Chapter 2 of a western family in the 1850's. Strong family ties, and lots of action.
| CHAPTER 2
Jasen rode Lucky back into Ikeville he wanted to see what was happening in town; hopefully he could get some information about what was going on. He went to the stables and hollered, but he never saw anyone. From somewhere up in the loft he heard someone yell, “dog-gone it can’t anybody work around here, just release him in the corral with the others.” Jasen unfastened his saddle and laid the saddle on one of the rails. He patted Lucky’s neck and led him into the corral and then slipped off the reins.
When he turned around he saw an elderly man who looked like he was in his 60’s and he had old faded coverall’s on. The old man weathered face told the story of too much sun and sand that came from the dust storms and him gathering the stock to bring them to safety. He looked very tired and his small frame was bent with age.
The old caretaker asked, “Does your horse need a rub down?” and he quickly added “I’ll feed him some oats too if that is what you want.”
Jasen said, “oats will be fine, but if you try to touch him, he will go nuts on you, and your likely to get hurt and for your protection you may want to feed him the oats tied up over a rail and let him come to it.”
Then the old-timer said, “I’ve seen some devils in my day and have seen what they can do to other horses, he ain’t going to hurt the other horses is he?”
Jasen looked over at Lucky and the other horses in the corral, “I don’t think so as long as they leave him alone.”
The old man sighed with relief and blurted out, “ok that will be 25 cents for staying here and 25 cents for the oats and if he stays a period of over a couple hours it will be another 25 cents, I charge a dollar a day for boarding the horse.”
Jasen reached into his pocket and gave the man his 50 cents, then walked out into the street. Jasen was thinking about how he was going to get information since he couldn’t go back into the saloon just yet. Then he thought, yeah I’ll go into Ben’s place he hadn’t been in there yet and a good cup of coffee sounded just what he needed.
Jasen walked into Ben’s Den and sat at a corner table. It was another old habit that kept him alive all these years, this way he could see anyone that was there and anyone else that came in. He saw a pretty young waitress heading toward him smiling she didn’t look over 20-22 years old. She walked up to Jasen and said “what can I get you today sir?”
Jasen smiled and said “coffee will be fine ma’am.” She smiled back at him and said “in the back there is the best hot apple pie, it just came out of the oven, so crisp and tart, and golden brown, and it sure would go good with your coffee. Would you like me to cut you a slice of it?” Jasen replied, “Sure, why not you sure know how to work up a man’s appetite with your description of the food. You should open your own café.” The waitress blushed at his compliment and disappeared through the door.
She brought out Jasen’s apple pie and coffee and then left him to enjoy his food, and started cleaning the tables nearby. What Jasen really wanted was some of Ma’s blackberry dumplings now that was good eating, but this apple pie was very good too, the girl sure knew how to describe things just maybe he should talk to her. When he had finished with his food, she was right there with a refill of hot coffee ready to oblige him with his request.
Jasen said “thank you” and placed his cup under the carafe, when she started to leave Jasen asked her “Hey, what’s your name?” She turned around abruptly and replied, “I’m Virginia Williams, and yours is?”
Jasen said “I’m Jasen Weathers, nice to meet you.” He was looking at her beautiful, shiny black hair, which was put up so she could serve customers. He could tell it was very long because of the width of the bun that she hid under a hairnet. She was very slender and about 5 foot three. Her skin was the color of alabaster; she was way to pale, while her big beautiful eyes were sky blue. You could tell she had some Indian heritage in her.
Virginia sat down in front of Jasen and said “I’ve never seen you here before, are you new to town?”
Jasen smiled at the beauty and thought up a quick reply. “I just got here a couple hours ago, and I met up with some very nice people. They told me they needed help with their crops since they were getting on in age. I think their name is Weathers and since I needed a roof over my head. The timing was right.”
She said “I know what you mean, I took this job to get a roof over my head and how the time flies by. I was kind of hoping to have started my own business by now like a store or something, but I haven’t yet.”
Virginia leaned close to Jasen and said “be careful Mr. Weatherby, I really like the Weathers, but I overheard some people talking about Jack Timberwood and they said he wants that place and sir he is one very dangerous man.” She blushed with her next statement, “I’m so worried about Matt, and could you please watch out for him, we have been kind of seeing each other. And he says that we are going to be together when he has his own place.”
Jasen smiled and said “I know Matt Weathers, and he seems to be a very nice young man, he will be a good man for you.” She smiled shyly and seemed to be day dreaming a little and then she quickly looked at the clock on the wall and said “I must get back to work, thank you, Mr. Weatherby.” She was walking away when she looked back at Jasen and said “I also heard the blacksmith was looking for someone, have you tried there?”
Jasen said “I already took the job with the Weathers; I gave my word that I would help them with their crops.”
