Johnny lounged on the couch while Teresa sat in her corner chair by the fireplace working on mending. Murdoch reclined in his desk chair reading the latest newspaper which had probably been printed a couple of weeks old. The three had eaten dinner together and now were relaxing in the Great Room. Scott had dinner in bed since he hadn’t fully recovered from his cold yet.
Scott coughed and sneezed coming down the stairs. They heard him long before he entered the room wearing a robe and slippers.
“What are you doing out of bed?” Teresa scolded him. “Has Sam released you?”
Scott blew his nose before answering her in a hoarse whisper. “I needed a change of scenery. I feel better than I sound.”
He wandered over to sit on the sofa by his brother who immediately got up and moved to the couch by the fireplace.
Scott smiled at his brother. “You sure moved fast. I don’t have a fever anymore,” Scott commented, followed by a sneeze. He wiped his slightly red nose with a handkerchief before turning his attention back to his brother.
“I don’t want to take any chances. With Angela’s wedding coming up tomorrow, I don’t want to miss out on being around the lovely ladies of Morro Coyo.” Johnny grinned at his brother.
“Scott, I’m sorry you’re going to miss the wedding. I’ll let her know why you’ll miss it, though.”
“Thanks Teresa.” Scott’s thoughts fled back to the months when Angela had been his. They went on lovely intimate picnics, spent time riding the ranch, and enjoyed discussing literature over private dinners. At the many dances they attended, she felt wonderful in his arms. He’d hoped she’d be the one. Then, they’d just seemed to drift apart between his time in San Francisco for Lancer work and Garrett Enterprises, as well as her mother’s sudden death, they didn’t see each other for months. Jake, the foreman, had been there for her and her father. Now Jake and Angela were getting married. If Scott had been honest with himself, he’d admit that he didn’t have strong enough feelings for her. He could’ve fought for her, but he didn’t.
Teresa returned from the kitchen with a cool glass of lemonade and a hot cup of tea. So deep in thought, Scott hadn’t heard her leave the room.
“I didn’t know which sounded better, so I brought you both.” She set the drinks on the coffee table in front of him.
“Thank you. That’s very sweet. I think I’ll drink the hot tea first.”
“Teresa, you never brought me both when I felt sick. All I ever got was that willow bark sh – , uh, tea.”
“Well, unlike you, Johnny, Scott has been a model patient.”
Murdoch chuckled as he moved to the couch to sit by his oldest son. He checked Scott’s forehead for fever, but found no heat. “Even though you don’t have a fever anymore, I don’t want you to stay up too long. You need to get your strength back.”
“Yes, sir,” Scott replied with a grimace. He wasn’t ready to go back to bed yet. He enjoyed when his father decided to act fatherly, even though Scott would never let him know that.
For the next thirty minutes, Murdoch and Johnny got Scott caught up with the latest ranch news. Teresa chimed in with a request. “Murdoch, since Scott can’t continue reading to us about King Arthur, can you read some more to us?”
“I thought we finished that story about Knights in Shining Armour and fair ladies,” Johnny griped.
“Almost done. I’d be happy to read the rest of the story.” Murdoch answered.
Even though he complained, Johnny had enjoyed when Scott read and now enjoyed listening to Murdoch. After about an hour, Scott’s coughing became worse and his glass and cup were both empty.
“Scott, don’t you think it’s time for you to go back to bed? You’re sounding a little done in.”
Murdoch fathering again, but Scott did feel ‘done in.’
“Yes, I think I will go back to bed. Goodnight, all.”
Not long after Scott left, Murdoch came to the end of the book and closed it with a quiet thump.
A couple of months later, Scott and Johnny rode early in the afternoon for a Friday night in Morro Coyo. Johnny wanted to eat at the cantina tonight. Scott hadn’t been there since before Angela’s wedding. As luck would have it, he spied her coming out of the mercantile next door.
He tipped his hat. “Good afternoon, Angela.”
She looked up at him before quickly looking down at the wooden boardwalk. Scott saw the faded yellow and blue-black eye before she could hide it. “Hello, Scott.”
He put his finger under her chin and tilted her head towards him. “What happened?” he questioned with concern in his voice.
“Oh, I fell against the door frame. It’s so silly, I had my hands full and tripped. I hoped it had faded by now.”
Scott’s hands fell to his side. “How have you been?”
“Good.” Angela tried to sound happy, but wanted to change the subject. “And how have you been? I see you’ve recovered from your cold.”
Scott smiled that smile she always looked forward to seeing. “Yes, I’m fully recovered.”
“Lancer! What are you doing?” Jake’s voice boomed from the doorway as he angrily approached the two.
Angela rapidly turned to calm her husband. “We’re just talking, honey. I haven’t seen Scott for quite a while.”
“Well, it’s time to get back to the ranch. Get on in the wagon,” Jake ordered as he walked around to his side to climb in.
Angela stumbled as she climbed onto the seat, but Scott reached out to steady her and helped her aboard. “Thank you, Scott.”
“Nice seeing you again, Angela.” Scott added, “And you as well, Jake.”
The foreman grumbled as he snapped the reins on the horses’ backs. They took off at a fast clip nearly running over a small boy crossing the street who jumped out of the way just in time.
“What’s that all about?” Johnny asked.
“Damn if I know.” Scott felt frustrated and concerned, but knew it wasn’t any of his business.
Johnny reached his arm around his brother’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s go eat. I’m starving.”
Scott nodded and let Johnny lead him into the cantina. Johnny had the hot dishes, while Scott stuck to the milder ones. Conversation felt one-sided as Scott’s mind was definitely elsewhere.
“Yeah, so I thought I’d sell off all the cows and turn Lancer into a sheep farm. What do ya think, Scott?”
“Sure. Sounds great,” Scott mumbled.
“You’re not even listening. What’s going on in that head of yours, brother?”
“Oh, nothing,” Scott looked at his brother and added, “just thinking about what happened with Angela and Jake today. It’s a little strange. Jake and I’ve never had any problems before.” Scott sighed before continuing, “Not my business. Hey, you ready to go get a beer?”
As the brothers walked across the street to the saloon, Scott decided to keep his eyes and hears open for any problems with Angela and Jake. Johnny, on the other hand, looked forward to a fun night in the saloon with his big brother.
The boys cleaned off outside before coming into the kitchen for lunch. Teresa handed them each a sandwich before getting back to filling a picnic basket that perched on the other end of the table.
“This all we get? A sandwich?” Johnny complained.
“Here.” Teresa handed him an apple. “I’m busy.”
