Word Count 7,406
I do not own Lancer, nor any of the characters of the tv show. I do, sometimes, take the boys out for a run around the ranch. The characters of my making cannot be used without permission. This story will have an NC-17 rating, for language.
As the brothers rode under the arch, neither looked back. Scott figured the old man went back in to be with his whore. He held his anger down, so Johnny wouldn’t ask questions again. He didn’t have any answers for his little brother. It was enough that he’d seen them in the Great Room.
Aggie was all over Murdoch, and he sure as hell was no slouch in touching her. Before he left the foyer, he could have sworn he heard soft sighs. That’s what really pissed him off, hearing the soft sighs. Like the couldn’t even careless that the boys were leaving.
As they rode out towards Morro Coyo, Johnny looked like he was gonna pass out. He was leaning in his saddle, but he knew Barranca would adjust for his wobbly Master.
” Johnny, you okay Brother?”
” Yeah, just a little tired Scott.”
By the time they reached the edge of town, Scott practically had Johnny in front of him. He knew by the way Johnny wasn’t putting up any fight, that he did in fact, pass out.
Scott’s right arm was killing him trying to keep Johnny in his saddle. Thank God, Sam’s tiny office was on this end of town.
When they got to Sam’s office, Scott had to take a minute to figure out how he was gonna get Johnny off his horse, without having him in a heap on the ground.
He knew Barranca and Charlie wound hold their positions, so Scott swung his left leg over the horse’s head and slid slowly to the ground, all the while keeping Johnny in the saddle.
He took a few minutes to get his balance, and then very gently slid his brother off into his arms. Even tho Johnny was smaller than Scott, he was stockier and Scott puffed off a breath.
” Jesus Brother, you weigh a lot!”
He was sure if he had heard him, he would have laughed.
He carried him to the door and knocked by kicking with his boot. When Sam finally came to the door, he exclaimed, “God Almighty Scott! What’s that boy doing out of bed!? He only came out of the coma a day and a half ago!”
As they walked to the back where the exam room was, Scott said, “Couldn’t be helped Sam. Umm, a few things happened and Johnny said he needed to leave before he shot someone.”
As Sam put the light on, Scott gently laid his brother on the table. Sam checked him out and said, ” He’s only sleeping Scott. Let’s let him sleep. I want to talk to you, out of ear shot with your brother.”
They went into Sam’s tiny kitchen, and he poured cups of coffee.
” Okay, explain to me why that boy is out of his bed, riding into town, and not taking it easy? Dammit Scott! He only woke up a day and a half! What the hell was so all fired important that you boys left Lancer?!”
Scott lowered his eyes and he softly said, ” It was the old man and Aggie. They were acting like teenagers, screwing for hours at a time. Not once did either of them see to Johnny. When you were looking for them, and you said his door was locked, they were in there fucking like rabbits!!”
Sam’s eyes got huge at the language Scott just used.
” They came downstairs four hours after Johnny woke up, arm in arm. Aggie’s hair was anything but in a neat hairdo like she wears. Even when I told them they were acting irresponsible, Murdoch said what he did in his own room in his own house was his business only. We got into a shouting match and I guess Johnny heard. He got dressed, well in a shirt and pants, and he had his gun around his hips. I told the old man go tell his ill son why he hadn’t come to see him and that was when Johnny said he had to leave before he shot someone.”
Sam sat and absorbed all Scott had told him. Scott saw how angry Sam was becoming, which was very out of character for the mild mannered Doctor.
” Dam that man! How could he act like that!? And Agatha, I would have thought she had a little more class than to bed a man while his son was so sick.”
Scott sat back in his chair and said, ” We packed up a few things Sam. I don’t think Johnny wants to to back to Lancer either. You should have seen the hurt look on his face when he heard the old man. It almost broke my heart Sam. When he began to sway in the saddle, I knew I had to get him here.”
Sam sat for a minute and then he said, ” Well, at least you got him here. Just let him sleep for now Scott. I have a little message for Murdoch Lancer, that I’ve been thinking on for awhile, and now seems like the time to say it.”
Scott saw how angry Sam was becoming, and he feared the old Doctor would have a heart attack. But as Sam bustled about in the kitchen, he spoke up again.
