Reno Travels East
The Reno Kid had ridden East
for what seemed like weeks on end.
Through dust storms, cold, and wind…
then a sign just round the bend.
ABILINE – twenty miles…
he’d heard that name before.
He thought he’d finally camp again
Both He and Black were sore.
A patch of trees off to the side…
A winding lazy brook.
Looked like grazing grass nearby,
A secluded kind of nook.
Reno camped there, five miles from town.
He could see the glowing lights…
and smelled the smoke from many fires
that helped to light their nights.
He thought that he would “bed it down”
and ride in at break of day…
so he unsaddled… rolled out his bed
and set in for a stay.
Reno loosely tied the Black
close by within his sight.
He tipped his stetson slightly down,
and settled for the night.
Reno laid with back to rock
against a closed in space.
If someone entered in his camp
he’d meet them “face to face”.
Resting now with folded arms,
a peaceful quiet place…
But still one Colt revolver,
gripped at light embrace.
Reno’s thoughts were random,
He must be careful he’s not caught.
Reno called himself John Smith now…
still “Reno” would be sought.
The “wanted” posters he had seen,
his rough description drawn…
Were very close to how he looked,
Since he had left one dawn.
Some other items on the poster
he also couldn’t shun.
His twin pearl handled colts…
but now… he’d just carry one.
He’d buy a “single” holster set
When he got into town.
A plain one… not brown leather
with fringes hanging down.
As Reno cat napped through the night
He recalled in his own mind
Of why he left the Outlaw trail,
A wife he hoped to find.
He tried to picture how she’d look
while he day dreamed there…
but he couldn’t “see” her features,
nor the color of her hair.
He finally reasoned in his heart
that he should have to pray
the way he did when he got “saved”
on the desert that last day.
Reno was “new” to praying
so he just spoke into the air.
LORD he said, I need your help
to find my lady fair.
I know I don’t deserve your help,
Considering all I’ve done…
But I don’t know which way to turn
since I’ve been on the run.
As Reno finished praying
a breeze began to blow.
A tumbleweed blew into camp,
As it neared… it rolled by slow.
Reno was still staring
at this rolling bouncing thing…
then something caught his eye…
something fastened with a string.
He moved quickly, caught the weed
and grabbed the paper in a roll.
He broke the string… unrolled the note…
and his eyes began to scroll.
Rescue me…the note had said,
My love… please come soon for me.
I know you’re out there reading this
It’s for “your” eyes to see.
I yearn to hold you in my arms
and see your handsome face.
Please hurry to me darling…
and run to my embrace.
Reno swallowed, cleared his throat
and read the note more slowly.
It sounded like a lady’s writing
and she must be feeling lowly.
Reno looked around the camp
peering in the night.
He would take a better look,
When he could see… first light.
Reno folded up the note
after It was read.
Then he reasoned, he would rest…
it was time to bed.
Morning came, he looked around
welcoming the dawn.
He could use some coffee,
and he stifled back a yawn.
Maybe this was just a joke,
Some foolish jest in writing.
But if this lady was for real,
It’s certainly exciting.
Reno saddled up the Black,
and tied his bedroll on,
then He and Black began to move
To greet the brand new dawn.
Reno slowly entered town…
Scanning every roof and yard.
He was still a wanted man,
Old habits sure die hard.
A lot of people walking
and Riders passing through…
All were moving quickly,
and to Reno this was new.
He stopped in front of “Palace Bar”
the local “drinking” place.
He pulled his Stetson brim down low
To partially shield his face.
Reno stepped in through
the swinging doors of the saloon.
At once he felt all eyes upon him…
The piano stopped it’s tune.
The silence of this dingy bar
was like a warning bell…
but Reno just kept walking in…
time would surely tell.
Then Reno did a thing that moment
that had “never” been his style.
He tipped his Stetson back a bit,
and gave them all a smile.
Howdy men… Reno said…
is this a private club?
Or can a cowboy get a drink
and maybe some good grub?
the crowd then laughed and talked.
