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Thread: Forbidden Love Comes to Silver Rock

  1. #1
    Registered User DRayVan's Avatar
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    Forbidden Love Comes to Silver Rock

    Will a daughter’s unexpected pregnancy by a rival family’s son end a bitter feud? Or will this forbidden union fan the flames of out-of-control hate and mistrust?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    After the October storms that ravaged the countryside had abated, the cooler weather of November signaled the end of summer’s heat for good. Trees whose leaves had survived were turning colors but fell soon afterward. The fall of 1892 would not be memorable for its beauty, yet some would long remember it as the time when love came to Silver Rock. Not the usual love between husband and wife nor between a young buck courtin’ a young filly, but a Romeo and Juliet kind of love, forbidden from the start yet unstoppable as the rising of the sun. That kind of love came to town, but tragedy’s earmark signaled doom from the first twinkle in their eyes.

    At ten thirty-eight, Saturday morning, November 19, the Eastern Schooner pulled to a stop at the depot, late as usual. The conductor helped a finely dressed lady step down to the depot’s platform and called for a porter to help her with luggage. Then he hurried toward the engine and began yelling before the engineer could finish shutting down the iron beast. The conductor blamed the engineer’s incompetence for the train being late while the engineer blamed the conductor’s slowness in loading passengers and cargo. Back and forth they went, yelling and cussing.

    While they were having their tiff, a fancy-pant, eastern-greenhorn looking man stepped onto the platform from the last car. He was twenty-five, tall, dark, and handsome. Hailing the porter, he proceeded to unload his considerable baggage.

    “I say, my good man, which way is town?” he asked.

    “Thatta way,” said the porter. “It’s about quarter mile.”

    “Where could one with considerable encumbrances engage transportation?”

    “What’s that you said?”

    “How... do... I... get... there with my luggage?”

    “Why didn’t ya say so in the first place? Anywheres in particular?”

    “Yes, the Lavender Rose.”

    “How ja knowed ‘bout the Rose? Been to Silver Rock before?”

    “Yes. I was born and raised in these parts.”

    “Who are ya?”

    “I’m Kittredge McBride. Most people call me, Kit.”

    “Are you Gavin McBride’s boy?”

    “Sure as I’m standing here. Went back east to school, but now I’m home.”

    “So that’s why I couldn’t understand ya.”

    “My accent should fade in a few days.”

    “Hope so, I couldn’t make out a thing what ya said. Why ya goin’ to the Rose?”

    “I didn’t tell my paw I was coming home. Wanted it to be a surprise. Besides, I need a few days in town to shake off eastern ways and look over the old town.”

    #

    After settling in his room at the Rose, Kit strolled along the streets, glancing in store windows, and tipping his hat to those he met. A few gave him a momentary look of recognition but shrugged it off and kept on their way. Before long, Kit had walked the full length of town. Somewhat disappointed, he thought the town seemed smaller than he had remembered.

    Kit decided to head over to the Gilded Lily for a beer and absentmindedly stepped into the street, into the path of a galloping Paint. The horse, ridden by Cindy Sue Morgan, reared, nearly hitting him, and tossed her to the ground. She stood, brushed her riding pants, and glared at Kit.

    “Well, if that ain’t the dumbest fool things I’ve seen a grown man do since I can remember,” she shouted with fire in her eyes.

    “I’m sorry, miss,” said Kit as sheepishly as he could. “I didn’t mean you no harm.”

    “Ya didn’t harm me none, but ya done near ruined a new pair of riding pants ‘cause of yer carelessness.”

    “I’m truly sorry. How can I make amends?” Kit picked up her hat and handed it to her.

    Cindy snatched it out of his hand. She took off her right glove, ran her fingers through her hair, comb-like, and shook her head, allowing her long locks fall naturally. These actions mesmerized Kit, and he stood entranced, mouth agape.

    Clearing his throat, he said, “Cou… could I offer you some refreshment?”

    “I suppose ya want a beer,” Cindy said with snide look on her face.

    “Quite the contrary, miss, I was thinking of coffee or tea at Rose’s.”

    “Tea? At the Rose? Ya surprised me. I didn’t reckon ya for a teetotaler.”

    “I enjoy a beer or whiskey like the next man, but in the presence of a lady, I think tea is the appropriate beverage for conversation. Don’t you?”

    “Maybe so… Just who are ya anyways, mister?”

    “Kittredge McBride. My friends call me, Kit.”

    “Any relation to Gavin McBride?”

    “Yes. His son.”

    “Don’t that beat all. Gavin McBride’s son. Well, I’m Cindy Sue Morgan, Leaf Morgan’s daughter.”

    “So?”

    “Where ya been, Kit?”