” Mrs Miller, from the Mercantile, will be here around noon. Have her make John some broth. He’s not to leave that bed until I come back. You look like you need to sleep as well Scott. There’s a cot you can pull into the exam room to be near Johnny. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Scott walked him thru the office and noticed he automatically picked up his old battered black bag. He stood on the porch and watched Sam as he walked to the livery. Twenty minutes later, Scott saw the little brown mare pulling the Doctor’s carriage. Sam did not wave as he passed Scott on the porch. Scott did see a look on Sam’s face he hadn’t ever seen before. Anger and maybe even a little hate.
Scott turned and went to sit with his brother. He refilled his cup and walked into the exam room. Johnny was still sleeping. Scott smiled as he heard the soft snores coming from his brother. He pulled the sheet up higher on his brother’s exhausted body and sat in a chair by his side.
He stretched his long legs out and drank his coffee. Checking on his sleeping sibling a few times. Then finally falling asleep in the hard chair he was in.
About an hour later, Johnny’s sapphire eyes opened and he softly said, ” Hey Boston, where are we?”
Scott instantly opened his eyes and he leaned forward in the chair. A gentle smile came to his face, as he saw that his brother’s previously pale complexion was gone. It wasn’t the rich bronze colored skin, but it wasn’t the ashy pale grey it was.
” At Sam’s. He wants you to rest until becomes back.”
Johnny’s eyes squinted slightly and he said, ” Back from where?”
The older brother swallowed hard and debated if he should tell Johnny. Then his good sense won out. He wasn’t going to start keeping secrets from his little brother.
” He went to Lancer. I told him what had happened Johnny, and he was pretty pissed off.”
Johnny’s sad smile came to his lips, but he said, ” Would have liked to have seen that. Sam is usually so easy going.”
” He was fit to be tied Brother. I’ve never seen him so angry. Hope he is okay when he gets there. “
Johnny got quiet again and when Scott looked at him, he saw he was asleep once again. He adjusted the sheet over his brother and softly said, ” Probably the best thing for you little Brother.”
Sam’s buggy was coming into the courtyard of Lancer. Jelly came out and asked, ” Have you seen the boys Doc?”
” Yes, they are at my office. I’m here to have a few words with Murdoch, not that it will do any good.”
Jelly reached up and took the bridle of the little mare and Sam said, “Leave her in her harness Jelly, I’m not going to be here long. Give her some oats and water, and I’ll be right back.”
Sam stormed to the front door and didn’t even knock. He opened the door and was greeted by the site of Murdoch and Aggie, on the couch, she was sitting on his lap, straddling his thighs.
As he stood in the doorway, his anger once again rising to a dangerous level. He took in what he was seeing. Aggie’s shirt was unbuttoned and Murdoch had his hands on her breasts. Agatha head was tilted back and she was softly moaning.
” Murdoch! I want a word with you! NOW!!”
As Murdoch turned to look at Sam, he noticed the old man’s eyes were glassy, as they would get when in the midst of ecstasy.
” Sam, what are you doing here?”
” I want a word with you and then I’m leaving.”
Aggie slid slowly off his lap and buttoned up her shirt. ” Hello Sam, how nice to see you again.”
Sam barely acknowledged her and turned stormy brown eyes to Murdoch.
” What is wrong with you!? You waited so long for your boys to come home. The moment you have a woman caring for you, you forget all about your son. A son, I might add, was in a coma for four days. I wasn’t sure he’d make it, to be real honest. His brother and Maria were the only ones taking care of him. When I went looking for you, to tell you about Johnny, I found your door locked. I just found out from your oldest son, what you and Agatha were doing. It was a disgusting display of not giving a God damn for your very ill son. You both should be ashamed of yourselves!”
