The Writer's Corner
Chapter 11 - The Wedding that Almost Wasn't
Written by Michelle Palmer
“Papa! Papa!” Abraham groaned as Charlie grabbed a hold of his
leg and shook it as hard as he could. “Papa!” Charlie started
crying. Abraham was staring in the mirror trying to fix his tie,
but he couldn’t get it straight – not with a two year old
tugging on his leg.
“Son…go play with your blocks!” Abraham groaned as he took the
tie off and threw it down on the shelf under the mirror. He
turned toward the bedroom. “Julie! Julie! Honey, we’re going to
“I’m coming!” Julie called from the bedroom.
“How would you like it if your guests were late to our wedding?”
Julie opened the door and pinched her cheeks as she hurried into
the main room. “Oh now Abe, if you remember right your own
brothers WERE late for our wedding!”
“Oh…yes.” Abraham rolled his eyes remembering that Peter had
taken Luke to the saloon in Fort Smith. He also remembered the
explosion that had happened after the wedding between his two
brothers and his father. Julie turned and smoothed David’s hair
down. “Honey, now you know they aren’t going to the wedding!
They don’t need all dolled up!” Abraham moaned.
“Well maybe not but they can at least have their hair flat when
I take them for Mrs. Pritchard to watch!” Julie picked David up
and started for the door. But she stopped when she saw her
husband. “Abraham McCain!”
“Where is your tie?” Julie sat David on the floor as she hurried
over to the shelf and grabbed the tie Abraham had thrown down.
She turned up his collar and started tying his tie. “Honestly!
Between dressing the four boys and my husband…”
“Well…it ain’t easy for a man to dress when he has someone
pulling on his leg!” Abraham declared. “Besides, why do I have
to wear a tie? It’s not like it’s my brother getting married!”
“Abraham McCain!” Julie shook her head. “Scott is like a brother
and you know it! Now…” Julie straightened his tie and nudged his
chin with a smile. “Alright…you could have trimmed your beard
before the wedding but…”
“Mama! Mama!” Charlie called.
“Charlie, I told you to…” Abraham’s eyes grew wide when he saw
Sammy on the floor. He had managed to get the ink off the desk
and pour it all over him! “Samuel McCain!” Abraham declared.
“Oh…” Julie stooped down and picked up the empty ink well.
“Abe…” She shook her head at him.
“Now Julie…this is not my fault! I don’t know who…”
Julie slowly stood up and turned toward the desk. She picked up
a half-written letter Abraham had been working on writing to
Lucas. “Then whose fault is it?”
“Oh…” Abraham picked Sammy up. “Well, let’s go!”
“You can’t take my baby to Mrs. Pritchard’s like that!” Julie
declared, horrified that he would even think of such a thing.
“Now honey…” Abraham leaned over and kissed her solidly on the
lips. “What would you rather have…Scott upset that we didn’t
come to the wedding or a little bit of embarrassment that Mrs.
Pritchard; whom, by the way, has raised eight boys of her own
and tanned the hide of all four McCain brothers at one time or
another, discovers we are not perfect parents?”
“I don’t like this!” Julie declared as she grabbed her hat and
put it on while looking in the mirror.
“Fine!” Abraham declared as he hurried into the boys’ bedroom
and grabbed a fresh change of clothes for his ink-covered son.
It had occurred to Abraham that Julie was a bit moody, but
usually pregnant women were moody to start out with. Julie was
normally very happy and glowed through her pregnancies. He hoped
this was just a bad day, and wasn’t going to set the mood for
the next several months.
Mrs. Pritchard did give quite a look at seeing the spilled ink
all over Samuel. She put her hands on her hips as Julie
apologized profusely, and took the clothes Julie handed her.
Abraham grinned as Julie, with reddened cheeks, sat back down on
the wagon seat. “And you can wipe that smirk off your face,
Abraham McCain, or you’ll be getting a whipping from me later!”
“Oh?” Abraham grinned as he raised an eyebrow. She pointed
toward the road. “Yes ma’am.”
When they arrived, the music had already started. “You see?
We’re late!” Julie declared as Abraham put his hands to her
waste and swung her off the wagon seat.
“Not too late.” Abraham motioned for her to go up the steps.
Julie started inside, but stopped just inside the door when she
felt faint coming on. She placed a hand to her head and closed
her eyes. “Julie?” Abraham caught her before she went down.
Margaret, who was standing at the back of the church waiting for
her cue to walk up to the front, turned from the back of the
church at the sound of Abraham’s voice and saw the commotion.
“Julie!” she gasped as she hurried up to Abraham. Abraham slid
Julie to the floor and started fanning her. “Ma, Aunt Ruth, come
The organ stopped and people gathered all around the couple.
Abraham held up a hand. “It’s okay, folks!” Abraham looked down
at Julie who was now quite embarrassed. “It’s nothing serious. “
Abraham raised his eyebrows as he bent down beside her. In a low
voice, he stated, “You’ve stayed quiet for two weeks now, honey.
