Friday, June 15, 2012
Starting Today: Night Riders
Looking for The Songbird of the West? Click,
Jared Ashley stepped out of the barn and felt a surge of anger. That Lila Tantrall hadn’t left yet! She was on the porch of the cabin talking with his wife. Stella’s voice sounded pleasant, though she couldn’t completely cover her embarrassment. “Thank you again for the clothes, Lila. Our little girl is growing so fast right now and, well, it takes a while to get a farm to produce--”
Lila hastily jumped in as Stella began to fumble with her words. “This is just our way of welcoming you to the West! I know how hard life out here can be. Why, when I was Becky’s age, I don’t think Dad had more than a dozen or so head of cattle.”
Lila Tantrall was nineteen, with long brown hair surrounding a small, pretty face highlighted by prominent cheekbones. Her short stature, a little over five feet, gave her a pixyish look. Her gracious demeanor spoke of education at a school in the East.
Jared’s anger became more intense as he walked past the beautiful palomino Lila had tethered to a post at the front of the house. His wife looked at him with pleading eyes when he stepped onto the porch. She was silently begging him not to say anything ugly.
“Jared, you remember Lila Tantrall, you met her--”
“Yeah, I met her the last time she came on one of her missions of charity.”
“If you really want to help us, Miss Tantrall, tell your father to stay away from my fences.”
Lila tried to maintain a friendly tone. “I’ll tell him, Mr. Ashley. I know that sometimes cattle can knock over fences.”
“It ain’t the cattle that’s doin’ it!”
Lila looked down briefly, then smiled at Stella. “I need to be going. It was so nice seeing you again.”
“Thank you, Lila, thank you for everything.”
The young woman nodded politely at Jared as she stepped off the porch. The homesteader didn’t acknowledge the courtesy. He stormed inside the cabin.
Monday: Episode Two of Night Riders