I don't own the Lancer's nor do I own the rights to them, but if I did, I'd
put the series on digital dvd, uncut for sure and make gifts of the complete
series to a certain few!!
(You know who you are)
Kits influence, idea's and story lines are evident in the piece…i.e for example Johnny's probation, the removal of his pistol and so on. There is also reference's to `The Experiment' and Aggie and Buck, amongst others…
But I gotta give Kit, her due, and credit for all her love and support. Thanks Ma…you inspire me to have a go and have fun with it too.…in short…you rock!
Johnny is 19 and Scott is 25…Warning some cussing. If you don't like reading a young Johnny then I suggest you don't read on…..
No Beta I am afraid…eeek…. I didn't want to take Ma from her `The Left hand of God' nor both her and SF from Web of Deceit…(which I am eagerly awaiting BTW)
Special thanks to Binnie for her willingness to read my stories…! Poor woman!
Hope ya'll enjoy.
Me and Scott …or should I say…Scott and I…Boston has a thing for the way I say things and is always on at me about it. Me, I could give a damn. Anyway we was headed to town for supplies. Murdoch was all "You stay out of trouble young man and keep out of that damned saloon and stay with your brother' ….blah de blah de blah….
Like I can't take care of myself…been takin' care of myself for some time …Don't need me a babysitter. He may as well've waved a red flag at me, I mean if he hadn't a mentioned it, I probably wouldn't have been so inclined to be sittin' in the saloon when all Hell broke loose. Ah Hell who am I kiddin'… yeah I would.
Anyway what with the fuckin' noose Murdoch was intent on stranglin' me with, I was in a bad mood. He'd forced me to ride in the wagon with big brother…not a good thing. Wagon's are for old people. I mean why couldn't I just ride Barranca and follow?
The old man can really be a complete bastard,. I mean I know I'm recoverin' from that cold that turned nasty on me and orders are orders and he just has to be obeyed… But sometimes I think, he thinks he's fuckin' God almighty. `Lord of all he surveys' that's what he says…, includin' me and Scott…. Phhfft!!!
Maria and T'reas ain't a whole lot better, Cip and Elena too, with all there fussin'.
So, there I was ridin' in the wagon with Scott grinnin' at me like a jackass… Mostly because I was sulkin', or so he took delight in tellin' me.
Hand on heart, I'll admit it here and now, I was. But damn it all to Hell, I hate that Murdoch simply waves his hand, barks out an order and we all hav'ta follow him like meek little lambs… and, I fuckin' well hate sheep!
Don't ask I got my reasons!
It's taken me some time, but I'm gettin' to know when to push the old man and when to back off and i reckoned this was a time to back off.
He's like a bear when I'm recoverin' from something and he treats me like I'm still in diapers and lately he's been leanin' on me somethin' fierce. It's been gettin' damn old. The God-damned leash and collar's gettin' a might tight… So I figured it was time to cut the ties and prove a point.
When Scott was busy in the mercantile, I slipped away and jogged along the boardwalk towards the Silver Dollar. I was wound up like a knotted spring by the time I got to the batwing doors but I still stopped for a good look see; a habit I can't shake from my gunfightin' days. And to be honest I don't wanna' either. It's saved my life more times than I care to remember.
There were a few sittin' drinking and another three playin' poker, one I recognized with a sly smile. Davy from the neighboring ranch. I figured a good fight might just be in order. I needed to get rid of this knot in my gut. So rubbin' my hands together and feelin' a might cheerier… I stepped over the threshold, a grin on my face.
Davy scowled when he saw me. It ain't no secret the man don't like me much but then the feelin's mutual.
I ordered two beers knowing full well Scott'd find me. In fact I was countin' on it, but I also knew he would load the wagon first with the supplies, which gave me some time to myself. Told Charlie, to hold his beer till later, that way It'd still be cool. My thinkin' was it might be enough to cool his temper, cause I knew he was gonna' be pissed.
