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My Name is Jayne - A Short Story

Updated on December 12, 2015

My Name is Jayne


He smelled it long before he found it. It was the odor of charred wood and dead humans. He rode up behind some high rocks and dismounted, taking his glass from his bedroll. For nearly an hour, he watched and glassed the desert floor, but saw nothing but a small herd of javelina, a coyote, and several jackrabbits. At last, he mounted and rode back down the hill to the lone wagon trail he had been following.

Clyde Drago was man with a bad reputation. He was rumored to have killed six men in fair battles, and that, coupled with a permanent scowl, was enough for most folks to leave him alone. He owned a small ranch near Cow Creek, where he also had two claims staked out, and he had just banked nearly five hundred in gold. He was mounted on a big gray, and he had a pack on the other horse.

When he first spotted them, the wagon tracks were far off the trail, and headed northwest into Indian territory. That meant they were either made by damn fool greenhorns, or someone avoiding detection. Or both. In any case, it was none of his business. Drago shrugged and started to rein his horse around when something caught his eye. It was a tiny footprint in the sand.

The wagon had stopped here, probably to rest the horses, and Drago found the tracks of a man, a woman, and a child. What sort of a fool would take a woman and a child into Apache country? But, it was still none of his never-mind, so he was about to mount and ride on when he spotted the doll.

It was a homemade rag doll, and it was propped up on a flat rock, in the shade of a mesquite. There were several small rocks in a circle in front of the doll, and a round, flat rock in the center. The child then, was a little girl, and this was her tea party. The doll had been forgotten and left behind. It was hand crafted and skillfully made.

“Well, hell,” he muttered. A small boy was bad enough, but a little girl was even worse. His little sister had been lost years ago to consumption, and he had mourned her ever since. Sighing, he put the rag doll in his saddle bag, and took up the trail.

The wagon was burned down to the steel rims, and the horses had been driven off. The woman’s body was face down, and she had been scalped. The man had been tortured first, and then killed. There was no sign of a child, and no small footprints.

For a long time, Drago puzzled out the tracks. There were six Apaches, but they had not been following the wagon since they came in from the north. The wagon had halted here, and a camp had been made. Something, probably the campfire smoke, had alerted the Apaches, and they had attacked. But where was the child? Why were there no tracks?

It was an hour later when he spotted the woman’s tracks heading up the hill. He found where she had placed the child in the shade of a cottonwood to play, and there was a second, hastily made, rag doll placed on a rock. A small set of footprints led into an area of dense brush.

“Come on out, child. I will not harm you, and the Indians are gone.”

He squatted on his heels and waited. For a long time, nothing moved, and then a small face with large, round eyes appeared among the branches. She looked to be about four years old, and very frightened.

“I am Clyde Drago. I found your doll where you lost her, and I brought her back. Did you miss her?” He pulled the doll from under his shirt and held it out.

Her face was dirty and the tracks of her tears were plainly visible. Drago walked slowly to the brush and handed her the doll. Then he carefully lifted her up and out of the brush where he inspected her. Her hair was matted, and her knees were scraped. He pulled some thorns out of her arm as she silently watched, but all in all, she was in fair condition.

She looked at him and seemed to make up her mind.

“My name is Jayne.”

“J-a-n-e?”

“No. J-a-y-n-e. Jayne.”

He carried her down the hill, and when they came in view of the bodies, she turned her head away. He got a shovel out of his pack, and began to dig two graves. He pulled two unburned boards from the ashes of the wagon, and built a small fire. He heated a cinch ring red hot in the fire and burned the date into the boards. Then he turned to Jayne.

“What was his name, child?”

“Daddy.”

“What did other people call him?”

“Hiram, I think.”

“Hiram? Hiram what?”

She shrugged her shoulders, confused.

“What is your other name? Jayne what?”

“Jayne Randall.”

“Is that your daddy’s name then? Hiram Randall?”

Understanding at last, she nodded.

“And what is her name?”

She thought a minute, and then replied, “Martha Randall.”

He burned the names into the planks and drove them in the ground over the graves.

He gave her water, and a piece of jerky to chew as he placed her in the saddle in front of him. A mourning dove made its sad call as they rode away.

“Howdy, Drago. Them Sumpters built a school and hired themselves a schoolmarm. They put out the word that any kid in the territory who wants some learning is welcome.”

