Lancer/Wild, Wild, West
Two strangers rode under the Lancer gate.
The man dressed in blue radiated authority and confidence while his companion
appeared to be more relaxed. After tying up their horses, the younger man
knocked on the door of the hacienda.
When Teresa O'Brien answered, both men
removed their hats. James West, at his most charming, asked, "Is Scott
"Well yes. I'll go get him. Please wait
in the living room."
Artemus Gordon whispered to his partner,
"Who is that?"
"I don't know, Artie. Scott never mentioned
Just then Scott Lancer spied the two agents.
"Jim! Jim West! What are you doing here?"
Grinning broadly, West replied, "Good to
see you, Scott. This is my partner, Artemus Gordon."
“I work for the U.S. government."
"I'm not surprised. Oh by the way, this
my father's ward, Teresa O'Brien."
"M'am. We're happy to meet you."
"Well, I'll leave you gentlemen to talk."
"Your grandfather told me that you were
living out here in California with your father."
"You went all the way to Boston to find
"I'll tell you that if you come into town
with us. We'll buy you dinner."
Peaked by curiosity, Scott agreed. "Just
let me saddle my horse."
As they mounted, Scott's younger brother
rode up. "Hey Scott, where ya going?"
"Just into town. Johnny, this is my friend
James West and his partner Artemus Gordon. We're just going to into Morro
Coyo to talk over old times. Jim and I met during the war."
"Oh I see. Well, have a good time."
For one moment, Jim West's blue eyes stared
at the younger Lancer. "Aren't you Johnny Madrid?"
"Used to be. Now I'm Johnny Lancer. Have
we met before?"
"Not exactly." Turning to the older Lancer,
West said, "Come on, let's go." So the three rode out.
As Johnny entered the house, a shiver went
down his spine. Something bothered him about the man called West; but his
brother had said that they were friends, so maybe it was nothing.
On the ride to town Artemus was silent,
letting his friend converse with the blond. He and West had been partners
for several years. Their skills complemented each other's, and as a result
they were President Grant's best secret service agents.
The three men walked into the cantina;
each ordered a beer. "So tell me what do you do for the government?"
"Basically we do whatever the President
asks of us."
"Ah, U.S. Grant--your one-time commander.
I always knew you were his fair-haired boy."
West smiled. "You wouldn't say that if
you heard some of the missions we've been handed."
"So why are you here?"
Artie looked at Jim. "Do you want me to
“Tell me what?"
"Scott, do you remember Lt. Dan Cassidy?"
"I certainly do. We tried to escape from
Libby Prison. He stayed behind because he was sick. Sixteen men died that
night because he was delirious."
"We know. Unfortunately one of the men
who died that night was the son of a U.S. Senator. This senator has demanded
"But I thought the army knew it wasn't
"There seems to be some question now. The
War Department received an anonymous note charging that Cassidy pretended
to be delirious so that he could pass on the information."
"Pretended? I saw him. He was sick. I can
testify to that."
"Uh, there's just one other little problem.
This same note charged that you consorted with the enemy as well."
Scott rose to his feet. "If that's a joke,
don't like it!"
"Believe me, it's no joke. This source
said that you two were working together to help the Confederates."
Scott sank down into his chair and took
a swallow of his beer. "James, I was not a traitor."
Jim West looked into the blond's blue eyes.
"I don't believe you were."
“I told the President that the Scott Lancer
I knew couldn't possibly be a traitor, but he insists that we check this
out. You know how many problems he's had lately. This Senator Chalmers
threatens to make one more big stink if it's not cleared up. When's the
last time you saw Cassidy?"
"A few months ago. He and his wife were
Jim looked at Artie, then at Scott. "Tell
us about it."
"Cassidy and two men came looking for me.
They thought that I was responsible for the death of the sixteen men at
Libby. Sarah, Dan's wife, finally told him the truth about
his delirium. They left together for a new life. I...I thought this was
"Uh Mr. Lancer, what happened to the other
"Jed Lewis and Rick Hardy?" Artie nodded.
"They went on their way too."
"Well Scott, are you ready for dinner now?"
"Jim, if you don't mind I think I'll go
back to the ranch."
"Sure. I understand. I'm sorry, Scott.
We'll get this straightened out as soon as possible."
"Night Jim,...Mr. Gordon."
Scott rode back to Lancer. <<God,
will this haunt me forever?>>
When the young man arrived at the ranch,
Johnny, Murdoch and Teresa were eating dinner. "Scott, I didn't think you'd
be here. Sit down."
