Lancer and it's characters do not belong to me.
If they did you can bet your bippy all 51 episodes and the B/W pilot
would be available on DVD tomorrow!
Rating: I wrote this people. You
know how I am! Parental Guidance
-13 with a dash of Innuendo and for a little strong language.
to Barb and Tammie for the beta read.
to Chris for beating into my head that stories cannot be written entirely with
to Winj: whose stories are a great help in learning to write the banter between
the brothers. Also because she
gives as good as she gets in the sarcasm department.
to Renegade and Janet for being the test subjects for the story idea.
special thank you to Sammi and Sharon, the Scottland Queens, for giving me the
title Lady Southernfrau (later shorten to Lady SF) during the story Betrayal.
You will all see how I used the title to insert my self, vicariously,
into the story. In thanks, to the
Queens, the entire scheme-planning scene, in Scott's bedroom is for their
pleasure as well as the 'gloves' and bathhouse.
Day By Southernfrau
air wrapped the Lancer hacienda as the hands of the grandfather clock counted
off the passing of time, slipping steadily towards a new daybreak.
Lancer sighed softly as his lean form snuggled into the warmth of the extra
quilt added to his bed. Slowly his
eyes opened and peered around the half- darkness of his room.
Something felt different. Nothing
in his room seemed to be disturbed. The
blond Lancer lay quietly, listening. Thinking
maybe his younger brother was struggling with another nightmare, Scott rose from
the bed, taking the top most quilt to wrap around his shoulders.
his room, he padded with cat like grace across the hall to Johnny's room.
Scott pushed open the door and gazed with fond affection at his little
brother. God, how I love him. Everything seemed fine.
Johnny was curled up tight. His
covers were bunched around his waist.
a wave of protectiveness and concern, Scott strode over to the bed and pulled
the covers up over his brother's chest and shoulders.
He smiled in amusement at the youngest Lancer's mussed hair and sleep
position. Johnny had a habit of
sleeping on his left side with his left hand resting on the pillow by his mouth.
Murdoch once told Scott, while they sat watch over an injured Johnny,
that he slept in the same position as a baby, because he sucked the thumb on his
left hand to get to sleep.
that everything was fine in his brother's room, Scott returned to his own.
Standing on the thick rug, at the foot of his bed, Scott studied the
room. He was still trying to figure
out what had awakened him. The only
thing even remotely unusual was the brightness of the moonlight falling silently
across the floor. It sure is a
bright moon tonight.
to the window, Scott opened the heavy drapes completely, to peer out.
He gasped in delight. Sometime
during the night, snow had softly descended to shroud the barren gray winter
landscape with a cloak of crystalline white.
The moonlight shone on the diamond like glitter embedded in the frozen
cover, making the night seem much brighter.
that's what woke me up. I thought
it was much closer to morning because of the brightness of the moonlight.
at the window gazing upon the winter wonderland below, Scott recalled his
childhood and the heady excitement of days spent sledding on Beacon Hill. I am going to take my little brother sledding today.
Grandfather sent my old sled out before Christmas.
at his mantle clock, Scott noted the time was 3:30.
I have 2 and a half hours until breakfast.
began formulating his plans. He was
glad the workload during winter was light.
The hands would have no trouble tending to the ranch responsibilities on
their own, while Scott enjoyed a day of the childish pleasures, he had missed
sharing with his brother when they were younger.
blond Lancer scrunched down his eyebrows and pursed his lips as he thought his
first obstacle to a day of fun would be convincing his father.
back under the warm covers, Scott was giving deep thought and consideration to
the exact argument and words that might get through to Murdoch.
How could he talk the gruff old Scotsman into a day off, without too much
pale eyebrows shot upwards into the soft tufts of ash blond hair falling against
an aristocratic forehead. Slate
blue eyes widened and twinkled in delight as a knowing smile creased the noble
bearing of Scott Lancer's face.
Hah! I know just how to get him to agree. It might be unfair of me, but I'll remind him that Johnny
never got a chance to enjoy this type of childhood activity because of his rough
and poor up bringing. Yes sir, all
I have to do is play on the old man's guilt. Scott
chuckled and rubbed his hands together briskly, saying, "Well Lt.
Lancer it looks like you are still quite the strategist."
he had a plan that would work,
Scott allowed himself to be reclaimed by the silence of early morning.
Winter blue eyes shuttered closed for 2 more hours of sleep.
as the minute hand ticked into place at 5:30, Scott's eyes fluttered open once
more. This was one of the few times the older Lancer brother could
recall feeling wide-awake at 5:30.
jumped from the bed and rushed to the window to make sure he had not dreamed the
snow. He smiled in delight as he
noted the fluffy white ice crystals covered the landscape all around the
hacienda, as well as all the way up to the distant mountains.
I bet from the South mesa it looks like the ranch house is sitting in
the clouds with all this white around.
against the morning cold Scott
rushed to his wardrobe to choose warm clothes for the day.
He pulled a pair of thick brown wool pants up over his long legs and slim
hips. He left them hanging open
while he pulled on a flannel shirt.
He tucked in the shirt and closed the fasteners on his pants.
Scott grabbed another pair of socks to pull over the ones he had worn to
bed. Then he pulled on his boots.
Scott was halfway across the room headed for the door when he
remembered he had not shaved, washed his face or combed his hair.
He rushed to the washstand to take care of his appearance.
5:45, Scott was marching down the hall to Murdoch's room.
