Giles Ridenour did come to the Barker ranch the next night. He and Art worked out land boundaries and would set their men to building fences. And…they would both file on their respected properties in order that they might own them legally. The other small ranchers who had settled in the valley would be allowed to remain, but boundaries would have to be worked out there as well.
Art Barker gave me and Caroline two sections of land and 100 cows. I started to object, intending to pay him, but he said, “It’s a wedding gift. Not much you can say about that.” No, I guess there wasn’t.
I wanted to name my first son—who arrived a little over a year later—Hannibal, Jr., but I couldn’t do that. Couldn’t have a “Hannibal Landers” in Pine Valley. There had already been two of them…So we named the kid Joshua, after my dad.
And one final thought. There was a fellow slinging a gun, about six months later, who came to Pine Valley looking for Frank Pierce.
Nobody knew where he was.
About a year later, another slick asked about Hannibal Landers.
Nope. Not there, either.
A lot of winking going on in Pine Valley those days.
Oh. And I never played poker in a saloon again, either.
Thank you, dear reader, for spending some of your valuable with Hannibal and Caroline. There are possibly some inaccuracies in the story; please forgive them, I have a full-time job and only write these stories as a hobby and thus don't always have the time to double-check all my information. I do hope you enjoyed the story despite any mistakes you might have found.
As I posted in the "Author's Note" at the front of the blog, I am currently working on a sequel to this story. It is only in the beginning stages, but hopefully I will make good time on it and have it finished in the not-so-distant future.
Mark K. Lewis