While Victoria has Nick going up the stairs checking on Laura, she takes Howard and the rest of the observers into the study to meet Heath. As they get closer, “I could tell he’s Tom’s son,” Howard notes. Victoria asks, “You could see that?”
“Quite clearly I must add.” Helen says, “Indeed yes. I think it would be easier for us to see the resemblance of Tom in his early years compared to the younger people such as your sons and daughters to see it.” Howard replies, “So true.”
As they walk over Chrissy says, “Hi Mommy,” to Jean who replies, “Hi Chrissy; you okay?” Chrissy answers, “Uh-huh. This is Heath.”
After giving him a quick hello Heath looks up and replies “Hello Ma’am.” Victoria then calls out to him who glances up at her and replies “Yes um?”
Victoria proceeds to introduce him to the various visitors standing there and as each one exchanges hellos and handshakes with him he reciprocates either by responding sir or ma’am to each one.
As Chrissy cuts in, “Hi Doctor,” Howard replies, “Hello Chrissy glancing over at her who then tells him, “We’re having a sandwich.” Howard says, “I see that.”
“How is the sandwich Chrissy?” Helen asks of her who responds, “Good.”
“I understand you’re new with the Barkleys” Howard says to Heath who replies “Yes sir.” Howard then tells him “I do hope you keep out of trouble.”
Heath answers “I will sir.” Howard says “What I mean is the Barkleys have a tendency of needing my medical attention sort of speak. I hope you don’t get to be one of them.” Heath replies “I won’t sir.” Howard then says “Good.”
Jean then asks of Heath “Do you mind Chrissy sitting with you?” Heath replies “No Ma’am, she is fine.” After telling Heath to enjoy Victoria walks back out with the guests who came in with her.
Going up the stairs Nick passes by Nettie coming down and upon exchanging hellos with her he then asks, “How you doing?” Nettie replies, “Little better.”
“Good to hear,” he tells her, “Mother’s downstairs.”
Responding, “That is where I am headed now; thank you,” continuing on she descends the steps. Tapping Jarrod’s door lightly and not getting any response Nick opens the door and walking over to the other side places his hand on Laura’s arm calling out to her.
Being startled upon being touched Laura frantically opens her eyes yelling “GET OUT! GET OUT!” and begins wildly hitting Nick who quickly and immediately blocks each of her blows while running out of the room.
Hearing the commotion from the front room Victoria excusing herself quickly races up the stairs with some of the guests following right behind as the yelling continues. As Victoria calls out to him Nick informs her, “She’s awake.”
Reaching his side, “What happened?” she asks. Nick tells her, “She hit me or tried to.” Victoria says, “Hit you?” Nick replies, “She didn’t mean it. I think I startled her when she woke up.” She then says, “Let me go to her.”
As she proceeds to the bedroom Nick goes back down the hallway. Joining Laura on the bed Victoria tells the guests to politely leave.
Crying, “Oh Victoria,” Laura says, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I was sleeping and the next I saw Nick standing there. Didn’t know what I was looking at. I better go and apologize to him.” Victoria tells her, “It’s alright.”
“No it’s not,” Laura disputes, “I lost my head. I never did that before. This is so embarrassing. I just saw him standing there and just went crazy.”
“You never lost a husband before,” Victoria points out, “When something tragic happens we all deal with it differently. You lashed out.” Laura snickers, “I lashed out alright.” Victoria then asks of her, “You okay?”
“No I’m not okay” she answers “Ask me that question some other day and then maybe I will have the answer. Oh Victoria, I’m so scared. I’m really terrified. I have so many emotions turning around inside of me that if I let go I’ll just explode.”
“But that is what you need to do,” Victoria tells her, “You have to let it out. Let it out anyway you can.” Laura replies, “I don’t know how to.”
“Yes you do,” Victoria notes, “You just did it now with Nick.”
“I don’t know Victoria,” Laura says, “I just try not to think about him,” with tears pouring out, “I miss him, I really miss him.”
Embracing her, “I know you do,” Victoria tells her as she continues soothing her.
“And then when I think about him,” Laura continues, “I just want him to hold me, love me and tell me that it’s all just some old nightmare. But I know he can’t do that anymore. I do need to get myself together. I do need to go on.”