He had one thing on his mind securing the day off for the Lancer
in front of his father's door, Scott took a deep breath and rapped softly on the
wooden door. At the Lancer
patriarch's deeply voiced, "Come in", he turned the knob and stepped
confidently into the room.
Lancer glanced up into the mirror he was standing before, as he got ready to
shave. He smiled as his oldest son
approached from behind.
has you up so early this morning, son?"
on a mission, sir." Replied Scott.
serious, son, care to explain it to me?"
was my intention, sir. I would like
to ask that you listen to my entire statement before you make a decision."
grimaced in the mirror at his own reflection as he wondered what Scott was up
to. I hope Johnny hasn't gotten
into some kind of trouble again and Scott is trying to smooth things over before
I find out.
Lancer patriarch turned around and leaned against his dresser.
"You have my undivided attention, son."
a quick affirmative nod of his head and a few brief seconds to collect his
thoughts, Scott began his rehearsed recitation.
"Sir, as you know Johnny was afforded very few opportunities as an
adolescent for childish activities. He
was too busy just trying to survive. I
feel that's why he sometimes acts so impulsively.
He is finally settling in and enjoying being part of a family and having
a support system. He can let loose
and relax because he feels secure.
he had Murdoch’s attention, Scott forged ahead.
"I would like to do a little more bonding with my younger brother
today by spending time enjoying one of the things we should have been able to do
together as children."
unnerved that his normally opinionated father had stayed quiet for so long,
Scott finally blurted out, "Sir, it snowed last night.
I would like your permission to take the day off so that I can take my
little brother sledding."
chuckled out in relief that Johnny wasn't in trouble and because it was very
unusual to see his eldest son so flustered.
gray-haired Scotsman, hedged a little before saying, "Well, when I saw it
snowed last night I had planned for you to help load hay to take out to the
pasture for the cattle. I guess the
hands can accomplish that on their own. You
have my blessing to take the day off for a little bonding and childish pleasure.
That is if you can get Johnny to agree.
You know how he hates cold weather and being cold himself.
The first time he saw snow as a toddler he cried and wouldn't let me put
him down. He thought they were tiny
little clouds falling from the sky," smiled Murdoch with fond recollection.
laughed as he commented, "Well, I'll make sure he dresses warm."
that you do Scott. Johnny just got
over that chest congestion last week. He's
not use to the cold like you are. In
fact I have an old coat that's thick and warm that he can wear over that bolero
jacket he is so fond of."
to the wardrobe the Lancer patriarch rummaged through it until he produced a
soft tan suede coat with sheep's wool lining. "The sleeves will be a little
long and it will be roomy, even with his bolero jacket under it, but it's better
than letting his chest get too cold."
looked quizzically from his father to the coat.
Murdoch realized what he was thinking and snorted as he replied, "No
it hasn't fit me in years, but it was too nice to get rid of."
you, sir. I'll make sure your coat
and youngest son are returned no worse for the wear."
that you do Scott, I can replace the coat, but Johnny is the only little brother
you will be getting out of me."
Lancer patriarch shook his head and snickered as a happy Scott strode from the
room. If time and fate weren't so fickle my boys could have
enjoyed childish antics together years ago.
Murdoch returned to shaving.
the hall, Scott pushed open the door to his brother's room without knocking.
Walking quietly to his brother's bedside, the blond Lancer smiled as he
noted that once again Johnny was curled up.
His blankets were twisted and bunched around his legs.
The youngest Lancer's left hand still lay, fingers slightly curled on the
pillow next to his head.
always amazed Scott to see Johnny relaxed in sleep.
The young man that seemed wise and old beyond his years when awake was
the opposite in sleep. When he
slept, he appeared years younger than he was.
Stifling a snicker, Scott thought, If
I were a really mean big brother I'd stick my hands outside your window for a
minute and then press them to your warm back, to wake you.
Scott settled for running his index finger right down the middle of Johnny's
nose, from bridge to tip. He watched in amusement as his younger brother scrunched his
eyebrows twitched his nose and swiped at his face with his right hand.
out, Scott tried his maneuver again. He
watched as once more Johnny reacted the same way.
The third time he tried his luck, his wrist was caught in a tight vise
like grip and he was unceremoniously jerked into the bed.
sat up, caught in the glare of two sleepy blue orbs.
Johnny's next words made him realize his brother had sensed his presence
what the hell are you doing? If you
weren't my brother you would have a belly full of lead right now." Stated a
sleep raspy voice.
morning, little brother. I thought
I would come wake you up so we can get a head start on the chore Murdoch
assigned us for the day. From what
I understand, it's going to take all day."
How do you know what we're doing today?
Murdoch don't assign chores until breakfast." Groused the still
sleepy dark haired Lancer.
but we have a special chore today because it snowed last night."
Jumping from the bed Johnny
raced across the room to the window. "Damn,
I'll be colder than a well diggers butt all day.
I don't guess there's any chance we're doing book work today?"
afraid not little brother. Murdoch
has as extra special chore for you today. A
chore only I can help you with."
could tell Scott was excited, happy even, about what they had to do today.
He decided to give his big brother a hard time about what ever it was;
after all aggravating Scott was one of his best talents.
back across the room, Johnny dove
back into his bed. Burrowing into
the covers, he announced, "Well, if you're such an expert at it, that you
can teach it, then you don't need my help.
I'll just sleep in this morning. It's
cold and I've been sick.
Johnny, but Murdoch has already assigned you to this chore. Aren't you the least
bit interested in what it is?"