Reno never broke his stride,
and to the bar he walked.
The barkeep came and stood there staring
and asked Reno… What’s your pleasure?
Reno nodded and with a grin,
Said “Beer”… just one good measure.
The barkeep poured a tall mug full
of amber colored beer.
While Reno sipped it slowly
checking the room out in the mirror.
No one seemed to be a threat…
they scarcely looked his way.
So Reno asked the barkeep closer…
and as he walked his way.
From his pocket, Reno took the note
he found last night.
He told the barkeep where he found it,
and of it rolled up tight.
The barkeep smiled and nodded,
yeah, I’ve heard of this months ago…
other folks have found some notes,
But from where, they just don’t know.
It doesn’t happen regular…
bout’ every two months or so.
There’s other folks that would like to meet her…
but they don’t know where to go.
You’re not the first to find a note
that was tied to a tumbleweed.
GOD only knows, where they blow in from,
Or who it was… that did the deed.
Other travelers coming through
have spoken of a note.
They too have asked of where she was…
And who it was that wrote.
My guess is that… it’s just a farce,
Some jokers having fun.
They make up a silly story
just to see us bachelors run.
With that the barkeep nodded,
and walked on to the other end.
Reno thinking to himself… GOD could show me where she is…
on that “I” can depend!
Much oblige… said Reno…
laying coins upon the bar.
I better get on down the trail,
I have to travel far.
He walked outside, surveyed the street
and looked for tack and feed.
He had to pick a few things up…
some things he’s bound to need.
He untied Black and crossed the street,
and led him to the rail.
Once again, he tied his horse,
Black switching his long tail.
Reno walked into the store
through doors which had real glass.
The sight of this impressed him,
a place that showed real class.
Reno walked up to the counter,
thinking, a truly nice store for certain…
when he seen a small framed woman,
walk out behind the curtain.
He noticed she moved gracefully…
rather quick and somewhat prim.
She peered over her glasses,
with blue eyes looking straight at him.
Her light brown hair was in a bun
and set on top, as if a crown.
He wondered to himself
how it would look if it were down.
She gave Reno a polite small smile
and said, May I help you?
Reno took his hat off, and said yes mam…
I’m just passing through.
I’m in need of some supplies…
some beans and coffee too.
I figure I’ll need just enough
for a week or two.
I’ll also need a holster
for this single forty four.
I’d like to have a brown one…
Do you have one in this store?
I’m sure you’ll find just what you need…
the leather goods are there.
With that she pointed to the corner…
Over near a slat backed chair.
Reno gathered all he bought
before him in a pile.
The lady listed all his goods,
then totaled with a smile.
Reno counted out the coins
to pay for what was due.
She smiled again, and took the coins,
Then said Sir, we thank you.
Reno got his saddlebags
and filled them nice and neat.
He tipped his hat, and turned to go,
and walked out towards the street.
Reno said before he left…
when you thanked me you said “We”.
Is your husband helping you?
I just seen You and me.
She reacted somewhat nervously,
as if she was near to tears.
She said… Kind Sir… I am a widow
and have been one, now for years.
Reno knew he’d crossed the line
By how she just reacted.
He wished there was a way for him
to have his words retracted.
Reno said, I’m sorry Ma’m
I truly didn’t mean to pry.
I meant not harm in asking…
I didn’t mean to make you cry.
No offense was taken Sir,
you just made me nervous.
You seem to be a gentlemen…
I mean you no disservice.
With those words, she said Good Day…
We’re glad that you shopped here.
Then Reno noticed two small figures
by the curtain at the rear.
Reno smiled and said… you’re welcome Ma’m…
Now I know what you mean by “we”.
I see your two small children there…
Counting you, that would make three.
Reno swung into his saddle,
the two small children now at the door…
a boy that looked to be close to six,
and the girl closer to four.
As Reno looked at both of them
the little girl waved bye and smiled.
Reno thought it must be great
to have such a pleasant child.
