It was high noon. Miss Sugar, my trophy wife, was fussing in the kitchen when she hollered, “Big Bronc, they’re coming! Lots of ‘em. You better be ready. I’m gittin plumb nervous.”
Soon they commenced to coming up our lane to the ranch house. Dozens of folks arrived in waves. We was surrounded.
Me and Texas Bob took our stations, him by the cantina, me peeking out from inside the house. We was ready, providin’ there warn’t too many of ‘em. I lost count at 65. That seemed about right for me and the little woman and Texas Bob.
Also, Texas Bob had brung a woman with him, as was his way. She was a spunky redhead, a fancy dresser, name of Ginger. I’d seen her before. Once down in Fort Worth Stockyards, at the Cattlemen’s Club, Bob and Ginger was there with me and Sugar and we had a good old time. Now we four was going to have a different kind of party.
The womenfolk tried to help, but they was just gals. Bob and me would have to “do the heavy liftin” as far as taking care of the situation. The way I looked at it was, we’d done it before so there was no need to think we couldn’t handle this situation just like we done other times. As you can tell, I don’t scare easy.
So what are you’all thinking we was facin’? The people surrounding us had been invited to our annual John Wayne party, this one to celebrate the 105th anniversary of his birth.
We had a band. Karen aka Sugar had been preparing food for weeks, baking and freezing a score of pies and all. She done what she could, but of course I was the one who set up the folding tables and chairs. I unloaded the keg. I dished out the barbequed pork. Karen only made a dozen or so sidedishes and her special Texas barbeque sauce. I appreciated that minor assistance. Like I said, she done what she could.
Texas Bob manned the cantina bar, like the experienced barkeep he is. He served beer, margaritas, sangria, sweet tea, and lemonade. He was very popular. But the meat was my department. A feller ought not to delegate the biggest job. That buck cain’t be passed if Big Bronc wants to keep his title of King of the Wild Frontier, assumed by him after the untimely passing of Davey Crockett.
Anyways, I expect none would argue when I tell ya’all that a good time was had by all. No brag. Just fact.
After the crowd thinned out, Bob and me loaded the chairs and tables into my Ford F250 Supercab shortbox pickup truck. We picked up the garbage bags too while the little ladies messed around in the kitchen on account of they ain’t no dang good at loading pickups.
Sugar and Ginger got along like peas and carrots. Some say Ginger made her way out West by way of Jugtown Mountain, New Jersey. If that ain’t true, it should be. It is well known that Texas Bob is Miss Sugar’s Daddy. The DNA results proved that. As for that Ginger woman, the rumors are that she might be Sugar’s biological mother. Regardless of whether the rumors are true, Sugar treated Ginger just like kin.
You might be wondering why this tale is called Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch. I’m fixin to tell you why or I’ll be a blue-nosed gopher.
Recall what I said awhile back about Miss Sugar making a bunch of side dishes. Well, one of them was something called Three Bean Salad. (This writing technique is called foreshadowing.)
I reckon I might not have done a proper job of securing those garbage bags. A couple days later, Max, our ten year old yellow lab, seemed bloated and was having trouble breathing. We speculated that he might have been bitten by a rattlesnake. (See also Sharpshooter blog.) We took him to a veterinary emergency room where x rays showed that it was not a bite by a snake, but rather, lots of bites by Max as he consumed “leftovers.”
He had surgery. The doctor told us that she recovered from his stomach a couple pounds of deadly Three Bean Salad.
As a result, I’m betting that our next party menu will not include Three Bean Salad.