Saturday, August 28, 2010

An Encounter

I have been doing most of the chores for awhile Avery is recovering from his ordeal. In some ways it has been good for us. Not that he was missing, assaulted and hurt. Now that he is recovering and has to stay inside most of the time taking it easy, he is getting to know his son. When I go out to the barn in the morning he is caring for Benjamin. They are getting closer. I can see Benjamin look for him when I am bathing him. This way I can take my time out in the barn. It is too cold to take Benjamin out there with me.

This morning Peanut came running to me excited about something. He wanted to show me something. So I followed him down the path. There was a man sleeping in the freight wagon! He was dressed a little shabby and had an untrimmed beard. What should I do? I could not go tell Avery because he could not walk out here right now. Who is he? Could he possibly be one of those outlaws' family or friends coming for revenge on Avery?  I motioned to Peanut to be quiet and I backed up to the barn. There is a loaded rifle in there, so I grabbed it and cocked it and slowly walked back down the path to the wagon and the sleeping guest. He stirred a little and I could see he looked a little older than Avery.

I pointed the rifle at him, and Peanut started growling. He awoke with a start, "What the............Hey lady, be careful where you point that thing!" He sat up and I kept the gun right on him. He rubbed his eyes, "Who are you missy?"

I said, "I should be asking you that question. This is my house and you are sleeping in my wagon."

"Well, I'll mean my little brother went and married a beauty like yourself?"

I thought I heard him wrong, "What do you mean? Little brother? My husband does not have an older brother. You better tell me who you are before I pull this trigger. I am a crack shot. I grew up shooting squirrels." I kept my finger on the trigger in case he tried to come at me.

"Go get your husband. Ask him if he has a brother named Jacob Longworth. He will tell you. I'll wait here."

"Mister, you are loony if you think I will fall for that and leave you here while I go to my husband."

"Then how do I know his name is Avery Longworth?"

"Anyone would know our names. Especially if they were coming to rob us." I held the gun steady with a good grip, but hoping I would not have to shoot this man.

"I will just sit back down here and wait. What have you got to lose?" With that he sat back down on the wagon seat. "By the way, Missy, what is your name?"

"It is not Missy." I was undecided what to do. I knew I did not want Avery to try to come out here in the cold. Not in his present condition. If he knew someone was out here, he might try to. It could be a trap to get him to come out.

"Just go ask lil' Av, if he has an older brother. He will tell you."

"Okay, but if you leave I will ride to the sheriff and report you for trying to rob us."

He laughed, "Okay Missy, you do that." He sat back down and picked up an apple that he had in his pocket and shined it and took a bite.

"Where did you get that?" I asked suspiciously.

"You've got a big barrel of them in the barn. Mighty good too. Nice horses you're keeping in there. Are they boarded?"

"You were in my barn? How dare you! You stole our apples!"

"Oh stop fuming Missy. I only took a couple. I had to sleep somewhere. Mighty cold out here."

"None of your business about our horses. You stay there and I'll see what my husband has to say." I turned on my heel and walked up the path back to the house with Peanut at my side.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016