I…think you should tell these good people the news.”
Abraham helped Julie to her feet. Her face was quite red.
“Oh…I’m sorry!” She saw Amanda, wedding dress and all, standing
in the doorway looking concerned. “I’m expecting and I guess
“Hm!” Scott shook his head. “Nothing like being fashionably
late!” Everyone laughed. Scott turned and looked at his fiancée.
“See the family you’re marrying into?”
Amanda looked up at Scott. “I think it’s wonderful!” she
declared. “We’re starting our life together today with the
announcement that Julie’s having a baby!”
“Okay!” Jeremiah declared as he put his hands on his hips. “I’m
not going to stand by and let my brother have all the glory! It
just so happens that my wife’s expecting too!”
“Wow!” Amanda smiled. “Scott, isn’t this romantic? Did you
really plan this?”
“Uh…” Scott rubbed his nose. “No. I would never think of doing
anything THIS crazy!” Scott shook his head. “Now…if you McCain’s
are finished ruining my special day, I’d like to get on with the
“YOUR special day?” Amanda’s voice squeaked, causing Scott to
“Uh…” Scott smiled and took her hand. “I meant OUR special day.”
Everyone filtered back to their seats. Abraham held on to Julie,
keeping a steady hold on her arm as he led her to their seats.
“Well…this marriage is off to a good start,” Peter mumbled to
Tiffany as he escorted her to her seat, who proceeded to elbow
him in the ribs.
“Look who’s talking!” Tiffany declared. “Should I…remind you of
the roaring start our marriage got off to?”
Peter smiled as kissed her; then walked back up to the front and
stepped onto the platform as they waited for the wedding to
Laura, who had been allowed to come to the wedding after
receiving a very stern talk from her brother, turned and watched
Margaret walk up the aisle. She was beautiful in her pink dress.
Then when the organ started playing the wedding march, everyone
stood for the bride’s grand entrance. Scott looked so nervous it
looked like he was about to faint himself.
Amanda had walked half way up to the front when she suddenly
stopped dead in her tracks and stared at the door in the front
of the church. Her eyes grew wide. Scott saw the smile on her
face suddenly disappear and turned to see what she was looking
at. There in the doorway was Samuel Gibbs, drunk and dirty. He
looked more like a homeless man than Samuel Gibbs. In his one
hand, he held a bottle of whiskey, and in the other a bunch of
“Pa!” Scott stepped off the platform and took a step toward
Samuel. Peter, who was standing as his best man, grabbed his arm
to hold him back. Scott clinched his fists. “Pa, what are you
“My invitation must a got lost in the mail.” He staggered in and
fell on the front pew. “Heard ya was getting married.”
Margaret dropped her bouquet and hurried over to her father.
“Papa!” She sat down next to him. Her eyes filled with tears as
Scott forced Peter’s grip from him. “Papa, why are you here?”
“My boy’s getting’ married!” Samuel declared. “I guess I’ve got
a right to be here if I wanta be.” He suddenly cursed.
“Papa!” Margaret cried. Emily stood and ushered Laura out of the
church. Laura complained the whole way out.
“I didn’t invite you, Pa!” Scott sneered. “Get out!”
“Don’t I got a right to see my boy married?” Samuel took a long
swig off his whiskey. “Well, don’t I, boy?”
“Pa, get out or so help me…”
“No!” Margaret threw a protective arm in front of her father,
guarding Scott from doing anything. “He’s our father!” Margaret
turned and looked at him. “Papa…”
Marshal Williams stood and hurried forward. “Sam…get out!”
“But I wanta see…” he started.
Margaret stood up and helped her father to his feet. “Come on,
Papa. Let’s get you to the hotel.”
“No! I wanta stay for the weddin’!” Samuel declared.
“Oh Samuel!” Jennifer suddenly stood and shouted. “Why do you
have to ruin every special occasion? Why?”
Samuel looked at Jennifer as he narrowed his eyes. “Jenny…”
“Out! Out! GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW!!!” Jennifer screamed.
“I think he’ll be better off in jail today,” Scott declared
through clinched teeth. “Get him out of here! Get him out of
here now!” Marshal Williams grabbed Samuel by the arm and
hurried him out the door.
“Pa…” Margaret started forward.
But Scott grabbed her arm. “Let him go, sis. It’s better this
way.” Margaret’s eyes filled with tears. She loved her father so
very much and wanted to help him. But she knew Scott was right.
He was drunk and had made a terrible scene, so she wiped her
eyes and took her place on the platform.
Amanda’s eyes were filling with tears. “Scott…I…” she stopped
when Scott hurried up to her and grabbed her hands.
“Do you still want to get married? After you saw this?” Amanda
nodded. “Then let’s get on with it!”
Scott hurried back up to the front and stepped back up onto the
platform. Peter stepped up beside him. Scott’s jaw still
clinched. “I’m going to give Pa a piece of my mind after the
wedding!” Scott mumbled as the music started back up.