Beer in hand I made for the empty table at the back of the saloon and pulled the chair up against the wall; another trick I learnt from my gunfightin' days.
Val once told me, `Son always make sure in a saloon or anywhere, that you have a solid wall at yer back. That way kid, you might just avoid gettin' back shot'. It was good advice and one of Val's better rules. He had so damned many, and I didn't listen to most of `em, but this one, made sense so I did and I been glad of it ever since.
Davy's a judgmental bastard. He can't seem to shake the fact that I used to be a gunfighter. Not that any of `em knows what that's like. He's got me pegged as nuthin' but a cold blooded killer and I guess I cant blame him in some ways, but if he took the time he'd know, I ain't ever shot a man in cold blood. Now, I know, I ain't one for tellin' others my business cause it ain't any of there never mind, but still. Most are prepared to give me a chance but not this bastard. Oh no.
So to be honest with the way I was feelin', I was real pleased to see Davy. I figured he owed me an apology for all the things he'd been sayin'.
He's been tellin' anyone that'd listen that he ain't scared of a snot nosed pup who just happens to be a famous gunfighter, now that in itself ain't enough to get me goin', but he also said a bullet would kill me just as much as any other man, and I don't much care for someone goin' round threatenin' to put a bullet in me. I figured it was time to either kiss, and make up or fight it out. After all a man has a right to defend himself now, don't he?
So I smiled that sly kind of smile and sipped my beer. I was lookin' forward to meetin' him, cause I'd never even met the prick. The way I figured it, it was time for some of that ol payback that Scott was going on about the other day when ol… well that's another story!
I've always been like this and I ain't gonna start apologizin' now. I've never have backed down from a fight and well, I do love a challenge. Not that Davy’s one of them.
I raised my glass and saluted him.… I'd seen his face when he saw me enter. Now I ain't sayin' he was scared or nuthin' but he was definitely on edge and I knew I was the last person he wanted to see.
I wasn't packin', not even the utility pistol Murdoch bought for me. Mostly `cause I wasn't supposed to leave Scott and he was. The old man said `You don't need your pistol John you're not goin' to war but to town for supplies' … sheesh … He knows how ta preach … missed his… what was that word Scott told me the other day … oh yeah..his, his vacation… yeah, I think that was it. Scotts always tossing new words at me, it seems he's on a mission to educate me...and the old man ain't a whole lot better.
Anyway, whatever was goin' to take place it wasn't goin' to involve gunplay, something I found, if I am totally honest, a little comfortin'. Never thought that'd happen. I still feel naked without the thing, don't get me wrong and its somethin' the old man doesn't understand, or if he does he don't let on.
I'd already noticed that Davy wasn't packin' either.
I smiled hiding my eyes, `cause I knew exactly how to get to the man. You see I'd heard through the grapevine, courtesy of the towns gossips, that the turd was courtin' Miss Mary Sue Parker, an older woman, kinda plain but nice, who'd missed the boat. Don't get me wrong she ain't an ugly cuss but pretty in a wholesome kinda way. She must be God-damned blind though, if you ask me!
I decided to share that piece of information with my… `friend'! He didn't much like what I had to say… told me straight off, to shut my smart assed mouth.
"Davy," I shouted salutin' him again. "I'm just sayin' it's a good thing she don't see to well. `Course she's older… and I guess not so choosy… huh? Maybe even gettin'' a little desperate," I said winkin', snickerin' into my beer mug.
"Now see here, you little piece of shit… I'll have you know…..!"
"How's her hearin'?" I interrupted smirkin'
"You'd better just shut up boy or else… who the Hell do you think you are? Your daddy may be the biggest rancher in these here parts but that don't give you any right to come in here and insult people… your nothin' but a low down half breed gunhawk; a killer" he seethed.
I'd heard it all before, so it was like water off a ducks back and I gave him my hurt, put on look. The one Scott commonly refers to as my Oliver Twist, innocent look. You know the one I'm talkin' about… Scott read me the story… it's the one when the little boy is facin' that ol judge and he's innocent. Scott tells me I got it down to a fine art…..
