Baptism by Fire (by Storm)

Chapter 10:

Jacob approached the miserable looking young man sitting away from the others. “So how ya like it so far?”

Joe looked up at Jacob. He’d been working for them for some time now having started while Adam had been away at college. Joe knew that Jacob was one of the few who had, when Adam had first returned home, given him a hard time but once Adam had proven himself Jacob was one of his oldest brother’s staunchest defenders. “How do I like what so far Jacob?”

“Well this is your first drive without your pa ain’t it?”

“Yeah but I got older brother Adam there and he’s worse then pa.”

“Oh stop pulling a kite. I hear tell he’s got some fun planned when this is all done with.”

Joe’s mood instantly lightened. “What kind of fun?”

Jacob smiled. “Now you’re just barkin’ at a knot cause I ain’t gonna tell ya’.”

“Come on Jacob. Just give me a hint.”

“You should know that men who can get me to tell something I don’t want to are about as scarce as a hen’s teeth.”

Joe tried to smile one of his most disarming smiles. “But Jacob I ain’t askin’ ya to tell me just to give me a hint.”

“Ya know something kid if I had me a daughter I’d be sure to keep her away from you.”

“Why?”

“’Cause you got a natural way of makin’ a person do what they know they shouldn’t be doin’.”

“Does that mean ya gonna’ tell me?”

Jacob let out a defeated sigh. “Well I heard tell …”

Joe sat as long as he could waiting for Jacob to continue, which was only about a second or two. “Heard tell what?”

“Hobble your lip. That’s your brother comin’ now.”

“So what’s going on here?” Adam approached knowing full well what was probably going on. Jacob felt it was his job to try and keep Joe placated and Joe had certainly seemed to be unhappy when they’d stopped a little while ago.

“Nothing Adam. Me and Jacob were just talkin’ ‘bout how the drive is going.”

“I see.” Adam could always tell when his youngest brother was lying. If you asked him how he wouldn’t be able to explain it he just seemed to know. “I think that maybe it’s time to stop talking and get into that velvet couch of yours because morning will be here long before any of us are ready for it.”

The two men watched Joe walk to lay out his bedroll. Adam slowly turned to Jacob. “So is that true Jacob? You two were discussing the progress of the drive?”

Jacob thought all Ben’s boys seemed to have a way of getting the truth out of a person. Joe would smile and charm it out of ya’, Hoss you just felt naturally bad about telling him anything but the truth and given enough time Adam could just stare it out of you. So Jacob was going to make sure he didn’t give him enough time. “That’s the story and if you want it nailed to the counter don’t be lookin’ at me be the one to do it.”

Adam smile after Jacob as he walked away then went to do just as he had told Joe to.

 

********

“Adam do you think this was all a lot different the first time Kit saw it?”

“Yes I think it was a lot different but no less magnificent.”

“Do you think we’ll ever see him again?”

“I think so Joe. Or at least I hope so.”

Jacob thought he would have to tell Ben of this. He knew that he would like to hear of his eldest and youngest just standing and talking. Maybe not in the middle of a drive though. “Do you two remember we got some cows that we have to get somewhere?”

“We’re coming Jacob! Joe I think Jacob can be even harder then pa.”

“Maybe but he’s not harder than you.”

“Why thank you.”

“Only you would take that as a compliment.”

 

********

“Where you going little brother?”

“To the hotel.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why? It’s where I go to have fun.”

“Oh than I guess you don’t want to come with me.”

“With you? You mean to the saloon?”

“Among other places.”

“Really Adam?”

“Really Joe.”

“Does pa know?”

“Why do you think pa decided to stay home this time.”

“What about Hoss?”

“Hoss says he didn’t want pa to get lonely but the truth is I think he believes that pa doesn’t know he’s already been to these places.”

“Adam who took Hoss the first time?”

“That would have been me little brother. Kept both pa and Hoss from being embarrassed.”

“Well who took you the first time?”

“It wasn’t pa Joe.”

“Than who was it?”

“Let’s just say your mother had a very liberal attitude about certain things.”

“Are you sayin’ my ma took you the first time?”

“If I remember correctly I overheard her telling pa that a boy was going to become a man one way or another and wasn’t it better to have some control over where and with who he became that man.”

“When?”

“Actually it was not too soon after I first met Kit. I think putting out that fire proved to pa and your ma that I wasn’t still a boy.”

“Is that why you’ve been pushin’ me so hard on this drive? You wanted me to prove I wasn’t a boy?”

“Maybe. Maybe I just like pushin’ ya’.”

“Well if this how you’re gonna’ make up for pushin’ me than just keep on pushin’ brother.”

“I will Joe just remember you said it.”

********

Adam slipped his arm around the young ladies waist as they walked up the stairs. He gave one more glance at his brother standing surrounded by a bevy of women. “Well little brother you sure appear to have your hair in the butter this time.”

“Maybe but this time I sure don’t mind it bein’ there.”

“Not yet but what happens when you have to choose one?”

“Who says I gotta choose only one?”

“No one little brother, no one.”

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Author: storm

1 thought on “Baptism by Fire (by Storm)

  1. Excellent story with characterizations of Adam, Ben, and Marie that help understand not only their behavior but their relationships too.

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