William Weldon ponders generational curses . . .
William, now at loose ends, went to see if he’d gotten any mail. He opened a short letter from his father in the old soldier’s pathetic, shaky script.
We are all well here. Mother was very pleased to receive a kind letter from Captain Bourke dated some months ago, but it seems as though you have impressed Captain Markham and the others as we knew you would.
Please tell us when your sketches are published so we can look for them in the magazines. We would like to hear from you more, but we understand about your headaches and all the distractions of the West.
Enclosed is a small bit of money for you, I wish it could be more. Buy a little treat.
Affectionately your father,
His father had great timing—always too late. What was five dollars to him now? William didn’t feel at all guilty about sending his father nothing for Christmas. Being out west reminded him of the Christmas long ago, alone with his father, before his accident.
All of the soldiers had sparkling gold and silver pocket watches, and William wanted one desperately. His father had taken him hunting with the same old carbine he still carried, and they had gotten a big bird. It was probably John’s bullet that caught it, but he lied and insisted it was Willy’s. He hinted that William would get what he wanted for Christmas. Something made William turn spiteful. “All I want is Mother,” he had said.
His father got sicker and the watch never materialized. Later William realized that his father had traded it for opium.
William shoved the letter into his pocket and limped in his old, uneven and tattered shoes from home. His head burned in the sun. He found shelter in The Buckskin Saloon.
“Merry Christmas, Robinson,” William said and sat at the bar, sliding the five dollars towards the bartender. “This is some of what I owe you.”
The bartender gave him a once over. “Well, this is a holiday, if you’re payin.’ But it hardly covers the damage you done last night.”
“Boyo, you really are soft in the head, ain’t you? I mean to say all the drinks you bought on credit—that’s the damage.”
“Like always,” Robinson replied. “What will I get you now?”
“Now? Oh, just a ginger beer.”
The man raised his brows. “On the wagon?”
“Gosh, no. My stomach just pains me is all.”
“Gosh? Bill, if you didn’t amuse me, there’d be no fun. So when you sellin’ another picture so’s I can get some more spoondulicks from you? More than just a few dollars, I mean,” the bartender asked while passing him the small glass and nodding at another customer.
Jay Haviland slapped William on the back. “Here’s just the man I wanted to see today. You were all horns and rattles last night. Is the girl sent back and all, do you know? Thought I saw the very same one with one of them high-falutin’ officers this morning. Boy howdy—it’s hot enough to wither a fence post, ain’t it?”
“Yes, it’s hot.” William finished his drink, remembering the first time he met Haviland.
WEARY OF RUNNING PREVIOUS EPISODE
Excerpted from WEARY OF RUNNING. Read more about Buck Crenshaw, his sister Thankful and William Weldon’s misadventures when you buy the book today!
“The second installment in The Tenafly Road Series definitely did not disappoint. With the introduction of new characters and the return of familiar ones, Weary of Running made for an exciting read. The protagonist, Thankful, is the real highlight of the novel. She consistently makes very poor decisions but in the end, you can understand why she has made every last one of them. The story ranges from love and romance to questions of faith and morality. It does all this without being preachy and explores many angles of different aspects of life. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.” Amazon Review
“Buck Crenshaw is my favorite dysfunctional lovable character.”
3 responses to “Fiction: Lost Time”
Reblogged this on Tenafly Road.
Poor William doesn’t have a chance with all the “sharp shooters” around him. I’m wondering if Robinson is lying or telling the truth about the drinks he bought the night before – sad thing is, William will never know.
I love seeing through William’s eyes. He’s such a gentle, lost soul. He turns into a good man eventually. There’s always hope.