A Lancer fan fiction short story
No Copyright infringement intended…..
The call of a coyote echoed across the valleys and the full moon made night fall as light as day. Scott Lancer had walked his lame horse for nearly an hour and was not planning to stop for more than a few minutes at a time until he got to town which was not far away. The least he could do was to get his companion to a nice dry stall for the night. Maybe he could find the new vet come morning. Scott sure hoped the man would be good with horses.
The birds were singing loudly outside the window at the hotel. Scott rolled out of bed and went to the lobby were he could smell coffee brewing. He sat himself down at a large table in the room they called a parlor and smiled at the lady pouring him a cup of her brew. “Ma’am, thank you. Do you know where the new vet is? My horse took lame.” She says, “Behind the blacksmith shop. You’ll see a sign with Dr. Henry on it.” He slurps his coffee and gets up. “Much obliged, ma’am. Glad we finally got one in town.” He leaves the hotel.
Scott has no problem finding the veterinary’s place, but no one is there. He goes back to the stable to check on his horse. When he reaches his horse he finds a young woman wearing trousers and a plaid shirt wrapping the tendons on the animal’s right front leg. Her hair was gold and she wore it pulled back in a pony tail. She looks at Scott, “This black beauty yours? How far did you come with him after he took lame?” Scott stares at her curiously wondering why she was taken it upon herself to nurse his horse. “Yes, he’s mine. He took lame a few miles from town. He’s a good pony. I’d hate to have to put him down. I couldn’t find Dr. Henry. Think he might be back soon?” She smiles at him, “I’m Dr. Henry. I think I can save his leg, but he shouldn’t be traveling for a few days.” Scott’s jaw drops. “A female vet, I never heard of a female vet before.” She stares at him, “I love animals and thought it was the perfect job for me. Call me Alice. What’s your name?” He looks into her dark blue eyes, “I’m Scott.” She smiles at him, “You got a last name?” He grins, “Lancer. I live about sixteen miles from here.” She asks, “Can you stick around a few days or are you needed back home?” Scott knew he should go home, but he decided to stay. It wasn’t everyday he got to watch a pretty female vet at work. “I can stay. Guess, if they need me, someone will come looking for me. They know I was coming here.” She starts to leave the stable and then turns toward Scott, “You can borrow my horse if you need to go home. But it’s nice you can stay to keep watch on yours. Some folk wouldn’t be bothered. They’d just trust me to do it and then there are those who never saw a female vet.” Scott grins, “Oh, I trust you to watch him, only thought I’d stick around. My brother, Johnny broke him for my birthday a couple years ago. My sister, Teresa named him Bow because she talked Johnny into putting a bow on top of his head when he gave him to me. Bow is sort of special to me.” She nods. “I see. I’d stay if I were you, too.” Scott smiles at her as his heart sort skips a beat looking at her, “How about you, having dinner with me this evening? Or is there a Mr. Henry?” She chuckles, “No Mr. Henry. Yes, I’d like that. Don’t dine out much. Don’t know very many folks around here yet.”
That night after dinner Scott walks Alice home. They stop to check on Scott’s horse. Scott lights a lantern. “Easy, boy, we’re just checking on you.” Alice feels of the bandage, “Swelling has gone down. I’ll change the dressing tomorrow and you can walk him around a little bit.” They leave the stable after Scott puts the lantern out. He escorts Alice home.
Each day Bow’s leg is getting stronger and Alice has become very close to Scott. Scott and Alice are walking Bow around town one late afternoon. When they start back into the stable, Alice says, “Tomorrow we can tie him to the back of my buggy and I’ll take you home. Just stay off his back for a few more days. Okay?” Scott agrees, “Okay, thanks for all this special attention you’ve given Bow and me. I’m going to miss these daily walks. You’re so easy to talk to, Alice.” She turns toward him, “You are too nice. You know you can come visit me, don’t you? I really like your company, Scott. I can’t wait to meet that family you’ve told me so much about.” He grins, “You will tomorrow.” After putting Bow in the stall they walk to Alice’s house and she offers him a cup of tea. They sit on the bench on her front porch. Scott puts his cup on the tray she had laid on the porch rail and turns to her. “Guess, we better get some sleep. See ya at sun up.” He gently kisses her on the cheek. She smiles at him, “Good-night.”
The next day as Scott and Alice approach Lancer, Johnny rides up beside them, “Where in thunder have you been, Scott. I was just coming to find ya. Oh, excuse me, ma’am.” Scott frowns at him, “This is Alice. She’s the new vet in town. Bow took lame. I had no choice but to stay, anyways I’ve been gone four days, guess you weren’t much concerned where I was.” Johnny grins, “Howdy, Ma’am, I’m Johnny Lancer. Don’t get many female vets in these parts, reckon you’re a first.” Alice chuckles, “Yes, reckon I am.” Johnny looks at Scott, “Jelly said you went off half cocked and probably needed a break from us. Murdoch said to give ya a few days. He knew you went to town.” Scott doesn’t even remember leaving there mad like Jelly suggested. “What made Jelly think that?” Johnny shakes his head, “The newspaper, ring a bell?” Scott sighs, “I only told Jelly I would have liked to read it first. It was sent to me from Boston. By the time I got to read it half the pages were rearranged.” Alice smiles at him, “Boston, that’s where you get that distinctive manner. You know my mother’s family came from Boston. But I haven’t been any further east than Wyoming. I was born in Cheyenne. My folks still live there. I heard a vet was needed out here, so here I am.”
