Dad was tired
and feeling a bit down after we got home. I talked him into a
Comfortable hot toddy and to sit by the Christmas tree for a while,
with only the lights from the tree on. It was a crisp evening,
and I made a small fire in the fireplace. We sat together on the
sofa and talked quietly about things. He really liked his new
saddle. He didn’t get me a present this year, but I didn’t say
anything. I wasn't a kid anymore. I was a mature
adult. I was a cowboy. Cowboys are stoic and
forbearing. Receiving presents wasn’t important to me
anymore; after all, it’s the spirit of Christmas that
counts. My joy was in giving to others; and,— if’n you
believe that bullshit, you’ll believe almost anything. Okay,— I
admit it, I was a tad disappointed, but there was always tomorrow at
Dad got up and
walked over to a small built in cabinet between the two large windows
on the side of the house. He reached in and pulled out a small,
nicely wrapped package. He handed it to me and smiled.
be no damn mind reader to tell when my boy’s disappointed ‘cause he
thought his old man forgot him at Christmas.” he laughed at me.
I smiled and
nodded in agreement. The man could read me like a,— no,— he knew
heart like one a them damn children’s books.
“I didn’t put it
under the tree because it’s personal. I wanted it to be between
you’n me, Son. You got another gift from me over to Sid and
“Aww, Dad, you
didn’t have to git me nothing.” I smiled at him.
right!” he laughed, “Go on,— open it!” he commanded.
I tore the
pretty paper off and opened the small box. Inside was a beautiful
gold pocket watch with a long gold chain wrapped in cotton and tissue
paper. It was obviously old and had been used a lot, but it was
beautiful. I flipped it open to look at the ornate hands and
face. Within the lid of the watch was a picture of a beautiful
woman with violet eyes. I knew who she was immediately.
great-granddaddy’s watch, Son. My aunt had it and secretly gave
it to me. She was suppose to give it to my dad, but she never
did. She gave it to me jes’ before I went to Nam, and I carried
it with me while I was over there. I had it fixed and
cleaned. It works perfectly. That’s a picture of yore’
great aunt, Lilly Langtry.”
Dad.” I hugged and kissed him. “Guess you know me pert-damn
well. I’d rather have this than all the new stuff in the
world. Maybe I shouldn’t let granddad see this.”
It was the first
time I said anything about my granddad since I’d been home.
Dad didn’t looked shocked.
“No, if’n he’s
changed, like I been told, he’ll be happy and proud to know I give it
“Do you ever
regret changing our name, Dad?”
“Not for a
minute. I made a decision for me, and my family to protect ‘um,
and I will never go back on it even if my old man’s become a fuck’n
saint. My tombstone will read, ‘Vincent E. Longhorn!’
may be yore’ granddaddy, there ain’t nothing I kin do about that, but
by God, you ain’t no Langtry, neither. You’re a Longhorn.”
gainsay that, Dad, for a minute. I’m proud to be a
Longhorn. ‘At’s what my tombstone will read, too, and if’n
I have kids they’ll all be little Longhorns. I swear to
you.” I laughed.
Dad was getting
tired. I assisted him in the shower and got him into bed. I
returned to the bathroom to clean myself and insert my plug. I
returned to the bedroom, and he was still awake. I crawled up
into his arms and gently kissed him. He didn’t seem too
interested in doing anything, so I didn’t push. Some nights he
just wasn’t in the mood. I think he had a lot on his mind, and I
certainly wasn’t going to complicate matters by demanding sex. I
rolled over and got ready to go to sleep. Suddenly my brain
itched a little.
chu,’ cowboy? >> I asked. I heard a giggle.
Christmas, Casey. I’s jes’ laying here think’n on you. I
didn’t mean to disturb you none. I’s jes’ look’n at my ‘Bubba
Longhorn’ cowboy bear, and I guess I thunk a little too hard about
chu.’ I’m sorry. >>
no need to be sorry, sweet baby buckaroo,— I’s jes’ laying here next to
about to go to sleep. Merry Christmas to you, too, cowboy.
yore’ daddy there with you? >>
he was gonna’ stay all night in the chair again. I done told him
I’d be all right and for him to go get some rest. He’s been
look’n a mite tuckered lately. I guess all this with me’s been
hard on him. I love him, Casey. He’s been so good to me.
<< He’s a
good man, Brent. You’re lucky to have a fine man like Bart for
your daddy. He deserves yore’ love. How you feel’n,
<< A lot
better. I’m stronger than ever before. They got me up
walking the same day I had my operation. I’m up to four times a
day now. They told dad if I keep getting stronger they might
release me next Tuesday. I ain’t sore now or nothing. I
wouldn’t let ‘um gimme’ the last pain medication. I told ‘um I
don’t need it. I ain’t in no pain. >>
cowboy! ‘At’s really great news. I’ll talk with yore’ daddy
tomorrow and see what he says. In the meantime, you take good
care of yore’self and him,— ya’ hear? >>
<< I will,
Casey. Thanks for coming to see us tonight. You don’t know
how much that did for dad and me. I love you,
brother. I love my 'Bubba Longhorn' cowboy
bear, too, Casey. >>
<< I love
you, too, little buddy,— good night. >>
night, Casey. >>
I drifted off
into a deep sleep.
* * * * * * *
Vince lay in his
bed. He could hear Casey’s breathing and knew his boy was
asleep. He thought about popping Casey’s plug out and giving him
a surprise Christmas fuck, but he wasn’t in the mood. That was
rare for Vince. He was always in the mood. He was born in
the mood. Vince decided to let Casey get a good night’s sleep without
disturbing him. The kid was busy all damn day and busted his hump
to make sure everyone had a good time. He couldn’t believe the
present Casey gave Brent. It was so like him to go out and find
just the right gift to give to the boy.
As tired as he
was, Vince couldn’t get to sleep. Pictures kept going around in
his head like he was on a mental merry-go-round, but he couldn’t seem
to get things sorted out. He was confused. He didn’t know
how he felt or what he thought about a lot of things. He hadn’t
felt this frustrated,— yes, that’s the word for it,— frustrated,— since
he came back from Nam. It was uncomfortable for him. He
didn’t want to admit his foundation was shaken by the news of his dad
being a changed man. How could it happen? A leopard never
changes its spots.
He lay there
tossing and turning being careful not to wake, Casey. All of a
sudden he got a whiff of something in the air he hadn’t smelled in
years. His heart leaped to his throat, and his flesh began to
crawl around all over his body like it had a mind of its own.
Even his ghost legs began to itch. He suddenly realized he and
Casey were not alone in his bedroom. He knew the smell that
invaded his senses was meant to trigger a memory. Smells and
odors are the strongest memory inciters in our brains, and this was a
powerful one. He smelled the essence of his little brother, Seth
?” Vince called to his son, loud enough to wake him.
“He won’t answer
you, bubba,— he cain’t hear you. Casey’s in a deep sleep.
He ain’t meant to wake up right now. An archangel,— a fine angel
named Urial, has his hand on him. California could slide into the
ocean and my handsome, wonderful, cowboy nephew wouldn’t wake up.
I’m here for you, bubba,— and only you.”
Vince heard the
voice in his head clear as day. He sat up and looked around, but
he couldn’t see anything.
“Casey,— is ‘zat
you fuck’n with my head? If’n it is,— h’it ain’t appreciated, and
h’it ain’t funny, Son!” he barked in his best stern ‘dad’ voice.
“Yore’ boy would
never consider doing some’um like that to you, brother. You know
better’n ‘nat!” the voice chastised him. “Here,— I’ll show you.”
Vince watched as
a small blue sprite materialized next to the chair where Casey set his
legs. It slowly moved closer to the bed. Vince could feel
his heart racing. He watched it grow and stretch until it
was the size and amorphous shape of a man. It slowly formed
itself into a blue picture like a three dimensional hologram of a
cowboy; a buckaroo, with boots, chinks, a huge, dark-brown hat, a big
tied around his neck, and he was wearing a full length duster. He
had on buckaroo boots that came all the way up to his knees, complete
with spurs. Vince could see a face forming. As it became
more clear, the face of his baby brother came into view.
The picture then coalesced into a solid form,— it was Seth Quee.
“Seth,— is ‘zat
don’t chu’ worry none, I ain’t no haint a’ Christmas past or
nothing. Ain’t got me no chains to rattle.” he laughed,
“Look! They gimme’ some knew clothes. What da’ya’
think? Ain’t these nifty? I don’t have to wear ‘em awful
fatigues I was killed in no more.”
“You dress as a
got me a good job on the biggest damn cattle ranch over there.”
cattle up there?”
like ‘over’ there, but yeah,— where you think all them critters go they
be kill’n over here? They’s a life force like you’n me, bubba.
They come over there same’s we do. Remember ‘Sassyfras,’
our old hound dog we loved so much,— she’s over there with me.
Man,— was she glad to see me? She kept pester’n folks when I was
coming. She got pissed ‘cause no one would tell her. Truth
was,— nobody knew.”
“I hear’d you
done crossed over.”