“Yes you do,” Victoria replies, “And you will and not just for you. But for your children as well; they need you.” Laura then says, “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Victoria then says as Laura begins crying again “It’s okay Laura” running her hands up and down her arms, “You are entitled and have every right to feel the way you do, sh, its okay. Sh, you’re going to make it.”
Laura asks, “You think so?” Victoria answers, “I know so. You are a strong woman and will pick yourself up and move on.”
Wiping the tears away “I’ll try, um” she then asks “Where are the children?”
Victoria replies “Oh they’re out someplace with Audra and Gene.”
Laura asks “How are they?” Victoria answers “Doing much better than their mother is at the moment.” Laura says “Well give me a couple of minutes to get myself together and then I will be right down.”
Getting up, “That will be fine,” Victoria tells her, “Take your time,” as she crosses to the door Laura asks, “Oh, how is Nettie doing?”
“She’s getting there too” Victoria notes “She’s on her feet now. I’ll see you when you come down” as Laura nods her head Victoria closes the door. Taking a deep breath Laura then gets up off the bed.
In the gunroom a few more guests are seated and talking while enjoying small bites of what they have on their plates. One of them Abe says, “This damn thing wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for that blasted railroad.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” comes from Sigmund. Walking in and joining them, “Hey Sig,” Jarrod says, “Abe, how’s it going?”
“Oh,” raising an eyebrow, “It’s going,” Sig mentions. Abe replies, “Better for us than for Frank or Harry.”
“I know” Jarrod remarks. Sigmund says, “This was such an awful tragedy a terrible loss of life.” Jarrod states, “Yes it was and two lives to boot.”
“Do you know,” Abe says, “It could easily have been one of us? We had notices too, if my time was before Frank’s then that may have been me instead of him.”
Glancing over at Jarrod, “That damn railroad,” Sigmund says, “Is the entire cause of all this; those garmonging vultures. I do want to thank you for being able to put a hold on those junctured proceedings.”
“The courts said they’d look into it all. So for now everyone that received notices is in the clear and may keep their homes,” Jarrod announces.
“Let’s hope it stays that way,” Abe mentions. Sigmund replies, “Amen to that.”
Gathered in the front room is another group of guests. Hal’s wife asks of Bob’s wife “Why is it I wonder, you never know what they mean to you or to someone until after they pass away?” Bob’s wife replies “I know what you mean.” Bob then says “It’s hard to believe we will never see either one of them again.”
“Yes,” Hal replies, “Such a tragic loss of life all for just protecting his own home.”
“Well you can’t blame Frank or Harry who was only trying to do his job,” Hal’s wife says, “He had no reason to be killed.” Bob replies, “No, but being sheriff it does go with the territory. Although I am sorry that Frank was killed fending his own home.” Hal’s wife replies, “I am too.”
Finishing what they have on their plates Chrissy asks Heath if he’d like to go outside and walk around. Responding, “Okay,” Heath gets up and goes with her out the front door. Watching them leave, “Who is that boy?” Bob’s wife asks.
“I believe” Alice replies “He is Tom Barkley’s son. I heard some of them talking in town and I also noticed him when he came into the store yesterday with Jarrod.”
“And he’s in Victoria’s home?” the first woman asks placing her hand over her chest “How noble of her.” Hal replies “Agreed. But then again Victoria always did have a big heart.” Hal’s wife says “So true, but he looks like a very nice young man.” Bob’s wife adds “Very quiet.” Bob then says “Maybe it’s just his being new here and not knowing any of us or what to say.”
“Perhaps” Hal replies. Paul the third guest says “You know I’m surprised at Victoria.” Diane listening replies “I’m not. Victoria would open her home to anyone.”
“I know what you mean,” Connor snobbishly answers, “But if I was Victoria I wouldn’t want that boy in my house. His being here is going to bring down their good name.” Alice says, “It certainly will and poor Jarrod,” snickering, “When news gets around about that boy being here his career is going to take a fast dive. No one is going to want him to represent them for anything.”
“You said it,” Paul replies.