“Just forget about it. You have a bride to entertain.”
Amanda started walking up toward the front again, but just
before she reached Scott, she held up her hand. The music
stopped. “Scott Gibbs, you look more like you’re going to a
funeral than a wedding! I won’t have any of this frowning bit!”
Amanda smoothed her dress. “Now…I’m getting married only once,
and I want this day to be memorable.”
“Well…I reckon it is,” Peter declared from beside him.
“Memorable, I mean.”
Scott turned and glared at Peter. But suddenly, Abraham let out
a chuckle. Julie elbowed him, but couldn’t stifle her own
giggle. Their laugh was followed by another giggle and another
until the church was full of laughter. Amanda and Scott both
turned and looked around at their wedding guests who filled the
church. Amanda turned and looked at her fiancé. They both
cracked up laughing as well.
When the laughter died down, Scott stepped down and walked to
Amanda. “Well…I guess Peter’s right, my dear. We’ll never forget
this day!” Scott smiled. “Would you believe it if I told you
that I planned this whole thing so you would get a clear image
of the family you were going to marry into?”
“Would I believe it?” Amanda wiped at her eye as a tear tried to
creep out. “No. Do I have regrets about marrying you? No. I want
to marry you and your entire crazy family!”
“Hey! Who are you calling crazy?” Peter piped up then.
“All of you! Every last one of you…But I guess it takes one to
know one!” Amanda declared with a loving smile.
Scott smiled into her eyes and took her hands. He swallowed as
the organ started playing again. “Forget it!” Scott told the
organist. He turned back to look at Amanda. “I just want to
marry this woman now.” His smile broadened. “I do.”
“You’re rushing it a bit!” Reverend Gentry declared. “I haven’t
asked the question yet!”
Scott sighed as he looked into Amanda’s eyes. “Yes…well…if you
don’t hurry, I’m going to kiss the bride!”
Amanda chuckled as the Reverend asked the question. “Do you,
Scott Gibbs take Amanda Johnson to be your lawfully wedded
wife…” Scott got lost in her eyes and didn’t realize the
Reverend had finished with the vows. “Well?”
Scott turned and looked at the Reverend. “Huh?”
“Just say ‘I do.’” Amanda declared.
“Oh, I do!” The Reverend asked Amanda the question.
“Yes,” Amanda declared.
“And now the rings…” Scott’s eyes grew wide as he stared at
“You didn’t!” Amanda gasped as she gave Scott a not-so-loving
“Scott Gibbs!” Margaret rolled her eyes. “The last thing I said
to you this morning before you walked out the door is…”
“Don’t forget the rings on the kitchen table!” Scott closed his
eyes. “They’re at home…on the kitchen table!”
“Nevermind!” Amanda shook her head. “I knew how absent-minded he
was before I said yes.”
“Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and
wife!” Scott stared into Amanda’s eyes.
“Well, kiss her, dummy!” Johnny declared as he rolled his eyes.
Scott smiled and leaned into Amanda. He didn’t realize his foot
was on the very edge of the platform, and as he leaned forward
his foot slipped. He waved his arms around, trying to catch his
balance, but he fell forward. When he did so, he fell against
Amanda, who lost her balance and fell to the floor. Peter fell
flat on top of her. They just stared at each other…shocked.
“My….my!” Julie declared under her breath.
“Hm…he MUST have some McCain blood in him somewhere – he sure
knows how to…Oof!” Abraham cried as Julie gave him a hard elbow
in the gut.
Scott and Amanda stared at each other as she lay underneath him.
Scott smiled. “I guess I fell in love with you!” Scott declared
as he lowered his head and kissed her softly on the mouth.
Emily turned and looked at her mother who put a hand to her
mouth and giggled. Jennifer stood to her feet. “Scott Gibbs! Is
that any way to act in church? You get up and act like a man
“Act like a man?” Abraham chuckled. “Well..I think that he…”
Julie slowly turned and raised her eyebrows in a stern warning
at her husband. Abraham cleared his throat.
Scott stood and helped Amanda to her feet. “It was an accident,
At that, Abraham whispered in Julie’s ear, “I sure wish I would
have thought that cleaver at our wedding!”
“Sh!” Julie warned.
“Well, as I said…” Reverend Gentry said as he rolled his eyes
skyward. “They are married…for better or for…worse!”
“Oh, I think it’ll be for better!” Scott said. He looked down at
the floor. “My feet are firmly on the ground now.” He leaned
forward and took his bride in his arms as he kissed her again.
Everyone started filtering out of the church after the wedding
couple were introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. Scott Gibbs.”
“Maybe I should help you out, big brother,” Johnny teased. “I
don’t want you to trip on the stairs and land flat on your…”
“Johnny!” Scott warned. “You watch it or I’ll plant a hard one
Scott smiled down at Amanda as they started down the steps.
