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[c]A Quiet Moment, Danry
Posted: Aug 3 2012, 12:05 AM
Member No.: 51
Joined: 9-April 11
August 26th, 1869
This wasn’t what he wanted; this wasn’t what he wanted to be anymore. That broken, hollow husk that Helm had become the past two trying months haunted the rancher more than the lone tombstone that sat out near the crest of the hill beyond the north pasture where they’d buried their son beneath the old oak. They hadn’t properly named their lost baby, knew that it would only make that pang of remorse in their heart’s stronger, their souls darker and their minds weaker. The Helms had put that for the memory and a lesson, not only to them, but to any passerby that would happen to ride across the outskirts of Daniel’s ranch. Life was precious and in just a matter of moments it could be melted away, whether by the molten round from a gun or sickness of the heart, it was something not to be taken for granted. That’s just exactly what Daniel and his wife had done. They weren’t invincible, something that he should have known, should have stayed aware of. But he was on that high, he was married, had a successful business and a child on the way- who could blame Danny for getting caught up in the moment? Life was cruel though, merciless and unforgiving and had given Helm a sharp reminder just how quick everything could come crashing down from that pedestal he’d placed himself on.
Daniel had learned his lesson through days of overwhelming despair, most morning’s he’d drag his weary body from the tangles of his sheets just to stare at the gun he kept in the bedside drawer, hiding it in his lap when Darla would get up. The cool touch of the handle was welcoming, yet dreaded, all in the same. Most folks knew Helm to be an incredibly emotional man, one who wore his over feeling heart on his sleeve, but never so bogged down by a single event. Certainly not to the point of those suicidal thoughts he’d be harboring those cold summer nights in the dark. But this was a different feeling, this was death and most folks would be surprised to know that Helm was so close to ending it not but two years ago. When Henry Scarborough had disappeared, lost in the blinding white flurries of winter, Helm blamed himself in every way possible. He’d let his friend kill himself, effectively destroying his fiancé and unborn child’s lives. If it weren’t for the nurturing love from Darla Hart it would be no doubt in the rancher’s mind that his tombstone would be right out there next to Scarborough’s. He would have become Henry’s cruel reminder just how fragile this life could be, just as Helm’s unborn son had become his.
But there were time for mourning, and Helm’s was over. If he was planning on being that stoic rock that so many people loved and relied on, he would have to get his mind in the right place. And though it seemed he was already happy without a care in the world, those thoughts still plagued him- but he was learning to handle them. Just like he was learning to handle the loss of his child. So this was his first step in becoming the old him, fishing with his best friend with nothing but some good talking and their horses for company. Oh, and that dinosaur that was already beginning to gather a few flies. “Thanks…Henry.”
Before he could ruin the good mood with his somber attitude he turned the attention back to Henry with his boy he’d spoken of. Honestly Daniel had no friggin’ clue about the boy until Henry mentioned to him one day in town and he’d done a little scrounging around to find the scoop on the whole situation. Not really surprised by the boy’s origin, Daniel was more impressed that Bella was so receptive of Henry’s child, though she wouldn’t have much room to criticize, seeing as Ellie wasn’t rightly Henry’s either. “Well when that boy comes back t’visit you make sure that Uncle Danny’s the first on his list t’come see." Daniel has a knack with kids for some reason, that big old brute that’d been known to make men piss their own pants was really just a huge teddy ear when it came to the little rascals. Back visiting his family in Nevada it wasn’t uncommon to find Daniel running around the yard and the barn chasing after his nephew, playing hide ‘n seek or tag, sometimes even cowboys and Indians where Jacob would paint his youngest uncle’s face with bud from beside the spicket.