"No thanks. I'm not hungry."
The blond went to his room, lay down on
the bed closing his eyes. A few minutes later he heard a light tap on the
door. Teresa entered. " I made your favorite cherry pie for dessert. I
bought you a piece and some coffee."
"Thanks, Teresa. It looks great. I'll bring
out the plate later."
"Sure. Night, Scott."
As the young woman reentered the dining
room, Johnny asked, "What did he say?"
"Well, I'm going to go talk to him."
"No, you're not. He's a grown man. If he
wants to tell us what this Jim West wants, he will."
Johnny searched Murdoch's face. "Are you
so sure about that?"
"Yes if he needs help, he'll ask."
"This isn't about me."
"Isn't it? With that Johnny walked to his room.
Back in Morro Coyo, James West and his
partner discussed their meeting with the Lancer son. "Jim, I know this
fellow is a friend, but you haven't seen him in years."
"I know, Artie, but I'm sure he was not
"But he was lying about something."
"Well, at least there was something he
wasn't telling us. Maybe we'd better ride out to the ranch tomorrow."
James, why don't we go directly after Cassidy?"
"I would, Artemus, but I'd like to give
Scott a chance to clear his name. If he can, then it will be easier to
deal with Cassidy."
"All right, but we can't give him much
time. The President is determined to lay this to rest before Senator Chalmers
can make political hay out of it."
"I know. Let's just hope that there's something Scott can tell us that will help."
The full moon shone through the window
in Scott's room. Since he wasn't asleep, this hardly mattered. Countless
hours had passed in the quiet hacienda.
Finally the blond got up and left the house.
Somehow the four walls reminded him of that damnable tunnel where sixteen
men had met their deaths. It was truly a miracle that he had survived.
And all because one man had had the bad luck to fall ill! <<God,
how does Cassidy live with that guilt? Maybe his wife was wrong not to
tell him before, but how could any man stay sane knowing he caused the
death of sixteen men?>>
Scott walked into the stable. When troubled,
the young man frequently visited his mare Catherine. The simple act of
grooming the beautiful horse always brought him solace.
But tonight the mare's presence brought
little comfort. Realistically, Scott knew that men die in war. Battles
like Cold Harbor doomed men by the thousands. Grant's Overland Campaign
had brought about unimaginable carnage.
Grant, general and President--and James
West was his man. The West that Scott knew during the war had been a dedicated
soldier. He had no doubt that James would be a formidable lawman. He had
once seen the agent take on four Confederates with only his fists, and
yet he had taken them prisoner.
The cool of the night gave the stable a
pleasant feel. Catherine was in foal again so he kept a close eye on her
"Can't sleep, Brother?"
The blond head started. "Johnny? I didn't
"I know. Catherine's doing real well. Wonder
if her new foal will look like Madrid?" Scott had given Catherine's first
foal to Johnny.
"Don't know, but I doubt it since the sire's
"Just the opposite of us, right?"
Scott looked at his brother with affection.
For a moment there was only silence. "Is
there something I can help you with, Boston?"
"No, nothing. I have to handle this on
"Hey, I know you're used to handling things
by yourself, but you know I'll do anything I can."
"I know, Little Brother, but your gun and
guts can't solve this. Only the truth can."
Johnny walked over to look into Scott's
eyes. "Does this have something to do with your friend West?"
"In a way."
"He's some kind of lawman, isn't he?"
"I thought so. I saw him once--in Texas.
He's fast with a gun."
"Faster than you?"
"Don't know. He's also good with his fists."
"That I did know."
"Why's he here?"
"It has to do with Dan Cassidy."
Johnny grimaced. He knew that Cassidy's
obsession had nearly cost Scott his life. "Tell me."
"Someone in Washington thinks Dan was faking
"Johnny, he really was sick. I know he
"Why can't you tell them that?"
"For one thing, I'm not a doctor." He turned
away from the brunet. "Plus they think I was helping him give information
to the Rebs," he whispered.
His brother was speechless for a moment
or two. "Why? How could they think that?"
"Evdently someone sent a note to the War
Department stating just that."
"What are you going to do?"
"Try to convince Jim that I'm innocent
for one thing, but President Grant needs answers and I have none--except
that I'm being framed."
"You don't think it's Cassidy, do you?"
"No. Why would he implicate himself too?
I...I've been wondering if might not be Lewis and Hardy."
"His two friends?"