Everyone cheered for the bride and groom. They hurried over to
the hotel where the dining room was reserved for the
McCain/Scott family. White, lace tablecloths lined the tables.
The table Scott and Amanda sat at contained vases of Marigolds
and Posies Margaret had picked from her flower garden that
morning. Scott was happy the reception was going better then the
Margaret brought out the white cake and sat it down on the
table, a little ways from where Scott and Amanda sat. “It’s time
to cut the cake!” Margaret announced as she picked up the knife,
decorated with a fine bow. She paused as Scott reached for it.
“With all the disasters you’ve been involved in today, Scott, I
don’t know if…”
“Give me the knife!” Scott demanded through clinched teeth.
Margaret released the knife to him. Amanda put her hand on top
of his as everyone watched the couple cut their wedding cake.
The couple smiled as they picked up a piece of the cake. “You
know…” Scott smiled. “I really do come from a big, crazy
Amanda smiled. “I know.” She picked the piece of cake up and
kissed him. “And it’s with that in mind that I do this.” She
lifted the cake up to his mouth and started to feed it to him.
Scott did the same, but Amanda suddenly smeared it all over his
The group started roaring with laughter. Scott did the same to
Amanda, but he got a bit too excited. His bad knee was hurting
from earlier and when he leaned forward, it gave way. Amanda had
bent down to get a napkin, and in that instance, Scott landed on
her back, pushing her flat on the table. Her face landed in the
cake with most of it landing on the front of her dress.
“OH!” Amanda cried. Scott tried to grab her, but ended up
getting cake, which he still held in his hand, all over the
sleeve of her dress. “Oh!” Amanda cried again.
“Oh honey…I’m…” Scott bent down and tried to peel the cake from
her front, but instead, the cake fell from the platter and
landed on her feet.
“Scott Gibbs!” Amanda declared as she stood up in shock at the
mess he had made.
Margaret’s eyes grew wide as she shot a hand to her mouth.
“Scott!” she declared in horror.
Scott, desperate to help his wife clean off some of the cake,
grabbed what he thought was a napkin. Instead, it was the corner
of the table cloth. Plates suddenly rolled and fell to the floor
with a crash. “Scott, reach!” Marshal Williams shouted.
Scott looked toward the Marshal and put his hands up in the air.
“Now…just stay like that!” Margaret hurried over with some
towels for Amanda.
“Oh honey…” Scott turned to look at his wife. “Amanda…I’m so…”
Amanda held up a hand. The look on her face told him she was
indeed very angry. “Don’t…say it!” She groaned as she wiped at
her wedding dress. “I don’t want to hear you are sorry, Scott
Gibbs!” She threw the towel down on the table. “I think I just
want to go home!”
“Home?” Scott put his hands on his hips. “Amanda, we have a room
full of wedding guests! We can’t go HOME!”
“Oh?” Amanda put her hands on her hips and turned to look at
him. “I CAN go home and I WILL go home! Honestly!” She turned
and looked at the guests. “Thank you all for coming!”
Scott watched her walk angrily toward the door. He put a hand to
his face. Abraham, with a big grin on his face, slowly stood up
and patted his shoulder. “Well now…would you like me to tell you
what to do with an angry wife?”
“No.” Scott sighed. “I think I can figure that part out for
Abraham watched Scott walk toward the door. Julie slowly stood.
“I’d like to know what to do with an angry wife!”
“Huh?” Abraham turned and looked at Julie. “Oh…uh…” he cleared
his throat and scratched under his nose. “Anything she says!”
Several laughed as Abraham plopped back down beside Julie. “I
can’t help but wonder something.”
“What’s that?” Julie asked.
Abraham turned and looked at Julie. “I sure do hope their
wedding night goes a lot better for Scott!”
Scott quietly drove the wagon towards the boarding house Amanda
had been living at. They were going to stay in the hotel that
night, but Amanda had declared she wanted to go straight to the
boarding house and collect her things, then go home to the
Gibbs’ ranch. She stayed quiet until they got all the way to the
boarding house. When they pulled up in front, she just sat
“Don’t you ‘honey’ me!” Amanda folded her arms and turned toward
her husband on the wagon seat. “Scott…I don’t even know where to
start with you!”
Amanda wagged a finger at him. “I don’t know when I’ve EVER been
so humiliated in my whole life!”
“Now…you know I have this lame leg of mine…”
“And don’t you DARE start blaming all this on your lame leg!”
Scott sighed. This was going to be a LONG night…he could just
see it now! “Now Amanda!” he suddenly snapped. “Would you please
be quiet for a minute and let me speak?!”
Amanda stared at Scott. She opened her mouth, then clamped it
shut. “Thank you.” Scott sighed. “Now…as for my father…”
“Your father was not your fault, but everything else…”
“I had absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that Julie chose
TODAY to faint and make that announcement!”
