Don’t own them, but enjoy poking fun with them. Excuse my mistakes and ignore them. Hope you enjoy the read. by Becks
“I. Can’t. Do. It. Johnny!”
“Aw, com’ on Scott. Sure you can. Right Val?”
“Don’t get me involved in your hair-brain ideas and don’t ask for my opinion either. Damn fool!”
“Val. I believe it is too…ugh…late….whoa….to not be involved. Hey, hold it still!”
“ ‘M tryin’ Scott. You’re wiggling… too damn much. Sit still for God-sake!”
“IF… you want me to sit still…hum…ugh…THEN…hold the damn thing still!”
“I. AM. TRYING!”
“You two are plain loco.” Val just stood there doing what he was told.
“Yeah, well I don’t see you sitting up here….whoa….attempting….aye….this!”
“Hair-brain idea… Don’t like ‘em. Don’t need ‘em.” He raised an eyebrow and snickered some.
“We appreciate…huff…help Val. Come on Scott. Ready?”
“No, I. am. NOT.”
“Too bad.” Snap…. “Let ‘er rip Val!”
Somewhere in the distance, stood two familiar figures, watching the entire ordeal that was taking place in the corral and Jelly couldn’t take it anymore.
“Well boss. Wan’ me ta’ go stop ‘em befur they get themselves all banged up… or killed?”
Puffing his pipe, Murdoch just stared at the fiscal being performed in the corral. He sighed.
“No Jelly, but I do want you to send one of the boys to go get Sam. Have him tell Sam, ‘It’s dinner time.’ He’ll know what I mean.” With that he turned and walk inside the hacienda. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the scene that was unfolding outside. ‘Those boys have really made my life interesting…and I am making Sam richer.’ He laughed at that last one.
Sam was having a slow day and took advantage of that so he started to clean up his medicine cabinet and take inventory. “Seems I am running low on pain killer….” He snorted. “…..those Lancer boys should be knocked out for life with all the medicine I’ve given them.” He suddenly turned when the door swung open rather quickly and loudly. “Manuel?”
“Oh, lo siento doctor. The wind blew the door from my hand.” He closed it carefully and dusted himself off, then shrugged his shoulders when he realized the dust flew all over the office. “Discuple doctor. I can clean it up for you, si?”
“NO, what can I help you with?” Sam was a very patient man and just smiled at the embarrassed Manuel.
“Ah, si, el Senor Murdoch…he wanted me to tell you…” He scratched his head and Sam just frowned already reaching for his bag. “… It’s dinner time?”
“Oh, I see. Gracias Manuel. Please go prepare my buggy and I’ll just get some more supplies.” Well, so much for Sam’s quiet day of cleaning and taking inventory. “Maybe I should just order triple of what I need.” He scratched a new order amount on his tablet and proceeded to refill his bag. “Wonder which one got hurt this time?”
“I seriously don’t understand why you are whining about the cut on your head when I am obviously sitting here with a broken ankle and injured hip.” Scott grimaced at the pain on his hip more than the pain on his ankle.
“Well, at least you did not bleed all over yourself! Damn that hurts Teresa!” Johnny flinched away from Teresa’s mistration.
“Will you two quit being such babies. You asked for it with your dumb-ass hair-brain ideas.” Val limped over to the couch and Teresa was about to go to help him. “No ma’m.” Val held up a hand. “ Don’t you come near me missy! I don’t need any tending to. I’ll jus’ sit here and watch you tend to those cry babies.”
“Val, I can still see through my right eye and I can still hit what I aim for!”
Teresa moved away from Val and Johnny and continued with Scott. “Well brother too bad your aim sucks at holding up to your end of the bargain. Ouch, TERESA! Please. don’t. touch. my. ankle…”
The three men got silent when Teresa slammed the bowl on the table. “YOU THREE ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO DEAL WITH!” She proceeded to storm out of the room just as Murdoch was making his way in.
“OK, who did what to Teresa?” His frown and glare made its way to all three. Val just shot his arms up and them slouched back on the couch. Scott stared at Johnny as he rubbed his hip and tried to make himself more comfortable. Johnny made the effort to look at Murdoch through the blood still oozing down his eye.
“Ah com’ on Murdoch. We’re in pain and she’s just….” He looked at Murdoch knowing that the next few words needed to be carefully chosen. “….well, she’s just poking ‘round trying to fix us up….and it hurts!”
“And it should hurt!” Murdoch grabbed Johnny chin to look at the cut.
“Damn Murdoch, cain’t you be more….shit that hurt old man!” Johnny went to grab Murdoch wrist, but felt a sharp pain on his own wrist and pulled back. “Oh hell….”
