Wednesday, March 9, 2011

As We Continue with Two Cowboys, Chance and Rooney

Continuation of part 2

Here's what happened when they got to "Al's." It was later described to me at the hospital. Oooppps I'm getting ahead of my story.

Chance went directly to the machines and Rooney plopped that handsome tush at the bar. Sitting next to him was the Professor, a rustic, unshaven redhead from out East. To escape a nasty divorce, he stopped teaching and headed to Montana. Rooney and the Professor began talking and drinking with Rooney's three drinks to one of the Professors.

The evening wore on. Chance ran out of gambling money and said he was going to the truck. He crawled in the back and immediately fell asleep between two large spools of fence wire.

Rooney, still at the bar, was surrounded by local college girls. He kept tossing down drinks and wasn't really listening to the Professor's stories. He was thinking about getting laid, now that he was all liquored up but the Professor was yammering on about his fourteen year old kid who was spending the summer and how he was teaching him to shoot a gun and making a man out of him.

Closing time was announced and people started leaving. The Professor had somehow lost his truck keys but Rooney said they'd give him a ride home.

Out at the truck, the Professor got behind the wheel since Rooney was in no condition to drive. They took off in a typical Montana-bar-closing scene with Chance bouncing around in the truck-bed admid the fencing tools.

When they reached the Professor's trailer, the door was locked and his key was with the lost truck keys. Chance awoke and wondered what the hell was going on as he got out of the pickup. He and the Professor banged on the door but couldn't wake the boy. Rooney was in the drive way puk'n and Chance and the Professor were trying to find an open window. Hurray, they found one small, high-up unlocked window. The only person who would fit in that small opening would be Chance, so the Professor gave him a boost and he disappeared into the darkened room.


There was a muffled shot. The next moment chaos reigned supreme. The kid came screaming out the door with the gun in his hand..... "Pa, Pa, someone's trying to break in and I think I shot him." Rooney stopped puking and was suddenly stone sober. Neighbors came rushing from their trailers. "Call an ambulance" someone shouted. Poor little Chance's body lay crumbled on the floor in a bright red pool of blood.

When my phone rang at 3 A.M. I thought, "Rooney's in jail again." I picked it up and all I heard was Rooney's incoherent blubbering. I finally made out that Chance had been shot.

"Is he alive?" I gasped.

"Barely. We're at the hospital."

"I'm on my way." I hung up the phone, slipped into my jeans and ran to my pickup.

When I got to the hospital, Chance was in surgery. We waited a couple of hours with Rooney pacing like a caged mountain cat, spewing prayers and making bargaining promises to God.

Finally a string bean looking doctor in blood-stained scrubs poked his head into the waiting room. He either had the perfect doctor's non-committal countenance or he played a lot of poker. After the usual bla bla bla introduction, he said simply, "he's going to be OK." Rooney broke into tears and I said my silent little prayer of thanks.

Dr. String Bean added, "He's sleeping but come back around noon."

Rooney and I stepped outside as a thin pink band of light showed across the Eastern sky. We buttoned up our jean jackets to ward off the remnants of the cool Montana night.

"Come on. I'll cook breakfast," I said, as we headed for my pickup.

"Yup, looks like it'll be a fine day for fenc'n," chimed in Rooney.

The ever lov'n End


  1. OMG!!! What a story! Funny, but, omg...he could have been killed. Geeez...

  2. Haha! And here I was thinking these tales of the Wild West had been romanticized for us Aussies!! But they're true!!

    Maybe I'll believe the hype next time!!!

    Have a great day!!

  3. That was gooooood, Manzi! The ending is so real. Yep. :-)

  4. Good grief!!!! That was seriously lucky! Take care

  5. What a great story. Those boys were like barely broke horses. Good thing they had you to pick up the pieces.

  6. LOVED IT!

    SO well got the goods, Ma'am!!

    xoxoxo, cd

  7. Sounds like a Texas story ... except for the mountains.

  8. turquoisemoon,
    Poor little Chance came close to ending it all right there.

    Red Nomad Oz,
    Now would we lie to an Aussie, I ask you. You wouldn't make up stories for us..... :)

    Thanks. You're my great critic.

    Old Kitty,
    Thanks so much for being such a faithful follower and your dear comments. I greatly appreciate your presense.

    I think they thought I was their mama but I sorta do collect strays and misfits, I guess.

    Thank you girl. I appreciate your intelligent comments.

    Lots of similarity between Texas and Montana. When I see your cowboy movies, I think it's Montana.

  9. I love the nonchalant way they respond to harrowing events. Just another day (or night) in the life of a cowboy. Your story reminds me of Annie Proulx and her Wyoming Stories.

  10. So this is what it's like in Montana, hunh? Terrific story!

  11. Wow I'm sticking to NYC where it's safe! LOL! Great story!

  12. Hi Manzanita,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. You mentioned you have another blog.... I would love to have the link.. that is, if you don't mind.

    my email is terrylee5151 at aol dot com

  13. Just hopping by and wishing you a lovely weekend x

  14. great story! New follower from friday blog hop... would love a visit and follow back...

  15. Teresa,
    yes. Another day another buck. I'm not familiar with Annie Proulx. I'll have to look her up.

    Thanks for stopping. I think life in Montana is "normal" but it may be a lot different that the rest of the world.

    Could be. You don't have raging bulls coming at you.

    How nice of you. I'll stop by your blog before the day is out.

    It's a pleasure to meet you and nice of you to comment and follow. I am a follower of yours, too.

  16. Great story. Reminded me of my mom. She was always calm in a crisis. I came home on crutches one day with my leg all bandaged up, and she just said, "Oh, well what happened this time?"

  17. Wow, Manzi. Great tale. It is vintage Montana. I used to fish up there, and I learned it is a different way of life. Actually, I liked it a lot. Enjoy!

  18. Galen,
    You probably inherited that calmness from her. By the way, what did happen???

    It is different and I need that way of life. Most people still trust and very few lock their doors.

    Thanks for your generous and intelligent comments. Love you all. Manzanita

  19. Wow I'm glad he made it out ok. Very dramatic and adventurous. I hope every day isn't like that in Montana.

  20. Karyn,
    Well, it was with those two. Never a dull moment. I'm still hearing stories about them.

  21. Poor Chance. I'm glad he lived.
    How long did they stay with you?