“I did, but ‘at
don’t mean I can’t come back for a spell to talk with ma’big
brother. T’weren’t my idea no ways. I done got called up by
the Big Man His-self,— the Supreme Straw Boss,— the Holy Head Wrangler,
to do a job for ‘em. Well,— since He done went and saved my
worthless, cowboy butt from perdition,— I weren’t about to argue with
Him none or tell ‘em ‘no.’” Seth grinned real big and laughed, “‘Sides
‘at, I wanted a chance to come see my bubba. Yore’ my brother,
Vince, and I love ya.’ Ain’t never stopped love’n ya.’”
“I love you,
too, little brother. God knows I love you, and 'at ain’t no
bullshit neither. He’s gotta’ know I love you, cowboy.”
“He does,— ‘at’s
why he sent for me to come visit with you for a spell. He didn’t
want chore’ boy interceding like he done before with me. Casey
was kind and generous to act as a go between me, our other
brother, and our dad. Now I’ve crossed over, I cain’t take
Casey’s body no more, no ways. His Almightyness thought it might
be too much of strain on him. He loves Casey.
‘At boy a’ yores
is some’um special, bubba. Why, if’n h’it weren’t for ‘at
handsome young cowboy lay’n there next to you,— I wouldn’t never been
allowed to cross over. You done good when you made him. You
couldn’t a’ made him no finer.” Seth laughed and finally got a
smile out of Vince. “‘At’s better, bubba,— you finally settling down
and believe it’s me?”
“I believe you,
brother. Thank the Big Man for me.”
“He knows,— he
done hear’d ju.’ I got me some things to say to you, but
chu’ ain’t gonna’ like all of ‘um. He wanted me to talk with you
alone ‘cause He knows you ain’t talked with yore’ boy.”
around to it. H’it’s jes’ hard for me to do, brother.” Vince told
“Well, ‘at’s why
I’s here,— to encourage you to talk with him about it. You ready?”
“I guess I’s
ready as I’m ever gonna’ be, I reckon.” Vince said.
“Ya’ wanna’ know
why I didn’t come to you fer help, big brother? Don’t chu’
know? Didn’t Casey tell you?”
what? We ain’t talked about chu’ much. He told me a little
bit, but I think he’s afeard to tell me too much. Talk’n about
chu’ would mean have’n to talk about his granddaddy.”
“The Big Man
told me you ain’t let him talk to you.”
“Casey knows he
can talk to me about anything.”
right! Anything, but our dad. You ain’t ask him nary a
question. He weren’t make’n it hard on you. He was letting
you take the news at chore’ own pace, which is currently dead in the
water, bubba.” Seth laughed. “I’ll tell you why I didn’t come to
you, I was too damn embarrassed. I done some’um terrible I
weren’t suppose to do, and I got myself severely punished for it.
If’n it hadn’t a been for yore’ boy pray’n for me and git’n all his
friends and yore’ friends a’ pray’n for me, I’d a’ never crossed
over. So, maybe you kin understand jes’ how important he is to
“What’d ju’ do
that was so terrible, hoss?” Vince asked him.
“I’m getting to
it. It ain’t gonna’ be easy for me to tell ya, but the Righteous
told me h’it would be good for me to confess my sin to you. I was
gonna’ argue with Him until He done showed me His big boot and ask me
how far up my butt did I think He could shove it? He done
adjusted my attitude real quick-like. ‘At cowboy wears one hell of a
big boot, bubba!” Seth giggled.
“When I got
killed in Nam, I didn’t cross over when they come for me. I
wanted to find you and tell you I loved you one more time. I
searched all over Nam, but I couldn’t find you. I figured out
later you’d been shot, lost yore’ legs and was either in the hospital
or on yore’ way home.
I couldn’t find ju’ I went to Frances. She was still pregnant
with Casey. I couldn’t git through to her, and I didn’t wanna’
appear to her for fear of scaring her into early labor. So I
decided to leave you a message,— my calling card, as it were. I
got inside Frances and give her baby boy a spark from my soul. I
knew he already had a spark from you and Frances. I could feel
‘um strong and healthy. I jes’ done give him a little extra to
conjoin with hers and yours.”
“What’s so bad
about ‘tat? He looks jes’ like you.”
right in the scheme a’ things, Vince. I was told not to do it.
You know me,— I never listen to nobody. I knew it was wrong when
I done it, but I couldn’t help myself,— I done went and done it any
how. H’it was a sin against you and Frances to interfere with
yore’ boy. H’it was a sin of pride and arrogance. What I
done went a bit further than a ghostly prank. The powers what be
were not amused. I was punished greatly for my misdeed.
I never should
a’ done it, Vince, but I loved you and Frances so much, I wanted
to leave something of myself behind. Casey’s soul is an equal
part of me, you and Frances, brother. As a result a’ what I
done,— h’it messed with his DNA and he come out look’n like Zerox copy
a’ me; but, he ain’t me, bubba,— he’s his own cowboy. You
should be proud a' Casey, Vince, he’s a fine man with talents and
sensibilities what far surpass ours.”
“I am proud of
my boy, but I don’t give a tinker’s dam you give him a spark of yore’
soul. If’n you’d a’ come to me and asked, I probably would a’
told ju’ to go ahead on,— knock yore’self out! I’ve lived with
the memory of you ever’ damn day since he was born, little
brother. I cain’t tell you how many times I caught my breath
look’n on him and think’n on you; wish’n you was alive to love
him. Sometimes, h’it’s like you was inside him looking out at
me. Rance even commented on it. Now, I know
why. A small part of you was look’n out at me. I’m glad he
looks like you, little brother. I’m glad he reminds me of
you. As far as his abilities are concerned, he scares the holy
shit out a’ me sometime. I mean no disrespect by that,
Sir.” Vince said hoping his language wasn’t offending
“I thought you’d
be mad at me, bubba.” Seth continued, “I didn’t come to you for help
after you got home, because by that time, I done the deed, and I was
awful weak. I didn’t have much power to appear to anyone.
If’n we don’t cross over when we should, all what’s left on this side
is about the same size spark as we start with, so by the time I give a
chunk a’ mine to Casey, I didn’t have much left.”
should a’ know’d me better’n ‘nat, bubba. I ain’t mad. I
don’t give a damn what chu’ done, I ain’t never gonna’ stop love’n you.”
started crying and put his hands up to hide his face from his brother.
little brother,— ‘at’s all I need right now is a bawl’n buckaroo
haint. I ain’t try’n to be mean, bubba. I’d come
over there and hold ju’ in my arms in a second if’n I could, but maybe
you noticed,— I ain’t got me no legs.” Vince smiled.
Seth took off
his big hat and threw it in the chair. He moved to the bed and
knelt before his brother, threw his arms around Vince’s waist and
pressed his head against his chest. Vince sucked in a volume of
air at the touch of his baby brother. He placed his arms firmly
around his brother’s head and gently held Seth to him. He leaned
over and kissed the top of Seth Quee’s head. Vince could feel,
touch and taste his brother’s essence. It was too much for him,
and he broke into sobs. They cried in each others arms for a good
while, washing away the pain and hurts of the past. They cried
for their childhood; they cried for their loss in Vietnam; they cried
for their separation, and they cried for their joy in being reunited,—
if only for a while.
himself together, moved Vince’s legs next to the night stand,
pulled the big overstuffed chair closer to the bed, put his cowboy hat
back on and sat down in the chair to continue talking with his
brother. They sat there looking at each other for a minute.
Finally Seth started.
done went and changed, bubba. He ain’t the man he used to be no
more when we was kids. As a matter of fact, he’s a lot like
you now. I guess you and me,— we unwittingly taught our old man
how to become a dad. You done told Casey the other night, he
taught chu’ to be a dad. "Air's a lot more 'at boy can
teach you, Vince, learn from him.
I ain’t here to tell you what to do,
bubba. I done told the Head Honcho I never could tell you what to
no ways.” he grinned at Vince. “I’m here to
plead with you to reconsider yore’ hard-nose stance towards our
dad. Think on it, bubba, ain’t chu’ being as guilty of
inflexibility as he was when he was such a tight-assed, self-righteous
bastard with us? Look, hoss,— you don’t have to give up the hate
you had for the man our dad was; however, I know you,— yore’ own
compassion dictates you haf’ ta’ try to forgive and accept the man our
dad has become.
ready forgive Curtis for what he was then,— to ignore him is to betray
yore’ own heart, bubba; yore’ own sense of humanity; of right and
wrong. Such an action don’t confirm the goodness of unconditional
love,— h’it makes a mockery of it and becomes something even worse,— it
becomes punishment. Who’s to decide another’s punishment?
How much for this crime or how long for that injustice? Only one
power has that right,— and if’n he weren’t a forgiving cuss,— I
wouldn’t be here talk’n with you right now. H’it ain’t chore’
place to punish our dad for the wrongs he done us. It is written,
“Let him among you without guilt, cast the first stone,” and “Judge not
least ye’ be judged.”
Curtis has been
punished enough for what he done to us. ‘At’s why the Big Kahuna
sent me to you. Dad’s own innate sense of grief for the
loss of his sons and his humility, only achieved by hitting rock
bottom, has left a burned out spark of a soul what, once upon a
time, knew how to love and belonged to a fine, generous man. He
hit the bottom of the pit of his own self-destruction and had to either
reconsider his life or perish.
So it is with
the false ideas of many so called Christians.
