“Boys, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to break that new horse,” Teaspoon said as he got up from the table after eating breakfast. “And as for the bunch of ya headin’ into town later to get those supplies we need, you might as well wait till this here rain stops pourin’ down on us. With the way the wind is blowin’ it around, I don’t think even a cover would protect what you bought; best to take care of it tomorrow. We’ll make due until then.”

He walked to the door, put his poncho over his head then his hat on. “You just make sure you do your chores and I’ll see you tonight when Barnett takes over for me.” He walked out with Rachel, helping her through the mud to the house then climbed on his horse and headed out of the yard toward town.

Without a word, the boys bundled up the best they could against the driving downpour and trudged toward the barn. Each worked quickly and diligently except Cody who needed prodding from more than one rider to hurry and get his chores done. Finally all was taken care of for the moment so the six of them made a mad dash across the yard and around or over mud puddles until they were safely under the roof of the bunkhouse porch.

As she took off her hat to shake the water off it, Lou sighed and said, “It’s such a beautiful day.”

Cody stopped wiping the water from his jacket to look her way. “You feelin’ alright, Lou?”

“Never been better, Cody,” Lou answered, a smile plastered on her face.

Kid sighed and grinned. “You’re right there, Lou. It’s such a beautiful day.”

Now Cody turned toward the Kid. “Uh oh, first Lou and now the Kid.” He quickly went toward the Southerner and placed his hand on his forehead. “I hope it ain’t catchin’.”

“Hey,” Kid grumbled, swiping the hand away. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Just checking on ya is all.”

“Well don’t,” Kid told him.

“Forgive me for being concerned,” Cody said as he glanced from Lou to Kid. What was wrong with them? They had these ridiculous smiles that wouldn’t go away; even when they were working in the barn they kept glancing at each other and almost giggling. At first he thought it was flirting but then Jimmy and Buck and Ike had gotten into the game doing the same thing. Cody shook his head in confusion.

Jimmy walked up to Kid and placing his arm on the man’s shoulder, he said, “I’ll have to agree with you both – it’s such a beautiful day.” He looked out over the way station yard that separated the bunkhouse from the main house and smiled at the wonderful scene in front of him.

“Not you too,” Cody muttered, getting more concerned by the moment.

“They aren’t the only ones to feel that way,” Buck said as he took his coat off and shook it out. “It sure has been a while, so long in fact that I almost forgot what it was like but the wait was worth it – it’s such a beautiful day.” He sighed in much the same fashion as the other riders had.

Cody spun around in a circle looking at each face he came across. When Ike lifted his hands to speak, Cody quickly grabbed them to still the man’s thoughts. “Don’t even say what I think you’re gonna say,” he warned. “What is wrong with you people? Did running around in that rain soak your brains or something that you can’t think straight? Just take a look at what I see.” He turned each rider, placing his hands gingerly on their shoulders until they were facing away from the building. “You see it? It’s rain – it’s wet, cold and sloppy. You heard Teaspoon, we can’t do anything for the whole day; no trip to town to see the pretty girls and buy what we were looking forward to at the general store or get a sarsaparilla at the saloon, no breaking in the new horse, nothing at all to do except eat when the next meal is ready and that’s going to be a long time coming.”

“We know, Cody,” Lou said, “but like we already told you …”

“… It’s such a beautiful day!” the four of them voiced as Ike signed along.

“It’s an epidemic!” Cody cried, backing down the steps into the rain, this time not feeling it beating on his head and shoulders. “Why don’t all of you just go on inside, dry off, maybe get something hot inside of you? I’ll give you all the space you need to get over whatever’s ailing you and don’t worry about your chores later; I’ll take care of everything out in the barn. Oh, and I’ll get Rachel; she might wanna take your temperatures,” he muttered as he took off toward the house.

The other riders watched him slide his way toward the house then shrugged their shoulders. If he wanted to do their remaining chores for them, who were they to argue?

“Sounds like good advice to me,” Buck said. “Who wants a cup of coffee?” he asked as he led the way into the building.

A chorus of ‘I do’s followed.

“Anyone up for a game of cards?” Jimmy asked. “I can’t remember the last time we played during the day and just think, now we got hours to win our money back from Lou.”

“Well you can try to win it back,” Lou told him with a grin.

“It really is a shame about Cody,” Kid said as they quickly got into dry clothes then assembled around the big table. “He just doesn’t get it, does he?”

“Nope,” Jimmy agreed as he began to deal out the cards.

“I think he spends so much time looking for the chance to goof around that when it’s dropped right in his lap, he’s looking elsewhere and misses the opportunity,” Buck explained as he set steaming hot cups of coffee on the table.

The riders laughed at Cody’s expense knowing their friend wouldn’t hang around Rachel’s long enough for an explanation and would be avoiding the bunkhouse for several hours at least in his attempt not to ‘catch anything’.

“You hear that?” Lou asked a moment later.

Each rider listened then agreed with a nod when Kid answered, “It’s the rain, Lou.”

