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The Adventure Begins - fourth posting ?

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Joined: 31 Jan 2009
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Location: Omaha, Arkansas

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 12:12 pm    Post subject: The Adventure Begins - fourth posting ?  Reply with quote

Lucas slept fitfully during the night, while Mark tried to keep watch over him from the big overstuffed chair in the corner of their room; the heaviness of his eye lids proved to outweigh his determination to protect his father.  He awoke with a start to a knock on the door.  “Who’s there?” Mark asked as he toppled out of the blanket he had wrapped around him while sitting in the chair.  “Mark, it’s the doctor.  I want to take a look at your Pa.”  Mark was still trying to right himself of the blanket as he headed for the door, Lucas was still in a fitful sleep when Mark was finally able to open the door. The doctor asked if he could come into the room to check on Lucas and Mark invited him in.  While the doctor was looking at Lucas, he asked Mark if his father had been like this all night; “I think so, I don’t rightly know,” he said with a guilty voice, “I guess I fell asleep; but he was like that before I fell asleep and he was like that when you knocked on the door.  I stayed in the chair so Pa could have the bed to himself, I didn’t want to hurt his arm none.”  The doctor interjected, “Any, you didn’t want to hurt his arm any.”  Mark just looked at the doctor like he was crazy, “That’s what I said.”  It had not occurred to him that a total stranger would correct his grammar; after all, he was a doctor, not a school teacher.  The doctor shook his head a little and started his examination of Lucas.  He did not like inflicting pain but he had inflicted much while resetting all of Lucas’ bones and he knew the havoc it could play on a body.  “I’ll want to keep a close eye on him.  I’m going to give him something for his pain again, it is important that he rest.  Why don’t you go and get something to eat, I’ll stay here with him while you go,” the doctor suggested.  Mark did not want to leave his father but his stomach was rubbing against itself from hunger.  The doctor gave Mark fifty cents for his breakfast, “Mark, why don’t you stop at the marshal’s office before you go to the restaurant and ask him to come by here, I need to talk to him.”  Mark looked quizzically at the doctor but the doctor assured him that it was just a personal matter so Mark went on his way, the prospect of chocolate cake for breakfast temporarily overtaking his concern for his father.  
When the marshal arrived at the McCain hotel room door, the doctor let him into the room.  “What is so important, Doc that you had to send for me?” he asked.  “Seems like someone is looking for this man and his boy and I don’t like the whole thing.  I didn’t want the boy around when I told you, Matthew, they’ve had enough trouble, seems to me.”  Matthew asked, “How do you know someone is looking for them?”  “Because he stopped me last night in the street, asking if an injured man with a boy had recently come to town; that’s how I know.”  “What do you know about these two, Doc?  Other than he is injured,” Matthew requested.  “Dad-blame-it Matthew, I know they are decent people.  That’s what I know,” the doctor spat out at the marshal.  Matthew slightly smiled, “Just how do you know that Doc?  Did they give you some sort of affidavit telling you that they were good and decent people?”  Doc was getting upset, “Matthew, you know they didn’t do any such thing.  I just know, the same way I know that the stranger wasn’t here to do them any good.”  “Okay Doc, what do you want me to do about it?” asked the marshal.  By now, the doctor was pretty riled up because the marshal didn’t seem to be taking the matter as seriously as he did, “I want you to do your job and protect them, that’s what I want you to do about it.  Especially that little boy that I just sent out for breakfast.  Do you think you can do that Matthew?”  To the marshal it sounded more like a dare but he remained calm, “Doc, something about that boy must have really affected you.  I’ll make sure nothing happens to them while they’re here in town.”  The doctor “Hmphd,” then nodded.  “Why don’t you start by seeing that no one harms that little boy while he’s eating breakfast.  I’m going to be here a while with his father.  Why are you still standing around here, go, go.”

