over the crest of the last ridge before he reached the safety of Lancer's
white hacienda, Scott Lancer leaned close to the neck of his heavy-breathing
bay. Inadvertently coming upon a small band of rustlers in a remote
area of the south range, Scott had turned to race back to Lancer, knowing
that he had to alert his father. Unfortunately, one of the sharp-eyed
thieves had seen the young blond man as he sped away and had begun the
chase that had covered miles of Lancer property. The thief had not
wasted his bullets, only firing when he believed that he had an excellent
chance at hitting the moving target.
had whizzed past, uncomfortably close. One had even removed his hat,
but still the easterner rode on. He knew that Murdoch Lancer might
be able to gather together enough men to stop the rustlers and their slow-moving
beeves, if he could get to Lancer and sound the alarm.
as Scott began his descent down the ridge, the blond felt a darting blow
hit his left side. Ignoring it, he turned to see the bandit racing
away from the top of the ridge, returning to his compadres. Time was now
of the essence or Lancer would lose a small part of its cattle empire.
relief, the rancher emerged through the French doors just as his tired
horse pulled up in front of the house. Without delay, the young man
informed his father of the menace out on the south range. Murdoch
Lancer immediately responded to the danger and went to collect a group
of vaqueros as well as his younger son to chase down the miscreants.
Knowing that the situation was well in hand, the blond walked into the
house to change his ripped shirt. He had already told the tall man
that he would make every effort to catch up as soon as he could procure
a fresh horse.
entering his room, the former cavalryman stripped off his shirt and poured
some water from the pitcher into the bowl to clean the graze caused by
the rustler's ultimate bullet. Unhappily, the jagged wound was high
on his back and side just where it joined his chest. Its position
made it awkward for Scott to reach so he decided to let it go since the
bleeding had almost stopped anyway.
out a clean shirt from his chest, the Lancer scion was startled to hear
a voice from behind him. "Scott, what happened? I heard Murdoch and
some men ride out."
to face the brown-haired woman, the blond quickly replied, "Don't worry,
Teresa, they're after some rustlers on the south range."
Murdoch's ward didn't hear one word of his reassurance. She was staring--staring
at the two puckered, livid scars on his left shoulder, one from a bullet
and the other from a severe burn. "Scott. . . how. . .when did that
Scott informed her, "I really don't have time to talk about this now.
I have to catch up to Murdoch since they already have a huge head start.
Could you just bring me a glass of lemonade? I'm really parched from
partway to pick up the shirt in his drawer, Scott's newest wound became
evident. Teresa gasped and then in a soft voice, told the young man
that he was bleeding.
with the frustration, Scott started to cut off her show of concern when
he saw the look in the brown eyes across from him. "It's just a graze,
Teresa. I'll take care of it as soon as I return."
don't you let me clean it for you now? You know Murdoch can get along
without your help."
eyes narrowed then Scott sighed, "I suppose you're right. I'm sure
that they can get the job done."
Just let me get my medical supplies."
the next ten minutes, Scott endured the pain of the carbolic acid cleansing.
Clenching his lips together he refrained from letting out a scream when
the disinfectant bit deep. "There now, it's all done. Why don't you
lie down and rest and I'll go get you some lemonade."
good. I guess I am a bit worn from all that."
O'Brien returned in just a minute with a large glass of the citrus liquid.
To her pleasant surprise, she found Scott lying on his bed, reading his
journal. "Here you are--just the way you like it."
Teresa, and thank you for taking care of me."
pleasure. Why don't you try to get some sleep? I'm going into
the kitchen to make a pile of sandwiches. I expect there will be
some hungry ranchers who will need to eat when they return."
got that right. I'm sure they'll appreciate it. You know cattle
are the life's blood of Lancer so Murdoch will do all that he can to get
those beeves back."
like he did the night he wanted to get the stallion back and my father
must miss your father a great deal."
about him often. At least I can go to his grave and know he's really
there. I told him about the changes at Lancer. I wish. . .
I wish you had had the chance to meet him."
too. I know he would have been very proud of you."
