Love Old West Stylebylizziebeth©
The morning sun rose over the mountain, I stood near the willow tree as the faint glow of sunlight began to filter over the town of Lonesome. Today was a new day, and new people set to arrive for another day in the tourist hot spot of Lonesome, Montana.
Once a western movie location the town had been revitalized by the owner, Edward Brilliant; a self made millionaire he bought the old west town and wanted to bring it back to its glory. He also wanted to make money at it, so he made it into a tourist getaway. No modern convinces, besides running water, flushing toilets and phone service.
There are no motor vehicles allowed near the property, when you arrive you park your car miles away. You then travel by authentic stagecoach to Lonesome. When you arrive you are transported back in time when life was slow and easy.
The men, women and children who live and work year round in Lonesome dress in period costume, live in the period ways; we use wood for cooking and heating, candles and lanterns for light.
Our town consists of; a bank, Doctors office, a church/school, a saloon/hotel, barber shop/bath-house, jail, mercantile, the cold house, dress goods store, telegraph office/post office, rented cabins, restaurant, stable and several log homes. The town is surrounded by majestic snow capped mountains, and slow moving rivers. There are modern cities nearby, as well as other old west towns.
Before coming to Lonesome I had been in college, lived the college life. I went to college but had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Then one day as I was searching on the web for some information for a thesis I was doing on western life, I came upon a link. I clicked on it and found Edward Brilliant looking for people to work and live in an authentic western town. I immediately emailed Mr. Brilliant and gained a response. The next week I was on a plane headed to Montana.
My name is Beth Kody; I run the rental cabins for Mr. Brilliant. I have lived here now for 4 years, and I love it. I rarely leave Lonesome, for I love the quiet easiness of the life here. I don't miss the hustle and bustle of modern life.
On this day I was going to meet the stage as usual, my blue dress billowing in the breeze. As the stage pulled up I put up my bonnet to seem more authentic, my clip board in hand I waited as the passengers got off the stage and were shown by Billy the driver of the stage were to go as he and Harry got their luggage off the stage. I knew I had a family of 4 coming in for cabin A, and couples for cabins B-D. I waited as the mayor of Lonesome (Mr. Brilliant) came out of his house to greet the new comers.
I stood at the edge of the porch railing waiting for my cue to come up to be introduced as he began his speech.
"Welcome to Lonesome. I am the mayor Edward Brilliant. Here at Lonesome we do all manner of things in the ways of the old west. The men, women and children who live here in Lonesome year round welcome you to a simpler way of life. Look around you at the beauty and peace of a simpler time of yesterday. This town was once a movie location, several different movies were made here. Many stars walked these very streets. As you walk here, walk as if you are walking in the 1800's as others before you have. This is a real working town, we all have jobs and one of those is to make sure our guests have the best time possible. Join us in wearing period clothing if you wish by seeing Mrs. Smith at the dress goods store to rent costumes. Horses are always available to ride or trail. All events are posted in your cabins or see any staff for more information. Please allow me to introduce the person who takes care of most things around here. Miss Beth Kody, should you need anything she is the one to see. Miss Kody."
"Thank you mayor. I am the rental agent for the cabins. My house and office are at the end of the street across from the mercantile. Are the Tompkins here?"
"Yes ma'am," a tall red headed man said stepping forward with his wife and children in tow.
"Please call me Beth, this is your cabin A, straight past the church on the edge of town. Please settle in and then see me in the office.
"Thank you," he said as he gathered their bags.
"Yes, that's us," a small womanly voice chimed in.
"Welcome, you are in cabin B, that is down at the other end of town just past the telegraph office.
"Yes," two men stepped forward.
Beth was not about to show her feelings on that one, but proceeded to tell them. "You're in cabin C, turn left past the church.
"That must mean you are the Callahan's," she said to an older couple standing near the water trough.
"Yes that is correct."
"Welcome to Lonesome, you are in cabin D. If you would follow me it is just through the trees behind the jail."
"Jail, do you have many troubles here with outlaws and the like?"
