The rush for the rush
Russell was fetching the newspaper, since his dad, Martin, had wanted him to. Russell was a young boy that had short, really dark brown hair. His hair was as straight as hay. The heat was making his face sweaty, and he wished that the news wasn’t so far away to get, which was a few yards from his house. His dad was wealthy since he had gotten a ton of money that he did not need in the California Gold Fields, and Russell’s own home was huge, though it was 1859, so it probably would seem quite small to you in whatever year it is that you are reading this.
Russell picked up the filthy news on the dirt, and used his hand to sweep it off.
“Russell!” called Martin.
Martin ran out of the door and came to Russell. Martin was a tall and slim man, with light brown hair that stuck up a little, and went a little pass his ear.
“What’s in the news?” questioned Martin.
“Uhm, something about cows being sold nearby. Also, something strange. Dad, it can’t happen again, can it?”
“Another rush, in Colorado!”
“Yes! Can I please go dad?”
“Why do you want to?”
“I’ve always wanted to go on a Rush adventure like you! And I ain’t gonna stay home! Why not, father?”
“Hold your horses. If you want to go, you ought to bring along some money.”
“Well, can I go? I’ve been waiting for the word ‘yes’, you know?”
“Well, you’re not going to hear that word.”
“You are going to hear the word, ‘sure’. So you sure can go!”
“Thanks, dad,” replied Russell, even though he thought that conversation took too long, as he wanted to go. Martin quickly handed his son $150 in his gold that was in his old poke, which was a bag. Russell was jumping so high it looked as if he had been forced to sit for a year on a log.
“Well now, you are only a young lad of fourteen. Who is going with you?” asked Martin.
“Earnest Meeker. He’s a good lad. Also, he’s a good friend.”
“Well now, you ought to bring your brother. He’ll feel horrible if you don’t, Russell,”
“Elbert? I’ll bring him,”
“Ok, Pikes Peak or Bust, Russell Woodward,” said Martin while he grinned fakely, for he was as happy as a fish who had just bitten the hook. But, Russel was grinning even more. He was as happy as a man who had won the lottery.
“Dad, I need a wagon,” quickly asked Russell.
“I gave you money. Off with you, if you want a wagon, get it yourself,” replied Martin, harshly. Russell gave his father stink eye at this while his father walked back in the house.
“Elbert!” shouted Russell, peeking through the door.
“What?” replied Elbert, peeking out of the door. Elbert decided to come out and lean against their big oak tree. Elbert was very very slim like his father, and very very tall. His hair was pretty short, and was dirty blond.
“Have you heard the news? Colorado has gold. You are afraid to go alone, so I’ll come along. I know you want to, Elbert,” Russell told Elbert. Martin just kept standing in the doorway, watching their conversation.
“I don’t want to go…….” said Elbert, shyly, staring at the oak roots coming out of the ground.
“Why not?” asked Russell, who was startled.
“Because I don’t want to go. I ain’t gonna die, like thousands of men did going to the California fields. Dad was lucky, just plain lucky to survive.”
“Well, I’ll be departing, and you’ll be alone without Dad when he takes his evening walk. I know you don’t like being alone….” finished Russell.
Elbert gulped. He hated being alone, but he rather be alone than have a chance of dying. But, he did like adventure, and he thought, “I should go. I love adventures, so why not?”
“Wait, Russell! I’d love to come along with you!”
“Alright!” shouted Russell, excitedly. Russell then ran off a few kilometers away, and stopped at Earnest Meeker’s home. He sat down quickly on a bench that had a curve, and that curve had a carving of antlers on it, and he was tired. The grass was turning a light yellowish brown color from the heat. Russell wiped the sweat off his forehead, and he knocked on the old, dusty door of Earnest’s home. The wood logs stacked high, up and up and up. The roof was canvas topped. It was not blowing up from the wind, since there was no wind. It just slanted to the side.
“Who’s out there?” muttered a deep voice.
“Is Earnest Meeker home, sir?” quickly asked Russell.