“You goin’ on a picnic?” Johnny tried to lift the top of the basket, but Teresa popped his hand.
“For your information, I’m bringing this over to the Thompkins’ place. Since Angela hurt her arm, the ladies and I are taking turns providing food ’til she gets back on her feet.”
Scott’s ears perked up. “Angela’s hurt?”
“Yes. I don’t know what happened, but Maria heard about it from Sam when he came by to check on Jose’s arm, so we all decided to help.”
Scott’s mind started to spin. “Do you mind if I take you to their ranch when you’re ready to go?”
“No, I think that would be nice. Thank you for offering.” Teresa glared at Johnny.
“What’d I do?” he asked. Teresa shook her head and finished filling the basket.
“Scott, could you pick out a bottle of wine to include in the basket? Then, I’ll be ready when you are.”
Scott carried the basket out for Teresa and placed it in the back of the small buckboard, before helping her get settled on the seat.
The trip went by with Teresa keeping up her end of the conversation. She knew Scott had something on his mind, but also knew he’d talk about it when ready.
“Teresa, you said Angela hurt her arm. How bad is it?” Scott finally asked.
“Well, Sam said it wasn’t broken only sprained and for her not use it for a week. One of the other ladies came by yesterday and did the washing, so I thought food would be appreciated.”
The Thompkins’ Ranch consisted of a thousand acres and sat seven miles from the Lancer ranch. Scott pulled up in front of the ranch house, a modest one-story home with a wide front porch, as Teresa finished speaking. Angela came out to greet them as they walked up the steps.
“Teresa, Scott what are you doing here?”
“We heard about your injury, so Teresa brought over a couple of meals for you and I decided to drive her over.” Scott smiled at the beautiful woman with her arm in a sling.
“That’s so nice. You didn’t need to – ”
Teresa interrupted, “It’s what friends do. Why don’t you sit down in the rocker while I go put everything away in your kitchen.”
Angela genuinely smiled. “Thank you.” Scott helped her to the rocker and sat down beside her.
“Angela, what happened to your arm?”
“Oh, I tripped going down the front porch steps when I went to the barn. I’m getting so clumsy lately.” She tried to sound convincing, but she couldn’t look Scott in the eye.
When Angela moved to adjust the sling on her arm, Scott noticed there were bruises around her wrist as well as on her arm.
“Sweetheart, what really happened?” Scott whispered.
“It was an accident, Scott. Let’s leave it at that.”
He smiled at her and nodded his acceptance that he’d leave it alone. He scooted back into his chair as Teresa joined them on the porch.
“I put the fried chicken and roast beef in the cooler. The canned vegetables are in the pantry and the cake is on the table.”
“Teresa, you are so generous. Jake and my father will really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your help and to you, Scott, for driving her over.”
“You’re welcome,” Scott and Teresa said together. They grinned as they hadn’t intended to speak in unison.
“Well, we’d better get back before it gets too late. Angela, please let us know if there is anything else we can do.” Scott hoped she understood his true message.
Angela waved goodbye from the porch as Jake walked toward the house from the barn. “Why were they here?” He asked as he reached his wife’s side.
She turned to her husband with a smile planted on her face. “Teresa brought us some meals. Isn’t that nice of her?”
“Why did he need to come?” Jake asked with barely concealed anger.
“He drove Teresa over. That’s all.” Angela answered.
“You two looked awful cozy sittin’ on the front porch. What’d you tell him?” Jake grabbed her arm in the sling. Angela cried out in pain as her father rode up to the house. Jake quickly released her and rubbed her arm attentively.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Mr. Thompkins stiffly walked toward his daughter.
“Nothing, pa. I just got a pain in my arm.” She glared at her husband. “Are you hungry? The Lancers brought over some fried chicken for supper.”
“That sounds great. I’ll go get washed up.” He looked from his daughter to his son-in-law to try to explain the tenseness he felt in the air.
After they were alone again, Jake warned his wife, “Don’t have anything else to do with those Lancers, especially Scott. Do you understand me?”
Angela nodded and turned to leave, but he grabbed her again. “Answer me.”
“I understand and I’ll stay away from the Lancers.” Angela walked back into the house with her head down in disgust.
“Teresa, have you heard how Angela’s doing? Did her arm heal?” Subtle, Scott, subtle, he thought.
“You know, I haven’t heard, but I’m sure she’s fine.”
Scott nodded, but didn’t feel as confident as Teresa. He put his hat on his head and waved as he left the kitchen to put in a full day’s work chasing strays.
Scott struggled with a calf stuck in the bushes as its anxious mother stood bellowing nearby. “Stupid cows.” The blond huffed as he gave it a final shove. He arched his back trying to get the kinks out as he dusted himself off. Looking around, he noticed he wasn’t too far from the Thompkins place. Scott pulled his pocket watch to check the time. Mid-afternoon. He’d have time to check on Angela before he called it a day.
Scott had barely gone a few miles on the Thompkins’ ranch when Jake rode up upon Scott. “Lancer! What are you doing on my ranch!”
Scott reined to a stop before answering. “Hello, Jake. I thought I’d just stop in to see how Angela arm is doing.” And here I thought it was the Thompkins Ranch, thought Scott.
“Don’t need you sniffing around my wife. I take care of my own.”
“It’s just the neighborly thing to do, Jake.” Scott tried to defuse the situation.
“We didn’t ask for your help and we don’t want your help.” The foreman rested his hand on the gun at his hip.
Scott noticed, but didn’t flinch. “As long as Angela is all right, I’ll stay out of it.” Scott’s voice showed his intentions.
“Get off my land, Lancer. If I find you here again, there’ll be trouble.”
Scott stared at the man, but made no move to go. Finally, the blond turned his horse and slowly rode away. He couldn’t understand the hostility Jake emoted toward him.
Jake kicked his horse into a full gallop and headed for home. He’d barely slowed down in front of the house as he jumped off his ride. He stomped into the house, yelling for his wife. “Angela! Where are you?” He continued through the empty house yelling her name.
The back screen door banged shut as Angela walked into the house.
“Where have you been?!” Jake yelled at his wife.
“In the privy.” She meekly answered as she cowered from her husband’s anger.
Jake quickly calmed down and strode to her side. “I’m sorry I yelled at you. Please forgive me. I got really mad when I saw that Scott Lancer riding over here.”
“Scott, coming here?” Angela’s face brightened.
Jake’s anger suddenly resurfaced. He slapped her across the face. “Don’t speak his name again!”