Matthew found Mark sitting at a table by himself, eating chocolate cake, knowing he would have done the same thing had he the opportunity at that age.  “Don’t you think your Pa would want you having something besides chocolate cake?” he asked.  Mark looked up at the marshal, “Yes sir, I’m waiting for my glass of milk.”  The marshal  tried to hide the smile that spread across his face as he sat down at the table with Mark, but it was a wasted effort, and when the waitress saw him she automatically brought over a cup of coffee as she was bringing Mark’s milk to the table.  “Will there be anything else?” she asked.  “I think this young man will have a bowl of oatmeal and I’ll have my usual,” Matthew told her.  Mark tried to stop her, “I don’t have enough money for that,” but the marshal waived her off.  “Don’t worry about it boy.  Seems like Doc has taken a liking to you and has decided that the rest of the town had better see to your needs while your Pa is laid up.”  Mark started to get a great big grin, thinking he had this town in his back pocket.  “Hold up on your thinking there Mark,” said the marshal as he noticed the grin spread across Marks face, “that means they’re all going to treat you like you’re kin; you might not find that as much to your liking as you would think,” the marshal told him.  Mark did not know for sure what that might mean, he couldn’t remember anyone other than his Grandpa, Gramma, or his Pa ever telling him what to do.  His Ma died when he was really young, he didn’t remember her telling him what to do.  “What will it be like, a whole town telling me what to do?” he asked the marshal while playing with his food.  Matthew couldn’t help but like the openness and honesty of this boy, was it any wonder why Doc had a liking to him.  “I guess it can be right bothersome at times, but it’s a right nice feeling, knowing they all care,” Matthew told him.  Mark liked that idea, it hadn’t been that long since they had left Enid, but it still seemed such a long time since anyone other than his Pa worried about him.  ”Marshal, is my Pa gonna be alright?” Marks’ eyes showed an innocence Matthew had never seen in all his years as a peace officer, “Our Doc is a pretty good doctor and is looking over him, I’d say your Pa has a real good chance.”  Matthew was grateful that the waitress came back to the table with the food right at this time, the way the doctor was acting, he really didn’t know how Marks’ Pa would be and he didn’t like the idea of lying to this boy.  They talked about the town during breakfast, and places that Mark should avoid; Mark didn’t ask why, he just responded, “Yes sir.”  When breakfast was over, Matthew paid the bill; even though Mark tried to pay with the money he had received from the doctor.  Matthew sent him back to the hotel, watching to see if anyone was watching him as he went.  Once Mark was inside the hotel, Matthew started walking around the town, looking for strangers.

Mark walked back into his room, surprised by the doctor’s reaction when he opened the door.  “What’s wrong with my Pa,” he asked, believing that could be the only reason the doctor would be upset.  “Nothing boy, I was just surprised that you were back so soon is all,” the doctor tried to reassure Mark.  Mark looked at him suspiciously, then went directly to his father.  After checking to make sure that the doctor had done nothing to injure his father further, Mark handed the doctor the fifty cents he had given him for breakfast, “Here is your money back, the marshal paid for breakfast.”  The doctor chuckled slightly, “You know you could have kept this and I never would have known.”  “Well, I would have known and it wouldn’t have been right,” Mark stated with the indignant passion of a boy who knew right from wrong.  The doctor was bemused by this boy; travelling alone with his father, obviously having lived alone with him for quite some time by their connection to each other.  “You and your Pa are kind of close to each other, aren’t you Mark?” Doc asked.  “Yes sir, we’re partners; have been ever since my Ma died.” Mark told him.  Mark’s statement was passionate as to he and his Pa being partners but flat about his Ma having passed.  “Mark, do you remember your Ma?” the doctor questioned.  “Not really, Pa shows me daguerreotypes of her and tells me about her and the things we did, but it’s really more his memory than mine.”  “Do you tell him that?” the doctor questioned.  “No, I would never do that.  Talking about her makes her real to me and keeps her special to both of us, why would I take that away from either of us?” Mark looked at the doctor with a pain behind his eyes.  The doctor smiled and nodded, such wisdom from such youth; would if you could find that wisdom in the older generations.  The doctor assured Mark that his Pa would sleep more comfortably for a while but that he would be back around dinner time with some soup for Mark to give to his Pa.  In the meantime, he saw that Mark had some school books he could work on and he would be sending the school teacher by to check up on Mark’s lessons later in the day.  Mark was anything but pleased with this news when he heard it.