“He is building a wagon. Going west. He wants to find fortune in Colorado. What do you want, lad?”
“For him to join my company, that’s what. My brother, Elbert, is along it too. I want to go to Pikes Peak and make my fortune, too, sir.” Russell said, blankly.
“Lad, go north. He be up the hill.” said Earnest’s dad, at least that’s who Russel thought he was.
Russell whistled while he walked up to the top of the hill.
“Earnest? Earnest!” he said happily, staring at his friend, who was chopping away wood. Earnest was a little shorter than Elbert, with almost pure black hair, pale skin, and a huge smile on his face all the time.
“Hello, Russel! You want to join me to go to Colorado?”
“That’s what I came here for. May Elbert come along too, Earnest?”
“Definitely! He may come all he wishes.”
“Great! I’ll help,” replied Russell. Russell cut long, straight logs with an axe Earnest had. The sun started to go down. The yellowish-brownish grass started to move from the small wind. The hill’s grass moved, too.
Russell walked back home while Earnest still made the wagon. He was tired. The grass went up to his knees, since it was quite tall.
“Hey!” said a man walking up to Russell.
“Hello, you need something?” Russell asked the man, checking to see if the man had a rifle. Russell didn’t wanna be hurt.They were in the middle of a smaller, rural road. It was just off of the border of Earnest’s property. The man wore a hat like a cowboy’s, had a mustache, and medium brown hair.
“Yeah. I need a fella in me group to the Rado Colo place. Someone that can, supply me, a wagon,” he replied.
“One, it’s Colorado. Two, I’ll let you join my group. I already have my brother and a friend of mine. Your name, sir?”
“Marshall York. I be delighted to join you, young’n. How old you? I’m 32.”
“By the way, I’m Russell Woodward. I’m 14.”
“Well, when we leavin’ young’n? Three weeks good enough for you?”
“Just fine, sir, just fine.” replied Russell as he departed. Russell was glad to have Mr. York in his group. He’d need an older fella to be a leader, since he was 14, Elbert was 13, and Earnest was 14 as well.
Wagons started on their way to Pikes Peak on the Oregon Trail from Independence, Illinois. Russell had just woken up and he was outside. The dirt roads were filled with wagons, like a honey jar that was filled with honey, and kept refilling and refilling without anything done. Someone would eat the honey, and it would by every bite keep coming back and coming back, even if you dumped the honey out it would always come straight it back. So, the dirt roads were pretty crowded.
Marshall York ran by Russell and said, “Young’n! Three weeks is too much! We be leaving as soon as we can! Come along now!”
“Yes Sir!” Russell said well saluting Marshall.
“I not a five star general! No need to salute, young’n,” Marshall said while he was chuckling. Russell swiftly rushed past a few wagons. The canvases curved in an arch on wooden wagons. Oxen lined the streets of Independence, Illinois. The wheels of the wagon turned slightly on all of them.
Marshall tugged Russel into a bar.
“This fine gent says he’ll give us some tips,” said Marshall, “And a bit more money, since he’s rich. He’s giving everyone who asks him 300 dollars, which is quite a bit.”
“Ok,” said Russell, even though he was thinking this man was a lie that Marshall spoke about.Who was that rich to give anyone who asks him 300 dollars in gold? He knew this must be a trick! It must!
But, he was in anyways.
“Hey, York! You were’ the one who wanted things, correct?” asked the man at the bar. He looked evil. His eyes were even yellow! He was old, pale, and had white old hair.
“Yes Sir!” replied Marshall, “I prefer to be called Marshall, though, sir.”
“Marshall we should go,” said Russell, “And quickly, I don’t trust-”
“Russell, we are fine. Go if you would like, this man is about to give us-” Marshall said until he got interrupted.
“Nothing. Also, I don’t like being interrupted by anyone, Marshall.” Russell interrupted sharply.
“Russel! Come back here or-” Marshall said uneasily, until Russell ran out of the bar. Marshall felt uneasy, so he ran after Russel, knowing leaving was the right thing. Russell ran to Hountin’s Market, who owned tons of supplies that they would need. When they walked in baskets were filled with food. At least 5,000 pounds of food. The man at the counter was old with a kind looking face. His white hair was short and around his round head.
