The return of John and Buck Cannon (after the war)

 

By Heleen

 

 

 

This is a short introduction to my story: Last time I wrote about Blue losing his father. My feeling was that I must write that story because I wanted to show Blue with his own ranch and land. One time so that he could make his own decisions without his father. In this story John will live again. When you read, you will find that this story is a lot different from my previous ones.

 

 

In Tucson

 

It was in the evening when Annalee said to her 14 year old son Blue, “Blue, it is late. It is time to go to bed now.”

 

“Oh, please Ma, let me stay here for a while,”

 

“No,” said his mother, “you must go to bed now,”

 

“Okay, Ma. I am going now.” He gave his mother a kiss and went to bed.

 

Annalee sat in her chair, her mind on John and Buck, wondering how it was with them. Tears began rolling down her cheeks. She took up her book and began to read to try and relax herself.

 

Blue was lying in bed and thinking about his father and his Uncle Buck and wondering when they were coming home and crying softly. It took a few hours before he fell asleep.

 

In the meantime, two men came riding to Tucson and knocked on the door of Annalee’s home.

 

Annalee had her mind in her book and was startled by the knocking on the door. She walked to the door and opened it.

 

“John!  Is this really you? I can’t believe it. Oh, John,” and she began to cry as she fell into arms John’s arms. “I’ve missed you so much,”

 

“Annalee, I am glad I am home again. I can start a new life with you and our son Blue,”

 

Annalee couldn’t find words. She was surprised and shocked at the same time. She also fell into the arms of Buck and said: “Buck, I am glad you are back too. Blue boy has asked many times for his daddy and you,”

 

“We can surprise the little boy tomorrow,” said Buck.

 

“Annalee, where is the boy?” said John.

 

“He’s sleeping now, John.”

 

“I will take a look at him now,” He walked upstairs to the boy’s room. The others followed John and softly they opened the door and saw that the little boy was sleeping. All three watched the boy for a while and then they walked away to the living room.

 

“He is a big boy now, Annalee,” said John.

 

“Yes, John and he’s been missing you and Buck very much and asking for you many times.”

 

“Tomorrow we’ll start his lessons and Buck will teach him riding horses and I will teach him shooting,” said John.

 

“Yes, John he’s missed that, all these years when you and Buck were gone to war,” said Annalee.

 

“I am glad that I can teach my little Blue boy horse riding again,” said Buck. “I can hardly wait till tomorrow.”

 

“Alright, it is late,” said John. “We need to go to bed and get some sleep. Goodnight,” and he and Annalee walked away and went to bed.

 

 

The lessons

 

The next morning, Buck went to Blue’s room and shook Blue awake.

 

“Blue boy, it is me, your Uncle Buck. Wake up, Blue boy!”

 

Blue boy opened his eyes and took a good look at his uncle. He jumped out of his bed and said, “Is it you, Uncle Buck?” and wrapped his arms around his uncle’s neck and was so happy to see his Uncle Buck again. “Is Pa home too?” he asked

 

“Yes my little Blue boy, he is at home and you will see  him in  the living room later, so go get dressed now and come downstairs, okay little Blue boy?”

 

“Yes, Uncle Buck.”

 

Blue went downstairs and saw his father and wrapped his arms around him and said “I am so glad that you are back again, Pa.

 

John unwrapped himself from Blue’s arms and said, “Yes, I am glad to see you, and your mother too. Now you must sit down at table and eat and don’t talk. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes, Pa,” said Blue and went to eat.

 

After breakfast John walked away and Annalee went after him and said, “John, please don’t be too hard on the boy. He’s just a little boy,”

 

“Don’t you worry about that. He must learn that he must listen to me now,” said John. “Buck, you go start his lessons first with horse riding.”

 

“Okay, John. Blue boy, come outside with your Uncle Buck.”

 

“Uncle Buck,” said Blue, “you’ll stay home forever now, won’t you?”

 

“Yes, Blue boy, I won’t leave you again, don’t you worry about that. Okay, now here is a blanket that you throw over the back of the horse and then the saddle. You put it on the back of the horse. Tell me, Blue boy, why I put first a blanket on the horse’s back?”

 

“That is because then the saddle won’t hurt the horse’s back, am I right Uncle Buck?”

 

“Yes, Blue boy. Very good.”

 

At that moment a friend of Buck came over and said, Hey, Buck, how are you?”

 

Buck turned to the man and saw it was his good friend Jim. “Hi Jim, how are you? You just wait here till I come back, do you understand Little Blue boy?”