"Well, after what happened in the woods,
I don't think I'd call them that."
"No, I suppose not."
"It would be just like them to get revenge
on both of us."
"Let's go talk to Murdoch."
"NO! I do not intend to tell him."
"But why not?"
"I should never have brought Sarah and
Dan here the last time. I will not involve anyone else in this."
"Not even me?"
"Johnny, I appreciate your offer, but you've
had enough grief. We tend to turn to you for everything. I'm not going
to keep doing that. It's my problem."
"Scott,I want you to understand something.
After my mother died, I had
no one to care about--and no one to care
about me. I always knew that any gunfight might be my last so I figured
it was good that there was no one to care. That isn't true anymore. I care
about you, and if there's anything I can do to help, then I want to--I
"Thanks, Brother. I guess...would you mind
going into town with me tomorrow? I think I should tell Jim the whole
"Sure. But right now you're going to get
"All right. I suppose I should. Oh and by the way, Little Brother, I care about you too."
At breakfast the next morning Scott announced
his intention of seeking out Jim West in Morro Coyo.
"Scott, you were gone most of yesterday.
When are you going to get your work done?"
"Hopefully, we won't be gone long."
Murdoch's eyes narrowed. "Who else is going?"
Frowning with displeasure, Murdoch got
up, slammed his napkin on the table and stalked out.
Neither Lancer son said anything except
to tell Teresa goodbye. Then they saddled up and headed to Morro Coyo.
"He wasn't pleased, was he?"
"No, I guess he's not. Johnny, maybe you
should go back?"
"Do you really want me to?" The blond shook
his head No. "Then let's go see these two secret service agents."
Half-way to town, they encountered West
and Gordon. "Scott, we were just riding out to see you."
"Well, that's good timing. I wanted to
give you the details of what happened during Cassidy's visit. I think it
might have a bearing on that note."
"Fine. Let's hear it."
So Scott detailed the confrontation with
Cassidy, ending with the departure of Lewis and Hardy. "Johnny and I think
they could be behind this whole note business."
West's blue eyes glanced at the younger
Lancer. "So you don't believe Scott's guilty, Mr. Madrid?"
"The name's Lancer and no, I don't believe
my brother was a traitor."
"Ah, but you weren't even aware of your
brother's existence in 1864, were you?"
"No, but I still know he's not the kind
of man who would betray sixteen comrades."
"Well, Mr. Lancer, Artie and I don't think
so either. Unfortunately Senator Chalmers' son was one of those sixteen
so he's going to demand more proof than your testimonial." There seemed
to be no answer for that.
"Scott, do you have any idea where Lewis
and Hardy went?"
"No, they just took off as fast as they
could. I'm not even sure where Dan and Sarah settled."
"We know where they are."
"Maybe I should go see them."
"I don't think that's a good idea considering
that you're suspected of working together already. No, I think you should
let us handle this."
"If you think that's best."
"For right now, yes. Come on, Artie, let's
get back to the train. I want to be there in a couple of days."
""Train? I don't think the train comes
"Oh, we have our own--courtesy of the President."
"See Johnny. I told you they were special."
Both agents laughed. "We'll be back after
we talk to Cassidy." The two secret service men rode off.
"Well, Brother, I guess we can go back and do our chores." Johnny groaned.
4 DAYS LATER
Scott and Johnny rode into Morro Coyo to
collect supplies, however, at that moment both were enjoying a cold beer.
Sam, the telegraph clerk, walked into the cantina. "I thought I saw
you come in here, Scott. This came for you."
"It's from Jim." Scott grinned. "Evidently
they've traced the telegram to Hardy and Davis with Dan's help. West and
Gordon are on their way to pick them up. He says he'll tell me the full
Johnny slapped his brother on the back.
"Hey, that calls for another beer. Uh, you got any money, Scott?"
With an amused smile, the blond handed over a coin.
A week went by without more news from the
secret service men. Then out of the blue the younger agent rode up to Lancer
Johnny walked out to meet him. "Mr. West,
good to see you."
"That may not be true when you hear my
"What do you mean?"
"Is Scott here?"
"No, he's out doing some surveying near
the Tate place."
"Is that far?"
"Not really. I can show you."
"Fine. Let's go."
As they rode along, the younger Lancer
inquired, "What's this all about?"
Three days ago Hardy and Davis almost killed
Cassidy. They took his wife hostage. I think they're heading this way."
Johnny's stomach knotted. "They're after
West nodded. "It seems likely."
