Buck and Ruth
written by: Ricky Glenn
Buck stepped out on the porch of the old cabin. Somehow he knew that the weather was about to turn for the worst. Dark clouds hung low over the mountains and all the animals seemed to be scurrying for cover.
Over towards the barn Buck caught sight of his old gelding running around kicking up his heels. He thought about putting him in the barn but figured he’d be better off in his corral. So he ran his hand across his thick bushy mustache took one more gander at the sky then turned around and went back in the cabin.
The wind picked up outside. Buck started preparing his meal when a sudden noise outside got his attention. Buck threw open the front door and was greeted by a dark-haired lady who looked cold and frightened. As Buck rushed to get the woman in the cabin she passed out in his arms. Carrying her inside he laid her on the bed and quickly closed the door.
While Buck battened down the hatches to prepare for the coming storm the lady laid past out on his bed. He decided to cover her up with a spare cover with her clothes on but he did remove her shoes. He finished supper and then ate.
Several hours later after the storm had passed the lady started coming to.
“Where am I?” Ruth asked as she looked at her surroundings.
“Ma’am, my name is Buck, Buck Nolan.” Buck said with a nervous voice. “You passed out as soon as I opened the door so I laid you on the bed.”
“How long have I been out, oh I am so sorry my name is Ruth, Ruth Tucker.” Ruth replied. “How long have I been asleep?”
“A couple of hours I guess. You slept through the storm so you missed out on the party.” Buck said. “If you don’t mind me asking, where did you come from? I don’t recall seeing you around these parts.”
“I live in Goose Creek.” Ruth replied.
“That’s a whole days ride from here. What ya doin this far away from home, if you don’t mind me asking?” Buck asked, then wondered if he shoulda.
“First off thank you for helping me. I had actually went out for a ride in my buggy and was being attacked. The horse got spooked and ran away with me and I couldn’t stop him. I guess the bandits kinda knew what was happening and broke off the chase. I finally got the horse under control and we had gone so far that I got lost, then we found you.” Ruth explained.
Would you care for some grub Miss Ruth. You’ve got to be hungry by now.” Buck asked as he reached for a plate.
“That sounds good.” Ruth answered with a slight smile.
“Um what ya smiling at Miss Ruth.” Buck asked shyly.
“I like your mustache. I’ve always liked men’s mustaches. I always found it fascinating that a man could grow a patch of hair above his mouth.” Ruth said laughingly.
“Well, I’ve had my mustache for a long time and have no hankerin to be shed of it anytime soon.” Buck replied with a smile while passing her a plate of food.
As she sat at the table and ate she kept looking around the cabin.
Buck noticed her lookin things over.
“Sorry ma’am I live alone and aint much on keepin house I guess.” Buck said as he kind of picked up a few things.
Ruth blushed feeling like she had caught Buck at a bad time.
“I truly am sorry for barging in on you sudden like.” Ruth said still looking around. “I take it then that you are a bachelor?”
“Yes ma’am. Thirty-six year-old confirmed bachelor.” Buck replied proudly.
“Have you ever thought about getting married at all?” Ruth asked with a look in her eyes that Buck wasn’t very familiar with.
“Never really had much reason to give any thought to marriage. Never has been anyone around I wanted to wed.” Buck answered with all seriousness.
“What if the right girl came along would you think about it then?” Ruth asked as Buck looked on with a very shocked face.
“Why Miss Ruth, here you are alone with a man in his cabin a talkin about marriage. What would people think?” Buck shot back as Ruth sat silent contemplating what she was doing.
“Buck I think your blushin.” Ruth said. “If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a little shy around the females.”
Buck raised up from his chair taking Ruth’s dishes.
“I’ll wash these up and then build up the fire and we can sit and talk in the more comfortable chairs.” Buck stated as he left Ruth smiling at the table.
“What is it you do in Goose Creek if you don’t mind me asking?” Buck replied.
“Oh I’ve taught a little bit and this and that.” Ruth replied.
“You didn’t have to answer if the question was uncomfortable.” Buck said.
“Oh, I don’t mind Buck.” Ruth said. “You can ask me anything you want to. Really.”
Buck gave Ruth a strange look. He really didn’t know what to make of this young woman. He was beginning to wonder what was going on here. A young woman shows up suddenly out of nowhere in the middle of a storm, passes out and sleeps for two hours in a stranger’s cabin. It just didn’t add up to him and he was beginning to wonder if she was here for a reason.