Angela grabbed her cheek as a tear traced down her face. Jake instantly regretted his actions. He reached for her, but she took a step back. He reached again pulling her into his arms and as she sobbed he whispered soothing words asking for her forgiveness.
This was the scene Angela’s father walked in on. “Did something happen?”
Angela shook her head while Jake answered for her. “She just had a scare. She’s fine.”
“Well, all right then. I’m gonna go get washed up for supper.” Mr. Thompkins turned to leave, but only got halfway to the bathhouse before he collapsed in the yard grabbing his chest. He tried to yell for help, but it only came out as a whispered groan.
Half an hour went by before Mr. Thompkins had been found in the yard by several hired hands who carried the unconscious rancher into the house. They yelled for help as they got closer to the porch. “Miss Angela, Jake, we found the boss in the yard.”
“Oh my God! What happened?” Angela rushed to her father’s side as they carried him to his bedroom. Jake put his hand on the old man’s chest, but felt nothing. Angela laid her head on her father’s chest and screamed in pain.
“What happened?” Jake questioned the men.
“We don’t know. We were just coming back from the south pasture and found him lying in the yard.”
“Thank you for bringing Mr. Thompkins in. You can leave now.”
“We’re so sorry Miss Angela. He was such a good man.” One of the hired hands spoke for the four men as they left the house.
Jake tried to pull his wife from her father’s side, but she sat on his bed rocking him in her arms, crying in sorrow. After a few minutes, tears continued to flow down her cheeks, but the wailing finally ceased. Jake decided to leave her alone in her grief while he talked to the rest of the men in the bunkhouse. In the morning, he’d send one of the men into town to take the body to the undertaker.
By the time Jake returned from the bunkhouse, Angela had laid down on the bed next to her father with her arm wrapped across his chest and her head on his shoulder.
Angela suddenly felt so alone. She’d lost both her parents within a year’s time. Her father had been a buffer between Jake and herself and now she didn’t know how her husband would behave without her father to intervene. She stayed by her father’s side all night.
Jake awakened Angela the next morning when he brought four men to retrieve the body. Angela helped to wrap her father in blankets and followed the processional to the wagon. She wanted to go into town with her father, but Jake forbade it. She simply stood, watching the wagon leave until she couldn’t see it anymore. Her life would be forever changed now.
Two days later, the neighboring ranches descended on the Thompkins Ranch for the funeral. The ladies brought enough food to feed an army. They paid their respects to Angela and Jake, and offered any help they could. Teresa and Scott kept a keen eye on the couple. They hoped to have a chance to speak with her alone, but Jake never left her side. The Lancer family were one of the last to leave.
Teresa tightly hugged the young wife who stood so quiet it worried her. “Angela, if you need anything, you’ll let us know. I understand what you’re going though.” Angela barely nodded, as she knew Teresa had lost her father a few years ago. Scott swore he’d find a way to talk to Angela in private.
The next few weeks, Jake kept to his best behavior. He showed loving care toward his grieving wife. Angela hardly ate and when she did the food didn’t stay down. Jake worried that Angela had become deathly ill, so he finally broke down and took her to see Dr. Jenkins. To their shock and surprise, Sam informed the young couple they were expecting a child.
Jake’s anger erupted one afternoon, after he found his wife sitting at the kitchen table talking to Teresa. He managed to not show it until after Teresa left.
“What’s she doing here? Spying for Scott Lancer? Did you tell her about the baby?”
The rapid fire questions overwhelmed the young woman. “She just stopped by to check on me. She’s a friend and yes, I told her about the baby.”
Jake push his chair over in his rush to get to his wife. He grabbed her by the arms and pulled her out of her chair shaking her violently. “Why? Why would you tell her about the baby. It’s none of their business. You need to keep your mouth shut!” He angry stomped out the front door, slamming it as he left.
Angela slumped down into the chair. She finally realized she couldn’t stay there any longer. She couldn’t raise her baby around such anger, but how could she get away? Her thoughts flew to the one person she could count on … Scott.
Please come see me privately tomorrow morning. I need your help. You are the only one that
can help me.
Angela found a young ranch hand that she trusted and instructed him to, ‘take the note to Mr. Lancer as soon as possible, but don’t tell anyone especially not her husband.’ The young hand nodded his understanding. He had no love lost for the current patron.
When Scott arrived home for the evening, Teresa handed him the note. He read it in his room while he cleaned up for dinner and decided he’d find a way to see Angela tomorrow.
Teresa interrupted his thought process during dinner by asking, “Well, how is Angela?”
“Hmm, I’m sorry. I wasn’t listening. Did you say something?”
“You got a note from her, so I just wanted to know how Angela and the baby are doing?”
This was news to the other Lancer men and they were curious to hear about the missive.
“Oh, fine, I guess.” All eyes were on the blond expecting more of an answer. “Oh, she wrote to thank us for all the help we’ve given her lately. I guess the note’s really for all of us.” The first lie rolled off Scott’s tongue. He knew this would be the first of many and he didn’t like that feeling. He hadn’t enjoyed lying to his father for Calhoun and his group and he didn’t like it now.
Inwardly, Scott felt mixed emotions about the baby. He wondered if that could be what she wanted to see him about, but why would she need to see me in private. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.
Scott spent the evening quietly contemplating all the possible reasons Angela would want to meet with him. To the rest of the family, he looked like he’d been reading, but Murdoch observed that Scott hadn’t turned a page in quite some time. He wished that Scott would let him help with whatever problem the young man seemed to be mulling over.
The next morning at breakfast, the boys were given their work assignments. A few miles from the hacienda, Scott slowed his horse to a stop causing Johnny to return to his brother’s side as he’d ridden on past him.
“What’s wrong, brother?” Johnny asked.
“Ah, I need to run an errand. I’ll catch up with you later.”
“Anything I could help you with? You seemed preoccupied last night.”
Scott, impressed that Johnny remembered that ‘five dollar word’ and used it correctly, simply answered, “No, thanks. I won’t be long.”
Johnny watched Scott ride away and hoped his brother didn’t get into any trouble. A part of him wanted to follow, but decided he’d wait to talk to Scott when he returned from his ‘errand.’
Scott hid in the trees, watching the Thompkins’ hired hands leave for work. He finally saw what he’d been waiting for. Jake walked out the door and headed for the barn. Moments later, Scott watched him ride away and patiently waited a few more minutes before he approached the back of the farm house.
Angela sat at the kitchen table nursing a cup of coffee. She jumped when she saw the back door open thinking her husband had returned, but relaxed when she saw Scott enter the room.
“Angela, I got your note. What’s wrong?”