“ ‘ello pal. What service could I do for you today?” asked Mr. Hountin, the owner of the market.
“Oxen, sir,” Marshall piped in.
“There are two oxen per yoke. How many yokes would you like?” asked Hountin, in an amicable manner.
“How much do they each cost?” Russel asked, hoping they weren’t much.
“I charge $30 per yoke. Most general stores cost $50, so you be lucky. I suggest it,”
“That ain’t a bad deal,” whispered Marshall to Russell, while he elbowed Russell.
“I’ll take two yolks, I only got $150, though,” Russell said, putting up $60.
“Wait,” said Mr. Hountin, shoving back the money, “if I can join you, we can take all this supply and you don’t have to pay me.”
“Deal!” said Russell, happily, shaking Mr. Hountin’s hand, without letting go with a big grin.
“My hand is getting sweaty from yours, lad. Could you also stop shaking my hand?” Mr. Hountin said, in a friendly way.
Russell let go, realizing his hand was red and covered with sweat.
“Oh, sorry, sir,” said Russell embraresly. Marshall and Mr. Hountin started to haul oxen, mules, food, and whatever was there. Russell then joined in. They couldn’t bring all of it, though. They’d need another few trips or so.
“This is going to be quite a long journey,” added Marshall.
“Yes, indeed. I have heard many lads speak of the miles that it will be from here. They all say, ‘around 609.6 miles.’ Ha, that’s not anything!” said Mr. Hountin, laughing at his understatement.
They got everything up by Earnest’s hill in no time. Earnest was up at the hill continuing to build the wagon.
“Who are these two?” asked Earnest with a puzzled look.
“Marshall York,” said Russell, pointing at Marshall, then he pointed at Mr. Hountin, “This is Mr. Hountin. He’s a shop owner, and allowing us to have everything from his shop if he can join us. Marshall here, wants to join us and be our older leader. You fine with these gents joining us, Earnest?”
“They seem like kind gentleman, so yes, come along Mr. Hountin and Marshall. What’s your first name, Hountin? It’s a great difficulty always calling you Mr. Hountin,” asked Earnest.
“Call me Fletcher,” said Fletcher, “I like my name. You’ve probably never heard it.” Earnest was almost finished, and with that he painted the last area, PIKES PEAK OR BUST inside a gray circle.
On the way there
They let the wagon dry and then wheeled it down the hill to the gravel road and turned. They brought down all the supplies, too. Then Fletcher noticed something.
“Darn. We can’t have all of this food! It weighs way too much for one wagon. If I remember right, a wagon goes steady and smooth if there are only 2,000 pounds of food or less. We have to sell the rest 8,000 pounds that I have in the shop,” Fletcher said abruptly, his face turning pale but then went to normal when he realized he could sell some.
“Ok then, let’s go!” said Earnest, happily, swinging his arm right to left, with a fist, and his elbow out.
Fletcher started shouting at the people on the gravel roads, “Get your pounds of food! Selling .05 per 2 pounds! Get your food, on sale! Or you can buy 1,000 pounds for only $ 20 dollars! Such a deal! Buy your food, come on down! Hountin’s shop is where you can find it!” People started rushing from everywhere into the shop, Fletcher right behind them. He sold so much food, there was none left in an hour.
“Like 5,000 donkeys just ate an acre of grass, that was fast,” chuckled Marshall when Fletcher came out.
“Yes, indeed,” said Fletcher, “I got exactly 200 dollars!”
“WHAT!?” yelled Earnest, as he was pretty poor. Even Russell was in awe, who was rich since his father had gotten tons of money in the California gold rush. They had never seen anyone earn that much money in one single hour. Earnest’s mouth looked like it was going to fall out, and Russell’s too.
“Well, we’ll go pretty fast with all these oxen,” said Marshall, pointing at about 30 oxen.