"Tut tut tut…" I grinned. "That ain't very Christian of ya, ya know?" I tossed adding. "All that sittin' in church, week after week ain't doin' ya' much good is it? I'm only tryin' to point out.., that maybe…." I sighed, "Just maybe she might be gettin' desperate, after all she's agreed ta court you, now, what does that tell ya, other'n she might be goin' crazy." I shook my head pretendin' to be worried. "Poor woman, is that what it is?"
I went in for the kill. "Tell me Davy, is she a might crazy? `Cause she sure in Hell must be." I frowned as if I was deep in thought. "Hell it's the only explanation I can come up with…" I turned to the other patrons… "What do ya'll think?"
Some general snickering made Davy even madder…great!
"When ya think on it…a nice lady like that courtin' an ugly bastard like you, she must be plain loco….No offense..." I ended snickering into my beer, suckin' foam up ma nose!
Davy's been yappin' on about me for weeks to all the neighbors, tryin' real hard to stir up trouble for Murdoch with the Cattleman's Association….He's been tryin' to get the ranchers to agree to run me off. Made me feel kinda bad that the old man had so much hassle `cause a me… Davy don't much like the fact `Madrid's' in his area. Not that I'm Madrid anymore, nope as Murdoch likes to tell me, the names John Lancer now.
Scott came stormin' through the batwing doors just as Davy got to his feet. He glared at me… hard… and I saluted him with a smile and my beer, noddin' at Charlie.
"Charlie.., Scotts here, his beer?" I shouted laughing.
Old Boston was pretty God-damned pissed.
"Don't you hey me little brother….you know you shouldn't be here." He said wagglin' a finger in my face. "I've a good mind to go get Val…He'd have your hide if I told him you'd gone off on your own…Your probation Johnny….?" He reminded…
I cringed at that, just a little …Don't like tanglin' with Val… He can be a vindictive son-of-a-bitch when he wants to be. Hell more'n once, lately he's… whupped my sorry ass good and proper…
I rolled my eyes as if I didn't really care…. But I hav'ta admit he had me a little worried because I had a pretty funny fellin', if big brother did get Val, he just might resort to old tried and tested methods. I'm no match for him.
Scott was givin' me `the look' like I was supposed to care what he thought. I swear sometimes he thinks he's the old man, the way he acts…it really pisses me off. Well Hell he's only six years older and I ain't a fuckin kid!
I was loosin' patience, Hell who was I kiddin' I'd lost my patience some time ago. When's Davy goin' to have the cojonas to do somethin'. I mean short a comin' right out with the words.., `I wanna fight… ', there wasn't a whole lot more I could've done.
Finally!!! He'd found his balls. I was in full Madrid mode, with my own version of the `look' goin' on; only thing missin' was my pistol.
Don't toss the Madrid mask at Val, mostly `cause it has no affect on him at all and he knows me too well anyhow. He'd beat the livin' crap outta' me if I dared. The old man's been catchin' on real quick too; think Val's been givin' lessons!! Shit don't know how I feel about that!
It's the kind of look that says…I'm here and I ain't about to back down till one of us is lyin' in the street and it's served me well in the past; enough to make some opponents back off and leave me the fuck alone.
Scott was tryin' to calm things down, but Davy was mad and that suited me just fine, I wanted to fight and to Hell with the consequences. Big brother finally gave up and shook his head….Gotta give him credit though he stood his ground ….
I gotta say right here, right now; no one has my back like Scott... Yeah, he was mad at me…, but he didn't walk away….and it was pretty fuckin' clear he was willin' to get into the affray.
Davy charged in my direction and Scott stepped right in front of me, blocking his path. I shoved him aside annoyed and stepped forwards, told Davy to get the fuck outta my face.
The fight was on.
He took a swing at me... and I easily ducked givin'him a wicked upper cut to his jaw that pitched his head backwards. I finished with a shove with the toe of my boot to his gut. Well I never did say I fought clean and fair, I use everythin' at my disposal includin' my teeth…if necessary.