"Thanks. Now, I think it's time you tried to get some sleep. That wound wasn't severe, but you've been looking rather haggard for a couple of weeks."
it must be due to all those days of hard work. Can't be a lay about
for sure. I have a feeling Murdoch would use buckshot to pepper the
behind of anyone who tried to shirk his job!"
think you'd have to worry--all you'd have to do is boycott the kitchen
for a couple of days and he'd give in."
young woman gave the blond a malicious grin. "Now, that's a great
idea, Scott. Thanks for mentioning it."
the brown-haired girl leave, Scott sat up and called out, "Teresa, come
back here. You didn't mean it, did you? Teresa!?"
waiting for a few minutes with no reappearance by Murdoch's ward, Scott
Lancer quietly got up, walked out to the stable, saddled a horse, and set
determined blond man rode on across the unending property that was Lancer.
When Scott had first come to California to deal with Murdoch Lancer's offer,
he had had only a vague idea about what his new life might be like.
He was an educated man so he had known the book facts, but they had not
prepared him for the immense landscape that life was played upon in this
new land. Boston and much of New England could easily be fitted into
this immense territory. The rugged mountains dwarfed those of the
East and the star-filled sky seemed to go on forever. The differences
between East and West were many, and yet there were some things that were
the same--the evil and cruelty that humans could perpetrate on other humans.
five years before the country had gone through unparalleled upheaval which
had almost torn South from North. Though most of the battlefields
were in the East, no one could deny that the West had been affected.
The state of Nevada and its silver had played a vital part in the Union's
war chest and many men who had settled in the West had returned to their
birthplaces to fight--for one side or the other.
Preston Lancer had answered Massachusetts' call for men, despite his grandfather's
objections. He had fought, killed, and been taken prisoner.
It was an experience that would never leave his memories, his thoughts,
his body for whatever life was left to him. True, he had only been
wounded slightly during actual fighting, but imprisonment had left a different
kind of mark on body and soul. The blond had seen the degradations
visited upon prisoners by their captors--and even worse, those done by
other prisoners. In his despair, he had often questioned how low
a man could sink. Somehow though, he had survived the War intact,
but then upon his return to Boston he had found new terrors--nightmares
that made sleep impossible, bombastic fools who vilified the soldier who
fought their fight while they stayed home safe and rich, and a bewildering
world where it was easier not to speak of what he had seen and done because
no one would understand--or care. That was one of the reasons,
Scott had seen as California as salvation. He could start again in
a new land, a land not stained with the blood of 600,000 men. So,
the former cavalryman had left the only family he had ever known to find
his own version of peace.
But the older Lancer son was no longer the naïve idealist of 1863; he had seen hell and recognized that war was only a grandiose version of it Scott Lancer now knew hell could be found anywhere--even in a beautiful land like California.
an hour's ride, the slender blond came upon a small party of riders, one
of whom was his father. Drawing close, Scott could see that rancher's
face was lined with pain and that his left arm was held at an awkward angle.
"Murdoch, what happened? Did you catch up to the rustlers?"
the patriarch informed the younger man, "Yes, we caught up to them, but
they tried to get away by starting a stampede. I was caught in the
tide of beeves, but luckily I only broke an arm, not my neck. Some
of the rustlers got away, but most were killed or captured."
took what prisoners we had to Spanish Wells." The rancher shifted
ride into town and get the doctor. Go on back to Lancer."
I really would like to lie down."
immediately started towards Morro Coyo. Fortunately, the doctor
was in his office when the young man arrived and promised to immediately
set out for Lancer. He was frankly surprised that it was Murdoch
Lancer who needed his services this time.
time, Scott was beginning to feel the effects of his earlier wounding and
exhausting ride. Deciding to stop by the saloon for a reviving drink,
the blond sipped at a shot of whiskey, then another, and another.
At least from this angle the world looked slightly better than it had early
that morning. Unfortunately, the easterner knew it wasn't possible
to stay in this condition very long. He had a duty to Lancer and
everyone knew that Scott Lancer always did his duty.
had fallen by the time Scott returned to the white hacienda. To his
relief, no one was in the great room when he entered. The chiming
clock admonished him by tolling the hour--dinner would be over by now.
Walking quietly across the room, Scott stopped to knock on his father's
door. Opening it, he found his father lying on top of his bed with
his arm in a sling. Johnny was sitting in a chair at his side.
"Scott! We wondered what happened to you. I thought you would
come back with the doctor."
Murdoch, I had some...business to take care of."
sapphire eyes carefully appraised his brother's rumpled figure. "Are
you sure your business wasn't in a saloon, Brother? You look like
you've been at the bottle."
straightened his slim figure. "I didn't realize that I had to get
your permission to take a drink, Johnny. I'll remember next time.
