Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/949311-Old-Friends
by Harry
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Friendship · #949311
A storoem about friendship in the old West.
Jake and Jim first met at the old trading post.
Each had come to sell his furs, have some fun.
They became fast friends while drinking most
of the whiskey around. Finally the liquor won.

Then they spent three days together sobering up.
They made a pact to do their trapping together
that year. One year became a permanent hookup.
Many a time each took a risk to help out the other.

They traveled far and wide, learning the ways
of the West. They treated Indians with respect and
gained respect in return. Finally the glory days
of trapping ended, and then things got out of hand.

The Army arrived, building forts on Indian land.
Settlers poured in, fencing and farming what had
been open prairie. Blatant lies by the white man
forced the Indians to the warpath. It was a sad

situation for the Indians, the West, and for Jake
and Jim, who reluctantly became Army scouts.
Several times Jake saved Jim’s life. He’d take
such outrageous risks that Jim had his doubts

if Jake cared if he lived or died. This changed
when Jake met Martha, a young woman headed
west with her family. Jake quickly was deranged
with love for Martha. Soon he had her wedded.

Jake left the scouts and settled down as a cattle
rancher. Jim headed for the high country. During
the next few years, Jake and Martha had to battle
weather and rustlers, but their place was prospering.

Once in a long while, Jim would drop by for a meal
or to recover from a wound. Soon he began to think
of Martha and the babies as family. Jim had no real
kinfolk, so he reckoned these would do. With a wink,

he’d tell Martha he would be her husband if ever she
got tired of old Jake. Jake knew Jim would be there
if ever really needed to help the family out … you see,
Jim and Jake were true friends, loyal beyond compare.

The day came when the Indians made one last uprising.
Jake and family made a run for the fort. Halfway there
they came to a narrow pass, with the Indians riding
hard behind them. “I’ve got to make a stand somewhere,”

Jake told Martha. “I’ll hold them off while you get to the
fort with the children.” “Jake, I’ll never see you alive again!”
Martha cried. Just then in rode Jim. “ Jake, you need to be
with your family.” Jake argued, but gave in to his friend.

As they rode away toward safety, Jim waited to begin
his last fight. Jim smiled. “I owe you this one, old friend.”

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