Tables went flyin' as he stumbled backwards; men jumpin' to their feet, drinks in hand.
I was grinnin' like the cat that got the cream and Scott… he was tryin' to hold Davy back after he got to his feet. Me, I was poised for another attack and waitin' fists clenched and held up like a boxer in a ring.
"C'mon Davy, that all ya got?" I tormented, skippin' about….shiftin' this way and that.
Scott turned to stare at me …disbelief filling his eyes and blow me if he didn't get caught by a sucker punch that sent him flyin'.
Angry that Davy had hit my big brother, I ran at him; head down plowin' right into his gut, my fists connectin' with his back, in double time. He was bent over when I followed it with a double handed smash to the back of his neck and down he went.
Big don't necessarily mean tough….or so I thought.
I was doin' a victory dance when he dragged his sorry ass up from the floor… swaying a little…his mouth raggin' on `bout me bein' a cocky little shit and how I was a baby who needed big brother's help. I swear he was actin' like a fuckin' two year old. He was raggin' on about how he was goin ta pound me into the ground and then some.
And I was still skippin' and joggin' just out of his reach, laughin'. It was drivin' him fuckin' crazy!
"Come `ere ya little varmint," he yelled as he tried to grab me…
I stopped to laugh. I am pretty fast on ma feet, if I do say so myself…, its somethin' I learned when I was real small.
I heard table's bein' pushed aside to give Davy more room, men in a saloon do like a brawl. I was briefly distracted.
That was all Davy needed to grab a hold of me by the collar and push me to the floor, using his weight to hold me down. He dished out a couple of blows that took the wind outta me and that was when I realized just how strong he was, `cause they sure did hurt.
He ain't as big as Murdoch, Hell no one is, but he's slightly bigger'n Scott. So ya think I mighta guessed he'd be one tough sorry son-of-a-bitch, huh?
After knocking the wind outta my sails he lifted me high into the air and into the street and damned if he didn't toss me into the waterin' trough and proceed to hold me down.
A wave of panic surged through me, as memories from my past flooded my brain. This wasn't happenin' not again, and not to me, so I kicked for all I was worth but it wasn't workin'.
This was it, I closed my eyes and prepared to die.
That's when Scott pulled Davy off and I got up gaspin' cussin' a blues streak; thinkin' I'm gonna get him now. Bastard tried to drown me for fuck sake! Good job I wasn't packin'.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of Miz Taylor, her hand clasped over her mouth lookin' like she was goin' to faint or somethin'…She herded her brood behind her and glared hard at me.
"Johnny Lancer, how dare you, there are children present you know." She admonished.
Like she hadn't just seen Davy try to drown me for fuck sake!!! To top it all she sounded just like the Widow Hargis; she's always on at me with her self righteous, better than thee attitude.
My first thought was to tell the biddy to go fuck her self but for some reason that only God himself will understand, I heard Pa's voice boomin' in my head and so instead, I quickly bowed my head and apologized for the cussin'. Go figure!
I did take the time to wink at Jimmy; her thirteen year old. He's full of piss an’ vinegar and great fun. A bit like me when I think on it..I know he gives his Mama a run for her money.
Then not givin' a damn I shook my head, water flyin' everywhere and excused myself with a "Ma'am." Then turning on a dime, ran full bore back into the saloon.
Scott had Davy by his shirt lapels and was busy backin' him towards the bar, all the time talkin' in that Lieutenant Lancer's voice he uses on me when he figures I'm in need of a good lecture or two. He was doin' a fine job of calmin' the man down before I came runnin' in; trippin' over an overturned chair and landin' on my belly, once again winding myself. Fuck!
Ignoring the pain I quickly stood up and faced my enemy fists clenched. His face flushed with anger, at this most recent attack or attempt and he shoved Scott aside like he weighed no more than a feather and came barrelin' in my direction.
