perceptive women… nothing gets by us.”
“Quite right, Harriet, but when you get your invitation the two of us
will go to this farce of a wedding and we’ll know... we’ll know.”
Tompkins watched them leave, disbelief written on his features. He
watched them go, his ears focused on their voices fading away behind
them, his mind whirling with confusion and shock.
Lou… Lou wasn’t a boy… and he… uh, she was getting married? It was all
too horrible to believe. After all, a puny little girl wouldn’t
be able to knock him out, even ‘with’ a skillet.
He scoffed at the notion and moved back toward his main counter, his
hands waving off the odd thoughts in his head. “What a hoax, Teaspoon.”
He didn’t even look around to see if there were any other customers in
the store; his mind had better things to occupy its time.
“Why didn’t I get an invitation?”
"You're doin' it again."
"What?" Kid sat up a little straighter, his back nearly up against the
wall. "Doin' what?"
Lou put her book down. "Watchin' me."
"Wasn't doin' anything of the kind, Lou..." Kid looked around the
bunkhouse at the others, "must be your eyes playin' tricks on you."
Cody scoffed at the words. "Just admit it, Kid. It's so much easier if
Kid lifted up his bible to show the others. "I was reading."
Jimmy looked up from his whittling and arched a brow in the Kid's
direction. "Huh, didn't know you could read upside down."
Kid's face turned red as the others joined in the laughter and he
grumbled under his breath. "Least I can read."
Ike lifted a hand to still the brewing argument. *if kid wants to play
like he wasn't then let him*
"It's annoyin' to me." Lou countered.
Kid put the 'good book' down and stood up from the table. "Then let's
go for a walk. I need a little exercise 'fore supper."
Cody coughed at the thought. "He means he wants to go sparkin' in the
"Oh, great." Lou slapped her book back on the table. "Is there anyone
that doesn't know?"
''That you an 'no name' over there have a little 'thing goin'?'' Noah
was just having a grand ol' time.
"Well," Cody stroked his chin thoughtfully as they'd seen Teaspoon do
many a time, "I think a new family rolled into town a few days ago.
Perhaps they don't yet have some inkling that two particular riders for
the Express have a rather..."
Jimmy gave Buck a wolfish grin. "That's one way to put it."
Noah leaned back in his chair. "That's probably the only way to put it
that won't get all of us run out of town."
"That's always a possibility the way that Tompkins hates us. He's been
tryin' to get rid of us from the start."
"So, ah... You-"
"No, I don't want to go outside for a 'walk.'" Lou hissed under her
"Then, later?" Kid gave her a winning smile. "I could use some help
Cody made a face. "Is that what he's calling it now?"
"Yeah," Buck agreed, "forced to watch."
Lou bowed her head, but they could see the tips of her ears turning
pink. "I'm going to kill you."
"That's not me she's talkin' about, is she?"
"I dunno, Jimmy. Lou?" Cody leaned forward and shook her shoulder until
she dragged her forehead off of her forearm and looked up at him with a
"You're not thinkin' of killin' us, are ya?" Cody’s giddy grin wasn’t
helping matters and Ike tossed a pillow at his head, causing the blond
rider to gripe at his friend. “What’s your problem?”
*enough* *leave her alone*
Lou gave Ike a grateful smile.
Cody leaned against the table, baring his teeth in a smile. “If she
can’t take a little joshin’ then-”
“You know, I’m goin’ for a walk,” Lou stood up and set her book down on
“Great, I’ll go-”
“You... will stay here.” Her eyes were filled with warning when she
turned to Kid, “I need to walk alone.”
Noah tried to cover over his snort of laughter with a cough and Buck
shook his head at the pitiful effort.
Pausing at the door to give them all a murderous look, Lou put her hand
on the door. “I don’t give you boys hell over your ‘girls’… and I don’t
think it’s fair for you to make me a joke.”
They looked back at her with serious consideration written over their
features. That lasted all of thirty seconds for Cody… who fell off his
chair laughing before the door even closed behind her.
As she stalked off toward the barn she wondered if Teaspoon would mind
looking for a few new riders… and if he’d mind recommending something
less than a noose for her when she confessed to multiple murders.
It was a tempting thought.
Have a Little Faith
‘No matter how many times
they tell me not to… I have to.” That was his mantra as he
readied himself for the confrontation.