“I know. And you can hear it so clearly when there’s no whining or complaining goin’ on.” She sighed. “Yes, boys, it’s better than I thought it could be and I just have to say it again - ‘it’s such a beautiful day!”
“Boys, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to break that new horse,” Teaspoon said as he got up from the table after eating breakfast. “And as for the bunch of ya headin’ into town later to get those supplies we need, you might as well wait till this here rain stops pourin’ down on us. With the way the wind is blowin’ it around, I don’t think even a cover would protect what you bought; best to take care of it tomorrow. We’ll make due until then.”

He walked to the door, put his poncho over his head then his hat on. “You just make sure you do your chores and I’ll see you tonight when Barnett takes over for me.” He walked out with Rachel, helping her through the mud to the house then climbed on his horse and headed out of the yard toward town.

Without a word, the boys bundled up the best they could against the driving downpour and trudged toward the barn. Each worked quickly and diligently except Cody who needed prodding from more than one rider to hurry and get his chores done. Finally all was taken care of for the moment so the six of them made a mad dash across the yard and around or over mud puddles until they were safely under the roof of the bunkhouse porch.

As she took off her hat to shake the water off it, Lou sighed and said, “It’s such a beautiful day.”

Cody stopped wiping the water from his jacket to look her way. “You feelin’ alright, Lou?”

“Never been better, Cody,” Lou answered, a smile plastered on her face.

Kid sighed and grinned. “You’re right there, Lou. It’s such a beautiful day.”

Now Cody turned toward the Kid. “Uh oh, first Lou and now the Kid.” He quickly went toward the Southerner and placed his hand on his forehead. “I hope it ain’t catchin’.”

“Hey,” Kid grumbled, swiping the hand away. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Just checking on ya is all.”

“Well don’t,” Kid told him.

“Forgive me for being concerned,” Cody said as he glanced from Lou to Kid. What was wrong with them? They had these ridiculous smiles that wouldn’t go away; even when they were working in the barn they kept glancing at each other and almost giggling. At first he thought it was flirting but then Jimmy and Buck and Ike had gotten into the game doing the same thing. Cody shook his head in confusion.

Jimmy walked up to Kid and placing his arm on the man’s shoulder, he said, “I’ll have to agree with you both – it’s such a beautiful day.” He looked out over the way station yard that separated the bunkhouse from the main house and smiled at the wonderful scene in front of him.

“Not you too,” Cody muttered, getting more concerned by the moment.

“They aren’t the only ones to feel that way,” Buck said as he took his coat off and shook it out. “It sure has been a while, so long in fact that I almost forgot what it was like but the wait was worth it – it’s such a beautiful day.” He sighed in much the same fashion as the other riders had.

Cody spun around in a circle looking at each face he came across. When Ike lifted his hands to speak, Cody quickly grabbed them to still the man’s thoughts. “Don’t even say what I think you’re gonna say,” he warned. “What is wrong with you people? Did running around in that rain soak your brains or something that you can’t think straight? Just take a look at what I see.” He turned each rider, placing his hands gingerly on their shoulders until they were facing away from the building. “You see it? It’s rain – it’s wet, cold and sloppy. You heard Teaspoon, we can’t do anything for the whole day; no trip to town to see the pretty girls and buy what we were looking forward to at the general store or get a sarsaparilla at the saloon, no breaking in the new horse, nothing at all to do except eat when the next meal is ready and that’s going to be a long time coming.”

“We know, Cody,” Lou said, “but like we already told you …”

“… It’s such a beautiful day!” the four of them voiced as Ike signed along.

“It’s an epidemic!” Cody cried, backing down the steps into the rain, this time not feeling it beating on his head and shoulders. “Why don’t all of you just go on inside, dry off, maybe get something hot inside of you? I’ll give you all the space you need to get over whatever’s ailing you and don’t worry about your chores later; I’ll take care of everything out in the barn. Oh, and I’ll get Rachel; she might wanna take your temperatures,” he muttered as he took off toward the house.

The other riders watched him slide his way toward the house then shrugged their shoulders. If he wanted to do their remaining chores for them, who were they to argue?

“Sounds like good advice to me,” Buck said. “Who wants a cup of coffee?” he asked as he led the way into the building.

A chorus of ‘I do’s followed.

“Anyone up for a game of cards?” Jimmy asked. “I can’t remember the last time we played during the day and just think, now we got hours to win our money back from Lou.”

“Well you can try to win it back,” Lou told him with a grin.

“It really is a shame about Cody,” Kid said as they quickly got into dry clothes then assembled around the big table. “He just doesn’t get it, does he?”

“Nope,” Jimmy agreed as he began to deal out the cards.

“I think he spends so much time looking for the chance to goof around that when it’s dropped right in his lap, he’s looking elsewhere and misses the opportunity,” Buck explained as he set steaming hot cups of coffee on the table.

The riders laughed at Cody’s expense knowing their friend wouldn’t hang around Rachel’s long enough for an explanation and would be avoiding the bunkhouse for several hours at least in his attempt not to ‘catch anything’.

“You hear that?” Lou asked a moment later.

Each rider listened then agreed with a nod when Kid answered, “It’s the rain, Lou.”

“I know. And you can hear it so clearly when there’s no whining or complaining goin’ on.” She sighed. “Yes, boys, it’s better than I thought it could be and I just have to say it again - ‘it’s such a beautiful day!”

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