“Oh heavens to Betsy, no” Ruth says “Once the news gets around it’ll be all over town.” Walking in “Alice, Ruth” Louise replies overhearing “You shouldn’t say things like that. He seems to be a very nice young man and whatever goes on inside their home is really their own business.”
“Why not Louise” Ruth says “It’s true. The minute news spreads Jarrod’s career won’t be worth a damn cent around here.”
“I don’t buy that for a minute” Diane joining replies “That boy being a Barkley shouldn’t have any bearing on anyone and Jarrod is a pretty good lawyer, one of the best. His credentials speak for themselves.” Louise says, “Indeed yes.”
From inside the gunroom Jarrod overhearing the conversation excuses himself from Sig and Abe and quickly walking over to the guests says, “Pardon me.” Paul replies, “Oh Jarrod.”
Jarrod tells them, “I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” looking at Ruth, Paul, Connor and Alice who replies, “Leave?” with Ruth asking, “Why?”
“I won’t allow anyone,” Jarrod says sternly, “To disgrace any member of my family.” Paul replies, “We weren’t disgracing any member of your family.”
“You just were” Jarrod says “My brother Heath. I heard you. I won’t allow anyone to come into this house and disgrace him or anybody else in this family, now go!” Connor says “Jarrod please be reasonable. We’ve been friends for years.”
Opening the door, “Good friends don’t look down at other friends or their families. There’s the door,” he tells them, “Good day to each of you.” Ruth replies, “Jarrod you really should think about it.” Jarrod says, “Oh I have.”
“Jarrod,” Paul replies, “Think about your future, you’re a prominent respectful lawyer.” Jarrod says, “Oh I am. Here’s the door, use it!”
“You take that no good whatever he is over us?” Alice snobberishly inquires.
“His name is Heath,” Jarrod states, “And seeing you give me an ultimatum, the answer is yes. Heath is my brother and he comes first. Family comes before anything else. Good day!” Paul pleads again, “Oh Jarrod, please don’t do this.”
“Oh,” Jarrod replies sternly, “But I am; now go.” Alice then says, “Come on Connor,” with Ruth telling Paul, “Come on Paul, they’ll be sorry that they ever brought that boy into this house or to this valley,” as they go out the door.
“The good Barkley name” Connor adds “Will be going down with the likes of him,” following right behind Paul and Ruth. Watching from the doorway “Jarrod” Abe asks “What was that all about?” Jarrod says “Just a little disturbance.”
“Who is Heath?” Abe wanted to know. Jarrod answers, “My new brother.”
“Sig,” Louise then asks, “Did you see that boy that just went out the door with Chrissy?” Sig replies, “Yes I saw him. I also remember seeing him at the Sempleworths’ the day of the fighting.” Jarrod says, “That was him, Sig, he’s my brother.” Abe replies, “I remember him over at the Sempleworths’, he fought well, was a good shot.” Sigmund says, “Indeed he was.”
Beaming with pride, “That was my brother gentlemen,” Jarrod states raising a glass he has in his hand as he takes a sip.
Coming down the stairs, “Jarrod,” Victoria asks, “Was that Alice and Connor that I saw just leave?” Jarrod replies, “Yes Mother. Paul and Ruth went too.”
“Why?” Victoria asks. Jarrod replies, “I had them leave.” Victoria asks, “How come?” Jarrod answers, “Heath.” Louise then says, “They were saying some unpleasant things about him.” Disappointedly Victoria replies “We knew this day would come,” looking over at Louise then at Diane and finally Jarrod.
“But,” Larry overhearing brings up, “That doesn’t mean you have to stand for it in your own home.” Diane says, “You heard?” Larry comments “How could we not?”
“And I don’t blame you” Wally says joining in “For tossing them out. If they said those things in my house about any member of my family or anyone staying in my home I would’ve done just what Jarrod did, there’s the door. Good day to you.” Victoria mentions, “I did tell the children that we would know who are true friends are and who won’t be when it came to Heath and you are all proving to be true friends.” Wally replies, “No problem.”
“And you’re right,” Larry says, “If Heath is living here with you then as friends and neighbors we should be willing to accept him as a member of your family just as we do with each and every member of your family already. His being here shouldn’t make any difference.”