A man couldn’t call himself a man in the West if he didn’t own up to
his responsibilities. He’d stood toe to toe with John Longley and
accepted his challenge and by God he was going to face up to it -
He froze, just short of the last five words, ‘even if it killed me.’
They were the truth and even though he never said them out loud, they
were still more than real to him. They were the truth and probably his
Jimmy knew he was fast. He knew he was a match for most any man in the
territory for speed an accuracy, the Judge had seen to that… but what
he knew he lacked was the killer instinct.
It was one thing to face down a can of beans or an empty bottle once
filled with sarsaparilla or whiskey, but facing a man... that was
A man stood there, starin’ back at you, lookin’ deep into your soul…
makin’ you think that maybe... just maybe, you’d been a bit too rash in
sayin’ “Sure, I’ll draw on you.”
A man would never let you forget that you backed down… it was too much
of a prized plum not to show off around town. So, no… Jimmy
Hickok was not goin’ to let some two-bit gunfighter call him a coward.
Even if it killed him.
Damn that echo.
Longley was a man… just like he was… men get distracted… men mess up
the shot… in those old fashioned duels things went wrong all the time…
all he had to do with be more concentrated… more focused than the man
he was facin’… than the man… that scared Emma.
That thought sat like a rock in his stomach, a big… huge… pumpkin sized
Longley scared Emma. That was plain to see in the expression of
her eyes. Sure, she’d laid into Jimmy with her voice… the volume alone
enough to blister his ears, but it was the look in her eyes that struck
fear into his heart… and he never told her… Never told her that he saw
it… and understood it…
And shared it. Shared that fear that began to fever her thoughts…
distract her from her words.
“You can’t ask a man to stand down like that.” He argued to himself,
but the other side remained silent… Either it agreed or thought him too
stupid for words. Maybe his mind wanted him to think up the answer
himself… or maybe either way it didn’t matter. Trouble was… Jimmy
didn’t know either.
“You can’t cut a man off at the legs and expect him to walk the
straight and narrow the next time… You just can’t.”
The chickens in the coop stared back out at him, no one thought it was
a strange change of pace that Jimmy Hickok was wandering around and
around instead of heading off, headfirst into the future.
Then again, up until now, he's only imagined the reality of it. Seeing
a man face you in the street and know that at any time he'd draw and
you'd have to beat him.
Beat him to the draw... The trigger and watch for the tell tale signs
that you'd hit him.
The explosion of flesh and clothing, the way a well placed shot could
jerk a man off his feet and throw him to the ground like a rag
doll. Where was the blood lust that he saw in Longley's eyes?
That morning, Jimmy'd gone to the mirror to shave, lifted up his razor
and seen the look in his own eyes as he thought of facing Longley in
There was nothing there. No hot need to kill... No desperation to
protect a reputation. To Jimmy his own eyes were empty.
His were empty... And all the gunfightin' duels in the world would
never fill him up.
But he was a man. And he was going to face up to what he'd done and put
an end to this.
When he walked past Emma's house on the way to get his mount he stared
at her window and wondered if she was awake or asleep.
The wind must have been blowin' high that night, because Emma's curtain
fluttered at her window.
He knew that wasn't the cause. Knew it was Emma, up ...watchin' him go
and knew how much she wanted to shoot him dead herself to keep him away
from Longley, but knowing that she'd let him go and she'd wait ...
She'd wait up and send him her prayers.
He knew and it meant everything to him.
Trouble was... Would it be enough to keep him alive?
Jimmy swallowed what was left of his pride and hope that from the
depths of his gut it wouldn’t get him into any more trouble. He had
more than a reputation to worry about… reputations were made and broken
every hour on the hour in a place like the West. He had to worry about
comin’ back to the bunkhouse in one piece… ‘cause if he didn’t, Emma
was going to wring his neck. Then again, even if he didn’t get hurt she
was still going to wring his neck.
Jimmy felt the smile lift the corners of his mouth. That was worth
stayin’ alive for.
