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The Simple Day by Spanky

Work Count 1,575

He could see the sun rising, shining brightly in the bedroom window, big, bright, beautiful.  Something he wasn’t used to in his short and rugged life.

He stood up and took a deep breath, drinking in the sites and sounds of another day at Lancer his home.  He hurriedly got on his flashy Mexican attire and went downstairs for breakfast.  Knowing that Maria and Teresa would have a breakfast fit for a king, well, a Mexican Patron anyway.  Sometimes he had to pinch himself to believe he had such a home.

About that time in walked his proper brother, always doing the right thing when it comes to manners.  He sat down at the table, not even thinking about stealing a piece of the bacon as he had, and took a swift hit of the wooden spoon from the beautiful Teresa for it too.

“Well, Scott,  what’s Murdoch told you to do today?  I haven’t got my orders yet.” 

Murdoch walked into the kitchen just as the brothers were finishing their breakfast.

”Hello, boys.  We need to go to the north range and clean out the creek bed by Jump Spring.  It should be a simple job.”

Johnny jumped up and practically ran out to the barn, always full of energy and stamina.  Murdock quietly but sternly told Scott, “ See if you can keep him at bay today.  Just a simple job, and no trouble, please.  I have bookwork to do”                                        

Scott went out to the barn to find Johnny had already saddled the horses and was ready to go.  Scott told him the plan for the day, and his response never ceased to amaze his older brother.

He tore off out of the barn with a whoop and a holler.  Scott took his time catching up with him to save his energy for the job ahead.  The day wore on, and it was time for lunch.  Just as they were setting down, they heard a scream from the deeper part of the water.

Johnny ran to the sound, his senses aware of maybe a trap.  Scott ran headlong into the water after seeing a flailing person in the stream.  As he dragged the person out, they were both surprised to see it was a girl. 

Johnny ran back to his horse to grab a bedroll to wrap around the shivering girl.  By the time he got back, Scott was questioning her about what had happened.  Johhny knelt down by them, looking around and feeling the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. 

He stood up as a man came from behind the bush with a gun in his hand.  He spoke first to tell them to move away from the girl as he walked toward her.  He held the gun to her head and told her to say her prayers as she was going to die.

She grabbed a handful of dust and threw it into his eyes, giving just enough time for Johnny to pull his gun and shoot the man.

Scott stood in awe at how fast his little brother was.  He had heard stories since coming to Lancer 3 months ago but had no idea.  He was certainly glad for his speed today.  The girl insisted on riding with Johnny on Barranca.   Scott didn’t know if it was the horse or the man, but he did know he wished it was him she had chosen.  Even drenched and dirty, he could tell she was a beautiful woman.

As they rode into Lancer that evening with the girl they’d saved from death twice, they both wondered what the ‘tune caller’ would say. 

Teresa ran out to meet them when she looked out the window and saw the girl wrapped in Johnny’s bedroll.  She helped her into the house and upstairs to her room to clean her up and get dry clothes on.

About an hour later, she came down to finish dinner while Victoria laid down for a while.  Scott and Johnny also cleaned up and made their way to the great room, waiting for their day’s catch to come down.

In the meantime, Murdoch was waiting for an explanation of what had happened.  Just as they started to tell him, Victoria walked down the stairs and into the great room.  All 3 men stood with their mouths open standing in front of them was probably the most beautiful young lady they had ever seen.  She had raven black hair, olive toned skin, was tall, slender, and appeared to be around 20 years old.

Teresa came into the room to announce supper just as Scott and Murdoch headed over to escort the young lady to dinner.

Johnny stood back and studied the whole situation, being a little aloof as he had some suspicions about the entire thing and didn’t trust this beautiful creation.  He’d seen enough of beautiful women and the trouble they caused, starting with his own mother.  He hoped there was a simple explanation for all that had transpired today, but right now, he was hungry.

Murdoch listened intently as Scott informed him what had happened at the creek.  He was seething inside to think his youngest son had to kill a man and didn’t seem that upset over the whole thing.  As a matter of fact, the way Johnny was acting toward their guest, it appeared he blamed her or just didn’t like her.  He knew his son better, and he usually never passed up a chance to talk to a beautiful woman.

Victoria was intrigued by her guests, especially the dark-haired youngest son, who at the moment was totally ignoring her, which she wasn’t used to.  She vowed to change that before the day was over and hoped his aloofness was a simple misunderstanding, but nothing was simple as she was about to find out with Johnny Lancer.

When Johnny went outside after dinner, she followed him, much to Scott’s dislike.  He complained to Murdock that he didn’t think he’d ever get a girl until he got his little brother married off because without even trying, this beautiful creature had chosen him to set her affections on.

When Victoria approached Johnny, she asked him what had she done to him.  He said he wanted to know why the man had tried to kill her. 

She told him the man was her husband and she was trying to get away from him.  She started to cry, telling him of their abusive relationship and her desire to return to her native Spain.  She asked him if he would escort her to town so she could catch the train to start her long journey home.  He agreed and was secretly glad she was leaving.

What started out to be a simple day had taken too many twists and turns, and he knew Murdock always thought everything out of the ordinary was his fault.  She told him goodnight but not before planting a kiss on his cheek.  He couldn’t help himself.  She was so pretty he grabbed her by the arm and kissed her soundly on the lips.  She dropped her eyes and thought to herself, “well, that didn’t take long,” but was surprised how much that token of affection meant to her.

Murdoch stood in the shadows thinking how much this woman reminded him of his Maria and hoped Johnny wasn’t getting in over his head as he had.

As Johnny was heading up to bed, Murdock grabbed his arm and asked him what was happening. 

Johnny informed his father that he would be taking her to the train station in the morning, which would be the end of it. 

Murdoch took a deep breath and said, “I certainly hope so, son.”


After Johnny left Murdoch contemplating everything that had happened another day at Lancer, he was so glad to have his sons home after all those years.  Sometimes Johnny brought too much excitement, but he realized a lot of it wasn’t his fault.  He was a wayward, captivating, and impulsive young man and he was glad to learn to live with that.

On the way to town, Johnny’s resolve was starting to melt.  This woman he had tried to ignore was getting under his skin in a good way.  He didn’t like being attracted to her because she was too beautiful and that alone meant trouble. 

When they reached the train station, she looked at him, tears streaming down her face. 

Johnny put a calloused hand on her chin and kissed her lips.  He knew then he didn’t want to let her go. 

For the first time in a long time, he saw a fire in her eyes that matched his own.  The last time he saw that same fire was in Nogales, in a girl he thought he would marry, but she had died before he could.

Victoria asked him with her longing brown eyes if she could stay.  So Johnny asked her how important Spain was to her.

She replied, “Not important at all at this moment.”

On the way back to Lancer, they decided to cultivate their relationship slowly to see what would happen.  When they pulled up to Lancer Murdoch, Scott and Teresa came out to meet them.

Once again, Murdoch thought to himself, “well, it’s going to be another simple day at Lancer, and my youngest son is going to make sure of it.”              

September 2022


Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment.  Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here.  You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or email Spanky directly.                                                        

4 thoughts on “The Simple Day by Spanky

  1. Nice to see a story from you! It sounds like this has the makings of a fiery relationship for Johnny. I hope there’s a sequel. Thanks!


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