    “Back east, why?”

    “Our pappies’ been feuding near on to four years now, and it’s getting worst with each passing day.”

    “What’s it all about?”

    “Your father owns the biggest cattle spread in these parts and wants free ranges for grazing. My father has the largest farm in the territory and adds land every time any comes up for sale. The feud began when my father fenced-in his farmland to keep cattle out.”

    “What about that tea? We’ll talk peace.”

    “I could use a sip or two.”

    #

    Kit sat straight in his chair, holding the hot teacup with both hands, and looked into her dark-brown eyes. “A lot has changed since I went back east. For one thing, I don’t remember you, Cindy.”

    Cindy broke eye contact for a moment or two and stirred her tea. “My dad moved here five years ago and bought his first farm. After a couple years, he met my mom, and they got married. So he’s not my real father but treats me like he is, and I don’t have no complaints.” She brought the teacup to her plush lips for a sip and returned it to the table.

    “I couldn’t imagine missing anyone as pretty as you when I was home.”

    Cindy smiled. “Ah, go on. Yer joshing me.”

    Kit had a puzzled look on his face. “Ain’t nobody ever told you how beautiful you are?”

    “I don’t talk to any men,” she said, glancing out the window. “They’re scared of me because of my father.”

    Kit put his elbows on the table and rested his chin in his hands, admiring her face. “You’re ‘bout the finest young woman I’ve ever seen.”

    Cindy brought her hand to her mouth. “Stop, you’ll make me blush.”

    “No, it’s true. And I’m quite smitten by you. In fact, I’d like to know you better. Would you like to go for a buggy ride?”

    Her eyes widened. “Buggy ride?”

    Gesturing with his arms, Kit said, “Sure, you could show me some of the country side, we could talk some more, and I’ll get a picnic basket from the Rose.”

    “What time?”

    “How about I pick you up at four? That’ll give us some time to look around before we stop for refreshments. Bring a sweater and blanket.”

    Bouncing in her chair once or twice, she said, “Sounds exciting, I can hardly wait. Pick me up at Crenshaw’s Boarding House at the end of Main Street. Me and mom are staying there a few days.”

    #

    When Cindy entered the room, Sarah Morgan, Cindy’s mother, asked, “Where you been, child?”

    Cindy twirled on tippy toes around the room. “Havin’ tea.”

    “Having tea? Where, with whom?”

    With her hands clasped over her breasts, she said, “At the Rose with a young fella. Momma, do ya think I’m pretty; he does.”

    Standing with her hands on her hips, Sarah said, “Listen, child. The young men in this town have one thing on their mind when it comes to women, and it’s not tea at the Rose.”

    Cindy plopped in a chair. “No, momma. He’s different. Refined. Gentle. Held my chair and everything. And told me I was the prettiest thing he’s ever seen.”

    Sarah rolled her eyes. “He called you a ‘thing’? See? What’d I tell you?”

    Cindy pulled on her long curls and twisted them around her fingers at arm’s length. “No. No. He didn’t call me a ‘thing’. Lemme see... he said, ‘You’re ‘bout the finest young woman I’ve ever seen,’ that’s what he said. And he wants to take me for a buggy ride. Ain’t never been on a buggy ride before.”

    “Kind of chilly for a buggy ride.” Sarah shook her head.

    “Don’t matter none. I wanna go, momma.” She let the curls drop.

    “This man got a name?”

    “Yes, it’s Kit... Uh... It’s Kit Brown.”

    “Never heard of him.”

    “You will, momma. You will; I’m sure of that.”

    #

    Kit went to the mercantile store and asked the clerk, “You got any gifts that a young lady would like?”

    “That’s my wife’s territory. Gladys! This here young buck’s lookin’ for a gift for a filly.”

    “What kind of gift are you looking for?” asked Gladys.

    “I don’t have anything in mind. What would you suggest?”

    “Who’s the young lady?”

    “Cindy Sue Morgan.”

    Gladys’ eyes light up. “Cindy Sue? Well... You lucky boy.”

    “What you mean?” Kit looked as dumb as donkey when he asked that question.

    Gladys put on her I-am-gonna-tell-ya-like-it-is face, and said, “Nobody... I mean, nobody has dared approach Cindy Sue since she came to town a couple years back. Her father has strung a barbed-wire fence around her just like all the land he owns. I haven’t yet seen the man brave enough to cross it.”

    “I’m just buying her a present. That’s all.” Kit was still acting as naive as they come.

    “Sure, uh... I didn’t catch your name, fella.”

    “Kit McBride.”

    “Gavin McBride’s son?”

    “Yes.”