Buck finished the dishes and returned to the fireplace bringing the fire back to life. As warmth filled the room Buck handed Ruth a blanket and got her comfortable in a chair. Settled himself in his chair and looked over at Ruth. He cleared his throat.
“Ruth, before I begin can I get you something to drink?” Buck asked.
“Sure I’ll have a drink. You got some whiskey?” Ruth asked taking Buck by surprise.
“Yes, ma’am I do have some whiskey. If that is what you want then that’s what you shall have.” Buck answered and fetched the whiskey.
As he was pouring it, Ruth took Buck by surprise again when she spoke.
“Buck I have a confession to make. If you will please listen to what I have to say I will explain everything.” Ruth said as Buck listened close.
The night was beginning to get late and both Ruth and Buck were starting to get weary from the long day but, Buck was listening patiently.
Ruth took a drink of her whiskey in such a way that told Buck that this was not this lady’s first drink of spirits.
“Buck, you were in Goose Creek about two weeks ago. I watched you. You stopped at the mercantile and bought supplies and then went to the feed store and then stopped by the saloon.” Ruth said as Buck sat and listened close.
“When you left town I walked over to the feed store and asked Sam who you were and where you were from. It seems that I went to the right person. Not only did he tell me who you were, he said that you were also in need of some companionship. So before I left the feed store Sam was kind enough to draw me a map to your place and assured me that you would be nothing but a gentleman if I happened to pay you a call. So after thinking and finally getting my nerve up I decided it was time. So Buck here I am.” Ruth explained as she sat back and took another big sip of her whiskey.
Buck sat there just letting all this new information sink in. He looked in Ruth’s eyes and smiled. Taking a big sip of whiskey he stood up. Walked over and picked up the whiskey bottle. Looking over at Ruth he refilled his glass and set the bottle back down. Taking another big drink he walked back over and sat down.
“OK Ruth, what now?” Buck asked.
“Well Buck, this is where you are supposed to ask me to marry you.” Ruth pointed out.
“So this was all about you getting a husband the whole time!” Buck stated with annoyance in his voice.
“No, not for me to find a husband. This was for you to gain a bride. But, if I don’t suit your fancy I can always go back to Goose Creek and keep on living my life as I always have. That will be fine with me.” Ruth replied with even more annoyance.
“No, No, No, just wait a minute now, just wait a minute. Don’t go gettin all upset on me now I wasn’t saying I didn’t want you. I just want to know exactly what’s happening at this moment. This is all kind of sudden like. We have never even courted.” Buck said excitedly.
“Buck Nolan, when I leave this cabin I’m going to leave engaged or I am going to leave remaining single. What’s it going to be Buck? It’s up to you. You can stay right here in this cabin alone or be my husband in Goose Creek.” Ruth said as Buck stared back with a funny look.
“You’re saying if we marry we’ll be living in Goose Creek,” Buck asked kind of annoyed.
“That’s right Buck” Ruth said. “I am going to lie down and get some sleep. You have tonight to think it over. When I wake in the morning you can give me your answer, and Buck, I want to be your Bride but, I will be just as happy staying single.”
Buck sat there sipping his whiskey and thinking. He was tired of living alone. He was tired of his own cooking. He was ready to settle down with a wife. Living in Goose Creek could be kind of nice. He would have a wife. He would live in a regular house. He was starting to think that this could be pretty nice. Plus, the saloon would be close by for some drinking and gambling.
Buck raised from his chair and walked back to the bed where Ruth was preparing to lay down.
“Let me hang a blanket so you can have some privacy.” Buck said as he took a blanket and made a makeshift wall.
Ruth came over and without warning kissed Buck right on the lips. Buck was so shaken he nearly fainted.
Buck stared back at Ruth and without a moment’s hesitation said “Ruth would you be my wife?”
Ruth with tears in her eyes said “Yes, yes, yes Buck. Yes I will be your wife. I would be proud to be your wife.”
The following day Buck gathered up all his belongings and loaded them in the buggy. Tying his old gelding to the back and loading up his rig and supplies they were soon on their way to Goose Creek.
“Well, Ruth, what kind of jobs are there in Goose Creek? I’m going to have to get a job if we’re going to have any money to get by on”. Buck said as they drove up the road.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you, once we are married you automatically become employed. As owners of the Feed Store, Mercantile, and Saloon. They were left to me when my father passed away a month ago.” Ruth said as she watched the look on Buck’s face.
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