You'll Be Back Every Night
(In My Dreams)
chains didn’t make a sound
at night. They didn’t manage to draw any unwanted attention from the
cactus or prairie dog sniffing around and so she could get some sleep.
really thought about it, the cuff didn’t pinch as much either.
just be her luck. That
for a few hours she wasn’t marked for death, she wasn’t on the run. If
few hours she didn’t have to think about getting away from Thad’s
could remember what it was to be warm and safe at night.
what it was like to be
loved and cherished.
what it was like to be
Mrs. Henry Dunne and not Rachel Dunne wanted murderer.
seemed to care that a
good man had lost his life because of Thad’s jealousy. It didn’t matter
Henry had given her a life to look forward to, laundry and cleaning
much of a chore if it was her house.
rained on a pillow made
of dirt and Rachel struggled to catch her breath. The empty hole in her
had grown during the day. Grown and she hadn’t noticed. Maybe, she’d
Maybe it was just the empty hole of her stomach, hungry and gaping for
lack of food.
Even before the trial you were guilty. There was no need for a legal
You just were.
until proven guilty
didn’t matter in a town when you were guilty in the eyes of the family
owned everything in sight.
in the jail hadn’t made
it easy to fall asleep, the rope bracing the straw-stuffed mattress
a body from dragging on the floor. The mites made it harder for their
munching on her skin when she wasn’t moving.
jailor’s wife had been one
with the others. She saw Rachel as a beautiful woman and in the hard
life of the West. Beautiful meant temptation. Didn’t matter that you
after a woman’s husband or that he weren’t after you, being alive and
was enough to hang you in the court of public opinion.
easy to make friends
in this town, and it certainly wasn’t easy to keep them. Folks pretty
looked out for number one and you weren’t that for someone else… no you
fend for yourself.
note of an owl’s hoot
echoed through her middle, echoing from the hollow walls of her body
muscles around her heart clenched tight, squeezing out the last few
Henry…” nearly an hour
later, when the moon slipped across the midpoint of the sky she fell.
the soft green grass
in the yard, her body cushioned by Henry’s strong arms, his face
he breathed, “jus’
like I remembered you, girl.”
fought the line between
laughter and tears as her hand reached out to stroke his cheek, the
growth of whiskers touching her palm. “I always loved your smile.”
He ‘tsk-ed’ and gave
her a reproachful look. “Is it over so soon, love? Have you cast me
heart so soon?”
No…” Her voice cracked
with emotion as she slipped her hand around to the back of his neck and
him down for a kiss. “I love you, Henry Dunne… now and forever.”
against her lips and
drew back an inch to look down at her. “I’d worried there for a moment,
worried that my bride had given her heart away to another. Perhaps,” he
the word out as he measured her expression, “you’ve decided that you’ve
left for me after our babe is born. Is that it, then? Will I have no
your heart once our child is born?”
welled up inside of her
like the levees, threatening to overflow their banks. “If we had a
children, Henry Dunne, you’d always have a place in my heart. You’re in
soul. You always will be.”
down to lie in the
grass at her side, snaking his arm around her and drawing her tight
body, fitting her swollen middle in the gentle cradle of his embrace.
Rachel. You, my love, will be the queen of my heart forever and a day
and our children…
they will bask in our love and grow… and grow…”
rose over the horizon,
its rays slowly crawled over the landscape and warmed her face just as
words of love echoed in her ears. “Take my love with you, woman of my
wife of my soul, take my love with you where ever you go and I’ll not
behind. I’ll never be far behind.”
up, the cuff and chains
chilled against her skin, a sudden shock to wake her from her dreams.
she reached down to
ease the pull and pinch of the cold metal she smiled… smiled because in
memories, in her dreams… she was loved and cherished… and what she’d
she’d done for that love. Now, she’d continue to run and hope that
someone that could understand and perhaps help, but no matter what
have her Henry in her dreams… never too far behind.
It Should Have Been Me
“Oh God… Oh God…” Cody sank
to the boarded walk outside the Doctor’s office as he felt the bile
rise in his throat. The world seemed to tilt on its horizon and if it
wasn’t for the hand on Cody’s shoulder he would have fallen to the
ground, “he’s gone.”
Lou knelt at his side and threw her arms around him, her cheek pressed
to his shoulder. “Cody… it’s going to be alright.”
“How can…” he covered his face with his hand and raked his fingers down
his cheeks, “how can it ever be right anymore?”
“I…” Lou sat back, her face lined with tears, and looked at him,
searching for the answers, “I don’t know… but-”
“Son… I have something for you.”
Cody looked up at the Doctor’s face and stared. There wasn’t much to
read in the man’s expression. Come to think of it, even when Ike died,
there was little to see in the man’s face. He’d barely even blinked
when the rest of them had fallen apart.
