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Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:43 am
Much got done ! Everyone looked forward to Don and the others getting back from Eliasville . They were all excited about Juan and Simon's families coming and getting ready for them . Nate was being taught to walk , Rosa was wearing him out holding him up to walk . The cabins were coming together fast , they all worked together . Willow Mae felt at home and lived in excitement in this new place on the frontier with all watching out for her . She was one of them and they loved her spirit and encouragement ! Progress to build the ranch and their lives was moving fast .
Wade and Katy stood up after the meal and Wade said ... We have done well ! Katy and I are so proud of you all ! We are truly a family here and that's the way Katy and I want it . Our Lord has blessed us with one another and he has strengthened by our love and caring . Praise be to our Lord the one true living GOD !
Father thank you ! Thank you for bringing us here to this beautiful place . Thank you for all you have given and blessed us with as we know it all comes from you . Thank you for protecting us and building us . Be with and help us . Help us each in seeking your Holy Spirit to build our personal relationship with you and encourage others . Show us what you would have done and guide us each to do it . Amen
They all said Amen .
Willow Mae stood up and said ...Wade will you baptize me ! I am seventy four years old and I want to be born again ! Ed Rawlins slowly stood and said ...I seek to be baptized and recommit myself to GOD .
Everyone was excited and silent . Wade said ...I would be glad to give you both baptism ! Katy and I will talk to each of you before to confirm it's the right thing for you to do at this time . Joy stood and said ...I want to be baptized too Wade ! I want to know more about GOD ! Wade said ...We will council you Joy . You may need to learn more to make sure of your decision on baptism but I have a feeling that you are ready .
Everyone there was glad and congratulating those seeking a deeper understanding of GOD .
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:49 am
Don and Cindy rode into Eliasville . Don was trying to figure out how he was going to explain Cindy going to the ranch with them . He decided the truth was the was the best way . They tied up at the Staley's store and they went in . He introduced her to the Staleys and asked if she could spend the night . They said ..Of coarse ! Don said him and his men could sleep on the floor in the store and she could have the room . Mrs Staley quickly said … Ed can sleep with ya'll and her and the baby can sleep with me ! I can get a night without hearing Ed snore all night ! They asked no questions about her .
Don told her ...I have to check my men , we are moving two families to the ranch . The wagons and people all need to be ready to leave in the morning . Mrs Staley said ...She will stay with me and we will cook supper for when you all are ready . I want to play with her baby ! Ed told Don all the barbed wire and supplies are loaded in the freight wagon . John , Steve and the Garcia's are loading their things right now at their houses . Don said ...I'll put my two extra horses up and go help them . Ed just said … Go on ! I'll take care of the horses .
Don headed for Juan's house not far west , He got there and a ranch wagon and the freight wagon were there . Steve told him they had already loaded Simon's house . Two wagons were packed full with much tied to the sides . They had the third wagon left , it was going to be tight getting everyone loaded !
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:11 pm
Steve went the next morning after breakfast and picked up Simon and Juan's families . They had slept on the floor in Simon's house . Their bedding and a few buckets were all they had , the bedding laid in the bed of the wagon for them to sit on .
All the wagons pulled away from the Staley's store after many goodbyes . , They forded the small stream northeast of Eliasville and headed north on the prairie . Not two miles from the stream two riders came up from the south , the way they had come . The Simon and Juan with Don rode back to meet them not wanting them near the women and children .
The two men stopped when Don , Simon and Juan got close . Don stopped twenty feet from them and said ...What do you want ? One said ...I'm Cary Parish and this is my brother Mark . We heard you are lookin for help and we need a job . Ed Staley told us ya'll left this morning so we were trying to catch up to you .
Don still didn't completely trust them and asked a lot of questions about where they were from and who they worked for . They seemed alright and would be crazy to be trying something wrong around three Texas Rangers and four others with the wagons . Don made them an offer and said there was much work , that the ranch wanted no troublemakers ! Mark and Cary both agreed with Don and hired on . At least Don was taking two new hands back to the ranch .
No turning back , No turning back !