. .I'm glad the doctor was here, Murdoch. I'll say good night."
The blond man turned and walked out of the room to head to his own, leaving
an open-mouthed Johnny Madrid.
himself down on his bed, Scott picked up his journal which had fallen on
the floor earlier. Opening it to the current page, he began to write
in his beautiful script. Before he could finish, there was a knock
at the door which proved to be the younger Lancer. "Scott, could
I talk to you?"
"I was just about to go to sleep."
won't take long. I...I just wanted to tell you I didn't mean anything
by what I said before."
dark-haired Lancer stood there fidgeting. "Boston, you'd tell me
if something was wrong, wouldn't you?"
mentioned somethin' about you bein' hurt."
just a graze. Teresa took care of it."
blue eyes returned his brother's gaze. "Johnny, I am capable of telling
when I need a doctor."
sure, I didn't mean...."
if you don't mind, I would like to go to bed. It's been a long day."
sure, good night."
Lancer lay there for some time then he once again picked up the journal
and began to write. Fifteen minutes later, he finally put down the
notebook and then stealthily walked out of the house into the clear night
air. Sitting down on a bench, he stared up at the blazing stars overhead.
There were so many of them. It didn't seem possible that these
same twinkling lights were also looking down on Boston. Here, they
had a quality that reminded him of diamonds. Diamonds--he had bought
Julie a diamond. In fact, she still had it. He hadn't insisted
that she return it when they had broken their engagement. Julie--what
would life have been like if he had married the woman? It wasn't likely
that she would have wanted to live at Lancer. **She and I could have
had children and Murdoch would never have known that he was a grandfather.
Hell, what difference would it have made? He wasn't interested in
a son, why would he care about a grandchild? I could have been killed
during the War and he wouldn't even have contacted Grandfather to find
out. Oh well, I made a bargain and I'll stick to it. One place
is as good as another.**
later the chilled young man returned to his bedroom. It felt good
to seek solace in the warm bed. Shaking with cold and emptiness,
Scott Preston Lancer lay there waiting for the light of dawn to arrive.
Lost in a maelstrom of pain, he did not hear the footsteps that approached
his door then withdrew.
next morning Scott Lancer walked into the kitchen to find his brother drinking
a cup of black coffee and munching on a couple of Teresa's cookies.
Sapphire eyes looked up then shuttered over at the sight of the blond.
"Would you like some coffee, Scott?"
Johnny. Uh, about last night--I'm sorry that I was short with you.
It. . .it isn't anything you said, it's just something I have to work through
on my own."
sapphire eyes immediately warmed to the sound of the pain-filled voice.
"Sure, but if I can help. . . ."
the offer, but it's not something I really want to talk about. Can
you understand that?"
dark head nodded. "I've done some things in my life I'd just as soon
not talk about either."
I'm glad you do understand. Oh, by the way, Teresa told me she intends
to bake a chocolate cake today."
gunfighter's face lit up with joy. "Really? I wonder if she's
got it done yet. It's been a long time since she made me. . .I mean
us. . .one."
blond cleared his throat. "Uh, Johnny, it's only 6:30 AM, I kind
of doubt if the cake is finished yet and as I recall she made one just
last Sunday for dinner."
younger man grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, mebbe you're right. I should
give her at least another half-hour or so to get it done--and last Sunday
was nearly a week ago!"
eyes reflected the laughter of curved lips as Scott quickly agreed.
"Oh, of course, that is a long time. How could I not realize that?"
just gonna take Murdoch a cup of coffee. Do you suppose he's still
know, Johnny. Maybe you should let him rest. He's not as young
as he used to be and a broken bone can be quite a shock to the system."
you're right. I'll wait awhile. Besides you know what a bear
he can be early in the morning before he's had his coffee. Do you
suppose you might want to take it in, Boston?"
no you don't, Brother. I'm not anxious to have my head handed to
me on a plate. Why don't you wait and let Teresa take it in to him?
