The Visitors


By Marie Gestl




"The day before Thanksgiving"


Wednesday morning:

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
Phoenix. Blue tells him that is a long way northwest of here. He then asks where they are from. The woman tells him that they are from a little mining town called Bisbee. Blue ask them if they would like to visit the High Chaparral Ranch because they are close to it. The woman says yes because they have been travelling for quite some time and that they are also getting hungry.The three then ride to the ranch.



Around Noon:

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
Victoria, “Leave it up to Blue to come home with strangers”. Blue hops off his horse and says, “This is Mr and Mrs West”

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
Victoria with a smile. As the couple follow Victoria into the house, John walks over to Blue and says "Well boy, since you brought them here you can bring their things into the house and take care of their horses, and by the way, where is the turkey"?


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 Phoenix. I promised them that we would be there on time for Christmas to visit.”


 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 Phoenix is northwest of Bisbee?"


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 Tucson, there you will be able to take a stage coach to Phoenix."


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 Victoria. He tells her to find a room upstairs for their guests.


Victoria has Mr. and Mrs. West follow her upstairs. John then tells Blue to take their bags up.


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.


Victoria and Blue then come downstairs. John tells Blue to go find some work to do. Victoria tells John that she is going to start to make supper.


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 Victoria. Buck announces that he will have seconds also.


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”. Victoria will get it ready for tomorrow.


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 Victoria in the kitchen.


She walks in the kitchen saying, “Hi Victoria, I thought that you might need some help”.


Victoria turns to Mrs. West and says, “Oh, you don't have to, you are a guest here”.


“I insist”, said Mrs. West.


“Well ok, since you insist”, said Victoria.


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?”


Victoria smiles saying, “My father gave them to me”.


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.


Thanksgiving Morning:

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 Reno’s cot. Hanging on the cot is Reno's holster. Mr. West is as quiet as a mouse, nobody is disturbed. He takes a few bullets from the holster and puts them in his pocket, then he quietly leaves without being noticed.


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 Mexico. She picks it up and takes it to her room. At this point Mr. West walks into the room and startles her.


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 Victoria tells everyone that Thanksgiving dinner will be ready around three. Buck with a big smile on his face says, "Oh Victoria, I can't wait.


"John looks at Buck with a little bit of a grin saying, "I bet you can't."


Later while Victoria's in the kitchen preparing the turkey, she notices that on the shelf there are three little cups rather then four. John walks in the kitchen at this time and says, "How is the turkey coming along?"


Victoria is still staring at the shelf. John says "Victoria is something wrong?"


"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?”


Victoria shows the turkey to John saying, "It should be ready in a few hours."

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."



Around Noon:

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.



3:00 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".


Victoria says, "I think we should be thankful that we have a Thanksgiving dinner, some people have nothing to eat." Everyone agrees and enjoys their meal.

Later on when everyone is eating their dessert, John tells Buck, Mano and Blue that they can all go to
Tucson tomorrow morning and to take Mr. and Mrs. West with them so that they can take a stagecoach to Phoenix. Shortly after dinner everyone excuses themselves and compliments Victoria for the great dinner.

John offers to help
Victoria to clean up. Mrs. West then says, "Oh, he doesn't have to help, I will help you."


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!"



Friday morning:

Buck, Blue, Mano, and the visitors are ready to leave for
Tucson. Later, when halfway there, they stop to rest. Mr. West goes over to Buck and says, "Would it be ok for me to have a swig of your water? I don't have any."


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
Phoenix. A man tells them that it will be another two hours. Blue decided to join the other two in the saloon while the couple walk around town. They stop at the general store. Mr. West takes an apple and Mrs. West takes a pear from a crate without paying. Next they stop at a little shop and they go inside to look around. The owner of the shop who is standing behind the counter looks over at them and smiles.


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.
Victoria had just told John that she has fifty dollars set aside for Christmas. She tells him to follow her upstairs so she can show him. Once upstairs, Victoria opens up the dresser drawer, looks for the money but, can't find it. She cries, "John I put it in here, I know I did."


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.


Victoria angrily says, "Blue’s pocket knife is gone, and God knows what else is missing. Can't you see Mr. Cannon, those visitors are thieves?"


John quickly leaves the room and heads downstairs. Victoria asks where he is going. He tells her that he going to send Reno to Tucson to tell the others not to let Mr. and Mrs. West on the coach to Phoenix.

Reno arrives in town, he finds Buck, Mano, and Blue. He rides over to them and tells them about Mr. and Mrs. West and that they have to prevent them from getting on that coach.


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."


Mano stoops down and picks up Victoria’s little cup, holds it in front of Mrs. West’s face and says, “Is that right, then how did you get this?" Buck who is sitting on his horse, scratches his head and tells Mano to close the suitcase so that they can get them to the sheriff's office.

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.


Mano says, They live in Bisbee in a little shack, and they do have a twenty five year old son who lives in Phoenix.


Blue then says, "I'm just glad that we got all our things back."