Meryl dropped Jack off at the ranch. Jack was confronted by the three brothers all wanting to know what had happened. Orville was the first to speak and said, “Alright lil’ brother, what’s going on?’
Before he could answer, Vard piped in and said, “What’s that old fool up to now, Jack? The last time we got hooked up with him he left us high and dry at the rodeo at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta. It took us four days of our own money to get back here. Afore he finally sent us the money. I always said the next time we deal with that old coot would be when hell freezes over.”
Jack gave Vard a sour look and then said, “Well then, hell has done froze over,” and then related to the trio the conversation they had with Uncle Wallace. “There won’t be any drawback to this because we will still have possession of the herd. He can pay us and then take the herd to market. So, are there any more questions?”
Everyone kinda looked at the ground and nodded okay and then Jay asked, “When we leaving?”
Jack answered, “You best get your gear together now. We’ll be pulling out first light. Wallace has done sent Willy up there to be our cook. It’ll take us the most part of the day to get loaded and up there.”
First light hit around four thirty. Vard was already up; made a big pot of coffee. He kicked J’s bunk and with his wheeze laugh and said, “Come on little boy; those girls in your dreams is going to have to wait. We have work to do, hee, hee, hee.
Jack had been up before first light. He had the horse trailer hooked up to the old Diamond Reo freight hauler and had loaded the spare horses and all the tack.
Orville was just finishing up cooking breakfast. They all gathered around the table for morning prayer. Orville said, “Lord, we are about to take off on this here trip. We don’t ask much, but to keep us all alive and help us to get that herd back here safely.” He then said, “Good food, good meat, good lord let’s eat. Amen.”
The old truck was built to accommodate four people; one in the driver’s seat, one in the passenger’s seat, and two in the bunk. To help pass the time, the boys broke out their instruments and sang the miles away.
They pulled into Deaver around six pm. The trip wern’t to bad. They only had two flat tires.
(Part 2 page 2)
They got to the Smith place. Cookie must’a had a sixth sense cause he had a pot full of beef stew and a big pan of biscuits.
While they were chowin’ down, Mrs. Smith came down, knocked on the bunk house door and the men stared in silence when they noticed what a beautiful, tall woman she was. She stood about six feet tall with raven black hair and a white lock of hair over her right eye. Her skin had a radiant, healthy glow to it.
“Evenin’ boys, I don’t want to interrupt your dinner, but I just wanted to say how happy I am that you agreed to move these cows back to Thermopolis. It’s been mighty hard on me lettin’ this place go. Mort and I put this place together 52 years ago. Your Uncle Wallace has agreed to let me keep my home, but it will never be the same.”
Jack started to get up. She said, “Don’t get up, I’m heading back to the house. You need to hit the hay; it’ll be morning before you know it. Good night.”
The four of the including Cookie stood up and said, “Good night, mam.”
When morning hit, they wrangled out the herd and set out not knowing what lay ahead.