It was early in the morning, , and John was up, washed and dressed, and waking up the others. By they were sitting together at the table.
“I am going away for two days for business,” said John. “Blue, you take over my job and you get all the responsibilities, is that clear?”
Buck said, “Blue, your Uncle Buck is proud of you!”
“Thank you, Uncle Buck,” said Blue.
After breakfast, John stood up and asked Sam to get his horse.
“Pa,” said Blue, “I’ll take very good care of the ranch, I promise you that!”
“Good, my boy,” said John.
When John had left, Sara came outside with little Johnny and Johnny said to his father, “May I watch the horses, daddy?”
“Yes,” said Blue, “Come, we’ll go watch the horses for a few minutes.”
Sara went with them. “Blue, do you have often take over your father’s ranch?” she asked.
“Yes, I have done this two times, but sometimes the men do not take me seriously.”
“What do they do?” said Sara.
“Oh, I’ll tell you that later.”
“Papa, aren’t the horses sweet? May I sit on a horse?” said Johnny.
“No, said Blue strictly, “You are too little for that. When you are older I will teach you.”
“Come,” said Sara, “it’s time to go inside. We can’t stay the whole day with the horses.”
She took Johnny inside and Blue went to do his work. He called the men to go with the cattle and start the branding. After a few hours there came along a gang of bandits, who shot at them, about fifteen bandits. They shot at everything they saw.
“Hurry, hide yourself,” shouted Blue to the men. The men hid themselves in the bush and shot at the bandits. The cows ran away. It was a big fight.
In the meantime, two men escaped and rode to the ranch
Jack said, “I have heard that the son of John Cannon has a little boy. Let’s kidnap him and ask money for him. I think we can ask a lot of money for him. What you think about 10,000 dollars?”
“That sounds good,” said Adam.
They were almost at the ranch and took a rest for a while to have a drink.
“Let’s discuss how we can do it.”
“Okay,” said Adam.
“What do you reckon, we start when it’s dark. We sneak into the house and take the boy with us.”
First, they must find out which room he’s sleeping in. They walk very quietly into the house and open the door of one of the rooms, closing it softly when they find out that it’s the wrong room. Finally they find the correct room and take the boy with them. They hold a hand over the boy’s mouth so he can’t scream. Johnny was choked and started to cry. Jack kept his hand over the boy’s mouth so he couldn’t utter a sound. Johnny struggled, and kicked his legs in panic.
“Let’s hurry before they discover that the boy is gone!”
They rode away very fast.
In the meantime the fight was over, and the bandits defeated.
“Let’s stay here the night and leave very early in the morning,” said Blue
So they slept till six, then rode back home as fast they could. The cows had come back again.
When they arrived, Sara was very upset and ran to her husband. “Oh, Blue, Johnny is gone!”
“What! Johnny gone! What happened?” cried Blue.
Buck and Manolito saw that Blue was upset too. “What’s going on, Blue boy?” said Buck
“Johnny is gone! We must search the whole ranch. Where he can be?”
ran to tell Sam, Pedro and
“He can’t be far, not that little boy,” said Pedro.
“I’m not sure of that,” Sam said.
They searched the whole ranch, but they didn’t find anything.
“Blue,” said Buck, “Perhaps he’s not on the ranch. Maybe someone took him.”
Sara was crying, she was so upset.
“Sara, we’ll keep searching.”
to relax a bit,”
In the meantime, the men were resting and writing a letter asking for money for the little boy.
“We’ll ask 10,000 dollars for the boy, if they don’t pay we kill him.” said Jack. “Now, who takes the letter to them?”
“Okay, I will do that,” said Adam. “I’ll go when it is dark and put that letter on the table.”
Johnny was crying and shouting, calling for his mommy and daddy. “I wanna go home, please!”
“Shut your mouth!” said Adam. “Because if you don’t stop shouting I’ll gag you.”
Johnny was so scared that he kept quiet.
“Here is your drink and your food and after that you go sleep, do you understand?”
“Yes sir,” said Johnny.
In the meantime they were searching everywhere for little Johnny.
“Okay,” said Sam, “Let’s go men.”
Blue was all torn up inside, his only boy gone. After searching for many hours they had to rest.
“Here take some water Blue, you need that,”
“Yes,” said Blue, sad and depressed.
The hours passed and it was soon dark. The men came back to Blue and said, “We’ll never find anything in the dark. Let’s go home and tomorrow we go on searching for the boy.”
They rode back home.
In the meantime Adam reached the ranch and walked silently into the house and put the letter on the table and left immediately.
Sara read the letter too, and she was very upset. In the meantime Blue came back home and Sara ran out with the letter, crying, and gave it to Blue.
“When you find this letter?” he said.
didn’t see it earlier,” said
“It’s possible that he’s not so very far from here,” Blue said, “But I don’t have the money they’re asking for and they say if they don’t get it in two days they will kill the boy! Where can I find the money? Let’s go, we need to search again. I will get my son back!”
Everyone went searching again. They were tired but they knew they must find little Johnny.
In the meantime Adam was far away from the ranch and riding back to Jack and the child.
After many hours of riding he found them.