Most practicing Christians have little or no idea what their bible
really says. They make no distinction between the old testament
the new. A goodly number believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. They
become obsessed with
their united belief in an uncompassionate, baby killing,
war-like, hate filled, vengeful God they've conjured up in their own
image from the old testament, proselytizing others to believe the
way they do, even with a sword if necessary, to validate
their false belief system that has little basis in reality;
there is more than just strength in numbers,— there is support. Their
power don’t come from on high,— h’it comes from a mob mentality.
If ignorance ain’t their
all consuming bliss, then they be doomed to wallow in the quagmire of
their hatred and confusion until their wretched souls reach rock bottom
before they can
truly be born again; reborn to the hope and ideals of what God truly
wants of us,— unconditional love. They have little or no concept
of the real truth or process of rebirth. Their idea of being
reborn becomes no more than a temporary, emotionally overwrought,
hyperventilated experience,— for them, it has no lasting, substantial
meaning. It becomes an empty metaphor they must keep referring to
as such, ain’t no religion a‘ tall, brother. H’it’s like a
movie set, a false facade claiming to be Christianity; the solution to
all yore’ problems,— but it ain’t! H’it’s a store front
display to hide the corruption within behind a glitzy window dressing
of empty promises. It hides an addictive, collective mental
illness fueled by stupidity and superstition, potentially more
dangerous and deadly than all other addictions put together.
Like any drug
addict, alcoholic or compulsive gambler, rabid
must continue to feed their obsessive need to overcome their own
personal doubts by pumping themselves up, reaffirming their belief
with yet another dog and pony show, ‘hallelujah’ fest. Their
temporary fix is generated by a cult mentality where weak, stupid
minds set themselves up as demigods, to interpret scriptures of
undoubtedly questionable origin written thousands of years ago for a
totally different social setting. In their arrogance, fueled by
personal greed, they use the bible as the literal word of God to suit
twisted, hidden agendas. The sheep who follow them can never get
enough. They can never be truly filled. They can never find
real peace. Time and again, they must keep returning to the
well, fed by mendacity, avarice, greed, cunning and deceit,
their foul addiction one more time.
Zealots are a
lazy lot. It’s too difficult or too complicated for them to think
for themselves. They need the ease and comfort of a mass
mind,— a prepackaged religion,— one what agrees and supports their
every superstitions, their every hatred, to boost their
sociopathological and political status for themselves within their
community. To think for oneself goes against the smug insanity of
their cult mentality. To question is to be heretical. It
places you outside the flock. To disagree with their madness is
to be labeled treasonist, terrorist, provocateur, or worse, a liberal
in league with the Devil. There is no
wiggle room. ‘You’re
either with us or you’re
against us!’ they cry. Only those sheep who bleat like they do or
follow along blindly without question are allowed to remain in the
when they contemplate their own self-destruction, they intend to take
thousands with them, where everyone, believers or nonbelievers, will be
forced to drink their poisoned Cool Aid for the exercise of their
uncompromising beliefs. They believe heaven or hell is only an
apocalypse away. They give the term ‘rush to judgement’ new
dimensions. Them crazy folks be playing for keeps,
a mind shuts down and refuses to consider other
possibilities, it becomes a sitting
duck for demonic possession and
leadership. They be easy pickings. The Devil loves a weak,
mind. They're easily filled with unspeakable evil, from
whence they spew forth their vile gospel
of hypocrisy, bigotry, intolerance and hate,— all in the name
to hear the wee small voice that comes to all men if they stop long
enough to listen. He renounced all that bullshit, gave up almost
everything he owned to go out into the world and find himself. It
either takes a foolhardy man or a desperate one to do some’um like
‘at. In our dad’s case, he was desperate. He hit bottom so
he didn’t even bounce, and there was no place to go but up.
Curtis has walked through the refiners fire, brother, and has
been reduced to the purity of his original essence. Like fine
gold is reduced to its purest elements, our dad is once again a good,
loving, and generous man. He slowly learned to love
unconditionally, Vince, and you taught chore’ boy to love that
way. You’ve always secretly looked on it as a weakness, but it
ain’t, bubba,— it’s yore’ strength. Ask your boy,— he’ll tell
you. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, bubba, or you’ll be
sorry you did; not just for yourself, but for me, O.C. and Casey; oh,
yes, and for our big brother Bubba Swansey.
Because of the
unconditional love you taught Casey, yore’ boy’s done fallen in
love with his granddaddy. He told me he can find no fault in him,
and whether you find it in yore’ heart to forgive Curtis or not,
y’ain’t gonna’ stop Casey from loving him. Once that kid drops
his lasso around somebody, they ain’t git’n away. Once again,
brother, learn from yore’ boy. Casey has within him the
spark of three loving people, which together, as one, is far more
powerful than all the forces of darkness combined.”
Vince was quiet
brother?” Vince asked meekly.
“Casey brought a
letter home with him from Curtis. He’s wait’n for a good time to
give it to you. He don’t expect you to read it right away, but he
does expect you to read it sometime. He loves you too much to
push you into anything you’re uncomfortable with. No matter his
love for O.C, our dad, or any other man, you’re his first
love. You will always be number one in his heart. Yore’
damn lucky to have a boy like him, Vince. He’s a treasure.
Hell, bubba, he done went out and found ju’ another brother to
love. Be good to our brother Ocie, but remember, I done
loved him first.” Seth winked and laughed.
bubba. You’re right, I didn’t wanna’ hear some of them things
you told me. I won’t say ‘no’ to anything right now.
I even told Casey I’d try to come around to talk with him about his
granddad, but h’it’s gonna’ take some time. I didn’t build this
wall up overnight, and I jes’ cain’t tear it down overnight
either. Curtis has been dead to me for almost twenty-five years.
I don’t even know him anymore, and I still ain’t real sure I want to.”
“No, but chu’
can remove one block at a’ time, and the sooner you start the more time
you have to learn to love our dad. You won’t always have him,
Vince. Having a dad to love for even a while is better’n never
having a dad a’ tall. Ain’t it what we always wanted,
brother? Ain’t it what we dreamed about and prayed for,— love’n
our dad, him being proud of you’n me, and loving us in return?”
brother, I guess it is.”
me, bubba. I gotta’ git on back. Wake that boy a’ yores and
give him some good cowboy Christmas love’n. Tell him his uncle
stopped by to talk with you and told ju’ to tell him he loves him.”
threw his hat in the chair again, moved to kneel in front of
Vince one last time. They embraced and cried again.
bubba, I love you. I always will. I’ll be wait’n for
you. I’ll come git chu’ when it’s yore’ time. Merry
“I love you,
too, little brother, and Merry Christmas to you.”
Seth Quee stood,
turned, took a couple of steps toward the door and vanished.
Casey let out a deep, contented sigh and stirred in his sleep.
Vince’s heart was filled with love and joy from the visit with his
brother. He couldn’t sleep now if his life depended on it, and
seeing his little brother all decked out in his buckaroo outfit made
him hotter than a two dollar pistol. He retrieved a small towel
from his night stand, removed the plug from Casey’s butt, and swiftly
replaced it with his rock hard penis.
* * * * * * *
I woke up from
the deepest sleep I experienced in years. It was totally
relaxing, but I had the feeling someone was watching over me while I
was asleep. Must have been my imagination; however, the cowboy
shaft shoved all the way to the hilt up my ass wasn’t. It
was me dear old dad, horny as a bull in a pasture of fresh
heifers. Damn, he felt good and strong in my ass. He fucked me
with a passion that he rarely let surface. I got the feeling,
there was more behind his passion than just slamming a good, hot fuck
into his boy. He brought me to climax just before he hit, and my
ass was trying to chew his cock off. Good thing he handed
me a towel. I would’ve had to change the sheets. He shot
volley after volley of his hot cowboy cream up my butt. Afterward, we
lay hooked together trying to get our breath.
I exclaimed, “Where did that fuck come from?” I chuckled.
“From me heart,
Son,— from me heart.” he laughed.
couldn’t a’ brung me no better gift.”
Christmas, boy.” he spoke softly and bussed a kiss behind my ear.
Christmas, Dad. That was special for Christmas morning.”
We lay there for
some time with him feeling my body and stealing a kiss from time to
time. Finally, he broke our silence,
“You kin leave
yore’ granddaddy’s letter on my dresser this morning. I can’t
promise I’ll read it while you’re home, but I will read it. I
ain’t making no promises, but I’ll read his letter.”
“How’d ju’ know
about granddad’s letter? I’ve kept it under lock and key since I
only one what got a visit from my little brother. He told me to
tell you he loves you very much.”
I started crying
I was so moved my uncle came to dad. I knew how bothered he was
last night about his little brother not coming to him for help.
Perhaps they had a chance to talk and work things out.
cowboy. Ain’t no need for tears. We talked about a lot of
things. Well,— he done most of the talk’n. I mostly
listened and gritted my teeth.” he laughed. “He told me
some things I didn’t particularly wanna’ hear, but I agreed with him I
probably needed to hear ‘um.”
Dad. I know you had a heavy heart last night. I didn’t know
what to say. I didn’t wanna’ tell you some’um you didn’t wanna’
“I know,— I
know. I guess h’it weren’t you what was making it hard on
me. It was me making it hard on you. I apologize, but I
jes’ couldn’t talk about it.”