    “Why, you were just a roughhousing, wet-behind-the-ears, young squirt before your pappy sent you back east and look at you now. All grown and handsome as all get out, too.”

    “Thanks, but about that gift.”

    As poker-faced as they come, Gladys continued, “Son, take my advice. Forget about Cindy Sue.”

    “Why?”

    “When her pappy finds out that you were sniffing around that filly, he’ll send some of his sodbusters to pay you a visit. Then your pappy will send his wranglers to get even with the sodbusters, and soon, we’ll have a range war. A lot of people are gonna get hurt because you bought a present for Cindy Sue. Is that what you want?”

    “No, ma’am, I don’t.”

    “So don’t be seen with her in this town if you want to keep the peace.” All Gladys needed was a collar and a confessional, a priest couldn’t have done no better.

    #

    Cindy was wearing the carpeting bare. “I wonder where he could be, momma, it’s after five.”

    “I told you men couldn’t be trusted.”

    She threw her hat on the floor and stomped around the room. “I hate him. I don’t ever want to see his face again as long as I live.”

    “You’ll forget him in time. He’s not worth the thought or effort.”

    Kit knocked on the door.

    “Kit, where have you been? I waited all afternoon.”

    “We have to talk.”

    “What about?”

    “Where can we be private?”

    “How about the stables? I’ll get my coat.”

    #

    “What’s the matter, Kit?”

    Kit looked around to ensure no one was near. “I don’t know how it’s possible, seeing you for the first time today, but I think I love you. I can’t explain the feelings I have for you any other way. I’ve heard about love-at-first-sight, but I never put any stock in it. And now it’s happened to me. My question to you is; do you have an inkling of feelings toward me?”

    Cindy reached and touched his hands. “Yes, I guess I do. The anticipation of you coming for the buggy ride was nearly unbearable. I’ve never felt like that before. I wanted to be with you, near you in the worst way. I don’t know if it is love, but these are strong feelings that are new and exciting.”

    He clasped her hands and squeezed. “Here’s the problem: our fathers. The hate each other and wouldn’t stand for a courtship between us.”

    “No. They wouldn’t. What’ll we do?” asked Cindy.

    He released her hands and turned away. “As soon as anyone sees us together in town, word will get back to them, and all hell will break loose. Can we meet outside of town?”

    “Where?”

    “I’ve been gone for so long, I don’t know my way around these parts anymore.”

    “I know. Dad bought a farm a few miles south of town, the old Winslow place.”

    Kit faced her with raised eyebrows. “Harry Winslow’s farm?”

    “Yeah. Harry died, and the widow Winslow sold it after the rains stopped. So it’s empty and nobody’s around. We could meet there.”

    Kit relaxed. “Okay, but first I should go to the ranch and see father and let him know I’m back from school.”

    “What do you plan to do now that you’re back?”

    He kicked a tuft of straw. “I’m a full-fledged lawyer. I’ll open an office in town, seeing that Silver Rock doesn’t have a lawyer. It’s time we bring law to the common people, since it’s a matter of time before we become a state.”

    “That sounds wonderful... Kit McBride, Attorney.”

    Kit grabbed Cindy by her upper arms. “No, it’s, Kittredge McBride, Esq. Attorney at Law.”

    “Kittredge?”

    “Kit, to you.” He pulled her close and kissed her.

    “Oh, Kit, I think I do love you.”

    “I’ll meet you there Friday afternoon.”

    #

    The sun was setting and the moon was rising. Kit waited at the Winslow farmhouse for Cindy to ride in. “Did you have any trouble getting away?”

    Cindy dismounted. “No. I told momma I was going to spend a couple of days in town. How about you?”

    “Told dad I was going to check the herds and would be gone for a couple of days.”

    Cindy looked skyward. “Isn’t the sky beautiful at night?”

    “Not as beautiful as you are.” Kit took Cindy in his arms and kissed her.

    “I waited all week for this time together. I thought the days wouldn’t pass.”

    “Me too,” said Kit.

    “When do ya have to get back? I can only stay one night.”

    “As long as I want to,” said Kit. “Herds can roam far and wide.”

    “Come on inside and start a fire. I’ll get dinner gonin’ fer us.”

    Hand in hand, they entered the farmhouse for the night.

    #

    Snuggled next to Cindy to ward off the evening chill, Kit asked, “How many times have we been meeting here?”

    “Lemme see, first two times I stayed one night, next five times I stayed two nights, and last time I stayed one night. That makes eight times in as many weeks. You keep count of the times we... you know?”

    “No. Didn’t think it was important to.”

    “Why did ya want to know about the number of meetings here?”

    “Just wondering how much longer this can go on like this. Winter’s acomin’ and getting here each week will be a problem. Then there are our tracks in the snow. Somebody’s bound to see them.”