The speaker was Harry Doyle, owner of the neighboring ranch. Clyde Drago was mending fence, and Doyle was regarding him from the back of a horse.

“Jayne gets her schooling from me. She reads anything she gets her hands on, and she can do numbers fast as anyone.”

Doyle nodded. “I know you have done a splendid job of raising that child, Clyde, but at close to twelve years of age now, she’s almost a young lady. She needs the guidance of another female.”

Clyde twisted the barbed wire with his fencing pliers. “Maria Sanchez is a female.”

Maria Sanchez had worked for Drago for nearly fifteen years as his housekeeper, and when he had brought Jayne to the ranch, childless Maria had immediately taken over the mothering duties. Her husband, Carlos, was Drago’s foreman.

“Maria is a fine lady, Clyde, but she is uneducated, and knows little of the ways Jayne will encounter when she grows up. You owe this to Jayne.”

Drago removed his hat and wiped his brow as he looked off into the distance. Then he turned and looked Harry Doyle straight in the eye. Most men who knew Clyde Drago by reputation would have backed off at that point, but Harry Doyle merely gazed right back at him. At last, a small smile played across Drago’s lips.

“You do make sense, Harry, so I will look into it. Now either get down and help me finish this fence or get out of here so I can do it.” Harry Doyle dismounted and got a pair of fencing pliers out of his saddle bags.

“It’s beautiful! I see why you love it!”

Penelope Brown, the new schoolteacher, was entranced by the open beam construction of Drago’s ranch house. The logs had been peeled and squared before placement, and the coatings of varnish gave them a warm, reddish-yellow hue. The floors were covered with large, Mexican tiles and the furniture was covered in cow hide.

“My daughter is not yet home. She’s with my foreman, looking over some of the spring calves. I’m afraid she’s not a refined lady.”

“I’m sure she is delightful. Far better an accomplished horsewoman than one of the delicate and useless ladies of the east.”

Clyde Drago had decided that he very much liked Miss Penelope Brown. She was not at all what he had expected, and he was pleased at her easy going, yet refined ways. He had picked her up at the Sumpter ranch in his buggy to meet his daughter.

“Would you like to see her room? She’s quite a collector of books and the pretty things women like. She won’t mind.”

Drago watched as she marveled over the collection, and then he heard her gasp. She was holding the old and worn rag doll he had found so long ago, and she was staring at it.

“My Lord! Where did you get this? I made this for my daughter, many years ago!”

“Mama?”

Jayne stood in the doorway, her eyes riveted on the woman in her bedroom. Penelope Brown peered back at her intently, unconsciously clutching the doll to her heart.

“Wh-what is your name child?”

“My name is Jayne. J-a-y-n-e. Are you my mother?”

An ashen Penelope Brown nodded slowly, and her answer was almost a whisper.

“All these years, I thought you were gone, but yes, Jayne, I believe I am your mother.”

“My deceitful husband and his sister, Martha, took Jayne from Kansas and also from me while I was in Iowa tending to my dying mother. All I knew was they had headed west. I put out an inquiry, and a report came back a year later that an Army patrol had discovered their marked graves. There was nothing said about Jayne, so I held out hope all these years that she was still alive, somewhere. I was surprised that she recognized me right away. She was only four when I last saw her. After a few years, I dropped Randall, and resumed my maiden name of Brown.”

Jayne handed her mother a cup of tea, and sat herself on the footstool in front of her. “I don’t remember any of that Mama, and I don’t remember the Indian raid. My memories all begin here on the ranch with Daddy. The only other memory I have is of a beautiful lady from long ago I knew as ‘Mama’, and then there you were, standing in my bedroom."

Clyde Drago watched his sleeping daughter’s slow, even breathing for a moment, and then shut her bedroom door. Penelope Brown was in deep thought when he returned.

“It seems we have a dilemma, Mister Drago. I am her mother, but she sees you as her father, as well she should. I, therefore, have a proposition to make.”

She waited as he refilled her cup.

“Please call me Clyde.”

“Very well, Clyde, and you must please call me Penny.” She glanced up at him for a moment, making up her mind.

“I’m afraid I’m a rather bold woman, Clyde, a trait my deceased husband detested, and I have a proposition to make. I am a thirty three year old widow, with a daughter of course, but my health is quite good. I would make a good wife to you, bear you children, and, after the way you have raised my daughter so unselfishly, I know you are a good man. If you’ll have me, I will learn to love you.”

Clyde Drago smiled.

“I am a man with an evil reputation, Penny. It is said that I have killed six men, a rumor I have made no move to dispel because it kept folks at a distance. In truth, I have killed no one, but I did club two men with a pick handle who tried to rob the mercantile where I was employed in Saint Louis.

I once had a sweetheart who left me for another, so I sulked about that for many years, and by the time I matured enough to let it go, I was almost too old to seek a wife. I am forty three.

You are a beautiful, warm natured woman, Penelope Brown, and as the mother of my daughter, I would be delighted to have you as my wife.”

He turned to the hallway and spoke more loudly.

“Would that please you, Jayne?”

They heard a giggle. “Goodnight Daddy. Goodnight Mama.”



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    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      You are so skillful a storyteller Will--great tale.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      A wonderful tale. I am glad her mother found her. I am even more happy that her 'father' found her.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      I think I dreamed this once...the last part anyway. J/K Great story, voted up.

      Polly

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Almost to the end of the story and I hadn't seen the "twist" yet, and then, suddenly, there it was, second paragraph from the end. Good job, Will!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      awesome story.. it cannot end.. I want more... Love it.. I voted up and awesome

      debbie

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Will this is finely woven. Well done.

    • KellyMcB profile image

      KellyMcB 5 years ago from USA

      What a great story!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      I had a nice surprise when I saw your name today. Great story loved it. Voted up and awesome.

    • profile image

      writeronline 5 years ago

      Loved this. Always do. Start reading, don't want to stop.

      Cheers, Will.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I love to read your stories, they are always so heartwarming and so expected no less for this one. I know there is always going to be a twist and hold my breath until it appears.

      Wonderful romantic story.

    • profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago

      How life ought to be but rarely is: wonderful endings.

      But stranger things have happened, I can vouch for that...Beautifully written...Bob

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      WillStar, you are my star! How was your holidays?

      The story behind this story is what goes around come right back around. Well it might sound cruel, but Penelope's husbamd did something evil and he got a bitter end. This story sounded so real Wiil, amazing as usual.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Another Wonderful story by the Master of Story telling of the "Old West" tales. Very Enjoyable read Will, with the twists and turns you do oh so well. Loved it!

    • GClark profile image

      GClark 5 years ago from United States

      A wonderful heart-warming short story with well developed characters and plot. Loved the surprise ending. GClark

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Classic storytelling once again Will, tell me when you publish your book of short stories, I'm on the list to buy one!

      John

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I love a happy ending and I thank you for this one. When Penelope picked up the rag doll, I swear I got goosebumps. Up and awesome!

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 5 years ago

      Hi Will.

      Just new there'd be a good story here.

      Takes me back to John Wayne and Garry Cooper they where real cowboys.

      Nice little short story.

      UP/A/B/I/F

      LOL Ghaelach

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi AudreyHowitt, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Becky Katz,

      I like happy endings!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Pollyannalana,

      It does sound like a dream, doesn't it?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi James!

      Always happy to hook you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Deborah Brooks,

      Maybe a sequel?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi KellyMcB, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      H mckbirdbks,

      Glad you liked it!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi writer20, and thank you for your always kind words.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi writeronline, and I'm always happy to please.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Rosemay50, and thank you for reading me!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Bob!

      Does that mean I fooled you this time?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Cardisa!

      How’s my Jamaican Sweetheart?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi b. Malin,

      You are one of my most faithful readers!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi GClark,

      I thought I was following you, but I wasn't! I just corrected that oversight.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi John,

      My sister-in-law had a hard cover book made of my stories and gave it to me for Christmas. What a thrill that was! I may write a Hub about it.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Pop!

      I too got goosebumps when she picked up the doll!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Ghaelach, and thank you!

    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image

      ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Will...

      Either as a 'stand-alone' or as, the start of a series, you have hit the mark with this one my friend! Great job and voting accordingly, sir!

      Thanks,

      Thomas

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you kindly, Thomas!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      Once more, nothing but net from the hook shot on the free throw line, the one on the other side of the court.

      Voted up and away!

      femme

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh, Will, when I got to the part where Penelope picks up the doll, the tears filled my eyes, and again, when I read the last sentence…you always get me, darn it! You are still the master of the vision and images, and the unexpected twist. Up and everything else except funny. :-)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi femmeflashpoint, and what a super comment!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Genna East!

      Thank you, and I like the new avatar!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      This is another wonderful story. You never disappoint me. I love this one. A marriage based on love, a common love of a young girl. Smiling ...

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You took us down the dusty trail and back, Will. I loved every minute of this enchanting tale. I'm hoping it's the start of a series.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi homesteadbound, and congratulations!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi PegCole17,

      Maybe! We shall see.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 5 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      A happy ending was nice , but the way to it was sad...I imagine things were probably like that though...Happy New Year and God Bless...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      WillStarr - Thank goodness you write short stories. If you ever publish a book I wouldn't be able to put it down once I started reading. Great story and very well told my friend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      This too short story had everything , Will. Adventure, suspense, pathos and love. Who could ask for anything more?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hey, Mike!

      As I told you long ago. if I publish a book, you are first in line for a signed copy!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi drbj!

      I'm glad you like it, my friend!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      WillStarr I Swanee your writing puts one right there in the story. And yeah, this ones as sweet as mom's pumpkin pie- leaves ya with a nice n satisfied feeling.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Alastar Packer!

      I haven't heard anyone say "I Swanee" since I left South Carolina!

      ^_^

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

      Hey you,keep on twisting those endings,as an OLD-OLD romance reader--it was great!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Insert "heartfelt sigh" here. This is a great story Will with your usual twist and inventive trails. It is perfect in every way.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      One of your better Western spins Will.

      The Frog

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I don't read other's comments until i comment, so i hope i'm not repeating. I loved this story. You have the wonderful ability to bring the reader right there..When you wrote, " The tracks of her tears " I could see Jayne clearly. Thank you Will..Voted up and away...

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Ginn!

      If I write without a twist, will you still read me?

      ^_^

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Brenda, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Jim and thanks fore reading and commenting!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Ruby (my aunt's name too!),

      Thanks for the great comment!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 5 years ago

      (Answer)Will! now don't make me have to come out of these W.V.hills and back to Tempe to whip-ya. I will always read all you write for I know a great talent when I see one but like all above you shine bright with your STORY TWISTS.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      OK, Ginn!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Will your characters in this marvelous tale are so real one can hear them breathing. I think I knew Drago in the long ago -- might have even married him once, LOL. I never cease to be amazed at your writing talent and penchant for the surprise ending -- wow! Voted UP! Best, Sis

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Angela!

      Kudos from a splendid writing talent like you are always very welcome.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      Will, I'm glad I got roundtuit, your spinning on this was awesome a great entertainer you are,

      Peace,

      dusty

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great stuff, as usual. I love your tough/gentle characters. I liked Clyde right away and knew he would do the right thing. Rated up and shared!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Dusty!

      We need a new Hub from you...maybe one about your recent trip?

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi suziecat!

      I really like your latest, trolls and all! I think I'll share to Facebook.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      Will, I been studying that, it was a great trip but I took off late in the seasons and slid in under the wire with 3 days left in some states and I'm holding "too late" tags for Arizona and new Mexico, but your the 5th to hit me up and I'll put some thought to it, thanks Dust

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      No one can tell a story like you do, Dusty, so I'll sure look forward to it!

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Please tell me you're writing a book. Thumbs up and away.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi ytsenoh!

      Yes, I am writing a book!

      Thank you for your kind comment.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      My favourite story-teller - nobody tells them quite like you do, this has to be one of your best!

      A big vote up and thank you.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Movie Master, and what a great comment! Thank you!

    • Cocoa Fly Fishes profile image

      Cocoa Fly Fishes 5 years ago from Wherever the fish are!

      Mr. Starr, your command of the fiction short story genre just simply stops time for me. I am overwhelmed & entirely delighted, particularly with your character development & entertaining, cleanly edited dialogue.

      *gasp* *sigh* I do believe I've found another "favorite thing" in a beautiful world of favorite things...your writing!

      I see that in future reading your work will be my little treat for doing my own work; it will be the energetic, virtual chocolate that I enjoy during a coffee break from writing & painting.

      Thank you so very much for bringing this story into the world. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

      Brightest blessings to you & yours in the New Year & beyond, sir.

      Warm regards to you & those you love...Cocoa Fly Fishes

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Cocoa, and wow! Thank you so much for the kind words. I discovered your talent just this morning and look forward to much, much more!

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Ah gee, you made my day.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love a good love story and this was fantastic! I was both surprised and relieved to find that Jayne's mother wasn't killed after all. And Clyde needed a bold woman in his life just like Penelope. A perfect ending. A perfect writer!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Barb, and I love making your day!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Audrey!

      I'm glad you liked it!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      This is just what I needed! a quick hit of Will Starr!!

      Will, I hang on to every word you write! This one gave me the warm and fuzzy's that I don't get often enough.

      it is ALWAYS a pleasure to read your work...and I look forward to the day you release a book.

      Your friend

      Chris

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Chris, and thank you for a super comment!

    • NatalieSack profile image

      NatalieSack 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      You are a skilled writer. I don't usually read Westerns of any kind, but I loved this. One moment pulled me out of the story though. This line: "His little sister had been lost years ago to consumption, and he had mourned her ever since." It was a moment where you told me, instead of showed me. Perhaps he could carry around a dagguereotype of his lost sister, or a hair ribbon of hers, even. Such a girly trinket carried by such a rough character could evoke the same feelings.

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi NatalieSack, and welcome to HubPages!

    • NatalieSack profile image

      NatalieSack 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      Thanks! happy to be here.

    • profile image

      Diane 5 years ago

      THANKS WILL FOR ANOTHER GREAT STORY! READY FOR THE NEXT ONE!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Diane and thank you!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Will, your stories are always so real they pull me into the scene, and this one didn't disappoint, fantastic! and what a great ending!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      Will! I am finally getting back into the swing of things here at HP and this great story is awesome. But hey, you wrote it! Nuff said!

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

      Will, what a charming, charming story! Why I do believe you have the makings of a Western Romance author.

      Voted up :)

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Nell, and thank you for your always kind words!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Dex, and thank you!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi Beth!

      I wondered if you would approve!

      ^_^

    • lisadpreston profile image

      lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Rarely do I read short stories on hubpages that are written with such skill and vision. You are truly a professional writer. I am beyond impressed. Voted up and awesome!

    • WillStarr profile image
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      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi lisadpreston, and thank you for the wonderful comment!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 years ago

      Simply beautiful and innovative. I especially love your endings whether they be ironic or happy. This was one of your best. Keep writing them. I always vote you up because you deserve it!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi MizBejabbers,

      I'm glad you like it!

    • eime profile image

      eime 5 years ago

      Nice story

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, eime, and welcome to HubPages!

    • eime profile image

      eime 5 years ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Loved this one Will. You are the master when it comes to story telling. I was hooked from the beginning.

      Voted up and away!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Sueswan! I kinda like this one too!

      ^_*

    • profile image

      Ghost32 5 years ago

      Will, I THINK I finally figured out why you're (properly) rated such a fine short story teller, and it's not the "signature twist" (though that certainly doesn't hurt).

      I believe the KEY is that you just don't waste any words. Which is such a contrast to a fantasy novel I'm currently reading. THAT author goes on FOREVER to get a story told. But I paid good cash money for that book, so read it to the end I will.

      Your work, by contrast, can tell a story during a ten minute coffee break. With one exception: When it comes to WillStarr tales...you can't read just one.

      Voted Up and Over.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thanks Fred. Publishers want lots of words, so we see boring filler stuff like the book you're reading!

    • profile image

      Shelley 5 years ago

      Beautiful story...you always have the best surprise endings. I didn't see this one coming. Great job.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Shelley! Stay warm.

    • how-to-make profile image

      how-to-make 5 years ago from India

      Hey willStarr! Thanks for sharing this story and I like the way you tell it. You are really a great story teller.

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, how-to-make! I appreciate your thoughts.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Will - I loved this story! For so many reasons - I liked how you almost made chapters so we could jump from one time period to another and not get lost. I was glued - and I had to chuckle at the very end - Clyde kicked rear in St. Louis! lol Up and everything!

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, Kelly! I appreciate your kind words.

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 4 years ago from Delhi, India

      Straightforward Characters, straightforward dialogues, and off course an intriguing plot. Getting it straight is the most difficult thing. You do a fabulous job with story telling.

      I loved it. I like happy endings too. :)

    • WillStarr profile image
      Author

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you, anusha15!

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