Now when Henry questioned where all the fish were, Daniel got a little red in the face and grew strangely quiet. Working his fingers over the wooden frame of his rod he gave a little shrug with a half smile, “Actually….to be quite honest, there ain’t any fish in this pond.” He motioned out to the water, “We dug this out ourselves so the cattle would have a good water source, ain’t nothing but frogs in this, except for that damn turtle too I guess. Same as the others.” The rancher folded his hands in his laps a little nervously it seemed, ringing his hands like a child about to rat himself out for something wrong he’d done. “I’ve been waitin’ for you t’ask me to go do something, I’ve been going crazy with just my own thoughts t’keep me company. But when you asked to fish in one of these ponds I didn’t wanna turn ya down. I wanted to spend some time with you Henry,” Before life could ruin something else and take someone else in his life he was taking for granted, “I miss you. I miss my brother.”
Posted: Aug 3 2012, 02:05 AM
Member No.: 28
Joined: 1-February 11
August 26th, 1869
The banker, as he was sometimes referred to in town, was a successful man with a beautiful wife, children, a booming business that he worked hard at and made plenty of money though he would never tell anyone how much. Despite his money and good fortunes no one would ever catch Henry Scarborough bragging about it, in fact he bragged about nothing unless he was gloating about someone besides himself. He had been called selfish, he had been called caring, worthless and invaluable, an asshole and a loving man, callous and compassionate, one word that could definitely sum him up was convoluted. But modest was another, and it was that modesty that made him a good man in his own right. Despite his misgivings, his seemingly never ending list of problems and inner demons, deep down he was a good person, under all that grit and grime was a man willing to give everything for people he loved. Every day for the past two and a half months he had sacrificed his mornings to be with his ailing friend, and asked for absolutely nothing in return. He very well could have been, and probably should have been, in Denver working in his store, his restaurant, his campaign. But not when his best and dearest friend needed him so desperately. In a world where Daniel Helm would drop anything he was doing, no matter how important, to help his friends in their times of need, Henry owed him all the same and more. As they sat atop that warm rock overlooking the pond, both far too modest to accept the other’s compliments that sailed to and fro betwixt them, they were the best of friends at the end of the day and into the next when they would meet again.
With a smile as broad and warm as the late summer countryside, Henry agreed that Christopher would come to see his Uncle Danny next time he visited, couldn’t have him going home again without laying eyes on the best rancher in the territory. After all the stories, tall tales and harrowing ordeals Henry had fed the young mind, he was chomping at the bit to see this legendary man. But then of course the misfortunes befell a soul far too pure to deserve it, leaving everyone in a sickening state of remorse for the man, but not the woman involved. For that not many came up to visit the Helm’s, for fear they would say something they would regret to the raven haired beauty Danny was so fortunate to call his wife. The banker feared it all the same to be perfectly frank but the only difference being, he did not let it hinder him. His once steadfast companion was cold, unresponsive and far too heartbroken to tolerate his buddy for more than an hour before dropping hints that he just wanted to be left alone. But Henry’s reward in all of this was to see that genial smile and sincere happiness on the rancher’s face he thought he would never witness again. Returning to a state of normalcy took time, patience and understanding above all else, something Henry was all too familiar with and may have been one in a few that was not only capable of healing his friend, but willing as well.
With the Helm’s and Scarborough’s land now tarnished with the headstones of their lost unborn sons, it was a constant reminder of how cruel life could be. But now the men themselves would prove that they could come back from anything. As the older of the two drew off a cigarette he listened to his friend inform him that this water hole was just that and nothing else, only a water hole. A short rasp of nervous laughter caught in Henry’s throat as he expected Danny to admit he was just kidding, but he wasn’t. A solemn moment fell amongst them as the cattle bawled softly out in the distance, the whisper of the prairie grass played light melodies on ears that could not decipher the language of the land. Normally a fellow from the city would call such a moment silent, but it was anything but, “I’ve missed you too, Danny” he finally spoke, “I’ve missed ya a lot.” stubbing out his rollup on the pitted surface of the boulder, the banker turned to speak directly to his friend, “I’m not goin anywhere either, not ever again, I will always be here for you. If there’s ever anything you need, I’ll not be far away. I’m the world’s worse for not asking for help when I need it, but you never need t’feel like you can’t ask me for something.” and the worries, the fears, the uncertainties fell from them like the yellowing autumn leaves shivering with the wind in the ancient white oak to their backs.
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