“Indeed not,” Jarrod replies, “And thank you Larry for what you just said because Heath is not only living here but is also my brother as well and he deserves the same treatment as the rest of my brothers and sister do.”
“Which is the way it should be,” Abe answers.
“Oh Jarrod,” Victoria smiling says, “You’ve finally accepted him.” Giving her a hug, “I finally accepted him,” Jarrod answers, “Heath is my brother and I am very happy that he is here with us now.”
“Oh,” Sig then brings up, “I don’t know if any of you heard but does anyone know who we are getting as the new sheriff?” Larry replies, “I haven’t.”
“I haven’t either,” Wally answers. Father Nichols says, “I have.” Victoria asks, “Who Father? Who are we getting as a sheriff?” Father Nichols answers, “Fred.”
“Fred” Victoria mimics. Diane asks “Fred who?” Nichols replies “Fred Madden.”
“I heard about him returning as well,” Howard joins in. Victoria says, “I remember Fred, Father.” Abe replies, “So do I. He was our sheriff years ago.” Victoria says, “I remember him well, we go way back. When will he be coming?”
“I believe,” Nichols replies, “He will be taking office in several weeks. He has to finish where he is now and then will be moving back here.”
“Well,” Victoria says, “That is such good news Father, it will be great having him back here as sheriff.” Howard responds, “Agreed.”
Going out the front door Heath and Chrissy are met and greeted by Jenny and Duke who then asks “How’s it going?” Heath replies, “Fine.” Jenny tells Chrissy “You look very pretty.” Chrissy replies, “Thank you; we’re going for a walk.”
Jenny tells her “Don’t let me stop you” and as Chrissy takes hold of Heath’s hand she says “Come on Heath” leading him away. Jenny then says “They sure are cute together, aren’t they?”
“They are,” Duke replies, “At least he found someone to keep him busy; it seems the rest of the family has either scattered or forgotten about him.”
“There are a lot of people here,” Jenny mentions. Duke replies, “I know.”
Walking away from the house and running into Ed they exchange hellos and then Duke asking, “How you holding up?” Ed replies, “Handling it okay.”
“What about your mother?” Jenny asks, “How is she handling everything?”
“She’s coming around now,” Ed replies, “Just her going off to talk to some of the guests,” scanning the yard, “Have either of you seen Chrissy?” he then asks.
“We just saw her walking off with Heath” Duke says. Ed asks “Heath?” Duke replies “The newest Barkley. Didn’t they introduce you to him?” Ed answers “No.” Duke says “Well, I’m sure they will.”
Catching sight of Nick coming their way Duke calls out to him who then asks “Did you just arrive?” Duke replies “No, we’ve been around here for awhile. You were just too busy to notice.” Nick then says “Sorry.” Replying “Forget it” Duke then asks “Nick why hasn’t anyone introduced Heath to Ed?”
Replying “I don’t know” Nick says “Guess we’ve all been busy with other things. Excuse me,” quickly walking away. Jenny asks “What happened?” Duke answers “I said the wrong thing.” Coming over “What wrong thing” Bill asks overhearing.
Upon exchanging hellos with Duke and Jenny Ed says “What?” Duke replies “Heath.” Bill then asks “Heath who?” Ed inquires “What’s wrong with you mentioning Heath’s name?” Duke says “Nick hasn’t come to terms with it yet.”
“Come to terms with what?” Bill asks. Ed inquires “Who is he?” Duke says “A brother.” Ed mimics “A brother?” Bill asks “The Barkleys have another brother?” Duke says “He does. He’s Tom’s son and just came to live with the family.”
“Now I see why Nick is the way he is” Ed says “Heath’s arrival must’ve shattered some of his image of his father.” Duke retorts “You could say that.” Bill then asks “Where is Heath?” Duke replies “He went off with Chrissy.” Bill says “Oh!”
Talking in the front room “If you ever want to talk” Father Nichols taking hold of Nettie’s hand into his says “I am always around.” Nettie replies, “Thank you Father, but I think I should be alright now.” Nichols then says, “Well just the same, keep what I said in mind.” Going out the door “I will” she informs him.