“I’ll show you just how an old man can handle a disrespectful young man!” Murdoch grabbed the rag Teresa was using and went to clean up Johnny’s cut. “Now what else have you done to yourself and hold still before I get Jelly to sit on you.”
Scott chimed in. “I’d volunteer to sit on him, but MY hip HURTS like hell and I can’t walk!”
“Enough!” That voice just rumbled throughout. Val slouched even further down the couch and mumbled, “Yeesh, what a grouch.”
Murdoch hissed at him. “Did you say something of interest Val?”
“Nope not me, not one word came out of these here lips. No sir-ee, Jus’ min’ing my own business while’z you take care of those cubs of yours.”
“Good. Keep it that way!”
It was then that they heard the doc’s carriage. “Guess I’ll just leave you alone and let Sam deal with you.”
“SAM? How did he know to come? We just got hurt? Hey, did you send for him just in case?” Johnny held the rag over his eye. “Of all the….” Johnny placed his pouting face and leaned into the table.
Scott rolled his eyes at his little brother. “Good thing too. Seems our father knows enough of your adventurous plans to anticipate what is coming.”
“Hey, I didn’t see you backing off from my adventure.” Johnny winched when he saw Sam walk in. “Howdy Sam, nice of you to drop by. Guess what?”
“No need for guessing Johnny. I can see for myself, unlike you. Now let me see what you’ve done to yourself again.” He set the bag on the table. “I really don’t need any other patients with this group.”
Murdoch showed up with clean rags and water. “Sorry Sam, but they were at it again and I just thought I’d extend that dinner date and hopefully, we would not need your services.”
“Not a problem Murdoch. So is Maria making my favorite.” He smiled and licked his lips.
There was a loud bang from the kitchen and the rush of hot air was felt when Maria walked in through the door. “Aqui, nadien va attender los! Este cuarto es para comer. Arriba con todos! Ya!” She spun her spoon up in the air. (There will be no caring for the injured. This room is for eating. Up to your rooms now.)
“Maria, please.” Scott bent his head down to avoid her swinging spoon. “I can’t walk up stairs.”
“Entonces, jour father, he carry jou! Now!” And with that she vanished like a poof of smoke.
“Whoa, I didn’t even see her broom!” Johnny just stared at the door and felt a whack on his head. “Ow, Murdoch what was that for? Injured man here.”
“Disrespect is not tolerated.”
“Aye, she didn’t even hear me.”
“No, but I did.” Murdoch went to help Scott up. “Come on Val. You might as well go upstairs and have Sam check out your knee.”
Johnny remained sitting and placed his hand on his head. “Dang.”
Sam noticed. “Johnny? Tell me what you’re feeling.”
“Dizzy and nauseated. Guess Murdoch has a heavier hand than he thinks, huh?”
“No, he doesn’t and don’t blame him for this. Somebody needs to tell me what happened to the three of you. Can you make it up stairs?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.” He slowly got up made his way up the stairs. All the adrenaline was starting to wear down and exhaustion was slowly creeping in along with a mother of a headache.
Murdoch was making his way down when he noticed Sam’s concerned face. “Sam?”
They both watch Johnny slow pace. “Is there more to his injuries Sam?”
“I suspect a mild concussion. What the hell happened Murdoch?” Sam grabbed his bag waiting for the reply.
Just as Murdoch was going to start reliving the entire ordeal to his friend they heard screaming from the upstairs hall followed by a door being slammed.
“God, now what?” Making their way to the stairs, they saw Johnny peeking around the hall from the top step.
“Pa…Pa…Val is on my bed and he slammed the door on my face. Scott won’t open his door either. Where am I suppose to get fixed up? and… and… my head hurts like hell.”
Murdoch couldn’t help but smile at the childlike expression on his boy’s face.
“Pa…this ain’t funny. I feel like puking.” Both men ran up the stairs and grab Johnny Just as he was starting to lean heavily on the side of the wall. Johnny did manage one more little bitching tone. “Who gave Val permission to bunk in my room? Oh…. Sam I don’t feel so good.”
“Yup, a concussion, definitely.” They half carried him to Murdoch’s bed and carefully laid him down. Murdoch proceeded to remove his son’s boots and clothes, but kept an eye on Sam as the doc examined Johnny. Sam stitched up the cut and checked his pupils, then decided it was a mild concussion.
Before they walked away, they heard a mumble coming from under the covers. Half asleep and feeling miserable all Johnny managed was a whimpered, “S’not fair. S’not fair.” And then he started to turn green and with that Sam quickly placed a basin under Johnny’s chin and brushed the hair gently until the episode subsided.
Rubbing his stomach after a finishing the best dinner ever, Sam just mused at the evening entertainment. “It was Johnny’s idea, again!“ Sam just laughed as Murdoch continued to share the story of the mishap.
