#75 Abduction

As told by Jess Harper & Slim Sherman
Patty Wilkinson

(Please be aware of adult themes, strong language and violence)
Thanks to Sally Bahsen for screen cap

Chapter 1

I guess it was all my fault the way things turned out. Least ways it sure felt like it at the time. See the way I figured it, if I hadn’t gotten sick…then none of the other stuff would have happened back in the fall of ‘75.
It had been one of the hottest summers we could ever remember, with the creek and the lake getting real low. So I figured we should have been kinda thankful when the heavens opened and it looked like we’d have to start building an Ark. But when the rain fell relentlessly day after doggone day while we were bringing all the stock down to the low grazing for the winter, we got kinda sick of the novelty of all that wet stuff.
It was the Friday before the Harvest Dance that I got soaked through to the skin and boy was I mad about it. Slim was back in the east pasture chasin ’ up strays leaving’=  me to herd a few yearlings across the ridge and down into the home pasture. Well that would have been just fine iffen one of the ornery critters hadn’t managed to git in the creek, set on drownin’ itself. I weren’t havin ’ none of that, seeing as she was worth top dollar, one of our prime Aberdeen Angus beasts, and so I stripped off my coat and boots and waded in to git a rope on her.
When I rode back into the yard an hour or so later, shaking and shivering with the cold and covered in mud, I sure weren’t in the mood for any of Slim’s wise cracks.
“Hey Jess, what have I told you about bunking off to the swimming hole when there’s work to be done,” he greeted me, grinning up from where he’d just emerged from the ranch house looking real dry and clean.
I guess the look I threw him kinda said it all because he backed off some.
“Sorry Jess, why don’t you get in the house, Miss Daisy’s been frettin about you this last half hour. She’s been boiling up some water for the tub for you.”
“Oh, well that’s somethin’,” I muttered, as I went to put my horse up in the barn, thanking the good Lord for Daisy Cooper our housekeeper and surrogate Ma to us all at the relay.
But then a moment later a single rider came galloping down the rise at full tilt, splashing his way through the puddles.
“Looks like someone’s in a hurry,” said Slim.
“Looks like trouble to me,” I said darkly…and I weren’t far wrong either.Read More »


#74 Breaking Up - The End of the Road

#74 Breaking –Up the End of the Road

Patty Wilkinson

(Some violence, adult themes, strong language and reference to drug addiction)

Chapter 1

Jess Harper tipped his Stetson back and ran a hand over his weary face.
“Just another mile to go boy,” he said patting Traveller's arched neck, the horse blowing gently through his nostrils as if in reply.
He pulled his hat back down again a determined glint in his deep blue eyes as he kneed his mount on down the Laramie road through the twilight of a mild summer’s evening. It would be dark shortly he surmised and so he’d stay the night in town and push on to the ranch at first light. OK, so his pard, Slim Sherman wouldn’t be any too pleased about that but Jess sure wasn’t going to risk his good old horse breaking a leg in the dark.
Besides it had been way too long since he’d seen his best girl, Millie Johnson, and they had some ‘catching up to do, he thought a big smile suddenly appearing on his travel weary countenance. Yup whatever was griping Slim would just have to wait until the morning.
He was returning from delivering two green broke mustangs to one George Smyth, an old friend of Slim’s Pa, down near Boulder. His ride over to the old man’s ranch had taken him over a week with the two lively critters in tow. Then he’d had to stay a while and help George work on them, before finally setting off for home over five days ago.
He’d received Slim s first wire on his arrival asking him to get home as soon as he was able. However, part of the deal had been that Jess would stay on a while and work the horses and he was determined to keep his promise and not sell the nice old guy short.
Heck, Slim knew the score he thought now as he approached town, but he’d still sent another wire, urging Jess to get on home pronto. But also saying everything was fine with young Mike, their ward, and Daisy the beloved ranch housekeeper. So why was Slim being so dang unreasonable he wondered as he finally reined in outside the livery?
“Evening ’ Bert,” he said as he slipped down from the saddle and grinned over at the old timer who ran the stables. Bert peered into the gloom of the late evening light and then gave the young cowboy a toothless grin in return, as he emerged from one of the stalls.
“Why Jess Harper, I ain’t cast eyes on you in a while boy, you been away?”
“Yup delivering a couple of green broke mustangs down to Boulder and they sure were a lively pair,” he said winking, “kept me and ol’ Trav here on our toes.”
Bert chuckled and took the reins from Jess, “You look all in boy, I’ll see to this fellah for you OK?” he asked knowing Jess liked to tend his own mount more often than not.
“I guess so, thanks,” he said looking slightly undecided and patting the horse’s rump fondly.
“Don’t worry son, I’ll treat him like my first born,” the old man chuckled as he led the animal away.
Jess gave a bark of laughter and flapping a hand at his old friend turned and retraced his steps back along Main Street towards the Laramie Saloon.
Outside he paused for a moment and removing his hat used it to brush himself down some, clouds of dust emanating from his denims and shirt, before running a sleeve across his sweat grimed face and ramming his hat back in place.
Maybe Tom would let him use the hot tub he thought hopefully as he entered the saloon.
The place was dimly lit and it being a week night only half a dozen old die-hard drinkers in evidence as he strode across the room, impatient to see his girl. With any lucky Lily, Slim’ s girlfriend would be on duty too and maybe he could get to the bottom of what was troubling his buddy.
As he reached the bar, he came to a standstill staring in surprise as a buxom blond woman of about forty ambled over from where she’d been polishing glasses. Chewing in a desultory manner she raised a plucked eyebrow, “What’s yer poison honey?” she drawled.
Jess’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped, “Who in hell are you and where’s Millie?” he finally gasped.
The woman took the somewhat unfriendly greeting in her stride, “I’m Gladys dear...and there ain’t no Millie here that I know of.”Read More »