“No,— it ain’t
all right. The things I done taught you, I’m failing to live up
to myself. My little brother was right. I should, once
again, learn from my son how to be a good dad. He told me
about his sin and his punishment. I’m glad he done what he done,
Son. He seemed to think he contributed a lot to who you are
did, but as I understand it, no more or less than what I got from you
or mom; although, I do look a lot like him.” I went on to tell
dad about the image in the mirror I thought was me, when it was my
uncle. He laughed.
do you really love yore’ granddaddy?”
“Yes, Dad,— with
all my heart. If I met him and he gave me any indication he was
the least bit like you described him, I would’ve never revealed myself
to him. I would a’ jes’ come on home; cep’n I still would a gone
back to visit the sheriff and his family; and Bubba and his boy; oh,
yes, and my Uncle Ocie.”
“So, you and my
younger brother, Ocie, hit it off pretty well,— huh?”
well, Dad. I love Uncle Ocie. He thinks the world of you,
and he cried his heart out when I told him you was alive and I was
yore’ son. H’it liked to ripped his guts out.”
“I’d be lying
if’n I was to say I didn’t wanna’ see ‘um again. I’d love to see
Ocie, Bubba and meet his boys face to face. You got pitchers of
“Yeah, Dad,— I
brought back a bait of ‘um. They’s on my computer.”
“I’d like to see
‘em before you go back.”
Dad finally lost
his erection and slipped out of me. He immediately reached for my
plug and popped it back into my ass. He cleaned, me and I cleaned
him. I held him in my arms until he drifted off to
sleep. He slept so soundly, I hated to wake him the
next morning. My dad was always a morning person, but for some
reason, Christmas morning, he wasn’t interested in me jumping out of
bed to get his legs. He held on to me, we stole a few
kisses from each other, and talked some more.
When I finally
got up to get his legs they weren’t by the big chair where I left
them. They were leaning up against dad’s night stand, and the
chair wasn’t in the same place. I looked puzzled. I always
put them by the chair. Our routine was to get dad into his
wheelchair, get him to the chair where I’d ‘assist’ him with his legs,
assist him getting his pants on, and pull him up to a standing
position in the mornings.
was all I got out.
“Seth moved ‘um
last night, so’s he could move the chair closer to the bed to talk with
me.” he smiled. I just laughed and shook my head. I knew
dad couldn’t get up to move them.
We got dressed
and went downstairs to fix breakfast. I went out to gather the
eggs in the early morning light. It was foggy out.
The last couple of evenings were cool and many of the girls decided to
keep their eggs inside them; however, there was enough for our
breakfast and some for Bodey and Flynn. I left a basket on their
We had a
leisurely breakfast and sat there talking about more things. Dad
was a lot more open and asked a lot of questions, but still skirted
around asking any direct questions about his dad. We were almost
back to our open communication with each other, but there was still a
hesitancy to make that final leap. I could understand. I
didn’t want him feeling uncomfortable; after all, his dad reappearing
in his life was the direct result of my journey. While we were
sitting there my cell phone rang. I had it set the play the theme
from “Bonanza” and I thought dad was going to fall off his chair
laughing. He called me “Little Joe” the rest of the day, and I
had to play my ‘ring tone’ for everyone at the Christmas party.
“Hey, Bart,— we
jes’ finished breakfast and was sit’n here talk’n ‘bout you and my
little cowboy buddy. Ever’thing all right?”
better’n jes’ all right. The doctors made early rounds this
morning so’s they could git home to their families for Christmas
day. They told us if Brent keeps git’n stronger like he done the
last couple a’ days, they’s gonna’ release him Tuesday afternoon.
Hell,— the nurses cain’t keep him in bed. I’ve never seen him
news, brother. You keep us informed, and we’ll be there to pick
ya’ll up and bring ya’ home.”
That word shore’ sounds mighty good about now.”
I talked with
Brent for a minute, and he wanted to wish dad a Merry Christmas.
I handed dad the phone. I swear, my old man’s face lit up like
our Christmas tree when he heard Brent’s voice. We said our
goodbye and told them to keep in touch.
Bodey and Flynn
followed us over to Sid and Sticker’s in their truck. Logan sold
them his truck about a year ago for a song. He jes’ wanted to get
rid of it and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. His dad
wanted to buy him a bit more reliable vehicle with more convenient
features. He decided on a big Nissan SUV. It’s beautiful
and really is more convenient for traveling to and from school and
shopping for him and dad.
was wonderful. For all of Logan’s joking about the ‘spirit of
Christmas,’ it was great not to have to spend half the day in the
kitchen preparing dinner, and the food couldn’t have been better.
Everything was perfect. There was a large group of friends who
were invited sit down to Sid and Sticker’s table. They made many
good friends in the community over the years and genuinely enjoyed
shock of the day, came shortly after we arrived when eight
Harley-Davidsons pulled up and parked out front of Sid and
Sticker’s. I looked at them and raised an eyebrow. Sticker
slapped his knee pointed at me and laughed at the expression on my face.
Somebody grab a’ holt a’ that cowboy with the terminal grin on his
face? He jes’ might hurt himself!” Sid pointed to me
I was out of the
door and out the room before anyone could make a move to catch
me. I ran to Master Waddie’s big arms, hugged and kissed
him. Then, it was Titus’ turn. I went down the line
immersing myself in biker love. The rest of the men slowly came
out to greet them. To my surprise they all knew each other.
Several of the family weren’t with them. They had other
obligations for Christmas dinner but were joining them later.
granddad’s letter on my dad’s dresser. I knew he probably
wouldn’t read it while I was home, but that was okay. I didn’t
really count on taking any news back to Curtis. I suppose it was
good news dad agreed to read his letter. I knew it would take dad
some time, but at least he was talking with me more openly about
things. When I showed him a few of my pictures on my computer
Curtis was in several of the shots, but I didn’t try to change the
picture. Dad studied them closely, but he didn’t comment on
anything but Bubba and his boys. He was wowed at how handsome old
Bubba’s boys were. He was even more impressed by the sheriff and
* * * * * * *
almost over. Life began to settle back to a normal routine after the
weekend; however, we had one more bit of Christmas to take care
of. Dad reminded me he always thought Christmas should last the
entire week between Christmas eve and New Years. I had to agree
with him. It certainly was turning out that way this year.
I didn’t mind, I loved Christmas. I had a wonderful Halloween
with my granddad, and a great Thanksgiving with my adopted family,
Master Waddie, Titus, my granddad and my uncle. Why not
enjoy Christmas for several more days?
removed the staples from Brent’s chest and released him Tuesday
afternoon about two o’clock. Dad and I were there to pick them
up. We couldn’t believe the difference in the little cowboy we brought
to the hospital only a week before. Brent’s entire countenance
changed. He gained weight, his skin color was perfect, his cheeks
were rosy red and his lips were no longer pale. He wasn’t
lethargic like he was before. He looked like any healthy young
buckaroo his age, but he was a lot more active. Oh, Lord, was he
active. He was like a dervish running from me to dad and back
again. His daddy was having a difficult time keeping up with him.
thrilled to be leaving the hospital and coming home with us. We
were thrilled to have them. As I was driving back down Interstate
15 we passed the small town of “Rainbow” and Brent asked if we were
near our bridge. I chuckled to hear him call it ‘our’
bridge. I knew, for him, it would always be ‘our’ bridge,— his
and mine. We were going around a large bend in the road that went
around the apex of the mountain. I told him as soon as we cleared
the bend and could see down into the valley to start looking for the
bridge at the top of the next mountain pass. He saw it before us
and pointed it out to me. He was so delighted to see it again.
When we got to
the ranch he ran to the house. I told Bart I don’t think I ever
saw him run before. Bart assured me he hadn’t seen anything like
his current level of activity. Bart looked at me, shrugged,
and got a pained look on his face like, ‘What the hell am I going to do
now?’ I winked at him and laughed.
They were wowed
by our Christmas tree. I told Brent most of the presents under the tree
were left for him by Santa Clause, and there were several from the men
who came to the hospital with us. He would have to wait until
evening to open them, because they all were coming for dinner and
wanted to be here when he opened his presents. Brent was excited,
but he was a mannerly kid and agreed to abide by our wishes.
There were a couple of presents under the tree for his daddy as well.
We didn’t get
back to the ranch until a little past four and I started in immediately
to make supper for everyone. I was making my famous tuna
casserole. Everyone laughed and poked fun at my casserole, but
there never was any left after supper. With the cowboys we were
expecting, I made four big casseroles. Hell,— Lamar alone could
eat half of one by himself. He was a BIG man and required a lot
of food. Dwayne had grown in size and was working out with his
husband. Lamar had the patience of a saint working with Dwayne
and our brother was beginning to pop out muscles all over his
body. He was looking hot.
Brent saw Bodey
and Flynn riding up from the pasture and begged his dad to go meet
them. We watched as he ran to the gate, went though, and ran all
the way to meet them. He was running so fast his little cowboy
hat flew off his head, but he wasn’t about to stop to pick it up.
He was on a mission to get to Bodey and Flynn as fast as his little
legs would carry him.
Bart let out a
sigh like he was a man in heaven to see his boy run. Bodey
got down from his pony, squatted down, opened his big, cowboy arms to
Brent and he ran to him. They hugged, kissed and we could hear
Bodey and Flynn laughing and making over him like they couldn’t believe
the change in him. Flynn had to have a big hug and a kiss.
