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Thread: Return to Sender - Chapter 16

  1. #1
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    Return to Sender - Chapter 16

    The story continues. I threw in a little passage for Caesar's benefit. I'm pretty sure most will spot it easy enough.
    Chapter 16
    "Good morning Sean," said Maura. " I brought along a sandwich in case you didn't have anything to eat this morning."
    "Thanks Maura. Not knowing how long I will be here, I'm being careful to conserve my food, so I didn't eat much. It's for sure I can use this. Thank you."
    Maura had already been waiting when I arrived at the bridge the next morning. After I finished the sandwich, we walked over to the farm where my family and I had lived.
    "Grady tried to tell the Earl that you gave him the farm before you left, but the Earl, such as he is, insisted that as a criminal, you had no property rights. Of course, he took possession of the farm and the cottage."
    One of the Earl's men was working the fields, so we reluctantly chose not to go onto the property. However, we took a position that put the cottage between us and the worker, and took our time looking over what had been my home for so many years. "It's a bitter thing to admit it, but it appears that the Earl has had the cottage attended to. It hasn't looked that good since my father was at home."
    Maura smiled. "Well now. I'll not have you be giving credit to the man who does not deserve an ounce of it. Some of us take turns coming out when we have the time and doing a bit of work to keep the place looking good. We do it to honor the memory of your sainted Mother."
    It took a couple of tries to get the words out. "Maura, I cannot thank you enough for this kindness. If you don't mind, I'll be having you pass along my thanks to the others, after I've gone."
    "Of course not," said she. "One and all, they will be glad to know that you have seen the place again, and that you appreciate what they have done."
    Off to the left of the cottage were the graves of my sister, and my mother. Worker or not, I was not going to leave without visiting those graves. "Maura, would you be so kind as to go around and keep the worker's attention on you, so that I can spend a couple of minutes at the graves?"
    "To be sure," she answered. In a minute, she was laughing and flirting with the worker, as I walked up the steps onto what used to be our farm, and walked over to where my mother and sister were buried. It was both wonderful to be there again, and yet sad, for I knew well that I would most likely never be back again.
    After a few minutes privacy, I waved at Maura and went back down the steps onto the road and waited for her by the bridge. As I waited, I saw a horse drawn cart coming around the bend in the road. Being only a few feet from the bridge, it was a simple matter to slip underneath the bridge and move back up into the shadows. One quick look from a protected spot, revealed that the driver was Flinn Delaney, a longtime friend of our family, and by all accounts, a good man. It was frustrating to not be able to step out and talk to him, but Flinn did have one flaw in his makeup that worried me. He loved to spend his evenings in the pub, surrounded by friends, as he satisfied his one vice, drinking. There was not a dishonest or evil bone in Flinn's body, but after his tongue was loosened by alcohol, he threw caution to the wind, and told anything and everything he knew. More often than not, he told everything he suspected too. As he drove on by, I whispered softly, "Go ahead on Flinn. Even tho I cannot talk to you, I wish you and yours, all the best."
    When Maura returned, she asked. "Shall we be leaving now?"
    "Yes," I answered. "Let's follow the stream bank for a bit until the cover thins out. Then I'll wait while you go the rest of the way back to your home." An idea struck me as I walked from the farm over to the bridge. "Maura, does your brother Tim still sell his produce to merchants in Dunquin?"
    "Yes, as far as I know he still takes a wagon load over every day."
    "Maura, the Tim I remember, was a man that minded his own business, and kept his own to himself. Has he changed at all in that regard?"
    Maura stopped and sat down on a tree stump in order to remove a stone from her shoe. Looking up at me, she said, "Aye, he's just as closed mouth as ever. His wife Gail, says that he never even says 'Good morning, or Good evening', since he's said those words the first week they were married, and he doesn't see a need to keep repeating them."
    Helping Maura to her feet, I laughed. "Well, he's not a man to gossip then. That's good. What does he think of the Earl? Could I count on his silence if I asked him for a little help?"
    "That, and more, I'm thinking," she responded. "It's been the devil's own time I've had to keep him from trying to kill the Earl himself after Grady's murder. He and Grady were great friends, and for a long time I feared that he would do something foolish. Tim is brave and strong, and he's had his share of fist fights in the pubs, but he has no experience in the kind of fighting that will be needed to kill the Earl. His life would be thrown away, and him with a wife and seven children to care for."
    Reaching out, I grabbed Maura's arm to stop her. "I don't want him to take any active part in what I'm going to do. However, I need to scout out the Earl's place for a few days in order to make my plans. If he's willing to help, he could do so without putting himself at risk."
    Maura stared out into the distance for a couple of minutes without saying a word. Finally, she said, "I shall see him as soon as I get back. I have a big pot of roses by my front door. If you come to town this afternoon, look for them. If I have taken them inside, that means he has agreed to help. In that case, I will meet you first thing in the morning, by the old church near the cave. If the roses are still outside, then it means that for whatever reason, he can't help."
    "That's fair enough," I replied. "Well, get you on back to town then. I'll wait a few minutes, then work my way back to the cave and work on my plan for a couple of hours."
    As she started walking away, I spoke up. "Maura?" She turned and looked at me, waiting for me to continue. "Maura, I just wanted to say thanks for your help."
    "No Sean," she responded. "It's I that has need to be thanking you. It's you that has left your family and come so far to risk your life to get justice for my Grady. No matter how it may turn out, you will forever have the gratitude of myself and our children. "Then quickly, she turned and headed toward town.


