Howdy! I'm Ember and this is my first story. I've adored the book Lonesome Dove alot since I was old enough to understand it. This is simular to a fanfiction, but it has ALOT of things that don't comply to the book. A very original idea. Based on Lonesome Dove. I own some of the chracters, but not all. Enjoy!
San Antonio, Texas
She never had any intentions of leaving Bellbrooke.
It was true that Eleanor Smith loved Bellbrooke like she loved her mother, and it was true that she dreaded to leave it. She had been so comfortable in her family cabin in the small patch of woods across that small stone bridge- the bridge she'd never cross again. That bridge represented her life. It was far older than her, so everyday it stood, Eleanor's life remained stable. As soon as it began to crumble, so did her life.
As soon as the accident happened, the bridge collapsed the next day.
Everything would have been alright if she had a horse or a mule. But the accident took her horse from her, who ever knew that the accident would spread to the barn and wipe out all of her family's livestock. Truth be told, they were her grandparents livestock, for her mother and her lived with her grandparents. She knew who her father was, but she never liked to mention him. He wasn't anything to be proud of anyway.
That was back in Bellbrooke. Now, there she sat, on the porch of a whorehouse in San Antonio. She was not there for any whoring reasons. She had ridden into San Antone with a group of buffalo hunters that were kind enough to pick her up one night and offer her a ride. She wasn't used to sitting on an immense pile of buffalo skins on the back of a mule wagon. It had been a very short ride though, only a few hours.
As she rode in the back of that wagon, she had the oddest longing for her stallion, Red. Red was a copper-colored thoroughbred stallion gave to her by her grandfather for her birthday. He had the most beautiful white markings, four white socks and an elegant blaze which occupied the structure of his face. He was a beautiful horse, and Eleanor always loved him. He was an animal she could put her trust in. He was fast, too. Could outrun a buffalo herd if he had too.
As Eleanor relaxed on the porch of the whorehouse, she intently observed the people riding by her. For some reason, she had a feeling that she'd find someone to live with. As she studied, her "whore mother"- or as she called her- came up behind her.
"Whatch' ya doin', Darlin'?" asked Nell from behind her.
Eleanor looked up at her. "Just watchin'," she replied.
Nell took a seat next to her. Eleanor studied her face. It was true that Nell was the prettiest whore in San Antone, but it was sad that she'd be leaving soon. A saloon owner in Kansas had recruited her, and was riding down to fetch her as they sat there. Eleanor had already made up her mind that once Nell was gone, she'd pack her rucksack and hit the road. She had no idea where she was headed, as long as she got away from Texas. The state bared too many painful memories for Eleanor to stay anymore.
"I'm leaving tomorrow," said Nell. She reached down into her corset, and revealed a letter. "This came this mornin' for me. It's from Wayne. He wrote it from the Nueces River three days ago."
Ain't that lovely, thought Eleanor.
Nell held the letter close to her. It seemed that Wayne was a bit young to own a saloon. But Nell was smitten for the man; there was no doubt about that. At least Wayne would treat her right. No doubt about that, either.
"Well, I better get ready to whoop off, too, I guess," Eleanor said.
Nell quirked her brows. "Whoop off? To where?"
Eleanor shook her head, sending red tendrils flying into her face. "I don't know yet, I reckon. Probably head on to Arkansas or somewhere near there," she said. She didn't know why, but, Arkansas seemed like a place of opportunity to her. All she needed was a horse. She had saved fifteen dollars over four months from cleaning tables for the saloon owner and for performing various odd jobs for farmers. While helping a woman in her garden, she noticed that a farmer had a mule for sale. Perhaps she could ride it to Arkansas.
"You should go to Kansas with me, I'm sure that Wayne could give you a job working the bar," Nell pointed out.
A little girl trotted by on a little brown pony, and Eleanor found herself a little jealous. "I could. But I don't wanna be no whore, I can tell you that much. It ain't worth givin' myself up for, neither."
"You could go to Nebraska, to Ogallala, I hear that where all the orphans go," said Nell, pushing a black curl from her forehead. "My friend rode up there after her Pa died."
Eleanor had heard about Ogallala, that's where her pa had met her mama. She had no use to go there. Especially if there was a chance her pa could still be there. Nope, she was headed to Arkansas; she had already made up her mind on that. Her best friend, Odella, was still in Bellbrooke with her ma and pa, they offered to take her in and give her work on their horse farm, but Eleanor had left town before she could make up her mind. She hoped she'd be able to leave Texas soon.
"Well, I guess I ought to go pack my trunk," said Nell, getting up. She patted Eleanor's shoulder. Eleanor didn't do anything but stare at the street.
The next morning, Wayne arrived early, with a free horse for Nell. Everyone came by the night before to pay their goodbyes to her. They all sat in the saloon drinking and gambling, and laughing so loud that Eleanor couldn't sleep well upstairs. Some men came by just to whore with her one last time. Though it was a long night, Eleanor hated saying goodbye to her friend.
"Good luck to you, Eleanor," said Nell from atop her new horse. "Perhaps I shall see you in Kansas some day. I'll be in Abilene for the rest of my years, I reckon."
And with that, Wayne and Nell rode into the sunrise. Now it was time to go to work. Eleanor only had a bundle of belongings to take with her. It consisted of a shawl, three bonnets, and extra stockings. But wrapped up in her stockings for safety, were the heavy-duty spurs her grandfather gave to her to ride Red with. It was the only thing she had left of her beloved horse. She bundled up her belongings, and bade farewell to her friends at the saloon. She made her way to the farmer's house where she purchased the mule she saw for sale.
The mule cost five dollars, and was indeed ride-able. And for another five, the farmer threw in a saddle and a bridle for it. Eleanor mounted the thing, and trotted it back through town. On her way out, she stopped in the middle of the road. She looked over her shoulder, and took in the last glance of south Texas she'd ever see again.
And with a sigh, Eleanor kicked her mule into a swift trot, and rode toward the river just outside of town.
Farewell, Texas, may you forever be in my heart.