by DiVoran Lites
After putting the ranch to bed, Aldon arrived at his loft sanctuary and stretched on the cot in a state of annoyance. Sunday was the one day in the week when he let up on the ranch work. Half the afternoon, though, he had sat at the table listening to what was called conversation. The other half had passed showing Enrico the ranch. The man wanted to know how to run it and the worth of it. You’d have thought Signor’s grandson planned to inherit it.
Too bad we couldn’t have started Ellie’s riding lessons today, he thought. And then, oh, well, no use crying over spilt milk. As Ma says, “it has enough water in it already.”
He picked up the Bible from his bedside table and opened it to the Psalms. Lately, he had come to believe that the Master spoke to him whenever he read David’s words.
Soon he laid down the Bible, checked the level of kerosene in the lamp, and propped his back against the wall. Holding a lined tablet propped against his drawn up knees he started writing to his surviving brother.
It’s Sunday and the chores are done. I’m sleeping in the loft these days because the house is filling up with people. I sleep fine until the new cockerel starts in. Mother named him Chanticleer the Twenty-Fifth. He practices crowing anytime of the night or day. Howling Coyotes set him off and at three-thirty in the morning, he has to notify us that the train is arriving in the valley. He must think the headlight is the sun. I recollect when your voice was changing. We never knew if it would come out deep or squeaky. Sorry we gave you a bad time, brother. Paul’s and my voices changed too, we should have been more understanding.
How are you doing in Hollywoodland? We would like to see you. Don’t see much of Ma, either.
Pastor Rudd has been encouraging us to read the Bible. I think it’s helping me get over the war some. I lost many friends, but it was better for us fliers than for the men in the trenches, by far.
I’m beginning to believe that praying is going to help us know what to do about the possibility of losing the ranch. I sure would hate to see that happen after our dad and granddad kept it going so long, with us in mind. Right now, I can’t see how we’d get along without Signor Solano’s lease money, but sometimes he talks about going back to Italy. If he does that before we get a plan, we’re sunk.
The Appaloosa is fine, thanks for asking. I named him Chief. He’s got all the colors, white, russet, black, and some sorrel. He’s a beauty of a mustang. There’s a few more up there I’m interested in, too. They are wild and they belong to anybody who can catch them. The winters are hard on them and we can give them a good home or maybe sell some. Come on home and help me bring them in
Remember I told you about the young woman who was coming to work here? I picked her up at the train station about suppertime yesterday. Her name is Miss Elizabeth Morgan. I’m thinking on asking her to take Cookie’s place on the cattle drive. After all, she came west to have some adventures.
Write and tell me about your stunt job and the horses in your remuda. I’m glad you got away for a while. You don’t have any broken bones yet, do you? I’m sure you’re their best rider. I’d put you up against anyone when it comes to horses. Tell us when you star in a moving picture show and we’ll go to town and see it.
Say, Bill, have you come across any of those flappers yet? The reason I ask is that I’m trying to figure out if Miss Morgan might be one. Mother always told us to stay away from women who bob their hair and wear lipstick and Miss Morgan does both. She’s independent, too like you hear about women being these days.
Miss Morgan says she’s a mechanician. I call it mechanic. She wants to work on the automobiles. It makes her mad that I don’t take her serious. I heard about those ambulance drivers and the women in America who did all kinds of driving during the war. That was fine, but I’ve never yet met a woman who could clean spark plugs, change oil, or patch tires, nor one who’d want to.
I’m going to teach her to shoot and fish. Do you think she ought to use the Sharpe’s or the Remington? No question which fishing rod she’ll use, yours, of course, if it’s okay?
Oops. The barn cat leaped up to see what I was doing and to rub her cheek on the end of my pencil. She can’t stay long, as she has four kittens to feed, so I stopped to pet her for a bit. Her purr is so loud it sounds like a tractor starting up.
We brought a colored woman and her granddaughter home from town. She was Cookie Fisher’s wife. You remember how he called our cattle drive his vacation. I don’t feel like writing about what happened to him, now, but I’ll tell you later.
Best Regards, from
Your brother, Aldon