This time I didn't manage to skip aside and he grabbed me by the neck; twistin' me around. I ended up on my belly again, with him sittin' on my back, his knees at my ears. I couldn't shake him off and he pounded me on the ears. My head was spinning.
Then I remembered something. I lifted my foot and caught him on the back with my spurs, which I'd been wearin' despite the fact I hadn't been riding. He screamed and jerked his body and immediately stood up to get away from the pain and I wasted no time turning over, landing a lucky kick; lucky cause it sure in Hell hadn't been lookin' so good and I got him right in the balls.
I watched as he double over and punched him on the jaw as he fell. He slid to the floor; a sick look on his face, grasping at his crotch.
Breathless, I pulled myself up to stand over him, gaspin' for air and gettin' no sympathy from big brother! It was as if all the air had been sucked from my body and it seemed to take me an eternity to gulp in enough to make my breathin’ slow down.
I took a quick look at big brother; who didn't look very happy at all and so I decided now was not the time to ask him a question.
Now at this point I stupidly had my back to Davy, who had now recovered from the low blow. Scott’s eyes went wide but he didn’t warn me in time and Davy punched me hard on the kidneys, followin' it with another hard punch to the back of my head.
I saw some stars and briefly wondered what the Hell stars were doin' in a saloon, before I went down, groggy, darkness threatening to take me to the place I know only too well.
He sure was a whole lot tougher that I'd thought him to be and I was beginning to wonder if I hadn't taken on more than I could chew…!
The last thing I remembered was Scott's face close to mine, whispering words of encouragement, then darkness…
Scott had me in the back of a wagon, wedged in between some large soft sacks…Apparently Sam had taken a look at me and said I had no broken bones. He'd told Scott to take me home for a hot bath and bed, where I was to stay for the next few days!
With my head still groggy and my body aching I began to wonder, how I could've lost to a man like Davy?… Yeah granted, he's bigger'n me but he's older and…slower and dumber….Puzzled I asked that very question….
He was frownin'. "So your finally awake little brother." He said still clearly pissed. “What is it Johnny?"
I ignored his sarcasm. "How did ol Davy get one up on me?" I asked rubbin’ at a sore spot on my head.
"Could it be, little brother that he's six foot three inches tall and built like a bear… and…, that he has the strength of a lion..." It was my turn to frown. "He's also a sneaky son-of-a-bitch. He may not be very bright but…."
"Whooee, big brother, yer pretty mad at him ain't'cha?" I chuckled despite the pain I was in.
He smiled. "I don't like cowards Johnny and Davy attacked you from behind, when you were distracted. It was underhanded and ungentlemanly."
"Maybe…" I conceded, "but I've taken on bigger men than him and won. What happened?" I frowned… Maybe I was loosing my touch…"I ain't gettin' soft am I Scott?" I asked a little worried.
He laughed. "No little brother you aren't, but contrary to what you might think, big does not necessarily mean slow… He may have been older but he was stronger, what were you thinking Johnny?"
I tried to think about that…. Shit! My jaw was achin' somethin' fierce. "I wasn't ok." I said through clenched teeth.
Scott sighed. "Well that's a shock… you not thinking! Impossible to believe."
I was battered and bruised and beginning to regret my decision to fight and I didn't much care for all the sarcasm. So I decided it was time to worry big brother.
"Um Scott, how are we gonna explain this to Murdoch? I don't suppose we could just tell him I had a bad fall could we?" I asked showin' off my many bruises and cuts for some much needed sympathy.
He looked at me with that I'm your big brother look. I hate it when he does that and said, "We aren't going to explain anything little brother. You're going to explain, what happened to Murdoch …, exactly what happened, Johnny. This time I am not covering for you, not one little bit, you understand?" He asked his back ramrod straight as he snapped into full military mode… shit!
Fuck… yeah I understood alright he was going to let me take the heat all by myself...
"Aw c'mon Scott you could say I fell off of Barranca..." I suggested…
He didn't miss a beat. "Yes I could if we had taken Barranca Johnny but your horse is in his stall at Lancer, remember?" He snickered clearly he was beginning to enjoy himself, the smart ass!