A Few Days Later

Lucas was up and walking around town, everyone telling him about Mark and what he had been doing and what they had not allowed him to do.  They all sang his praises, no one had ever remembered seeing such a well behaved child, he was allowed to go fishing with the livery owner.  Doc had told everyone that he was not allowed to be left on his own, didn’t say why but was very adamant about it.  This made Lucas want to have a word with the doctor, not finding him in his office, Lucas went over to see the marshal.  “Good afternoon, Mr. McCain.  It’s nice to see you up and about.  How are you feeling?” asked Matthew.  Lucas looked at him oddly, “Have we me?”  “Well, you were a bit under the weather.  Doc was looking after you,” the marshal told him.  “That’s why I came over here, do you know where the doctor might be?” Lucas queried.  “Yes sir, he’s out of town, tending to one of Mrs. Baines’ children, should be back around supper time.  Anything I can help you with?” the marshal responded.  Lucas sized him up, “If you know why he’s told everyone not to let my boy go anywhere on his own, I’d like to know if there is something I should know.”  Matthew looked at Lucas, his rifle in his hand, “Well Mr. McCain, I’d like to ask you a few questions about that very thing.”  Lucas explained what had happened on the trail and Matthew told him about what Doc had said, explaining that no one had seen any sign of this stranger since the doctor had said he denied the McCain’s entrance into town.  Lucas left the office grateful but still uneasy, carrying his rifle a little more ready for action.

That afternoon, when the school teacher came over to check Mark’s lessons, he had a guitar with him.  Mark didn’t really pay much attention to it until the teacher finished checking his lessons and then called Mark over and asked him if he had ever played a guitar.  When Mark said no, the teacher had him sit down next to him and started to instruct him on how to play the chords on the guitar.  “Why are you teaching me this,” he asked.  “Because I believe there is an angel inside every soul, trying to find a way to express itself.  I have seen your artwork and that is not your angel, so I thought perhaps music might be.  Come on now, try this again,” said the teacher.   Mark was not overly impressed that the teacher told him he was a terrible artist, he remembered back to how his Gramma had cherished each and every one of his drawings, but he liked the idea about learning music so he listened very closely and did exactly as he was told.

When the doctor returned to town, he did not have to look far to find Lucas to check on his arm, Lucas was sitting in front of his office.  “Mr. McCain, it is certainly good to see you up and around.  How are you feeling?”  “I’ll feel a lot better when you tell me what this stranger looked like that was asking about me and my son,” stated Lucas with somewhat of a gruff undertone.  The doctor unlocked his office and invited Lucas inside, closing the door behind him.  “Mr. McCain, I can only give you a general description of the man as it was dark outside and he was standing in the dark.  It was the night I first set your arm.  He was about your height and build, but he was hunching over some, his voice was hoarse.  He appeared to be overly nervous, other than that, I have nothing.  I’m sorry I don’t have more information.”  Lucas leaned against the doctor’s table, “The marshal said you told him I wasn’t in town, what made you say that?”  “Two things, actually.  Your boy was the first, the way he was so protective of you.  The other was that I just didn’t like the way the man made me feel.  I know that’s silly but I just wasn’t about to trust the fate of your boy into that man’s hand,” said the doctor.  Lucas shook his head and the doctor looked at him, “Did I make a mistake?”  “No Doc, I don’t think you made a mistake,” and Lucas proceeded to tell the doctor about their adventures since they left Enid.  Upon hearing all of this, the doctor advised that Lucas should definitely stay in town until his arm was healed, if not for his own sake, then for Marks.  Lucas believed the doctor may just be right.