She looked down at her hands and said, “Just be careful, Timberwood has a lot of men in his gang.” She quickly went back to cleaning before her boss had a chance to come out.
Jasen looked around the place it was spotless. She would make Matt a good wife. Jasen got up and asked “how much do I owe Miss Williams?”
She said “coffee and the pie are ten cents, and the name is Virginia, since we will see each other at your job.” She grinned. He put a quarter down and said “keep the change.” Her voice followed him out saying “Thank you Mr. Weatherby.” He hollered back “the name is Jasen and your welcome.” Jasen laughed as he was walking down the street.
Jasen started back to the delivery stables when a heavy set man came walking up to Jasen, he was a middle age man seemed to be around forty-five and he had a star on his shirt, he was almost right in front of him and the man was checking him out, but what Jasen was mostly interested in was his guns, they were low and tied for easy access. The Sheriff extended his hand and Jasen shook the man’s hand. “I’m Sheriff Theodore Perry and I want to welcome you to Ikeville.” The man said with a deep gruff voice.
Jasen said “how you doing Sheriff, then the deputy walked up next to the Sheriff and stood beside him.
Sheriff Perry said “A man was killed outside of Old Saloon earlier today. He was killed by a man who fits your description.”
Jasen looked at the Deputy who was nearly as big as himself, he was at least 6’2” and somewhere around 220lbs, seemed to be too muscular to be a Deputy, and his guns too were hung low and tied off for easy access and quickness.
Jasen explained to the Sheriff what had happened earlier and also told him that when he stepped out the door Red was waiting on him and ready for a showdown.
The Sheriff said “Son that ain’t the story I heard from some of the guys in the saloon, Mr. I’m going to need you to drop your guns to the ground.”
Jasen looked at the Sheriff in disbelief and before he could argue with the Sheriff,
Old Man Taylor walked up to the Sheriff. “Sir, that man there, didn’t do nothing wrong. Red was asking for a fight and seems like to me that he bit off more than he could chew.”
The expression on the Sheriffs face told Jasen that he didn’t believe anything that the old man told him. The Sheriff looked at Taylor and said, “Go back inside, I can handle this.”
The Sheriff was thinking he had to put this man away before Jack could find him. Jack would be really upset for the death of his younger brother. He knew Red was a troublemaker, but he still had to show that he was doing something about it.
When a voice came from behind the deputy and said “Sheriff I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here, you heard Old Man Taylor’s story.”
The Sheriff looked to the direction that the voice came from and saw a very familiar man on a big white horse with his Winchester in the air ready to use.
The Sheriff didn’t hide his distaste for this man and said “ok Mr. we’ll be watching you. The sooner you move on the better it will be, that is for your life, Jack Timberwood will be hunting you down.”
Jasen turned around at the familiar voice he heard earlier and was staring at even a bigger man. Six years has gone by and boy has his little brother spread out, he was at least 6 foot 5, maybe even closer to 6 foot 6 and at least 20 lbs heavier, without the deerskin outfit that seemed to be they’re signature. His hair was a lighter shade of brown, and his shoulder length hair, seemed to just fly around the coonskin cap that he had on. Jasen should have known he would come around when he needed him. Many times they have helped each other over the years. Stephen was only 3 years younger than Jasen, but when they both get together they were a bad team to tangle with.
The Sheriff had dismissed himself quickly when he saw Stephen, he didn’t even get the strangers name, but he still felt the pain from the 45 slug that he got from Stephen two years ago. He will never forget that night. It all started over a card game when he accused Stephen of cheating, and that lead to the gunfight. Perry had his other two men planted on each side, but Stephen still ended up shooting him in the leg; he still felt it on wet and cold days. To bad he wasn’t sheriff at that time.
Stephen rode up to Jasen and said “this ain’t the first time I rode in and you’re fixing to get in a gunfight with someone”
Jasen smiled and said “look who’s talking, they were trying to bring me in over a gunfight earlier.”
Stephen said “I heard the whole thing, what bothers me the most is Perry wouldn’t even listen to Old Man Taylor; he still thought you were in the wrong.” Stephen shook his head and was wondering why they would try to blame Jasen. Stephen looked at him and asked his brother. “Jasen didn’t you tell them who you were?”
Jasen said “no I didn’t and I don’t want anyone to know either. I’m fixing to wire Marshal Jones and bring him down here to clear this up; since this is personal for me I’ll let Jones deal with it. It is his territory anyway.”
Stephen said “yeah, I’ll keep quiet for you if that is what you want, I got to go see Travis first and I know Hollom has the telegraph besides I need to clean up.”
