By Marie Gestl
"The day before Thanksgiving"
Blue's father, Big John sends Blue out to hunt for a turkey to bring home for tomorrow'sThanksgiving dinner. While out Blue sees a couple looking to be in their mid sixties on horseback, they seem to be lost. Blue rides his horse over to them and asks where they are headed. The man says that they want to go to
At the ranch, John and Victoria are standing on the porch, they were discussing on whether or not they should have Thanksgiving dinner indoors or outdoors. They decided on outdoors. They then see Blue come riding in with two other riders. As John walks off the porch he says to
Everyone watches as the couple slowly get off their horses. John and Victoria walk over to them and introduce themselves and welcome them to the ranch.
“Please do come inside”, says
Blue takes a deep breath, “I didn't see any turkeys”.
John says, “It figures!” he then yells over to Pedro who has been watchman all morning. “Go out and hunt down a turkey for tomorrow."
Pedro answers,"Yes, amigo."
John then goes to join Victoria and the couple in the house. Also in the house is Manolito. They all sit in the family room with cups of coffee.
Mano takes a sip of his coffee, then looks at the couple. “I hope you two don't mind me asking, why you are going to
Mrs West says, “Well our twenty-five year old son got
married back in May, after the wedding they moved to
Mano smiles, “Oh Christmas is a good time for families to be together."
At this point John interrupts them saying, “What
made you travel west when
Mrs. West answers saying, "We’re not good with directions."
John speaks again saying, “You two are going to
have to stay here until Thanksgiving is over. What I'll do is Friday have some of the men take you to
Mrs. West replies, "That is good, that way we won't get lost."
Blue comes walking into the house with the couple’s baggage and sets them down. John gets up and walks over to him and says, “It took you long enough to bring in their baggage”.
Blue says, “I was talking to Uncle Buck, he's taking care of their horses”.
John says," It figures, Buck is always there to aid you."
John then looks over at
After everyone goes upstairs, Mano walks over to John with a grin on his face. “What would you like me to do?"
John says, “You Mano, can give Buck a message, "Tell him that since he offered to take care of our vistors horses he can feed them too. As a matter of fact, he can feed all of the horses."
Mano leaves the house laughing to himself.
Meanwhile in an upstairs bedroom, Mr. and Mrs. West are admiring the room. Mr.West says, "I bet these people have a lot of money."
Mrs. West then says, “Of course they do, this is a big ranch."She then picks up a small knickknack and puts it in her suitcase.
Mr. West tells her to watch what she takes.
Later at supper time:
The Cannon family and their guests are seated for supper. As everyone eats, John and Victoria notice that Mr. and Mrs. West fill their plates up quite a bit, but they do their best to ignore it. Buck also has his plate quite filled, but John and Victoria are used to him doing that. Minutes later the couple asked for second helpings.
“Why of course”, says
Again minutes later they help themselves to a third helping. John and Victoria look at each other but say nothing. Buck announces that he has had enough. It is at this time that Pedro comes walking in with a pretty big turkey.
He proudly shows it to everyone saying, “It is nice”.
John and Victoria go over to him and say, “Let's
take it in the kitchen”.
Blue, who is still sitting at the table, has a disappointed look on his face. He slowly gets up and walks toward the door to go outside.
Buck takes notice and goes over to Blue. He puts his arm around him saying, “Now Blue Boy, you know Christmas is coming in a few weeks. Let's say that you and I at that time go out to see what we can get for Christmas dinner”.
Blue looks at Buck and smiles saying, “Yeah, ok”.
Still sitting at the table is Mano and the visitors. They were talking about how good a cook Victoria is. “Well, if you would excuse me now, I have work that needs to be done”, said Mano.
Mr. and Mrs. West are now alone. Mrs. West tells
Mr. West to fill a bowl up with food and take it up to the room while she helps
She walks in the kitchen saying, “Hi
“I insist”, said Mrs. West.
“Well ok, since you insist”, said
While helping Victoria Mrs West sees four little fancy cups on the shelf. She picks one up and says, "oh, these are cute. Where did you get these?”
Mrs. West then puts the little cup back on the shelf.
Mr. West, who is upstairs, leaves his room and walks into Blue’s room. He looks around and sees a pocket knife with pretty blue handle on it. He picks it up and brings it to his room, and puts it in his suitcase.
Later that night:
The Cannon family retired for the night. Sam is watchman tonight and all is quiet except in the room that Mr. and Mrs. West are in.
Mr. West is showing his wife the pocket knife. She says, “something really nice is in the kitchen and I am going to get it now." She quietly goes downstairs to the kitchen, taking the little cup.
John and Victoria are the first two up, together they will take care of the turkey.
About an hour later, Mr. West gets up, goes downstairs
and hears John and Victoria talking in the kitchen. He ignores them and goes
back in to the bunkhouse. Sam's brother Joe is
watchman this morning and doesn't see Mr. West. Inside the bunkhouse everyone
is still sound asleep. Mr. West goes over to
At the house Mrs. West is now up, she found the
storage room. While in there she sees a pretty colorful
blanket which was made in
She says, "Damn, you made me jump out of my shoes!"
Mr. West says, "Who else would walk in the room?"
"It could have been anyone", says Mrs. West. "Look what I found!" she exclaimed while holding up the blanket.
They then hear a noise out in the hall and Mrs. West says, "Someone is out there".