Swirling the drink in his hand, Murdoch couldn’t help but release a laugh. “He was convinced it was a new modern way to train bronco riders…riding a bull Sam, not a horse mind you.” Both men just shook their heads in unison. “See Sam, when we went to Stockton, during our last business deal, he saw a few young cowpokes performing their newly found abilities, not on a real bull, but on this….” He laughed harder and gulped a drink to help stifle it. “… this barrel contraption with…ropes attached to both ends. Those ropes were tied to some very sturdy poles and the barrel was balanced up off the ground. It had a saddle on it…. for the brave rider.” Eyebrows a skewed, “Why Johnny would want to do use a barrel to simulate a riding a bull is beyond me. He is awful good breaking those horses and he will meet the challenge to ride a bull just for fun, especially when a rodeo is around, but….I don’t know what goes on in that head of his.”
Sam just chuckled. “Well think about it. Horses are old fashioned and I guess riding a barrel is the new thing.” Both men laughed thinking how absurd it was to use a barrel. Given their experience they just continued to comment on the ludicrous idea, but leave it to Johnny to think of another money scheming adventure.
“Ohhh, Murdoch, life is far more entertaining with that boy and then there’s Scott. Who would of thought that that fine young man, who was raised in Boston, would fall for his brothers plans every time!”
“I know Sam, but I am very thankful that he does. God only knows what Johnny would do without his brother there to help him…. get in trouble.” They sat a stared off into the distance sighing and chuckling while enjoying the quiet and calm of the evening.
Sam broke the silence. “Ok, that still doesn’t explain the injuries.” He eagerly waited for the rest of the story.
“Ah yes, the injuries.” Making himself more comfortable in his favorite chair, Murdoch aimed to please with the sequel. “Seems that Johnny did not think things through for the support needed on those ropes, plus the weight of the barrel, the saddle and a rider. He just tied the ends of the rope to the corral and the other ends to a long board that he dug into the ground.” Murdoch pinched his nose. “I honestly thought the only thing that might happen was that the barrel would sag and that it wouldn’t get any momentum off the ground for any bronco riding, but was I ever wrong. The ropes held out with Scott on the barrel, until he got his balance, but it wasn’t until Val and Johnny started shaking, pulling and jerking the ends of the rope to simulate a bucking horse when all hell broke loose.” Both men walked over to the liquor cabinet and poured themselves more liquid gold.
Murdoch continued. “The side where Johnny was shaking the barrel held on for a bit, but then it started to pull hard and the friction was causing some problems. By the time Johnny felt the corral board give way, it was too late to try and stop the reaction. The corral broke and the part that held the rope ends went flying up and towards Johnny. He held his left arm out trying to avoid getting hit in the face and got it on the wrist instead. Unfortunately, the rather large piece bounced back with a life of its own and hit Johnny above the left eye, cutting and knocking him out.”
“Jesus Murdoch! What about Scott?”
“He went flying up and over with one leg still attached to the saddle. Apparently the barrel was not finished with Scott and he just went along for the ride. He bounced up and down hitting his hip until the barrel landed hard on his ankle.”
“Damn lucky, that’s all I can say. It could have been worse than the sprained ankle and sore hip. Ok, what about Val?”
“Oh yes, my third aging son…. he released his end of the rope and ran to help the boys out, but when he saw Johnny out cold, he jumped over Scott.”
“Not that young anymore, so I am guessing the old knee gave out when he landed?”
“No Sam, it was not that simple. He re-thought his first objective and decided to help Scott first so that Scott, in turn, could help him with Johnny.” Murdoch just smiled and gave himself a few seconds before continuing. “When he landed, he turned around quickly to help Scott out.”
“That’s when he twisted his knee?” Sam was now sitting on the edge of the chair.
“Nope, not yet. See Sam, Val heard Scott moaned with pain, which made Val to rethink his plan about needing Scott’s help. He re-thought again and felt it best to go to Johnny first, so he turned around quickly… tripped over his own feet … and landed on his knee twisting it as his body turned in the opposite direction.”
Sam just slapped his hand on his knee and swayed back and forth on the chair laughing uncontrollably. Murdoch held his hands over his face wiping the tears away. He finally managed to breath in some air and added, “You know Sam, I love those boys more than life itself, but they are really going to send me to my grave a bit earlier than I expected.”
“Yes, I agree Murdoch. Life is Grant having those two around.” More laughter was shared, and then Sam had a haunting question. “Murdoch, so tell me…. what happened to the barrel?”
Murdoch stared at Sam in a rather stoic fashion, “I had Jelly shoot and bury it.”
This story was inspired by a real life incident dealing with a friend of mine who thought riding a mechanical bull at her age was a grant idea. Let’s just say she survived the surgery, but gave me tons of material to tease her with.