This little story takes place at the attorneyís office for the signing of the partnership papers.
L * A * N * C * E * R
I am watching Johnny chew on the stampede strap of his hat and wondering, what is he thinking? Obviously heís nervous, but then so am I. Mr. Reynolds is saying something but Iím not really listening and I donít think Johnny is either. Just too many emotions to deal with and the biggest isÖ I have a little brother.
When I saw him shot from his horse I felt such fear and loss; he was gone before I even had the chance to know him. Then he moved and without thinking the big brother in me took over; I had to get to him and move him away from the gunfire.
After the battle we walked side by side toward Murdock. Johnny was weaving and I wanted to be there to catch him when he finally passed out. When I draped him over my shoulder I felt his warm blood on my back. Again I felt the fear of losing my brother.
It was difficult sitting by his sick bed watching him fight the fever and although I couldnít understand the Spanish, I understood the anguish. When I woke from my nap and saw those blue eyes staring at me I wanted to shout for joy.
Now itís my turn to sign the paper and my heart is pounding. I am committing myself to being a partner in the ranch, the son of a man Iíve never known, and most importantly being a big brotherÖ At least I hope for the chance.
I watch Johnny straighten and walk to the desk. I hear Murdoch say the name should be Madrid and my hope sinks. If Johnny stays Madrid will I have the brother Iíve always wanted? I hold my breath.
Then I hear him say, Ďlet it standí. Now I knowÖ
There is time to be a big brother.
L * A * N * C * E * R
Boston sure looks serious, wonder if heís worried about having a gunfighter for a brother? Kinda like the look he gave me on the stage and then when Teresa said, Ďhe had twoí. At least he ainít wearing plaid and ruffles, may be hope for him yet.
Damn if he wasnít something else though when the fighting started. After I was shot off Barranca, he comes a running out in the middle of the gunfire and drags me under the tree. I thought he was crazy, but it sure felt good having someone cover my back.
Hell of a shot with the long gun too, he took out Pardee with one bullet. Next thing I know things are getting fuzzy and Iím headed for the ground. Sure shocked the hell out of me when I woke up and saw Boston stretched out in the chair by my bed. He had this silly grin on his face when he roused up and noticed me staring at him.
Then he started acting all big brother with ordering me to drink that awful tea of Mariaís, stay in bed as ordered, and take the medicine Sam left. He sure could be a pain in the ass.
Canít help but think about all those times I wanted a big brother and now I got one. He sure ainít what I had in mind, but he ainít so bad either. Well, sometimes, anyway.
Now weíre standing here listening to this Reynolds guy yapping about something, but Iím not listening and donít think Boston is either. Murdoch looks happy so it must be something good.
Scott just signed the paper and now itís my turn, but Murdoch is saying my name is Madrid. Is that what he wants? He has a strange look on his face, kinda like heís waiting for something. Well, this is my chance of a home and Iím not gonna give it up. I hear myself say, ďLet it stand.Ē
Damn, if the Olí Man and Boston arenít smiling; doesnít seem to take much to make them happy.
Now the hard parts, learning about family, how deal with the Olí Man that isnít the bastard I thought he was, and find out what its like having a big brother.
Yep, a big brother, canít help but wonder how this is going to work out.