He broiled turkey over the red coals of his dying aspenwood fire. With salt, a hard biscuit, and a cup of coffee he thought he fared sumptuously.”
–Zane Grey (Nevada)
My, my, my–that pie was shore mighty fine. Of course I’ve got the best pie baker around. Pard, I hope you fared well; that yur table saw plenty of feed. The Lord sure blessed us richly with a fine day, friends and family, along with dee-licious food. Plus we had plenty of good camp coffee. Weren’t no “cinos” served out in God’s great cathedral.
Sure hope yur gizzard and too full as I’ve got the coffee hot, black and strong. Ahhh, it’s take a might full gizzard where a person couldn’t enjoy a cup. Yuh know, there’s folks out there that got all a stir with Thanksgiving. It really doesn’t rile me none about those anti-Thanksgivin’ folks. The truth is I pity them. “White supremacist, genocidal maniacs,” they say. The idiocy is apparent. Without the Pilgrims and folks like them comin’ to this New World they wouldn’t be havin’ the freedom to say such a thing. Then I saw where the vegan folk were all up in arms. Pard, sometimes all I can do is shake my head.
But as for me, I thank the Lord for His bountiful blessin’s! When I look back over the year, He shore has been good to me. Go ahead, I don’t mind a little slurpin’, but don’t spill any. Speakin’ of the year, my mercy, only one month left! If’n yuh haven’t fulfilled this year’s resolutions better be at it and as we move into the advent season don’t be a-frettin’ over the fools and their craziness–just take time to be thankful and love the Lord.
In all yur doin’s for Christmas, don’t get so caught up in the busyness that yuh forget to check yur cinch.
I would say you are richer than you know. You have a house, some cattle, you have food, and you have each other.”
–Louis L’Amour (A Man Called Noon)
“Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances.”
–Philippians 4:11 (AMP)
Before I give a couple of thoughts about contentment I want to share a story. So many times we misuse or do not understand what a word means. I recall an old Gene Autry movie (yes, I’m that old) where a woman from the east was posing as a cattle owner. A reporter asked her what type of cows she raised; she was dumbfounded until she spied a can of evaporated milk, then she replied, “contented cows.”
I believe one of the biggest problems in our country is the lack of being content. “More, more, give me more,” is the cry. People wait in line for hours for the newest phone or gadget because they are not content. Never satisfied–there has to be something to rant against.
I also believe that contentment is akin to thankfulness and having a grateful heart. To be content means that one is grateful. Every Thanksgiving my Aunt Bern used to call my Mom up to thank her for telling her about a job at Safeway. Bern was always content with what her heavenly Father gave her. There was a job opening, Bern went for an interview and worked many, many years after that at Safeway, first in the bakery that was just opening, then in the meat department.
Here is a little something for you to ponder for Thanksgiving, or anytime for that matter.
I weight not fortune’s frown or smile;
I joy not much in earthly joys;
I seek not state, I reck not style;
I am not fond of fancy’s toys:
I rest so pleased with what I have
I wish no more, no more I crave.
I quake not at the thunder’s crack;
I tremble not at news of war;
I swound not at the news of wrack;
I shrink not at a blazing star;
I fear not loss, I hope not gain,
I envy none, I none disdain.
I see ambition never pleased;
I see some Tantals starved in store:
I see gold’s dropsy seldom esed;
I see even Midas gape for more;
I neither want not yet abound,–
Enough’s a feast, content is crowned.
I feign not friendship where I hate;
I fawn not on the great (in show);
I prize, I praise a mean estate,–
Neither too lofty nor too low:
This, this is all my choice, my cheer,–
A mind content, a conscience clear.
To all my readers, friends, and family–have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Dig into that turkey and dressin’, but don’t forget to save room for the pie.
I was up early, got a blaze going for coffee. I didn’t sleep much during the night as I was a mite concerned over our company. Greylight was just appearing when I had Lucas up and saddling our horses. We ate some bacon, drank our coffee and were ready to head out.
“Say! Ain’t yuh gonna leave us any coffee?” grumbled the one called Framm.
“Sorry boys, yur the ones who are sleepin’ in,” I said walking over to Hawk.
He began to reach for his gunbelt. “Mister, is a big piece of lead worth a cup of coffee?” He relaxed then moving his hand back.
I nodded to Lucas to get moving up the trail. We would be up and over Molas Pass and down into Silverton by noon. I’d get Lucas settled and then go on with my business.
When we reached the summit the sun had just cleared the horizon. I glanced toward my backtrail and then watched Lucas as he stopped to gaze at the sight. “Senor Miles, it is beautiful!” he exclaimed.