Running into Nettie as she comes outside “How you doing?” Helen Merar asks of her who replies, “A little better.” Helen then says “If you ever want to talk I am always here, okay?” Nodding her head “Okay” Nettie then asks, “Where are the children?” Helen answers “Scattered.”
While seated up at South Meadows watching the waves moving about Jessie asks, “Does anyone have anything we could talk about? We’re just sitting here doing nothing except watching the waves in the water.”
“I can’t think of anything,’ ‘I can’t either,’ ‘Me neither,’” comes from Rosie, Mary and Patty simultaneously. Jessie calling out to Audra, Audra replies, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.” Keeping their attention on her “Well” Jessie says.
“Well what?” Audra asks. Patty inquires “Are you finished thinking yet?” Audra then replies “I got it.” Patty asks “You got what?” Audra says “Well looking at the waves gave me an idea.” Rosie asks “Well, what’s the idea?”
Audra then says, “Well if you were stranded on a deserted island, if there was nothing to eat what would you use to kill for food?” Mary asks “What made you think of something like that?” Audra replies “I don’t know. It just popped into my head.” Shaking her head “Sometimes Audra” Mary says “You could be a strange girl.” Audra retorts “Well, thanks a lot.”
Audra then says “Well answer the question.” Mary replies, “Well the odds of that happening are very slim.” Audra says “You still have to answer the question.”
Mary asks, “Why? I don’t like the question.” Audra says, “What’s wrong with it?”
“Well honestly,” Jessie asks, “Would you want to be on a deserted island and without food?” Audra answers, “Not really.”
“And would you want to kill something for food?” Jessie says, “I sure wouldn’t.”
“To be perfectly honest, “Audra replies, “I wouldn’t either.”
Patty then says “Rosie, Mary, I know you’re both leaving tomorrow so that means we probably won’t see each other again, so how about if we make a pact?”
As each one announces they like the idea Audra inquires, “What should the pact be?” Patty replies, “I don’t know but it has to be something good.”
As they each think about what it could be of Audra coming out with the answer responds, “How about if we call it Best Friends for Life. We are good friends so why not call the pact ‘Best Friends for Life’?”
Liking it and agreeing to the Best Friends for Life pact they each place their right hand into the middle of the circle and recite “Best Friends for Life” one after the other.
Audra then says, “And if any one of us should need the other we will always come running or will always be there for the other. Agreed?”
After each one responds “Agreed,” Jessie recites “All for one and one for all” with each of the girls joining in. Patty then suggests they should be heading back and as they each get up they shake the dirt off from their clothes, grab their horses and head back towards the house.
As Nick walks through the front door Laura comes down the steps and calling out to him who stops and looks over at her tells him how sorry she was for losing her head and going wild on him. Nick replies, “Forget it. I’ve had worse happen.”
Giving him a kiss on the cheek she asks, “Where is Nettie or your mother?”
“Not sure,” Nick answers, “Just walked in. They must be here somewhere.”
“I’ll find them” she says “Continue on.” Nick tells her “Glad to see you’re up and around.” Upon thanking him Laura heads for the study while Nick goes into the kitchen.
As another group of guests are gathered in the parlor “Oh Louise” one woman says, “Let me look at you.” As Louise replies, “Hello Maggie” Maggie then asks “What are you doing here? I thought you were in Sacramento.”
“I was” Louise mentions “I just came for the services. I will be returning Monday.” Maggie says, “What a pity. It took something like this to bring you and us together again.”
“Agreed,” Louise replies, “This is the first time I’ve seen Victoria since Audra and Eugene were babies. That shows just how long ago it’s been.”
“Yes” Maggie says “A very long time.” Louise then mentions “And she has another son.” Maggie notes “Yes Heath. He definitely is a quiet one; nothing like Nick.”
Louise states “I noticed that too. Maybe it’s just his being new here. Perhaps after he’s been here awhile he will be just as loud as Nick is.” Maggie quips, “If that should happen Lord help us both.” Grinning, “Lord help us all,” Louise retorts.