“Maybe not but…”
Scott held up his hand. “I admit that the wedding rings were my
“And knocking me to the floor in the church?” Scott nodded. “And
dumping the cake in my lap?” Scott nodded. “And…”
“Alright, alright!” Scott threw his hands to his head in
desperation. This is not at ALL the way he had expected his
wedding day to go! “Look…I’m guilty as charged! I’m dirt..I’m
“A man!” Amanda suddenly declared. Amanda shook her head. “This
was supposed to be the most…most…”
“Memorable day of your life?” Scott finished for her.
“NO!” Amanda sighed and rolled her eyes. “It was supposed to be
the specialist day of my life!”
“Well, we got married…didn’t we?”
Amanda turned and looked at Scott. “Barely!”
Scott turned in his seat. “Now honey…is this any way for us to
start off our marriage…arguing?” He leaned in and kissed her.
“Wouldn’t you rather…you know…spend our wedding night like most
“Oh?” Amanda raised her eyebrows at her husband. “And what do
‘most’ Newlyweds do?”
“Well…” Scott thought on it. “It’s just a guess…I mean what my
Pa told me…I mean…” Scott felt his face redden.
Amanda put a hand on his cheek and turned him to face her. “I
need to get my things then change out of this dress.”
“Oh?” He kissed her softly. “And then what?”
“Well…I suppose spending our wedding night at the ranch would be
“Odd?” Scott nodded. “I was kind of hoping our wedding night
would be uh…just the two of us.”
“Yeah.” Amanda smiled. “So after I get my stuff, we’ll go back
to the hotel…oh…after your family has…”
“Our family,” Scott grinned.
Amanda nodded. “Our family has gone home.” Amanda stepped down
from the wagon and looked up at Scott. “I don’t care to see any
of the McCain/Gibbs family tonight! Maybe by the time we go home
to the ranch tomorrow they would have forgotten the horrid
events of today!”
Scott was made to wait in the wagon while Amanda fetched her
things. He helped her back up into the wagon then they headed
back to town. At Amanda’s demand, Scott stopped just outside
town and helped her down from the wagon. He put a finger to her
lips and led her up onto the porch of an unoccupied house. “You
stay right here until I see if the coast is clear.” Amanda
watched him slowly make his way down the street.
When Scott snuck into town, he hid along the wall of the saloon.
Scott saw Marshal Williams making his evening rounds. “Psst,
Psst!” he called. The Marshal stopped and slowly turned around.
Scott motioned for him to come over.
“What the devil…” Marshal Williams started. Scott hushed him.
“What are you doing, boy?”
“Is my family gone?”
“Peter’s in the saloon having a few beers. But your whole family
is at the hotel.”
“The hotel? Still?”
“They took a room. Your mother and sisters did, anyhow. Johnny
went home with Jeremiah. They figured you’d want the house all
to yourself tonight.”
“Oh.” Scott rolled his eyes. “Well could you get my family to go
“Could I what?”
“You’re the law. Can you just kind of go up there and uh…” Scott
turned to look around. “…tell them to go home in the name of the
“In the name of the…” Marshal Williams put his hands on his
hips. “You must have damaged your head when you fell! Or did
that wife of yours hit you in the head? Where is she? What did
you do with her?”
Scott rolled his eyes. “I left her at that empty house outside
town. Look…” Scott held up a hand in frustration. “I’m in the
doghouse already and…”
“Already?’ Marshal Williams shook his head. “You’ve been married
less than two hours!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Scott sighed. “Look…I want to make her
really happy. She doesn’t need any more memorable experiences
“Oh?” The Marshal chuckled.
“Well…you know what I mean!” Scott sighed. “Listen, has there
been any talk of a shivaree?
“Great…just great!” Scott ran a hand through his hair. “Do they
know we’ll be at the ranch?”
“Oh yeah!” Marshal Williams declared. “The scene you two caused
in the hotel made it through the rumor grapevine quite quickly”
“Is my father in jail?”
“Okay…listen…” Scott licked his lips. “You have GOT to make sure
no trespassers come out to the ranch.”
“Scott, you can’t keep them from having a little bit of innocent
fun!” Marshal Williams declared.
“Look…” Scott rolled his eyes. “If they come out to have their
fun, then I won’t get to have ANY fun…if you know what I mean!
My wife will be so angry she may make me sleep in the barn for
the first year of our marriage!” Scott slapped a hand on his
shoulder. “From one married man to another…I’m BEGGING you!”
“Well…” Marshal Williams shook his head. “I’m sorry, son. I’d
like to help you…I really would, but…”
“Thanks!” Scott declared. “Thanks a lot!”
Scott turned and hurried back to where he left Amanda. Amanda
stood and stepped off the porch. “Well?”
“It looks like we got the ranch all to ourselves tonight. Mother
checked the family into the hotel tonight.”
“Oh.” Amanda smiled. “So can we go home then?”
Their trip back to the ranch was uneventful. Scott pulled the
horses up to the barn and stepped down to help Amanda down. He
ordered her to stay by the wagon as he went to put the horses
up. After exiting the barn, he put an arm around her shoulders.