    Back in Colorado, the long bitter winter had given way to the magic of high country spring. Once again they were excited to not be held prisoner in the cabin by the harsh winter blizzards. Their food supply had been sufficent, but Dover anxiously went hunting just as soon as he could.
    Mariska and Senta, with Chance and Patrick helping where they could, set about starting a garden, and transplanting some wild flowers to locations around the cabin.
    One night Dover had trouble sleeping. He lay listening to the pop and crackling of the fire as he wondered how long it would be before they would run into raiding parties from the Pawnee, Ute and Kiowa tribes.
    Suddenly, he felt his blanket move, and when he looked back in that direction, he saw Senta sliding under the blanket with him. As she slid over to him and pressed against him, he was pretty sure that she was not wearing anything.
    "What are you doing," he whispered. "What about Sean?"
    "Her lips were soft as she kissed him. "Sean is far away, and you are here."
    "Yeah," he replied. "But, don't you think you will regret this in the end?"
    Senta stared into his eyes. "I will only regret it if you do not make love to me tonight."
    Being loyal to his friend was one thing. Having this beautiful young girl lying next to him, was more temptation than a man should have to endure. "Yes Ma'am, I can see your point. He reached his arm over her shoulders to pull her close to him whe he heard Mariska's voice.
    "DOVER! I thought you were my friend."
    "Yes Ma'am," he replied. "You surely are."
    "Her eyes blazed as she responded. "And yet, I find you with Senta under your blanket. Did I not know you first?"
    "Yes Ma'am, that's true enough."
    Mariska's robe dropped to the floor and she said, "Move over. You shall sleep with both of us tonight."
    Dover raised the blanket and watched as Mariska crawled in next to him and he felt both women press their bodies against him, as they took turns kissing him.
    Then, he..... he blinked his eyes and looked around. He was alone under the blanket and both Senta and Mariska were still in their beds. He reached over and picked up his hat and threw in against the wall in frustration. He had been dreaming.

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    Last edited by barnburner; 08-03-2012 at 07:00 AM.
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  2. #2
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    You built an awfully nice cottage, dear Barnburner, and also a most teasing dream for Dover! I hope there's a river or a poll still fresh enough mountain water just outside the cabin .... LOL
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar View Post
    You built an awfully nice cottage, dear Barnburner, and also a most teasing dream for Dover! I hope there's a river or a poll still fresh enough mountain water just outside the cabin .... LOL
    Thanks Caesar. I have admit that I was very pleased with how the cottage turned out.
    Oh, not to worry. Considering how cold it gets in the Rocky Mountains at night, during the winter, all Dover would have to do, is open the door and step outside. No cold water needed.
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  4. #4
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    I am really enjoying this story Barnburner and now waiting for the next episode, well done
    Sometimes...I remember better with my eyes closed

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by coops View Post
    I am really enjoying this story Barnburner and now waiting for the next episode, well done
    Thank you dear Katie. Truly appreciated.
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