Throwing rocks into the water the boys up at Sky Meadow watch as they skip. Realizing it’s beginning to get late Irving suggests they head back. Agreeing with the decision they stop what they are doing and grab their horses. Gene leads the way back.
Idly walking about the yard, “Jenny,” Duke asks, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing’s the matter, Duke” Jenny replies.
Duke says, “You’re so quiet. What is it?” Jenny replies, “I don’t know.”
Spinning her slightly so she is facing him “This thing with Laura” he says “And Nettie” taking hold of her arms and looking at her “Is really starting to get to you, isn’t it?” Nodding her head, “Yeah,” she sheepishly replies, “I guess it is.”
“You know it is” Duke says “I’ve been watching you. You just seem so, I don’t know, distant.” Jenny replies “I want to talk to them but I don’t know what to say.” Duke suggests, “Just talk to them. I’m sure you will find what to say and I’m sure they would like talking to you.”
Nodding her head again “Yeah, I think maybe I better” Jenny replies giving Duke a peck on the tip of his nose “I’ll be back in a little bit.” Duke tells her “Take your time. When you’re finished I will be over there with the hands, okay?”
Replying, “Okay,” Jenny walks away while Duke heads for the deck where the 4 hands are enjoying their lunch.
Glancing up at Duke, “Hey Duke,” Jim says, “You finally decided to join us?”
Taking a seat “I have,” Duke replies. Johnny asks “Where’s Jenny?” Duke replies, “Went looking for Laura and Nettie. This thing with what happened has really started bothering her.” Bobby asks, “Will she be alright?”
“She’ll be fine,” Duke then asks, “How you fellas doing?”
“Not bad,” answers Johnny, “We’re just taking a breather.”
“Working today is not bad at all,” Ron notes. Bobby adds, “Yeah, it’s a breeze.”
“Something different,” Johnny says, “Than the usual day to day grind we do.”
Ron asks, “Did you get yourself something to eat?” Duke replies, “Yeah I did.”
Jenny seeing Laura seated in the study alone grabs a sandwich and upon joining her asks, “Do you mind if I join you?” Laura replies, “Not at all; feel free.”
Taking a seat, “How you doing?” Jenny asks of Laura who replies, “Much better.”
“You sure,” Jenny asks. Letting out a little smile “I’m sure” Laura replies.
Jenny then says, “Laura I don’t know what to say or how to say it.”
Laura asks “What is it?” Jenny then answers “I’m not really good at this kind of thing but what happened to Harry and to Frank has really bothered me. And I know that it is upsetting to you and Nettie and each of the children which I know is normal. But if you ever feel like talking I am here.” Laura replies, “Thank you.”
Walking over to the men sitting on the deck Victoria offers them slices of cake she has on a tray. Ron being the first to answer is the first to take a slice with Johnny following right behind him and so on. Victoria then asks Duke where Jenny is to which he answers, “She went looking for Laura and Nettie. I think what happened was really getting to her.” Victoria says, “Yes, I could imagine it is.”
Duke replies “I think she will feel better talking to them.” Victoria says “I think so too. It helped me and now I feel so much better.” Duke replies “You seem it.”
Victoria says, “I’m much more at ease with myself now.”
Bobby then asks of Mrs. Barkley what she wants help with next in which she informs them that after they finish their cake they are free to go and Nick will still pay them for the full day. After thanking her she asks them to bring their dishes inside and then walking away from them she tends to the younger children gathered and bring them slices of cake.
While enjoying their cake, “Well now,” Jim says, “That we have the rest of the afternoon off what could we go and do?”
Bobby suggests, “How about us going into town and see what is going on there?”
“Now that is a plan,” Johnny replies, “And just maybe we’ll run into Cody while we’re there.” Duke says, “I heard that you’re sweet on her.”
Johnny asks, “Who told you that?” Duke answers, “Oh, a little bird whispered it one day.” Ron asks Duke if he and Jenny would like to come along. Declining the offer Duke remains at the table while the men bid him a good day as they take their finished dishes inside.
As the hands move towards the side door Ed comes over to Duke and upon exchanging hellos Duke asks of Ed, “What’s the matter?” Ed replies, “I’m looking for Chrissy.”