Me I was strugglin' to keep my eyes open and the food in my stomach…and my head!..... That's the Hell of con…con…concussion, which was apparently exactly what Sam said I would have.
"Oh yeah right." I sighed. I'd forgotten that the old man hadn't let me ride Barranca.
I puzzled the thing over in my mind and inspiration hit me. "You could say I fell off the wagon, ya know, tryin' to save that parcel he's been raggin' on about all week." Despite the pain I was in, I rubbed my hands in glee. Good one Johnny boy!
Scott smiled. "Or you could just tell him the truth Johnny." He said grinnin' like a jackass. "You know an age old concept."
"Aw Scott where would be the fun in that huh, besides if I tell him, I went into that saloon.., alone and against, his wishes…, then got into a fight, one which you failed to stop, I may add, he'll have your hide for sure…" It was my turn to grin.
"What?" he said his eyes about poppin' outta’ his head!
"Well you was supposed to be keepin' an eye on me…ya know!" I explained. "keep me out of trouble. You just know he's gonna be pissed that you let me outta’ your site and let me vi..violate my probation an all." I snickered dipping my head.
Well I thought big brother was going to have a cow… "If you weren't already concussed Johnny, I'd….."
"You'd what?" I asked my eyes meeting his… he don't scare me…. Well not much! Scotts got a mean right hook!
Time seemed to stand still as he considered what I'd just said and I grinned to myself. I was getting to him and I knew it. He was slightly worried. The old man, would be pissed at him for not keeping me out of trouble. He relied on Scott, to look out for his little brother, and told him this all the time.
I began to slowly count the seconds in my head. Usually I get to around about five before Scott is completely hooked.
Three, four, five…
"Ok," he said, "I'll think of something to tell him, but it won't be something like you fell off of the back of the wagon Johnny' he'd kill me for letting that happen and there is Sam to consider in all of this…. We have to make it sound plausible and believable…"
He was thinking real hard, trying to figure out a real good excuse…home free. See, told ya, he'd come around to my way of thinking. Scott don't like cleanin' out the pig pens anymore'n I do.
"Ok," I said curlin' up to go back to sleep. I trusted Scott to come up with something good. He has a wonderfully creative mind….
Some time passed by and Scott actually woke me up. "You did it again didn't you Johnny?"
"Did what," I asked innocently.
"Turn everything around as if everything that happened today was all, my fault."
I looked into my brothers blue, gray eyes. "Well isn't it?" I asked. "I mean Murdoch's always sayin' you should keep an eye on me …ya know…have my back."
"Well, what the Hell good is it havin' an older brother if he just sits back and lets a moron like Davy pound on me huh?" I let it sink in.
"I did not just sit back and let ….."
"You let ol Davy pound on me didn't you?" I interrupted. "And you hardly helped big brother. I mean here I am all beat up and you, your just fine… not a mark… not very brotherly of you at all, is it, eh Scott?"
I scratched my ear. I was on a role.
"Nope I can see it all now… me gettin' fussed over by Maria and T'resa, cause I ain't feelin' so hot and you bein' dressed down in Murdoch's study." I could've gone on but thought better of it when I saw the look on big brother face.
"God-damn-it all to Hell, Johnny!" He yelled removin' his hat to pound on me some more.
"Hey!" I shouted looking shocked. "Scott Garret Lancer watch yer mouth… you ain't a very good example are ya?" I teased, making a tuttin' sound with my lips.
"Johnny, I swear sometimes…" he paused and stopped hitting me with his hat. "I lost count on how many times I told you not to go to the Silver Dollar, but did you listen…? No, not you. Then I tried to stop the fight more than once and I was winning with Davy, till you started it all again… We had a job to do Johnny… and I….."
"But ya didn't do it did ya?" I tossed out interruptin' him again. "Ya know, yer job?" I argued.
"I was busy with the supplies!" he shouted in his defense, his voice rising an octive.