"No, not generally. But sometimes we get a few locals that get a little rowdy when they come to town."
"Do many locals come to town?"
"Yes, they ride in mostly on Saturday evenings when we have card night in the saloon. Some take to the drink more than the cards. We do have a sheriff on duty at all times. If anything serious should happen we do have phone service and local law enforcement will back us up if needed. But in the 4 years I have lived here that has not happened."
"It must be wonderful living here all the time, do you ever leave and visit the nearby towns?"
"It is wonderful Mrs. Callahan, I do go out on occasion and sometimes I go home to see my family on vacations, but not often."
"Please call me Bessie dear.'
"Okay Bessie, this is your trail, follow it to the cabin settle in and I'll see you at the office later."
I walked back to my office, sat in the high backed chair in front of the roll top desk that I kept all the records in. Sometimes I wished we had electricity for computers to make the record keeping easier, but doing the books the long way was in fact more fun. Just then Mr. Tompkins walked through the door.
"Did you find everything in order?"
"Yes, it is absolutely wonderful. My wife is a little unsure of the cooking part but I am sure she will be fine."
"Should you need any help just call upon me, or I will send our handyman Jimmy Joe around to see to your needs."
"Many thanks, I hope we won't need it."
"You have asked for a guided tour through the mountains, I have set that up for you. Tomorrow morning at 8 Jake your guide will meet you and your family at the stables. Bring warm clothing for the evenings, and any other personal items you may need for an overnight camping trip. We have provided everything else you will need."
"It sounds great," he said as he handed me his credit card.
"I believe the Kimmel's are joining you on that trip as well."
"Great, more the merrier I say."
"Good, here is your credit card back. I hope you and your family enjoy your stay here. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you."
"Thank you, my wife and kids are meeting me at the dress store to get different clothes."
"Great, see you later."
"See you later."
After all the guests had been in to take care of their bills, I went to work on my own chores. I set about to bake some biscuits for dinner, rolling out the dough and using an old metal can to cut the dough into circular shapes, and placing them on a sheet, then placing them in the cooking door on the side of the stove. A pot of stew simmered on top of the stove.
That evening as many went I listened as the sounds of a piano being played, laughter and the sounds of horses whinnying as they waiting for their owners to end their night of partying at the saloon. Being a Friday evening meant it could go on late into the night. I ate my stew and biscuits and set about tidying up before going to bed. I had gone out the back door to toss out the wash pan from the dishes when a horse pulled to a halt beside me, though dark I could see the man slumped over the saddle horn. He looked up as the horse pranced excitedly, it was then I saw the bluest eyes I had ever seen on a man, I could see his long dark hair flowing from beneath his hat, he was dressed in authentic gear right down to spurs. I thought how handsome he looked with his neatly trimmed goatee.
"Good evening Miss, I did not mean to startle you. Please allow me to introduce myself my name is," just then he took off his hat and began to bow while in the saddle bent too far over and fell with a great thud on to the ground before me.
I rushed to his side his breathing was rough and ragged; I feared he may have broken some ribs in his fall. I ran to the house to call for Doc Smith, but his oldest daughter said they had gone into town for the evening. I didn't know what to do I couldn't just leave him on the ground like that. I returned to him grabbing a bucket of water as I passed. I bent down to him lifting the ladle of water to his lips. It trickled down his mouth but he seemed to come around a bit.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm not sure," he said with a drunken slur.
"You fell from your horse."
"Yes, you did. Are you sure you are not hurt?" He tried to sit up but fell quickly back on the ground.
"I think I am going to need a little help."
"Alright, I will do my best to help you."
"Thank you," he said as he looked at her eyes, he face so near if he weren't so drunk he would have tried to kiss her he thought.
Struggling to get up, I helped him as much as I could. His arm swung about my shoulders we staggered to the house. Helping him into the chair I left him the to go tether the horse to the post. When I returned he had moved to the floor in front of the fire, fast asleep. I knew there was no waking him a second time, I went to my room and gathered a quilt to cover him with. Doing so, I went out to lead the horse over the coral and unsaddle him.