"Evidently Lewis and Hardy realized their
plot wasn't going to work so they decided to take one last chance to kill
"But why take Sarah and come after Scott?"
"I don't know, Mr. Lancer."
"Where's Mr. Gordon?"
"He's back on the train with a bullet wound
in his back. Lewis shot him when we tried to help Mrs. Cassidy." Johnny
looked at West. The clenched jaw said a lot. "Artie went under a white
flag, but Lewis shot him anyway." West's blue eyes looked at the young
man. "He's not getting away this time., Mr. Lancer."
"You can call me Johnny."
The twomen rode on; neither said a word.
It wasn't long until they halted at the
Tate place. At first it seemed deserted until they heard sobs. Entering
the barn they found Sarah Cassidy sitting tied up next to a man's body.
For one horrible instant Johnny thought it was his brother, but at second
glance he recognized the man as Gus Morgan, the ranch hand who had been
working with Scott.
Sarah looked up as they released her..
"Dan? How's Dan? Is he all right?"
"Easy, Mrs. Cassidy. He'll be fine. Are
you okay?" She nodded.
Johnny interrupted with, "Where's Scott?"
"They took him with them."
"Tell us what happened."
"After they took me hostage, we rode all
night. I knew they planned to come after Scott. I told them they were crazy,
but Hardy just hit me. Mr. Lancer, I think they are crazy. They want revenge
for what happened during the escape and also for when...we were here before.
We spent the night at this house. I just couldn't believe it when your
brother rode up this morning. They shot that poor man before anyone could
react. I thought they were going to kill Scott and me too. Instead
they clubbed him and told me I was free. I guess they just used me to make
sure he didn't give them any trouble."
Mrs. Cassidy, can you get to Lancer by
"I think so."
“Then take Morgan's horse and let my father
"You're going after them?"
"They've got my brother."
"All right, I'll go get help. Be careful.
I really believe they're mad dogs."
West and Lancer watched the blonde woman
ride out. "Johnny, I think you should leave this to me."
"That's my brother, and I'm not going to
let him be killed."
"All right, but control yourself. You won't
do Scott any good if you go off half-cocked."
"I'll do whatever it takes to bring him
back alive. Now let's ride; they've got a big head start already."
Following the trail of the three horses,
the two men remained quiet for some time as they set a fast pace. Slowing
to give the horses a breather, Johnny asked, "How long have you and Gordon
"Several years. He always protects my back."
Johnny could read West's face. "It wasn't
your fault that Lewis shot him."
"What do you know about it? I shouldn't
have let him take the chance, but he thought... I'm just thankful he survived."
You're lucky to have such a good friend.
I guess you know Scott and I didn't even know about each other until a
year ago. I sure don't want to lose him now." West said nothing. "Do you
have a plan?"
"I think it's best to assess the situation
when we find them. Believe me, I don't want to see Scott die either."
"How did you meet my brother?"
"I was an aide to General Grant. One time
Scott came along with General Sheridan to a meeting. While they were conferring,
we shared a bottle. He told me a little about his life in Boston. Later
he went with Sheridan to the Shenandoah Valley. I guess he was captured
before Cedar Creek."
"Suppose so. He doesn't talk much about
"I had a couple of friends who died in
Libby Prison. It was mainly for officers. You had to be strong to
survive a hellhole like that."
"I was in Mexico during the war, but I
heard stuff about those prisons--both Union and Confederate."
"Johnny, the war changed a lot of things.
Too many boys grew into men real fast. But I guess I don't have to tell
you about growing up fast."
For one second Johnny grew rigid in the
saddle. "Scott talked about me?"
"Not much. He told me how proud he is of
"Proud of me?"
"He admires how you've changed your life
around." Suddenly West pulled up.
"What is it?"
"For a moment I thought I saw a light over
in those trees."
"Could be. Let's tie up the horses and
check it out."
Advancing quietly, the two young men inched
their way into visual range of the small fire. Sitting near the fire were
two men while a third man lay on the ground not too far away. Backing away
Jim motioned for Johnny to follow.
"Could you see if Scott's tied up?"
"No, but they wouldn't just let him lie
there, would they?"
Johnny looked up at West. "He's not dead!"
"I didn't mean that. He may be unconscious
"West, you go around the other side and
protect Scott. I'll take out these two."
"I was just about to suggest the same--except
that I'll take then out."
"He's my brother!"
"And they shot my partner!" He hesitated.
