Can you believe I’m on the last two pages? I didn’t think I wrote this much, but I guess I did. I’ll have to add you the pile, and pick up a new book when I get to town.
It’s 19:00, and finally, the sun is still just lingering in the sky, which means that summer is on the way. As well you know, I used to be a sunrise gal, but as I grow further long in the tooth, I find myself pining for sunsets, too. Someday I’ll ride off into the west, like those dime novels, and everyone (or no one) will remember me.
Sounds like a bunch of Romantic crap, don’t it?
No, if I go, who’s going to remember the others? Certainly, there’s Nizhoni, who remembers her husband, though her children could hardly describe him without a photograph. I’m glad we grew close – she’s the closest thing I have to kin now. Family shared by a bond of love we both felt for the same man. We ladies all gotta stick together, after all.
Well, except for Beau, of course. He’s getting up there in age, too – but I think he’s happy to retire from being a cattle dog. I know he was my dog, but he gets along so much better with the others that he might as well be the real thing (always a womanizer, that one). Still, he runs out with me and Jake on occasion when we visit, and he’s more than happy to trail along behind us.
Of course, I get back to Texas less and less frequently now. In a way, Jake (the man, not the horse) is lucky he never saw these days. Too few Rangers now, it seems, yet I know we got more than ever in our ranks. It just don’t mean as much anymore. The tenderfoots don’t know what they’re missing. Most of them are are trussed up sheriffs for towns what can’t govern themselves. I guess that’s why they keep sending me out. Dependable. I guess. Jake would be proud.
Speaking of dependable, Jason still keeps an eye on the Laughing Corpse, when he’s not flying around in MY airship. I agreed to loan it to him, if only because it’d be collecting dust otherwise. (The Rangers said it was too conspicuous to be useful.) I made him promise to look after the tavern if he was gunna use it, which he’s been so happy to do. Of course. It’s not as rowdy as when the Irish ran it, but no one runs an inn like Belle, and no one has a knack for getting good whiskey like Wicked.
I can only hope whereever they all are now, that the Padre and Kyle are keeping them safe. Between the two of them, they usually got a way to ward off bad juju or spirits or whatever, provided Beau don’t piss off some other power. Sometimes I wish I was with them, but I guess that’s what makes me a good Ranger now: I follow orders.
It’s my burden to bear, knowing I let them go in without me, so it’s my job to remember them when no one else will. And when I’m gone, I’ll pass this journal on to the next Ranger, Wife, or whoever comes across it. I’ve written more in these pages about my friends than I have about myself, but I reckon that’s the way it should be. They ain’t here, but they still my companions, and I miss them terribly so.
That’s it for this chapter. I’ll write more in the next one, I’m sure. I’m being called back out home for a new mission in Laredo. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to catch up in that sleepy little town…