Was It A Mistake by Barbara V.

Word Count 674

This was from a challenge in 2020. It is written from Murdoch’s POV

Murdoch Lancer sat, deep in thought at his desk, looking at his land, well our land. Much had happened in the last few weeks. He sat pondering about those weeks. Was it selfish to bring them home to fight the land pirates? Was that really the idea in bringing them to Lancer? No, it is something I’ve wanted for the last twenty years. My sons are home where they should have grown up. Sure didn’t expect them to arrive together. The day we met in this very room we were three strangers. These were not the little boys I lost. They were two strong, independent men, and so very different.

My oldest, Scott, is refined, well mannered, former soldier and so sure of himself. Tall and fair with his mother’s blue eyes, but I see a bit of me in him. I still recall when he shot me down with “Will I?”

Then there is my youngest, Johnny. He had his mother’s slight build and coloring but he has the most beautiful blue eyes. He also has his mother’s temper. This young man was so angry and distrusting; so full of hate for me. He was direct and to the point. We had barely met before he spat out those challenging words to me “You got something to say old man, say it!”

Finding out later that both of my sons grew to manhood believing lies about their father was not easy. I was not however, going to let these young men run rough shod over me. I cleared the air. The past was past. Our arrangement was more of a business partnership if anything. One third of everything I own to each. Is that really a mistake?  Was I trying to buy affection from my sons? It’s their birthright.

I wondered how they would get along. They did’t seem to hit it off in the beginning. In this room, trying to figure out how to stop the land pirates, Scott, ever practical relied on his military knowledge to solve the issue.

Johnny, more the street brawler type shot Scott down. Knowing from the Pinkerton’s reports he was raised in rough border towns and grew up so wild, this did not surprise me. What did surprise me is that He knew Dey Pardee, the leader of the land pirates.

I didn’t know what to think about that boy. He took off for all I knew, to join up with Pardee. Later he came riding back with Pardee’s men chasing him He led them right back to Lancer and into our guns. He got a bullet in his back for his efforts. My heart about broke when I thought he was dead.

Scott proved himself that day as well. He was very good with a rifle. He noticed movement from Johnny and ran from the protection of the walls to get his brother to safety. Scott was the one to take down Pardee. My two sons seemed to have come to an understanding that day. I didn’t want to show my hand but I was so proud of both of them.

I recall signing day. I was nothing but nerves as we headed to the lawyer’s office. Knowing Johnny still held resentment for me I told the lawyer that the name should be Johnny Madrid, not Lancer. I thought my heart would burst with pride when Johnny said “No. Let it stand”.

Life sure has changed around here. We’re still hitting a few rough spots as the boys settle in and we continue to get to know each other better. I still have to keep up my stern “tune caller” front, but I love the sounds of family in this house.  I hear the front door open. The boys seem to be in a loud conversation. I hope they are not fighting. No, I hear Johnny’s boyish laughing as they head to the kitchen. Life is good. Guess I’ll head to the kitchen and join my family.



Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment.  Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here.  You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or email Barbara directly.


8 thoughts on “Was It A Mistake by Barbara V.

  1. Love it, Sis! It was fun to this story told from the ‘tune caller’s’ perspective. Great job! Thanks for posting


    1. HI Sis,

      Thanks so much. Murdoch has his ways, but i still love the Lancer “tune caller”. GLad you like it. Thanks again, sis.

      Barbara V


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