Friday, May 28, 2021

Texas Jack--Scout, Cowboy, and Actor

John Baker Omohundro, also known by some as John Burwell Omohundro, was born July 26, 1846 in Palmyra on the Pleasure Hill farm in Fluvanna County, Virginia, to John Burwell and Catherine Baker Omohundro of Anglo-American ancestry. He attended grammar school in Fluvanna. At an early age, he demonstrated a strong skill in hunting and fishing.

Also known as "Texas Jack", he was an American frontier scout, actor, and cowboy. He served in the Confederacy during the American Civil War and, later, as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars. Before his untimely death, Texas Jack became a legendary figure in the American Old West as a Western showman performing dramas on the stage throughout the country. He became a world-renowned hero in dime novels published around the world.

At the start of the American Civil War, Omohundro attempted to join his older brother, Orville, in the Confederate Army. He was twice refused for his age, but was allowed to serve as a courier at the headquarters of the Virginia Militia under Major General John B. Floyd. Because of his youth and knowledge of the countryside, he became known as the "Boy Scout of the Confederacy". In February 1864, at the age of 17, he successfully enlisted as a private in Company G of the 5th Virginia Cavalry, part of the Army of Northern Virginia. He soon served directly in General J.E.B. Stuart's command as a courier and scout. At the Battle of Yellow Tavern, he delivered a scouting report to Stuart only minutes before the general was killed in battle. During the Battle of Trevilian Station, Omohundro was wounded and admitted to the Confederate States General Hospital in Charlottesville on June 20, 1864. After recovering from his injuries, and a short leave home, he returned to his company and scouted under the command of General Lunsford L. Lomax. Following the Third Battle of Winchester,  the 5th Virginia Cavalry was consolidated with the 15th Virginia Cavalry, where Omohundro scouted under General Fitzhugh Lee during the last months of the war.

After the Civil War, Omohundro left Virginia at age 19 for Florida. After a short time, he moved on to Texas, arriving at the Taylor Ranch near Brazos, where he began working as a cowboy participating in cattle drives, notably on the Chisholm Trail, driving herds north to railheads in Kansas. After one drive across Arkansas to a meat-poor Tennessee, he was given nickname "Texas Jack" by the locals.

On another drive, Omohundro found a five-year-old boy orphaned after a Native American raid killed his family. He took the boy to safety in Fort Worth, and the boy later took the name Texas Jack Jr. in homage, going on to run the Texas Jack's Wild West Show and Circus in 1903 in South Africa.

It may have been on one of those drives that he made the decision to relocate once again, moving first to Fort Hays, Kansas, and then to the North Platte, Nebraska, area. Drawing on his past experience, including time spent as a scout during the Civil War, Omohundro picked up odd jobs scouting, hunting and guiding.

In 1869, Texas Jack moved to Fort Hays, Kansas, where he met California Joe Milner and Wild Bill Hickok, the latter being sheriff of Ellis County at the time. Later that year, Jack met and befriended William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who was working with the 5th U.S. Cavalry at Fort McPherson. Jack was hired as a scout and trail guide during the Indian Wars. Special permission had to be obtained since the U.S. government did not generally permit the employment of ex-Confederate soldiers. During the Battle of Summit Springs, Texas Jack captured his well-known white horse from Indian Chief Tall Bull. Texas Jack moved to Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska, where he continued to work as a scout for the government.

In 1869, Texas Jack met William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who was also scratching out a living scouting, hunting and guiding. They became fast friends, scouting together for the Army and engaging in hunts. Texas Jack made a lucrative living leading hunting expeditions for American and foreign parties, which were popular at the time. 

Custer, Grand Duke Alexei, and Cody

Together with Cody, Texas Jack led the highly publicized royal hunt of 1872 with Grand Duke Alexei of Russia and several American military figures, including General Philip Sheridan, General George Armstrong Custer, and Colonel James W. Forsyth. Later in 1874, Texas Jack guided the Earl of Dunraven though Yellowstone and Geyserland. In 1876, Texas Jack led Sir John Rea Reid and his party on a hunt around the Bighorn Mountains and Sweetwater country. 

Texas Jack points at Cody, who reclines in front of Buntline

In December 1872, Omohundro and Cody debuted the first Wild West show, Scouts of the Prairie, written and produced by Ned Buntline. Dime novelist, Ned Buntline, wrote the play in four hours. It debuted in Chicago.

Texas Jack's performance was well-received by critics and featured the first rope act performed on the American stage.