Brent was eating up the attention. He deserved it, the kid had
been though hell and back. Bodey sat Brent in his saddle and let
him ride the rest of the way back to the corral. He walked along
beside him with the reigns in his hand. He picked up Brent’s hat
and handed it up to him. Brent was in heaven as he held on to the
saddle horn for dear life.
like his daddy,” I commented dryly, “ee’s gonna’ be a cowboy, no
doubt.” I allowed quietly. Bart laughed.
“God, I hope
so. There’s a lot worse things to be in life.” he said.
that, brother.” I replied.
I put Bart and
dad to work in the kitchen, and we had supper ready in no time.
Everyone arrived and dad made a drink for anyone who wanted one.
Finally we gathered around the table and dad said grace. We sat
down to eat and dad and I were amazed at the amount of food our little
buckaroo buddy was packing away. It was like Brent was making up
for lost time. He loved my tuna casserole and had a couple of
helpings. He asked his dad for more, but Bart was afraid too much
might make him sick. I told Brent to wait a spell and if he was
still hungry after opening his presents I’d warm up some more for
him. He was satisfied with that and finished his milk.
After supper we
cleaned up the kitchen before we moved to the living room to
watch our littlest cowboy open his gifts. I bought him several
things and just put on the card: “From Santa.” We had a great
time, and he and Bart were thrilled with their presents. Dad and
I got Bart seven large buckaroo bandannas of all different colors so he
could have a clean one each day of the week if he wished.
presents were opened our guest stayed around for about an hour,
said their goodbyes and departed. We were left alone with Bart
and our little buckaroo dynamo. The kid had so much energy,
he didn’t know what to do with it all. He would go from one toy
to another and back again. Having lived most of his life feeling,
depressed, fatigued and lethargic, Brent was making up for lost
time. He used to be quiet, sedate, crawl up into your lap and be
content to sit for a while without saying much. He’d always been
so down he didn’t care much about anything. Not any more.
Lord, he wanted to see and do everything. He was taking in life
at an enormous pace. He was learning at a staggering rate, and he
wasn’t afraid to try something new. Bart looked at my dad in
desperation and shook his head.
“I can’t believe
this change in him. Do you think he needs some medication to calm
him down, Mr. Longhorn?” he asked my dad.
“Gosh, no, Son,—
he’s just adjusting to his new found strength. He probably ain’t
never felt this good in his life. He’ll settle down after a
while, believe me. He’ll reach a plateau and level out. You
might have to chase him around with a butterfly net for a while or keep
him on a short leash, but he’ll calm down in time.” Dad laughed at his
own joke, “ The main thing is to keep him interested and teach him to
finish one thing at a time. Keep him busy and occupied all day,
and by nighttime, he’ll be ready for bed. Come’ere, Son.”
Dad held his arms open to Brent. He immediately stopped
what he was doing and climbed into my dad’s lap. “Now how ‘bout chu’
sitting here with us quietly for a little bit while we talk with yore’
To Bart’s and my
amazement, Brent sat in dad’s lap comfortably. He didn’t squirm or try
to interrupt; he just sat there with his head leaning back against my
dad’s chest. We continued our conversation and in about fifteen
minutes Brent was fast asleep. Bart took him from dad, and I went
with him up the stairs to their room to help him put Brent to
bed. Bart undressed Brent while I turned down the covers for
him. Bart mentioned he thought he’d turn in, too, as he figured
maybe he could do some work for us the next day. I told him dad
usually didn’t try to get much done during the holidays, but there was
probably some small things around the place we could get done. He
seemed satisfied with that, I said my ‘goodnight’ and left them
alone. I returned to the living room and sat down on the couch
next to dad.
another cup of cheer or you feel like turning in?” I asked him.
another one a’ them toddies you fixed us the other night. That
was good. Made me have sweet dreams all night.” he chuckled.
“Sounds good to
me. Be back in a second.”
He got up and
followed me into the kitchen to talk with me while I made them.
“Ya’ got anymore
a them pitchers on yore’ computer, Son?”
“Yes, Sir, a
bait of ‘em. I only showed ju’ a few.”
“How do you get
a picture on your computer like that.”
digital cameras Logan give me’n Dwayne for our birthdays last year?”
“Yeah, you could
look at the pitcher right after you took it.”
‘at’s right. I can take the pitcher and download it into my lap
top computer and voila’ its there. Then I can print it out on my
color printer if’n I want to. I ain’t printed too many because
h’it’s so convenient jes’ to show folks on my lap top. H’it’s
like carrying yore’ photo album around with you.”
“Would you like
to see some more?”
“Yeah, Son,— I
“Who or what do
you wanna’ see?”
“Hoh, I donno,—
whatever you wanna’ show me.”
I retrieved my
lap top from my desk in my junk room and ran into Bart coming back from
the shower with a towel over his shoulder naked as the day he was
born. I got a good look at him and sucked in air through my
teeth. He was breath taking. I know he heard me. I almost
lost my cool. He turned to me and smiled as he took his towel to
“I’m sorry Bart,
I’s jes’ get’n my lap top computer form my junk room to show dad
s’more pitchers from Texas. Didn’t mean to invade yore’ privacy
none. Don’t cover yore’self up on my account. I ain’t embarrassed
none, if’n you ain’t. Y’ain’t got nothing I ain’t never seen
before,— but I will say you certainly are easier on the eye than most
cowboys I done run across.”
I smiled and
winked at him. Bart laughed but he looked at me funny.
“I’ll take that
as a compliment.” he grinned.
‘at’s the way I meant it.”
I smiled to
myself as I waked down the stairs. I wondered what Bart would
make of my statement.
Bart thought, ‘Why didn’t chu’ compliment him back? What did he
mean by that? Aww, fuck, cowboy,— the man jes’ paid you a
compliment,— nothing more. Don’t read nothing into it. H’it
ain’t right for you to have them feelings about a man what’s been as
good as Casey and his dad to you and yore’ boy.”
the big cowboy had to return to the bathroom to relieve himself, or he
never would’ve gotten to sleep.
* * * * * * *
We drank our
toddies and I showed dad more pictures. I showed him pictures I
took at the ‘Broken Arrow’ in Tucson, of Dan Yates, Cowboy, Boots,
Sonny, and big Griz. Dad couldn’t believe the size of the
man. He also agreed with me, Griz had to be the ugliest man he
every saw. I assured him Griz was far from ugly to me, and once
he got to know him, he would feel the same. Dad seemed to
understand how that could happen.
I showed him
pictures of Master Waddie and I rodeoing in Tucson and my winning
second place in calf roping.
“Who took these
pitchers?” he asked.
Rance.” I said and grinned at him. He just shook his head
I came to some
photos I took of granddad’s wounds from the gun shots, and dad winced
when he saw them.
“Damn,— they got
him good,— didn’nay?”
“He damn near
died, Dad. If’n his pony, Socks, hadn’t a called out to me he
would’ve been a dead man. We got there jes’ in time to pull him
out of the quicksand pool.”
Dad never heard
the whole story of me saving Curtis’ life, but he wanted to know about
it. I told him, and I didn’t leave any detail out. He was
wowed I risked my own life to rescue my granddad. He put his arm
around me and pulled me close to him.
“Why ain’t I
surprised you done ‘nat? H’it’s exactly what I’d expect you to do
in a situation like ‘at. I don’t care if’n it was yore’ granddad
or jes’ another cowboy, you’d a done the same thing.”
“Yes, Sir,— I
suppose I would.”
“Proud of you,
boy.” he spoke quietly and bussed a kiss behind my ear. ‘At’s
enough pitchers fer tonight. Let’s us git our butts cleaned up
and hit the sack. I need to make a little love to my cowboy hero.”
“I ain’t no
hero, Dad,— I jes’ done what needed to be done to save my granddaddy’s
life. Ever’ one else says I’m a hero, but I don’t think on myself
as no hero.”
“I guess maybe
that’s the way a real hero thinks on his-self, Son. They called
me a hero in Nam and gave me medals what says so. You know
what? To this day I ain’t never considered myself no hero,—
same’s you,— I jes’ done what needed to be done. I look at them
medals and wonder why they give ‘um to me.” he smiled proudly at
me like he put that thought to bed. I just shook my head and
followed him upstairs.
* * * * * * *
After we shared
a little love, Dad wanted to talk a little more.
“Do you have any
solid plans for the future, Casey.”
“By future, do
you mean a month, a year, five years?”
start with a year.”
“I like to work
at the ranch for a full year; that is, through the spring
roundup. I plan on coming home the first two weeks in July to
visit. If’n I can talk granddad into doing some rodeoing with me,
I’d like to do the Tucson Rodeo and the Chapel Creek Rodeo on the
Fourth of July.”
“Okay, let’s try
five years.” Dad stated.
“I ain’t thought
‘at far ahead, Dad. I’m think’n one year at a time. I’ve
given serious consideration to coming home after my year on the
ranch. Cowboying day in and day out ain’t all it’s cracked up to
be. Don’t git me wrong, Dad, I ain’t complaining none. I’ve
learned a lot and there’s days I can’t imagine anything I’d enjoy doing
more’n being a cowboy. Then there’s other days I’m bored out of
my mind to say nothing of having to work in horrible weather conditions
Texas ain’t like
Southern California were the temperature’s mild all year round.
