- Just A Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 1
- Just A Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 2
- Just A Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 3
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 4
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 5
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 6
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 7
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 8
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 9
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 10
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 11
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 12
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 13
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 14
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 15
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 16
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 17
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 18
- Just a Little Bit Crazy, Chapter 19
Dawn was breaking in the Snake River valley. Soon the sun would come peeking over the foothills. The brisk morning air was filled with many sounds.
Jim stirred. Somewhere in the distance a rooster was crowing. Dogs were barking, A jackass brayed. The Mexican settlement a few blocks down the street was coming to life.
Jim yawned. Time to get up. He rubbed his eyes; they were heavy with sleep. He sat up and stretched. “Boy oh boy, did I have a dream.” he muttered under his, breath. “And: what a dream! Man did I dream!”
He opened his eyes and gazed about the room. Everything seemed strange. There was another bed – and someone was in it.
Then reality dawned. It hadn’t been all dreams: someone was here alright!
In a daze, he got out of bed and searched for his clothes. They were scattered all over the place. As he buttoned up his shirt, he discovered that one of the buttons vas missing. His face became slightly red as he recalled the incident.
He looked for his shoes. They were under the bed. He stooped over and retrieved them. One sock was missing. He searched around and finally found it – on his left foot.
When he was fully dressed, he walked over to the bed and stared’ down at her.
No doubt she was sound asleep. Her breathing was slow and even. Her face peeking out from the pink nightcap was the picture of pure innocence.
He recalled some of the events of the night before. Ho doubt she had been well under the influence. He had been feeling no pain himself. He felt guilty. She had trusted him. She had asked him to look after her and not to give her too many drinks.
Jim’s face burned. He had looked after her all right. He had been a big help. He had got her good and plastered.
Last night, she had made some remark about being half child and half woman. At times she did act a bit childish. On the other hand she could be all woman!
She had also made some remark about having a lot of catching up to do. And would he help her.
He had been more than willing to help all right. Probably it vas a good thing she got sick. Maybe she wouldn’t remember a thing about what happened. A loss of memory could be a great asset at times he thought.
Anyhow, he didn’t feel like rushing her to a preacher, this morning. She had gotten sick just in time.
He wondered what had happened to cause her to lose her memory. She didn’t know and none of her family would tell her. He wondered why.
Some guy in Seattle had tried to claim her. She had pulled out and came here. She came looking for him. She couldn’t remember his name, but she was still in love with him.
This was hard to understand. Something in her subconscious mind, had prompted her to come here. Also, it told her that she had always been in love with him. At least that was her story, and he had no reason to doubt her.
Jim was hungry. He wondered if he should awaken Elly May. She had had a long day yesterday and a hard night last night. She could do with a little sleep, he thought.
On the dresser were a pen and some paper. He wrote a short note telling her where to find him in case she awakened before he returned. She might be frightened if she awoke and found herself alone.
A minute later, he closed the door and headed for the restaurant across the street.
Inside he ordered a pot of coffee and sat down in a booth. He would wait for Elly May before ordering breakfast. The coffee was good. He leaned back and closed his eyes.
Yesterday he didn’t have a care in the world. Now things had changed, but it had all come about: so suddenly.
Elly Nay was back. A couple of hours and a few kisses and once more she was his girl and promised to be his wife!
If she hadn’t gotten sick last night he would probably feel like running her to a parson the first thing this morning. But once again fate had stepped in. Or was it the booze?
She was pretty all right. The most beautiful girl he had ever seen. And smart too, maybe just a little bit too smart.
A terrible thought came to his mind. Could she be playing a game? The Green ranch was worth a small fortune and in a few more years and a few more payments it would belong to him.
The Rotten family lived up Dead Horse Gulch wasn’t above any kind of trick that would benefit them financially. And she vas one of them! Maybe all this loss of memory vas a big hoax.
Jim swore under his breath. “Damn it all, she doesn’t live at Dead Horse Gulch and she isn’t one of them. She couldn’t be.”
He took a sip of the cold coffee. His hand was shaking.
What made all these crazy thoughts come to his mind? Last night everything had seemed so wonderful. He leaned back and closed his eyes. Maybe he wasn’t ready for such a giant step. He had better take his time and take it easy for a few days. Don’t get in a big hurry. After all it had been four long years since they had been together. Four long years!
Last night both of them had quite a bit to drink. Perhaps when she thought things over a bit she would change her mind about staying here. It would only take one trip up Dead Horse Gulch and she would probably be on the first bus back to Seattle! One look at her relatives and where they lived would send her scurrying.
Anyhow there was no need of getting excited. He would just play it by ear. Probably in a few days she would get tired of the country life here and leave as suddenly as she had came. Last night he had let himself get carried away. Today would be different. He would be on guard!
A soft hand fell on his shoulder. He looked up quickly and set staring up at her. All his doubts about her went flying out the window. She was even more beautiful in the daylight. The honey colored hair had a golden cast. The big blue eyes were wide and clear. There was no sign of a hangover.
Jim rose slowly to his feet. His left hand stroked the stubble on his chin. He hadn’t brought a razor along and he thought he must look like a tramp.
The girl in front of him was dressed like a Queen. A rodeo Queen. She was wearing tan colored riding britches and boots to match. A white shirt and tan jacket with beads and spangles for decorations. On her head was perched a small white Stetson hat.
Once more Jim was helpless as well as speechless.