Ned Buntline, Buffalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro

The show starred Giuseppina Morlacchi, a dancer and actress from Milan, Italy. She was the same age as Texas Jack and Buffalo Bill. She became a classically trained dancer, traveling throughout Europe. She moved to the United States at age 21 to perform in the theater circuit with her Morlacchi Ballet Troupe, making her American ballet debut in 1867. She introduced the can-can to the country the following year. A fine actress as well, she was soon appearing in the major cities of the American Northeast. Just weeks before his buffalo hunting expedition with Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack, the Grand Duke Alexis saw Morlacchi on stage. Buntline also saw her and recruited her to join his new play, Scouts of the Prairie.

Giuseppina did not come alone to the United States. She was accompanied by her manager of five years, John Burke, who was smitten by her. He had presented her with rings and was planning on settling down with her in a house in Lowell, Massachusetts. Those dreams ended when she met Texas Jack. For the Virginian and the Italian, it was love at first sight. She returned the rings to John Burke and pledged herself to John Omohundro. Heartbroken, Burke wore the rings and never married. Instead of devoting his life to her or to any another woman, he spent it instead promoting his new friend Buffalo Bill. It was a task he pursued until Cody's death.

With Scouts of the Prairie's combination of the two well-known scouts with the lovely and talented Morlacchi, the 1872-73 season of the road show was a resounding success. 

The relationship between Morlacchi and Omohundro was also a success; Texas Jack and she fell in love and were married on August 31, 1873, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rochester, New York.

Bill Hickok, Texas Jack, Bill Cody

Texas Jack and Buffalo Bill pose with their friend "Wild Bill" Hickok. Hickok joined them onstage in the play Scouts of the Plains in 1873-74.

The following year Texas Jack, Morlacchi and Buffalo Bill struck out on their own with a new play, Scouts of the Plains, and a new co-star, their friend Wild Bill Hickok.

In 1873, Buntline left, and Texas Jack's friend, Wild Bill Hickok, joined the group to headline in a new play called Scouts of the Plains. Hickok did not enjoy acting, often hiding behind scenery, and in one show, he shot the spotlight when it focused on him. He decided he preferred gambling. He was the first to leave the show mid-season.

Desiring a lighter tour schedule, the Omohundros parted amicably with Buffalo Bill Cody in 1876 to create their own troupe, re-enacting scenes from the West on stage. In 1877, he formed his own acting troupe in St. Louis, known as the Texas Jack Combination featuring Morlacchi, Arizona John Burke, Modoc War scout Donald McKay, trick-shot Maud Oswald, and several Sweetwater and Warm Spring Indians. In May of that year, he debuted Texas Jack in the Black Hills, written by Harry Seymour, to rave reviews. Other plays the combination performed included The Trappers Daughter, Life on the Border, and The French Spy.

Texas Jack & Guiseppina 

The Texas Jack Combination was successful for Giuseppina Morlacchi and Texas Jack. They happily toured together for the next several years, with periods of relaxation at the Massachusetts home once desired by John Burke. They continued to perform separately as well.

In 1878, Texas Jack appeared with Dr. W. F. "Doc" Carver, a dentist turned exhibition shooter who he met several years earlier in North Platte, Nebraska. Five years later Carver joined forces with Buffalo Bill to create Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

Beadles Dime Novel

Texas Jack became a popular subject of the dime novels of the late 19th century. One of the first in which he was featured was the 1872 title, Texas Jack; or The White King of the Pawnees, written by Ned Buntline. Texas Jack's popularity grew as he was featured on covers by publishers including Beadle's New York Dime Library, the Nickle Library, Log Cabin Library, DeWitt's Ten Cent, Street and Smith, and others. Many of these stories were written by the prolific author Prentiss Ingraham. Omohundro wrote articles in newspapers across the country recalling his hunting and scouting stories, and is credited as having authored one dime novel for Beadle and Adams in 1876 titled Ned Wylde, the Boy Scout.

Texas Jack and Morlacchi settled in Massachusetts with a home in downtown Lowell and a small farm in Billerica. In the spring of 1880, after several performances in the region, the couple decided to take their show business career to the silver-mining town of Leadville, Colorado, for a series of performances. There, Omohundro became acquainted with Horace Tabor and briefly joined Tabor's Light Cavalry, a local militia formed to keep order in the newly founded town. The couple decided to stay in the Rocky Mountain West rather than return to Massachusetts.