You know he rarely yells at her."
walked over and clapped his hand on Scott's back. Unfortunately, he slapped
the spot where the blond had been wounded the day before. A wince
of pain crossed the handsome face, but quickly disappeared. "That
is a brilliant idea, Brother. Teresa can wind him around her little
finger." Johnny remarked.
can I wind around my little finger?"
two young men turned to face the brown-haired girl. "Murdoch, of
course. Scott and I want you to be the one to take Murdoch his coffee
Besides, I already took it in to him. Now, I'm going to make some
flapjacks and bacon for his breakfast."
and Scott could almost see Johnny drool. "Flapjacks! I love
your flapjacks, Teresa."
at Scott, Teresa apologized, "Well, thank you, Johnny, but I don't think
I'll have time to make any for you. You're welcome to make your own."
wait a minute, Teresa. Don't you remember the last time Johnny tried
to make them? There was flour all over the kitchen and it took
you forever to get the range cleaned from the overflow muck."
that's right. Well, I suppose since I'm making some for Murdoch I
could make one or two extra for Johnny."
hold it there! I did not get flour everywhere and was it my fault
that your griddle is so darn small? And I can eat lots more than
two. I gotta lot of work to do today and I need food."
melodramatically, Teresa replied, "Oh, all right. I'll make you a
stack, but that will delay my starting on the chocolate cake I was going
young people could almost see the wheels turning in Johnny's head as he
weighed the delights of flapjacks and chocolate cake. "Uh, I gotta
idea, Teresa. You get my cake into the oven and while it's bakin',
then you can make my flapjacks. How does that sound?"
I'm doing all the work!"
well, uh, I can take Murdoch's breakfast into him for you."
why don't you just go in and see if Murdoch needs some more coffee.
I'll have a couple of stacks ready to go in a few minutes. Then you
can have breakfast with him. What about you, Scott? Do you want some
thanks, Teresa. I thought I'd ride into Spanish Wells to talk to
Val about the rustlers. I wonder if he'll need me to testify at their
They're rustlers. They'll be swingin' at the end of a rope by tomorrow."
I know ranchers around here hate cattle rustlers even more than horse thieves,
but they should be given a trial."
maybe they'd do that in the East, Boston, but out here we don't mess with
all those niceties."
a good thing not all lawmen feel that way, Johnny, or that sheriff would
probably have let those bounty hunters take me without a protest that time."
flushed slightly. It was still a sore point that Scott had been thrown
into jail because of Julie Barrett's false testimony. "Mebbe you've
got a point, Brother, but there's no doubt they're guilty of rustlin' and
of that, how's your wound, Scott?"
did a good job cleaning it out, Teresa. Hardly bothers me at all.
Well, now I guess I'd better get going. I'm sure that Murdoch will
have lots of work for me to do when I get back."
"That's for sure. It'd take more than a broken arm to keep him down."
"See you later, and, Johnny, don't eat too many flapjacks!"
promise that, Brother."
Scott walked out to the stable, mounted, and rode into town. Talking to Val about the rustlers had made a convenient excuse to get away from the ranch. It was just too hard trying to keep up an easy-going façade at Lancer.
weeks that passed after Murdoch's injury, Johnny was proven to be right.
The remaining surviving rustlers were hanged with a minimum of fuss.
There had been a trial--of sorts--and with little opposition the men were
marched out to their fate.
during those same weeks Johnny had fallen in love twice and then decided
that the females were not really the ones to be honored with the title
of Mrs. Johnny Lancer since one of the young ladies had the regrettable
tendency to flirt with any male from the age of twelve up. On the
other hand, the other attractive female was disgustingly loyal--so loyal
that Johnny felt like he was stuck in quicksand, a fate seemingly to be
preferred to the CONSTANT attention of one Belinda Davis.
recovered his customary good health, not allowing the broken arm to slow
him down except for a few times when it was used to good advantage for
some covert pampering on the part of his ward--and one son.
Not being used to having a young male around to "take care" of him, the
tall rancher had at first growled and grumbled when it was hinted that
he might need to rest more. But the treat of having his son willing
play checkers or even read to him, when he was afflicted with a headache
one day, soon changed his mind. Of course, Murdoch would not countenance
such indulgence when his arm was pronounced fit, but the memories were
pleasant and did lead to further games of checkers.
did not need to resort to a boycott to have several days of freedom.