As Murdoch started to get ready to speak, Sam put his hand up and said, with a rising anger, ” No, you are listening Murdoch! You have instilled in both your sons, but especially your youngest, a feeling of not ever being able to feel wanted in his own home. He ro¡de to Morro Coyo, a day and a half after waking from a four day coma. That boy should never have been out of bed, much less on the back of a damn horse! He told Scott he had to leave before he shot someone. That’s how hurt he was. He couldn’t think of anything to hold him to Lancer any longer. I don’t think they will come back to Lancer, and quite frankly I don’t blame them. You both were and are sorry excuses for a father and a friend of these boys. They are better off not coming back. And just as an added piece of information, I am no longer your family Doctor. I’ll treat your ranch hands if they come to my office. But I will never again set foot on Lancer property. The same goes for your ranch Agatha. “
He slammed his hat back on his head and without another word, he turned and stormed out the door. Jelly was just bringing his carriage up to the door.
” Doc, are them boys really okay?”
” As much as they can be Jelly. Johnny isn’t out of the woods yet, and they both will be staying at my house, at least until they figure out what they are going to do.”
Jelly looked like he was going to cry, but he stood tall and said, ” You tell them boys if they need anything to get word to me.”
Sam patted Jelly’s arm and said that he would tell the brothers. He got into the carriage and turned the little mare to head back to town.
As Sam headed back to town, he started talking, to himself. “God damn irresponsible man! How many years did I listen to his crying and moaning about his sons being gone. Well, I guess Johnny and Scott had ten years of living at Lancer, but I doubt it was really pleasant for John. That damn Scot just never accepted Madrid, and the fact he looks just like his mother probably pissed the old man off too! Wonder if he had these kind of thoughts about Scott. After all, his perfect Catherine died giving Scott life. So I’m sure Murdoch harbored some hate for Scott as well. But nothing like he does for Johnny. Those boys should have left years ago.”
Sam kept this one sided ranting going until he got to Morro Coyo and the livery. He grabbed his bag and walked very slowly back to his office.
He was pleased the brothers were still there. He found Scott in the room Johnny was in. He was also pleased to see that Johnny was indeed resting.
” Did Mrs Miller make you some broth John?”
” Yep. Was pretty good too, but don’t ever tell Maria I said that.”
Johnny suddenly got quiet and Sam quietly said, ” John? Is something troubling you?”
Johnny’s eyes locked on his brother’s eyes and Scott lowered his head. Johnny sighed gently and Sam could just tell. The brothers had been talking about him going to Lancer.
” How did it go, at Lancer, I mean Sam? Scott said you were furious when you left.”
Sam chuckled and sat on a swivel stool. ” Yes, I was furious John. For that man to have treated you like you didn’t matter, well that infuriated me. I listened to his crying and moaning about you boys being gone. Then when one of you boys is really sick, as in life and death sick, and he decided to take someone to bed and ignore you boys. Someone, who I might add, is not related to you boys. I went to the ranch and told Murdoch and Agatha both that I’d no longer be their family Doctor. I’d treat the ranch hands only if they came to my office.”
Scott leaned forward in the chair he was in and Johnny’s sapphire eyes sparkled for the first time in a month.
” You really told him that Sam?”
” Yes, I certainly did. I’d had it with the way he always treated you like dirt beneath his boots John. Then on my ride to the ranch, I thought about something else that reared it’s ugly head.”
Scott suddenly looked rather interested in the conversation, and he said, with a bit of a gleam in his silver blue eyes.
” What else were you bothered by Sam?”
” If he could treat Johnny as he had been, even if it was under the cover of a caring father, what’s to say he didn’t hold animosity towards you Scott.”
” Against me? Why Sam?”
” You were born and your mother died giving you life. I’m sure if he can hold it against Johnny for what Maria did, he can hold it against you for taking his precious Catherine away.”
The brothers looked at Sam and then at each other. Neither of them had ever thought along those lines. Johnny mostly thought it was the fact he was Johnny Madrid that the old man couldn’t handle.
But to think he could hold anger towards his precious son, just floored both the brothers.
” What did he say when you told him that Sam?”
” What could he say. I basically told him he was listening, not talking.”
Scott’s head lowered and Johnny could tell his brother was kinda hurt with just the idea that his father could blame him for his mother dying when he was born.
Johnny leaned forward a little and his hand touched his brother’s forearm. ” Don’t you even go there Boston. You know it wasn’t your fault she died. This is his problem, not your’s!”
” I know, but it still kinda bothers me that he could maybe even think that.
Both Johnny and Sam heard the hurt in Scott’s voice. It angered Sam and he spoke up.