"Aw c'mon Scott...it's not as if you cant do both, I mean it ain't the first time you've stopped me from wonderin' off and fightin' now is it?"
I looked at my big brother and actually felt a little sorry for him as he snorted and fumbled for the words to argue his point…..And blow me if I didn't do somethin' I never thought I would…, not in a million years. I actually said I was sorry. Me sorry! Now that was a turn up for the book.
He was reduced to a look akin to a rabbit caught in a snare; as shocked as I was. I asked, no pleaded for him to help me out and it worked to… 'cause guess what, he suddenly smiled; his eyes warming. Go figure!
"I'll convince Murdoch you had accident Johnny. As you've often pointed out I can be very sneaky when I put my mind to it and I'm not about to take a trip down to Lancer Hell, as you tell him what a bad brother you have." He grinned.
I smiled as a memory tugged at me… "Yer talkin' about that time when me and you was sat up on that hill lookin' down at Murdoch, as he played at bein' a warden ain't'cha?"
His grin deepened. It's like that now between me and him… like we can see into each others heads.
"We was supposed to be doin' chores Scott; Hell there was enough of `em to keep us goin'.., but instead, where were we?" I didn't wait for an answer. "We was up on that hill, worryin' about the old man with all them convicts." I remembered that didn't turn out so well for us and decided to remind him. "And just how did that turn out Scott?"
Scott frowned, the memories flooding back as he thought of the pure Hell Murdoch had put him through; the worst being given the dirtiest chores on the ranch, for a whole month with no pay! The old man had been pretty easy on me… mainly because in his opinion Scott had been put in charge… and should have been a better influence. I reminded him of that fact once again.
Pffft! In charge as if that had a chance in Hell of happenin' anytime soon.
"Johnny one of these days I am going to kill you." He declared, his eyes twinklin'.
I love it when Scott comes along for the ride and laughed. "Yeah but not today huh… I ain't feelin' to hot." I shuffled down a little to get comfy; a groan escapin' as I moved.
Suddenly, he looked concerned. "Sshhh, Johnny rest now, stay still. I'll get you home safe and sound and we'll have you tucked up in a warm bed in no time at all." He soothed, all big brother.
It was some time later when we pulled under the arch and I was once again awake. That was when we heard it… the ruckus and saw several hands running in the direction of the hacienda… I briefly wondered if Sam had gotten home before us to tell Murdoch I was all banged up… not that he knew the reason why but he sure in Hell had guessed.
But it wasn't that at all… Aggie had come on by with Buck her new husband… and Murdoch and he were goin' at it hammer and nail… The old man givin' blow for blow…
I was real proud. He's a tough old bastard; I watched in awe as he floored Buck with one hard punch; sent him reeling. Jesus I won't be crossin' him anytime soon.
Scott was standing up on the wagon, in open mouthed shock to see his father fighting like some saloon brawler… and me, I was up on my feet to, yelling my ass off despite the way I was feelin' I wasn't goin' ta miss this for the world… No fuckin' way!
"Go get `im Murdoch!" I yelled…. which was pretty fuckin' hard to do what with Scott's hand over my mouth!!
Sadly no one won in the end… they just kind of both gave up exhausted, with Aggie yellin' at `em both for being a couple of old fools…
And my bruises and cuts, I hear you ask?
Maria took care of `em… whilst… yellin' at us both. Yep, me and the old man, in rapid fire Spanish… in between thumpin' me on the ear, with her gnarled, twisted ol fingers, `cause I couldn't stop laughin'.
She just kept right on tellin' us both… "You're as like as two pees in a pod!! Father's and sons fighting like a couple of lowly street drunks… MEN! You should be ashamed…"
Blah de blah de blah….
She kept right on….with yet another few thumps for me and harsh glares for Pa… but it was worth it to see Murdoch gettin' a tellin' off from Maria. It damn well made my day….
So much for us being worried about what Murdoch might do or say…
I was on cloud nine, when she finally tucked me in. A perfect end to a perfect day.