Mr. West peeks out the door and spots Blue going downstairs. He quietly closes the door and tells Mrs. West that ‘it's just that blonde headed kid. He went downstairs’.
Not long afterwards breakfast is being served and everyone is seated at the table. Blue looks at his father and says, "Pa you didn't by any chance see my blue pocket knife around?"
John says "No Blue, I haven't."
After that nothing is said, everyone just sits and
eats quietly. Right after breakfast
"John looks at Buck with a little bit of a grin saying, "I bet you can't."
"One of my little cups is missing" she answered.
John then says, "Oh, I’m sure it's around somewhere, someone probably used for tea or coffee, now how is that turkey coming along?”
Meanwhile over at the stable Mr. and Mrs. West are watching Blue brush his horse. Mr. West says, "You do a good job at that."
Blue says with a smile, "Oh thank you."
Mr. West then asks, "Do you think you could brush our horses?" It's just that at our age we can't do much."
Blue then says, "Right after I'm done here I'll groom your horses." Mr. and Mrs. West then leave.
Buck, who was nearby, walks over to Blue and says, "you know Blue boy my horse needs to be groomed too.
"Blue looks up at buck and starts to complain, "Oh come on Uncle Buck, I'm still grooming my horse and now I have to groom theirs, "why do I have to groom your horse too?"
Buck gives Blue a big smile and puts his arm around him and replies, "Because you do such a good job Blue boy, that’s why."
Mr. West is in the stable by himself, he decided to go for a short ride on Manolito's horse. He saddles up and slowly rides out.
While on guard Mano sees Mr. West, his eyes grow wide and he has a surprised look on his face, while hurrying over to Mr. West he shouts, "Where are you going with my horse?"
Mr. West looks down at Mano and responds, "Nowhere special, I'm just going for a short ride."
Mano has a confused look on his face and says, "Why my horse? What is wrong with yours?"
Mr. West looks away and says, "My horse has travelled a long way so I decided to use a different horse."
Mano is angry but tries to hold it back saying, "Do you not know it is wrong to help yourself to someone else's horse?
Mr. West then looks at Mano and says "Well I wasn't going far, I'm sorry. I will put it back." Mano watches shaking his head in disbelief.
in the afternoon:
Everyone on the ranch is gathered around for the Thanksgiving dinner and appear to be in a good mood. As John slices the turkey Mrs.West says, "Excuse me, but would it be all right if my husband and I have the turkey legs?"
“Why sure you can", says John smiling.
Blue frowns after hearing that because every Thanksgiving he gets a leg. John looks over at Blue. "Oh now Blue, every year you get a leg, you can do without one this year."
Blue looks down at his plate and mumbles to himself, "Sure".
Later on when everyone is eating their dessert, John tells Buck, Mano and Blue that they can all go to
John offers to help
John says, "No, now you just relax while I help my wife".
After John and Victoria bring some things in the kitchen, Mr. and Mrs. West put some of the leftover turkey on a plate and bring it upstairs. Minutes later, Mr. West sneaks into John and Victoria's room. He looks around and then decides to look in the dresser drawers. In the bottom drawer he finds fifty dollars, he puts the money in his pocket, then goes back to his room. He shows the money to his wife saying, "I found this, we could sure use it!"
Buck, Blue, Mano, and the visitors are ready to leave for
Buck says, "Sure, but why didn't you fill your canteen with water before we left?"
Mr. West takes a swig and says, "I don't have a canteen"
Buck gets a puzzled look on his face. Mr. West continues to drink the water. Mrs. West walks over to them, "You wouldn't mind sharing that with me too?"
Buck is really puzzled now, he thinks to his self, "Who would travel without water?" Buck is nice about it though, and tells Mrs. West that she can have some too.
Buck and Mano go to the saloon and Blue takes Mr. and Mrs. West to see when the coach leaves for
Mr. West is admiring a leather belt. The owner walks over saying, "Nice choice, you can have it for four dollars"
Meanwhile, Mrs. West picks up a little pink ribbon and sneaks it into her pocket.
Back at the ranch, John and Victoria are talking about the Christmas holiday coming up.
Very upset she goes through the other drawers, then stops to stare at John. John looks at her oddly and asks her what she thought might of happen to the money. Victoria then shouts, "It was Mr. and Mrs. West, they must have taken it!"
“What do you mean?" asked John.
"Are you stupid or something, figure it out!" she yelled.
"Figure what out!" asked John with a confused look on his face.
John quickly leaves the room and heads downstairs.
Blue says, “they left fifteen minutes ago.”
Buck says, “let's not stand around all day, let's get that coach!"
Mano is the first to chase the coach, the others follow behind. Mano catches up and brings the coach to a halt. The driver asks what the problem is. Mano tells him that the couple in the coach are thieves. Mano tells Mr. and Mrs. West to get out of the coach, and Buck tells the driver to put their luggage on the ground.
Mr. West says, "what did you stop us for?"
Mano says, “be quiet and open up your suitcases”.
Mr. West does so, and Mrs. West says to Mano, “we don't steal."
stoops down and picks up
A few hours later at the ranch, Buck, Blue and Mano are telling John and Victoria everything about Mr. and Mrs. West. Buck says, "Well, we found out that that they have been known to steal before. Everywhere they go they steal.
says, They live in Bisbee in a little shack, and they
do have a twenty five year old son who lives in
Blue then says, "I'm just glad that we got all our things back."