Reno rode out close to dusk
and looked for places to bed down.
He didn’t trust hotels and such…
he’d rather not stay in some town.
Again he found a likely spot
and set up a camp once more.
As he was setting round his fire
He thought about the livery store.
She sure was proper… Reno thought…
and sort of pretty too…
she kept her children in the back
until her sale was through.
I sure hope when I find “my” fair lady
She’ll be just as polite.
I guess someday I’ll have home cooking…
But it’s beans and coffee tonight.
After supper was consumed
he was about to burn his store “receipt”.
He noticed that the writing
was distinctive and quite neat.
It struck him like a bolt of lightning.
He quickly found the note…
and compared it to the shopping list…
The same hand surely wrote.
It’s true… the writing is the same…
in every possible way.
But Reno thought for sure by now
He’d driven her away.
He sat there staring in the fire
dumbfounded as could be.
Was this the lady fair he sought?
Was this the wife for me?
Had GOD used a tumbleweed…
to introduce the pair?
Was it just coincidence
the note reached him out there?
How could this young widow
be the lady that he sought?
She showed no real interest in him…
at least that’s what he thought.
Reno felt a pull both ways…
Keep going… or stay put?
He must decide to go or stay
before moving one more foot.
He finally reasoned in his heart
he’d give it one last try…
and if she wasn’t interested
then it would be goodbye.
The morning came and Reno packed
afraid he’d be declined.
He decided she would need…
a gent much more refined.
He settled in the saddle
and urged Black to a walk.
He’d keep riding towards the East…
preferring not to talk.
Reno found the note he’d saved,
crushed it hard… prepared to pitch…
and then he seen a tumbleweed…
rolling slowly near the ditch.
He reined Black to a stop,
then turned and headed for that weed.
Again a note was tied inside…
one Reno knew that he should read.
Reno broke the string that held
the note there tied within…
and as he commenced to reading it…
his face began to grin.
This one last time I write this letter…
I’ve prayed GOD direct you here.
You must seek and find me soon…
I’ll never meet you… that I fear.
I know that you are reading this…
And these words are just for you…
Come my darling… rescue me…
before my life is through.
Reno found a running stream
and bathed and shaved his beard.
He was about to face fair lady…
a thing that most men feared.
Satisfied that he was on
the course that GOD had chose…
he dusted off his Stetson,
and brushed the dust off of his clothes.
Reno rode back into town
and rode directly to the store.
If things did not work out as planned…
He would visit here no more.
Reno took his hat off
and held it at his side.
He slowly walked in through the door…
and stood by the counter just inside.
The lady came out once again…
with both her young… they held each hand.
Reno smiled at all of them
and now he’d make his stand.
I’m here because you wrote to me,
you said that… I should rescue you…
you said the note was for my eyes
so my arrival here is “due”.
I’ve prayed to GOD that I could find
a good woman in my life…
and when and if I found her
I’d make her my own wife.
Somehow I feel that you’re the one
that GOD has sent me too.
I would be a Dad to them
and a Husband who’d be true.
I was never one for wasting time
in any way.
I’m asking you to be my wife
and marry me today.
She was staring straight at Reno,
all the time he spoke…
all at once she smiled a smile
the tension had been broke.
You realize I have two children…
Matthew, and Marie.
Where I go… they will go too!
You’ll have to take all three!
There would be no other way
I’d want this match to start.
I promise you, I’d love them true…
I say this from my heart.
The lady smiled and touched his cheek…
My name is Theresa Jo.
If you’re to be my husband…
I think I’d like to know.
What is your name? Where are you from?
Why did you come this day?
Reno said… call me John for now…
And I’ve been “directed” all the way.
I just met up with my GOD, last month.
I’m still kind of new…
But I already know… that HE had “me”
In mind for only “you”.
In time I’m sure our love will grow
and it will be much stronger.
I’m just glad… GOD gave me a family…
I’ll be alone… no longer.
©C.C. April 7, 2007