I am not interested if it means staying out in the cold and the snow."
could feel his well thought out plans caving in from the impact with Johnny's
out from under his covers, Johnny watched the dismay rippling across his
brother's handsome face. Realizing
Scott was truly disappointed, the impish younger brother finally relented.
Throwing the covers off he snorted,
"Alright already, what are we doing today that you're some kind of
eyes danced as he replied, "You will be spending the day learning about the
effects of weight, gravity, force and velocity of a wooden conveyance on
precipitation in it's solid form under my tutelage.
dark haired Lancer narrowed his eyes as he asked suspiciously, "Is it
dear little brother, would I lead you astray?
Of course it is legal, why even the most upstanding of citizens on Beacon
Hill have learned this fine art."
outright Johnny finally implored, " Dang, Boston what are you talking
back on the bed, Scott howled with laughter before replying, "I'm taking
you sledding, little brother."
case you ain't noticed, Boston, it snowed and it's cold and you want to go play
in it. Huh!
I like my fun hotter." Replied
Johnny with a mischievous grin on his face.
answer me this little brother, would you rather haul hay to the pasture or spend
the afternoon with your older wiser brother, out in this crisp cold air riding
down hill on a sled?"
let me think, haul hay or haul butt? I
guess you talked me into it, Boston. You
only have one sled though, so how will that work?"
sled is extra long, as a child, it would seat me and three friends so I am quite
sure the two of us will fit on it just fine.
Of course after you learn how to handle it, you can make some runs
downhill by yourself."
snorted before replying, "learn how to handle it.
There can't be that much to it. All
you do is sit down and push off."
contraire, brother mine. You'll
need to learn to steer it and stop it. The
day is wasting. You need to get up
and dress warmly, wear two pairs of socks and lets get started with a nice hot
off the bed Scott turned and picked
up the coat Murdoch wanted Johnny to wear, from the foot of the bed.
" Murdoch wants you to wear this coat. He doesn't want your chest to get cold since you were sick
last week. You can wear your bolero
jacket under it because it will be big enough."
scrunched up his face in distaste. He
hated wearing thick clothes. They
made him feel bound up. That was
one of the main reasons he hated cold weather because he hated the thicker
clothes that kept him from drawing his gun easily.
note of the dissatisfied look on his brother's face, Scott added as he laid the
coat back on the bed, "You have to wear the coat Johnny, whether we are
sledding or hauling hay. I don't
think you will find the subject open to discussion with our father.
Besides, he is just looking out for your best interest."
his little brother in a headlock and ruffling his hair,
Scott stated, "Get a move on. I'll
be waiting downstairs for you at the breakfast table."
to himself, Johnny pulled a pair of relatively new black jeans from a drawer and
pulled them on. I don't want to
wear my leather pants in the wet snow and then have to spend the evening oiling
them. He grabbed a pair of
socks to pull over the ones he had worn to bed.
through his shirts Johnny realized they were all made of rather thin material. Well if big brother wants me to go sledding he will just have to
donate one of his flannel shirts to the cause. Johnny sat down and put on
the extra socks then pulled on his boots.
grabbed his favorite bolero jacket and the coat Murdoch wanted him to wear and
headed across the hall to Scott's room to snitch a shirt.
into his big brother's room, Johnny stopped to inhale the scents that always
told him his brother was about. Scott's
room smelled just like him: leather, books, ink, the English soap he bathed with
and the crisp smell of the cologne he wore that reminded Johnny of the ocean for
Scott's wardrobe he found a striped flannel shirt in shades of brown and tan,
with black lines running through it. It
had been a present from Teresa, but Scott had never worn it because it was not
to his taste. Johnny slipped the
shirt on and grimaced at the overly long sleeves.
He turned back the cuffs to shorten them and then buttoned them. I am beginning to wonder if my arms are short or if
Murdoch and Scott's are just too long. Spying himself in Scott's cheval
mirror, the dark haired Lancer smirked at his reflection, thinking he was glad
he didn't have to dress like this everyday.
his brother's room, Johnny took the stairs down to the kitchen.
He chuckled at the double take Maria did when she caught sight of him
looking more like his older brother than himself.
He hung the jacket and coat on the back of his chair before sitting down
and telling his father, "Good morning."
morning, son. It looks like you
dressed warmly for the weather."
eyes narrowed as he realized his brother had plundered clothes from his room
again. "Little brother, I
don't mind lending you a thicker shirt due to the weather, but this time please
return it clean."
time", echoed Johnny. "I
don't know what you're talking about. I
don't ask to borrow clothes from you that often."
brother. You never ask to 'borrow';
you just go in my room and take what you want.
The last time you took one of my dress white shirts, you wore it to the
cantina, where you got tomato stains on it.
It never got returned to me until Teresa found it under your mattress,
when she was cleaning."
burst out loud in laughter at the sheepish look on his youngest son's face.
glared at his father stating, "That is exactly why he does things like
that, people laugh about it. I am
sure he wouldn't be very happy if I just strolled in his room and made off with
you don't care about your pants not being long enough and your shirt sleeves
being too short, go ahead. I don't
mind sharing", smirked Johnny.
his head Murdoch informed his sons, "You
boys are very lucky. When I was a
lad not only did I share clothes with my brothers but also the same room and
bed. Now are you going to fight or
eat a hot breakfast and go sledding?”
aren't fighting." Replied the
Lancer brothers in unison.
began setting scrambled eggs, steaks and biscuits, honey and jam on the table. All the while ranting in Spanish that if Miss Teresa were not
at the Andersons there would be no way Juanito would be out in this nasty
weather today. She left no doubt as
to her displeasure of her nino chancing getting another case of chest
congestion. Throwing a disapproving
glare at the Lancer patriarch, Maria rounded on the boys; shaking her finger in
their faces she commanded them to be back in the house by noon for a hot lunch
and brief rest if they were planning to sled all day.
brothers merely looked at their father and rolled their eyes when Maria turned
back to the stove. She never even
turned around as she snapped out, "I saw that, I am not crazy."
up little brother. When we're done
we'll bundle up and head to the barn to get the sled.
