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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  GENERAL TOPICS  |  Saddlebag Tales (Moderators: Marshal'ette Halloway, Lucky Irish Tom)  |  Topic: The Last Patrol 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Last Patrol  (Read 182417 times)
1stSgt Fritz King
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« on: November 01, 2006, 11:09:21 pm »


"Honey...where's my Colt?"

It was an old game, which Scarlet enjoyed.  She wiped a breakfast dish and set it on the table.

"Where did you leave it?"  She tried not to giggle.

"Under my pillow," Fritz replied.  He was getting a little annoyed.  He knew what was coming.

"Did you look there?" Scarlet said coyly.

"If it was there" he said, "would I have asked where it was?"

In truth, Scarlet knew exactly where the Colt was.  The short-barrelled revolver had become his constant companion.  It went everywhere with him.  She'd managed to sneak it out one night, over to Bill's lab.  He was "refining" it at Scarlet's request, for his birthday.  But she couldn't tell him that.

She set the dishrag down, and walked to the master bedroom.  Scarlet was treated to the view of Fritz' posterior hanging out from under the bed.  He was wearing his union suit and wool socks.  The flap gapped partway open.  She slipped her hand inside, giving him a squeeze.  Fritz reacted by slamming his head into the underside of the bedframe.

"Ouch!"

She couldn't resist now, and began laughing in earnest.  Fritz slid out from under the bed, his chest covered with dust bunnies.  Scarlet laughed harder.

"How can I possibly stay mad at you?" he asked.  Fritz kissed her lips.

"So," he asked, "where's my Colt?"

"Well," she replied, "maybe one of the boys borrowed it."

He got up and got dressed.  "I wish they'd ask me before taking it."  He slid the converted Navy into the flap holster, leaving the other one empty.  Fritz lifted the Berdan from the rack.  Johnny had done a hell of a job.  The wood glistened.  The action had been engraved and gold-filled.  The left side bore their initials in an oval.  He smiled, sliding a cartridge into the breech.

"Where are you off to now, darlin?"

He smiled.  "The range...where else?'     
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1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 10:19:21 pm »

April, 1876...

The crack of the rifle broke the stillness of the morning air.  It was followed closely by a metallic clang as the boiler plate swung on its hinges.  Fritz opened the action.  The Sharps Berdan kicked the empty out sharply.  He reloaded, and put the rifle to shoulder.  A full breath, and let it out slow.  A second breath, let half way out.  His finger pulled the rear trigger, releasing the set.  Focus on the front sight and...

CR-AACK!!!

The bolier plate swung again.  Five shots, five hits.  Fritz stood, picking up his empty cases.

The cairn of boulders was painted white.  A sign on it read "500 yds."  He smiled.

The range was something he'd always wanted.  Fritz felt the Army didn't emphasize shooting as much as it should.  He'd change that, at least for the troopers at the fort. 

Fritz walked over, and slid the Sharps into its scabbard.  Buddy nickerred.  Fritz patted his head.  The second wedding present he'd received.  Two surprises.  One from his father-in-law, one from his wife.  He was truly a lucky man.  Fritz mounted up and rode toward the next cairn, at 300 yards. 

It'd been a year and a half since they'd married.  It was the happiest time of his life.  Fritz never expected to live long enough to get a second chance at life.  He thanked God for it.  Fritz dismounted, drew the rifle and took a knee.  Placing five cartridges in his forward hand, he loaded and fired as quickly as possible.  All were hits.

It was funny.  He could still see out to 800 yards, but had trouble threading a needle.  He needed glasses to read now.  Most days, Fritz woke up hurting.  The wound in his side worked like a barometer.  He knew when the rain and cold came.  And he knew that soon, he'd retire from the Army.  Probably sooner than he thought.

Fritz mounted up, and rode to the 200 yard line.     
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 01:04:18 am »

Scarlet tucked the thick worn leather gloves into her belt and went towards the barn. She was going to ride to the big foaling barn that was at the Southern Starr and check on the mares before working with the younger horses.


The C-C had a nice foaling barn but it was easier to keep all the mares in one place and share the responsibility between everyone.

She was greeted by Lucky’s nicker and the sounds of “mornin’” from a couple of the ranch hands.

“What’s the good news?” She asked with a smile.