I returned to the house the stranger still asleep on my floor, no sign of movement. With nothing else to do I went to bed. But I could not sleep, it would not come; I tried to get the image of his face from my mind. Finally nearly at dawn I believe I fell asleep.
When I awoke in the morning I could smell coffee and the sounds of footfalls in the kitchen. I suddenly remembered the night before, raising from my bed I and put on a night robe. I walked out my door to come face to face with the man who had haunted my dreams all night.
"Good morning," I said as I pulled my dressing gown tighter around me. "I am sorry if I inconvenienced you last night, but I do thank you for your help. I did not mean to be such a bother. By the way I don't believe I got around to introducing myself. My name is Benjamin Jessup," he said holding his hand out. It was no dream he thought to himself, she was as beautiful in real life as she was in the haunting dream of last night.
"My name is Beth, Beth Kody. I couldn't just leave you lying out on the cold ground all night. I stabled your horse for you."
"Thank you for that as well. Diablo I am sure appreciates it as well."
"My horse that is his name."
"I see he is a beautiful animal."
"That he is."
"I thank you for putting me up for the night, and taking such good care of my horse."
"Really it was not a problem."
At that moment the phone in the office rang, I went to answer it. Picking up the receiver a woman on the other end, asked if I or anyone else in town had seen the man standing across the room from her. She asked the woman to please hold.
Covering the phone, "there is someone on the phone asking for you."
"You have got to be kidding me, how in the world did she track me down here." He walked over to her, "tell them that you are transferring them to the hotel, then hand me the phone."
I wish I had kept it to myself where I was planning on going so whoever it was, and I know who it is my nosey sister Debra she can't let me have a moments peace to have any fun. She thinks she my mother.
I did as he asked and then handed him the phone, and went then into the other room. I could not miss the anger in his voice as he talked to the woman on the other end of the line. At that moment my mind was thankfully turned to another subject as the pull bell rang on the front door. I went to answer it finding the Kimmels standing there.
"May I help you with something?"
"We hope we aren't disturbing you too early?"
"No, it's fine as you see he needed to use the phone. What can I do for you this morning?"
"We had a question about the shower apparatus, we read the instructions but are still unsure of how to use it."
"It's not a problem, come with me I will show you on mine they are all the same here except for the ones at the shower house."
The couple followed me into my bathroom and I explained that they had to heat water on the stove then pour it into the water reservoir above the showerhead. They said that they had done that but the water just poured back out. I told them they had to make sure that the spout handle was turned to the right in order to fill it, then as they took a shower to turn it to the left as they wanted water, then back to the right to stop it. I also told them about my tip I put on the instructions, to wet down then shut off the water lather up then rinse to save water. They were relieved at the help, thanked me and then left. As I walked them to the door my heart fell as I heard Ben tell the woman on the phone he loved her. Why had my heart felt so jealous at hearing those words come from him to another woman? I didn't even know the man. What was happening to me, I had no idea.
Ben walked back into the kitchen almost on my heals he cleared his throat, "I'm sorry, I have to go. I thank you again for your hospitality I hope to see you again under better circumstances."
I held out my hand to shake his, "You are welcome. Please come to Lonesome anytime."
"Thank you. Well goodbye."
With that he walked out the door. My heart fell to the floor as I thought about his conversation with the woman. I love you too, he had said. The same jealous feeling went through her. Why, he was a stranger. I couldn't understand my feelings. I had to put that behind me though I had many things to accomplish today, one of them being going into Bixby for my monthly supply run.
I heated some water showered and changed into my western wear and headed to the Bank to get some money out of my account for my purchases in town. After that I headed to the stable to make sure that Willy the stable hand knew that I needed a ride to front stable, he said that the stage would be coming in about 10:30. So I had about 2 hours before I could head to town. I thought that would be plenty of time to wash a few things before I left.