“Uh…the fall hurt my knee a bit. I’m afraid I can’t carry you
Scott stopped and turned to her. “I’m afraid there’s more bad
news.” Scott sighed. “I couldn’t stop the uh…the…visitors from
Amanda narrowed her eyes as she looked at Scott. “Are you
telling me there’s going to be a shivaree? After all that’s
already gone wrong?”
“A Sivaree isn’t wrong, honey. It’s a…tradition!”
“Scott Gibbs…” Amanda started as she pointed a finger at him.
Scott held up his hand. “Darling, I promise…I’ll make sure they
don’t stay long! I’ll get my shotgun after them if I have to!”
He leaned in to kiss her.
Amanda turned and stepped back. “As soon as they leave you can
“Why are you punishing me? This isn’t my fault!” Scott declared.
“Then make sure they leave soon! I told you I didn’t want a
“I know, I know!” Scott sighed as he followed her into the
Abraham stood and strapped on his holster. He started for the
door, but paused when he heard the door to the boys’ bedroom
close. “They all down for the night?”
“Yep.” Julie stopped when she saw him with his holster on.
“Uh…Yes.” Abraham nodded.
“Oh?” Julie folded her arms. “Exactly where are you going this
time of night?”
“I’ve some business to tend to, Dear.” Abraham turned and kissed
her. “I won’t be long.” He turned from her and put his hand on
“Abraham!” Julie’s stern voice stopped him cold.
Abraham turned, afraid he was just about to get caught. “Yes
“Is this uh…business…at the Gibbs’ Ranch?” Abraham closed his
eyes, his hand paused on the door. “Well?”
“Yes. It’s in that general direction, I believe.”
“And uh…just what is your business there?”
Abraham sighed. “Honey, look…Shivarees are tradition!”
“Oh?” Julie folded her arms and took another step toward her
husband. “As I recall, we didn’t have a shivaree.”
“No honey, we didn’t.”
“And as I recall, the reason we didn’t have one is because you
promised great bodily harm to anybody who tried. I think your
speech included something like, ‘I’ll be making a list of
everyone who shows up anywhere near the cabin and I will
personally see that you are punished.’” Abraham sighed. “Well?”
“Oh but honey, I…”
“You are not leaving this house, Abraham McCain!” Julie declared
as she pointed a finger at him.
“Oh, but honey…”
Julie grabbed him by the front of his shirt and smiled
mischievously. “I have other plans for you tonight, my love.”
Abraham unstrapped his gun belt and followed her toward the
bedroom. Boy, was he surprised to find out that her ‘plans’ were
not the ‘plans’ he thought they were. Instead, she pointed to a
hole in the door. “That hole, as I recall, was supposed to be
fixed days ago! You promised, Abraham, that you would fix it!”
“Tonight?” Abraham groaned. “Honey, I…”
“If you have time to go bother a couple who, by the way, have
had a very rough day; then you have time to repair that hole!”
Then she pointed to the dresser. “And that drawer has been
broken for a whole month! Every morning you get mad when it
doesn’t close and quite frankly, I’m tired of listening to your
griping about it!”
Abraham groaned as he started out the door to get his tools.
“That’s the problem with being happily married…eventually, the
“What was that, dear?” Julie asked as she went to work on her
“Nothing, dear. Absolutely nothing.”
It was nine o’clock. Scott and Amanda sat at the kitchen table.
Scott started drumming his fingers, waiting and listening. “You
think they’re coming?” Amanda asked.
“Well…” Scott stood and walked to the window. “If they were
going to come, surely they would have come by now!” He turned
and looked at Amanda as he leaned against the window. “What do
you say if we uh…turn in?” He smiled.
Amanda stood and walked over to him. She slowly put her arms
around his neck and gave him a long, soothing kiss. “I think
that’s a very good idea, Mr. Gibbs.”
On the way to the bedroom, Scott blew out the lamp on the living
room table. He closed the door to the bedroom and went to sit on
the bed. Slowly, he took off his boots as he watched her take
her hair down. “You were beautiful, by the way.”
Amanda turned and smiled. “Thank you.”
Peter stood behind her. He looked at her through the mirror and
slowly lifted a hand to brush against her cheek. She closed her
eyes and lifted her head back as his hands tracked down her neck
to the hem of her dress. He lowered his head, his lips finding
her neck. Then he moved his hand down the front of her dress and
began slowly unbuttoning it.
Amanda suddenly opened her eyes. “What’s that?” she asked as she
grabbed Scott’s hands.
“What?” They paused and listened, but he didn’t hear anything.
“It’s probably nothing.” He pressed his lips back onto her neck
and started unbuttoning her dress again.
“Scott!” Amanda suddenly turned. “There’s something…something
out there! I hear it!” Amanda buttoned her dress back up and
opened the door to the bedroom.