 

“Yes, Uncle Buck.”

 

Buck went over to the man and talked to him for a few minutes. In the meantime Blue boy saw a boy and went over to him and started talking with him.

 

“What is your name?” he asked.

 

“My name is Dean and what is your name?”

 

“My name is Billy Blue Cannon,” he said, “my Uncle Buck is teaching me horse riding.”

 

Buck came back and saw Blue was somewhere else and started to look for him and found him near the shed. He gave him a little spank and said, “What did I tell you!”

 

“I am sorry, Uncle Buck, I will not do it again.”

 

“Okay we’ll start again. You must tighten up the saddle now and we’ll start to ride.”

 

“Yes Uncle Buck,” said Blue.

 

“Okay, you get on the horse and we’ll go riding. Uncle Buck will be riding near you.”

 

A few hours later they came back and went home to get a drink.

 

“How it is going with him?” asked John.

 

“He’s doing well, John,” But Buck didn’t say that Blue boy didn’t listen because when John heard that he would give him a spank too.

 

“Okay now it’s my turn to teach Blue shooting. Let’s go now boy.” He grabbed him by the arm and took him outside.

 

In the meantime Buck walked into the house and drank a cup of coffee with Annalee.

 

“Blue boy is a big boy now, Annalee,” said Buck. “Only he sometimes has problems listening. I gave him a spank,” said Buck.

 

“Oh Buck, the boy’s not used to his father and you being back and that’s why he will not listen. He had so much free time to play with his friends and now he has to use that free time for learning things,” said Annalee.

 

“I guess you are right Annalee,” said Buck. “I will be patient for the boy, that is what he needs,”

 

They talked for hours and finally John came back with Blue for their lunch.

 

“So here we are. The boy is doing his best with shooting. I am proud of the boy,” said John. “Go sit at table and keep quiet and eat boy,” said John.

 

“Yes Dad,” said Blue.

 

 

Fire

 

After lunch John said to Buck, “I’ll be coming back soon but I must go to Mr. Jackson’s on business. I’ll be back as soon as possible’ but you must keep an eye on the boy,”

 

“Okay, John,” said Buck, and John went away.

 

“Uncle Buck, may I play with my friend. Please Uncle Buck. For a half hour. Please Uncle Buck,” said Blue.

 

Annalee looked at Buck and she said, “Maybe he can play for half an hour with his friends, Buck?”

 

“Okay, but I warning you, Blue boy, if you go too far away or you come home too late you get another spank,

 

“Yes, Uncle Buck.”

 

Blue ran as fast as possible to his friend Dean.

 

“Hi Blue, did you get permission to come and see me?”

 

“Yes, my Uncle Buck said it was okay and mother allowed me to go too.”

 

“So let’s go take a walk okay?”

 

“Yes, okay.”

 

The boys walked a little way outside of the town and saw somebody walk to the last house in the town and go into the shed near that last house.

 

Blue said, “Let’s see what he’s doing. He looks suspicious to me,”

 

“Shall we go take a look inside the shed?” said Dean

 

“Okay,” said Blue, “Let’s go!”

 

So they walked softly to the shed and opened the door quietly. They didn’t see anyone in the shed. They walk further and finally they saw the man about to set the shed on fire. Blue turned to run away and then the man saw Dean and grabbed his arm and pushed him into the shed and locked him in.

 

Blue escaped and ran away back home shouting for his uncle. “Uncle Buck! Uncle Buck!”

 

Buck came outside and saw Blue running toward him looking very pale.

 

“What’s wrong my boy?” said Buck.

 

“My friend Dean was caught by a man that set a shed on fire and he’s locked in the burning shed. Please, Uncle Buck, help him!”

 

“Okay let’s go boy,” said Buck.

 

Annalee looked very worried, “Oh, Buck try to get him out. I am scared that he will not survive,”

 

“I’ll go immediately to that shed!”

 

In the meantime the shed was on fire and Dean was screaming, “Help me, please help me! Let me out! Oh, I wish someone would hear me. Please let me out!”

 

At that moment John Cannon came back home and saw Blue and Buck running to the shed to try to save the boy.

 

John said, “Get an axe, then we’ll break the door open.”

 

Buck got an axe from the neighbours and then he hit the door as hard as he could. Finally he opened the door and John ran into the shed to get the boy out. Fortunately the boy was not hurt. 

 

“Thank you Mr Cannon,” said Dean.