A few months after arriving, Texas Jack contracted a cold, which developed into pneumonia, and he died weeks later on June 28, 1880. The funeral was well-attended, and he was given full military honors, with several military companies in attendance firing a three-volley salute as his flag-draped coffin was lowered into the ground. His final resting place is Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville.

The grave of Texas Jack in Evergreen Cemetery

Shortly after Texas Jack's death, grief stricken Giuseppina Morlacchi departed for their Massachusetts home in Lowell. She never returned to the stage. She died of cancer six years later.

After several years, the grave fell into disrepair, and a traveling group of comedians raised funds to provide for its upkeep. In 1908, while passing through Leadville, Cody visited the cemetery and commissioned a granite grave marker for his old friend, mistakenly listing Texas Jack's age as 39 years.

In 1980, the Texas Jack Association was formed to preserve and promote Texas Jack's memory.

In 1994, Texas Jack Omohundro was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in the Hall of Great Western Performers.


In only one source did I find reference to another incident in Texas Jack's life. Evidently, during his 1878 exhibition tour with "Doc" Carver, he ended up in Rawlins, Wyoming. He was there at the same time that Thomas Edison and a slew of astronomers,. scientists, and newsmen descended on the small railroad town in mid-July to prepare for the upcoming total solar eclipse expected to take place July 29, 1878.

The following was how Thomas A. Edison described his stay:

"There were astronomers from nearly every nation. We had a special car. The country at that time was rather new; game was in great abundance, and could be seen all day long from the car window, especially antelope. We arrived at Rawlins about 4 P.M. It had a small machine shop, and was the point where locomotives were changed for the next section. The hotel was a very small one, and by doubling up we were barely accommodated. My room-mate was Fox, the correspondent of the New York Herald.

"After we retired and were asleep a thundering knock on the door awakened us. Upon opening the door a tall, handsome man with flowing hair dressed in western style entered the room. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was somewhat inebriated. He introduced himself as `Texas Jack'--Joe Chromondo--[sic] and said he wanted to see Edison, as he had read about me in the newspapers. Both Fox and I were rather scared, and didn't know what was to be the result of the interview. The landlord requested him not to make so much noise, and was thrown out into the hall. Jack explained that he had just come in with a party which had been hunting, and that he felt fine. He explained, also, that he was the boss pistol-shot of the West; that it was he who taught the celebrated Doctor Carver how to shoot. Then suddenly pointing to a weather-vane on the freight depot, he pulled out a Colt revolver and fired through the window, hitting the vane. The shot awakened all the people, and they rushed in to see who was killed. It was only after I told him I was tired and would see him in the morning that he left. Both Fox and I were so nervous we didn't sleep any that night.

"We were told in the morning that Jack was a pretty good fellow, and was not one of the `bad men,' of whom they had a good supply…."


Although it did not move my plot along, I thought this scene was too good to pass up. I included a fictionalized version in my book, Mail Order Blythe. Blythe and her roommate view this scene from the top of the stairs that led to their attic room.


To find the book description and purchase link for Mail Order Blythe, please CLICK HERE.








Monday, May 24, 2021

Outlaw Crush

  Hello and welcome to Cowboy Kisses. I'm thrilled you could join me!

Memorial Day is a federal American holiday that is observed every year on the last Monday of May in remembrance of those who fought for our country paying the ultimate price with their lives. It’s next Monday on the 31st. Please take some time to remember them during this day. I'd also like to give a BIG thank you to all of you that have served in the past and those who are serving now as well! I pray that you stay safe. 

How do you celebrate Memorial Day weekend? Do you go to a parade, or the cemeteries, perhaps you throw a barbecue with family and friends? I'd sure like to hear from you all. As for my family over the last twenty sum years we drive up into the mountains camping. It started with my husband, our then young children and some nephews. On some occasions one or more of mine or Jon's siblings would join us. Now there's around fifty of us that go. It's so much fun to start the summer with all the family together.

I've added a copy of chapter one of my WIP. I'll warn you before reading that it has NOT been edited. I'd love some feed back on it. Thank you. xoxoxo

Chapter 1 





The outlaw that saved Mischief Macintyre when she was twelve years old was standing at the counter of Mr. Jeffries Mercantile. Mischief rubbed her eye lids and took another peek hidden behind the canned goods shelf to confirm it was Hunter Clayton. Yep, there was no denying the fact. She’d recognize those light green eyes, perfect dark thick blonde hair, wide shoulders, and lanky body anywhere. Happiness and hope spread through her. She thought he had finally came for her. 