Jasen said “you don’t need a shave, I heard Ma say she wanted all her boys together as quick as we can get there, you can bath down the creek after she talks to you about what is going on”
Stephen said “Whatever, I know better Jasen I’ll get ran off for not bathing; I see you’re all cleaned up.” As Stephen was leaving he told Jasen. “Oh by the way, Michael will be in sometime tomorrow, he said he has some unfinished business to attend to first.”
Jasen was following Stephen towards the stables and was left behind. Jasen thought that Stephen would go get a drink first before meeting him at the stable, so he had time.
He arrived at the stable to get Lucky, and Stephen was already there and still reeking, he could just see it now, Jasen sheepishly grinned when Stephen turned his head, and he couldn’t wait to get Stephen over to the house.
Stephen smiled and said “while you were walking to get your horse, I went ahead and got me a beer, boy do you cause trouble. That’s all everyone is talking about in there, about how some stranger gunned down Red.”
Jasen said “yep, he was trying to kill me when I stepped out the door.”
Stephen said “you’re just funning me about the shower and shave ain’t you?”
Jasen said “ok Stephen, go ahead get what I got, I took a shower and shave and Ma slapped me told me I took way to long, I could have done it at the creek.”
Stephen searched out Jasen’s face to see if he was serious. He sure looked serious. Stephen thought for a few minutes then said “let’s go I’ll see what Ma wants and then I’ll go to the creek.”
Jasen was trying his hardest to keep a straight face the whole time they were riding Stephen must have been thinking of something else, because he wasn’t paying attention anymore. Stephen turned and asked Jasen “you remember that little Ramsey girl we both liked when we were younger?”
Jasen said “yeah pretty little thing she really liked me too.”
Stephen looked at Jasen and said “oh please, she liked me not you she thought you was bull headed, she told me that.”
Jasen looked at Stephen and said “she did not, when I stole a kiss from her, she kissed me back.”
Stephen hissed “you’re lying through your teeth, Jasen she kissed me, you warped-minded hillbilly.” A few minutes went by then without a word Stephen lunged at Jasen and caught him right under the chin it lifted Jasen out of the saddle and on to the ground Jasen jumped up and snatched Stephen off the horse and they both rolled on the ground. Both brothers jumped up at cat-like speed and headed towards the other. This time Jasen hit Stephen on the side of the face and down he went. Jasen was in the air jumping at him when the gunshot went off.
Both brothers looked up there sat Ma in a buggy with William. She started hollering and jumping around like an old mad hornet. Ma hollered “You two, right now, get up I just can’t believe you two. When I heard Stephen was on his way here I knew I had to get in this buggy and come look for you. Why? I can’t leave you two alone. Not even for one minute. You all are acting like babies one aggravating the other.”
The two overgrown boys were walking up the hill, both heads down when the brown spoon hit both of them on their heads, then all of the sudden she stopped “my goodness Stephen, you smell like you ain’t bathed in a month.” and she slapped him again this time with her hand.
She said “how dare you come to my house unshaven and not bathed. Where is the respect for your dear old Ma?”
Jasen busted out with laughter, he was laughing so hard at Stephen for getting slapped and the look on Stephen’s face while trying to tell Ma that Jasen told him to bathe later after seeing her. Jasen was rolling on the grass laughing at his brother, when he looked up there stood Ma with the spoon hitting her hand she was waiting on him. Jasen got up and of course Ma retaliated.
William was a lot like Pa he kept quite, especially when Ma was having a major moment like this one. He was so happy Jasen and Stephen was in, he enjoyed seeing them get it and both boys, well grown men now deserved every bit of it.
William was smaller than both in height but not in weight he would outweigh Stephen by 30 lbs. He was the strongest physically and just as deadly with any gun, as these two were.
He like most young boys had wondered off when he was younger to see what was outside of town, then came back after a few years married to a girl named Sharon Taulbee and now they had two boys, Matt and Todd and didn’t live far from Ma and Pa maybe about 2 miles from their farm.
They had a nice little spread Pa gave each one of their children fifty acres. Right now only William and Stuart lived on their land, but each one knew where their land was. Pa and Ma had the most land they still had 150 acres. Five hundred acres really wasn’t considered to be wanted land, but now what Pa had found on it made it worth the most around anywhere in the whole state. Kentucky was a state now it became one in1834.
Ma still was fussing at Stephen and Jasen “no wonder you two never married neither one of you have grown up yet.”
Neither of the men said a word they followed Ma back to the road then on to the house. Ma looked at Stephen and said, “You will get down to the creek before you step foot into my house and clean up.” She then turned her attention to Jasen and said “Jasen, you go cut some firewood, enough to last a while and then get down to the creek yourself and clean up. Because I have a guest coming and you better not be late for dinner.” Both men said “yes ma’am.” They left heading to where they were directed to go. William went back home to tell Sharon about Jasen and Stephen getting into trouble with Ma, and he wanted to leave before she started in on him.