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:13 pm
Wade and Zeke were roofing the cabins starting at the end the floor was finished . Carlos and Tomas were still laying the floor on the rest of them working toward the last cabin . Katy and Joy were using the planes smoothing and truing boards . Two of the young Rangers were bringing in more logs , the third was cutting firewood and stacking it by the new bunkhouse . Zeke had made the cornfield twice as big as before with his plowing .
Willow Mae , Lucy and Rosa were watering the plants that had come up in their garden and happy to see them growing ! Ed was hunting to get them some meat and already had three jackrabbits and was carrying a big armadillo by it's hind foot he shot in the plum thicket ! He wanted one more rabbit and it would be enough for two days of fresh meat .
All was going well !
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:07 pm
The second day out headed to the ranch the ranch wagon carrying Simon and Juan's families went over a natural terrace and the right rear wheel thudded into a hole . The wheel was broken with half it's spokes gone . There was no way to fix it .
They talked of unloading the other ranch wagon and using it to carry the women and children . Don didn't want to leave the crippled wagon , supplies and Garcia's things on the prairie . He sent John and Steve with the Parish's east to the shinnery to find a good enough pole to make a drag pole to put under the axle and tie to the side of the wagon to get it to the ford . It wouldn't be able to haul the families and would be a hard pull for a team . But they wouldn't leave it .
A deadwood pole was found and tied up under the axle . They lost half a day doing it . Greg , Steve were taken from the wagons and put on the outlaw horses . Juan's wife could drive the loaded ranch wagon carrying children packed in the driver box . Carl drove the freight wagon with it filled with children too . Cindy offered to ride horseback with her baby to give the Garcia's more room in the wagons . She had been doing her share and getting along with everyone . Don would spell her off carrying her baby .
They pulled out moving even slower than before the drag pole holding the wagon up leaving a rut in the prairie behind it . It would be a dry camp tonight for the stock . They had the small water barrels still mostly full for the women and children .
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:07 pm
The next morning They pulled out of camp . It took a bit to get everyone situated in the wagons ..they were crowded . They had to travel slow , the two full loaded wagons , the broken wagon with the drag pole they hoped would make it to the ford .
Mid morning they saw a wagon in the distance behind them following . Don told Juan , Simon and Carl to stay with the wagons and keep moving . Him , John and Steve rode back south to find out who was following in the wagon . When they got there two men were in the driver box holding rifles , another man rode a horse . The wagon had two extra horses tied behind .
They rode up slow and called out . They found out that the three men were bringing the new windmills to the ranch ! Don was really happy and asked if they could carry some of the children . They said ..Sure ! We can put em in back on the crates ! They caught up to the ranch wagons and it was better when they put some of the children and Simon's wife in their wagon . Cindy got to ride in the box with her baby .
Don was relieved and there were three more men for protection . Plus the windmills were here , everyone would be excited at the ranch !
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:10 am
Wade and Zeke were back on the roof of the new cabins nailing shakes on the next morning . Carlos and Tomas laying floor with Joy and Katy smoothing and truing boards . The young Rangers had been put to making a long table and shelves for the bunkhouse . Simon and Juan's families would be living in the bunkhouse till the cabins were ready . The cabins were almost finished except for walling them off , doors and gun ports .
Kneeling on the roof nailing shakes Zeke saw a lone rider coming from the west up the river . He told Wade and pointed as they stood on the roof . Wade climbed down and told Joy and Carlos to get their rifles and they would meet the rider in the yard . Wade went in the cabin and told Katy , Lucy , Willow Mae that a single rider was coming . They didn't consider one man a big threat but to be aware . Lucy laid the guns out anyway .
They met him in the front yard . He rode in slow on a good looking bay gelding , rode a south Texas double rigged saddle . He had a Henry rifle in a rear boot and wore a Colt Army . He was dressed like a ranch hand , he was a black man .
He slowly dismounted tying the gelding to the mesquite tree . He smiled and said ...Howdy ! My name is Bill Pickett ! I been workin on the Matthew's ranch southwest of here . Summers over and they let some of us go with most of the cattle work over . I'm lookin for work ifin you need a hand !