It occurred to Cody that he should have railed at the man, knocked him
down and made him bleed… made him cry a tear or two.
How little was there of the man’s soul left?
How could he stand there with a man… two men had lost their lives…
lives cut short because other people felt an indecent need for power?
He wanted the doctor to think about what it meant to loose a friend… a
Still, Cody couldn’t summon up the strength to do anything more than
nod and reach out his hands.
The doctor put a box in his hands, a small box that you’d see in the
hands of a delivery man. Lowering the box into his lap, Cody stared at
the contents. Gun, holster, whip… there was no use looking any further.
He knew what this was.
“This is his, doctor… Noah’s.”
Beside him, Lou gasped and covered her mouth with trembling fingers.
Her other hand lay on his leg, fingers biting into his thigh. He didn’t
mind… the pain kept him from fainting dead away on the walk.
“I don’t have anywhere to store it and the undertaker will be by in a
few minutes for the body. I thought you’d know who he wanted to… to
Cody shook his head. “They’re his; you should keep them with him for
“Where your friend is going, he won’t have any need of them.”
“Where he’s going…”
“Cody, you want me to take it?”
He saw the pain in Hickok’s eyes. Knew, how much it hurt him too. New
how much it hurt… but it didn’t match the way he felt. On top of his
own sadness he was drowning in guilt.
Cody almost welcomed it. Almost. He knew Jimmy, knew how this would
work on him if it was his… knew that he wouldn’t be able to deal with
the thought of another life on his conscience. Another death weighing
on his soul.
“It should have been me.”
“Let Jimmy take the box, Cody… you don’t have to do this alone… we’re
Cody shrugged away from Lou, her words striking an odd chord in his
heart. “It’s my fault…”
“Don’t talk crazy, Cody, its not-”
“I watched him die, Hickok.” His gaze was wild… angry.
Jimmy didn’t take any offense at the anger in Cody’s voice or the cold
way his friend looked at him. Jimmy understood the anger… he’d lived
with it before and would again. “You helped, Cody… it wasn’t like
he died alone.”
“Cold comfort.” He tried not to use the snide tone, but found he
couldn’t help himself. Couldn’t shut down the flood of emotions, not
this time… maybe not ever again.
Jimmy pushed the brim of his hat back and crouched down in front of
Cody, his eyes full of concern along with the anguish of loss.
“Sometimes it all you have to work with…”
Cody’s hiss of breath didn’t do much to anger his friend. In fact it
would take so much more than that to get him to turn his back.
“… sometimes it’s all we’re gonna get.”
“That ain’t good enough… not hardly good enough, can’t you see?”
“He was a good man. We’re gonna miss him more since he’s not the first
“That’s not it, Jimmy…” the dam was breaking and it was all rushing out
at once, “it should have been me… should have been me lyin’ in there.”
He didn’t wait for anyone to deny him the idea… he plunged on ahead.
“I’m the one always crackin’ jokes or runnin’ off at the mouth. I’m the
one that’s got my head in the clouds half the time. If anyone should
have died out there, bullet holes in the gut… it should have been me!”
“Fine.” Jimmy decided to throw caution to the wind… if Cody was going
to get it out of his system… he needed to get it out. “You can’t undo
it… so what are you going to do? Go out and get someone to finish the
job? Get someone to put a bullet or two in you… just so you can feel
like you got what was comin’ to you?”
Cody sat silent for a moment, his gaze dropping into the box that lay
across his lap. It was a long ponderous moment before he let them into
his thoughts. “I’m gonna stop dreamin’ so much-”
He saw Lou’s objection coming so he beat her to the pass.
“I’m gonna ‘do’ something.” He gave her a little smile, but the light
didn’t touch all of his face. “I’ve been talkin’ about my ideas and how
I’m going to make the Express famous… I’m just gonna do it. I’ll do my
show, make it a ‘wild West’ show and tell folks all about our friends
and the adventure we’ve all created out here… and they’ll listen…
they’ll listen and they’ll remember. They’ll know our stories so well
that years later folks’ll write stories about us and then some.”
He knew what they were thinking… Knew they doubted his word, but he
didn’t care. He was going to do this for Noah… he was going to make
sure that his friend’s life just didn’t disappear. He was going to do
something with his life. Make the sacrifice worth it.