“She went off with Heath,” Duke informs him, “He probably took her to see the horses. He likes them.” Ed replies, “I better go and check on her.”
Duke offering to come along Ed declining tells him, “No I got it. I know where the horses are; it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been here,” as he walks away. As Jenny walks over to Duke he greets her and then asks, “Did you manage to talk to them?” Laura answers, “Laura I did, but didn’t get a chance to talk to Nettie.”
Duke asking her what she wants to do, she answers, “Would you mind if we left? I had enough for one day.”
Replying, “Come on,” Duke gets up and going with her to the side door they go to bid everyone good bye before leaving.
Inside the study Howard and Helen Merar take hold of Nettie and Laura’s hands as they bid them both a goodbye kiss and hug as they are the first to make their leave and as they go out the door they pass by Victoria on their way out.
Walking around the yard Heath and Chrissy wind up at the Paddock. Observing the black stallion moving about, “Hey look at that horse Heath,” Chrissy says.
“She’s a beauty Chrissy,” Heath comments, “Or rather he is. You want to see something?” Chrissy answers, “Sure.”
Heath tells her to stay put while he goes inside the paddock and as he stands there he watches the horse moving back and forth from one side of the paddock to the other. Chrissy watches with interest as the horse turns around and upon seeing Heath standing there takes his hoofs and constantly runs them in the dirt, back and forth, back and forth all the while keeping his attention on Heath while at the same time Heath never takes his eyes off the horse as it continues to move about.
Carefully bringing his hand up, Heath says, “Hello fella,” holding his hand out to him, “I’m a friend. I am not going to hurt you. I’m a friend. My name’s Heath.”
Chrissy continues to watch Heath talk to the wild horse with interest but remains where she is instructed in between the slats with her hands holding onto each of the posts on each side of the slats.
Holding his hand out, “Come here boy,” Heath calls to him, “See that little girl there?” indicating Chrissy, “She wants to be see what I could do with you. So,” pausing “Let’s show her.” Watching the horse “What do you say?” Heath asks “Do you want to show her what you and I could do? We have to hurry. Someone may see us and may not like it. I don’t want to be taught a lesson for being here. So why not come over and let us be friends?”
Studying Heath the black stallion slowly moves towards him, “That’s it,” he encourages, “Let’s show Chrissy there that you’re a friend. Come on. I’m not gonna hurt you. That’s it, just want us to be friends,” continuing to talk softly to him. As the stallion continues inching forward he finally reaches his side and putting his lip to Heath’s hand and after a couple seconds or so allows him to pet him “That’s a boy” looking over at Chrissy “See Chrissy” he says “He’s a friend.”
“I see,” Chrissy answers, “Can I pet him?”
“Let’s see,” Heath replies, “Well boy, would you allow Chrissy here to pet you?” Moving closer to the fence, “She’s only a little girl, but she won’t hurt you.” From inside the paddock “Chrissy come here” he says picking her up and holding her in his arms “Go ahead Chrissy, pet him. He won’t hurt you.” Doing as instructed she manages to pet him. Smiling, “He’s nice,” she mentions.
“Yes he is” Heath replies “But we better go from here now. We don’t want anyone catching us here they may not like it” as they climb out of the paddock Heath places Chrissy back down and then jumps over the top of the fence to get back on the other side.
“That was good Heath” Chrissy then asks “How’d’you get him to do that?”
“It’s a gift,” Heath tells her, “Something I learned long while ago.”
“Can you do it again?” she asks.
“Another time perhaps,” Heath answers, “But not now. Want to see my horse Gal?” he then asks of her who responds, “Sure.” Heath says, “Come with me,” and takes her into the barn.
Inside the study Duke and Jenny are saying their farewells to Victoria as well as Diane in between going over to Nettie and Laura taking turns offering their condolences who in turn thank them. Leaving the house they are met by Audra and the girls as they dismount and once they bid them each goodbye and offer condolences to Rosie, Mary and Patty they continue on their way while the girls head for the study.
Diane asks of them, “Did you girls have a nice outing?” Jessie replies, “We did, yes.”