“Breakfast was real good and we have two new additions to the herd.” Zeke said with a smile.

The hands usually took breakfast at the Southern Starr with the others or cooked themselves but some days Scarlet cooked for them. She’d forgotten how much she used to enjoy cooking, it was slowly coming back.

“Don’t go gettin’ spoiled on me now.” She smiled back at the man who had been the foreman of the ranch since the place had been built. Then asked excitedly “Who foaled?” 

“I swear I think you prefer foaling season to Christmas.” Zeke laughed.

It was good to have her back home. The men had been nervous when Fritz had bought the place. What would change? Would they still have jobs? As it turned out not only had Fritz managed to bring Scarlet home, he did a right good job of trying to fit in and understand the men who had resided there for years, right down to union suit night.

Union suit night was what the hands had called it when Scarlet had first come to the C-C. If one wanted to be part of their gathering one had to wear a union suit. It had been there attempt to keep the woman out of the bunk house and out of their business. Bo and Scarlet’s late husband, Travis, were somewhat amused by the entire thing. Scarlet never was one to be left behind and they knew it. It had taken her about three months of being stuck in the house while the boys sat out and drank and enjoyed themselves before she had decided to put on her long underwear and join them with her own jar of home brew. She had earned their respect and then their loyalty.

Fritz had earned their respect and friendship when he’d come to live at the Southern Starr. Sitting around the pot belly stove in his union suit with the rest of them and joining in on the conversations had earned the loyalty of the men, although they all wondered what he had really thought the first time he’d walked in and found his new wife sitting around in long underwear with a hand full of cow hands swilling whisky.

“Zeke” Scarlet waved her hand in front of his face. “Where’d ya drift off to? Who foaled?”

He grinned. “Rose’s white mare and our buckskin.”

“Colt filly black buckskin?” Scarlet ran the questions all together in her excitement.
Zeke laughed again. “Well ride on up and see for yourself.”

Scarlet was mounted up and on her way out before his sentence was finished.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 12:13:38 am »

The ride to town was uneventful.  The empty brass clinked inside the old haversack.  There was a full arsenal of Bill's pyrotechnics at the ranch, so Fritz didn't carry any.  It was one of th few pieces of military gear he still carried.  He'd even started wearing the things Scarlet bought for him; clothes he claimed he'd never wear.  But the old black slouch was still perched atop his head.  He'd started using a spare saddle from the barn.  His McClellen was still fine, but he'd learned the hard way it wasn't meant for cow-boying.

Fritz tied up Buddy at the general store.  Buddy nudged his side.  Fritz obliged.  He gave his mount a sugar cube.

"That sweet tooth's not good for you," he said, rubbing the spot between his ears.

Fritz went inside, and noticed Milt behind the counter, reading a newspaper.  The headline read, "Crook's Column Fails!"

He shook his head and whispered, "damned reporters."

They never got it right.  Those boys from back east knew as much about indian fighting as they did about fornicating.  Even those who rode with the column told of the 'grand adventure' they were having.  All thought went back to Custer's Black Hills expedition of '74.  All that popycock...hunting and fishing.

Milt laid down the paper and said "Hello Fritz!  I know why you're here."

"Did it come in yet?"

"Yep," Milt replied.  "Came in last Tuesday." 

It was next to impossible to Surprise Scarlet.  She knew every nook and cranny of the house.  She'd find it.  So this year, he'd use a new tactic.  He'd hide it in plain sight.  The anticipation should drive her crazy.

Milt handed it over.  He checked the weight, and put it to shoulder.  Fritz cycled the action.  "Smooth..."

"It's the first one I've ever seen," Milt said.  How'd you get it?"

"I called in a few favors.  Wrap it up...I'll take it!"  Fritz smiled.  "And don't forget the shells."   
     
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2006, 12:22:51 pm »

The place was buzzing with activity when Scarlet arrived. It usually was, but foaling and calving time made it even more so. She waved to a group of ranch hands headed out to relieve those who had been taking care of the cattle for a few days. Word was they had lost a cow and calf during birthing and there had been sightings of a big cat around the one of the herds. Scarlet had been helping with both horses and cattle, but the horses always were here favorite.

Scarlet slid off of Lucky and let him go in his paddock, then headed for the foaling barn.

