(musin’s and confusin’s of my Daddy’s childhood)
“C’mon, Pardner,” (that’d be me, all us Goodwell boys, we be “Pardner” to our Daddy one time ‘r ‘nother).
“C’mon, Pardner, I reckon yer Mama’ll wonder what become of us.”
He said all this without takin’ his gaze off the horizon, and without movin’ any muscle whatsoever, ‘ceptin’ his face fer talkin’.
“Shore, Daddy,” I answered, ready. But ready fer what? Was I s’posed to get the truck? Was I s’posed to fall in behind him when he did decide to get a’movin’?
So, I just stood my ground, like my Daddy.
And, sure as shootin’, he right quick let him out a long deep breath, shook his head down in front o’ his chest like they was somethin’ in his head needin’ cleared, then stretched up tall, chin up front and eyes blazin’ hot.
He strode with purpose out the corral, long smooth strides, almost like sailin’, ‘fore he hollered back, “C’mon, Pardner, we got us some work to do.”
Why, I tell you what I got on my horse then and fell in line double time behind my Daddy. They wudn’t no fear now, I forget they was any a’tall! My Daddy, he’d have things in hand in no time, an’ this time, THIS time, I was the pardner what was going to be at his right hand!