Silence is Golden

by Mary Ann

Main Characters: Vin & Buck

Disclaimer: Just borrowed the guys for this little story, no harm done

This was in answer to a challenge, do a story about the above picture

"Where are you going Vin? If you're not busy, want to ride out with me today? JD's down with a cold and is sleeping; I don't want to disturb him." Buck asked the tracker who was quietly brushing Peso.

For a minute Vin thought about it, then nodded his head, "I'll go with you. But don't be yakking in my ear the whole way."

"Aww Vin, I won't do that. Yeah, I'm not as quiet as you and Chris are, but I won't talk your ear off." Buck replied as he watched the tracker saddle his black and minutes later they rode away from the livery.

"Goin' with Buck," Vin said to Chris who was standing outside the jail, "be back later."

"Be careful boys," Chris said with a slight grin. Knowing what was bothering the tracker, he had no doubt that this would be the last time Vin rode with the ladies man. Once the riders were out of sight, he went back into the jail.

For the first two miles the two men rode in companionable silence, their eyes checking over the landscape. They reached the river and paused, it was quite a bit higher than normal. Buck looked at Vin, "Is there a better crossing?"

Vin studied the river then nodded; it wasn't safe to cross here at all. "'Bout two miles down-river we should get across," and turned Peso away.

Buck silently followed the lean man. As they followed the river he asked, "You know of any other crossings around here?"

"Yeah, but this one is second closest to town. Hope no one will try it today."


"It rained in the mountains. Took several hours to get this far and now it'll take a few days for the river to go down."

"Well at least the stage came before it got high. Most people around here know to wait. Well, maybe not the new family that moved into the old Baker place. Now have you seen that family? There's a nice looking family. The missus is a looker, and they have a daughter that would melt in your mouth. Long, silky reddish brown hair, the prettiest green eyes, the ... "

"Shut up Buck. Don't want to hear all that," Vin stated, urging Peso into a faster gait.

"Oh come on Vin! She is a beauty. Not much older than you. Hmm ... You and her would make a pretty couple! Compliment each other ...." Buck kept talking as they rode along.

Vin tuned Buck out as he kept an eye on the river to his right. As they broke out of the trees he sighed in frustration. They had reached the crossing and it was well covered with the brown muddy looking water. Buck paused in his commentary long enough to look at the river and ask, "We going to try to cross here?"

"If we gotta cross, this is the safest place. Next crossing is five miles down."

"Damn. Was hoping not to get wet."

"Keep your feet up," Vin said with a snicker.

"Ha Ha. Not funny Vin."

Vin shot Buck a crooked grin and urged Peso towards the river. The black stepped to the edge of the river and stopped; lowering his head he sniffed at the water a moment, then stepped out. Slowly they made their way across the 30 feet of water, Peso carefully walking through the deep river. Vin held his gun and mare's leg up so water didn't get into them when the water reached his thighs for a few moments. Peso never had to swim and they finally made it to the other bank with no mishap. He turned in the saddle to watch Buck as the big man and Beau made their way to the bank alongside him safely, Buck's guns held above the water also.

The two men turned their horses and headed for the closest farm, to check that everything was alright there. As they rode Buck started talking again and kept it up until they reached the Danielson's farm, where they were invited to have lunch with the family. They refused, knowing the family needed every thing they had for their growing brood of children. After a cool drink of water they continued on their way.

Buck quickly picked up where he'd left off. Vin ignored him as much as possible as they rode the countryside checking on a couple more farms, and finding all was well with the families. Buck instantly started to talk again as soon as they left the farms behind.

Vin, who had been quietly patient for several hours, pulled Peso to a halt and turned to Buck, who had just taken a bite out of a piece of jerky. He glared at the big man who froze in the saddle, hand to mouth.

"Didn't I tell ya I'd come with ya if ya didn't yak all day?" Vin shook his finger at an astonished Buck who tried to talk around the piece of jerky in his mouth, but stopped seeing the look on Vin's face.

"What's wrong Vin?" Buck asked quietly, concerned after taking in the look on his friends face.

Vin sighed and pushed his hat back and rubbed his temples. "Sorry Buck. I've got the headache from hell and shouldn't have come today."

Buck chewed the piece of jerky, swallowed it, then said, "Sorry Junior. Didn't know. What happened?"

Pulling his hat back on his head and over his eyes more to keep the sun out, Vin slightly smiled, "Last night, had a couple drinks then that fight broke out and Jefferson smacked me in the head with that club he packs around. Come to on the floor, Chris helped me up and Nathan checked m' head. I'm alright 'cept for this headache and your yakking."

"Sorry Vin! I didn't know. I was on jail duty, didn't know you were hit. I'll be quiet."

And for the rest of the patrol Buck was quiet, though several times Vin could hear the big man humming under his breath. Reaching town they stabled their horses and Vin threw a arm around Buck's shoulders.

"Come on Pard, I'll buy ya a beer. Nice ride today."

Buck laughed out loud, Vin was feeling better and he could talk again. All was well in the world now.