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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Remember Me

~Excerpt from the Tucson Daily News, Arizona, 1892 (How the West Was Worn by Chris Enss)

This wasn't the first time Maggie Kremer had turned her face away when Ransom Diggs bent to kiss her, but she caught the pained look on his face as he planted a light caress on her smooth cheek. All the other times she had withheld her lips for the same reason -- jealousy. Not of another woman, but of his job. Ransom Diggs was Sheriff of Cold Springs, a silver mining town in Southern Arizona. His work often times took precedence over his relationship. Keeping the territory safe from desperadoes required round-the-clock dedication. It was for this reason, coupled with the fact that he might be gunned down in the line of duty, that kept Maggie, the town's school teacher, from accepting his proposal of marriage.

She tucked away a stray tendril of dark brown hair, and blinked away a tear. Ransom saddled his bronco. Neither of them said a word for a long while, then Maggie broke the silence.

"I don't see why you don't just let Charles Storms and his gang ride on to the next country," she said. "They'd be out of your jurisdiction then and you could stay with me."

"I can't do that," he told her as he cinched up the leather straps under his ride.

Maggie knew that was what he'd say and she loved him for it as much as she despised the notion of him riding off again.

"Will you be here when I get back?" he asked hopefully.

Maggie forced a smile. "Aren't I always?" she replied.

Ransom smiled back at her and mounted his horse. Maggie always thrilled a little when she watched him on a horse. He might be a bit awkward on the ground at times, but mounted, he was the handsomest man she knew. He was tall, with broad shoulders and had the narrow hips of a cowman. Looking down at his betrothed he adjusted the black hat on his head. She could see the little ducktail of straw-colored hair at the back of his neck. She wondered how much longer it would grow before she next saw him.

"I'll be home as quick as I can," he promised. The two stared a moment at each other. Maggie's eyes were pleading, but he wouldn't waver from his duty. She produced a dainty, lace handkerchief from her drawstring bag and stemmed the flood of tears breaking free. Ransom's face was filled with compassion. She walked over to him and laid her head on his leg and he stroked her long curls. Just before he announced that it was "time to ride" Maggie handed him her handkerchief.

"Don't forget me," she said jokingly. He raised the hanky to his nose, breathed in her scent, and fingered the fancy stitching around the him. "Never happen,' he assured her as he rode away.

The outlaw Charles Storms and his gang ambushed Sheriff Diggs and his posse in the mountains around Cochise Stronghold. Amount the personal effects returned to Ransom's intended nearly three mounts after he had left Cold Springs was Maggie's handkerchief. The men who found him claimed the delicate, blood-stained fabric was clutched in his hand.

If you would like to purchase one of Chris Enss books here's a link:

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