She rushed to his arms. “Oh, Scott, I’m so glad you’re here. I have to get away.”
Scott released her from his arms and led her back to a chair at the table. He sat down beside her and took her hands in his. “Slow down. What do you mean you have to get away?”
Angela didn’t know where to start. “It’s Jake. He’s such an angry man and he’s so jealous of you. I lied to you when I told you I fell. It’s Jake, he loses control and takes it out on me.” Scott tried to hide the anger from his face, but lost it with her next statement. “Now that I’m expecting a child, I’m scared he’ll hurt us both.”
Scott quickly stood, clenching and unclenching his hands at his side. He wanted to hit something. No, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He wanted to find Jake and beat him senseless for hurting Angela.
“Scott, I need you to help me get to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Morgan’s in Sacramento.” She put her hands on his face to force him to look at her. “Please, don’t do anything to Jake. Just help me get away. Do you hear me Scott?” She finally broke through to him. “I don’t want anyone else to know what’s going on. I’m so ashamed. Friends tried to warn me about Jake, but I wouldn’t listen.”
“What do I need to do?” Scott calmly asked.
“We can’t meet here, because Jake might catch us, so let’s make this quick. Tomorrow, you ride into Morro Coyo and I’ll find an excuse to go to town. I’ll write a message to my Aunt and Uncle and you can send it in a telegram to them. Then, we can make some plans.”
Scott nodded in agreement. Angela smiled as she pulled his face down to hers for a kiss. Scott slowly pulled away from her and walked to the back door. “I’ll wait for you in Don Baldermaro’s place. Maybe you could come to town to get some supplies.”
“Thank you, Scott. I knew I could count on you.” The young wife sighed, assured that her problems would soon be over, as she watched Scott through the window.
Scott looked around, and seeing no one, raced to his hidden horse in the trees. Scott caught up with Johnny less than an hour later.
“Thanks for covering for me, Johnny.”
“No problem. I don’t think anybody even noticed you weren’t here. So, are you gonna tell me about your errands?”
“Nothing much to tell.”
“Really, brother. You might want to wipe that lip rouge off before anyone else asks what you’ve been up to.” Johnny, frustrated, turned Barranca and rode away from his brother. Scott pulled out his handkerchief and removed the evidence of his meeting with Angela. He thought about chasing after his brother to explain, but decided to wait until his plans with Angela were set.
Around mid-morning, Scott left his brother ‘covering’ for him again, but this time several hired hands saw him leave the herd, riding off toward town. He wanted to get there early so Angela wouldn’t have to wait and there would be less chance of them getting caught by Jake. Scott checked in the mercantile, but she hadn’t gotten there yet. He decided to wait in the saloon for her to arrive. He took his beer to a seat by the window and waited, keeping a sharp eye out.
The bartender had never seen Scott sitting, drinking in the middle of the day before, but he tried to keep his nose out of other peoples’ business, so he kept cleaning glasses behind the counter. A couple of hours passed before Angela and a young man in a wagon pulled up in front of the store. Scott waited until the ranch hand left and Angela had walked into Don Baldermaro’s store. Then he made his way to the store.
“Scott!” Angela rushed into his arms. Scott un-intangled himself from her and took a step back. There wasn’t anyone else in the store, but he didn’t know how long that would last. Wanting to get this over with, Scott got right to the point. He handed her note paper and a pencil. “Write down what you want me to send to your Aunt and Uncle.”
Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Thompkins:
Aunt Mary and Uncle Morgan
Angela needs to come stay with you <stop>
When good time to come <stop>
A friend <stop>
Morro Coyo, CA
Scott reread the note before putting it in his pocket. “As soon as I get a response, we’ll get you to Sacramento. Don’t pack anything ahead of time. Don’t do anything to make Jake suspicious.” He gently placed his hand on her arm and gave her a slight smile. “It’s going to be all right, Angela.”
Angela tried to kiss him, but Scott took a step back, put his hand between them and shook his head.
Mrs. Baldermaro suddenly appeared from the storeroom. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know there was anyone here. Could I help you?” Angela took a deep breath and handed her the supply list.
Scott shook his head and left the store. That was a close call, Scott thought, we can’t meet in town again.
Scott casually strolled over to the telegraph office like he didn’t have a care in the world. After sending the telegram, he paid extra to have the answer rushed to him as soon as it arrived. With his errands completed, he found his horse and rode back to Lancer.
It took him a while to catch up with his brother as they had moved the small herd to a creek at the far end of the pasture. Johnny and the crew noticed Scott arrive.
“Johnny, could I talk to you for a moment … in private?”
“Sure,” Johnny answered as he turned Barranca toward the trees away from the the ranch hands.
When Scott reached the trees, he dismounted and started pacing.
“Oh, it’s one of those conversations, Scott.” Johnny dismounted and strolled over to his anxious brother. “What have you done?” he asked trying to lighten the mood.
“It’s Angela,” Scott sighed. “Jake has started hurting her – ”
“I’ll take care of it,” Johnny interrupted.
“No, no, listen. Angela has family in Sacramento and I agreed to help her get to them. I’ve been meeting with her to come up with a plan, but I need your assistance. We’re waiting for a response from her Aunt and Uncle. When they’re ready for her, I’d … I’d like you to take her … go with her … for protection. It can’t be me, in case Jake finds out, I might need to distract him. I can give you time to get away.”
“Scott, I’m not sure this is such a good idea. Maybe we should talk it over with Murdoch. She could come stay at Lancer.”
“No, she ‘s embarrassed and she doesn’t want anyone to know. Besides, he could come and take her back. Just do this for me, brother.” Scott’s eyes pleaded with Johnny.
“OK, but I don’t like it.”
“Thanks, brother. I guess we’d better get to work and earn our keep.”
“We’d better get to work? I have been working.” Johnny smiled at Scott as he mounted and rode back to the herd.
At dinner that night, the conversation centered on the ranch until Teresa decided to change the subject.
“So, Scott, who’s the new lady in your life?”
Scott froze with a fork of mashed potatoes halfway to his mouth. “What are you talking about?”
“Well, the shirt I washed today had a nice perfume scent to it. I just wanted to know who she is.”
Before Scott could come up with an answer, Johnny jumped into the conversation.
“Teresa, that’s my fault. When Scott and I went into town, I sprayed some perfume on him while we were picking up the supplies.”
Scott looked at his brother with gratitude. He owed Johnny one.
“Oh, the scent smelled similar to when you were seeing Angela.”
Scott had just taken a sip of water and almost spewed it, finally coughing on it instead.
“Are you all right, son?”
