Beyond the Western
The forest trail took the young man to the edge of a grassy field where several cows were standing under a large oak tree. They paid little attention to the stranger who sat himself down on a nearby boulder.
He dropped his pack and laid his rifle next to him. It felt good to get the weight off. Across the field stood a small, well kept cabin, a large barn and a corral which held two horses. One of them nickered as it looked in his direction. “Good ol’ Sal, I figured you’d be dead and gone by now,” he thought.
It was late morning. The day was turning sunny after a cool morning rain. A light wisp of smoke wound its way out of the cabin’s chimney. Out front a man could be seen chopping wood. The man had been lost in his own thoughts as he worked, but the nickering horse put him on alert.
The young man’s name was Russell. The ranch he was watching was his home. The man was his father. Russell had left four years ago at the age of sixteen. His father had wanted him to stay on and help with running the ranch.
Russell wanted to see what lay beyond the bull shit and barbed wire. His father had a hired man to help out. Russell knew things would be just fine without him. So against his fathers wishes, he left.
His mother took it hard, and even though it didn’t show, his father took it harder.
Russell headed East toward the Carolina’s with no real plan in mind.
He had a talent for writing which landed him a newspaper job in a small but growing town. They paid a decent wage as he honed his talent. He spent little and managed his money well.
Russell loved the newspaper business, but home was always tugging at his heart. It never let up. He knew some day he would return. The question was when.
It was early Summer when he took his leave from the paper.
He hopped a train to a town near the ranch and then walked the last ten miles. Those miles were easier than the final two hundred yards he still needed to go. As he sat on his rock, the sound of wood being chopped came to a stop. He was now the one being watched.
Thomas paid heed to the horses incessant nickering. He scouted the landscape in the direction of its gaze where he caught the image of a man sitting on the far side of the field. He walked into the house.
“Stay inside until I get back,” he ordered his wife, Rebecca.
“What’s going on?” She inquired.
“Someone’s up along the treeline watching the house. I’m going to find out what the hell they want. Stay put.”
Thomas grabbed his rifle and headed for the door. He strutted across the field as Rebecca watched from the window.
As Thomas drew close, the man stood up. Rebecca saw Thomas drop his rifle as the two men embraced.
She hitched up her dress and ran out toward the two men. Russell had been heavy on her mind lately. She didn’t need to guess. She knew exactly who it was.
© Copyright 2020 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.