View Full Version : Moving West - Chapter 18

12-08-2010, 01:06 AM
As I recall, as the last chapter ended, Sean and Mariska were at great risk, and there was some doubt as to whether or not they would survive their attempt to make it down the treacherous trail.
I must admit that I'm pretty curious as to how this turns out. So, here we go.. :)
Time moved at a snail's pace as Sean and Mariska cautiously made their way down the narrow, treacherous trail. Each had at least a couple of close calls, in which they came dangerously close to going over the side of the precipice. Finally, the trail began to widen, a sign that Sean believed signaled the ending of the trail.
As he dropped his reins to the ground, Sean hoped that his horse would hold for the few seconds necessary for him to do some checking. He moved quietly to the corner of the bend, and climbed up into some rocks for a better view. What he saw from there dashed his joy of having reached the end of this danger filled trail. The outlaws had apparently found where they had entered the trail, and had simply rode around to the end of it, and were waiting for them to come out. Cairo was just a short distance past where the outlaws waited, but they would have done their business and be long gone before anyone in the town knew anything about it.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sean motioned for Mariska to move away from the horses and move tight to the hillside in case they spooked. Then, he fired a shot in the air with his rifle, reloaded, fired again, reloaded, and then fired a third shot. As three shots was a commonly used distress signal on the frontier, Sean hoped that it would be recognized as such by the townspeople. Most of the men in that town would have served in the military and many would have fought Indians now and then. A chance to escape the repetitive nature of making a living, for a brief opportunity to again have a taste of adventure and danger, would appeal to many of them – or so Sean hoped.

Thankfully, almost before the echo of the last shot had died, a party of a dozen men was riding out of town headed towards them, hell bent for leather. The outlaws wisely took off for parts unknown, at a full gallop. As the men from town arrived, Sean and Mariska came off the trail, introduced themselves, and explained what had taken place. When they reached the town, Sean and Mariska began thanking the men in the rescue party, but the tall sandy haired fellow who seemed to be the leader, said
“ Are you kidding me? It's us who should be thanking you. Things have become so quiet and peaceful around here lately that it's sometimes hard to stay awake during the day. Today's events will give us something to talk about for months. Anyway, anybody foolish and lucky enough to have made it down that path, deserves a good meal at the very least. Step right into the hotel, and your supper is on us. Anything else we can do for you, just holler.
“Say, if you don't mind my asking, what tribe does your wife come from? She is Indian, correct?”
Sean answered back “ She is Mohegan, does that bother you?”
“No, not at all. I had a Choctaw wife for two years. Finer woman never lived. One day while I was hunting, three drunks who worked on the river, came by and found her alone. The three of them raped and killed her. I tracked them back to their place, and reported them to the law. The Sheriff and the Judge said there wasn't anything they could do about it. You will find their graves on top of the hill right next to the town cemetery.” The look in his eye told Sean all he needed to know about who killed them, and a pretty good idea of how they died. “Your wife reminds me of her in a lot of ways. Anyways, best of luck to you both. Look me up if I can help. My name is John Lamm,and I run the newspaper. It's just down the street. Just look for the building with the most bullet holes in the door..."