 

“Call everyone to put out the fire,” said John to Buck. A lot of people came to help to put the fire out.

 

“Okay Blue boy, you tell me what happened here,” said John.

 

“Yes, Pa. Ma and Uncle Buck allowed me a half hour to play with my friend. Dean and I went for a walk. We saw a man in the shed and I said let’s take a look at what he’s doing because he looks suspicious to me. Then we opened the door saw the man at fire to the shed. We tried to escape but suddenly the man grabbed Dean and I got the chance to escape.”

 

“Okay Blue boy. I am proud of you that you saved Dean’s life by getting help, but I wondering why uncle Buck let you go to play with your friend, because I didn’t give him permission to let  you go!”

 

Blue looked pale and he said nothing.

 

“John,” said Buck, “It’s my fault. I let the boy go away for a half hour to play with his friend Dean.”

 

 “You must not do that not again,” said John. “We will take you back to your parents,” said John to Dean.

 

“Yes sir, and thank you for saving my life.”

 

“Blue saved your life,” said John. “If he hadn’t escaped and gone to get help then you’d have been burned. Okay, let’s get you home now.”

 

 

 

 

The Offender

 

It was six in the evening and Buck, John and Blue arrived home.

 

“Oh, Billy Blue, you are alright,” and Annalee wrapped her arms around the boy and kissed him.

 

“Lets get dinner on the table for dinner and you eat,” said John to Blue.

 

Yes Pa,” said Blue.

 

Annalee put the dinner on the table and they started to eat. After dinner they went to the living room and sat there and talked about the next day.

 

“Tomorrow you get your lessons, boy and there is no escape for you, is that clear!”

 

Yes Pa,” Blue said nothing more but he felt awful that he wasn’t allowed to see his friend.

 

“Don’t be too hard on that boy, John,” said Buck.

 

“I must be strict,” said John.

 

Blue took a book and started to read until bedtime.

 

The time was 8.30 in the evening and John said, “Blue, go to bed now, do you hear!”

 

Yes Pa. Goodnight Pa, Ma and Uncle Buck.”

 

 “Goodnight, Blue boy,” said Uncle Buck and his mother.

 

Blue went upstairs and got in bed. He was thinking about the man that set the shed on fire and wondering where he was. He planned to try to find him someday when his father was not there. Then he fell asleep.

 

The next morning Buck came into Blue’s room. “Blue boy, little Blue boy, wake up my boy!”

 

Blue opened his eyes and saw his uncle, “Hello, Uncle Buck,” said Blue.

 

“Please get up and get washed and dress yourself for breakfast. Be quick, your father is impatient and he’ll be mad at you,”

 

“Yes, Uncle Buck.”

 

Buck left the room and Blue came downstairs ten minutes later. “Good morning Ma and Pa,” said Blue.

 

“Good morning boy,” said his father.

 

“Let’s start to eat now,” said John.

 

After breakfast John stood up and gripped Blue boy’s arms and dragged him outside. “You go for your next shooting lesson, my boy,” said his father.

 

“Pa, if I do my best with learning, may I play with my friend please?”

 

 “I can’t promise you anything, boy. Now you do what I told you to do!”

 

He put a few tins on the fence and said to the boy, “Start shooting boy and let’s see what you can do,”

 

Blue shot three times, but it was not good. He missed the tins.

 

His father said, “Take it easy and try to relax and concentrate a little bit more!”

 

Yes Pa.  I am sorry. I will try to do my best, Pa,” said Blue.

 

“I know boy. It takes time for you to become a good shooter,” and he smiled at the boy.

 

Blue finally saw a smile from his father after he was back from the war, and it felt good that his father was being friendly.

 

Suddenly Buck came and said to John, “John, Mr. McDonald wants to speak with you now.”

 

“All right. Blue, you get a few hours free from me and if you are doing things wrong I will spank you is that clear!”

 

Yes Pa, and thank you for that free time,” said Blue. 

 

Blue ran to his friend and said to him, “I have time now so let’s go. Shall we try to find the offender?”

 

“Blue, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that,” said Dean.

 

 “Alright, what shall we do then?” said Blue

 

“I will show you something what I got from my pa,” said Dean

 

“Okay, show me what you got,” said Blue.

 

They walked to Dean’s pa’s shed. They opened the door and suddenly the man that set the shed on fire grasped Blue and put a hand over his mouth so he couldn’t scream. He took his gun and said to Dean, “You go sit there in the corner,”

 

Dean went and sat down and he tied him with a rope and ran outside the shed with Blue. He carried Blue over his shoulder and ran away fast as possible. Blue struggled with his legs and tried to scream, but the man   put his hand over his mouth so he could not scream. He rode away with the boy.