Return to Laramie

Return to Laramie!

Patty Wilkinson

(For Bertie, Lin and Mo)
Please note this is not a Fanfic.

Well I didn’t think anything could top my original trip across the pond to Laramie back in 2017 but I was wrong! My second visit in July 2019 was something really special....

My travel buddies, Mo, Lin and I arrived on the 4th July and the ‘fireworks’ were to last our whole trip! Rockets shooting to the glittering stars and light cascading around us as we lost ourselves in all the delights Wyoming...Laramie and all the Jubilee has to offer.

We stayed in the same beautiful old Cottonwood Cottage that I rented last time, in the forest area of Laramie, where a warm welcome awaited us...Everything from food and drink to all the holiday essentials already provided for us.
The visit was not without its excitement however as the Tornado siren went off on our second night in town and we experienced an amazing storm with hailstones nearly bringing the cottage windows in...All an interesting experience for us intrepid, maybe fool- hardy Brits, viewing proceedings from the porch at one stage...
Then the following morning brilliant sunshine as we enjoyed an all American breakfast at the 17thStreet Cafe, what a contrast to the night before!

Then it was time to explore, from the lush forests of the Medicine Bow Park to the delightful small town of Centennial we were captivated. The frosting on the cake, or should that be snow on the Mountain, was when we made the climb up to 10,847 feet above sea level of the Snowy Range Pass. Truly amazing....and yes it was a bit chilly wearing only tee shirt and shorts...and yes we are dumb Brits...but darned tough ones!

Walking in the footsteps of Jess Harper as I wandered around the beautiful inspiring Wyoming countryside and seeing the very places I write about was so exciting!

Then on to the joys that can only be provided by Laramie Old Town...every shop a little gem, every shop keeper kind, patient and friendly. And yes I would have put some of Steve’s Laramie signs and a painting or two from the gallery in my luggage, had there been a spare inch left in my case! But instead I took away happy memories...too many to recall here....but I’ll try anyway!

For the Jubilee weekend we moved over to the Hilton Garden Inn, where we were treated like royalty, nothing too much trouble. Here we met up with Robert Fuller’s Fandom, of which we are members, and had a chance to catch up with friends old and new...

So what of my memories?

Meeting my dear Canadian friend Bertie, my email buddy for so many years, for the first time and her lovely family too! Talking and laughing with my Fandom Face- book friends...Trips out to the Laramie Prison for a photograph session with the iconic Bob Fuller, ( Jess) Dennis Holmes ( Mike) and Bobby Crawford ( Andy).... lovely gentlemen all...

A hilarious question and answer session with all three cowboys, thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.

The wonderful Jubilee Parade!

Meal and drinks with friends...at the dude ranch outside town...and the drive back laughing and chatting.... thank you Mort...er Linda 

A special moment with Bob when I was able to give him a Birthday present and catch up with him a little, what a sweet, kind man....so appreciative.

The weekend wasn’t without its challenges though as several folk were laid low and hospitalized with illness and others suffered some losses and difficulties. But as ever the Fandom Family rallied around and true friendships and strong bonds were born out of adversity.

Then all too soon we were saying our goodbyes...exchanging photographs and email addresses...keeping in touch and sharing the happy memories...until next time...

Thank you Laramie, one of my favorite places on earth...the people the place...wonderful... Thank you Bob, Dennis and Bobby for giving of your time so willingly, we had a ball guys!