As you know h’it gits cold enough to freeze the brass horns off’n a
billy goat, and when it rains in Texas, it don’t jes’ piss a little
like it does here. I been riding my pony some days when, I swear
to you, it was raining s'damn hard I couldn’t see my pony’s
head.” Dad was laughing at my take on being a cowboy.
“I gets up some
mornings and my boots are frozen solid. Do you know what it’s
like trying to shove yore’ feet into a pair of frozen buckaroo
boots? For thirty minutes or more, h’it’s like walk’n
around with two ice cubes on your feet.” Dad nodded his head in
agreement, but didn’t stop laughing long enough to comment.
coldest weather, I don’t even bother to kick off my boots no
more. I jes’ sleep with ‘um on. I ain’t had my boots off
for a week at a time, sometimes.” Dad was really laughing,
“‘Sides, even though I talked granddad into share’n a tee-pee with me,
so’s we kin put our sleeping bags together for extra warmth, we’re
still s’damn cold I couldn’t offer him comfort if’n I wanted to.”
Dad looked at me and raised an eyebrow. I wasn’t going to comment
further unless he asked. He didn’t.
“Do you and your
partners have plans for your third of the ranch?”
We ain’t talked on it much. The brains behind our
corporation, our little brother, ain’t suggested we do anything but sit
on the stock and reap the dividends right now. We’re doing
pert-damn good. I make in one month off the dividends what I make
all year as a cowhand. That’s all right. I’m glad to cash
my paycheck ever’ month jes’ like the rest a’ them cowpokes.”
Dwayne and Logan get out of your corporation?”
“I pay ‘um an
annual salary, and write it off against capital gains.”
come you didn’t ask me to be on yore’ board?” he tried to sound
like he felt left out.
“C’mon, Dad, you
had yore’ chance. We asked you, but chu’ done told us you weren’t
me. Next time my boy asks me a question like that, I’m gonna’ ask
a hell of a lot more questions.” he laughed quietly, “I think you
may have gotten yore’self into some’um you didn’t count on.”
“Sid and Sticker
are seriously talking about making you manager of the Lazy 8 after a
couple of years if you’re still interested in working there. It
makes a lot of sense to them. I gotta’ admit, h’it makes sense to
me, too. Sticker’s getting more and more involved in Sid’s
holdings, and Sid’s been giving him a lot more to do. According
to Sid, Sticker really don’t have the time no more to manage the ranch
like he’d like to. He almost didn’t make it for the fall
roundup. So, who’s their logical choice for a new
manager? A man who knows cattle ranch’n, the cowboy way and owns
a third of the company.
They’d have a
man who has a strong vested interest in the company and essentially
worked his way up from the bottom. They really admire you for
working as any other cowhand instead of demanding an executive position
with the company because of yore’ holdings. Sid really admires
you and yore’ brothers for put’n one over on him and keep’n yore’
mouths shut. He laughs his ass off ever’ damn time he hears the
name, ‘Hensley Agrocon.’ He also liked the idea ya’ll set back and
watched as silent partners for damn near a year or more. Sid said
he’d have Sticker learn you what you need to know about managing the
ranch, then supervise you for a year or two until they feel you can run
it by yore’self.”
Dad? They ain’t said nothing to me about it.”
talk’n ‘bout it. Ain’t nothing definite yet,— but h’it’s a big
possibility as far as they’re concerned.”
I don’t know’s I
could do it,— I mean,— with my commitment to you and all. I
know we talked about two years, but I honestly never meant to be away
from you for more’n a year at the most.”
little brother is gonna’ be in school at least another three years,—
maybe more. He ain’t even finished his first year
yet. I’m ride’n herd on him, and I won’t let him take too
many courses per semester and burn himself out. We git along jes’
fine. We got us a good work’n relationship. As Sid and Sticker
done pointed out, he needs me and I need him. Also, we jes’
happen to love and respect one another.”
“You say’n you
don’t need me no more, Dad?”
Don’t be silly! You know better’n ‘nat! ‘At’s crazy talk,
boy! Don’t chu’ never think that a’ way! All I’m say’n is,— if’n
the opportunity comes along and you wanna’ go for it,— let’s talk about
it. Afore you left, you didn’t know how long you’s gonna’ be
gone. Being manager of the Lazy 8 puts you pretty much in charge
of ever’ thing. You can come and go as you please.
You don’t have to be there all the time. Hell, Sticker's hardly
ever there, cept'n at roundup time. As long as we keep in
touch, and I gits to see you for a couple a’ weeks,— two,— maybe three
times a year, we can talk about it.
Being manager of
the ranch pays a hell of a lot more money than a cowhand makes, and
you’d be working for Sid; but,— a word of warning. Once ole Sid
gits his claws in a’ you,— y’ain’t never gonna’ git away from
him.” Dad roared with laughter, “When he gits a good man what
will work hard, make money for him and everyone in the company,
he’ll bust his ass to keep you happy. ‘At’s his business
philosophy, and I cain’t say it ain’t a good’un. It’s made him a
very wealthy man, Son, and he sees the same potential in you.
Why,— he pays
Sticker six figures a year to manage the ranch. ‘At ain’t too
damn shabby for a cowboy. It has perks, too. I believe
you’re find’n that out by being flown here and there in the company’s
corporate jet.” he smiled.
Dad,— it is pert-damn sweet,” I grinned at him, “and I can wrap
my mind around six figures comfortably.” we shared a laugh. “When
Mr. Lyons, the steward, came to git me at the airport in El Paso
he gave me a message from Mr. Wainright. He told me Sid said to
tell me, ‘A corporate executive shouldn’t have to fly commercial
airlines.’ You think that’s what Sid was talk’n about, Dad?”
Dad was laughing
again and shook his head.
“Ain’t no doubt
in my mind, cowboy. He’s done got chore’ life planned out for
you. He’s excited as hell about all this. He knows yore’
little brother jes’ ain’t got the interest in such things like you
do. Sid was talk’n to me the other day ‘bout chu’ going to
college for a business degree, a degree in ranch management, or
even veterinarian school. You ain’t gotta’ be at the ranch
twenty-four/seven. You could go to school and manage the ranch on
Dwayne along, too. He’s keep’n a close watch on him.
Sticker’s giving Rance other jobs than being head wrangler of the stock
company. Now he’s the manager, he don’t have to do none a’
the hard work no more. He can manage the company from the ranch
and make occasional trips to check things out.
Dwayne with him and teaching him about the business. Sticker’s
got Rance managing two other of his companies. He’s encouraged
Rance to get Dwayne involved. Them two be making money hand over
fist. Lamar sends most all of his pay home to his ‘little darlin,’ We
rolled on the bed at dad’s imitation of Lamar’s pet name for his
mate. Dwayne was far from being ‘little.’ He was bigger
than his dad and outweighed him with a good sixty pounds of solid
muscle. “Dwayne dutifully socks it away in a retirement account
for his giant husband.” Dad was on a roll and we quietly
laughed and giggled. We dearly loved them both.
* * * * * * *
we got to bed early. Dad and I were both so jazzed with talk
about possible futures we had a hard time getting to sleep. I
told him a good, hard, animal fuck always seemed to work like a
sleeping pill for us and he agreed. He took me at my word
and didn’t spare the horses. I slept like a damn baby the rest of
The next day dad
did have a few chores for us to do, but Bart and I didn’t ride out with
Bodey and Flynn. They went about their regular cowboy duties
seeing to the cattle. Dad had Bart and I doing maintenance work
around the place. There was a lot of little things that needed to
be done. Dad decided to ride out to check on Bodey and
Flynn. He wasn’t spying on them, he just wanted to see how things
Brent begged him
to go alone. Dad looked at Bart, and he nodded his
approval. Dad pulled Brent up into his new saddle with him and
sat him in front of him. They moseyed off to the pasture beyond
the barn. Brent had the biggest smile on his face. Bart and
I spent most of the afternoon repairing things. About three
o’clock we’d done pretty much everything Dad asked us to, so I asked
Bart if he wanted to saddle up and ride out to the range. We
slowly rode out to the pasture. We weren’t in any hurry to get
there. Bart and I hadn’t really had a chance talk a lot, but
today we were making up for lost time.
and pieces of things I keep picking up on what don’t make no
sense to me, Casey. H’it ain’t none a’ my business, and it ain’t
right for a cowboy to ask a lot of personal questions.”
“I don’t mind
answering any question you have, Bart; however, if’n it’s something I’d
rather keep private, I’ll tell you.”
enough. As close to yore’ old man as your are, Casey, there jes’
seems to be some’um between you and yore’ dad you can’t talk
about. Has it always been that way?”
My dad and I are tight as two ticks on a hound. I know what
you’re talk’n about, but it’s only a temporary situation. You
see, my dad and his dad didn’t get along years ago. My granddad
kicked my dad out of his home for git’n a girl pregnant before he
finished high school. That ain’t all there is to the story, but
you don’t need to know the rest right now.”
guess. His daddy went crazy and kicked yore’ dad out of his life.”
ain’t right, brother. Y’ain’t dumb. That’s exactly what he
done. He was a crazed right wing fundamentalist loonie and kicked
my dad out when he was only eighteen. Dad married the girl
and moved his pregnant wife to California, changed his name,
joined the army under his new name, went to Nam, got his legs blown off
and came home to buy a ranch.”
ain’t your real family name?”
don’t never let my daddy hear you say that. As far as he’s
concerned, ‘Longhorn’ is our family name. He done told me the
other night, his tombstone will read: ‘Here lies Vincent
Longhorn.’” I winked at Bart and laughed, “He had a younger
brother who became so angry with his dad for sending his brother away
for some’um so stupid, he roped his dad, tied him up and raped him.”