Then we can walk up to the rise we always stop on to look at the
hacienda. That's a good hill for
You mean we ain't gonna ride up there?
This is starting to sound like work to me, Boston."
come on Johnny. You know good and
well, you would not subject that pampered horse of yours to this weather, if it
were not necessary. Half the fun of
sledding is pulling the sled to the top of the hill and then riding it down
again. I'll make you a deal, if
this isn't some of the most fun you have ever had, if you truly don't enjoy
yourself, you can sit on the sled and I'll pull you home again."
I would like to interject something here. I
expect you to be careful. No dare
devil stunts. Don't get so carried
away with fun and games that someone ends up hurt.
If I end up sending for Doc because you get fool hardy, it will come out
of your pay." Exclaimed the
talking to you Boston. I am always
careful. I always think things out
before I try them." Announced Johnny with a wicked grin on his face.
Lancer sputtered coffee all over his hand and shirt at the unmitigated gall of
his youngest son's statement.
up, Scott put his coat and hat on as Johnny finished his milk.
He was pulling on his gloves, fanning the long slender fingers and
sliding them with practiced precision into each snug finger compartment while
Johnny stood and put on his bolero jacket and hat.
removed his work gloves from the jacket pocket and put them on.
All the while watching his father from the corner of his eye, he started
to step around the table, when Murdoch cleared his throat. Johnny glanced back at his father and noted the raised
eyebrows and pointed look at the thick coat still hanging on the chair.
Snatching the coat from the chair the youngest Lancer put it on as his
older brother snickered at him.
coat was indeed too roomy and overly long on Johnny's smaller frame causing
Murdoch to decided he or Scott one would have to drag Johnny, kicking and
screaming if necessary, to town soon and have him fitted for a properly sized
he was buttoned up, Johnny streaked for the door, hollering, "Beat you to
the barn, Boston!" Before
Scott could give chase, Murdoch called out, "Scott, remember what we talked
about this morning. If your brother
thinks he can do it he sees no danger in trying.
the house Scott gasped and caught
his breath as he was hit in the face with a powdery lump of snow.
Wiping the snow from his eyes, Scott glared at his brother.
"Little Brother, it's a good thing you don't know how to pack a firm
snowball. I guess I need to add snowball-making lessons to our agenda today.
Part of the lessons will be the rules for snowball fights, the most
important one being never aim for the face because a properly formed ball can
cause damage to any areas not covered by thick clothing."
the fun in proper, Boston?"
his head the older brother took note of the devilish aura emitting from his
brother. Johnny's blue eyes
twinkled with merriment; they seemed even bluer than usual compared with the
fluffy whiteness all around him. The
fingers on the gloved hands were keeping a silent cadence as they drummed softly
against the thick black jeans. Johnny's
booted feet were twitching slightly against the stones, unsure of whether or not
to take flight before Scott decided to retaliate.
brother. I'm not seeking revenge
but when we do get ready for our snowball war let me warn you, I was the
champion of Beacon Hill. I made the
best-packed snowball. I was the
fastest at it and I had the deadliest aim."
the same thing has been said about me too.
All the guys in Boot Hill would have to agree, if they could, that I have
the fastest and deadliest aim." Smirked
the former gunfighter.
had steadily observed his brother for the telltale signs that he was about to
move against him.
slate gray eyes dilated slightly just before he announced, "I'll get your
smart mouth, little brother."
lunged forward in an attempt to grab his younger brother.
Johnny's lightening quick reflexes kicked in and he dug in his boot heels
to take off. The slick leather
soles of his boots were unable to grip into the snow-covered patio.
His forward momentum caused Johnny to pitch forwards further as he felt
his feet sliding out from under him.
had managed, in his lunge at Johnny, to grab the tail of the overly long coat. He yanked back on the coat, hoping to stop Johnny's fall on
the hard stone. He managed to stop
him from falling face first, but he also kept him from being able to tuck and
roll. The youngest Lancer's knees took the brunt of the impact with the stone
we haven't even made to the barn to get the sled yet and here he is falling
are you alright? You didn't hurt
yourself, did you?"
to the side to get off his knees, Johnny sat down on the ground and glared at
his brother. "What the hell
did you do that for, Boston?" He
stared at his brother as he rubbed his knees.
"If you had just let go of my coat, I could have tucked and rolled
then I wouldn't have busted my knees on these stones."
Johnny. I just wanted to help.
Can you get up?"
brothers glanced up with startled looks at their father's deep voiced question,
"What's going on out here?"
slipped and fell. I was trying to keep him from hitting his head and instead he
landed on his knees."
over to his youngest, Murdoch kneeled down next to him.
"Are you hurt, son? Pull
your pants legs up and lets get a look."
struggled to pull the thick material of his pants up past his knees.
Finally they were high enough to inspect the damage, both knees were red,
but Murdoch didn't think it would do much more than just bruise.
