Saturday, 4 May 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013 -

The Life and Times of Rachel Bannerman

by DJ Black
Published: May 02, 2013
Words: 43,405
Category: western
Orientation: F/F
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The Life and Times of Rachel Kent

Rachel Kent's bottom was a little stiff after sitting on the stagecoach seat for most of the day and she was about ready for any excuse just to stand. It had been three days since she had left Albuquerque and she was getting altogether very tired of the damn coach.

She shared the coach with two companions, neither she had met before coming aboard. One was a travelling salesman and the other, a schoolteacher heading out to her first position in a small town on the Colorado and New Mexico border. In the beginning, there had been some conversation, but the trials of the journey and the nature of the talk had soon discouraged further discourse.

"You have folks out here?" the woman had asked days before.

"In a manner of speaking. A distant cousin of my mother's and her family," Rachel had replied.

"It's a long way to travel for one so young, you'll be from the East I take it?" the woman suggested.

"I am near 21 and mother is dead," Rachel snapped. "I am to settle with kin out here somewhere."

"Oh my, a snippy one aren't we?" The woman pursed her lips in disapproval. "You'll find things very different out here."

"I am quite sure of that."

"My folks were from Virginia originally. I am all alone now myself. I know how it feels."

"Oh have you been forced upon distant cousins you hardly know also?" Rachel said, letting some surliness show.

"My we are sorry for ourselves aren't we?"

"Oh are you feeling sorry for yourself as well?" Rachel said sarcastically.

"If I had spoken to my elders and betters like that when I was your age, my mother would have taken a switch to my bare behind," the schoolteacher responded.

The salesman who had been pretending to sleep choked back his laughter causing his hat to fall off his face. He quickly doffed it to the women, took a swig from his flask and went back to dozing.

"Is that barbaric custom a southern practice or did your mother acquire it here in the West?" Rachel sniffed, turning back to address the schoolteacher.

"It's a tried and trusted custom in many places," the woman continued. "As the young ladies of my class will no doubt find when I take charge of them. A custom you would do well to keep in mind because if you speak so of my Mother again, I will stop the coach to demonstrate on your tender bottom for the edification of this gentleman and the men above."

The salesman began another coughing fit and after yet another swig settled down to sleep.

That had been some days before and neither had spoken much since.

At last the stage arrived at Benson, the small town nestled in sight of the San Juan Mountains, which was near the ranch that was to be her new home.

As she stood next to her trunk on the unpaved street opposite the small hotel, she suddenly felt more alone than she ever had in her life.