” Scott! I don’t want you thinking like that! Your old man is thinking only of himself and his needs and wants. He doesn’t care who he hurts at this point. You and Johnny are better off not going back to the ranch. He’d only make you more and more miserable!”
” I know Sam. I know Johnny doesn’t want to go back. He’s always known how the old man felt about his past and him being Johnny Madrid. You should have seen his face Sam, when he found out what they’d been doing while he laid between life and death!”
All the time Scott was talking, Sam saw Johnny’s head lower to his chest. He hated when the both of them did that. Johnny did it a lot, even when he wasn’t hurt.
Sam realized, that when Johnny lowered his head, it only made what the old man did even worse in the old Doctor’s mind.
Damn! That man could infuriate a preacher! How he’s made Johnny and now Scott, feel as tho everything is their fault.
When in fact, Murdoch Lancer and now Agatha Conway, were the ones causing the brothers this unease.
” When Johnny gets stronger, I really think you boys should leave and never return to Lancer. It will only be more of the same. You guys deserve better than how he’s treating you.”
Scott suddenly got this very determined look on his face and he slowly stood up. He headed towards the door and then turned around.
” Brother, do you think you have enough energy to walk to the bank?”
Johnny had this perplexed look on his face.
” The bank? What did?”
Scott had this very sly and sinister look on his face, as he began to tell Johnny and Sam the plan he just thought of.
” How do you think we can get back at the old man for everything he’s done to us? You hit him where it counts. No one knows we are here at Sam’s house. I’m thinking, why don’t we take two thirds of the ranch account balance and close out our personal accounts. We stay here at Sam’s and wait for him to come into town to find out why all his ranch bills are not being paid.”
He watched the gleam of the devil suddenly spark up in his little brother’s eyes.
” That’s perfect Boston! We can hide Barranca and Charlie in Sam’s barn behind the office. Maybe get a hotel room, with a view of the street. I’ll be resting still, and watch as the old man’s head explodes. When he goes to ask Sam, maybe you can tell him we left on the stage. That would be perfect Scott!”
Sam was sitting and listening to the brothers, and he added his two cents into the conversation.
” I think that’s a perfect plan Scott. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”
Scott helped Johnny to sit up and then come off the exam table. It took him a couple minutes to gather his balance.
As they got ready to leave, Scott said, ” While we are at the bank, can you take the horses to the barn. Don’t worry about their tack, we’ll take care of that when we come back.”
Sam had an evil grin come to his lips and he said, ” I hope I can see the mighty Murdoch Lancer brought down a couple notches.”
The boys left the tiny office and walked to the bank. As they stood on the line, they began to talk.
” We get the money and then go to the hotel and get a room. You can rest up there and we won’t be seen. We can have Sam come every day or so to check on you, to make sure you are healing up from that coma. We can have Mrs Palmer send up meals to our room everyday. Maybe tell her not to tell anyone, even old man Lancer, that we are there.”
Johnny smiled that sly wolfish smile he usually reserved for his whores. But seeing as he hasn’t been with any women in a long while, he uses it for the plan he and Scott are planning on perpetuating on their so called father.
When it was the brothers turn at the counter, Scott said they needed to withdraw twenty-six thousand dollars from the ranch account and that they were closing their personal accounts as well.
The tiny clerk behind the iron bars knew the boys and he slid a withdrawal slip in front of Scott…..he filled it out. Then they both signed to close out their accounts.
The boys also told the clerk not to tell anyone they made such a huge withdrawal, or it would cause the crazies to try and kill them to get the money. The clerk smiled and said he’d keep quiet.
Next, the boys went to the hotel and got a room overlooking the street. Scott put all their money into his saddle bags, which he laid on the table in the room.
Johnny laid on one of the beds and Scott noticed he was rather pale.
” You better rest for awhile Johnny. I’ll go tell Sam where we are, check on the horses and get something for dinner. You stay in that bed until I come back.”
Softly, Johnny said he would and took his boots off and unbuckled his gun belt. He hung the belt on the headboard, but slid the Colt under his pillow. He closed his eyes and was asleep before Scott closed the door.
As he rested, it was anything but a calming rest. His mind began to whirl with all that he’d learned in the last couple of days.
