Prairie's Children, Return to the West -- Chapter 1

 

 “Prisoners? Escape?” questioned Ruth.

“Yes, the same men you captured, the ones who had robbed the bank, pulled off a easy escape yesterday with the help of two women. One of the women fits your aunt's description,” answered the Sheriff.

“Oh,” said Ruth in shock. “The men kidnapped my baby – to get back at me?”

Ruth fell backwards into a chair. She held her head in her hands and began to cry. 'Oh, my poor baby! Gone! What can I do?”

 

Prairie's Children

Return to the West

Sequel to "Home in Alabama"

Chapter 1

 
 

The next morning saw the sun rise on a very beautiful day and Dr. Smith was true to his word. One of Mrs. Hill's daughters, along with her husband arrived to take care of their mother.

After briefing them on what she had done to keep down the fever and relaying Dr. Smith's instructions, Ruth thanked them for coming and started home to see her own baby daughter.

“Hey, Aunt Lolus, I'm home,” yelled Ruth as she ran up the steps and upon the porch. “How's the baby?”

Lolus met her at the door. “Little Maudie is not here. Some nurses took her into Oneonta to check her out yesterday. You know, on account of the sickness going around.”

“That is great. I was kinda worried about her, but it is good to know she is in good hands,” replied Ruth. “Let's go get her. Where did they carry her?”

“To the doctor's office, I reckon.”

“Mmm- that's strange. The doctor is out seeing sick folk at their homes. Well, maybe he has some good nurses. Let's go get her.”

“Okay,” said Lolus. “Grant and Josh are out working, so hitch up the buggy. I will be out in a jiffy.”

Ruth drove the buggy, making the 15 mile trip faster than usual. She was anxious to see Baby Maudie. Upon arrival in town, she went straight to the doctor's office only to find a note on the door that he would be “Out for awhile seeing sick folk”.

“Where else could Maudie be?” wonder Ruth aloud.

“Let's try the sheriff's office,” suggested Lolus.

The sheriff was at his desk and Ruth recognized immediately that he was deeply troubled. However, he stopped what he was doing and asked, “How may I help you ladies?”

“I was hoping you could tell me where the nurse took my baby,” answered Ruth.

“What nurse? What baby?”

“Well, a nurse came by our house and told my Aunt Lolus that a nurse came by and brought my baby here to check her out on account of the sickness that has been going around.”

“Nurse? What did she look like?” asked the sheriff.

“Well, she was blonde – and wearing a nice outfit, a black dress with big white dots,” stated Lolus.

The sheriff thought for a moment and said, “Let's walk over and see the jailer.”

Strange that the jailer would know anything about a nurse and a baby, but Ruth decided not to ask any questions. The jail was not far from the courthouse where the sheriff's office was located.

“Now, describe to the jailer what the woman looked like – completely,” ordered the sheriff.

As Lolus described the woman in detail, the jailer began to nod his head.
“Yep, that is one of the women who helped the prisoners escape.”

“Prisoners? Escape?” questioned Ruth.

“Yes, the same men you captured, the ones who had robbed the bank, pulled off a easy escape yesterday with the help of two women. One of the women fits your aunt's description,” answered the Sheriff.

“Oh,” said Ruth in shock. “The men kidnapped my baby – to get back at me?”

“Well, that is the way it looks now.”

“Which way did they go?”

“That's just it. Nobody knows.”

Ruth fell backwards into a chair. She held her head in her hands and began to cry. 'Oh, my poor baby! Gone! What can I do?”

“I don't know,” replied the sheriff. Lolus put her arm around her niece.  He continued,“There simply isn't any clues."

Lolus tried to put in some comforting words, “Maybe it is all a mistake. Maybe your baby is here somewhere.”

“I am afraid it is gone – Gone! Gone!” cried Ruth. “My poor baby.”

“I will tell you what I will do,” said the sheriff, “I will send some people around town and, if your baby is here, we will find it.”

“Okay,” as Ruth raised her head revealed her tear-filled eyes, but she did not have any hope the baby could be located.

While the townspeople searched, Ruth was finally able to ask a question. “Do you know their names?”

“Jack and Bret Morgan. They are brothers,” replied the sheriff.

“And the women?”

“I don't know. They did not give their names.”

Ruth remained quite after that brief conversation. She began to think what she could do – rather, what she would do.

The report from the searchers were not good. They reported that the infant could not be found.

Sad and extremely disappointed, the women arrived home just before sundown. Ruth went immediately to the barn and began to saddle her horse.

“What are you going to do?” asked Lolus.

“I am going to find my baby,” was Ruth's answer.

“But how? There is no clues. No one knows which way they went.”

“They were from the west. I recognized that much. As easy as they were to be captured, I believe this was their first holdup. They were not professionals – not by a long shot. I believe they will head toward Mexico because they know that the law will have wanted posters out on them soon.”

“But the west is a large place and Mexico – well, it is not the United States,” Lolus said with a genuine concern. "Besides you cannot be sure that is where they are going."

“Get me some pans and some ammunition for my rifle. I will need it along with my pistols – and tell Josh I will be back when I get back --- even if it takes years,” stated Ruth. "I intend some way to find my child."

As Ruth was making the final preparations, Lolus begged "Ruth, won't you change your mind? At least until Josh gets here."

“Nope, Josh will want to go and he would just be in the way. This is a one man's – ah, woman's job.”

Lolus whispered a prayer as Ruth rode away toward the sunset.

 

 

--To be continued

 

Names are fictitious except the ones I used of my own family and any resemblance to any other person, live or dead, are coincidental.

Copyright 2010 by Starla Anne Lowry

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prairie's Children --Return to the West, Chapter 1

They have awakened the Wildcat in Ruth. Their days are numbered. May Your Light Forever Shine

Prairies Children-Return to the West chapter one.

Hi again. I hope that you continue this story soon. You have me captivated with this one Starla. :}

Vivien B.

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