I pulled Hawk up beside him. “The Lord sure does know how to paint a sunrise. Enjoy them for you don’t know how many is allotted for you.”
Glancing to the northwest I wondered if the sun would be hidden before with those dark clouds I could see gathering. All of a sudden a gust sweep through. “Senor, it is cold!” shuddered Lucas.
“Then we best be gettin’ on down from here,” I replied and gave Hawk a nudge. I took the lead, not worrying much about our camp visitors at this point.
We didn’t hurry, but we made good time on the road leading from the summit. Before noon we were in Silverton. I took Lucas to one of the nicer hotels and got us a room. This hotel had their own livery so we left Hawk and Two-Bits there. After getting the room, we went to lunch. I had to smile as Lucas ordered coffee and was pleased to see there was sugar.
“No more’n a spoon. Yuh don’t want to get addicted to that stuff in yur coffee,” I admonished.
After eating we stood outside. “I’d prefer you stayed in the hotel, but most likely you’re wantin’ to see some of the town. All I’m askin’ is that you don’t go north of this street or travel to the east. This town is rough,” I stated, then continued. “The train leaves in the mornin’ and we want to get the horses loaded–don’t want to miss Thanksgiving back at Molly’s.”
He nodded and smiled. I moved on down the street to my meeting. Passing the Wells Fargo office I opened the door and waved. I knew one of the clerks when I worked for Wells Fargo. Then down to one of the banks.
Upon entering a clerk came to me. “I’m here for the meetin’.”
Giving me a sneer he asked, “And who might you be?”
“Deputy United States Marshal Miles Forrest, that’s who,” and I pushed past him to the room on the right.
“Hey, you just can’t go in there!” he exclaimed. “I have to check first.” By that time I was already opening the door.
These were the owners or the managers of the mining companies in Silverton. The ones who lost the payroll with the train robbery. I recognized a few of them. Then Jakub Brewliski saw me and waved. I moved in his direction and was standing by him when the meeting was called to order. I didn’t see why I had to be there, but Blasco had ordered me so there must be a reason. They had received money that they lost to pay their employees and miners. The missing money was none of their to-do anymore.
Shaking Jakub’s hand I leaned to him and whispered. “We caught two of the outlaws.”
He raised his eyebrows, “Hmm, is that so?”
There was one man, tall, older fellow who began, “I think it’s time to hire our own guards. We hire them to deliver the gold to the train, why not all the way to Denver? Then they can guard the payroll back.”
An oafish-looking man, balding and smoking a fat cigar began to disagree. “Let the government take care of it.”
“Who’s the tall man?” I questioned Jakub in whispered tone.
He was quiet with his answer. “Marlow Bartkopf.”
With that he looked our way. I didn’t know him, but he must have recognized me from somewhere. “There’s the marshal! What do you say?”
I scratched at my head, being caught by surprise then pulled at my moustache. “That’s your business. But remember the more people involved the more will know about shipments.”
They argued back and forth about that and other topics. The room was becoming hot and smoke-filled when they finally called it a day. As we were walking out I asked Jakub, “Who was the other man that kept badgerin’ Bartkopf?”
“Samuel Weinstein,” he paused, “he’s relatively new here. I think he represents the company back in Philadelphia.”
I shook his hand and went to find Lucas…
He built a small fire and cooked some ham and beans he’d bought at the mercantile. He made a pot of Arbuckle’s and enjoyed every sip.”
–R.O. Lane (Will Fain)
Pard, come in here, the coffee’s ready. I’m fed up with all that ego-stupidity in Washington. I’m sure not goin’ to let it wear on my Thanksgivin’. Those folk don’t know their gee from their haw. Good thing that in the long run the Lord is in charge of it all, hmmm, in fact, He’s in charge even in the short run.
Never in all my born days have I seen such hatred. Taste that coffee and let it fill yur innards before I continue. I was doin’ some readin’ this week and I found out that the Greek word for hatred means “malicious and unjustifiable feelings towards others.” The Pharisees hated Christ–they had unjustifiable feelings and were definitely malicious.
Finish that cup, since I’ve the pot in my hand. Let’s go on to brighter things. They ain’t goin’ to listen to this ol’ fence post anyway, and there’s nothing I can do about the situation except get my innards uptight. Thanksgivin’ is approachin’! Yeehaw! As soon as we finish our coffee I’ll be headin’ on out to the camp. It’s goin’ to be a time to be celebratin’ all the Lord has done for us. Thank the Lord for what you’ve got, as there are some without much. Ask the Lord to be takin’ care of them too.
So you be havin’ yurself a grand Thanksgivin’, and be thankin’ the Lord that not once this year have you forgotten to check yur cinch.