Keeping the Faith
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by J. Troy Seate
Description: Johnny, a wrangler, and Faith, the apple of her mother and father's eye, meet at a fiesta in a small New Mexico town. She's different from any girl Johnny's ever met, the kind of girl that tickles the thought of settling down. At a late night rendezvous, they reveal everything there is to know about each other, except for one ominous circumstance. Faith's father is the Territorial Marshall and he doesn't take kindly to what happened between the young couple along a riverbank. The Marshall sets out on a quest to make the young cowboy answer for his misdeeds and bring an end to this sudden, lovesick couple's plans to reunite. While Johnny dodges the man in search of blood, a train awaits the couple if they are allowed to carry out their plan. But philosophies are bound to clash during the final showdown between generational attitudes.
eBook Publisher: Whispers Publishing, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: June 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [59 KB]
Reading time: 33-47 min.
"What beautiful carnations. Are they for us?"
"Yes. Faith," he blurted out. "For you and your lovely mother." He finally remembered to hand the bouquets to the women. "White for purity and red for...for having Faith. I mean for giving birth to her."
"How sweet. And how poetic, huh, Mother?"
Estelle didn't seem so sure, but she smiled nonetheless. Once she must once have been a beautiful woman like her daughter. Even now, with just a few signs of wear and her frame not as trim as Faith's, Johnny thought her striking. He reckoned many handsome women didn't lose their looks, if they had them to begin with, that was.
"I think we should have another dance," Johnny said to Faith. "For the practice."
This time Faith didn't wait for her mother's permission. She strolled with Johnny to the makeshift bandstand, clutching her white carnations. They danced not to one more ditty, but to two. Her emerald eyes danced in time with the music and she decided they were as good at it as anyone, as good as the other gringos, at least.
Suddenly, Estelle was at their side. "Faith, it's time to leave. Your father has had far too much to drink and we must get him home. Please come get in the wagon."
"I'll come, but just give me a moment to say goodbye to Johnny."
Estelle looked at Johnny. "Thank you for the flowers, Johnny, but Faith must go before her father comes to find her." She left to give the couple their moment.
"Do you know the huge oak at the bend in the river?" Faith asked Johnny.
"Just beyond town on the road to the reservation?"
"Yes, that's the one. We don't live far from there. Will you meet me in two hours?"
Johnny was astounded, almost to the point of not responding. "Yes. Sure I'll meet you."
"My father will be out like a candle from drink. Mother will get to bed quickly. Then I'll climb out my window and walk to the big tree. Do you promise you'll come?"
"Wild horses couldn't keep me away, Faith. I'll be there in an hour in case you can get out sooner."
Faith did something as unexpected as her request had been. She rose on her tiptoes and kissed Johnny on his cheek. "I want to see more of you, too," she said, and scurried away.
Johnny's knuckles brushed against his cheek where Faith had kissed him. He looked blankly at the crowd, the dance area, and the colored lights. They all ran together in a kaleidoscope of sight and sound. He looked up at the stars and thought one must be his lucky star, for he was about to look upon a river in a whole new way--a place not for fishing or swimming, but a place for sparking...and maybe more.