She stopped at the white mare’s stall. The mare nickered a greeting. The jet black colt with one white sock ignored Scarlet as he nursed. It was hard to tell at this point if he would stay black or turn grey then white but one thing was for sure he was adorable.

She looked in each stall as she went down the isle; by the signs of the mares there would be two, possibly three more foals born most likely this evening. One of them was the big black and white mare. She was an excellent mother and had beautiful foals, she just didn’t like people in with her or her foals, one had to be cautious around her for the first few months. Some of the mares were that way though.

Scarlet’s grin widened as she looked into the buckskin mare’s stall. The filly was bright eyed and curious but unwilling to leave the protection of her mother’s side to inspect the visitor. Scarlet stepped into the stall and kneeled down. The mare moved forward to take the piece of apple Scarlet offered. Her foal moved to the opposite side of Scarlet and peered under the mare’s belly. The buckskin foal was beautifully marked with dark, heavy stripes on her legs and down her back. Like her mother, she had the tiniest white band on her back foot at the hoof line and the same white band on her opposite front foot. The filly stretched her dark nose out to try and sniff at Scarlet’s outstretched hand. Scarlet could see also like her mother she had the same white facial markings.

“Oh I can just hear the negotiations now on which ones we won’t be selling.” Bo laughed.

Scarlet chuckled at the comment; it was the same every year, which ones they would keep and which ones they would sell.

“I’ve never steered you wrong Bo. That’s why we have quality animals; this one’s going to be a keeper. How’s the project I gave you coming along?”

Bo smiled “I told you it will be ready and perfect on time.” He said as he walked down the breezeway. 
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 11:07:18 pm »

Scarlet closed the stall door and sat against the wall. The noises in the barn had always been relaxing to her. The soft knickers of the mares and foals, the sounds of the hoof beats as the horses went in and out of theirs stalls to their paddocks. 

The mare had turned to face her enjoying the apple treat and the attention, her foal still kept a safe distance but had moved closer to inspect Scarlet.

Scarlet closed her eyes and leaned her head back while she petted the mare’s face, suddenly aware of how tired she was. Between being at the foaling barn and the dreams she was starting to have she had not been sleeping much the last couple of weeks. As far as she knew Fritz was only aware of the one bad dream, which she really couldn’t explain the reason for having.

Fritz reached for Scarlet, opening his eyes when he felt the empty spot where she normally lay. He laid awake waiting for her to come back, knowing this was her night off from foaling barn duties, she’d probably just gone to the outhouse or something.

He jumped from the bed when he heard the clatter from the bath house. Opening the door he saw Scarlet bending down to pick up the mirror she’d dropped.

“Scarlet.” Fritz said softly.

He was taken aback when she turned and faced him. It was a cool night yet she stood drenched in sweat and even in the dim lamp light she was very pale.

“Are you alright?” He said crossing the floor in two long strides.

“Yes.” She whispered.

“What is it?” He asked as he placed his hand gently on her cheek.

Scarlet closed her eyes, comforted by his touch. “Just a bad dream.”

“Tell me.”

Scarlet opened her eyes and looked into his. “It was a dream about when my brother was killed. This time I knew it was going to happen before it did but I still couldn’t stop it.”

He could see the pain in her eyes as she spoke. Fritz wrapped his arms around her and held her close. He knew her brother was shot in front of the Southern Star during the war and from the dates on the head stone the boy had been too young to be a solider. He had waited for Scarlet to say more but she had not. 

Scarlet also had had dreams that were once pleasant memories in her life, but now they left her depressed.

As she sat stroking the mare’s nose she wondered if talking to Fritz would stop the dreams.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2006, 12:47:56 am »

Bill had rigged more bells from the telegraph office before he and Patches had headed East to visit his folks.  Patches seemed to be able to hear the telegraph key from almost anywhere at the Starr, but Ella wanted bells in the infirmary and the kitchen if she was going to be the primary operator for a couple months.  The graphite key was getting as much use again as when she had just started learning the code.

She did have a personal reason to keep a close ear on the key.  The last letter from Alan had said he had completed his studies in Vienna and was making arrangements to travel home.  The next word she expected to get from him should be a telegram announcing his arrival in America, maybe including a date for his arrival in El Paso.