“We’ll need a long rein. Give me a few minutes and I’ll hook all the reins I have to let the oxen pull the wagon,” said Fletcher, tapping his finger on his head with deep thought. Fletcher went inside his shop, closed the doors, and gathered all of his reins. He hooked them one by one with little metal hooks, and then was out in half an hour.
“I think this is called done, If I do say so myself,” Fletcher said, showing Russell, Marshall, and Ernest the reins. They all smiled looking at the wonderful creation Fletcher had made.
Fletcher hooked it to the wagon, and set all of the oxen in place, with help from Marshall.
“All set!” said Marshall, smiling friendly to Earnest and Russell, “We put the bullets and a riffle in a cupboard, handmade from Fletcher here, and we have clothes in a pile, flour, bread, and other food in the way back. 2,000 pounds of it.”
“Nice. Do we have any spare parts, Marshall, sir?” asked Earnest politely.
“Of course! Wagon tongues, wagon wheels, and wagon axles. We will be set! The wagon is pretty sturdy, thanks to Earnest here. I think we could start today on the trail. Who’s ready?” Marshall replied.
“Aye!” Earnest and Russell said, in a joking manner. Fletcher nodded. Fletcher jumped on next to Marshall who was holding the reins of the oxen, Pales and Sidero were the lead oxen. They were snorting in grief since they did not want to have to deal with miles and miles of trotting.
Since the animals were smart in knowing that we had 2,000 pounds of food, they knew it would be a long journey ahead of them.
“Woo-hoo!” said Russel, hanging his head out of the back of the wagon.
“I kind of have an idea that we forgot something,” said Earnest, scratching his head, “but I’m not sure what.” They were about less than a mile in when Earnest said that.
“Wait,” said Russel, his eyes in shock, “Elbert.”
“Elbert?” asked Marshall and Fletcher in unison.
“He’s, uhm, my brother. He was in our group too you know,” Russell said nervously. Fletcher turned the wagon around, and they were back in 10 minutes.
“Elbert!” Russell shouted when they reached their house, “We’re leaving!” Elbert came out immediately.
“Hello! Who are these fellas?” asked Elbert, staring at Marshall and Fletcher.
“I explained it to Earnest, I guess I’ll explain it one more time to you,” Russell said, his voice getting tired, “Marshall York,” said Russell, pointing at Marshall, then he pointed at Mr. Hountin, “This is Mr. Hountin. He’s a shop owner, and allowing us to have everything from his shop if he can join us. Marshall here, wants to join us and be our older leader, you fine with these gentleman joining us, right Elbert?”
“Sure,” said Elbert happily. They started their way back down the Oregon trail. It slowly became night, and all was quiet before then. Russell, Ernest, and Elbert had dozed off, leaving Marshall and Fletcher the coachmen in the front, who were the ones who held the reins to make sure they were going the right way.
They woke up in the morning from a abrupt sound outside. Marshall and Fletcher had fallen asleep on the coachmen bench, and were still asleep. The only ones who were awake from the noise were Russell, Elbert, and Earnest.
“What was that?” question Elbert, who was hiding under the hay, holding the rifle.
“Put that down, brother, it’s just nature. No one’s coming, I think,” said Russell, who was about to go out of the wagon until he saw dust come in the wagon. They all coughed.
“I’m going outside to see,” said Elbert, trying to show confidence.
“I’m coming too,” said Earnest and Russell in unison. The three boys jumped out the back of the wagon, and saw a beautiful mountain. A huge hole was on one of the sides of the mountain.
“How was THAT caused?” asked Elbert in awe.
“Looking at that,” said Russell, pointing at a huge rock rolling towards the wagon, “It’s a boulder. Oxen, go!” Russel then went and sat on the coachmen’s bench, pushing the sleeping bodies away, while Earnest and Elbert jumped into the back of the wagon, rolling in food, then they hopped into the hay.
“And, GO!” said Russell, pulling on the reins. Russell had never before used reins, so he tried his best. He swerved them left to right, and the oxen turned left and then right.
“I think I just do this and I’ll be fine,” said Russel in panic. The boulder was catching up.
“Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!” screamed Elbert in terror, “I wish you left me home! I knew we would,” and he was interrupted by the sound of the boulder, “Die!”
“That may not be true! Think positive,” said Earnest, who also thought they might die. Russell continued to go left to right until he realized that if he made the reins go left, they’d turn right, and if he made the reins go right, they’d turn left. If he kept the reins still, they would go straight, and if he pulled back, they’d stop.
“I’ve finally got the hang of this!” said Russell, “Woo-Hoo! I have control of thus oxen!”
“It sounds like he’s having fun,” said Elbert, boredly, “But what I wonder is, ‘how can he be having fun when a boulder is chasing us!?’. I don’t get him sometimes. Brothers can be weird.”
“I don’t know how that feels,” said Earnest, “I’m an only sibling.”
Russell had gotten them out of danger. Marshall and Fletcher had woken up.
“A boulder came and you took our bench? You should have woken us up!” said Fletcher.
“Sorry, sir,” replied Ernest, Russell, and Elbert in unison.
“We might have died. We thought quick,” added Russell. They silently went back to the back next to the food and stared out the back. The boulder had stopped into a tree in the background.
“Roof. Ruff!” replied a strange voice under the wagon, “Ruff!” Russell jumped down, and said, “Stop the wagon immediately!”
“Aye!” said Marshall, who pulled the reins hard, and the wagon halted quickly. Russell looked under the wagon, and there lay a little Jack Russell Terrier. The dog was alternating colors of dark brown and white. He swooped the little dog up and hopped into the wagon.
“You may start now!” said Russell to Fletcher and Marshall, who started doing their job immediately. All three boys then stared at the little pup.
“What do will call him?” asked Elbert.
“I don’t even know,” replied Earnest, “but, since Russel found him, he should name ‘im.”
“I’m thinking,” Russell said, while he was in deep thought, “How ‘bout Tripp?”
“Does that mean anything?” asked Elbert, who was curious about it.
“I learned this is school. Names do all mean something, and Tripp means ‘traveler’, and this young dog is definitely a traveler, he has a few scratches,” replied Russell.
“Interesting,” replied Elbert and Earnest at once, and Earnest continued, “I like the name Tripp. Let’s teach him his name.”
“How do we do that?” asked Elbert.
“Maybe, bacon,” said Russell, holding bacon, “And we get Tripp’s attention. With some bacon, we say Tripp, and then saying yes, immediately after that, we give him bacon. We wait a few seconds and then repeat. We will do this for two minutes a day.”
“How do you know that?” asked Elbert is astonishment.
“Remember, dad put us in exceptional schools. I know things from the schools,” replied Russell, who looked like he missed dad a bit when he said the word ‘dad’.
“Right,” said Earnest, “You have school. You shouldn’t be here, right? Both of you shouldn’t.”
“We quit,” they replied in unison.
“Ugh,” said Fletcher, who had just gotten up from the bench and hopped inside the wagon, “I did the calculations. We have a long way to get to Colorado. Exactly 122 days.”
“What did you do to get that?” asked Elbert.
“Easy,” said Fletcher, who started to write on a piece of paper, “You do 610 divided by five, which is 122. We had when we started about 610 miles to go, and we go about five miles a day. It’s been two days, so we have 120 days to go, which is about four months, since there are around 30 days in a month. It is exactly April 14, 1859. We are getting there on August 12, I believe. I might not be right about the landing day since we might stop or hunt or whatever happens,” Fletcher’s paper had written everything he had said, and smiled at his work, “I’d better get going now. See you for dinner, maybe.”
They knew it was lunch, and wanted to eat. They used the flour and made bread. They then used the mutton they had and made a sandwich. Mutton is old sheep meat.
“Maybe we should surprise ‘em, Marshall and Fletcher,” said Earnest.
“Let’s make ‘em a chocolate cake!” excitedly said Elbert. They started to work at once. They mixed flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate pudding, and other things they needed. They were done in an hour.
“Should we try it?” asked Elbert.