"Okay, okay. Let's not argue. I'm the one in charge so we do it my way."
"You'd better be right because if anything
happens to Scott...."
"That's your job--to make sure that it
The two men split up, Lancer going around
through the trees to remove Scott from the danger area.
The agent waited for the younger man to
get into position then he quietly drew his gun to take aim at Lewis and
Hardy. Suddenly, he realized that only one man sat there, and that man
had a gun pointing right at the blond head of Scott Lancer.
"Whoever's out there show themselves or
this guy's dead!" West hesitated. The click of the hammer being pulled
back was loud in the clear night air.
West stepped forward. "Put your gun down."
West complied. "Now who are you? I expected that gunfighter brother of
the lieutenant to come after him."
"I work for the government."
"Well, well--just like that guy we shot."
"He's my partner."
"You mean I didn't kill him? Too bad."
Jim controlled his desire to throttle Jed
Lewis. He knew that losing control could cost all their lives.
"Are you so stupid that you came out here
by yourself or is someone with you?"
At that moment Scott groaned. Four eyes
focused on the prone man. "Shut up!" Lewis viciously struck him across
Johnny launched himself at Lewis. The two
men grappled with each other.
Picking up his gun, West tried to fire,
but the darkness prevented a clear shot. "Hold it!" Jim turned to see Rick
Hardy holding a gun on the secret service man. "Toss down your piece."
Hardy turned his gun towards the two locked
in a deadly wrestling match. Lewis managed to draw his weapon
while Johnny's had fallen in the scuffle. Lewis brought up his gun to fire
point blank at the younger Lancer. Time seemed to freeze until the sound
of a shot echoed around the campfire. Lewis looked down to see the gaping
hole in his chest, then his eyes closed forever as he slumped to the ground.
Taking advantage of the momentary diversion,
James West scooped up his gun and fired in the same motion. Rick Hardy,
too, died without even getting a shot off.
West stood, then walked over to where Johnny
Lancer tended to his brother who still clutched the pistol which had killed
Jed Lewis. How is he?"
"Not good. but I think he'll be okay if
we can get back to the ranch as soon as possible."
"Right. I'll take care of these two while
you start back."
At a walking pace Barranca took a fair
amount of time to carry the two Lancers. In fact, West caught up to them
just as they passed under the gate. Then the two men carried Scott into
"Johnny, I know you're going to be occupied
with Scott so I'll say goodbye now."
"Can't you stay for a day or so?"
"Thanks but I really want to get back to
the train so I can see how Artie's doing."
"I understand. I hope he'll be up and around
"So do I. When Scott's better, tell him
I'll stop by again sometime."
"I will. Have a safe trip--and thank you."
After James West's departure, Johnny's
attention returned to his brother. Luckily, Teresa had seen the men enter
the house and was prepared with hot water and bandages. Scott's
cuts and scrapes were rapidly tended to. Teresa was especially upset to
see the livid bruises covering most of the older Lancer's body.
"Johnny, what did they do to him?"
"They gave him one hell of a beating, but
I think he'll mend okay with time. Could you get me a cup of hot coffee?
I plan to sit with him for a spell."
"Sure. Is there anything else you need?"
"Not right now. Do you know where Murdoch
is? We didn't meet up with him on the way in."
"He hasn't returned yet."
"Then it's good we didn't need more men!"
Teresa hurried off to get the coffee.
The brunet spent the next two hours drinking
the coffee and eating the sandwiches that Teresa had prepared. She also
told him about Sarah Cassidy. "She said to tell you she was
sorry about Scott. She would have stayed, but she wanted to get back to
her husband. She's a brave woman."
"Yeah, she is that. I hope Cassidy's gonna
A small moan echoed from the bed. Then
"Teresa, why don't you go back to bed?
"You should be the one in bed. You've been
up all night."
"I just can't sleep until he wakes up.
I just gotta know if he's okay."
"All right then, just go lie down and if
he stirs, I'll yell for you. How about that?"
"I would like to go wash up some. I feel
like I've been rolling with the pigs."
“Do that. I'll be right here."
So Johnny went into his bedroom, poured
some water into the bowl, and wiped off the worst of the dirt. Just taking
his boots off felt wonderful. He looked over at the bed. <<It can't
hurt to lie down for five minutes. Teresa will call me.>>
A clatter of boots broke into his sleep.
Voices filled the house. Immediately the young man moved towards Scott's
room. He found Jelly and Murdoch standing in the doorway looking at Scott.
