Stranded (Lancer Bingo Card)
by  EJ

Sequel to Family Portrait
July 2012

“Great, just great, what can go wrong next?”  Samantha sat among the paints and canvas spread out on the ground, she tucked a stray lock of black hair behind her ear.  “Just wait till I get back to town, I’m going to wring that livery man’s neck.”  She looked at the ruined canvas under her right leg and debated if she should scream or cry.  No, she wouldn’t cry she would plan the man’s slow and painful death.   After all her favorite riding skirt was ruined, not only spattered with paint but torn and showing more than a modest view of her leg.

“Yep, the man is going to die.”  She realized that she was talking to herself, again, but since no one was around she didn’t care.  She laughed thinking how talking to herself always annoyed her Uncle Jess.

Now that she had a plan she decided it was pointless to sit in the midst of the destruction feeling sorry for herself.  Samantha rose and grabbed the ruined canvas, and then began gathering the paint bottles scattered on the ground.  When she finally had the salvaged paints in the box and the ruined items in a pile she looked both directions down the dirt road and debated which was the better choice.  “Surely that crazy horse is back in Green River by now and someone will come looking for me.”  She shook her head, “Gotta quit talking to myself.”

“Oh well there is no point just standing here, I’ve been stranded before.” so she grabbed her paint box and started down the road.


Johnny was headed back to Lancer, he was tired and dirty from cleaning out yet another clogged stream bed.  He was thinking Murdoch seemed to always save that job for him, but it was better than the hated books.  Now all he wanted was a hot bath, something to eat, and a soft bed. 

When he crossed the road he noticed a pile of art supplies, not something he expected to see.  He looked both directions and noticed a small female figure in the distance.  Not one to leave a body stranded, especially a woman, Johnny headed for the pretty lady artist who did their family portrait.


Samantha heard a horse and turned to see a beautiful palomino and recognized the rider headed for her.   She waved her hand. 

Johnny rode up to her and dismounted.   He touched the rim of his hat and used his best drawl and sure to impress smile, “Howdy ma’am. Do you need some help?”

Samantha smiled, yep he’s good.  She remembered how the brothers shamelessly flirted with her.  She also noticed how his eyes dropped to the torn skirt and as he continued smiling at her.

“Mr. Lancer, the horse I rented dumped me and took off,” she tried to stop the chuckle in her voice, he was a flirt as well as a charmer. “I would appreciate a ride to town, if it’s not too much trouble.”

Johnny laughed, only a little embarrassed that he got caught staring.  “Well ma’am, just call me Johnny, Mr. Lancer is Murdoch.  The ranch is closer and...well Teresa could help you…” he could’t help himself as he pointed to the torn riding skirt.

She tried to hold her skirt together while she enjoyed watching Johnny trying to act the gentleman rancher.  “Thank you, I would appreciate it, and it’s Sam not ma’am.”  He is kinda cute when a little embarrassed.  Gosh, I hope I didn’t say that out loud.

“Yes, ma’am...Sam.”  Johnny took the box and helped her mount Barranca.  Then he handed her the paint box and mounted behind her.  If Lancer had been closer he would have lead Barranca and let her ride alone since her leg was partially exposed.  As difficult as it was he forced himself to look at the trail and not the very attractive leg next to his.  It wasn’t easy especially since their legs bumped together riding over the rough trail.

They hadn’t talked on the ride to Lancer, for which she was grateful.  Now she was really feeling embarrassed about the situation.  How could she have been thrown, she had been riding horses since a child.  “Guess I wasn’t paying attention to the horse I was too engrossed in the beautiful scenery.”

“What ma’am...Sam?”  Johnny was concentrating on the trail when he heard her mumble something.

“Oh, sorry.  I have a very bad habit of talking to myself.”  Samantha turned her head so Johnny wouldn’t see her face turn pink.

Johnny was really intrigued by the lady artist, even down to the pretty shade of pink on her face.  He smiled, guess I’m not the only who talks to myself.

When they rode under the Lancer arch Johnny waved toward the hacienda and said, “Welcome to Lancer.”

The End for now.   





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