He seemed like a friendly sort and Wade said ...Lets talk . We got coffee inside and I bet the ladies could rustle you up some food if you ain't eaten . Bill Pickett said ...I am hungry sir ! My cookin don't mount to much . They went in and sat down , he met the ladies and Katy started cooking him some eggs and bacon .
Wade hired him , looked like he might make a good hand and seemed knowledgeable . Wade went back to work and left him with the ladies . In a bit Zeke came in and took him to the shed and showed him where to bed down and take care of his horse . Bill took care of his horse and went to help the young Rangers build things for the bunkhouse .
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:56 am
Much work got done ! The bunkhouse was finished except for putting in the wood stove . The floor finished in the new cabins with just a few hours work left on the roof . Zeke had laid out the interior walls . Tomorrow the young Rangers would build another outhouse for the cabins out back of them . Don and the rest of the ranch people could show up in a day or two . They had done well ...everyone was working together !
The ladies had supper ready . Rosa was asking Bill Pickett many questions . She asked if he had children and he said ... No honey I am not married yet ! But one day I will have children . Rosa said ...You can move them here ! My family is coming ! I can't wait to see my mother and two brothers !
Bill said ...You know what ! I can't wait to see them too ! It's a good thing ! Everyone served themselves and talked in different groups . At the end of the meal Bill said ...Do ya'll eat this good all the time ! Carlos said ..Dang right ! Mrs Lucy , Rosa and Katy feed us good all the time ! We are spoiled . Bill said ...Oh Lord ! On the Matthews ranch a mean old man did the cooking for the hands and it was terrible but no one complained because we were afraid of him tormenting us even more . You men don't know how good you got it ! Ed said ...No place is better to be at than the Black Mule Ranch in a lot of ways Bill . You will see .
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:57 am
After supper Wade said to Ed ...Me and Zeke will look at your wound Ed . Lay down on the bed . Ed reluctantly complied taking his shirt off . Wade and Zeke looked at the stiches . Ed said ...Take em out ! Zeke stood up and said ...No ! We know how you are ! You could still bust it loose doing things you ought not ! We leave them a few more days . Ed you have people that love and depend on you for who you are ...not what you do . We want you healed up !
Ed started to get mad and said ...Look at the scars on my body ! This is nothing compared to what has come before ! Wade said ...Your not a young man anymore Ed . We will NOT risk your life . I don't even know how you have survived some of those wounds brother . Lucy came and was crying . She said ...I love you Ed ! I couldn't bear it if you left me ! Listen to them , we all love you !
Ed just realized many things . He stood and put his shirt on . He held Lucy and told Zeke , Katy and Wade ...Thank you . I'm still trying to get use to having a family . I'll work with you any way I can .They all laid a hand on him and Lucy , it was done .
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:29 pm
The next morning they finished the roof on the Garcia's cabins . Zeke and Katy were planeing boards , Wade and Bill Pickett were building doors and gun ports . The young Rangers were cutting much firewood ! Ed and Joy were hooking up the wood stove in the bunkhouse and arranging the beds , shelves and table . They still needed some benches and a few seats but the bunkhouse was ready for Simon and Juan's families to stay in for a bit . Just until they got settled with their things in their new cabins . Then all the Rangers and ranch hands would have the bunkhouse , Everyone would have a place to live !
Katy and Willow Mae were teaching Rosa how to make brooms for all the cabins and bunkhouse . Lucy was taking the small things to the bunkhouse that had been bought . Such as the oil lamp , big coffee pot , a few dishes , knives , forks and spoons , flour sacks for towels and just small things that needed doing . She swept it out and made everything nice for the Garcia's when they came .
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:30 pm
They had made it to the last waterhole before the ford on the river . It had taken an extra day to make the crossing with the overloaded wagons and dragging the crippled wagon changing out teams on it because it was hard to pull . It had been hard on the stock but the women and children didn't suffer for water . Don and the men had drank sparingly and the water rationed out to the families . Don saw that Cindy didn't drink much trying to stretch the water . She had helped with the children all she could , Simon and Juan's wives really liked her .
