Tumbleweed Dreams: Part 2
If you are new to the story be sure to read part 1.
"Are you absolutely sure there is no where else to stay?"
With no attempt to hide his annoyance the station master, whose name Daisy was still unsure of, let out a loud sigh and said, "Look lady, we don't have a hotel or a boarding house. The only place you'll find a room around here is out at Miller ranch."
Miller Ranch. It sounded pleasant enough and she had been wanting to see what a real ranch looked like. "Thank you. If you will be so kind as to point me in the right direction I would be most appreciative."
With a smug look on his face he pointed in the direction she had originally started from. "About five miles outside of town."
"About five miles outside of town." Daisy could have sworn she had heard a chuckle in his voice. Dragging her trunk back down the platform she looked for any signs of a stage coach that might be willing to make the trip. Why anyone would choose to live that far from civilization was beyond her understanding. Dropping the end of the trunk that she was holding she let out a small grunt and propped herself on the edge of it to catch her breath. Taking a good look around at the town around her she decided to recant her earlier thoughts. With it's dusty and dirty buildings and drooping walkways, not to mention the countless signs that horses obviously passed through quite often, she could see why someone might live so far outside the limits. The lonely country certainly had to be easier than this. Just as she was about to drop her head into her hands in despair she felt the trunk beneath her move slightly. Looking to her left her eyes landed on a mud encrusted boot propped upon her belongings. Her eyes drifted up to it's owner, a older gentleman who reeked of more than what she had already smelt that day. With a grin shy of a few yellowed teeth he leaned towards her, his alcohol laden breath reaching her nose before his words did. "You lost sugar?" His words were somewhat blurred, but not enough that she couldn't understand.
"No, I am not." Reaching over she pushed his boot off of the trunk. "I'm waiting."
"Whatcha waitin' fer?"
For. What are you waiting for. She wanted to correct him, but knew her efforts would have no affect. "For the stage."
If his hearth and amused laugh wasn't enough, the slap on her back was enough to have her nearly leaping off the edge. "Ain't no stage out here darlin', ain't no need fer one."
Jumping up from her seated position she turned sharply on her heel, about to voice her own opinion when another voice joined the conversation. "Go home Hank and stop bothering the lady."
The shiny badge on his shirt was the first thing she noticed. Finally, someone who may be able to help her. The sheriff, who looked to be only a few years younger than Hank offered her a nod and tipped his hat her way. "Ma'am. You waiting for someone to pick you up?"
"I was hoping you had a stage coach that went through town." She was hopeful that the Sheriff would contradict Hank's statement and inform her that they did indeed had a stage.
"Sorry ma'am, no stage running through here. Where you trying to go?"
"Miller Ranch. I was told I might find a room there."
He smiled and nodded, "Miller does take in borders from time to time. Might have some space. I could take you out there if you need. Mighty dangerous for someone like you to be alone out there on the open trail."
Finally, she had found a gentleman willing to help her out of this mess. "If you're sure you don't mind, I would greatly appreciate your offer."
"No problem at all ma'am. If you'll just follow me." Heaving her trunk from the platform he strode across the street to a small wagon hitched to a horse. Picking up her smaller bag she hurried after him.
Two miles into the ride Daisy was beginning to regret ever leaving the city. The seat was uncomfortable, the constant bouncing over the rocky trail making her stomach flip and turn in every possible direction.
"What's brings a little lady like you out this way?"
Feeling less than well she tried to answer as best she could. "I've always wanted to see the West."
Stomach reeling she tried to listen to the Sheriff's stream of conversation. Her body was protesting with every turn of the wheels. 'I'm sorry," Putting out a hand to grip his arm she interrupted him mid-remark about the weather, "Would you please stop the wagon." He quickly obliged and stopped while she tried to climb off the seat. He offered a hand but she quickly dismissed it and clumsily made her way to the ground below where, in the fading light of the setting sun, she emptied her body of the sickness that had been building since she had first sat down on that wagon.
Laid out in the back of the wagon on a old horse blanket that she was sure hadn't seen neither soap nor water in some time, Daisy tried to take deep breaths to calm the wave of nausea that had over come her. She had been informed over an hour before that they were close to Miller Ranch. She had assumed that meant they were close not another mile away. She silently made note to herself to never leave the city again.
Sheriff Jenkins rained the horse in and glanced in the back off the wagon. Miss Mason had fell into a state of slumber some time back. He wondered if he should wake her or just leave her for the night. She looked as if the later would do her more good than the former. He had assumed she could handle the ride out to Miller's. City slickers. You never knew what to expect. Climbing down from the wagon he strode up to Miller's door and knocked, waiting for an answer. A moment later Miller stepped out. "Sheriff." He nodded his head towards him in greeting, "What brings you out here?"
"Got a young lady who needs a place to stay."
-To Be Continued-
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