 

 

Blue is missing

 

“Where is Blue?” said John

 

 “I don’t know John. I’ve not seen him for a long time, perhaps a couple of hours. John I’ll go try to find my little Blue boy,” Buck said.

 

“When he gets home he’ll get the spanking of his life, I promised him that,” said John.

 

“Take it easy, John. I will try to find him,” said Buck.

 

He went to the shed to get his horse and at that moment Dean’s father came to Buck and said, “Buck, I found Blue’s hat in the shed, and my son Dean was tied up with a rope and I cut him loose.”

 

“I’ll go and warn John,” said Buck. He ran to the house, screaming, “John, someone has taken your boy. His hat was in the shed.”

 

 “Let’s go,” said John and took his horse and rode away.

 

They were five minutes outside the town and suddenly John saw a man with a little boy a few miles forwards and rode faster to catch the man.

 

Buck and Blue were riding very fast and finally they got close to that man and John said, “Give my boy back or I’ll shoot you.”

 

The man looked behind him and put his gun to the head of the little boy, “If you get one step closer to me I’ll kill your boy,”

 

“Please Pa, help me!”

 

“Keep your mouth shut!” said the man to the boy.

 

Buck and John kept on a distance and John asked, “What do you want with my boy?”

 

“The man answered, “Your son is a witness that I set the shed on fire and if I let him loose he will tell the sheriff and I can not allow that,” said the man

 

 “Alright, you go,” said John. In the meantime he tried to make a plan to save his boys life.

 

 So the man rode away and Buck said, “Why did you let him go?” said Buck. “I will tell you my plan now. We follow him at a distance and in the night we try to save the boy.”

 

“So let’s go now,” said John.

 

“I hope he will not hurt the boy, John,” said Buck.

 

“I hope so too,” said John.

 

They rode for hours, hopeful that the man did not see them behind him.

 

In the meantime the man and Blue came to the rocks and he said to the boy, “We stay here the night. I’ll tie you up now, and you better behave yourself!”

 

 “No, please let me go. I will say nothing to anyone, but please let me go!”

 

“Keep your mouth shut,” said the man and put something in his mouth so he couldn’t scream again.

 

The night was beginning and the man made a fire to keep him warm. He gave the boy food and drink.

 

“I’ll let you loose so you can eat and drink,” he said.

 

Blue boy began to eat and drink and after that he was tied up again.

 

“Go to sleep! I will keep an eye on you,” said the man.

 

Blue lay there with tears in his eyes and cried softly.

 

John had arrived and whispered to Buck, “I’ll take the man and you the little boy,”

 

“Yes John,” he said “We start at the same time. Go now!”

 

John took his gun and walked to the man and Buck took his gun and walked with a knife to the boy to cut him loose.

 

“Keep your hands high and throw away your gun with two fingers!” John said

 

 The man tossed his gun aside and in the meantime Buck cut Blue loose.

 

“Uncle Buck, I’m glad to see you,” he was crying.

 

Buck wrapped his arms around the boy and said, “We’ll take you home little Blue Boy. You go to your ma, she is worried about you”

 

“Buck, bring that rope. We’ll tie up the man.” John called

 

 So Buck tried to tie up the man, but he tried to fight with Buck and John went to help Buck and tied the man on his horse.

 

 “Let’s go now. Blue boy you go with your uncle Buck on his horse,” said John.

 

“Yes, Pa. I’m sorry for what happened,” said Blue.

 

“We’ll talk about it later boy, not now,” said his father.

 

So they rode to Tucson and Blue boy told the sheriff everything that had happened.

 

“I’m sorry, but I must go home with the boy.  My wife is still waiting for us,” John said to the sheriff.

 

“It’s alright, if I need to know anything more I will come by later and asking,” said the sheriff.

 

So they went home and knocked on the door. Annalee opened the door and saw the little boy and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him and said, “My boy, I, am glad you are healthy and not hurt. Let’s get something to drink and then go to bed. Tomorrow your lessons start again, and you must get up early.”

 

 “Yes Ma. I am glad to be home,” said Blue. And he went to his room and fell asleep, he was so tired.

 

And when the morning came, Buck woke the little boy and said, “We start again with your lessons and now there is no time for your friends anymore!”

 

 “Yes, Uncle Buck,” said Blue.

 

The end