Scott nodded, but refused to make eye contact with anyone.
Murdoch returned the conversation back to his favorite topic, Lancer ranch business.
Scott didn’t think dinner would ever be finished. He wolfed down the apple pie before asking to be excused.
“What’s your hurry, Scott?” Murdoch asked.
“I just remembered I left something in my … saddle bags.” Scott quickly walked away from the table and out the door. He didn’t like keeping things from his family, but it couldn’t be helped.
Scott stayed in the barn, pacing back and forth. He thought through the logistics of getting Angela to her Aunt and Uncle’s. Should they take the stage all the way to Sacramento, or take a carriage to Cross Creek and catch the train from there? Maybe they should … Scott, startled by a noise, lost his train of thought.
Johnny came to check on his big brother. Johnny rightfully assumed Scott had been thinking about Angela’s troubles. “Scott, you don’t need to worry about how I’ll get Angela to Sacramento. I’ll take care of it. I’ve just got a question, though. Why do you think she asked you to help?”
“I guess because she trusts me.” The look on Johnny’s face said he didn’t buy that. “Why do you think she asked?”
“Well, I kinda wondered if she still has feelings for ya. I mean, you two were seeing each other pretty regular and then you weren’t. You know what ‘they’ say, brother?”
“No, brother, what do ‘they’ say?” Scott gritted his teeth, trying hard to hide the frustration in his voice.
“They say Angela married Jake on the rebound to get over you. Maybe she’d doing this to try to win you back?”
Scott stood there fuming. He couldn’t deny he still had some feelings for her, but he’d never break up a marriage. “Johnny do you want to back out of helping?”
“No, Scott, I’m just ‘enlightening’ ya. Giving you something to think about.”
Like I don’t have enough to think about, thought Scott.
Two excruciatingly long weeks had gone by since Scott sent the telegram. He sneaked over to the Thompkins’ ranch to check on Angela each week. She hadn’t been physically injured by her husband again, but Scott overheard Jake yelling at her while waiting in the trees behind the place.
Angela, visibly shaken by the argument, felt calmed by Scott’s arrival. “Angela, you’ve got to hang on. It shouldn’t be much longer. As soon as we hear from your Aunt and Uncle, Johnny’s going to be taking you to your family.”
“Scott, I want you to take me.” Angela sniffled and looked longingly at him.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate for us to go off together.” Scott explained. Angela understood but felt disappointed by Scott’s remark. “Besides, if Jake finds out about it, he’ll come looking for me. I can distract him so you can get away. Do you think your family can keep you safe from Jake?”
“Yes, Uncle Morgan can keep me safe. He used to be a deputy sheriff before he got injured and still has friends who are lawmen. Now, he owns a mercantile and is well respected in Sacramento.”
Scott felt relieved by her answer. “I’ll be back next week to check on you, if we haven’t gotten an answer to the telegram before then.” Angela went to hug him goodbye, but he backed away from her and slipped out the back door. He looked around the yard making sure there wasn’t anyone around, as he ran to his horse and sped away.
Scott had barely been gone when Jake stomped back into the house. Angela screamed as her husband entered the home.
“What’re you yelling about?” Jake shook his wife to get her to stop.
“I … I … you scared me. I didn’t expect you back.”
“I forgot my lunch. What’ve you been doing? This kitchen is a mess. Get to work!” Jake didn’t wait for her to answer simply turned and walked back to the door. “Get this house cleaned before I get home!”
Angela collapsed in tears into a chair at the kitchen table. She didn’t know how much longer she could hold out.
When Scott arrived home that evening, he had his right hand wrapped in a bloody bandage. Teresa, stirring a pot at the stove, turned to see him unwrapping it at the kitchen table.
“Do you want the long or short version?” Scott groaned.
“Short.” Teresa answered as she brought a bowl of water and a cake of soap over to the table.
“I helped get the wagon unstuck and my hand got caught between it and some rocks.”
“Any broken bones?” Teresa tried to touch his hand, but he pulled it away. She pushed the bowl in front of him.
“No. Ouch. I don’t think so.” He dunked his injured hand into the water carefully rinsing the blood off it.
“Did you have your gloves on?”
Scott tilted his head and stared at Teresa. This was beginning to feel like the Spanish Inquisition and Johnny had already told him he should’ve been wearing his gloves.
“I took them off to reach into a narrow space under the wagon before we moved it and didn’t have time to get them back on.” Scott waited for her reprimand, but it never came.
“Well, it doesn’t look like you need any stitches. Clean it up good with soap and I’ll bandage it.”
Murdoch walked in during the end of their conversation. He pulled Scott’s hand from the water to get a better look. Scott grimaced and held back a groan. Murdoch whistled at the damaged appendage. “Looks like your hand is going to be out of commission for a few days. Do you need Sam to look at it?”
Scott shook his head. “It’s just bruised – ”
“And mangled.” Teresa interjected.
Murdoch dropped a telegram on the table. “This got delivered today. Frankie said you asked him to bring it here as soon as it came in. Anything I should know about? Please tell me your Grandfather isn’t coming for another visit.”
“Oh, no, it’s just something I’m helping a friend with.”
“All right. Since you’re going to be a hand down, you can help me with the books tomorrow.” Murdoch knew something must be up, but hoped that Scott would decide to let him in on whatever it could be. He hoped he could get Scott to talk while they worked on the paper work tomorrow.
“Yes, sir.” Scott wanted Johnny to get home soon so they could finalize plans. “I’m going to go get cleaned up.” He took the steps two-at-a-time in a rush to read the telegram in the privacy of his bedroom.
Morro Coyo, CA
Angela welcome any time <stop>
Back home from buying trip <stop>
When to expect her <stop>
Why did you send telegram <stop>
Mr. and Mrs. Thompkins
Once Johnny and Angela were safely away, Scott could send a reply telegram. He’d need to think for awhile about what to say in that message. He didn’t get a chance to talk to Johnny before dinner as the younger brother barely arrived in time, racing in the door after everyone was already seated.
“Your timing is perfect, young man.” Murdoch murmured.
“Well, I wish those stupid cattle would work on our time schedule.”
Another enjoyable dinner, although Scott thought it went on far too long. At the first chance he got after dinner, he needed to ask Johnny up to his bedroom to discuss the telegram and the plans.
“Johnny could you help me bring out the dessert?”
“Sure, Teresa.” Johnny couldn’t remember Teresa asking for help before.
Once they were in the kitchen, Teresa started asking questions. “OK, what’s going on with Scott?”
“What do ya mean?”