“If we try it, it’ll all be gone when we ‘try’. Let’s not,” replied Earnest.
“What if it is horrible, though,” said Russel, “We don’t want them eating bad cake, do we?”
“He has a point,” said Elbert. They both looked at Earnest.
“Well, then we cut it into a angel cake shape and eat the excess stuff,” replied Earnest.
“Now we’re talking,” said Elbert, smiling at Earnest. They used the knife and cut it, making streaks and soon it looked like an angel cake. There was a ton of excess of the cake. They ate it all in harmony.
“That was great!” said Elbert very very quickly.
“Now brother, let’s not get to hyper. Just because it has sugar doesn’t mean-” said Russell until he was interrupted.
“I want to eat the whole thing with my own mouth and eat eat eat eat eat. I think they will very very very very much much like it it.” said Elbert, even faster than before.
“You are not eating that. It’s for Fletcher and Marshall, not Elbert, so stop it. Also, sit down tied to a chair with ropes and try to get out for half an hour. That will stop you from being hyper, trust me,” said Russell to his younger brother.
“Aye aye aye aye where do I I I find a chair chair?” replied Elbert, “And some rope rope I need need that too too.”
Earnest quickly found rope and a chair and told Elbert to sit in it. He quickly fastened the ropes around Elbert and tied all the rope together in the back of the chair.
Then he said, “And my final touch.” Earnest put a piece of rope over Elbert’s mouth and tied it behind his head, “Try to get out of that with all of your hyperness.” Earnest and Russell laughed well the watched Elbert struggle to break out, “Ha ha ha,” they both chuckled.
Fletcher and Marshall stopped the wagon down by a creek. The wagon went over bumps, and Russell, Earnest, and even Elbert’s chair were flying and jumping.
“My chair, is, aaaaahhhhh, jump- aaahhhh, -ing!” said Elbert, who kept going up and down like the rest of them. He smiled, and you could only see a bit of his mouth from the loose rope, and then halfly chuckled since of his great personification.
They stopped, and Earnest and Russell fell to the floor. They looked out the back, and there was a little creek.
“We are setting up camp here, I bet!” said Russell, since they both saw Fletcher and Marshall out the back, going into the forests, “They are getting wood!”
“We better go help ‘em, and untie Elbert so they don’t suspect anything,” Earnest replied, and they both chuckled at the thought of Elbert being tied up if Marshall and Fletcher came in and saw him.
They went to Elbert’s chair, cutting his rope with the axe Earnest brought. Elbert’s face was in fear when he saw the huge axe coming down quite near him, and he looked like he was going to scream and wake up his own dad, who was around 10 miles away, maybe even more.
They all hopped outside with the cake, and motioned Elbert to hold the cake and that they’d make a table. They used Earnest’s axe and cut a log, and Earnest did that since he was skilled with wood makings. While he did that, Russel looked at the beautiful surroundings. Pine trees were all around them, and the creek was a beautiful shade of light blue. The rocks sticked out of the creek, creating either bumps of water going up and over the rocks, or creating the water to move around the rocks, depending on the size.
The trees’ reflections gleamed in the rippling, smooth, creek water. If you said nothing, you would hear the stream a little and the birds would chirp. You’d hear the sound of woodpeckers’ beaks tapping hardly on the trees. The grass was pure green, and to the right of the wagon were holes that groundhogs must have made. A mountain was in the faint distance, and there was a gravel trail, the Oregon Trail, going down farther through the woods.
Earnest swung the axe behind him, and then hit the tree. It fell, making a noise that cannot be explained. He then quickly chopped the huge log up, each circular piece he cut about an inch thick. He then put them in a pile. Russel went next to him, and together they cut them into rectangles. Earnest left to collect some pitch, and came back with his hands full of it.
He put it on places he wanted to stick the wood on, and in an hour they had formed a huge rectangle that was dry. They then used the extra pieces to form four legs to the table, which were put on by pitch.