Going into one another’s arms Patty and Laura share a moment together showing their love and sympathizing over losing their father and husband while Rosie and Mary do the same with Nettie seated on either side of Victoria.
While Patty and Laura are going into one another’s arms sharing a moment together showing their love and sympathizing over losing their father and husband, Rosie and Mary are doing the same with Nettie seated on the other side of Victoria who is joined by Audra who says, “Mother, we were talking and Rosie and Mary were telling us that in the morning Aunt Nettie will be leaving here.”
“They are yes,” Victoria replies, “And I will be going with them to help them get settled in.” Audra asks, “You are?”
“I am yes,” Victoria informs her, “While I go with Nettie and the children on the train Jarrod will be helping Bill and Ed with driving the wagons.”
Thinking quickly, “Mother,” Audra asks, “Then could I come too?”
“I don’t know Audra,” Victoria replies, “What about school?”
“It will be only for a couple days, right?” Audra asks.
“It will,” Victoria admits, “But I don’t like you missing school.”
Just then Rosie begins pleading with Victoria who helps with trying to get her to come along. Then thinking it over, Victoria replies, “Well, seeing that these are insinuating circumstances, then perhaps, they will benefit from you going along. The answer is yes,” she tells her, “You may go,” as she runs her hand down Audra’s long hair.
While Audra is smiling and thanking her for being allowed to go, Jessie says, “I sure wish we could go too.”
“I wish we could too dear,” Diane replies, “But then who would be here for Laura and Patty and Carl?” Jessie admits, “I didn’t think of that.”
Audra then says, “Well come along, help me get ready” and quickly getting up off the couch Jessie, Mary, Patty and Rosie go up the stairs with Audra.
“That didn’t take long,” Nettie states.
“A little thing made them happy,” Victoria notes.
“It’s good to see,” Nettie says, “Something I haven’t seen on either of them, since it happened.”
“I think,” Victoria surmises, “It might be beneficial if Audra came along.”
“So do I,” Laura answers.
As some of the guests begin leaving Louise, Father Nichols, Wally and Jenny Miles, the Jenkins, the Jacksons, the Drumms and several others each take turns in bidding both Laura and Nettie goodbye with them each offering them condolences and thanking Victoria for her hospitality as they head for their buggies or however they arrived there and ride off.
As the boys return from their outing they quickly go towards the house and passing by Duke and Jenny who on the way exchange goodbyes while grabbing their buggy. Riding off they leave the ranch and head towards town.
Walking in the front door Gene with Carl and Henry in tow finds Victoria in the study along with Laura and Nettie. Greeting Gene as he enters “How was it?” Victoria inquires. Gene answers, “It went fine.”
As Carl goes into Laura’s open arms, Henry goes into Nettie who each exchange embraces with Carl saying, “Oh Mother,” with tears in his eyes, “I was so worried about you.” Henry asks of Nettie, “Mother, how you doing?”
“Much better,” Nettie informs him.
Victoria then asks, “Where’s Irving?” Gene answers, “He left. His parents were out there waiting for him.”
Asking them what they did Gene mentions they went up to Sky Meadow to talk with Henry adding they walked around a bit and tossed rocks into the water. Gene then brings up the topic of Henry moving away and while he whines about them never seeing one another again, Victoria mentions that depends on if they come by for visits etc.
Gene then bringing up that they didn’t get to formally say goodbye to them Victoria asks him if he’d like to go with them in the morning to which he likes the idea as well as Henry.
Learning that Laura isn’t going, Carl retorts, “Oh darn, I was hoping we could go too.” But then Victoria uses her persuasion and gets Laura to change her mind with Diane adding her voice to Victoria’s mentions, “The couple days away just may be what you need. You may feel better when you return.”
Pondering over the idea Laura says, “The more I think about it the more I think it just might do us some good and be what we need right now. Okay, I’m sold.”
Cheering on the idea Victoria tells Gene to get ready and to go inform the girls about Laura’s deciding to go along with them and quickly the boys all run up the stairs together.
Gathered in the gunroom and making their way to the doorway, Sig and his wife, Abe and his wife begin making their departure as they say goodbye to Nettie with Jarrod opting to walk them out.
"The Turning Point"