When he left her at Mr. & Mrs. Kings house ten years ago, his last words were, “I don’t believe our paths will pass again, Mischief. You’re a young lady and the last thing you need is to be raised by an outlaw like me.” Yet, here he was looking as handsome as he did ten years ago, she thought remembering how she had chased him through town sobbing his name until the Kings caught up with her. 


She wondered if he had come to visit her or was, he just passing through?  

Did he even remember her? Mischief watched Hunter as he finished buying his goods and strolled outside unbeknownst to him that she was following. 


Or so she thought. 


Hunter Clayton a gunslinger hadn’t lived this long by not being aware of his surroundings. He was on high alert! Someone was watching him in the mercantile. He rounded a corner then slipped into the dark alley awaiting his perpetrator. He grabbed him around the neck as soon as he rounded the corner pulling him into the alley while sticking his gun up to his head. 


 “Don’t say a word or you’ll be a dead man.” Hunter growled fiercely. 


Mischief kept quiet just as Hunter had demanded. Her heart raced. Hunter sensed something was wrong right away, the man was wearing sweet smelling perfume, and his hair was braided in some sort of up-do, not to mention the soft curves next to his body…not a man…A Woman! Why would this woman follow him? 


 “Who are you and why are you following me?” 


Mischief blew out the breath she was holding and said, “I I... thought I knew you and wanted to verify.” 


“Here’s a lesson for you woman. Never sneak up on a gunslinger. If I had shot first without asking any questions, you’d be lying in a puddle of blood right now.” Hunter barked. He let her go. “You aren’t the first person to recognize me…I’m still on Wanted Posters everywhere I go. It is almost impossible to stay under cover.  I’m not in the mood for a shoot-out today. Do you promise to keep this knowledge to yourself until I leave town?” 


Mischief stood taller and answered, “I Promise, Hunter…I would never put you at risk.” 


Something about her voice and the way she pronounced his name as if it were reverent stirred him deep inside. He needed to get her in the light so he could see her face better. And why hadn’t she screeched or fought, or cried? He thought. He had never seen a woman this calm after such an ordeal. He grabbed her wrist and moved to the light. Then pulled her face towards his so he could get a better look. 


Mischief smiled as he faced her head on. Hunter scowled, let her go, and stepped back from her. Mischief was watching every detail of his face to see if he recognized her, the girl he had saved and then left here to be raised by a nice God-fearing couple. Or so he thought. 


Hunter perused her features a while longer before asking, “You didn’t answer my question. Who are you?” He leaned against the building carefree, but his eyes were demanding an answer. He knew her features but could not quite put his finger on who she was even though he knew it was quite obvious 


“I think you could guess if you tried.” She taunted. Then made a funny fish face. 


He blinked, thinking that was an odd thing for her to do. Then raked his gloved hand over his whiskered jaw, “What makes you think I know you? I haven’t been round these parts in a long time. I’ve met plenty of women, but one as fetching as you… I would have remembered.” He smiled combing her over with his sexy green eyes. 


 Mischief almost jumped into his arms remembering him smiling at her like that when she was a young girl.  She was twelve years old then, so the sexy innuendo had not been there before. Her crush had begun way back then and had only gotten stronger through the years. This is the reason she was not married for no man could come close to Hunter. 


Mischief giggledshe couldn’t hold it back for the life of her then she covered her mouth with her hands. 


Hunter pushed off the building at the sound. He knew in a flash who she was…” Mischief?” he asked with lifted brows. 


“All grown up,” she retorted, jumping into his arms as he staggered in surprise. They fell back against the wall lip to lip, nose to nose, her body tight against his. No matter…all they could accomplish was blue eyes to green. 


Hunter wanted more than anything to kiss those lips thoroughly until she was…Whoa- back up a step...Suddenly twelve-year-old Mischief strummed through his mind, and before anything else could happen he set her off of him and held her tight until she could stand on her own two feet. How could this beautiful woman be his little Mischief? Is all he could think. 


Mischief was shocked at his fast moves. She did not understand. Did he not find her to his liking? After recovering she asked in a hurt voice, “What’s wrong? Are you not happy to see me?”  


Hunter was Breathing heavy as though he had run a lap around town. His chest heaved up and down. He took a minute more to compose himself before speaking, “Of course I’m happy to see you. I have thought about you every day since I had to leave you here in Washington. But not once did I imagine you all grown up like this! He smiled his most charming smile that brought a wink to his eye every time he did it. 