Johnny kind of knew how the old man hated his past and especially that he had to become Johnny Madrid to survive. He even caught the old man, on several occasions, reading all the Pinkerton reports over. At that time, he didn’t think anything of it. Now he knew just how he felt about Johnny. And even Scott it seemed.
Scott, meanwhile, had gone to Sam’s office and talked with Sam. He told him the room they were in, how much money they took from the ranch account for ten years of busting their asses working for a man who evidently didn’t give a damn about either son, but especially Johnny.
” I just don’t understand how the old man could treat Johnny like that, like he didn’t matter and he screwing Aggie was more important to him than his own son being so ill.”
” Scott, he was more than just ill, he was between life and death. I worried he wouldn’t wake up. I was so relieved when he did. I’m just sorry it was to find out how his father and even Agatha really felt.”
Scott saw the anger once again flair up in Sam’s brown eyes, and decided he’d let Sam cool down, and went out to deal with the horses.
He opened the door of the barn, and saw both horses had the tack and saddles off, were in two very nice stalls with oats, water and fluffy straw beds to sleep on.
Scott chuckled and patted each horse and told them he’d see them in the morning. He shut the barn door and slid the wooden length into the slats to keep the door shut.
He walked back into Sam’s tiny kitchen, and softly thanked him for what he did with the horses.
” I’m surprised Barranca let you even lead him to the barn, much less take his saddle off him.
Sam chuckled loudly and said, ” I told him he better behave, or I was gonna tell Johnny he was misbehaving!”
Scott laughed with the kindly Doctor and then said, ” Maybe, before you close up for the day, you could come over to the hotel and check Johnny.”
” Oh, what’s wrong with Johnny?”
” Well, we only went to the bank, got the money and went to the hotel. He was really pale and was asleep before I even got the door shut. I think he overdid it again. But I’d feel better if you would check him out Sam.”
” Sure Scott. Let me just grab my bag.”
Together they walked to the hotel. When they got to the room, Johnny was softly snoring. He was on his stomach, his hand under the pillow.
Gently, Scott called to Johnny and he woke up quickly, the Colt in his hand aimed at Sam and his brother.
“Whoa! Brother, it’s me and Sam!”
Johnny lowered the gun and turned over and swung his legs to the floor.
” I’m sorry, I heard you open the door, but until you said my name, I wasn’t sure who it was.”
As Johnny sat on the edge of the bed, Sam came over and sat next to him. He put his battered black bag on the bed behind Johnny.
As he looked closely at Johnny, he quietly said, ” You feel okay John? I’m asking because you look pale again. Scott said you fell asleep before he even left the room, and he’s been gone almost an hour now.”
” I slept for an hour? It sure don’t feel like it. I feel more tired than before I laid down.”
” Okay, lay down.”
As Johnny pulled his legs back onto the bed, Sam stood up and pulled some instruments out of his bag. He once again gave Johnny a pretty thorough exam.
When he was done, he had Johnny sit up. His color looked better, but it still wasn’t that rich bronze color. But it also wasn’t ghostly pale either.
Scott sat in a chair by Johnny’s bed and said, ” Okay, is he gonna be okay Sam?”
” Well, I can tell you that Johnny was not ready to even get up from his bed at Lancer, much less ride all the way here and be moving around again.”
” So, what do we do now Sam?”
Sam put his instruments back in the bag, and then removed his glasses. He was taking so long, that Johnny was suddenly impatient.
Scott and Sam both chuckled at Johnny’s evident impatience. But he put his glasses back on and took on the look of a serious doctor.
” Yes, well John. The fact you got up from your bed so soon after regaining consciousness, riding all the way here and being pretty much in an agitated state since. It seems your system has not fully healed.”
He held up his hand, as both Scott and Johnny opened their mouths to say something.
” However, I want you to rest in this room. Just rest. No going to tend to that spoiled horse of your’s, no going to the saloon for a quick game of cards and definitely NO women!”
Scott had all he could do not to laugh with that last one, especially when he saw his little brother”s face fall.
” I mean it John. You need to regroup your system and stay calm and stress free. Or I will sedate your ass and you can remain unconscious until you are stronger. It’s your choice Johnny.”
Sighing, Johnny turned sapphire eyes to his brother and then back to Sam.
” Okay, I promise to not move from this bed, until you say I’m strong enough Sam.”
” Scott, could you go to the mercantile and get me a book or two to read, so I’m doing something other than just laying here?”
” Sure Johnny, I can do that for you tomorrow.”
The brothers and Sam talked for a while longer, and as it was getting dark, Sam decided to go and let the boys eat and then get some rest.
Before he left the room, Sam turned to Johnny and said, “Heed my words John. I will knock you out if you so much as open this door. Do I make myself clear?”
” Yes Sam, I hear you.”
After Sam left, Scott left to go get something for them to eat, and to make future arrangements with Mrs Palmer to have three meals a day delivered for them.
As Scott was leaving, Johnny said, ” Don’t forget to tell her to not tell the old man we are here. “
Scott smiled that indulgent smile older brothers use on their younger siblings, when said sibling was being a pest.
Scott pointed to the bed and Johnny got in the bed and leaned up against the pillows on his bed and waited for something to eat. His belly was rumbling up a storm.
About half an hour later, Scott came upstairs with two trays of food. He watched Johnny’s eyes sparkle as he saw the large piece of chocolate cake on one of the trays.
Scott put the trays on the table and Johnny sat at in the chair that the piece of cake was at. They ate and talked quietly among themselves.
After they were done, Scott piled the trays and plates and put them by the door. Then he turned to his brother and pulled a deck of cards from his shirt pocket.
” We can play for points and then settle up when we are done with all this, or we can use the money from our bank accounts. But I think we shouldn’t touch that, we’ll need all we have to get out of this town and start new somewhere else.”
” Points it is.” Johnny sat at the table and still tasted the cake in his mouth. As he watched Scott pull open the drawer of a stand and found a pad and a pencil.
They played poker for a few hours, and Johnny started to yawn, so Scott called it quits. Johnny took his clothes off and slid into the bed and the cool soft sheets.
He was going to say something to Scott, and he saw the shit ass eating grin.
Laughing he said, ” You really have rotten luck Johnny. But it’s early, so the totals could change every day. You keep losing and your bank account will be mine.” And he laughed an evil sounding laugh.
Johnny glared a Madrid look and Scott only laughter louder.
“That look doesn’t work on me little Brother.”
The brothers laid awake for a while, listening to the music from down the street. Johnny signed and rolled over and soon was snoring softly.
They were in the hotel room about a week, and Johnny casually asked Scott how he thought it was going with the ranch.
” Oh, any day now Johnny. The end of the month bills are coming due, so he should be coming into town any day now.” Johnny smiled.
Meanwhile, at Lancer, Jelly was laying the mail on the end of Murdoch’s desk. He noticed Agatha was lounging on the couch like the queen of the ranch.
A few people had left Lancer’s employ, including Maria and Cipriano. They told the scruffy little man they couldn’t work for someone who treated his sons like he did. Sons, he waited over twenty years to have back.
Every day, Jelly saw Murdoch and Agatha pawing at each other, for hours at a time. Not once had old man Lancer even asked if Jelly had heard about the boys. Nor had he even gone into town to see if they were there. Jelly didn’t know what was going on, and he hadn’t seen the boys since they left three weeks ago.
Jelly walked outside and was heading to the barn, and he heard the loud bellow coming from the house. He stopped moving and turned when he heard Murdoch on the porch.
Jelly saw Agatha trying to calm him down and all he was doing was yelling to someone to saddle his horse.
Jelly watched him barrel out of the ranch, heading for town. He didn’t even bother to ask Agatha what was wrong. He went into the barn to do his chores.
An hour later, Scott looked out the window when he heard a fast moving horse entering town. He laughed softly and woke Johnny up.
Briefly disoriented, Johnny softly said, ” What’s wrong Boston?”
” The old man just came barreling into town. The fireworks are gonna start in a few minutes little Brother.”
Johnny got up from the bed and sort of swayed, before getting his balance. He pulled on his pants, and a shirt. No boots and he left the shirt unbuttoned.
The brothers moved the night stands from the window, and pulled two chairs over so they could sit and see the show.
They watched as the old man flew into the bank. They could almost imagine him yelling at the bank manager, demanding to know where the money for the ranch went.
The bank manager could find no sign of a withdrawal from the account. He saw two account closings for the Lancer brothers four days earlier, but nothing to say the money was the ranch accounts.
The clerk who waited on the brothers four days ago, had thrown out the withdrawal slip Scott had signed. All that was left was the two slips the brothers had closed their own accounts.
” He sure is taking his time Boston. Maybe he keeled over with a heart attack.”
Scott turned to look at Johnny, to see if he was sure he’d heard him right. The look on Johnny’s face was definitely Madrid, so he wanted something like that to happen. Scott couldn’t say he didn’t blame him for thinking like that. He was sure that even tho Johnny acted like he’d accepted it all, Scott knew he really hadn’t.
After a few more minutes, old man Lancer came barreling out of the bank and made a bee line directly to Sam’s office.
As he banged on the door, Sam finally opened it. He stood there, blocking his entrance.
” What do you want here?”
” Where are those boys?! I want to see them right now Sam!”
Sam got angry and he said, ” First off, don’t come blustering at me. Those boys left your ranch. They came to close out their accounts at the bank and to leave me their horses. They left four days ago on the stage, I don’t know where. I did, however, tell them they were better off away from you and your ranch.
” When are they coming back?!”
” Don’t know, didn’t ask.”
” They cleaned out the ranch bank account and there’s nothing left.”
Sam looked at Murdoch with a look of indifference, but in the inside, the old Doctor was dancing a jig.
” And what do you expect me to do about that! I don’t know anything about that and quite frankly, I don’t think I’d tell you if I did know anything. I have things to do.” And he closed the door in Murdoch Lancers face.
From where the boys sat and watched, they both could see the crestfallen look come to his hardened features.
Under his breath, Scott heard his brother. His voice was hard and when he turned to look, Scott was staring at Johnny Madrid.
” Serves him right. He should know not to fuck with Johnny Madrid. “
Johnny heard a chuckle coming from his brother and he smiled that patented Madrid look.
” Yep, this is what happens when you do. He went to Sam”s. I’m sure when the old man leaves, he’ll come here and tell us what he said.”
Johnny looked out the window, and he saw the old man just standing on the walkway outside Sam’s office. He could see how angry the old man was, and Johnny felt no sympathy for him.
” If he hadn’t decided to wash his hands of me when he had Agatha in his bed, maybe I’d feel sorry for him. But he felt screwing her was more important than knowing if I was going to live or even wake up.”
Scott felt his siblings pain and sorrow at all of this. There was nothing he could do.
The brothers turned back to the window and watched old man Lancer mount up on his horse and cruelly kick the animal into movement. Both brothers flinched at that.
Murdoch stormed out of town, and it wasn’t two minutes later, they saw Sam almost running across the street to the hotel.
A couple minutes later there was a knock on the door. The chuckles went to the door as Scott opened it.
There was Sam, huffing like a steam engine.
” Come in Sam. Sit down, you look like you are gonna fall down.”
Sam saw the smiles on their faces and he said, in between gulps of air, ” Murdoch just left my office and I knew you’d both like to know what went on.”
As Sam sat down on a chair, Scott got him a glass of water.
” Take it easy Sam. Take a couple sips and get your breath.”
The tiny Doctor chuckled and said, ” Oh, I’m okay Scott. Just never moved that quick before.”
Johnny snickered under his breath and immediately sat on the bed, when Sam raised a dark bushy eyebrow at him.
” Okay, so what did old man Lancer have to say Sam?”
” Well, he said the bank had no record of a withdrawal on the ranch account having ever happened.”
Scott and Johnny exchanged looks and Scott said, ” That’s interesting, because I did fill out a withdrawal slip. I told the clerk not to say anything to anyone when we were leaving. Guess he destroyed it.”
” Hope this don’t backfire on us Boston.”
Scott was a bit worried and Sam said, ” Don’t think you boys have to worry. When he came banging on my door, he demanded to see you two. I told him you both took the stage out of town after you closed out your personal banks accounts. I told him I had no idea what to tell him and it really wasn’t any concern of mine. He basically stormed away.
” Yea, we saw him barrel out of town. He even kicked Toby in the sides. Hope he’s okay.”
