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Sagas of the Wild West

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Tidings of Comfort


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Addy shrugged when he asked which he thought was the better of the options.  "Well. reckon that depends on yer horse.  Arabesque here, she's good with ridin' double or packin' th' deer, so if there's one yer horse prefers?"  Not all saddle horses liked the smell of blood, especially so close as when it was right on their back, and some didn't like riding double.  Arabesque, she knew, was easy-going and would put up with just about anything Addy asked of her.

 

"We gotta git some manner'a tree, too.  Don't have ta be too big, just somethin' fer Weedy."  And extra burden for whichever horse was going to be packing the deer...

 

@Jack

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"Give me a hand?" Jay took some rope out off his saddle bags to bind the animals legs together. "My horse can carry the deer." Then with Addys help hauled it up onto his horse. The fast motion jarred his side just a little too much making him hiss and hold on to the horn for a long moment until it subsided.

"Damn...takes longer than I thought. When I'm healed, I'll be on my way, promise." He'd be sad to leave this winderful woman but it was better this way for her and his sake.

 

 

The deer would leave a trail behind them. "I hope we won't attract any bears and bring em to your doorstep."

 

Jay decided to lead the horse to a tree, that they'd cut down instead if riding.

 

He found a small but straight one and looked at the brunette on her horse.

 

"What do you say?"

 

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"Give me a hand?" Jay took some rope out off his saddle bags to bind the animals legs together. "My horse can carry the deer."

 

"Sure, all right."  Working with him, she helped get the deer trussed up and then onto the horse, although she could see that the work was hard for him, with that fresh wound.  "Ya okay?"

 

"Damn...takes longer than I thought. When I'm healed, I'll be on my way, promise."

 

"Don't worry about it, ain't that much an inconvenience, an' I know yer still gettin' over that infection."  The wound was bad enough alone, but it had been the infection that had really caused the damage.  "Whenever yer ready."  She shrugged.

 

"I hope we won't attract any bears and bring em to your doorstep."

 

"Nah, they won't come inta town," she assured him, "an' just a few months back we got that one that was causin' all th' trouble.  Kilt one'a my horses, it did, an' a few people, too."  She grinned.  "He made good meals fer th' tribe of Utes live near here."  That bear meat would have seen the tribe fed well into the winter!

 

"What do you say?"

 

"Looks perfect!  Not too big, I can just pull it behind Arabesque."  She swung to the ground, then went over to help him.  The trunk wasn't too big, so wasn't hard to cut.  "Weedy's gonna like this real good, I think."  She grinned.  "We're gonna give him a good Christmas.  I'm glad yer here ta help."

 

@Jack

 

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"Yeah...I'm glad, too."

Jay looked at her with a bit of sentiment. This would be the first time he spent Christmas with someone he cared about. "It'll be nice...we're like a small, strange family. I like that. Haven't really celebrated Christmas in years."

He babbled away to let some time pass and mask his weakness while she was cutting the tree down.

"You got ornaments and candles and all that pretty stuff, too?"

He would need to get both of them some sort of present, too.

With the deer on his horse, Jay wasn't sure where he.should sit so he took.her up her previous offer after the tree was tied to the horse.

"Double back....do you want me in the front of back?" Oh that would be awkward."

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"Back is fine."  Addy shrugged, swinging back into the saddle.  "Best we get back soon, so's we have time ta work on that deer."  Dressing and roasting it would take some time, and it was getting a little late.  "Reckon we can hack some meat off an' roast it in a pan on th' fire."  Which meant building a fire out back...

 

"Least th' weather's cold enough we can store th' carcass in th' snow 'till after Christmas."  Maybe Miz Emeline could help them with that, since she really didn't know much about cooking.  "Ya gonna keep th' hide fer somethin'?"  It could be stretched and dried, but that would take much longer this time of year.

 

@Jack

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With a bit of hesitation he climbed onto the back of her horse. The saddle was very tight for both of them but if he sat further back he'd hurt the horses back with his weight.

Sitting this close to Addy and feeling her body (even covered in many layers of clothing was getting Jays imagination very active.

He had to concentrate not to let it show.

"Yeah. .sounds good." He replied to both questions because his mind was elsewhere. "Won't people in town wonder why we're sitting this close if they see us. One might come riding out here...I don't want to ruin your reputation."

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Addy laughed, although she appreciated that he was worried about her virtue.  "I don't give no mind ta what people think 'bout me," she declared, starting back for town.  "Ain't none'a their business."   Then she shrugged.  "'Sides, anyone with a mind'd see yer horse ain't got no room fer ya."

 

She glanced over her shoulder at him.  "I truly appreciate yer helpin' with this.  Don't know where his mama got to this time, but it ain't fair he should suffer his holiday because of her."  She took off her hat to gather up some stray hairs that had escaped her pony tail, then put it back on.  "Christmas was always a good time."

 

@Jack

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It was truly refreshing to meet a woman. Who did not care about her reputation. Jay could have almost guessed that. Perhaps he was still too used to the ladies of England, whom he grew up with.

"I like your attitude."

He commented behind her as some of her hair got blown into his face. He brushed it away with his left and helped her tug it under her hat.

 

When she talked about the boy and Christmas, the bank robber smiled to himself.

"It's also my first Christmas in the circle of a family....I guess you could say that. Right now we're almost like a little family."

Obviously he got a bit carried away by the spirit of Christmas as sitting this close to a womam he admired.

Carefully he snuk his arm around her waist to hold on to her...just like anyone on the back of a horse would, while he geld the reigns of his own horse in his other hand. 

 

It felt awefully good and put a grin on his usually serious features.

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"Yeah, I reckon we could say we're a family," Addy agreed.  She already considered Weedy to be family, be it little brother or old son, and for the most part they acted that way with each other, and Jay had fit in from the start.  Of course, he'd been pretty much unconscious that first day and weak and sleep the next few, but she'd grow accustomed to having him around, and didn't mind his presence at all.

 

"I'm hopin' th' boy's mother'll come around, she usually does, since she knows that at Christmas an' his birthday she'll get some food an' a little money."  She shook her head.  "Don't think she ever did have intention of becomin' a mother, but that don't give her cause ta shirk her duty."  Still, the lad deserved someone to take care of him, and Addy enjoyed it.

 

"Be even better havin' you here, a man he can talk to, an' not just a strange lady that don't know nothin' 'bout bein' a lady, but ain't no man."

 

@Jack

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jay was pleased to hear that he was welcome to stay and actually probably even a good influence. Well, Addy didn't know who he really was. Otherwise she wouldn't think so. Despite all his wrong doings, Jay still believed that he was at least a 'half-good' man. One that had broken the law too many times and was probably an aweful role model. When it came to Addy and Weedy he was on his best behavior and probably a decent companion.

"Thank you. Your words honor me. I mean. I'm not the greatest influence by any means but I am a man and I'm trying."

He was probably better than the boys real family.

"I gotta say. What you're doing for this boy is more than I've ever seen anyone do for a total stranger. Same goes for me. You just took me in, gave me food and cared for my wound. You're incredible Addy!"

He got carried away and if she had allowed it, he would have gladly kissed her. Now he only hugged her tight from behind and asked. "May I give you a kiss on the cheek?"

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