“You mean he,— ?”
“You kin say it,
Bart. He had sex with his dad. He didn’t emasculate him by
sodomizing his dad or nothing, he jes’ made love to him until his dad
shot his load three separate times.”
Bart shook his
head in disbelief, but he didn’t look disgusted,— jes’ amazed. I
waited to see if he wanted to hear more.
a’mighty,— then what happened?”
“He untied his
dad and had a cowboy buddy of his and my dad’s come pick him up.
He walked out of his dad’s home at sixteen never to return. He forged a
birth certificate, joined the Marines, was shipped to Nam and was
killed less than a year later.”
tough. I’ll bet yore’ granddad was devastated.”
“He was, but
from what I heard from dad, he deserved it.”
“What was yore’
dad’s name, originally, Case?”
Remember Judge Roy Bean and Lillie Langtry. She was my great
“She had them
purple eyes. I done heard about it from my dad. Wait a
minute. Yore’ daddy was Vince Langtry years ago. Holy
shit,— Mr. Langtry, the foreman at the Lazy 8 has them same eyes.
He’s yore’ granddaddy,— ain’ ‘nee?”
“Your mom was
totally wrong about chu,’ Bart. You’re a bright man. Yes,
Curtis Langtry is my granddad. I went looking for him this past
summer to look him up and see for myself if’n he was as bad as my dad
told me he was. He’s changed, Bart. He ain’t the man he was
back then. He’s one of the finest men I ever met.”
I went on to
tell Bart about wearing contact lenses so it wouldn’t give me away when
I met my granddad. I told him about Curtis offering me a job with
the Lazy 8, working for him and saving his life. Bart was hanging
on my every word. He was fascinated by my story.
“So,— you come
home for a visit,— yore’ dad knows you ran into yore’ granddaddy,— but
he won’t talk with you about it. That’s the missing piece?”
Bart; although, my old man’s coming around. I left a letter for
him on his dresser from my granddad asking forgiveness for his sins
against my dad. Dad ain’t read it yet, but he will. I’ll
take some time, but I know my dad. He’s asked me a few things
within the last couple of days.”
We rode up to
the three men and one little cowboy. They weren’t doing much but
jawing with each other. I was surprised to see Brent so tranquil,
but every now and then he’d smile and laugh about something. Then
it dawned on me. I taught him how to touch someone, and he was
either listening in on one of the men or the ponies. I sent out a
feeler and listened to him talking to the ponies.
<< Do you
like being a pony and git’n rode? >> he asked the chestnut mare
Flynn called ‘Peaches.’”
ain’t a bad life. Some days are better than others. >> she
replied soberly to the young man-colt. << My man-stallion is good
to me and feeds me well. >>
because she called Flynn her man-stallion. I tapped into Brent’s
Caught chu’ talk’n with them ponies. >> I sent to him and
laughed. Brent went crazy giggling. Dad and the cowboys
looked at him like he was daft. It only took my dad a minute to
figure out what was going on.
you didn’t tell me I could talk with animals. >>
most important thing, and my main concern was git’n you well again. I
done figured you’d fill in the blanks. >>
I came up on my
pony next to dad. Brent held out his arms for me. I
took him from dad’s saddle and put him in front of me. Bart
grinned real big.
yore’ boy is developing some talents of his own, Bart.” I told
caught him tickling the ponies.”
Casey. I weren’t doing nothing wrong. They’s jes’ ask’n me
questions.” Brent pushed back into me and looked up at me.
Bodey and Flynn
had no idea what we were talking about. Dad explained to
them. They looked at dad and grinned like he was blowing smoke up
Peaches, said she likes you, Mr. Flynn. Said you treat her good
and feed her well. She told me she’d shore’ appreciate it if’n
you rubbed her down a little bit more in the evenings after a hard
We all broke up
laughing. Flynn looked at Bodey and shrugged. They hadn’t
told Brent the names of their ponies.
“What’s the name
of my pony, Son.” Bodey asked him.
replied. Bodey laughed. “He said you should give him his
head more, and he’ll work better for you.” Bodey laughed again.
“You tell him
I’ll keep that in mind, Son. I been think’n on it anyways.”
“I don’t have
to, Mr. Bodey. He done heard ju.’” Sam nodded his
head in agreement. We all laughed.
We rode back to
the house, put the ponies up, fixed a nice dinner and sat around
talking for a while afterward. Bart was looking forward to
getting home and being with his dad. I asked him when he wanted
to come to work for the Lazy 8.
“As soon as
possible, Casey. You going on back to the ranch when we gits to
“Yeah, we’ll fly
back Monday, the second, and they’ll either send a truck for me or Gip
will take me down. Why don’t you spend some time with yore’ boy
and family. If you wanna’ start the following Monday will be
fine. There’s a ranch truck what leaves every Sunday afternoon at
six o’clock from the sheriff’s station if’n your dad can bring you to
Chapel Creek. You can bring yore’ own saddle if’n you want
to. We got saddles at the ranch, but most of the cowboys prefer
their own. Bring enough clothes for two weeks, ‘cause you only git
every other weekend off. There’s lockers you can lock up your
valuables and bedroll. Bring a good size combination lock.
Keeping up with keys was too much for me.” I laughed.
sounds about right, Casey. I’d like a week to get ready, and I
got a couple a’ things to do with my dad. Me’n Brent’s gonna’
take him fishing. He loves to fish, but believe it or not, we
ain’t never been fishing together in all them years. Mom always
found some way to stop us from going together. She wouldn’t let
me or my little sister go with him.”
know. I gotta’ do some’um about that.”
It was getting
late. Our little cowboy was already fast asleep on the couch next
to his dad. He had a big day playing cowboy, but he was gaining
strength by leaps and bounds; however, he was still limited in his
ability to go for long periods of time. Dad was right, he was
beginning to mellow out and not be so hyper.
The next several
days was spent helping out around the ranch and chasing Brent with a
butterfly net. He was fast gaining stamina, but he never became
quite so hyper again. He was active as hell, but he soon began to
learn he could do certain things and others he couldn’t. He
worshiped my dad. Bart would holler at him, and Brent would
sometimes just ignore him. Dad could reign him in with a
glance. Bart learned a lot from my dad that week. He would
sit and talk with dad for hours. Bart really fell in love with my
dad. He thought he hung the moon. He was right, my dad sets
the big silvery orb out every night to shine in the heavens.
New Years was
uneventful. Sid and Sticker threw a big party and we
attended. I wasn’t interested in drinking and became our
designated driver. I think dad had one drink and Bart had a
beer. Bodey and Flynn didn’t drink at all and drank sodas or iced
tea all evening. At midnight everyone hugged and kissed.
Master Waddie and Titus were there, and I kissed them on the
mouth. I kissed a lot of the men on the mouth, but when Bart
grabbed me to hug me I let him take the lead. I was surprised
when he kissed me on the mouth. I didn’t hold back from him
either, and we held it a little longer than socially called for.
Finally, we broke it off.
that, Casey. I been want’n to do that for a while now.
‘At’s for your friendship, your generosity, and your love. Ain’t
met me no better men than you and yore’ family. I hope when you
come to know me, you might think on me as one a’ yore’ brothers.”
“I already do,
Bart. A higher power than us got us together for a
reason. Brent was only a part of it. I do think on
you as my cowboy brother. I’ll look forward to work’n with
you. We’ll have us some good times.”
pod’na.’” he smiled.
That night Sid
and Sticker took me to Sid’s office and asked me what my plans were for
the future. I told them pretty much what I told dad.
“Has your dad
said anything to you about some things we talked with him about.”
“Yes, Sir,— he
mentioned a couple of things, but meaning no disrespect, Mr. Wainright,
Sir,— I don’t think I want a lot of responsibilities right now. I
jes’ wanna’ be a cowboy for a year,— maybe two,— three at the
most. After the Fourth of July rodeo in Chapel Creek, I’ll make
up my mind what I wanna’ do from there.”
I noticed Sid
grinned and winked at Sticker.
“Sticker told me
exactly what you’d say.” he laughed, “Truth is, we want chu’ to
take it at your own pace. If you wanna’ play cowboy for two or
three years is fine with us. This is just something we’d like you
to think on while you’re out there miserable, wet, cold and
hungry.” Sid and Sticker laughed. “When you think you’re
ready, we’ll sit down, and we’ll draw up a proposal. Sticker will
work with you for a couple of years until you get on your feet.”
you talk’n to me about it. Lemme’ think on it, and we can talk
some more.” I thanked them and we returned to the party.
* * * * * * *
I spent New
Year’s day with dad, Bart and Brent. We had breakfast and watched
the Rose Bowl parade. It was just a laid back day. We had a
steady stream of visitors all day coming by to say goodbye to Bart,
Brent and me and to wish us well. It was a great day. We
spent that evening packing Brent’s toys and children’s book for the
trip. We managed to get them into three medium sized cardboard
boxes. I taped and tied them up good, so they wouldn’t fall
apart. We went to bed early because we had to be up early.