After meeting everyone at the ranch and admiring their livestock Alice decides she has rested her horse long enough to return to town. “Guess I better get back to town. Sure was nice meeting all of you.” Scott says, “I’ll go with you. Let me get a horse saddled.” Alice looks at him, “I’m sure I’ll be fine. But if you want, okay, Scott.”
Later at town, Scott is at Alice’s door, “One thing I got to do before I head back.” He pulls Alice close and kisses her gently. She smiles at him. “You waited long enough. Thanks for coming back with me.” He smiles, “Yeah, anytime, Alice. I’m not going to say good-bye, because I’ll be back one of these days, soon.”
By now word has gotten out about the pretty female vet in town. Cowboys are bringing her business every day, but much is bogus ailments and she is getting tired of being taken for a fool. One day she is arguing with a man in the stable about lying to her about his horse not eating. He is a large filthy looking cow puncher and he puts his grubby hands on her trying to steal a kiss. She screams. Every man within hearing distance comes to her aid and the sheriff puts the man in jail. The sheriff says, “Doc, don’t worry about old Merle here. A couple nights in the pokey ought to make him think twice before he tries that trick again. You really should think about getting yourself an assistant, preferably a male. I just ain’t got time to protect you and the town, too.” She thinks maybe she should hire someone to look out for her. “Sheriff, can you find me someone?” He nods, “I can do that.”
The sheriff sends a friend of his by the name of Sammy King to assist her. Sammy is a middle aged man with a military background. Alice becomes very dependent on Sammy. Sammy lives just a couple doors down the street from Alice. He had become like a big brother to her in just a couple of weeks.
Scott and Johnny finally get time to come to town. Scott was very excited to see Alice again. As he and Johnny lead their horses to the stables, he sees Alice standing with her back to him looking through her medical bag. He walks up behind her and puts his hands over her eyes. He no more than says, “Guess, who?” when out of nowhere Sammy grabs him and hauls off and socks him in the mouth. Scott is stunned, he falls backwards and Johnny breaks his fall. Alice yells, “No, Sammy, no. He’s my friend.” She rushes to Scott’s side. “You okay, Scott. I’m so sorry.” She begins to wipe the blood from Scott’s mouth. Sammy backs off, “Sorry, I thought you were one of those idiots who have been bothering her.” Johnny laughs, “Hard to tell one idiot from another sometimes ain’t it?” Scott glares at Johnny and then at Sammy, “And who are you?” Alice looks at Scott, “This is Sammy King, a friend of the sheriff who I hired to protect me from all these guys who keep bringing me their horses with fake illnesses. You don’t know what it’s been like Scott. I’m here to treat sick animals and these men tease me with their lies. The sheriff even had to throw one of them in jail for trying to attack me. Sammy was his idea.” Scott looks at her, “Sorry, you had to deal with that Alice. I wish I could have stayed here to help with the problem.” He hugs her. She smiles at him, “I know. I’m fine now. How’s Bow? He looks good.” Johnny talks Sammy into going to the saloon for a beer and leaves Scott with Alice. Alice invites Scott to her house for supper.
Scott and Alice enjoy a quiet evening with each other’s company. Scott is thinking how beautiful she is and maybe she was the one. They are sitting on the front porch holding hands. Alice looks at him, “Scott, I’ve decided to go back to Cheyenne. I hope someday I can see you again. I really think a lot of you, you know?” Scott hangs his head, “No, stay here. Please stay, Alice. It will get better. You’ll see.” She kisses him and says, “I’m leaving next month as soon as the new vet gets here. People here aren’t ready for a female vet out here. At least, in Cheyenne, they know me and I can help Dr. Cooper with his practice until I figure out what to do next. Please Scott, don’t you beg me to stay, it will only add to my confusion. Don’t you see? I can’t do this. I’ll write to you. Okay?” He puts his arm around her. “Okay, I’ll stop back before you leave. Maybe someday I’ll get to Cheyenne. Guess I better go see if Johnny is ready to go home. Good-night, Alice.”
On the way back to Lancer the brothers talk about Alice. Scott says, “Alice is going back to Cheyenne next month. Darn, I really thought maybe this was the one.” Johnny chuckles, “How many times have I heard you say that?” Scott shakes his head, “I don’t know. Lots of times I guess.” Johnny says, “Well, Sammy already had told me Alice was leaving. She told him she had to go back home, because she thought she was in love with a rancher and she wasn’t ready for any commitments yet. She said someday maybe this valley will be civilized enough to except women doing something besides keeping house and raising kids. Maybe then she’ll be back and look him up. Who ya think the rancher is, Scott?” Scott laughs, “I’m not even going to guess who.”