That’s when he heard it – the metallic clanging in the distance.
Peter hurried to the front door and opened it. “Blow out the
light in the bedroom, honey. Maybe they’ll go away!”
Amanda ran into the bedroom and blew out the lantern. “Ouch!”
she cried in the darkness after Scott heard a loud thump.
“I banged my head on the door!” She joined Scott at the window.
“If the lights are out, will they think we’re…You know…”
“We were getting ready to anyhow,” Scott answered.
“I know, Scott, but…”
“Shh…” Scott held up his hand as they rode into the yard making
all kinds of noise.
The riders got down banging their pans and hollering. “Alright,
you love birds! Come on out of there!” They all laughed and
banged on the pots as they waited. “Come on now!” The spokesman
– Able the telegrapher – said. “Come on you love birds! We know
you aren’t sleeping!”
“Scott, do you participate in this?” Amanda asked, a bit taken
aback by their disruption.
“Uh…I’m in here, honey…” Scott knew what she was asking, but
chose to avoid a direct answer.
“You know what I mean!” She whispered loudly. “Do you
participate in these?” Scott nodded. “Well, don’t you worry!
You’ll never participate in another one of these again!”
Scott rolled his eyes as he watched out the window. “I think
you’re making it worse by not going out there! Imagine what
“Oh now honey…every adult knows what a couple does on their
wedding night.” Scott turned from the window. “It’s no big
secret, you know.”
“I know, but…”
“Look!” Scott pointed out the window. “You see? They’re
leaving!” Scott turned and smiled at Amanda. “Now we’ll have no
They walked back into the bedroom. Scott unbuttoned his shirt
and slid it off as Amanda stood nervously by the bed. He grinned
as he slowly walked up to her. She stepped away with a sudden
gasp. “What’s wrong now?”
“My head!” Amanda groaned. “I think it’s bleeding!”
Scott turned to light the lamp. “NO!”
“Honey, I have to light a lantern so I can look at your head!”
“But Scott…if you light the lamp, THEY will see it! They might
“Amanda, they’re gone!” Scott declared impatiently.
“How do you know?” Amanda folded her arms and went to look out
the window. “How do you know somebody’s not out there
“Go check!” Amanda ordered.
“Go check!” Scott stared at her in the darkness. Amanda gave him
a push toward the door. “I want you to go outside with a lantern
and look around! Take your shotgun if you have to and check
every inch of the yard!”
“Honey, I’ve done enough Shivarees to know that they don’t lurk
around! The men are polite and…”
“POLITE???” Amanda put her hands on her hips. “How POLITE is it
to come to a person’s house at NINE O’CLOCK at night, knowing
what’s going on inside and stop that? Don’t they know how
special it is supposed to be???”
“Special?” Scott grumbled as he lit the lantern and turned the
wick all the way up. “Yeah…So why are we standing here arguing
instead of in there in the bedroom…”
“Because!” Amanda shoved him toward the front door and handed
him the shotgun. “I assure you that I won’t be able to relax
until I KNOW for sure there is nobody still lurking out in the
Scott went outside and did as he was told. He went from one
corner of the yard to the other. When he saw nobody, he rolled
his eyes and walked back into the house. “Well, there’s nobody…”
He stopped when he saw Amanda at the stove cooking.”
“What the blazes are you doing???” Scott asked.
“I’m…fixing you something to eat. After the day you had, you
MUST be hungry!”
“After the day I had, I’m tired! I want to go to bed!” Scott
declared, a little more angry than impatient now.
“Would you like some coffee?”
“Would I…” Scott stopped when he saw the sparkle in Amanda’s
eye. He put his hat on the hook and sat down at the table.
Throwing his hands up in the air in defeat, he said, “Yes my
love, I’d LOVE some coffee!”
He couldn’t help smiling as he allowed Amanda to serve him fried
eggs and salt pork for a late-night supper. He sat politely and
quietly, allowing her to have her way. Then he wiped his mouth
and leaned forward. Brushing the hair away from her forehead, he
gently touched the forming bruise. “Ouch!”
“Oh no…” Scott groaned. “I don’t believe this…of all the dumb
“What is it now?”
Scott stood up and went into the kitchen. He emerged with the
medicine box and a wet cloth. “I’m afraid that the family is
never going to let us live this night down.”
“Why? What’s wrong?” Amanda tried to get up so she could go look
in the mirror.
Scott grabbed her arm and forced her to sit back down in the
chair. “You stay still now! I want to clean it.” He wiped at her
forehead, then shook his head after snapping the medicine box
closed. “You are going to have an ugly bruise on your forehead.
“What???” Amanda stood and hurried across the room. She looked
in a mirror. “Scott…” Her eyes grew wide. “Do you know what they
are going to…”
Scott smiled as he slowly walked over to her. He turned her
around and lightly kissed her forehead. “I know. We’ll worry
about that tomorrow.” Scott turned and blew out the lantern for
the last time that night. “But right now, we have more important
things to discuss.”