Her good friend, Mary Henderson, asked her to go to Modesto for a small
shopping trip. Teresa loved shopping as much as anyone and Mary had
exquisite taste so the two had had a wonderful time. They had also
spent a good deal of the time discussing their respective “brothers" and
men in general. Mary was definitely more sophisticated when it came
to men, but always appreciated Teresa's natural intuition when it came
to the mysterious creatures. Since both young women were heart whole
and fancy free, neither Teresa nor Mary was overly worried about finding
THE man. Life was too interesting and fulfilling as it was.
spent most of his time working. He had found that the best way to
maintain his equilibrium in the weeks after his brutal attack was to immerse
himself in good, hard work. It was difficult to brood when you were
sweating to pull a recalcitrant cow out of the mud or sink a stubborn fence
pole or even the stinking, disgusting job of branding. The blond
had also volunteered to do some work on the books and other paperwork that
Murdoch usually reserved for himself. Perhaps, it was due to his
grandfather's inspiration, but the older Lancer had a natural bent for
the neat and orderly and nothing was more orderly than an account that
balanced to the last penny.
blond's effort to recover from his trip to Nameless had taken a downturn
when Teresa had inadvertently spotted the scars of that encounter with
the misbegotten creature, who had taken such delight in torturing the young
man. Waking in the filthy stable to the sight and smell of blood
and his own burned flesh, Scott had valiantly made an effort to ride back
to Lancer, but his body's weakness had betrayed him. Fortunately,
two kind women who lived outside Nameless had found the blond lying by
the side of the road and took him in. The Lancer scion had no doubt
that they had saved his life. When he had finally felt that he was
able to make the ride to the white hacienda, Scott had tried to offer the
two sisters money, but they had rejected it. In whispers, they had
confided that they were only too pleased to help a young man who had survived
his visit to Nameless, a veritable den of inequity where no decent person
would ever willingly set foot.
time that the easterner had finally reached Lancer, he had concocted what
he believed to be a plausible story to cover his late appearance.
Fortunately, he still had the money from the business transaction and in
addition, Murdoch and Johnny were absorbed in dealing with the recent raids
upon Lancer cattle. The rustlers had contented themselves with taking
only small numbers of cattle during this time which puzzled both ranchers.
Murdoch was of the opinion that the rustlers assumed that a few snatched
cows here and there would not be missed. Obviously, the thieves did not
know Murdoch Lancer.
those same rustlers which Scott caught sight of before his precipitate
ride to warn Murdoch of the renewed threat to his cattle empire.
Now, that problem had been dealt with using bullets and a gallows.
The humiliating memories of what he had suffered in Nameless were less
easy to deal with however. Trying to cope had led the blond to days
of anguished introspection and tormented recall which in turn had caused
him to withdraw from those at Lancer.
days Scott tried to avoid being at home since it was exhausting
trying to maintain his normally placid façade. At times, he could
see Teresa watching him with a question in her brown eyes. Before the festering wound could get out of control, Scott Preston Lancer resolved to do something to rectify the situation. He would not allow his problems to interfere with life at Lancer so he decided to return to Nameless and have justice.
his plan into action took some time as he was not free to just leave whenever
he wished. He had a responsibility to Lancer and did not take that
lightly, nor did he wish to presume on the interest of its inhabitants.
Besides, it gave him much needed time to ready himself for his encounter
with the evil man.
three weeks after the rustlers met their fate, Murdoch inadvertently gave
the blond the chance he had been seeking by telling him that he wanted
to purchase some brood mares from a ranch only half a day's ride from Nameless.
Here was the opportunity Scott had been waiting for. Johnny had quickly
spoken up to say that he would also like to go along, but again Murdoch
paved the way for Scott's plan by insisting that Johnny remain at Lancer.
When questioned by the dark-haired younger son for his reason, Murdoch
had simply replied, "Dave Barton has a pretty eighteen year old daughter."
Scott left the ranch with the echoes of laughter ringing in his ears.
along at a steady, demanding pace Scott could feel the butterflies in his
stomach. Had Johnny ever felt this way just before drawing down on
a man? He had thought that serving in the cavalry would have made
this easier. After all, war was the ultimate act of violence, but
then it had been less personal--a soldier in butternut was trying to kill
you so you shot back. Of course, the man from Nameless had
done much worse, but that had been weeks ago. Now, Scott's justice
was to be cold and calculating, not a lightning bolt in the heat of the
after Scott Lancer left, Johnny Madrid rode in, only to find Teresa sitting
out on the bench under the trees. "Must be nice not having anything
brown-haired girl gave him a scornful look. "Excuse me, Mr. Madrid,
but I just finished washing up two loads of dirty clothes. I think
I am entitled to a short break."
did you wash my red shirt? I want to wear it on Saturday night."
it's drying now. Are you going to wear it to the dance?"
am. Myrtle likes me in red."
new in town. I met her in church."
eyes stared at him in astonishment. "Church? You?"