This time the bell summoned her out of Bill's lab, where she was preparing a tincture.  She turned off the heat, and ran to the telegraph office.  The key stopped chattering as she opened the door.   Settling into her chair, she transcribed the message.  It was for Fritz. 

Putting the message in her pocket, she went back to the lab to put the tincture away and take off her apron, then headed for the foaling barn. 
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Elegant Ella
1stSgt Fritz King
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 01:11:18 pm »

Fritz walked to the Marshal's office.  The door was unlocked, the office empty.  'Sleep was either out patrolling, or in with 'Becca.  He smiled.  They both got another shot at happiness, and it was a good one.  He looked over the wanted posters.  Not much was going on, and things were unusually quiet.
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2006, 04:06:10 pm »

Scarlet opened her eyes when she heard Ella’s footsteps coming down the breezeway.
The feel of the soft tiny whiskers on her arm made her smile but she other wise stayed still.

“Ella in here, have you seen her?.” Scarlet said just loud enough for Ella to hear as she came close.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2006, 06:03:27 pm »

"Yes," replied Ella quietly, coming up to the door of the stall.  "I was in here helping when Kitty was born.  Her stripes put me in mind of a tiger-striped kitten, and she is almost as curious."

Ella smiled at the foal, then turned her attention to Scarlet.  "We haven't had any time to sit down together for the past month.  How have you been?"
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2006, 07:09:04 pm »

“Kitty, I like that.” Scarlet said gently touching the foal’s nose.

She looked over at Ella. “Oh you know like every foaling season there is a ton of stuff to do and because I don’t want to miss anything I’m going in ten thousand directions, but other wise things are good.” Scarlet chuckled.  “How about you? I bet you are very excited about Alan coming back.”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2006, 07:32:15 pm »

Ella watched Scarlet closely while she chattered away.  Scarlet's color was off, and something was reminding Ella about how Patches had looked recently.  Ella had loaded Patches down with advice and morning sickness remedies before she and Bill left on their trip. 

"Excited, yes, and scared too," replied Ella.  "We've been apart almost three years.  I've had some bad dreams where he's angry at me for being unwomanly."

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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2006, 10:51:59 pm »

“I can imagine you’re nervous about seeing him after three years, I think anybody would be.” Scarlet said as she stood up slowly so she wouldn’t spook Kitty then moved to the gate and let herself out.

“Unwomanly? I don’t think I understand.”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 01:58:08 am »

"For the past two and a half years, my life has been a little adventurous.  I'm not the demure, quiet housewife he left behind anymore," replied Ella drily.  "I expect we are going to have to go through some readjustments.  He has learned a lot in his studies, but I've learned a lot in practice."

Paper rustled when Ella moved.  She pulled it out of her pocket and handed it to Scarlet.  "I almost forgot.  An official telegram came for Fritz."
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2006, 04:28:37 pm »

Scarlet gave her an understanding look, thinking  little adventurous was a mild statement.

“You have survived what life has thrown at you, and well I might add.” Scarlet said taking the telegram Ella held out.

“You have made opportunities for yourself very few white people could by being allowed to talk to the healers in Black Wolf’s tribe and trading knowledge with them, and anybody else you could learn from. I would think that would be something he would be proud of. I think you will be a great asset to his practice, unless he gets jealous folks would rather see you.” Scarlet grinned trying to get Ella to smile too.

 “You were in the hospitals with him; he knew you studied from your Grammy.   I just hope he likes it here, I would surely miss you.” Scarlet said as they walked.

They reached the corral where the green broke horses stood.   Scarlet looked at them deciding which one she might take on today then glanced back at Ella while she put the paper in her pocket.

“Official telegram huh? Something I should be worried about?”
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2006, 04:56:01 pm »

"I don't know what it means past what the words say.  It's a summons for him to report," replied Ella.  "I've been indoors too much today, and Solomon is due for some training.  How much does he resemble his daddy at this age?  He seems smarter than Ruth was."
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2006, 08:16:24 pm »

As if on cue Solomon whinnied from the corral he had been turned out in for the day with some of the colts his age. Scarlet and Ella turned to see him standing at the fence inquisitively looking at them.