Murdoch turned toward his son. "Johnny,
glad to see you. I knew things would work out. What happened to Hardy and
"They're both dead. Jim West will take
care of things so there should be no more problems."
"Good, good. I think I'm going to get a
drink and then head to bed myself. These old bones aren't much for all
those hours in the saddle." Murdoch headed for the kitchen.
"Jelly, what happened to all of you"
"I thought that after Mrs. Casssidy told
you what happened you'd come after us?"
"We tried, but we got a late start. Anyway
you and that West feller did a bang-up job. Well, I'm mighty tired myself
so I'm heading to the bunkhouse. See ya in a few hours."
Johnny walked over to look at Scott. He
looked slightly flushed , but hadn't moved an inch. Quietly Johnny headed
to the kitchen. "Murdoch, I think we should get a doctor out here"
"Are you sure? The men are really bushed.
Maybe we could wait another few hours?"
"If you say so. I'll be in Scott's room."
Another hour passed. At least the blond
didn't look worse. Johnny's head lowered to his chest. His eyes closed
when a sudden terrifying scream roused him.
"Don't shoot them! Don't shoot!" The older
Lancer tried to escape his tormentors, but his brother physically held
him down until Scott gave up the struggle with a sob.
Murdoch, half-asleep, walked into the room.
"What's going on?"
"He had some kind of nightmare, I guess."
Murdoch just nodded and returned to his
room while Johnny continued his vigil. Finally his patience was rewarded
when he heard his name called.
"About time you woke up, Boston."
Scott gazed up into his brother's face.
"Sure I'm fine. What about you?"
"I'll bet. You're covered with bruises."
At that, a spark of fear entered the blue
"She's fine. She's on her way back to Dan."
Johnny looked down. "He didn't make it."
Scott clenched his eyes shut. "Didn't have
a chance. The young man fell silent again. Johnny started to move away,
figuring his brother had returned to sleep. But then Scott touched Johnny's
"Yeah, he sure is. You saved my life."
"Couldn't...let...him...." But the effort was too much. The handsome blond fell back into sleep.
The next three days passed slowly. After
finishing his chores, Johnny spent most of his time with his brother. Murdoch
urged his son to go into town for the dance on Saturday night, but he stayed
For the most part conversation was limited
until the day Jelly rushed in to say that the birth of Catherine's foal
was imminent. Scott insisted that Johnny should go and supervise the birth.
After a tense hour or two, a very happy former gunfighter came in to announce
that Catherine now had a filly, and that both were in perfect health.
Looking at Scott's smiling face, Johnny
inquired, "What are you going to name her?"
"I don't know. Ask Teresa. The filly belongs
The young woman, who had come into the
room to share in the happy news, started with surprise. "Mine? You don't
have to do that."
"But I want to--to say thank you for all
that you've done during the past year." Teresa walked over and kissed him.
"So, Teresa, what are you going to name
"I don't know. I'll have to think about
"Well, just don't name her some silly girl's
name like Josephine or Gertrude!"
"I once went out with a girl named Gertrude."
"Oh? And she looked like a horse?"
"No, actually she was kind of pretty, but
did her father have a temper!"
Teresa blushed. ”Johnny, I'm not sure I
want to hear this."
"Oh okay. I'll tell you later, Boston."
Laughing with joy, Teresa announced, "Well,
I'm going out to see my new horse."
"Now Scott, let me tell you about Gertrude."
"Uh Brother, I'm not sure I have the strength
"Sure you do. She had long black hair she
could sit on, and she loved to read."
"Read? You actually knew a girl who could
Johnny gave him a withering look. "That's
not all she could do!"
"Oh, is that so?.... You know, Little Brother,
if you'd help me I'll bet I could make it to the stable to see the filly."
The younger man frowned. "I don''t think
that's a good idea. You don't want to overdo."
“Aw, come on, be a good brother."
"Well okay, but just for a couple of minutes.
When they arrived at the mare's stall,
they found the foal nursing.
"She's beautiful, just like Catherine."
"She certainly is that, Big Brother."
Teresa walked over to Scott. "I've decided
to name her Escape."
Both Lancers looked puzzled. "What kind
of name is that?"
"When she's big enough to ride, I can use
her to escape from household chores. And even better--now when Scott hears
that word, he'll have good memories, not sad ones."
Putting his arm around Teresa, Scott agreed
with the choice. "You are one hell of a woman."
Smiling with delight, the young woman announced,
"And don't either of you ever forget it!"_______________