“I’ve washed two more shirts that smelled like perfume. I remember I’ve smelled that scent before. And today he got a secret telegram.”
Johnny thought for a moment. “Scott’ll tell ya when he’s ready.” He hugged the girl before answering, “Don’t worry, he’s all right. Now hand me the dessert to carry.”
Teresa handed him the berry cobbler while she carried the pitcher of cream.
“Johnny, could you come help me move some furniture in my room, since I hurt my hand?” It’s the best Scott could come up with on short notice.
“Sure, Scott.” That reason sounded lame to Johnny, but no one questioned them.
Scott and Johnny excused themselves as soon as they’d finished dessert and scurried up to Scott’s bedroom.
Murdoch moved into the Great Room to sit on the couch. He sat and thought about what he knew. Teresa had talked to him about the ‘perfumed’ shirts, Cipriano had let it slip that Scott had been gone a lot, and now the telegram. Now, somehow Johnny had gotten involved, too. Murdoch didn’t like his train of thought. Tomorrow he’d get to the bottom of it.
After breakfast, Murdoch went to meet with Cipriano to give the ranch hands their work assignments. Before he could meet Scott at his desk, Jelly strolled up to Murdoch.
“Hey Boss, could I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure, Jelly, what do you need?”
“Well, I just thought you might wanna know what’s being said around town about your son.”
“Jelly, I don’t need to hear any gossip about Johnny.”
“No, boss, it’s about Scott.”
“Yeah, he’s been spotted sneaking around town, in alleys, and spending time at the telegraph office a lot. Someone even said they seen him sneaking out the back of Baldermaro’s place.”
Murdoch thought about all the ‘evidence’ and vowed to speak to his eldest as soon as possible. “Thank you, Jelly. I’ll take care of it.”
“You know I don’t like to spread rumors, but I just thought you ought to know.”
Murdoch shook his head as he patted the handyman on the shoulder before striding back into the house. By the time he made it to the Great Room, Scott already sat in the wing-back blue chair near the massive desk.
“I don’t know how much help I’ll be today, since I can’t write with my hand bandaged.” Scott smiled. He enjoyed an occasional day off from the rigors of the ranch.
Murdoch handed his son a stack of bills, receipts, and correspondence. “You could organize these by categories for me to enter in the ledgers, then check over the books afterwards for any mistakes.”
Scott accepted his assignment and started making stacks on the side table.
“Scott, you know you can talk to me if you’ve got a problem.” Murdoch thought that would be a safe way to begin the conversation.
The blond nodded, concentrating on his sorting.
“And, ah, I’ve heard that people have seen you spending some extra time in Morro Coyo. Now, I know you’re getting your work done, but what’s going on? Hanging around the telegraph office, getting secret telegrams. Does this involve Harlan?”
“No, it has nothing to do with my Grandfather.” Again, Murdoch automatically thinks the worst.
“Scott.” Murdoch waited until Scott looked at him. “Is it a woman you’re seeing?” Murdoch didn’t want to think of Scott seeing a woman in secret, sneaking around, but the evidence supported that.
Scott swallowed and looked down before answering. He finally made eye contact and decided to come clean. “I don’t know what you’ve heard, but … I’m helping Angela.” Scott studied his father’s expression but couldn’t determine his thoughts. Why had he felt the need to hide this from his father. Murdoch waited patiently for his son to continue. “She wants to leave Jake because he’s becoming abusive to her and she’s worried about her baby.” Murdoch’s eyebrow went up, but he remained silent waiting for Scott to continue.
“I sent a telegram to her family in Sacramento for her. I’ve finally heard back, so Johnny’s going to take her to her family. They’re leaving tomorrow after Jake leaves for work. Then, I’ll go into Morro Coyo to send a telegram to her Aunt and Uncle. I’m really sorry I kept this from you, Angela felt embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know.” Scott waited for his father to say something.
Murdoch thought through his response carefully before answering. “I wouldn’t have handled it this way, but since it’s all set up I’ll back you. I know legally the law can’t do anything to Jake until they’re divorced, but it’s always good to have them on your side. Next time – ”
“There won’t be a next time.” Scott interrupted.
“Next time, let the law know what’s going on. We could’ve protected the woman here ’til her family could come and get her. When you’re in town, let the sheriff know what’s going on, please.”
“Yes, sir.” Scott nodded. He should’ve talked it over with Murdoch.
The next morning, Scott hid in the trees of the Thompkins Ranch waiting for Jake to leave. Then, he rode back to get Johnny who had been waiting with a horse and carriage. Johnny raced to picked up Angela. He drove the carriage around the back and sneaked up to the house. Angela came from the bedroom and screamed when she saw Johnny standing in the kitchen.
“Is it time?” Angela stood shaking and hugging herself.
Johnny took her by the hand. “Yes. Let’s go.”
“Wait, I need to pack some things.”
“Angela, we need to leave… now.”
“I have some of my parents belongings that I’m not leaving behind.”
“OK, but make it fast.”
Angela rushed around collecting pictures, the family bible, her parents wedding-ring quilt, and some clothes. She stuffed it into two carpet bags. Johnny finally stopped pacing when she came into the kitchen. He took the bags from her and ushered her to the waiting carriage. Since she’d taken so much time, he decided to drive them straight to Cross Creek to catch the train, instead of waiting for the noon stage in Morro Coyo.
Meanwhile, Scott rode to Morro Coyo to send her family the telegram. Everything seemed to be going according to their plan, except Jake came home and found things missing from the house, including Angela. He immediately saddled a fresh horse and sped to Morro Coyo hoping to get there before the stage left.
Scott got to the telegraph office, but found the door locked. Scott didn’t know where William, the telegrapher, lived. He didn’t know if he’s just running late, out delivering a telegram, or why the office hadn’t been opened at this late hour. Scott decided he’d have a beer while he waited for the office to open, then he’d stop by and see the sheriff. If he needed to, he could always ride to the telegraph office in Green River.
Jake got to the stage depot before noon, but nobody had purchased any tickets for the next stage. The angry husband stood with his hands on his hips looking around the town. He strode over to the telegraph office and rattled the locked door. Then, he stomped angrily to the saloon for a beer. As he entered, he noticed Scott leaning against the bar and Jake saw red!
“Lancer! Where’s my wife?!” Jake stormed over and grabbed Scott by the arms, shaking him. Scott shook off the angry husband’s hands and took a step back to give himself space.
“I don’t know where Angela is.” Scott thought, technically I didn’t lie.
“You’ve been nosing around my wife. I’ve heard people talking. What’d you do with her?” Jake advanced on Scott again, but this time his hand rested on his Colt.