“I think he’s pretty smart Ella.” Scarlet chuckled. “You’ve done a lot of good work with him and he learns quickly much like his daddy. Along with that come the things you probably won’t be excited he learns quickly like untying himself and the entire picket line or how to get in the bag of oats and getting out gates. When you think he is just being nosy he is probably checking out how to do something. He seems willing too, it’s always nice when they enjoy the interaction.”

Ella and Scarlet had stepped over to greet Solomon, who immediately started to sniff at Ella’s pockets for anything that might be tasty.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2006, 10:26:40 pm »

Solomon had good reason to expect something tasty to come out of Ella's pockets.  She pulled out a horse cookie made of oats, molasses and dried fruit to give him, and attached the leading rein. 

"At the rate he's learning, he will know all of the gaits and the voice commands long before he is big enough to ride," she said, opening the gate and leading him out to the ring.   
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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2006, 10:40:58 pm »

"With any luck when you're ready to get on him it will be very uneventful and he will take it in stride like he has everything else." Scarlet leaned on the rail enjoying watching Ella work the colt.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2006, 02:22:37 pm »

Solomon's training sessions were always short.  Being smart didn't increase Solomon's attention span, but just let him get bored quickly.  And a bored Solomon was full of mischief.  Ella tried to finish each session before boredom set in, so that she could reward him for the training. 

After she put him back with the other colts, she walked back to the barn with Scarlet, while an internal debate ran through her head. 

For the sake of privacy, she should let Scarlet keep her pregnancy secret.  However, her medical history gave her a high risk of miscarriage, and Ella knew things that could reduce the risk a little or improve Scarlet's health afterwards.  In any case, Ella wasn't going to raise the subject in the open with risk of eavesdropping.

"Scarlet, could you come over to the infirmary later?"
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2006, 04:16:42 pm »

“Sure.” Scarlet replied not giving it a second thought. It was common she and Ella would sit and visit at times although like Ella said it had been awhile since they visited.

“When will you be there?” Scarlet said the halter and rope off of the peg and sliding it onto the buckskin mare’s head. She opened the door and led the mare into the breezeway giving Kitty her first look at something besides the foaling stall.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2006, 04:40:15 pm »

"I'm heading there after I harvest some things from the herb garden.  I've got tonics to put together before supper," replied Ella.  "Unless another telegram comes in, I'll be there when you are ready to take a break from here."
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2006, 11:40:14 pm »

Scarlet turned Kitty and her mother into one of the corrals then went back to the green broke horses. She untied the chestnut and did some ground work with him before climbing aboard.

The young horse was doing well until they passed the shrub, the noise spooked the horse. He spun to the side his eyes wide, slightly unbalancing Scarlet. The horse reared as the small furry horse eating creature ran at him from under the bush. Scarlet scrambled to regain her balance and control of the horse. When he came down he the horse jerked his head down pulling the reins through her hands than began to buck. Scarlet fought to pull his head up and stop him. Finally the horse came to a stop, both of them taking a deep breath.

Scarlet finished working the horse without further incident. When she stepped off her muscles ached and her hands were sore. Determined she was going to finish her chores before the hot bath that now sounded better than anything else Scarlet rubbed down the horse and put him away then put Kitty and her mother back in their stall.

Scarlet peeled her gloves off as she entered the infirmary mumbling something about rotten squirrels.

“I sure hope you have something to take the sting out.” Scarlet said showing her reddened palms to Ella.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2006, 12:14:51 am »

"Of course I do," replied Ella, pulling a jar off the shelf.  She gently washed and dried Scarlet's hands, then rubbed the ointment into the reddened areas. 

She picked up a few sheets of paper and handed them to Scarlet, "I wrote out a diet and exercise program for you.  You should take a dose of this tonic at noon and at bedtime.  Since this is a high-risk pregnancy, the first priority is to build up your strength." 
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2006, 12:47:44 am »

Scarlet stared blankly at Ella for a moment. She wouldn’t lie to Ella but she was less than thrilled that somebody suspected. Her cycles had not been regular for years; nobody would be able to guess by that. She had hoped she would just quietly miscarry before it became obvious she was with child.

“What makes you think I am pregnant Ella?” She asked uncomfortably.
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"The Scarlet Angel, heaven and hell all rolled into one.... I’d hate to be the one on the hell side.” ~Patches McDuff

"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."  Mark Twain

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