Lancer patriarch pulled one pant leg into place as Johnny pulled the other down. Before he could get up off the ground Maria appeared in the
kitchen doorway. She called, "Juanito,
get up off the cold ground. You
have no business sitting there like that, you will catch a chill."
Turning her ire on Murdoch, she exclaimed,
"I told you this was not a good thing."
and Johnny rolled their eyes as he helped his son up.
"Boys, please be careful today.
We will never hear the end of it from Maria if either of you get hurt,
especially you Juanito," chuckled Murdoch as he pinched Johnny's cheek.
youngest Lancer's face turned bright red over the pinch when he realized
Cipriano had been witness to it.
was still chuckling as he told his Segundo,
" Scott and Johnny will be taking the day off to enjoy the snow,
let's go have some coffee and make crew assignments."
turned for a last look as the Lancer brothers headed to the barn.
This is a good thing that the Patron's sons should take a day to enjoy
the fruits of their labors. They
are still young men and it is good to make time for fun too.
brothers made it to the barn with no more incidents.
Scott went to the hayloft to retrieve the sled while Johnny stopped to
talk to Barranca.
Barranca. It's cold, amigo. I'm gonna let you stay right here in this warm barn while I
go sledding with Scott. He has some
crazy notion that pulling a piece of wood to the top of the hill and then
sitting down on it and careening to the bottom of the hill is fun."
golden horse whinnied, snorted and shook his head before rolling his eyes, as if
to say, Is he crazy?
laughed as he nuzzled the horse's head to his cheek.
"I know, I know. It
sounds as wild as some of the schemes I come up with.
I ain't that fond of the cold but this means a lot to Scott to share a
part of his childhood with me. Besides
I can't think of anything better than spending the day with my brother.
Here comes Scott now, I'll visit with you later. Frank
will be here any minute to feed you."
could barely contain the joy on his face as he peered over the edge of the
hayloft. "Little brother, are
you going to talk with that horse all day?
How about come over here and let me lower the sled to you."
hurried to stand beside the hayloft ladder.
He reached up and grasped the end of the bright red sled as his brother
lowered it down by the rope. Johnny
sneezed and shook his head as he breathed in the fine particles of dust and hay
that fell from the sled.
down the last few rungs of the ladder, Scott eyed his brother with concern
etched on his handsome features. "I
thought your congestion was all cleared up, Johnny?
Are you feeling alright?"
fine. I just got hay and dust in my
face and it made me sneeze. You and
the old man are driving me crazy with this babying business.
One or the other of you are always trying to tell me what to do.
Get plenty of rest, drink lots of juice, take this crappy medicine, stay
in the house or wear a warmer coat. I
managed to survive a lot of years with out all them rules and I still grew
wicked grin passed briefly across Scott's face before he innocently replied,
"Just think little brother, if we had been there to 'baby' you while
you were growing up maybe you would have kept growing until you were over six
foot tall like the rest of the Lancer men."
ex-gunfighter glared with narrowed eyes at his older brother before back handing
him in the gut. "Too bad you
can't draw and shoot your gun as fast as you shoot off your mouth, big
brother. Are you ready for the
first sledding lesson?"
Boston, in case you ain't noticed, there ain't no snow in the barn."
out his breath in exasperation, Scott replied, "The first rule of sledding
is to check the sled over to make sure it is in good condition with no loose or
quickly tested the running blades to make sure they were secured, that all the
slats were tight and that the steering and pulling rope were not frayed.
Satisfied everything was fine, the blonde Lancer stated, "Now we are
ready to head for the hill."
cut across the pasture, Boston," suggested Johnny as he picked up a stick
and threw it for their collie, Lady SF ( Sweet Friend).
The dog took off like a flash to retrieve the stick. Just as the brothers slipped between the fence rails the
excited dog came back with the stick.
girl, Lady. Okay, drop the
stick." Commanded Johnny.
collie merely sat down, dropped her head and peered up at Johnny.
With her tail wagging wildly over the thought of playing with her
favorite Lancer, Lady SF shook her head and growled.
so you want to play rough, do you? All
right, bandito, stick them paws up," stated Johnny.
well-trained dog sat up and lifted her paws, still refusing to drop the stick.
are you gonna drop the stick or am I gonna have to fill you full of holes? You have until the count of three. Unos, dos, tres, sorry
Lady I guess I should count in English. One, two, three, " counted Johnny.
I warned you." The ex-gunhawk
flashed out his right hand, index finger pointed at the dog and hollered,
"Bang, Bang, you're dead."
SF dropped the stick from her mouth and pitched backwards.
Laying on her back with her feet in the air, she twitched her legs
already," exclaimed Madrid, "Or I'll have to tickle you to
launched himself onto the collie and began scratching and tickling the happy
Lancer shook his head and laughed at the antics of the two on the ground.
several minutes of rolling around in the snow with the dog, Johnny got to his
feet and invited his canine friend to go sledding too.
The faithful collie jumped onto the sled Scott had been pulling, cocked
her head and gave him a look that said she was ready.
Lancer brothers looked at each other and laughed.
Johnny shouted a challenge to his brother, "Bet I beat you to the
hill." He took off as Scott
hollered, "No fair, I am pulling the sled with your guest on it."
you're the sledding expert and Lady don't weigh that much."
in the snow was not something Johnny was use to; he barely made it to the base
of the hill before his brother. The
youngest Lancer bent over and struggled to pull enough of the cold air into his
breathless body. He was still deep
breathing when Scott slid to a stop and bent over to began deep breathing too. Lady SF sat on the sled looking at her humans like they were
the two brother's breathing had returned to normal they started the trek up the
hill. Scott noted the clouds were starting to build back up in the
sky. He wondered if they would get
more snow or if it would warm up past freezing and rain instead.
they walked up the hill Scott explained how to pull the rope to the right to
steer right and to the left to steer left.