I started a fire under the kettle on the tripod outside the backdoor, filled it with water. Placing the few items that needed washing in the tub with a small amount of washing soap I waited for the water to heat. My mind distracted from lack of sleep from the man who had slept on my floor. Why did he intrigue me so, and why was I jealous at the thought of him loving another woman? I had no answer for myself, other than I knew that I had felt some sort of attraction to him. The water boiled and I dipped some out into the tub, with washboard in hand set out to do the laundry, with thoughts of Ben on my mind.
Hanging the wash on the line, I felt a strange feeling of being watched. Turning to investigate I found him standing there watching me, I jumped at the sight of him. "I'm sorry I didn't mean to startle you." He was just sorry that she had noticed him to soon he liked watching her move, how her hands so soft and gentle worked so hard at cleaning the clothes in her hand.
"What, I mean it is alright. What are you doing back here?"
"Well you said come back to Lonesome anytime, this is anytime I would guess."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to sound like you were unwelcome. You are most welcome here. Is there something I can help you with?"
"Yes, actually there is."
"What would that be?"
"I was wondering if you would allow me the opportunity to return the favor you paid me last night by you joining me for dinner tonight?"
My heart leapt at the thought of spending more time with him, but unsure after the conversation I had overheard.
"I'm not sure if that is wise."
"Why not, it's only to pay you back for helping me in my time of need."
"I understand," my heart fell he was only being nice out of kindness not out of attraction as I was. I needed to leave but that would be rude. My hands were shaking from the sheer anxiety I was feeling. I so wanted to have dinner with him and more but those words I had heard him say kept leaping into my mind. I love you too. I love you too. I did not know what to do.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes, I am fine. I would really like to join you, but unfortunately I can't. I have to go into town for a few things, you see I go once a month and get supplies and things I need. Sometimes I even go to a movie if there is something playing that sounds interesting. I have no idea what time I will be back this evening."
"I see. Well perhaps I could join you, help you with your shopping. Perhaps even see a movie and have dinner in town. How would that be?" Please say yes, was all he could think he wanted, no he needed to be near her. Something about this woman intrigued him so.
My mind screamed at me, do it, do it. Go out with him what harm could it do.
"Well I don't know. What the heck alright."
"Fantastic, how soon can you be ready?"
"Well the stage won't be here for another hour."
"We don't need to wait for the stage, I have my horse if you don't mind riding double?"
"No that would be fine, just let me change into my city clothes."
"I'll wait for you out front then."
I went inside to change quickly into jeans, white tank top with a long sleeve plaid shirt over it. Pulled my hair quickly out of the bun and up into a ponytail. Gathered up my bag and headed outside to meet Ben.
"All set then," he said reaching his hand down to help me to get on behind him.
"Yes, all set," I said as I held on to his hand and pulled myself up in the saddle behind him.
We headed off to the main entrance, my arms holding on to Ben so tight that I was sure I could feel his heart racing as fast as mine was at the mere closeness of him.
We arrived at the post, got the keys to one of the town trucks and headed into Bixby.
Finishing the shopping quickly and placing the purchases in the truck we looked to the movie theatre to see what was playing.
"What type of movie would you like to see?"
"I don't know something fun I think would be nice. Shall we go look at the bills to see what looks good and who are in them?"
"Alright lets go."
Looking at the bills I saw that Will Smith was in I, Robot, but I wasn't sure about some futuristic movie. A couple of romance movies were playing, The notebook and Before Sunset. But I didn't want Ben to have to sit through a chick flick if he really didn't want to. So it was down to Ladder 49 with John Travolta or Troy with Brad Pitt, my goodness I didn't know what to choose so I left it up to him.
"What would you like to see?"
"I don't know not too much to choose from, how about Ladder 49 it might be a bit less intense as Troy?"
"Sounds fine. Lets get in line for tickets."
We got our tickets, a bucket of popcorn and 2 sodas and headed to look for our seats. The movie was just starting, as we searched quickly for a seat near the rear but not too far. Finding 2 seats we sat down. The movie was looking back on the life of a firefighter trapped in a burning building. With that I knew he would not survive in the end but wanted to see it to conclusion.