The Day Before Leaving Town

The school teacher finished checking Mark’s lessons just as Lucas was getting back to the room, he had been out purchasing everything else they might need for their journey and packing it into the wagon.  “Well, I hope you left some work for him to do while we’re travelling,” Lucas said.  The teacher told him not to worry as he brought with him some additional books so that Mark would be able to continue with his studies.  Mark’s jaw dropped open as he looked from the teacher to his father, Lucas lifted his brow to Mark and nodded toward the teacher.  Mark looked at the teacher, “Thank you sir,” was his sorrowful response.  “Well I hope you are a bit more enthused with the rest of the lessons I am sending with you as well?” said the teacher.  Mark looked at his father for help but did not find it.  In a voice which could only be called despair, “What might that be sir?”  “Your guitar and singing lessons,” his teacher said with a smile.  Mark almost jumped across the room at him, “For real?” he asked.  Lucas interjected, “How is he going to practice guitar lessons without a guitar?”  The teacher put his hand up, “Because, Mr. McCain, I have found your son’s angel and it’s in music.  I want him to take this guitar and continue to allow his angel to express what his soul has to say.”  Lucas did not like taking handouts but the way the teacher made his statement, it sounded more like an obligation to accept, than a handout to receive.  Mark looked to his father and Lucas nodded; Mark went over to his teacher, his hands outstretched as though he were accepting something Holy.  He thanked his teacher and started to play one of the simple songs he had already learned.  This was the first Lucas had heard his son play and he was taken aback by the talent his son possessed.  He understood what the teacher said by finding the angel and letting him express it.  Never had he heard his son express himself so elegantly before; not so much in the notes he played but in the music they made when he played them.  Lucas wanted to pay the teacher for the guitar, not that it was in his already depleted budget but the teacher declined.  “It is rare indeed, when I find a musical angel so young, Mr. McCain; please allow me the honor of doing what I can to push him forward.”  Lucas saw the sincerity in the teachers eyes, nodded and shook his hand, “Thank you.  It is something neither of us will ever forget,” and then Lucas pulled him in for a hug.  It was the first of many he was going to be giving to the people of this town; they had taken them into their community and protected them, especially Mark, knowing nothing about them.  It was going to be almost as hard leaving here as it was leaving Enid; only now Lucas knew someone was out looking for them and he wasn’t out to say howdy.

Chapter Three – Leaving The Great Plains of Salt Lake

The Next Morning

Everyone was up early, they all wanted to make sure they could say goodbye to Mark.  He was given apple pie, juju bees, brownies, lemon drops, apples, coloring sticks, paper, blueberry pie, chocolate cake, bread with fresh butter, cinnamon muffins, peppermint sticks, rock candy, cherry pie, and oh so much more.  Lucas was sure Mark was going to be sick before they were more than an hour down the road but how could he tell these people not to spoil his son after he had allowed them to do so for the last two months?  He could only hope that Mark would have the good sense not to try to eat everything at once, or at least to listen to him when he told Mark to stop eating.

After all the goodbyes were said and done, Lucas and Mark were headed north once again.  Lucas’ arm was still pretty stiff, just like the doctor had told him it would be, so he made sure to stop every so often and move it around like the doctor instructed him.  He also made sure to practice using his rifle with that arm, he didn’t know when he might need to use it; only that he would.

Several Days Later

“Pa, why didn’t we stay in town a little longer?  Folks there sure were friendly,” Mark was looking up at his father.  “Well son, I’d have to say, mostly because there wasn’t any land for sale, and we are looking for a new home, remember?”  Mark smiled up at his Pa and nodded, looking ahead and playing on his guitar, if you could call what he was doing, playing.

a.k.a picklemum
Kindness is a language which can be heard by the deaf and seen by the blind.
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Deputy Lucas McCain
Deputy Lucas McCain

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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we know where Mark got his love for music.

Donna, I'm thankful that Lucas' arm is healed and they are able to continue on their adventure, but I'm still concerned with who it out there.

Keep up the adventure....
Some of the best lessons we ever learn are learned from the mistakes and failures of our past. Because the errors of our past, are the wisdom and success of our future.
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Michelle P.
Margaret McCain
Margaret McCain

Joined: 31 Jan 2009
Posts: 6398

Location: Harrison, AR

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is this stranger following them?  Oh, if they lay one red hand on Mark, I'll...I'll...I'll do something really really mean!!!


"Of course, I didn’t ask her about cookin’ and such, cause all women can do that."
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