“Oh?” Amanda sighed as he once again trailed kissed down her
neck and unbuttoned her dress. “Like what?”
“Oh..I’m going to tell you all about my duties as…your husband.”
Scott breathed hard as she suddenly reached up and kissed him
hard on the lips. He picked her up in his arms, ignoring the
pain in his leg as he carried her and laid her on the bed. They
were soon undressed and in each other’s arms under the covers.
Sleep didn’t come for some time as the couple took their time
that night. All the frustrations and anxiety from earlier melted
away as they made love that night.
In time, they fell asleep in each other’s arms.
It was well after ten o’clock. Abraham straightened up from his
place on their bedroom floor and rubbed his back. Julie stood in
the doorway and nodded as she studied her husband’s handy work.
“Is there anything else you would like me to do tonight?”
“Yes,” Julie answered with a nod of her head.
Abraham slowly stood up and groaned. “Oh, now Julie…It’s after
ten o’clock and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow! I want to
go to bed!”
Julie swung the bedroom door closed and started unbuttoning her
dress as she walked toward him. “Well Abe…that’s just the thing
I want you to do.” She giggled as she wrapped her arms around
his neck. “You worked hard tonight, my love and you deserve to
relax.” She gave him a long, soothing kiss. “And if you’ll just
come to bed, I’ll make sure you do just that…”
Abraham allowed her to lead him to the bed. She pushed him down
on the side of the bed and straddled her legs on his lap. Then
she gave him a long, passionate kiss.
The Newlyweds had not emerged from the bedroom when the Gibbs
came home the next day. When they walked inside, they saw coffee
cups, dishes, and the medicine box still sitting on the table.
The shotgun was also there. Johnny slowly picked up the shotgun
and turned to look at his mother. “I wonder what went on here
“Johnny Gibbs!” Margaret declared with a gasp.
“I mean with the shotgun!” Johnny argued. “Jeremiah told me that
there was no one home when they came by at nine o’clock last
Margaret helped her mother work on cleaning up the mess on the
table. “Well, apparently they are here now,” she said.
Suddenly, they heard a loud thump come from Scott’s bedroom.
Margaret and Jennifer straightened and turned to look toward the
door. “What…” Johnny started.
“Perhaps we should have waited to come back.”
The bedroom door opened. Amanda, fully dressed, emerged from the
room and smiled. “I’m sorry…we overslept.” She looked toward the
table. “Oh, and I’m sorry about the mess. We had sort
a…interesting night last night.”
“I’m sure you did…” Johnny grinned.
“Alright!” Jennifer tugged on Johnny’s ear. “You just march
right out that door, mister, until yout find your manners! Go on
Margaret, Beth, and Jennifer all three saw the bruise on
Amanda’s forehead. They studied it silently but didn’t ask any
questions about it. Scott emerged a couple minutes later
grumbling and complaining. “Nobody’s fixed coffee yet?”
“I’m working on it!” Amanda declared. Then she smiled at her
husband. “Good morning.”
“As soon as I have my coffee!” Scott declared as he walked back
toward the bedroom. “Wake me when it’s ready.”
Amanda turned and looked at the Gibbs ladies. “Is he always this
pleasant in the mornings?”
Margaret and Beth looked at each other and smiled. “YES!”
Margaret smiled as she watched Scott and Amanda sit together at
the table. Scott whispered something in Amanda’s ear and she
giggled. Then they stood from the table. Scott took Amanda’s
hand and started toward the door. “We’re going for a walk, sis.
We’ll be back later. Don’t wait up for us.”
Margaret turned and walked into her bedroom. After getting her
diary out of the drawer and opening it, she wrote her intimate
I often wonder what it would be like to have my own wedding.
After watching the disastrous wedding Scott and Amanda had, I
know all the things I can fear about my own. I imagine that
someday I will marry Lucas, and when that day comes I want a big
wedding with all kinds of flowers and a two-ring wedding! And if
my Love forgets the rings, well…I suppose I’ll marry him anyhow.
Oh, but I think I’ll ask him to give my brother the rings to
hold onto, because I doubt Scott would want to go up against
Lucas if he forgets them!
I wonder how long it will be before Lucas and I get married. I
can’t help to picture him up on that platform holding my hands
and looking deeply into my eyes. I can only imagine that smile
on his face as he says those words…”I do.” Then he takes me in
his arms and kisses me. Oh, and we’ll have to dance at our
wedding! I want so badly to dance with Lucas the moment we’re
married! I can just imagine it now. Then he’ll take me home to
our very own place…they’ll be no living with other family for
me! No, I want him all to myself!
Then maybe nine months later we’ll have ourselves a little boy
or a little girl…Oh my, its grown warmer in here just thinking
about that. Oh, I want it more than anything!
One thing’s for sure though – When I walk up that aisle on my
wedding day, I’ll be walking into the waiting arms of Lucas
The Years Before — Loss
This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch