Western Fiction posted August 3, 2017


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Tumbleweed prepares to take Lynda to the dance.

Community Dance Part Two

by c_lucas


TUMBLEWEED
COMMUNITY DANCE
PART TWO
TEXAS
1892
**
ENDING OF LAST STORY: "If that be your plans, I'll have to leave you out here. Don't think I won't notice because Jerry will be taking care of Lynda's dance card."
Pearson chuckled. "Come to think of it, I just might have to send you back here to check on the herd, or have you wear a bandana on your arm."
 
"Them's shooting words, boss."
 
"So they are, when was the last time you out shot me?"
 
"Point well taken. You were a mite younger than Jerry."
 
 
Jerry broke away while Lynda chose her cattle and headed to the ranch. He made note of the different wildflowers in bloom.
** 
Tumbleweed took a sponge bath and dressed in clean clothing. He polished his work boots as best as he could; went to the barn, and cleaned his saddle and accessories. He brushed Paint until the horse’s coat shined. By six o’clock, Tumbleweed was ready to leave. The young man rode slowly to avoid getting Paint’s coat dusty. A big order in the Texas dry plains.
 
Mr. Pearson was leaving the Hotel when Jerry arrived. He pulled a gold Eagle from his pocket and gave it to the surprised rider. “Your hotel room and breakfast are paid for.  t’s a bit late to see Lynda tonight, but the clerk is expecting you. He has a room close to mine and a hot bath is waiting on you. Supper costs thirty-five cents. If you are hungry, the hotel restaurant is opened until ten."
 
“I have Lynda’s candy. I plan to pick enough wildflowers for me and you tomorrow morning. Is the store still open?” Jerry pocketed the coin.
 
“Yes it is, Susan’s father is running it by himself. She will be with me.”
 
“Thank you for advancing me some money…”
 
“It’s not an advance. You are paid up for this month.”
 
 
Mr. Pearson and Jerry departed ways at the General Store. Susan greeted Jerry as she left with his boss.
 
The young man fingered the coin in his pocket, walked into the store, and greeted Mr. Wakefield.
 
“Good Even, sir.”
 
“How have you been, Jerry?" Mr. Wakefield surprised the new customer by shaking hands with him. “What can I do for you, this evening?”
 
“I need some waxed paper and a shallow bucket.”
 
“Why on earth would you be needing them?” Mr. Wakefield scratched his head.
 
“I plan to pick some wildflowers in the morning and I want to keep them fresh, for Miss Susan and Lynda.” Jerry shifted his feet.
 
“You are planning to take Susan and Lynda to the dance? Does your boss know about this?” Mr. Wakefield teased.
 
“No sir. Mr. Pearson will be giving flowers to Miss Susan. I’ll be giving some to Lynda.”
 
“Follow me.” Mr. Wakefield led Jerry to the rear of the stored. He pointed to a display of metal buckets of assorted shapes and sizes. “Take your pick.” The storekeeper grinned.
 
He chose a half gallon bucket. “This should do the trick."
 
“The waxed paper is over there.”  Mr. Wakefield pointed to the back corner of the store.
 
Jerry carried his purchases to the counter. “How much do I owe you?”
 
“The bucket is sixty-five cents and the paper is a nickel. Do you want to put this on your account?”
 
Jerry thought for a moment and nodded. “Do you have any Greeting Cards?”
 
“Over by Ladies Apparel.”
 
The young man studied the small selection. “I know what I want for Lynda and Consuela, but I don’t know what to get for Mr. Pearson.”
 
“I know the one that Susan likes, but I can’t tell you. Watch my hands.”
 
Jerry watched as Mr. Wakefield picked up a card, turned it over and put it back with the other cards. He snatched the card and matching envelope. “Thank you, sir.”
 
“What for?” the storekeeper asked as he picked up a pad and began listing the purchased items.
 
The young man brought the rest of his purchases to the counter and watch Mr. Wakefield list them. The cards were listed as ‘miscellaneous’. 
 
The storekeeper handed him his purchases. “Is there anything else you need?”
 
“Mr. Pearson gave me an Eagle; can you break it up for me?” He handed the coin to Mr. Wakefield.
 
Soon the counter’s surface was covered with coins of different denominations.
 
Jerry pushed a silver dollar toward Mr. Wakefield. “I would like to pay this on my account."
 
 
Tumbleweed dropped his purchases in his room and went to the dining room. He had a late dinner of Beef Stew, Sour Dough Bread, butter and water. He paid the clerk thirty-five cents and left a nickel tip for the waitress. He returned to his room and spied the bathtub full of cooled water.  "I'll take my bath in the morning." He yawned and lay on the bed fully dressed. 
 
The next morning Tumbleweed rose at dawn. Nature called and he hurried to the outhouse. When he finished, he went to the hotel’s Livery and fed Paint a bolt of oats. He patted the horse. “I’ll be back for you later.”
 
Tumbleweed entered the hotel and was surprised to find Texas and some of the boys eating breakfast. He joined them and ordered coffee, bacon, eggs, grits and toast.
 
“Where are you headed so early this morning? You’re not taking Jericho out for another ride, are you?”
 
Tumbleweed and the other cowboys laughed at Texas’ remarks.
 
“I’m going to pick some wildflowers for me and Mr. Pearson. We’ll give them to Lynda and Miss Susan.”
 
“Sounds kind of serious to me,” Dooley commented. “Are you sure the flowers are for Miss Lynda, not Jericho?
 
Tumbleweed finished his breakfast and stood. “I’ll catch up with you boys, later.” He went by his room to get the bucket and dug through his saddlebags. He found his folding knife and put it in his pocket. He threw the saddlebags over his shoulder and left the room unlocked.
 
The young man stopped by the horse trough and filled his bucket half way.  An afterthought caused him to pull a towel from the left saddlebag.  He folded it to fit the bottom of the bucket. It didn’t take long for the towel to soak up most of the water, eliminating the chance of spilling.
 
Tumbleweed wisely left the bucket out of danger while Paint worked out his kinks. Then he used a pigging strip and tied the bucket’s handle to his saddle horn.  He rode into the nearby hills to fulfill his quest.  In less than an hour, he was headed back to the hotel.
 
A group of young riders overtook Tumbleweed when he was about a mile from the hotel. Once they passed him, they reined their horses in and formed a half circle around their victim.
 
“Get off your horse!”  
**
Late Spring Wildflowers of the Texas Plains-color:
http://www.texashighways.com/component/k2/item/7341-wildflowers-of-texas
 
19th century Greeting Cards, color:
 https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=19th%20century%20greeting%20cards&rs=typed
 
 


Recognized


Thank you CammyCards for the use of your image, "Wild! the flowers."

Character List
Jerry Reese aka Tumbleweed. Slender sixteen year old, five-foot-seven inches. Light brown hair, trimmed. Approximately ninety pounds. Hazel eyes. Self-educated.

Jim Pearson, owner of the Sweet Pea Ranch. Five-foot-ten inches, widower. Thirty-three. One hundred and seventy pounds, dark trimmed hair, dark eyes. Dark eyes. 1866>1882-trailed cattle to Kansas

Lynda Ann Pearson- Pearson's daughter, twelve year old-dark haired, blue eyes. Ninety eight pounds.

Sam Wakefield- owner of the Rain Falls General Store. , brown hair with speckles of gray. Full beard, One hundred and sixty pounds, late fifties.

Susan Wakefield, Father is the owner of the General Store. Age twenty. Light brown hair,blue eyes and about one hundred pounds.

Wally Owen- owner of the Rain Falls Livery Late fifties, over weight, but strong, 230 lbs, 5-10.

Jake Horne Foreman of the Sweet Pea. Hefty, five-seven, Late forties. One hundred and ninety pounds, solid muscles.. Gray/black shoulder length hair. Has worked for the Sweet Pea for over twenty-five years. Widower. Rides for the brand.

Consuela House keeper and cook, five foot, three, one hundred and sixty-five pounds- Mexican descent. Early fifties.

Miguel Consuela's husband is the Wrangler. Five foot five, slender, close cropped dark hair and close cropped mustache. Late fifties.

Cowhands:

Texas- aka "Tex." Lean and lanky, late forties>early fifties. Graying hair.

Dooley- lean and lanky-late twenties- Sandy hair - Texas's range partner.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by CammyCards at FanArtReview.com

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