I wasn't actually in church. Reverend Baker needed some help carrying
some new hymnals that just arrived at the general store and I volunteered.
Myrtle is gonna organize a choir."
nice. A little bit of civilization comes to Morro Coyo."
right about that. Teresa, is there any chocolate cake left?
I'm kinda hungry."
there's a piece, but before you go in, I want to ask you something."
what is it?"
the girl finally inquired, "Do you know anything about a bullet wound and
burn that Scott received in his left shoulder?"
mean from that rustler?"
an older one. He wouldn't tell me how he got it."
it was from the War?"
he would have told me if that was it."
so. Mebbe he was ashamed of how he got it. Man doesn't
like to talk about certain things to a girl."
THAT, but he didn't tell you either. It just worries me that he could
have been hurt so badly and none of us knew."
not much we can do about it now. I'm gonna go in and
get that cake." The dark-haired man walked off humming "Amazing Grace."
entering the kitchen, he found his father sitting at the table drinking
coffee and eating a piece of chocolate cake. "Johnny, back so soon?"
got the stuff taken care of in Morro Coyo."
Sit down and have some coffee. Sorry, this is the last piece of cake,
but I think there are some cookies left."
you say something, Son?"
"No, Sir. Just wondering if Scott is havin' a good time with Jenny Barton."
very moment, Scott Lancer was riding down the main street of Nameless,
California. Gooseflesh covered every inch of his body as even the
most unpresumptuous of buildings took on a foreboding air. Shaking
off this feeling, the blond rode straight to the livery stable.
At first, he thought that no one was around, but then he heard a raspy
familiar voice from behind. "Kin I help you, Stranger?"
to see the same ferret-face man as before, Scott coolly replied, "I wouldn't
say that I'm a stranger to you."
nondescript eyes squinted as they took in the tall blond. "Ya do
look kinda familiar."
Scott walked over to the nearby forge where the man had been working on horseshoes to pick up the iron rod. Pointing it straight at the other man, the former cavalryman asked, "Does this bring back any memories?"
the eyes lit up. "How could I fergit that? You sure do scream
you didn't get the money, did you?"
can't figure where you hid it."
not important now. What is important is that I came back to make
you pay for what you did."
The man broke into gales of reviling laughter. "Make me pay? Sonny, you ain't man enough to do that to Lester Cox! Once you got outta Nameless, you shoulda stayed out. There sure ain't no law in this town and none of the good townspeople is a gonna help you."
stood there defiantly. "That certainly doesn't surprise me. But there
are other towns where the law does its job so you're coming back with me."
Yur gonna have to kill me and I don't think you got the stomach for it,
even if'n you wuz a soldier. It's a might different drawin' down
on a man when you can look him in the eyes." The cretin stood there,
gun slung low at his side, challenging Scott to do his worst.
eyes under a blond fringe focused on the other man. Scott's heart
hammered loud within his chest, but he did not flinch as Cox suddenly went
for his gun. Bringing up his own gun with a here-to-for unknown speed,
Scott calmly shot the man right between the eyes. His weeks of practice
at Lancer had paid off.
over to the man, Scott nudged him with his boot. There was no doubt
this justice was final. Mounting his horse, the blond didn't even
bother to look back before heading to the ranch with the pretty eighteen
year old daughter.
days later, Scott Preston Lancer returned to Lancer with three fine brood
mares on a lead. His host had plied him with food, drink,
and the company of his daughter, Jenny, hoping to get a few dollars more for the horses, but the easterner had stood firm on his offer.
into the courtyard, he was met by a very pleased Murdoch Lancer who accompanied
the horses to the stable to make sure that they were taken care of properly.
off his gloves, Scott proceeded into the house where he found Johnny in
his room. "Boston, glad to see you're back. Have you got any
money left from your pay this month?"
to borrow $20.00."
removed two coins from his pocket and tossed them to his brother.
I'll pay you back when I get my wages."
worry about it. Any excitement around Lancer while I was gone?"
a new choir at the church. I'm gonna be in it."
Myrtle says I'm a natural."
in charge of the choir."
and is she pretty?"
she! Just let me tell you, Boston. . . ."
why don't we go into the kitchen and you can tell me all about her over
a cup of coffee. Oh, and one other thing, now I can understand
why you chose to be a gunfighter."
Madrid's eyes opened wide in bewilderment, but he said nothing as he followed
his brother into the kitchen.