“ SEAN EATON!!...ARE MY EYES FAILING ME?? IS THAT TRULY YOU LAD??” No more than 3 steps into the hotel, Sean turned, and was totally shocked to see that the voice belonged to none other than his uncle Emmet Eaton, who had left Ireland for America more than 2 years ago. “Uncle Emmett... I cannot believe you are here... I knew you left Ireland to come here, but never dreamed that I'd actually see you!” The three of them sat down for supper, and Sean brought his uncle Emmett up to date on the passing of his mother, and the fact that his father had never returned from the wars. He explained why he had to leave Ireland, and gave him a brief rundown on the key events in his life since arriving in this country, including his marriage to his bride Mariska.
Emmett grabbed Sean by the shoulder, “Well, I have to meet a man on a business deal, so I have to leave right now. I want to talk to you further tomorrow. It's a small town, so I will find you. Just please don't leave without seeing me.”
“Do you have money for a room? When he saw the look flash between Sean and Mariska, he offered, “Don't feel bad. Neither did I when I first came to this country. I will arrange a room, and breakfast for you as I leave. Least I can do for family”
As Emmett stood up to leave, Sean and Mariska shook his hand, thanked him for his kindness, and assured him that they would talk to him tomorrow.
Following breakfast the next morning, Sean and Mariska went to the livery stable to check on their horses. It was there that Uncle Emmett found them. “ Here is a proposition for you. I own a big farm down in Mississippi. Currently I am in need of someone to oversee the daily operation, as my son is only sixteen. You would have your own house, and you will find the pay to be very good. I have to travel a lot, so I need someone in that job that can be trusted, and who has good judgement. Everything I knew about you in Ireland tells me that you can be trusted, and after all you have been through since arriving in America, you are still standing, so it would appear that your judgement is sound.”
This offer was like a bolt of lightning out of the blue to Sean. “Well sir, it's certainly sounds like a great offer, but to be honest, Mariska and I have been thinking that the new lands further west sound interesting, and we may want to go there.”
“I can certainly understand that” countered Uncle Emmett. “Think about this. To go west, you will need to work and gather enough money to buy the things you will need for that long journey. Come to Mississippi with me on the Riverboat this afternoon. Work for me for two years, and you will have more than enough money to take you to whatever destination you choose.”
“Uncle Emmett, that is more than fair, but I'd hate to go all the way to Mississippi, and decide we didn't want the job, then have to backtrack up to here, then head north to St. Louis. That would be a lot of wasted time”, answered Sean.
“Sean, come with me. If for whatever reason, you decide you don't want the job after you look it over, I'll pay for your trip to St. Louis on the Riverboat. That will get you there faster than if you went there on horseback from here. You and Mariska talk it over, and meet me in the hotel lobby in an hour with your decision."

An hour later, they met Emmett, and accepted his offer.
An hour after that, Sean had loaded their horses on the riverboat, and they were all headed down the river on their way to the delta lands of Mississipi.

12-08-2010, 01:42 AM
Excellent work as always...!!!

12-08-2010, 02:07 AM
Always a pleasure Mike. Wonderful story!

12-08-2010, 03:21 AM
Excellent work as always...!!!

Thank you very much Ken. Truly appreciated! :)

12-08-2010, 03:23 AM
Always a pleasure Mike. Wonderful story!

Sandy, thank you so much. I am so glad that you are enjoying this story. I appreciate your kind words very much. :)

12-08-2010, 04:10 AM
M and S's lives seem to be falling into place, lets hope they enjoy their detour :D

12-08-2010, 06:51 AM
Oh my goodness Mike, I didnt think it could get any better but is just continues to do so. Well done and excellent painting:)

12-08-2010, 08:33 AM
M and S's lives seem to be falling into place, lets hope they enjoy their detour :D

Life does seem to throw little detours into our best laid plans doesn't it?? :)
It will be interesting to see how they like life in the south. Even today, the south is different from the rest of the country. (Different, but much of it wonderful. No matter where I go, a big piece of my heart will always be in Arkansas). Back in Sean and Mariska's day, it was even more different, and a difficult adjustment for some.
Thank you for following my story Jean. I'm delighted that you have found it worth reading/viewing. :)

12-08-2010, 08:36 AM
Oh my goodness Mike, I didnt think it could get any better but is just continues to do so. Well done and excellent painting:)

(Digging my toe into the dirt, and turning red...) Aw shucks Ma'm....:) )
Coops, I am so appreciative of your very kind comments.. That you have enjoyed this effort, truly pleases me. :)

12-10-2010, 01:56 AM
It looks like good luck is ready to pop out for Sean and Mariska each now and then. The illustration is fitting and stylish as always keeping us into the story with one more sense.

12-10-2010, 02:00 AM
It looks like good luck is ready to pop out for Sean and Mariska each now and then. The illustration is fitting and stylish as always keeping us into the story with one more sense.

Caesar, thank you very much. Very much appreciated.
Altho as chapter 19 reveals, what appears to be the light at the end of the tunnel, can sometimes be something else.. :):)

12-10-2010, 05:25 AM
What a heart-warming story.:)

12-10-2010, 08:12 AM
What a heart-warming story.:)

Thank you Jasmine.. Glad you liked it. :)