Finally of course a huge thank you to our intrepid leader Tony and to all the volunteers who make Fandom Events run so well. Thank you to Bertie, Mo and Lin my travel buddies for their company and fun times..... We’ll do it all again one day...maybe?

Love y’all Patty XXX


#73 The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard
Patty Wilkinson

For Tony Gill

(Some strong language, violence and adult themes)

Chapter 1
“All I’m sayin’ is I don’t see why it should be me that has to do it Slim,” Jess Harper said petulantly.
“You’d be just as good at keepin’ this here Lord and Lady Hamilton-Forbes safe as I would be...in fact even better because your all educated up. Heck I never even knew there were still Lords and Ladies back in the old country, thought they were just somethin’ out of Mike’s fairy-tale stories.”
“They’re real alright Jess and darned important too, especially to our economy, according to the dignitaries of the Laramie town council. We’re real honored that they want to take a vacation out here. And you know dang well why I can’t do it, with the boss of the Stage line breathing down my neck and wanting meetings all the time, trying to improve the routes and our efficiency.”
“Well good luck with that one,” Jess said sarcastically, “the railroad will be takin’ all the trade in the next few years anyway, it’s a fact buddy and yer just gonna have to face it.”
“Uh, well if you’re right we need all the cash we can get then don’t we? According to Mort Cory he reckons this here Cynthia and Roger Hamilton-Forbes are loaded and not afraid to spend it either. Come on Jess how hard can it be? All you have to do is keep them safe as they look at all the delights Wyoming has to offer.”
“Right... delights like snakes, bears, coyotes, not to mention the two-legged vermin like outlaws and renegade injuns.”
“Jess you’re just being difficult, look on the bright side, the glories of the lake in the sunset, the snowy mountains, deer, fish, wild mustangs all sorts of things to entertain them.”
“Well how dang long do I hafta ‘entertain’ them for?”
“Not long, just a couple of weeks...and then they may want you to accompany them over to Denver where Lord Hamilton-Forbes has a real big business deal to settle.”
“Two dang weeks are you crazy? I’ll tell ya now Slim I just ain’t doin’ it!”Read More »


#72 Whiskey, Women and Wild, Wild Ways

#72 Whisky, Women and the Wild, Wild Ways!

Patty Wilkinson
(Strong language, violence and adult themes)

It was early spring at the Sherman ranch and relay and all was pretty hunky dory as Mike Williams, the rancher’s young ward had recently proclaimed.
Just a few months earlier, over Christmas, they had all been in dire straits when Peterson a friend and neighbor had gone bust, almost taking all at the ranch down with him, when he had no funds to pay for stock he had bought from the ranch. * See #68 Love Thy Neighbor
Luckily a visitor staying at the ranch over Christmas, Reverend James Harrison had recognized an old ornament in the Christmas trinkets box as being a priceless Chinese Jade carving worth thousands.Even after Jess and Slim had insisted upon giving fifty percent of the proceeds back to their friend’s charity they still had enough to pay off the mortgage on the ranch, buy a substantial acreage abutting the southern pasture and still had money left in the coffers to use on a rainy day.
Now Slim and Jess were sitting out on the porch on the first really warm evening of spring. A whiskey apiece, relaxing. They were watching, the fruit of Jess’s recent mustanging trip milling about in the corral getting used to their new confines.
“You got some with real potential there, Jess,” Slim said nodding towards the fine bunch of horse flesh, “but I guess they’ll take some taming, they look a real feisty lot.”
Jess nodded, “I’ll get to it in a week or so, once they’re settled in, got used to the human voice, touch and all that kinda thing.”
Slim nodded, “Talking of feisty it was nice of Beth Sutton to ride over on Rosa wasn’t it? She really has worked hard on that fiery young filly, you broke for her pa.”
Jess chuckled, “Which one are ya callin’ feisty, Beth or Rosa?”
Slim chuckled, “Both I guess...and I figure that young lady’s still got the hots for you, she was all over you like a rash.”
Jess chuckled, “Jealous are you then Hardrock?”
“No of course not,” Slim expostulated and then grinning said, “well a tad...beats me as to how you get these nubile young girls falling for you Jess.”
Jess just rolled his eyes, “Don’t ya let my Millie hear you talkin’ that way and anyway you know I’m really not interested.”
Slim nodded, “I know, just kiddin’ you...but there was a time Jeez, you sure were a ladies’ man when you first landed here...”
“OK, OK so that was years ago. That was then, things change you know pard, folk grow up, move on...I’m a reformed character now you know that.”
“Sure, you are Jess, I know. But it still didn’t stop you calling that spirited little filly of Beth’s Rosa now did it...so you must still think of her...sometimes huh?”Read More »