We were flying out of San Diego at nine the next morning. I
Ranch.” I heard Cindy’s voice.
Casey! Gip,— it’s Casey!”
“You coming home
tomorrow?” she asked.
“Yes, ‘um, me
and Bart Conners and his boy Brent. I done sent cha’ll an e-mail
“Yeah, we got
it. We’ll look
forward to seeing you. Here’s Gip.”
“He be jes’
fine, Sheriff. Looking real forward to seeing you
again.” I put a little emphasis on the word ‘real.’ I
laughed. He got my message and laughed, too.
“Not as much as
I’m look’n forward to seeing you, Son.” he laughed. “I got in touch
with the Conners and they’ll be out to the Chapel Creek airport
tomorrow to meet Bart and Brent. ‘At was a nice thing you done
for them men, Son.”
I’s jes’ doing what needed to be done, s’all.”
“I’ll be there
to pick you up in the morning. Sidney Wainright said ya’ll should
land about eleven forty-five. Yore’ granddad’s gonna’ drive in to
pick you up Tuesday morning. I done begged him for an evening
so’s you could have a chance to relax.” Gip laughed like a kid
with his hand caught in the cookie jar.
“Glad ju’ did,
Sheriff. I could shore’ ‘nuff use me some fine relaxation.
We gonna’ stop by the station first?” I chuckled.
“Count on it,
cowboy.” he lowered his voice to a needy growl. We shared a
me, Sir. See ya’ tomorrow.”
* * * * * * *
Dad drove us to
the airport the next morning. We had everything ready to go the
night before. All we had to do was throw it in the back of the
truck, and we were off. I said my major goodbyes to my dad before
we left the house, but I knew there was always last minutes things to
say. Bart sat down with dad after breakfast and told him
what dad had come to mean to him. Brent didn’t want to get
further from dad that thee feet at anytime during the morning.
We left for the
airport in plenty of time to get there before nine. Dad saw us to the
plane and exchanged pleasantries with the crew. I swore to myself
I wouldn’t cry when I said goodbye. I was a responsible young
man, a cowboy, for cries sake. I might as well been pissing
in the wind, it didn’t do any good to tell myself those things, I
“I love you, old
man. I always will.” I told him.
“Not half as
much as I love you, cowboy.”
Bart was good
for one last hug for my dad. Brent was in tears not wanting to
leave his new mentor behind. We boarded the plane and took off.
* * * * * * *
Jeremy was glad
to have us aboard again. He was a delight and catered to our
every whim the whole flight. He served us a great meal and this
time Brent didn’t pick at his food. He ate the whole thing, and
had ice cream and cake for dessert. In the week since the
operation he’d gained almost five pounds. He was starting to fill
out and look like a normal kid.
Brent to the back of the cabin where there was a small video screen for
viewing in-flight movies. Jeremy put a cartoon movie into the
player and Brent was entertained almost the entire flight. Bart
and I sat and talked. I told him my plans had been slightly
changed, I was going to spend the night in my motor coach and my
granddad would pick me up the next morning. It was a good flight
and Jeremy couldn’t have been nicer. I tipped him twenty bucks
for being so nice to Bart and Brent. He graciously accepted it.
were at the airport to greet them. They were so happy to see
their grandson again and were stunned by his change. Bart
took his dad in his arms and hugged him. I saw tears come to his
dad’s eyes. Brent hugged and kissed his granddad and told him he
was glad to be home. Bart introduced me to his parents and they
thanked me for helping their son and grandson. They were
Gip was there
for me and I introduced him to Bart and Brent. He’d seen Bart
before but never met him. The Connors got everything loaded and
took off. I told Bart I’d see him the following Sunday. He
had my cell phone number and to call me if he needed to ask any
question. He hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and spoke
quietly to me so his parents couldn’t hear,
“I told my ma I
done met me some angels, but they didn’t have no wings. They looked
like cowboys to me. I didn’t lie to her, Casey. You and
your family was me and ma’ boy’s angels. God bless you, thank
you for all you done for us, and I love you, brother.”
“I done what I
had to do, Bart,— nothing more. We’ll have lots more times
together. I love you, too, bubba.”
They left to go
home. I threw my stuff in the back of the sheriff’s truck and we
headed for town. I thought Gip was going to wreck the truck, he
was going so fast. He couldn’t get to town fast enough. I
laughed at him and he grinned real big.
“Cain’t help it
none, cowboy. Ain’t seen ma’boy in a coon’s age. I need me
some a’ yore’ sweet cowboy love’n.”
“Well,— I dare
say we ain’t a’ gonna’ git no ticket; so, put the pedal to the metal,
Sheriff. I shore’ ‘nuff need me some a’ yore’ brand of good,
strong, cowboy love’n.” we shared a laugh.
“I’ve seen Bart
before around the rodeos and all. I’ve always thought he was a
fine look’n man.” Gip commented.
ran into him in our hallway on his way back from the shower one
Gip was poised for my response.
Sheriff. He makes a fine look’n cowboy but with his clothes off
he could pose for one a them statues of Greek Gods.”
“Made my ole
asshole lose its pucker.” I allowed. Gip roared with laughter.
see if’n we cain’t help you with that, cowboy.” he laughed
“Damn,— I hope
so. I need me another grand opening, Sheriff.”
We got to the
station and Gip helped me with my bags. There was hardly anyone
there. We went directly to his apartment in back, and I
headed for the shower. When I returned he handed me a small glass
with two fingers of Comfort. I’d gotten to where I really like
We didn’t fool
around too much with foreplay. We were hotter that two bobcats in
heat. We were of one mind. I wanted his big, fat sheriff’s
dick up my butt as fast as he could get it there, and he was just as
anxious to fill my tank. Gip couldn’t get my plug out fast
enough. Damn, he felt good as he quickly replace it with his
fine, cowboy cock.
Son.” he whispered as he took a long, deep stroke in my ass, and
stole a quick kiss.
Sheriff. I’m glad I got me a dad what knows how to welcome his
he comes home.”
“How you want
the sheriff to fuck you this afternoon, Son,— long, slow, and
deep, or short, heavy and fast?”
shore’can talk some shit, Sheriff.” I laughed at him. “‘Member
that afternoon a couple a’ months ago, when h’it was raining like a
mother, you thought you got too carried away, apologized
and apologized for being so rough?”
“Think you could
do it again,— but this time,— without the apologies.” I laughed.
“Why, you,— if’n
my dick didn’t feel s’damn good up yore’ cowboy butt, I’d turn you over
my knee, take my big black gun belt and whup your little butt until it
was nice and hot.”
Gip roared with
“Hell, I never
know what’s coming out that mouth a’ yours. Hang on, cowboy,
yore’ gonna’ git rode down hard and mean. You want a good, heavy
duty, industrial strength, lawman fuck’n, I’m jes’ the man what can
give it to ya.’” the sheriff growled at me with his deep authoritarian
voice and went to work.
lie. He rode me down rough, hard and mean and didn’t stop until
he drained us both. Gip fucked me many times, but if he ever
asked me for a request from his repertoire of fine fucks, nine times
out of ten, I’d pick his mean ass, animal fuck. It satisfied to
the max. I stayed fucked for days afterward.
* * * * * * *
We got cleaned
up and headed for the Claymore Ranch. My God, it was like the
prodigal son had returned. Cindy and her two girls were all over
me, hugging and kissing. Cindy knew beyond a doubt the sheriff
and I were up to no good. She got the biggest damn grin on her
“It is SO good
to have you home, young man.” Then she giggled like crazy.
“And, by the way, thanks for them pretty flowers you sent. You didn’t
have to do that,— ” she smiled real big, “but it shore’ ‘nuff was
“Aww, Ma,— you
done some awful nice things for me, and I jes’ wanted to say thanks.”
“While you men
were out, you got a phone call, Casey. It was yore’
granddad. Curtis wanted to know if he could drive in, spent the
night with you, and ya’ll return tomorrow morning. I didn’t think
you’d mind. I told him to come on ahead and have supper with
us. He should be here in another hour or so.”
“‘At’s fine, Ma
Claymore. Be great to see my granddad again.”
They wanted to
know all about my trip home and how my dad was handling the news of his
dad. I told them he had a visit from my uncle.
“But this time,
I weren’t allowed to hear what they talked about. From what I can
make out, Uncle Seth urged my dad to consider forgiving Curtis. I
left Curtis’ letter on his dresser. He promised he’d read it, but
he wouldn’t say when.”
arrived and it was reunion time all over again. It was so good to
see him. I’d forgotten what a fine looking cowboy he was.
We had a wonderful supper with the Claymores. I was going to help
Cindy with clean up, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She shooed me
out of her kitchen. We said our goodbyes and left. Granddad
carried one of my bags, and I carried the heavier one. He linked
his arm in mine, and we slowly walked to the double ‘R.’
It was a clear,
crisp, January night under the Western sky. Everything seems
bigger in this damn state,— even the stars. I could swear there
were more stars shining in the night sky above us than any other place
on Earth. I discovered,— it’s true,— the stars at night ARE big
and bright,— deep in the heart of Texas.
End Chapter 43 ~
Copyright 2005 ~