He emphasized to stop you pulled back on the rope, throwing your weight
on the back end of the sled to make the running blades dig in to stop.
the top of the hill, Scott walked along the top ridge and scanned for the best
path down the hill, without obstacles. Choosing
a spot, he had Johnny sit at the front of the sled.
He showed him how to position his feet on top of the sled.
SF decided to ride too and nestled herself between Johnny's legs.
gave a quick starting push then jumped on behind his
brother and placed his legs beside Johnny's on the edge of the sled.
sled picked up speed as it flew down the hill.
The bite of the cold wind snatched Johnny's breath and numbed his nose
and ears. The long hair of the
collie lifted in the breeze and tickled and caressed the smiling lips of the
youngest Lancer causing him to laugh out loud.
forward, with his arms squeezing his brother's sides as he steered the sled,
Scott could hear and feel the rumble of laughter emitting from Johnny.
the bottom of the hill, Scott leaned back and pulled the rope to stop the sled
completely. The collie jumped from
the sled, barking and wagging her tail. She
burrowed her face into the snow and then lifting her snout covered with the cold
powdery mix, slung it off on to the brothers.
the snow off his face, Johnny turned to look at his brother.
The bright blue eyes of the youngest Lancer were dancing with excitement
and amusement. "Hey Boston,
that was cold but fun. It sure
beats the heck out of rolling down a hot sand hill, which is what we use to do
when I was a kid."
brothers jumped up and started the trek back up the hill.
Once again Lady SF took up her position on the sled.
As they crested the rise of the hill, the collies keen eye's caught sight
of a rabbit and she took off in hot pursuit. Her warm breath was leaving a trail of small puffy clouds in
her wake as she chased her quarry.
two Lancers positioned the sled. Before
sitting down Johnny implored his brother not to take a straight path this time
but to weave around. He wanted Scott to test whether or not he could make him
loose his balance and fall off.
simply grinned and replied, "Oh, so you want me to let her buck?
Well, hold on little brother cause I am going to give you a ride you will
not soon forget."
gave a mighty push to the sled and jumped on the back and took the rope from his
brother. He began pulling the rope
right and then left. With each pull
the sled would veer to the direction it was pulled.
Scott was musing to himself how snow seemed to insulate the world and
make it sound quieter yet magnified each noise.
He could distinctly hear the blades of the sled as it cut through the
snow with a shoosh. He could hear
the gasps in between laughs from his brother, as he sucked in the cold air
assaulting his face. Scott could even hear the distance bark of the Lancer's
collie as she continued to chase the rabbit.
the bottom of the hill, Scott veered to the right again and caught the running
blade in a depressed area that ran horizontal across the base of the hill.
This stopped the sled abruptly and tossed both brothers off the side onto
sat up and began brushing the snow from his coat.
With a start, he realized Johnny was still lying supine in the snow. His heart lurched into his throat. Before he could call out;
his younger brother sat up, eyes wide, lips quivering in a mischievous smile and
hollered, "Hot dang, I like it. I
really like it. Come on let's go
again and this time it's my turn to drive this contraption.
two Lancers made their way to the top of the hill for what would be many more
trips down before lunch. In between
trips, when their legs would become fatigued from the climbing, Scott showed
Johnny how to make the perfect snowball for throwing at unsuspecting prey. Then
of course they each made a stockpile of the projectiles to use on each other.
sun was getting high in the sky. The
air was getting warmer, which was making the snow wetter as it started getting
slushy. Noon and lunchtime were
fast approaching so Scott suggested they start making their way back home to
come on Boston, just one more ride then we will go home."
chewed his bottom lip trying to decide. Seeing
his brother was wavering, the youngest Lancer said, "You know you want to
Boston. The way it's warming up and
the clouds are building, it will probably rain and this will all be gone.
This is probably our last chance for a long time."
little brother, one more trip and then we head home.
I am not chancing Maria serving me my own head on a silver platter."
Boston, since your legs are older if you want to wait down here I'll go by
myself. You haven't let me go
without you yet."
back up the hill, it seemed to Scott that it had gotten steeper over the course
of the day. It didn't take long for
him to decide to grant his brother's wish.
Before sending him off Scott reminded him to be careful.
and hollering, Johnny climbed the side of the hill.
Once he got to the top, he positioned the sled and waved to his big
smiled and was waving back until he saw his brother cock his head to the side,
like when he has one of his bright ideas that usually goes very wrong.
did indeed have a bright idea. He
knew he had excellent balance. He
had balanced himself; standing on his saddle with the horse running before, so
he decided to he would stand on the sled.
picked up the rope handle and stepped up on to the middle the sled.
Lancer was frozen to the spot he was in. He
couldn't move so he screamed, "Johnny, NO!"
was too late though. The chain of
events were already in motion. With
a loud Yee Haw, Johnny dropped one foot to the ground beside the sled and pushed
off. The front of the sled dipped
and then started it slide down the hill. It
appeared to Scott that the sled was moving much faster than it had all day.