He licked his dry lips.
She posed for him and smiled. “Don’ t you like my outfit?”
Jim stumbled to his feet and stared at her. She might have forgotten fourteen years of her life but her taste in clothing hadn’t changed a bit. She had always been fond of horses and western clothes.
Her family always bad a bunch of old cars on hand but never any horses. That is no live ones.
He remembered back when she was about ten years old. She was determined to get a horse of her own. Her father and brothers were of little help they laughed at her and called her a Tom Boy.
But the girl hadn’t given up. Then either fate had taken a hand or her prayers had been answered. One day she was walking down the dusty road and met a man who was riding a fancy horse. Also he was leading another that wasn’t so fancy. He was carrying a rifle.
Elly May stopped him. Her eyes flashed. “Where are you going with that horse mister?” The man’s face colored. He looked down at the rifle. “You are going to shoot him aren’t you?” she said.
The man looked embarrassed. “Well you see he is getting kind of old and is blind in one eye.”
The girl grabbed the rope. “Mister this is our place and you are not shooting him here!” She had yanked the rope from the startled riders hand and climbed on to the horse’s back. Elly May had herself a horse.
The girl’s voice brought him back to reality. “Don’t you like my outfit?”
Jim grinned, “Sure, you look great. Like a queen, a rodeo queen.”
“You looked like your mind was a million miles away.”
“Not a million. About eight years.” He replied
“I don’t think you like my get-up.”
“1 love it. I just wasn’t expecting to see you in those kinds of clothes. You sort of startled me.”
“This is cow country, isn’t it? By the way do you have a horse?”
“Yes I have a horse,” he said taking her by their arm. “Please be seated and excuse my rudeness. I have been drinking coffee waiting for you. What say we have some breakfast?”
They sat down in the booth. The waitress came over with more coffee and a couple of menus. They ordered ham and eggs.
Elly May stirred a spoon full of powdered milk into her coffee. She took a sip. “By the way.” she smiled. “Do I ride? I can’t remember of ever being on a horse.”
Jim recalled the night before. She couldn’t remember of ever being on a dance floor.
He slowly nodded his head. “Yes Sweetie” you stick to a horse like a cockle burr.
The girl laughed. “I don’t know what a cockle burr is but I hope that is good. Do my folks have horses?”
“Only dead ones.”
Jim stared at her for a moment. A few minutes ago some dark thoughts had crossed his mind. Now they were all gone. Never again would he doubt her. She was twenty-four caret gold!
This girl was in for a let of surprises Jim thought. He had better prepare her a bit for what lies ahead.
“What do you mean by dead ones?” she asked again.
Jim shut his eyes. He could just- see her getting out of the Jeep in all her fancy clothes surrounded by The Rotten kids whooping and hollering. He shuddered. How could he tell her? Well at least he must try.
He chose his words carefully. “Sweetie you have been living in the city which was probably a very nice place. I’m afraid that where your folks live won’t be so nice. In fact the place is quite shabby. I know you can’t remember much so I thought I had better tell you. At least get you a little bit prepared.”
“I know, Jim, my folks are quite poor. My mother has already told me that. Oh Jim, don’t worry – I don’t need everything so fancy.”
Jim sighed, at least he had tried. There seemed to be no other way than take her there and let her see for herself. He hoped he had prepared her a little for what she would see when they got there.
“How many of the family do you know?” He asked.
“Only Mother Martha. She came to see me a couple times while I was in Seattle.”
“How about your father and five brothers?”
“I guess they were too busy to come and see me.”
Jim thought for a moment. “Have you seen any pictures of them or where they live?
Elly May shook her head.
There were only two of the brothers home now, he recalled. The two were the youngest Clyde and Oswald. That was enough, he thought.
“Other than the card you wrote did they have any other way of knowing that you were coming home?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Another question. Does your Uncle John and Aunt Nelly know. you are here?”
The girl looked startled. A faint flush came to her cheeks. Her voice was low. “No. They don’t know that I am here. A couple weeks ago they took a vacation and went to Hawaii. They won’t be back for another week or so.
Jim took her little hands in his. “Pardon all the questions, sweetie. I am only trying to get a clear picture of everything so we can put this puzzle together.”
“You must trust me.”
“All the way. Oh Jim, there are so many things that are confusing. I know you are trying to help me. Ask me anything you like and I will answer the best I can.”
Jim leaned back in the booth, his mind trying to digest the many things she had told him. Apparently the decision to come here was her own. Uncle John and aunt Kelly had been gone a week before she made up her mind. The card in the mail box had been posted a week after their departure to Hawaii.
She had been living with them for four years. Surely they knew the cause of her amnesia. According to Elly May they would tell her nothing. He wished he could have a good talk with them as well as her own family. All of them were holding back the truth from the girl. Why the big secret?
None of this made any sense at all. Surely the girl was entitled to know the cause of her trouble.
Elly May took hold of his hands. “Oh Jim. You look so serious. Don’t worry everything is going to be alright.” She moved over close to him. “Darling you haven’t kissed me all morning. Is something the matter?”
Jim felt foolish. “’Not a thing Sweetie. I guess I am just plain stupid.”
He drew her close and kissed the up turned lips.
The waitress brought their breakfast and put it on the table. It looked good. They had better eat a good meal, Jim thought. It would probably be quite awhile before they got another.
Thee next stop would be Dead Horse Gulch.