“Maybe you should think about how you treated Angela,” Scott countered.
The bartender decided now would be a good time to find the sheriff. He slipped out the back door and ran to the jail where he found the sheriff cleaning a lamp with newspaper. “Sheriff, you need to get over to the saloon. Jake and Scott are gonna get into it.” The two gentlemen took off to the saloon at a quick pace.
“What I do with my wife is none of your business.” Jake poked Scott in the chest. “You didn’t want her, so you should’ve stayed away. I know you talked her into leaving me.”
Jake grabbed Scott and shoved him into a table. Scott came up swinging, hitting Jake in the chin with his bandaged right hand. The blond screamed in pain grabbing his hand as the angry husband hit the floor.
The bartender followed the sheriff into the saloon.
“What’s goin’ on here?” The sheriff asked as he helped Jake off the floor.
“Lancer, here, kidnapped my wife!”
“What?!” The bartender and sheriff barked in disbelief.
“No, I didn’t. She wanted to leave him and I just … helped her get to her family.” Scott admitted as he sat down on the table, still cradling his hand.
“See, I told you. Lancer’s involved. Sheriff I want you to lock him up!”
“On what charge?”
“He stole my wife! Lancer kidnapped her!” Jake started rambling. “He took her away from me. He … he wanted Angela, but I took her away from him. She chose me not you, Lancer. I married her, so he stole her from me, but Lancer doesn’t deserve her.”
Scott looked up from studying his hand, which he knew had to be broken, and glared at Jake. “No, you didn’t deserve Angela. You hurt her and now she’s scared of you. She left because she didn’t want you to harm her baby.” Scott walked toward the doors to exit the saloon.
The sheriff looked from Jake then back to Scott. He didn’t know what to do.
Scott stopped at the end of the bar and turned toward Jake. “You were never good enough for Angela, anyway.” Then, he turned to leave.
A shot rang out and Scott hit the floor.
Johnny and Angela made it to the train station in Cross Creek with an hour to spare.
“Is someone going to meet you at the Sacramento station?” Johnny asked.
“Well, Scott’s sending a telegram to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Morgan to let them know I’m on my way, so I guess they’ll be there.” Angela answered.
“Why don’t you send them one with the train’s arrival time and number.” Johnny suggested. He handed her some money for the telegram while he went into the depot to purchase her ticket. As he stood on the depot porch waiting for her to return, he reconsidered about putting her on the train alone. The trip would take a day and a half to get to Sacramento. Decision made, he returned to the depot to buy himself a ticket.
Johnny and Angela sat on a bench talking quietly. The long day finally caught up with her. She yawned and leaned her head against Johnny’s shoulder.
The train arrived on time and the two found a bench in the last car. By the time the train departed, Angela had fallen asleep. They looked like a couple to the other passengers. With all the stops along the way, the trip felt longer than a day and a half. They felt dirty, tired, and ready to be off the moving train. The couple stood together outside of the Sacramento train depot waiting for someone to claim Angela.
An older man limped over to the couple. “Angela?” Uncle Morgan asked the young woman.
“Uncle Morgan?” Angela rushed into his arms. “I’m so happy to see you.”
“Your Aunt Mary has been so looking forward to your visit. Thank you for sending the telegram letting me know when to meet you. Do you have any luggage?”
Johnny handed Angela’s bags to her uncle.
“Oh, this is Johnny Lancer, Scott’s brother. He’s been sweet enough to stay with me. His brother is the one that sent you the telegrams.” Angela gushed.
“Nice to meet you, Johnny. Do you have a place to stay tonight? You’re welcome to stay with us, if you’d like.” Morgan offered.
“Thanks, but I’m taking the evening train back to Cross Creek. Angela, I hope you find happiness here.” Angela hugged him goodbye before she turned to leave with her uncle.
Johnny entered the depot office and purchased his return trip ticket. With time to kill, he found the location of the telegraph office. He sent a telegram to Scott to let him know Angela had met her relatives safely. Then he went back to the depot, found a quiet corner, and waited for his train.
William, the telegrapher, knocked on the hotel room door. Murdoch answered on the second knock.
“Mr. Lancer, I wanted to bring this telegram right over. Johnny sent it for Scott.”
“Thank you, William.” Murdoch handed him a coin.
“How is Scott feeling?”
“Better. I think Sam will let us take him home tomorrow.”
“That’s good news.” William waved as he left to return to the telegraph office.
Murdoch closed the door and walked over to the bed where Scott lay. “Johnny sent you a telegram. Do you feel up to reading it or would you like me to read it to you?”
Scott, lying on his stomach in the bed, looked up at his father. “You can read it.”
Morro Coyo, CA
Package delivered to family <stop>
No problems <stop>
Returning to Cross Creek tomorrow afternoon <stop>
You owe me <stop>
“I wonder if he’ll get home before me?” Scott commented.
“Sam’s coming by this afternoon to check your … injury. I think he’ll let you go home tomorrow. You just get some sleep for now.”
“All right.” Scott laid his head down and closed his eyes.
Scott felt like he’d just dozed off when Sam woke him. Sam tried to carefully removed the bandage off Scott’s backside. The patient hissed as part of the bandage stuck to him.
“Murdoch, could you bring me that basin of water. I’m going to need to soak this bandage off.”
Scott sighed. Of all the places to be shot, his butt never crossed his mind. It could’ve been worse. If the sheriff hadn’t spoiled Jake’s aim, he might’ve been hit in the back.
“By the way, Murdoch, what’s happened to Jake?” Sam asked as he inspected Scott’s wound.
“Well, since Scott didn’t get seriously injured, (Scott sighed and rolled his eyes) we decided not to press charges if he left Angela alone.” Murdoch explained, Sam nodded, and Scott groaned.
Sam cleaned the injured tissue and applied salve before re-bandaging it. “Scott, relax, don’t flex while I’m bandaging your … backside. I need it to fit … naturally, not too tight. There. Scott, your scar will barely be noticeable … I mean it’ll look just like a dimple.”
“Thanks.” Scott felt the blush rising on his cheeks. “Sam, when can I go home?”
“Tomorrow, in a wagon, otherwise you’ll need to wait a few days if you want to ride sitting up.”
Scott thought through his options before answering the doctor. “All right, tomorrow in a wagon.”
“Good. I’ll stop by in the morning for one last check before you go home.” Sam patted Scott on the shoulder before getting up to leave.”
Murdoch walked his friend to the door. “Thanks, Sam.”