“Nice job, Earnest,” said Russell, “Place the cake on the table, Elbert.” Elbert placed the cake on the table with a grunt. Then, out of the distance, came Fletcher and Marshall. They saw the cake, and then each looked at each other, then the cake again, then each other, and the process continued for a while.
“We made it for you guys,” said Elbert.
“Thank You,” replied Fletcher. Marshall and Fletcher then dug in. Almost all of it was gone, and the rest the boys ate.
A Leg ain’t doing well
Russell, Ernest, and Albert went back in the wagon to teach Tripp his name. They were going to use Russell’s idea to hope it worked.
“Tripp!” said Russell, throwing Tripp a tiny piece of bacon, “Yes.” They continued the process for five minutes and then stopped.
“Let’s see if the little guy is a fast learner or not,” said Russell, “Tripp!” Tripp trotted to Russell, looking up at him.
“I’ll be darn. He got it in the first five minutes! Your a good boy, ain’t ya Tripp?” Russell said, beaming for his little pup. Tripp looked up at Russell when he said his name and yipped.
They took a bit of hay and knotted it all together. They placed it by there pillows they slept on.
“Here ya go, Tripp!” said Elbert. Tripp looked up at Elbert and looked down his long arm pointing at hay, and trotted over and sat on the hay.
“Woof!!! Woof!!!” barked Tripp happily, who was jumping and turning on his hay. The boys all laughed, and with droopy eyes slumped on their pillows and fell straight to sleep.
The next morning, they heard Marshall shouting and yelping, “Darn. Darn. Darn. No. No. This, axle, is, junk! No this doesn’t feel good. Ow. Ow. Ow. Stupid, axle.” Ernest, Russell, and Elbert ran outside. Marshall’s leg was stuck in the wagon wheel, with a broken axle in his hand, and a new axle had just been replaced.
“What on earth happened!” asked Earnest to Marshall, who yelped.
“Stupid axle got my leg broken, ow ow ow!” Marshall replied, “Please help me out. And get me something that can act like a cast or something and get the bed out. It’s a small one for healing in the back with the food.”
They went straight to work. Earnest went inside and retrieved his axe. He came back out, breaking the axel. Marshall hopped out on one leg and Elbert quickly ran inside and came back out with another axel, and he repaired it while Russel and Earnest held Marshall up and brought him inside.
They placed Marshall on the medic bed he was talking about. The bed was very small, as big as Marshall if he lay down though, but with a light blue pillow attached to the bed and a turquoise mattress, which held the sewed in pillow on it. There was a blanket set aside that was dark green.
“Thanks for helping me. Now I think hay can be used as a cast? Oh, who’s that?” said Marshall while Tripp trotted happily to Marshall, and he jumped on the bed and licked Marshall all over, as Marshall continued, “Where on Earth did you find him?”
“A mile after the boulder, sir. His name is Tripp, with two p’s,” said Russel, beaming at his pup’s name and his pup. Earnest was knotting hay around Marshall’s leg while Russel started a fire outside and boiled water, added mutton, onions, and potato pieces. “Here’s some soup!” said Russell, holding a bowl of soup out to Marshall, who gladly ate it. Then Russel grabbed the pot and brought it inside, still very hot with a large wooden spoon in it. The fire was extinguished, and Fletcher started the oxens and mules going once again. According still to Fletcher, there was 119 days left to go with no delays. The boys went into the middle and fell asleep on the hay.
The next morning, the boys realized they were stopped and went straight to looking outside. There was a huge herd of buffalo just in the middle of the trail.
“God dangit!” shouted Fletcher who abruptly came in, “There’s a dang herd of buffalo just sitting there. Well, I guess there ought to be something you boys could do about it, Elbert and Russell. Yer the ones that went to school! Come on and put those heads together. If you boys are on this wagon, you ought to help with something!” With that Fletcher went back to the front.
“We should run at the buffalos and herd them out!” said Elbert.
“No offense, brother, but even Earnest knows that’s a stupid idea. You’ll get yourself killed!”
“Wow. How do you think I wouldn’t take offense from that? I thought it was a great idea! They wouldn’t want to mess with us so they’d leave, brother.”