    “I didn’t figure on that.”

    “So next week could be our last till spring.”

    “I don’t know if I could wait that long.”

    “We’ll work something out. For now, I’ll get up and build a warm fire to take the chill off.”

    “Better put some clothes on or you’ll catch your death.”

    “You should talk.”

    #

    “Boy is it cold tonight. I’ll have to build an extra-large fire to keep warm our last night together for a while.”

    “We have to talk, Kit.”

    “You seem so serious. What’s the matter? Does your mother or father suspect anything?”

    “They won’t have to, soon.”

    “I don’t understand you, Cindy. You’re talking in riddles. Tell me straight.”

    “I’m late for my woman-days.”

    “What’s that you’re talking about?”

    “You know, stupid. Like clockwork, each month a woman has days, and so far, I’m late.”

    “How late?”

    “Three close to four weeks.”

    “What’s it mean?”

    “We’re probably gonna have a baby, Kit.”

    “A baby? How’d that happen?”

    “The same way it always does, silly. For a lawyer, all educated and everything, ya can act pretty dumb at times. Just think, Kit, a real live baby’s growin’ inside of me. It’s our baby, and we made it together.”

    “A... Baby... We made a baby... Oh, crap, we’re not even married. For sure, your dad’s gonna cut off my privates for doing this to his little girl.”

    “No, he won’t. Maybe, this will bring the two families together.”

    “Dream on, sister. Dream on.”

    #

    “Sheriff,” yelled Sam, all out of breath. “You’d better come quick. There’s about to be a killin’ at the Rose, if you can’t stop it in time.”

    “Let’s go, Sam. Tell me what’s happening.”

    “Seems, Leaf Morgan found out his daughter, Cindy Sue, is gonna have a baby.”

    “That should make him happy. What’s his beef?”

    “She ain’t married, and the father of the child is none other than Kit McBride.”

    “Lordy be, we’d better hurry, Sam.”

    #

    “You raping, son of a ***** sullied my Cindy Sue, and you’re gonna pay.”

    “It wasn’t rape, Mr. Morgan. It was love.”

    “Daddy, I was willin’ all the way. I love him.”

    “Hush up girl. What’s he know about love? His loins wanted just one thing, your conquest, plain and simple. He and his father couldn’t get to me any other way, so they hatched this scheme to ruin your name, hoping to discourage me. Well, it won’t work. Once I finish with him, me and my boys are goin’ after his father and settle this once and for all. Eh, boys?”

    “Yessir, Mr. Morgan.”

    “What will it prove killin’ me in cold-blood? I love Cindy, and she loves me. And the child is the result of that love. Killin’ me will drive a wedge between you and her and deprive our child of a father.”

    “That don’t matter. As long as ya get what’s comin’ to ya.”

    “No, daddy,” said Cindy. “You do this, and you’ll no longer be my father.”

    “You don’t mean it, Cindy. I’m doin’ this fer yer honor.”

    “No ya ain’t. Ya doin’ it out of hate for the McBride’s, and I’ll have no part of it.”

    “Put your gun down, Leaf,” said Sheriff Duggan. “The rest of you boys rest easy.”

    “Keep out of this, Sheriff. It’s family business.”

    “Not in my town it ain’t. I said put down your gun, or you and me can shoot it out.”

    “I got no beef with you, Sheriff, just the boy.”

    “What’s going on, Kit?” asked Gavin McBride, bursting into the saloon with a dozen wranglers.

    “Your boy impregnated my Cindy Sue, as if you didn’t plan it that way.”

    “Plan what? What’s he talking about, Kit?”

    “Cindy and me have been meeting and sleeping together at the Winslow place near on to eight weeks. She told me last weekend that we were going to have a baby. I knew it was wrong, but we love each other and knew that you two would never approve.”

    “Damn straight on that point,” said Leaf, lifting his gun.

    “Watch out, Kit,” yelled Gavin, stepping in front of Kit and pulling his gun.

    They both fired, and each fell with a bullet hole in his chest. Leaf was dead before he hit the floor. Cindy turned away, sobbing. Gavin gasped for breath. Kit knelt and held his father.

    He whispered, “I... I love you, son, ho... hope... cough... it’s a boy.” And he died.

    “Does the feud end here, Kit?” asked Duggan.

    “As far as I’m concerned it does, there’s been enough killing to last a lifetime.”

    Cindy, still sobbing, nodded in agreement.
    Last edited by DRayVan; 12-13-2018 at 03:41 PM.

  2. #2
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    Excellent writing here.
    Really enjoyed this story.
    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Registered User DRayVan's Avatar
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    You're always encouraging.
    Thank you.

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