His words calmed her. She understood, he was ten years older than she imagined as well, yet he was still the handsomest cowboy she had ever seen. When they met under horrendous circumstances, she was twelve and he was twenty-two. He had saved her from the ruthless gang of outlaws who had murdered her parents as she watched in shock hidden underneath her bed. In a short matter of time, she leaned on him completely. She loved him then. Most would call it puppy love, but they were wrong she had matured early in life. 


Mischief trusted Hunter completely and he let her stay with him just short of a year until one day she was almost killed in a crossfire. It riled him to the point that he took her to the nearest town. He stayed with her until the preacher found her a good family that was willing to take in a twelve-year-old orphan. Two days later he saddled up and rode into the sunset. 


After collecting her thoughts, she agreed with him, “I understand, you left a young girl and came back to find a woman. 


“You can say that again.” He exclaimed, still giving her the once over.  


“I imagined you as a younger man as well. More a boy in some ways, yet you had already made a name for yourself. Of course, at that point you weren’t guilty of the crime they had hung on you.” 


Their eyes met and the warmth they once shared flooded back within. “The hardest challenge I’ve ever faced was leaving you here. But you were shot in a crossfire, and I will never forget hearing you scream and turning just in time to watch the blood squirt from your arm. I promised myself at that moment I would take you to the nearest town and find a nice respectable family for you to be raised by.” 


That you didwithout asking me what I wanted.” She said almost in a whisper but Hunter heard her words like a siren to his brain. 


“You were a child and had been shot because of my bad judgement.” He took his Stetson off his head and hit himself on the leg with it. Took a long breath then continued, “I sent money every month to help with your upkeep, which brings me to part of the reason I’m here. The last three installments have been returned to me. Figuring something was wrong, I jumped on the first train headed this way. Now tell me, are Mr. and Mrs. King well?” 


Mischief closed her eyelids and fought for control. A few seconds later she opened her eyes and spoke, “They’ve passed on...” 


Both of them? He exclaimed. 


She nodded.  


Hunter observed her for a moment trying to decide what should be his next move. He knew something was amiss when he received the money back, but he hadn’t considered the fact that they might be dead. Finally, he asked, “Would you like to go for a walk or a ride and catch up on each other's lives?”  


“Yes, more than anything.” Mischief answered, “Let us ride, there’s a nice park by the river a mile down this road.” 


 He took her hand in his and moved to his horse then helped her up on it. When they reached Edgewater Park and had taken a seat on a bench overlooking the Skagit River he said, “I’m terribly sorry for your loss. What happened and when?”  


Tears wailed up in her bright blue eyes, “Maryann died over a year ago with the fever.” She choked out. 


Hunter handed her his handkerchief as the tears broke loose. Then he slipped his arms around her rubbing her back. “That’s a girl, let it all out.”  


Let it out she did, and more. When she was through, he still held her close. He had missed her all these years. He felt like he had abandoned her, but the outlaw way of life was nowhere for a young girl. Hunter wondered about Mr. King and why she had not mentioned him. 


“What about Mr. King?” he asked calmly. Her knight in shining armor did not want her to start crying all over again, yet he needed to know who was taking care of her. If anyone. 


She bristled, turning her head away from him, “After Maryann died Albert changed from the man I’d known as a father. He began drinking. Albert was an angry drunk. Most nights I had to hide so he wouldn’t hurt me.” 


“Hurt you?” He exclaimed. With a deadly stare. Mischief noticed him fisting his hands like he had always done when he was upset. “Does he beat you?” he demanded. 


“Not anymore.” She said looking down at her skirt messing with the ruffles. 

“Many times, he tried to force me to do naughty things.  Most times I had been able to talk him down from what was on his mind, reminding him it was immoral, and Maryann would be rolling in her grave. If that didn’t work, I’d run and hide outside until he had passed out. The last time he tried to force me to do something I knew was wrong was the last straw! I grabbed a knife from the sink and drove it deep within his thigh.” 


“That a girl,” Hunter snapped. 


“I was aiming for higher.” she said almost in a whisper. 


“Oh...” he cleared his throat. 


“It was a challenging thing for me to do, but I’m not sorry. He deserved it and more!” 


“You don’t need to convince me. I would have killed him. What happened next?” Hunter asked 


“He screamed in agony as he pulled the knife out of his thigh, and then began beating me. When he finally stopped, not for my sake but because of his injury, he begged, “God forgive me!" Then he ran out the door.” Mischief noticed Hunters hands were still fisted. “He never came back. I thank God for thatHe is dead!” Mischief said in a matter of tone that chilled Hunter’s blood. “I’ve been on my own since then.” 