He was convinced it was too, when the wind rushing past his brother's
face tipped his hat back and lifted the black silky hair to flutter in the
stood gap mouthed, eyes wide in horror as his younger brother careened
precariously towards the bottom of the incline.
athletic young Lancer rode the sled as easily as he would a horse. Everything
was fine until he whizzed past Scott
and pulled back on the rope to stop. As
the sled was stopping, friction caused his feet to slide forward.
Johnny's feet went out from under him, forcing him to fall on his behind
and then flipping him in a elbows over butt summersault off the back end of the
hurried to Johnny's side. He was laying face down in the snow.
He helped his little brother sit up.
He was concerned to see blood in the snow on the younger Lancer's face.
Scott dug his handkerchief from his pocket and began brushing the snow
Boston! I am fine.
I didn't break nothing, I bit my tongue when I landed on my butt."
you sure you're okay? God, Johnny
you scared me half to death! That
was a dangerous stunt to pull. You
better be glad you didn't get hurt. Remember
what Murdoch said? Come on, we are
definitely heading home now."
got to his feet. He pulled off his
right glove and put two fingers in his mouth to whistle for Lady.
Finding his tongue hurt too much to whistle, he asked Scott to call the
whistled shrilly and the collie appeared at the top of the hill, then started
her way down. Johnny put his glove
back on and brushed the snow from his clothes while they waited on the dog.
SF got to the bottom and immediately took her spot on the sled for the ride
brothers had walked maybe ten paces when a fine mix of sleet and freezing rain
began to mist down on them.
and Johnny trudged through the snow that was getting slushier by the minute.
The cold wetness seeped through clothes already damp from sledding and
swear Boston, I think my feet are blocks of ice.
It didn't feel this cold while we were sledding.
I can't wait to get home and warm up."
it was colder this morning, but your clothes were dry.
Now that they are damp and getting wetter, because of the rain,
it feels colder. We need to hurry and get in before we both catch a
slapped his brother in the gut and hollered, "Bet I beat you to the house
and have a shot of tequila in my hand before you."
younger Lancer took off like a shot. Even
though he was pulling the sled, Scott's longer stride helped him stay hot on his
they ran across the pasture, the freezing rain and sleet really started coming
down heavier and with a biting wind.
brother's slowed their pace long enough to crawl through the fence.
Lady took the chance to jump from the sled and raced for the warmth of
Lancers hurried on to the house. They
left the sled on the patio by the French doors and then burst into the great
room with the cold air and crisp fresh smell rushing in around them.
siblings were tripping over each other in their quest to be the first to reach
the liquor cabinet. Neither
brother wanted to lose the contest to be the first with a glass of instant
liquid warmth in their hands.
Lancer patriarch's mouth gaped open at the antics of his sons.
He smiled and shook his head, then bellowed, "Boys, close the door!
You're letting the heat out."
Johnny had made it to the cabinet during Murdoch's shout, Scott turned and
secured the French doors. He made
sure the doors would stay shut.
blond Lancer turned back around just in time to catch his cocky little brother's
salute to him with his shot glass.
was about to do a little verbal sparring with his younger brother when Maria
came into the room to see what all the noise had been about.
The surrogate mamacita took one look at her ninos in the wet clothes and
the slush trail on the floor from their boots and began ranting.
told you this was not a good idea. Look
at how wet you are. You are both
half frozen. There will be no lunch
until you get a bath to warm up."
brother moved. Maria came further
into the room waving the big wooden spoon she had been stirring lunch with and
continuing to rant. She stopped by
Johnny, who was bending over as he laughed and telling his brother, "She
thinks we're loco."
big wooden spoon connected with the youngest Lancer's backside.
"OUCH! That hurt."
and it will hurt some more if you and your hermano do not go get a warm bath as
I told you," stated Maria.
Scott snickered as he took Johnny by the elbow and head for the
bathhouse. "Which was more
warming little brother, the tequila in your belly or the blistering whack to the
seat of your pants?"
called after his boys, "I'll go get you some dry clothes.
You two go get your baths. Maria
put the water on to heat earlier."
in the bathhouse the brothers took two tubs to fill with water.
Scott declared he got the bigger tub since he was not only the older
brother, but also the taller brother. Johnny
merely shrugged as he informed him it would also take him longer to fill the
younger Lancer did indeed finish filling his bath first.
He took off the over sized coat and bolero jacket.
Then he toed off his boots and peeled off the two pairs of wet socks. His
were toes stinging against the frigid tile floor. The flannel shirt he had
snitched from his older brother's room was still dry so he laid it on the bench.
had removed his coat, socks, and boots and was beginning to unbutton his shirt
as his younger brother stripped off his damp jeans.
knocked and entered the bathhouse as Scott pulled off his moisture-laden pants.
He was in the process of placing their dry clothes on the bench when his
youngest son struggled out of his long johns.
As Johnny turned to step into the tub Murdoch and Scott sucked in their
breath and gasped loudly.
at his family's reaction, Johnny inquired, "What's wrong with y'all? I ain't growed nothing new since the last time you saw me in
my birthday suit."
but you have acquired something you didn't have before."
Stated the Lancer patriarch. "You
have a spoon shaped mark on you back side."
walked towards the tall mirror on the bathhouse wall.
He gasped when he saw the
perfect spoon shape imprinted on his behind.