“Well I’m sorry if a older brother doesn’t want his sibling to die! Dad wants us back alive. All of us. You can’t just die on him, Elbert.”
“Well I don’t care if you’re older. I am still smart enough to make my own decisions!” said Elbert, and with that he jumped out. Russell and Earnest quickly jumped out as well. Russell ran at his little brother and grabbed him.
“LET,” Elbert paused and took a break, wrestling to break free of his brother’s grasp, “ME GO!” With that Elbert kicked and got his brother good in the chest. Russell stumbled back as Elbert ran to the buffalo. A trickle of blood came out of Russell’s chest, but he had one duty.
Keep brother alive. Russell’s mind filled with that same sentence as he ran to his brother the fastest he had ever in his whole life. He grasped his brother again and ran back, holding Elbert in his arms like a young child.
“THAT IS THE LAST STRAW,” shouted Elbert, “You are the worst brother officially. I would rather have the Sheriff of Nottingham be my brother than you!!! Why did I ever come with you on this gold hunting expedition!! I am not gold hungry!!!”
Although this hurt Russel more than his chest pain, he didn’t show it. All he wanted was to protect his brother. Russell cupped his hand around Elbert’s mouth and jumped in the wagon. Earnest hopped up as well. Earnest looked at Russel in awe, like, ‘Did you hear what your brother just said? You must feel like a hummingbird that just lost his nest.’
Russell decided to make a bit of fun out of what his brother said. He ran to the back and found a black, long robe. He put it on as well as black boots. He found the sword they’d use to protect themselves if needed. He put the sword in his belt. He ran out to see his brother.
“I’m going to cut your heart out with a spoon Elbert if it’s the last thing I do. I canceled the kitchen scraps for orphans and called off Christmas. I want you killed!” Both the brothers laughed at Russell’s ‘The Sheriff of Nottingham’ impression.
“Still would rather have the Sheriff my brother. I only laughed because it was funny. I still don’t like you though,” said Elbert in disgust. He jumped out and ran at the buffalo.
“NO!!!!” yelled Russell. Russell ran, although it was too late. His brother was in the herd. Russell slowly saw the buffalo run to the right, and Fletcher started to continue the wagon. Russell stepped up into the wagon. Elbert was nowhere to be seen on the wide field. Russell silently cried in the corner. His brother was gone.
“He’s dead,” said Russell to Earnest, “and it’s all my fault!”
“It is not your fault. You clearly tried your best to keep him alive. There was nothing you could’ve done,” Earnest replied. Earnest shed one single tear.
“What do I say to my dad? He will be madder and sadder than he was when my mother died!”
“Tell him you kept him out of danger. There was no way you could’ve prevented him from that.”
“Well, I must write a letter this instant!!” said Russell. He started writing, and this was his letter:
We started swell. Then a big boulder came down and rolled towards the wagon. I took charge and started the oxen up and we beat the boulder. It went into a tree. Us boys baked a cake for Marshall and Fletcher. Fletcher joined us, since he made us a great deal. For all the material in his shop, just to join us! He is a very interesting man. I found a stray dog that I named Tripp. No rabies. He is great! You’ll love him when I get home. But, yes, I did say ‘I’.
Just today, there was a herd of buffalo in front of us. I prevented Elbert from running at them to herd them, and he said I was the worst brother ever. I was just trying to keep him alive. He had said the Sheriff of Nottingham would be a better brother. I dressed as the Sheriff, and he got worst. He ran outside, as did I, and he ran at the buffalo. I tried to prevent him, but he just would not come back. He ran in, and that was the last we saw of him and the buffalo. I searched to see if he was in the empty field, but he was gone. He’s dead. I am terribly sorry that I basically let him get killed. It’s all my fault. Punish me however you wish. I was terrible. I should have leaped at him and stopped him.
They pulled into a small town. Russell mailed his letter at the post office. They bought more food. Then they pulled out onto the trail and left. Fletcher and Marshall knew that Elbert was dead.
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