 Hunter barely containing his anger with fisted hands cleared his throat, “Why didn’t you write, or send a telegraph? I would have come for you sooner.” 


“Truth be told, I never knew you stayed connected with them, let along sent money for my care. I did not know how to reach you. They kept all this a secret from me.” She said with confusion in her tone. “I can’t believe they didn’t tell me. I asked about you many of times after you left hoping you would send a letter or something letting me know how and where you were. They always said you hadn’t written. I thought you wanted to forget all about me.” 


Hunter blew out a breath, rubbed his chin thinking Albert King may not be dead now, but when he finds him, justice will be served, then said, “That was the farthest thought from my mind. I thought about you daily and prayed you were doing well. And I’m sure Maryann was just trying to protect you. How have you survived since then?” 


She wrinkled her nose up and set her mouth in a disgusted manner, “At first I sewed, but I couldn’t make enough money to pay the rent, took in extra laundry and ironing, helped harvest for the surrounding neighbors and well now…” she did not finish. Mischief was ashamed and did not want Hunter to know she worked as an entertainer in the largest bar in town. She brings in more money than any performer in the surrounding area. Hunter more than likely wouldn’t realize it, but he was the one who taught her to sing and dance on those long summer nights, when he would play the harmonica dancing around the fire. 


Hunter interrupted her thoughts when he coaxed, “Go on, what are you doing now?” His sexy green eyes burrowed into hers. Then they flashed to her clothes, shoes, and hair before widening. 


 She knew he would not give up until he knew the truth. Question is would he walk away from her when he knew the truth? Most men would. But he is an outlaw. He has survived this world with the guns at his hips he should understand there was nothing left for her to do. At least she was not selling herself like most women under her circumstance must do. Finally, she concluded she had to tell him the truth. What he does with that information she will understand. She took a big breath grabbing onto the ruffles of her silky blue dress and holding them tight said, “I work at Duke’s Saloon.” She answered straightening her shoulders. She hoped he’d let it be and not ask her anymore questions about her work. 


Hunter felt like he had been gutted. His little Mischief now a lady of the night!” He cursed under his breath wanting to punch something with all his might. He had let her down by leaving her here with the King’s, when he thought she would be better off and become a lady in high standing. 


 He did not say a word, but his jaw ticked. What was there to say? Her reputation is already ruined. The only thing he could do was take her to his ranch and change her name. He had changed her name once giving her the name Mischief. It was that summer when they were running wild and carefree because she was a mischievous hot-headed red head who was always playing tricks on him. It was the best summer of his life because she was with him. She reminded him of what was right and wrong. Hunter loved every inch of her and seeing her now warmed his heart. He knew what he had to do whether she liked it or not. 


Hunters tummy suddenly rumbled loud enough for Mischief to hear, reminding him he had not eaten since breakfast. He apologized and asked her if she didn’t already have plans would she like to continue the conversation over supper? 


 Mischief agreed and told him of Edna’s Diner a little joint that would be quiet this time of night. Mischief did not want to be recognized while she was with Hunter, and as a wanted outlaw she gathered he would not either. They took the back-way riding side by side. Neither spoke until they were seated in a cozy spot at the back of the restaurant. Edna was quick arriving at the table. A pretty older woman with eyes of green and a big welcoming smile. They ordered chicken fried steaks and eggs. When done eating Mischief broke the silence. 


“Edna bake’s the best peach pies here in the county.” She raised a brow waiting for his response knowing that peach pie with ice cream was his favorite. She waited, and waited, then it happened, it started with a small grin that erupted into a full open mouth smile and then came the twinkle in his eye that she favored so much. 


“Is that so?” he asked with excitement in his tone. In that moment she was the 12-year-old girl and he was the young gunslinger that had saved her. 

Mischief shook her head up and down smiling wide. “Award winning at all the county fair’s close to here.” 


He chuckled, “Well, after tasting her chicken fried steak, I can imagine she’d make a delicious peach pie. I’m game if you are?” 


Again, she shook her head grinning like a school-girl. “You know I am.” 


When they were done eating their delicious peach desert, he escorted her to her small apartment bidding her farewell until the morning. Next, he rented a room in a place near hers. 

I hope you enjoyed this chapter of my WIP! I'd love to read your thoughts. :O)

Stay safe, Ruthie.