"It stung when she popped me, but she really did hit me harder than
any of the other times she smacked me with the spoon."
skin was damp and cold and the pop just brought the blood to the surface."
a word about this to Maria, boys. She
would feel terrible if she knew she left a bruise on you, son."
and I was gonna ask her to kiss it better, guess it will have to be one of you
two." Johnny's sapphire eyes
danced with merriment at his round about way of telling his father and brother
to kiss his butt.
stripped off his long johns and threw them at his brother.
you might want to quit playing around and get a bath before lunch turns into
Lancer patriarch gave his sons a chance to sink down into the warm water before
he opened the door to leave.
this feels good Boston. I didn't
know I was so cold until I sat down in this hot water."
I must agree. A nice lingering soak after a day spent in the great outdoors is
indeed relaxing as well as rejuvenating."
shot an annoyed looked at his over educated brother then slung a washcloth at
him. "You can juve all you want to, I am just glad my butt is
no longer cold and wet. If we had
stayed out much longer Little Big
Johnny would be in sad shape."
Scott threw the dripping washcloth back at his younger brother.
"I can't believe you call 'it'
Little Big Johnny."
it's like this Boston, when I am entertaining the ladies, I don't want to hear
nobody's name being called, but mine."
caused the older brother to pause for thought.
Suddenly Scott grinned wickedly and turned to his brother and said,
"I do believe you have made a valid point and Scott Jr. and I concur with
haw, Boston, looks like there was enough room left in your brain for some more
Lancer brothers' snickers ended abruptly when Maria beat loudly on the door to
remind them lunch was ready to serve.
soaped up their washcloths and scrubbed clean, glad of the warmth the action
brought back to their chilled bodies.
a final dunk down into the water to rinse off the two Lancers stepped from the
tubs. They each grabbed a fluffy
towel and briskly rubbed the water from their bodies.
They hurried into their clothes before the cold in the air could chill
them again. Finally they sat on the
bench to pull on their socks and boots.
As they walked back through the kitchen, the tantalizing aroma
of fresh baked bread made their stomachs growl in eager anticipation.
Scott stopped to lift the lid to one of the pots and found himself on the
receiving end of a smack from Maria's big wooden spoon.
blond Lancer yelped and gingerly rubbed his derrière.
The dark haired Lancer chortled and stated, "Bet that smarts,
Boston. Don't expect me to kiss it
better, after all you wouldn't kiss mine."
grabbed his brother around the neck and dragged him the rest of the way to the
table as Johnny continued laughing.
Admonished Murdoch, who was already seated at the table.
sir. I was just trying to teach my
little brother to respect his elders."
all the Lancers seated Maria and her helper brought in the food.
Since it was a cold day Maria had cooked two soups.
A home-style chicken noodle made with large egg noodles, carrots, celery
and chunks of chicken. She also made the spicy tamale soup the youngest Lancer
loved. There were several loaves of
hot out of the oven bread and an assortment of thinly sliced meats for making a
sandwich to eat with their soup.
and Scott chose to fill their bowls with the chicken soup.
Johnny of course ladled tamale soup into his bowl and grabbed a chunk of
bread to dip into it.
two older Lancers were making ham sandwiches to eat with their soup when the
youngest Lancer placed a spoon full of tamale soup in his mouth.
soon as the spicy concoction hit the sore spot on his tongue, Johnny Lancer
gasped. When he gasped the soup was sucked back into his throat and
preceded to go down his windpipe causing him to make a choking and strangling
Murdoch and Scott watched in astonishment as Johnny shot from
his chair with such force he knocked it over.
The youngest Lancer was jumping up and down, his eyes were watering and
he coughed, panted and swiped at his tongue.
Lancer patriarch finally reached over and stopped his son's wild gyrations long
enough to ask, "What in the world is wrong?"
squeaked out, " H..hhh..oo..ttt."
father handed him his glass of milk and instead of drinking it Johnny stuck his
tongue down into the milk. The
youngest Lancer sat down on his chair, his face beaded with sweat and sighed as
the cold milk cooled the burning on his tongue.
came around the table, sat down next to his brother and asked, "Are you
used his napkin to wipe the sweat from his face.
He was still red in the face as he look towards his father and explained.
"I bit my tongue while we were sledding and when the spices got into
the cut area it felt like my tongue was on fire."
that case, son, I suggest you have some of the chicken soup, it will warm you up
without burning your tongue. How
did you come to bite your tongue?"
Lancer brothers looked at each other, wondering how much to reveal to their
father about the mishap.
his throat, Johnny replied, "Oh,
it kind of happened when I fell off the sled.
I guess I closed my mouth before my tongue could get out of the
glanced at his father with wide-eyed innocence.
"HeHe, I guess his teeth were quicker than his tongue."
Lancer might not have raised his boys from infants to their supposed young
adulthood, but he did know them well enough to see they were trying to spit
polish the truth. He picked up his
spoon and quickly stirred his coffee, causing the strong black liquid to slosh
over into the saucer. He raised the
cup to his lips and blew a soft steady breath across it.
All the while he watched his sons squirm in their chairs. Finally the old Scotsman’s took a few sips and placed the
cup back in its saucer.
and Johnny's mouths dropped open in surprise when their father stated, " I
assume you bit your tongue when you stood on the sled to go down the hill. I was standing at the window watching when you reached the
bottom, fell on your behind and flipped off the back of the sled."
brothers looked at each other and shrugged with sheepish grins plastered to
smiled as he picked his sandwich up. Before
taking a bite he told his sons, "Finish your lunch and then we'll all work
on the books a while. It's raining
now, so it looks like the snow day is over."
satisfied Lancers left the table warmed not only by the hot nourishing soup but
also by the warm nurturing sense of family that comes from shared experiences