They had reached the waterhole midafternoon . Don said they would stop and let the stock get some extra rest before going on to the ford . He sent Steve and John to get some meat for a meal . They left on foot in different directions with their rifles and shots were heard soon after . They brought back eight rabbits and the women started cooking them . Don got tea out of the supplies and sugar , they all had sweet tea . Everyone was excited that they were so close to the ranch and would be there by noon tomorrow . The hard part of the crossing was over !
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:20 pm
They woke before daylight . The women rekindled the fire and made coffee . Don sat with Steve and John talking to them . He told them ...When we get closer to the ford I ride ahead to the ranch to prepare them . You two will be in charge , unload half the freight wagon on this side of the river . We will not take a chance of it getting stuck in the river and having to unload it there to make it across . Better to make another trip back with the ranch wagon to finish hauling what you unload . I will bring help and the cart to help haul some of the children . We want everyone safe when we ford .
John and Steve agreed quickly ! Don told them ...You two have come a long way from when you came to the ranch , I trust both of you and your decisions . Keep them all safe ! Steve and John assured him they would .
When they got a mile from the ford Don rode up to Cindy in the windmill wagon box and told her ...We are nearly there ! I go to get help fording the river . Be careful and I will be at the ford when you cross . She shook her head yes and said ...Be careful yourself Don , I will worry for you till we meet at the ford ! Don smiled as he broke off and loped toward the ford .
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:31 pm
Don crossed the river with no trouble . His Sorrel knew the way home and sped up on his own ! Don reached the cabins and Everyone was out front excited . He dismounted and Katy , Lucy and Willow Mae held and kissed him on his face glad to see him safe . Don quickly told them of all who were coming and of the wagon breaking down but managing to get it to the ford . He told of the windmills being with them and hiring two new hands . But they needed the cart and maybe help across the river .
Wade told Zeke and One of the young Rangers to hitch the cart to the black mule , he told Carlos , Tomas and Bill to saddle up as he went to fetch Bud and saddle up himself . Katy said ...I drive the cart ! I go with you to meet them ! Rosa was jumping up and down saying ...Can I go ! Can I go ! Katy said ...Of coarse you can go ! You ride with me in the cart !
Lucy ran with Willow Mae to make a bigger lunch . They were all glad that everyone was safe and would soon be home !
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:32 pm
Zeke drove the cart around front of the cabin . The men were saddled and waiting to go . Katy and Rosa got in the cart and Katy handed Rosa the reins saying you need to learn to drive a horse or mule in harness ! Rosa was excited and said ...Tell me how Katy ! Katy said you don't have to do much with the black mule except 'tell' him where to go , he is smart . Lay the reins on his back and tell him ..Hup ! He will start , if you want to turn left tell him 'Gee' , If you want to go right tell him ...'Haw' ! With the black mule it is easy .
Rosa said ...HUP ! And the black mule started walking forward . Rosa looked at Katy with a big smile !
Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:21 pm
They all rode to the ford . The wagons with Steve , John , Simon , Juan , Cary and Mark Parish were there to cross . The freight wagon was already half unloaded in a neat pile in the shinnery . They were ready to cross .
Wade said ...Their horses are worn ! Tomas and Carlos cross and tie to the freight wagon . Help them over if they get stuck in the river ! Carlos and Thomas forded and tied on as Simon and Juan's families greeted them excitedly . The freight wagon crossed with no problems ! The ranch wagon did the same with Steve driving the team .
Only the families were left . Wade said ...Let me drive the cart Katy , you and Rosa stay here . Katy said ...NO ! I will bring them over and Rosa stays here . Wade didn't argue and agreed . Katy drove across the ford and the black mule pulled up the bank . There was reunion with Simon , Juan , Steve and John ! Katy told Juan's family to get in the cart , with his wife there were six of them . It was a big load for the small cart . But the black mule got them across . Katy went back . She had seen the girl with a baby and wondered about her .
Simon's wife and three children got in the back , letting the girl with the baby sit in the driver's box . Katy didn't know who she was but greeted her and told her she was glad they were home and safe . They forded the river . Wade told her to go on and take them to the ranch . The rest could ride the wagons .
They made it to the cabin and there was great celebration and much food cooking for the travelers !