Murdoch had barely closed the door, before Scott asked his most pressing question. “Do we need to tell Johnny what really happened?”
“That’s up to you, Scott. Although, I’m not sure how you’re going to hide it.” Murdoch tried to hide his smile, but his injured son could hear it in his voice.
“What about Jelly and Teresa?” Scott hated to ask these questions, trying to avoid as much embarrassment as possible.
“If you don’t want to tell them, we don’t have to, but someone besides me has to be able to change your dressings every day or so if I’m not available. And you certainly can’t do it.”
Not only did Scott’s face pink, but his ears started to turn red when he thought of Teresa or Jelly changing the bandage on his butt. “You’re really enjoying yourself, aren’t you, sir?”
“Well, it’s not every day you get a frantic rider coming to the house exclaiming ‘Scott’s been shot’ with no further information. I don’t mind telling you how much it scared me. So, letting you squirm a little bit is my way of returning the favor.”
“Don’t worry, Scott, no one will see your backside … well, unless you want them too.” Murdoch added.
Again, the injured young man shook his head before laying it down on his pillow. He moved his broken hand to a more comfortable position before he sighed and closed his eyes.
“Goodnight, Scott.” Murdoch whispered as he turned down the lamps.
Arriving home late in the afternoon, Johnny tiredly drove the carriage to the front of the house. Juan came out of the barn to take care of the horses. Johnny thanked the ranch hand and strolled to the front door. After entering the house, Johnny hung his hat on the rack followed by his gun belt.
“Johnny, welcome home. How did the trip go?” Murdoch warmly welcomed his youngest.
“Fine. Real nice folks the Thompkins. I think Angela will like it there.” Johnny poured himself a shot of whiskey and threw it back. He glanced around the room before asking, “Where’s Scott?”
“Well, he’s feeling a little under the weather, so he’s in bed.” Murdoch explained.
“He felt fine when I left. When did he get sick?”
“Not long after you left.”
“What’s he got? Did his cold come back?” What Johnny really wanted to know is whether Scott had something he could catch.
Murdoch paused to think before he answered. “It’s not contagious, but he’ll need bed rest for few more days, then he’ll be up and around. He did break his hand after all, so he won’t be doing any manual labor.”
“Broke his hand. What happened? What aren’t you telling me?” Johnny didn’t feel satisfied with Murdoch’s answers.
Murdoch refused to look Johnny in the eye. Finally, he gave in and said, “Go see your brother.”
Johnny decided to go directly to the source. He took the stairs two-at-a-time and opened Scott’s bedroom door in a rush. He found Scott resting on his right side facing away from the door.
“Hey, Scott, how ya feeling?”
Scott started to roll over toward his brother, but thought better of it. “Johnny, welcome back!” he announced over his shoulder. “Would you mind coming over to the other side of the bed so I can see you?”
“Sure.” Johnny answered, but before he could ask any more questions Scott interrupted.
“How did it go? Any problems?”
“Nope, no problems.” Again Johnny started to formulate questions, but Scott asked questions quicker.
“What are Angela’s Aunt and Uncle like?”
“Nice people. Angela is going to do well there. Why are you lying on your side?” Johnny finally got his question asked.
“Well … I … I have a little injury.” Scott explained.
Johnny waited for more of an explanation, but none came, so he asked another question. “How were you hurt and what did you injure?”
“What did Murdoch tell you?” Scott asked trying to delay the inevitable.
“He said you were ‘a little under the weather.’ Come on, Scott, level with me. What happened?”
Scott tried to shift away from Johnny and groaned, grabbing at his back in pain.
“Damn it, Scott, talk to me.”
“Jelly and Teresa don’t even know. Only Murdoch. It’s a little embarrassing, so you can’t tell anyone.”
Now Johnny’s interests were piqued. “Go on. What happened?”
“Could I have a glass of water?” Scott stalled.
Johnny poured a glass of water for his injured brother and handed it to him. He watched Scott drink it all before handing the empty glass back to Johnny to set on the bedside table. Playing with the conchos on the side of his pants, Johnny waited for Scott to explain.
“Well, when you left with Angela, I went into town to send a telegram to her family.” Scott paused and Johnny nodded. “The telegraph office wasn’t open, so I decided to go to the saloon and have a drink while I waited. Oh, and I let Murdoch in on what we planned.”
“I figured that, since he asked me how my trip went. So, how did you get hurt?”
“Jake must have found Angela gone, because he showed up at the saloon. We had a little altercation and I broke my hand.”
“That explains your hand, but what about your back?”
“The sheriff broke up the fight and, well, when I went to leave, I said something Jake didn’t like, so he shot me.”
Johnny suddenly felt bad for how he’d been pushing Scott for answers. “Is Jake in jail?”
“No, because I wasn’t seriously injured.”
“Scott, am I missing something? He shot you in the back.”
Now, Johnny wanted to see Scott’s back. He started to pull Scott’s quilt and sheet down, but the blond held onto the bed clothes.
“Johnny wait. Let me explain. Jake pulled his gun to shoot, but the sheriff managed to deflect it. It just grazed my … lower back.” Johnny looked skeptical, so Scott added, “I needed stitches, though.”
Johnny thought for a moment. “So why aren’t you telling Jelly and Teresa?” Johnny looked at Scott’s face as it started to turn pink. The realization hit him and he smiled. “It’s in a rather embarrassing location, huh?”
“Oh, this will be good. Scott, you already owe me one for taking Angela to Sacramento. You’ll owe me for doing your work while you’re laid up. And I’m sure you don’t want me to tell anyone about your delicate condition. This is going to require some thinking to decide how you’re going to pay me back.”
Scott shook his head, knowing how his brother would milk this for all its worth. Maybe it would be easier to tell Jelly and Teresa. I might get some sympathy from her, Scott thought.
“Scott, you did a good thing helping Angela get away from Jake.”
Scott felt surprised by Johnny’s change of mood.
“I guess I’ll keep your secret, ’cause when a Knight in Shining Armor gets butt-shot helping a fair lady, he deserves a break from his brother.
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7 thoughts on “Knight In Shining Armor by Patricia G”
I enjoyed this knight in shinning armor story. Best of all, both brothers were involved. It’s fun to see them work together. Good story.
I love the story.it made my day. Thank for writing it.
Rita, thank you for your encouragement. You made my day!
I like this story veru much : Scott and Johnny always there to help poeple. Thank you.
Great story. Thanks you.
A very good story idea. Nice to see the Lancers in shining armor!
I think Scott is a born knight in shining armor. And so is Johnny. Thank you for sharing this true to life story with us.