“I put the letter on the table” said Adam.
“Good,” said Jack, “Now we have to wait for an answer from them.”
“Mister,” said Johnny, “I’m hungry! May I have something to eat?”
“Okay, and then you keep your mouth shut, is that clear?”
“Yes,” said Johnny sadly. So he got his food and kept his mouth shut and was very afraid he would never see his mom and dad again.
Adam said, “What will we do if anything goes wrong?”
“Don’t think of that. We must wait and see what happens.”
“Okay, we’ll wait,” said Adam
In the meantime Big John came home.
John read the letter and was shocked. “I’ll go to the bank for the money and after that I’ll go to Blue.”
So he went hurriedly to the bank and got the money. Many hours later he found Blue and the others. He shouted for Blue, and Blue stopped for a few minutes.
“Blue I got the money for the boy,”
did, Pa? Thank you for helping me
“It’s okay boy. Let’s go after the men who have Johnny.”
John and the others went after the men. Then, in the distance they saw two men and a little kid.
“That’s them!” said John
They came close to the men and started to negotiate with them.
“Give me the child back,” said John, “if you want the money we’ll do it at the same time. You hand over the boy and we’ll hand over the money.”
“First,” said Jack. “let’s see if there is any money in the bag!”
“Okay,” said John and opened the bag.
“Now count the money!” ordered Jack, holding a knife to the boy’s throat.
Johnny was so scared and he was crying. Big John counted out the money and said, “Okay now give us the boy!”
The boy ran to his father and cried a lot. Blue took his son and put him on his horse and rode away home as quickly as possible. John handed over the money at the same time little Johnny ran to his dad. The men took it and rode away in a hurry!
“Daddy, I was so scared I would never see you and momma again.”
“Don’t you worry any more. I’m so glad you are back now and we’ll soon be home.”
Big John said to Mano and Buck, “I’m not going to let them keep the money. They need punishment.”
“We’ll go after them. Let’s go!” Mano said. “I know a short cut, then we’ll catch them.”
“All right let’s go,” said Buck.
John, Buck and Manolito chased after the men to get the money back from them.
“The men must be far away, they had two hours head start after we gave them the money,” said Manolito.
“I must have the money back before I go back to the ranch,” said John
“All right but the chance that we’ll find them before nightfall is very small,” said Manolito
Buck said, “Okay, let’s keep riding for now.”
So they rode again, and after four hours riding they stopped again for a drink and something to eat. They rested for twenty minutes and then rode again.
The hours passed and the night came. They stopped to sleep and John said, “Someone must stay awake and keep watch.”
“Let me do that, Big John,” said Buck.
“Okay,” said John.
So they slept. Buck tried walking around but finally he could keep awake no longer and slept too.
“Buck I told you to keep watch, but here I find you asleep,” said John in the morning.
“Sorry,” said Buck, “I was so tired.”
“Here is your food and after that we go on again.”
After breakfast they left again. They rode for hours then Manolito looked around and saw a man on a horse that was riding fast. “John, there is a man riding fast up into the mountains!”
“Let’s go!” said John.
They were riding as fast as they could. And many hours later they found them.
“We need to surround them. Buck, you go to the back of them and Mano, you go the other side,” said John.
The men were sitting down to rest and had no idea that they were surrounded. They were talking about what they would do with the money.
“Hey Mister!” yelled John aiming his gun at them. “Keep your hands up or I shoot you!” The men kept their hands high.
“What do you want from us?”
“The money, or I shoot.”
“We lost it,” Jack said.
“Don’t lie! I heard you talking about the money,” said John.
Adam reached for his gun to try and shoot John but John was quicker and shot him in the arm.
“Is that enough punishment for you or do you need more?” said John.
Jack gave him the money and John said, “You’ll go with us to the sheriff.”
they went with them. Many hours later they were in
“So the job is done, and the money is back and I’ll take it to the bank now.”
“Okay John, we’ll wait for you in the saloon.”
John smiled because he knew why Buck wanted to wait in the saloon. He knew he would drink some beer. Later, when John came back they all rode for home.
On the ranch
meantime, Sara was upset and
Sara said, “I can’t stop worrying till my little boy is back.”
At that moment Blue came back home with the boy.
Sara and Victoria ran outside, Sara crying with happiness to see her little son safe. “Oh Blue, I am so happy that you found him. Where are your father and your uncle and Manolito and the others?”
“They are chasing after the kidnappers, they need to be punished.”
“Mama, I was so scared,” said little Johnny
“You don’t have to be afraid anymore, you are safe now,” said Blue.
The hours passed, and in the evening the men were back in time for dinner.
“Yes, John the dinner is ready now!”
Blue said, “Pa, thank you for what you did for me and my family. Do you have the money back now?”
“Yes, my son!”
That night as they were sitting round the table John said to little Johnny, “We shall taking better care of you from now on. You don’t need to be afraid that this will ever happen again.”
“Thank you grandfather,” said Johnny.
John’s thoughts turned to wondering how it would be when Johnny was a big boy and if he would be just like Blue. Would he behave himself as he grew and would he be as good an adult as Blue?
“No,” said John, “there is nothing.”
End of story