” He should be Brother. Toby is a good solid horse.”
Scott sat in the other chair and he said, ” So I guess creditors are gonna start knocking on Lancer’s door demanding their money.”
” Yes they are. I imagine he’s going to have to sell the cattle for ready money, and even ask his whore for some. “
Sam watched Johnny. He was very quiet and he said, ” You okay John? You seem very quiet. Are you worried?”
Startled, Johnny said, ” No, he deserved it and more Sam. I’m not sorry we did this. I’m just sorry the ranch hands have to suffer.”
All three of them talked quietly and Johnny and Scott learned that Maria and Cipriano had left.
” They did? What about the ranch hands and Jelly? Are they all still there?”
” As far as I know, John. I wouldn’t worry John. You both are better for leaving. Where do you think you will go from here?”
Scott got very thoughtful and said, ” Probably go up north. Maybe start a horse ranch.”
Sam saw the soft smile that came to Johnny lips and he somehow knew that was what the brothers would do in the end. Sam told Johnny he maybe needed another ten days of rest and then he’d be good to go. Suddenly, a sad look came over his face. Scott was sure he saw tears in those tired brown eyes.
He wiped them away quickly and softly said, ” When you boys leave, I’m gonna miss you both. Will have lots more time not fixing Johnny up every week.”
He tried to laugh and it didn’t come out right. But he did catch the looks between the brothers. They were up to something.
” What if we found a place around here Sam? Maybe not close enough for you to treat us, but close enough we could still visit.”
There was an explosion in Sam’s eyes as he realized the boys would give up so much by staying around Morro Coyo. But he’d take any little contact with these boys, he was rather fond of them both.
Thru the next ten days, Johnny healed and was soon up and walking. He and Scott went to see the horses, and Barranca head butted Johnny four tines. That was the beginning of the boys getting ready to leave Morro Coyo.
They took Sam to a nice dinner at the hotel, to say goodbye. They were almost to their dessert, and the door suddenly flew open.
All three of the men looked up and saw a very disheveled Murdoch Lancer in the doorway. He saw the boys and Sam, and his eyes burned with an anger. He stormed his way to the table, and threw a piece of paper onto the table.
” You want it so bad, here it’s yours!”
He then turned and stumbled his way out and Scott picked up the piece of paper. He read it and Johnny saw a huge smile come to his lips.
” What is it Scott!”
He handed the paper to his brother and said, ” He signed over the ranch to us. Johnny Madrid and Scott Garret. It’s our’s Johnny.”
Sam was amazed and said, ” He didn’t even try to hang onto it. I wonder where he’s gonna go.”
” Probably to Agatha’s ranch. Good riddance.”
They finished their meals and Scott looked at his brother and said softly, ” Let’s go get the horses and go home Johnny. See what’s left.”
They walked to Sam’s house and the boys saddled up their horses and told Sam they’d tell him what was there.
They rode the long winding road carefully, as it was dark. They didn’t want to risk one of the horses being hurt.
As they got to the archway, they saw the house was dark, but a light was on in the bunkhouse. They rode in and were greeted by Jelly.
” They’re gone boys, just up and left. The ranch hands are still here, all the cattle and the horses.”
” He left it all?”
” Seems so Scott. You boys here to stay!”
Johnny could hear the catch in the old wrangler and put his hand on his shoulder gently.
” Yea, he left us the ranch. I thought we’d get here and it would be burned to the ground.”
” Let’s go and get settled Brother. We need to figure out what we are going to do now. “
The brothers took their saddlebags and rifles and went into the dark house. They started the fireplace and lit a lantern or two.
After they got the room warm and bright, Scott went to the bar cart and poured drinks for them both.
Handing one to Johnny, he said, ” Welcome home Brother.”
Johnny smiled and took a big sip of the tequila and said, ” Feels good Boston.”
They talked about what they needed to do come morning, and then went upstairs to their rooms. Saying good night to each other, they went into their rooms.
Johnny sat on his bed and lit the lamp. Looking around, his heart began to beat with joy and excitement at being home at Lancer.
Home, this was where they both belonged. They’d make a go of it and they’d be successful.
One more day in their lives was beginning……a day to be proud of.
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