The riders were almost home. It had been nearly a week since they had seen Four Corners, in less than an hour they would be back, the youngest of the four thought for sure if they could up their pace they would be back in no time, and could share the adventures they had quicker, and voiced his opinion to the the man he rode with.
"Can't Matty, to many gopher holes," JD sighed, remembering how he had done just that and had paid dearly for it.
"I'm sorry 'bout Mr. Chris makin ya'll takin' us campin', I mean it was kinda my fault for gettin mad at Matty and the water gettin all over the place and all..but I just wanted to tell ya' both that I had a lot fun, and learned lots a neat stuff..or like Mr. Ezra says..I had a Dunnederful time," Samuel smiled, rambling as he sat in front of Vin on the horse.
"No need to 'pologize Sammy, I think we all had a Dunne..good time," Vi= n smiled, better than the last time anyway.
"I bet everyone was surprised that we didn't come back when it started to thunder and lightnin', bet they all thought we would be sissy's and come back huh? I mean..ain't nothin to be scared about..it's just noise..right Mr. JD?" Matty said, sitting up a bit and puffing his chest.
"If ya' say so," JD said, his voice light, but there was no smile that accompanied it. In truth, JD had been scared witless when the sky began to light up, but Vin insured him that the storm was far off, JD had done well and remained somewhat calm until the boys had fallen asleep, then he let his worry get to him..that had been the only night he and Vin hadn't slept.
Vin was pleased with the way things had gone, he remembered what JD had said, in the cave..about how he 'always listens, it just that he ignores it when it's said more than once', and had used it with Matty and Sammy..and JD. He noticed that his brother seemed to have an ease with the boys, being able to show them something he himself had learned for the first time from Vin just weeks ago.
The travelers entered town, stopping at the jail house where a mother eagerly awaited the arrival of her sons, and the remaining seven waited with baited breath in hopes that the older brothers hadn't had a repeat of the previous try at camping.
"Hi Mamma! Wait to we tell ya what we did! It was so much fun..we even stayed in a cave during that storm! I was unreal..JD..I mean Mr. JD..told us all kinds a neat stories..an an an....he even read one to us!" the boys volleyed back and forth, sharing their adventures with everyone within hearing distance.
The five men on the porch smiled at the two still on horseback, everyone waved as Mrs. Wilson and sons left Four Corners in the buckboard, the boys enthusiastic voices were heard over the horses hooves and the creaking wagon.
"Went well then," Chris stated more than asked.
"Yup," the brothers acknowledged, then spurred there horses on, disappearing into the livery.
"Proud of how ya handled yourself, during the storm an all..I know it was hard on ya'," Vin said.
"How'd ya know that?" JD asked, nothing about Patrick had come up in any conversation that he knew about.
"When Chris was bringin' ya' home, ya' weren't feelin to good..well..ya told him, bout what happened..then at Nathan's..ya' called Ezra Mr. Reiley, I'm guessin' that was Patrick's Pa," Vin said.
"Yeah. Thanks Vin..don't know how I made it through that storm..to be honest..I was scared to death," JD hung his head, seeming to be ashamed of his 'weakness'.
"Nothin wrong with bein scared JD, if ya only knew how much I hate spiders," Vin revealed.
"Spiders? Aw come on..there just little critters with 8 legs..they're ugly as all out..but .."
"Enough bout them thins..alright..regrettin I even told ya that!" Vin said.
"Okay..okay.relax.." JD held his hands up in surrender, turning his attention back to taking care of his horse.
The brothers continued their task, never realizing that 5 men stood behind them, watching them take care of their animals. After they were done, they turned and nearly jumped as they saw the men..both going to ready their guns.
"Geez guys..good way to get yourselves shot!" JD reprimanded.
"You two have no idea how much alike you are, do you?" Buck said, taking a step forward, his face serious and all business.
"Buck, we don't look nothin alike.." JD started to point out the things that were different, which both were pretty sure was everything.
"I like sleepin' under the stars..he want's to be in a bed.."
"I got dark hair.."
"Am not..you're just..tall".
"And ya both just took care of your horses...doin the same damn thing at the same time.." Buck offered his observation, causing JD and Vin to look at each other with interest.
"You eat the same way..always got your cup under your hat..always eat the vegetables first.." Josiah added, again the brothers sent a curious look to each other.
"Ya never do what you're told when ya' hurt..always 'fine' or 'it ain't nothing'," Nathan offered.
"Now..wait a minute..he told ya' he was sore!" Vin defended JD's honesty during the spasms.
"Sore? JD I gave ya a shot of morphine and ya said ya was 'just sore'," Nathan pointed out.
"And you act like brothers," Chris smiled, "You fight like them, you do stupid things... like going after them when you aren't supposed to," he glared at JD, "and when some one says something bad about the other..you defend each other like brothers," Chris said, looking at Vin, "And you worry about each other when the others hurt or sick..just like brothers," Chris finished.
"Hell, Chris..that pretty much describes all of us," JD said seriously.
"Yup it does..but you both have something that we never will..you share blood..and if you're looking for a common ground..I think it's best you start right there," Chris said, hoping that the two men standing in front of him, would no longer emphasize the differences in them, but accentuate the similarities.
"Well, this has been an enlightening conversation, I think a celebratory drink would be in order" Ezra smiled, not only at the idea of someone buying a round of drinks, but at the fact that he had made it through an entire sentence with out fumbling his words with the ridiculous game he had started out of boredom.
"Good idea Ezra, thanks," Chris said, slapping the gambler on the shoulder. The others followed suit, smiling and slapping the gambler. Ezra stood stunned as he was left facing the two horses.
"What... just... happened...here?" he asked, his words halting.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
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