Word Count 1,362
It had rained quite a bit over the past three days. Work only consisted of the most essential chores around the ranch. Scott sat at his desk by the window writing a few letters to friends back east.
Looking out over the land’s beauty even as the rain washed everything anew, he decided to write a very special letter.
As I sit here looking at your portrait on my desk I feel compelled to write you. This letter is long overdue, and I hope you will forgive my lapse in manners.
Growing up with Grandfather, I often found myself staring at your portrait that hangs over the mantle in his study. I have sneaked alone into the study many times to sit and talk to you.
Grandfather gave me everything I could ever want, except the truth about you and my father. He spoke of you often and told of his love for you. His eyes grew sad when he did speak of you, and then they turned very angry when he thought of how he lost you.
My father was never a subject of discussion, and his name was not to be spoken. I was reprimanded if I asked about him. Grandfather told me my father blamed me for your death, so he wanted nothing to do with me ever. This was a hard thing for a child to carry in his mind and heart’.
As Scott put thoughts to paper, he noticed from his window that the rain had slacked off quite a bit, now just a very light drizzle.
‘I was very lonely growing up. Grandfather would only let children of the best families visit to play. I envied my school playmates as they had loving parents and did not have to schedule playtime with the “right people”. Grandfather’s hired help were my real friends. They cared about this lonely little boy, and made my days less empty.
Now that I am grown and have learned the truth about my father, it has caused a serious strain in my relationship with Grandfather. I know he loves me in his own controlling way, but the lies he told cannot be forgiven.
Mother, I feel you have been watching over me all my life, but I wonder what you think about the man I have become.
I was becoming the man that Grandfather wanted me to be. I was well educated in the best schools, and was being groomed to come into Grandfather’s business. I never really felt comfortable in this.
Stopping again to gather his thoughts, he noticed the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to peek over the mountains.
‘A person has to have a purpose in life. I wanted to make a difference in the world. Sitting in boring meetings, plotting how to reach the top by stepping on others was not for me. Grandfather was not pleased about this, and he was even angrier when I enlisted.
I joined the army to make a difference. I truly felt I was doing so. When I was captured and put in the Confederate prison, as bad as it was, I tried to make a difference by trying to help my comrades, telling them we should remain strong, band together and never give up.
When I was freed after the war, I kind of lost my way for a while. I had no real ambitions and fell into the trap of too much drinking, and womanizing. Again I was a disappointment in Grandfather’s eyes. He tried to lure me back into the family business. I resisted again.
The best thing that could have happened to me was when the Pinkerton agent found me and said my father wanted to see me. Since I was always told he wanted nothing to do with me I was intrigued, as to why he would seek me out, even offering to pay me for an hour of my time.
Grandfather was dead set against me going to California. We argued, but at 24 I was my own man. After a bitter argument, I left for California.
The trip to California was long, and I would guess you already knew this. I arrived in a land so much different than what I knew in Boston. I was driven to my father’s ranch by his ward Teresa. The view was breathtaking. We stopped on a hill top and looked out over 100,000 acres of land. Teresa claimed it was the most beautiful place in the whole wide world. I had to agree.
Mother, I know when you and Murdoch first embarked on your life together on this land, that it was so different, and a lot smaller, but I imagine you and he felt you could build a home together and watch it grow and prosper. You gave up your old life to follow a dream.
I was still anxious to meet my father, and ask him why he had shunned me all my life. I wanted him to personally tell me I was responsible for your death, and why he left me with Grandfather never to give me any thought.
I did meet my father. I was not sure how to take him. He seemed cold and distant. I wanted answers. He did tell me about his arrival in Boston from Inverness, marrying and taking you to California. He told me I was born, you died and he left me in Grandfather’s care. I wanted, needed more of the story than that. I felt there was more that I was never told.
I would say the best surprise I got was finding out I had a little brother. He was hard to get to know. He arrived the same day as I did, with the same invitation to meet his father. I learned that he was the son of Murdoch’s second wife, who took him away from the ranch at 2 years old. He had a reputation as a gunfighter; one of the best. He was so full of anger, hatred and hurt. It seems he was lied to as well.
Our meeting was interrupted by a fire in one of the fields, and I then learned of the land pirates trying to take over the land. All of this was quite new to me being in a land so different than I was raised. I was a bit surprised that people could just come in and force people off their own land by threats and killing.
We managed to defeat the land pirates, and then we started to build a family together. This did not happen overnight. Now we are closer, and my little brother is my best friend. Murdoch has told me the truth and I have found Grandfather kept me in the dark, away from my father for years.
Every day I am on this land I grow more in love with the dream Murdoch has. I now know I have a purpose, and I make a difference in the world. I would not trade this life for anything.
Mother, our life together ended before it really started when you had me and died shortly thereafter. I wish I could know how you feel, and if you are happy for me. I hope I have made you proud.
Scott paused again and looked over at the mountains. He saw a beautiful rainbow appear. Smiling, Scott took that as a sign from his mother.
Thank you Mother, for sending your answer. I do love you dearly. Were it possible to send you this letter to you in Heaven I would, but we both know that is impossible. I will seal it in an envelope and place it in my drawer just below the picture of you on my desk. What is written came from my heart, and will somehow keep me close to you.
All my love,
Your son, Scott Garrett Lancer
Scott placed the letter in an envelope and placed it in the drawer. With his heart feeling lighter, he left the room to join his family.
April 4, 2020
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