DISCLAIMER: The Young Riders is the creation of Ed Spielman, and the property of Ogiens/Kane productions in association with MGM/UA television. This Story is created for entertainment purposes only, no infringement intended. Not to be copied without permission from the author.
By the time that Buck arrived back at the Waystation the sky behind him was an angry broiling grey-green maelstrom. As he rode the wind whipped his long hair around his face making it hard for him to see. The grainy earth that was whipped up by the buffeting winds burning his eyes and stinging his face and arms for the last ten miles he had ridden/
He dismounted at the corral and quickly and efficiently unsaddled his horse and led him into the corral, casting his eye around the way station as he carried his saddle with him to the bunkhouse, finding no one there, he ran across to the house. Confused that no-one was there, he checked the barn. As he realised that all their horses were missing a smile crossed his face suddenly understanding where everybody had gone. Opening the corral he swung lithely onto his horses back and rode the short distance into town. Dismounting outside the saloon he walked briskly inside where he found almost the towns entire population. Lou saw him enter and crossed to embrace him.
'What's going on?' he asked quietly as Teaspoon spoke to the room full of people
'Teaspoon called a town meeting when the weather turned' she explained 'Where have you been?' she asked
'I had to make sure Red Bear and the tribe were okay'
"Are they?' Lou asked concerned
"They're moving to safer ground' he nodded 'What has happened here?' he inclined his head toward the crowd
Teaspoon has just tried to warn them but they all seem to think that it's just a regular storm. Something's different this time, even I can feel it' she spoke as they both watched the townsfolk filing out of the saloon
They waited there until Teaspoon and the others joined them
'Damn fool people' Teaspoon muttered as he lifted his hat and scratched his head.
'What are you going to do Teaspoon?' Cody asked
'Can't make them look after themselves boys.' he shook his head in disgust
'What can we do?' Buck asked
'We'll use the house as a base, because it has a basement. I want all the tack moved from the barn to the basement. The windows need to be boarded up. As much food as we can gather needs to be unmoved down there as well. If you boys have anything special in the bunkhouse best you move it to the basement. The horses need to be moved into the barn too.'
'Jimmy Cody, you can move the tack, Rachel Lou organise the food. Kid you and I will look after the windows. Buck can you handle the horses' Buck nodded his head as Teaspoon spoke
'Okay, lets move' Teaspoon spoke as he walked quickly from the room closely followed by the others.
Lou and Rachel collected as many bottled and tins of food as they could as well as fresh fruit and vegetable and all the rolls they had in the kitchen, then raced outside to help the boys with their tasks. Until Lou and Rachel finished gathering the food, Jimmy and Cosy made numerous trips to the basement carrying the company tack, and some of the boys most treasured saddles. Buck rounded all the nervously prancing horses up and secured each of them in a stall. With the two girls now moving tack and the horses all stabled the boys and Teaspoon were all free to board up the windows.
As Teaspoon hammered the last nail in to the final board over the bunkhouse windows he spoke.
'Lou boys, if you have anything special to you inside you'd better get it now because I'm boarding the door' Teaspoon spoke loudly trying to be heard above the screaming winds. They all pushed through the door and collected their most treasured possessions. Cody and Jimmy didn't have much to collect, but Cody gathered his collection of dime store novels and Jimmy stuffed his belongings into his saddlebags. Buck, never even touching his own belongings hefted Ike's trunk from where it lay under his bed and carried it to the door.
Lou tears in her eyes, moved around the room carefully untacking the drawings that Ike had completed before his death from the walls. Kid took them from her and rolled them in a protective oilcloth for safekeeping. They stood at the door taking one final look at the room that had been their home for so long, hoping that it would still be there when the door was unboarded after the storm. They all knew that it was not the material things that would be lost, but it would be treasured memories that could never be replaced, memories of times shared with Ike and Noah and even Jesse, the shared tears and laughter that could never be repeated. Teaspoon and Rachel stood at the door and watched them knowing that they were thinking of the times they had shared, but not wanting to rush them back to the harsh realities of their lives
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