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Tumbleweed Dreams: Part 3
The smell of fresh baked biscuits combined with the blinding light of the morning sun peaking through the windows of the quiet room brought Daisy out of her dreaming. Somehow she had managed to obviously find her way to the ranch, how and when was the question. Thinking back to the previous night she tried to remember the events that put her waking up in a bed the next morning. The last thing she could remember was falling asleep in the back of the sheriffs wagon. Someone must have brought her in. Struggling to sit up she glanced around. A few stray dust bunnies around the room told her it hadn't been cleaned in some time. Perhaps the maid had missed the announcement of her arrival. She would let it slide this once, but she would be sure to speak to her about the rest of her time here. Another quick glance brought her attention to her trunk sitting in the corner of the room. Glancing down at her dress she noted that not only was it greatly soiled but it was still intact. Whoever had brought her to her room was decent enough to exercise their manners. Perhaps there was still hope in the land of scoundrels.
Dress changed and hair in place Daisy exited her room in search of the owner of the Miller Ranch boarding house. From the condition of the place she would conclude that it had never housed any guests. Dust and dirt covered most of the flooring and the walls. Not enough to be noticed by ranch hands, but certainly the lady of the house would and should have been appalled by it's awful state. Locating the kitchen she went in search of breakfast. The cook must have abandoned them long ago. The dining table, which had been improperly placed in the same room the food was prepared in, was covered in dirty dishware. Just the same she felt as if she was close to starvation and one morning of helping herself wouldn't hurt. Looking in one of the pans on the stove top she found what appeared to be a thin meat soaking in some sort of syrup. Gently grasping one edge of it that was not in the stomach churning mess she scrunched her nose up and watched as the gooey liquid dripped off of it and back into the pan.
Bradley stepped into the kitchen in time to see his newest guest scowling at what was left from the morning meal. If he had to guess he would say she had never seen bacon in her life. Then again, her skinny frame would suggest she had never seen much of any food.
"There's biscuits to go with that in the oven."
His voice must have startled her. No sooner had the words left his mouth did she jump and drop what she was holding. The lid of the cast iron pan he had used for that mornings bacon clattering to the hard wood floor. Ignoring her look of obvious surprise he went about his daily chores.
"Are you staying here as well?"
Picking up the bridle he had entered the house to retrieve he turned back around to leave as he answered. "Been staying here for a few years now." As he stepped outside he could hear the sound of her shoes gliding across the floor as her steps carried her along behind him.
"Then you know the owner?" Daisy stepped outside of the house, holding her dress to keep it from dragging in the dirt and gathering dust.
"Been with him since the day he was born."
So it was a family business. That made sense. One brother owned the ranch while the other picked up the customers and brought them back.
"Do you know where I might find him?"
Frowning a bit she continued to follow along behind him. Was it possible that he didn't understand what she was saying? She had read that some men of the west were slightly if not fully illiterate and while she didn't want to embarrass him she did need to know where her host was so that she could extend her gratitude. "Would you be so kind as to point him out?"
Still walking with his back to her he raised one hand and pointed to himself.
Daisy slid to a stop and stared at the back of the man walking away from her. He was the owner? This man, who she found distasteful and rude with little to no manners, was going to be her host for an entire week?
-To Be Continued-
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