Lonesome Dove Two

Alice asked me to get her a roll of stamps at the post
office. While I was there, Elroy Faust drove up. He was wearing his battered
Stetson, and fresh ironed blue shirt, jeans, and scuffed boots. . And driving a
new pick-up truck. It was a big white three quarter ton beauty. We howded and I
bragged on his truck. “Boy she sure is pretty. What do you need with a monster
like this?” “I bought it to haul hay for my cows,” he said.  “You have plenty of hay for the winter?” I
asked. “Well, I do now. I have just bought 100 round bales of coastal hay that
should get me through till spring.” “Where did you have to go to buy that much
hay,” I asked. “Found a fellow down around Lockhart with plenty of hay, but he
won’t deliver. I have to go get it. That makes the cost a good bit more.”
“Elroy, how many trips to Lockhart will that take to haul the hay to your barn?”  He thought a minute and said he could get it
all in about a dozen trips. With the price of diesel, that does add several
dollars to the cost of hay.

All of that talk about hay got me to thinking. Now I know
that doesn’t happen often, but some days you just can’t help yourself. A plan
was hatching in my head. “Hey, Elroy, you have time for a cup of coffee?”
“Sure. Meet you at the Exxon.”

“Now, Elroy, you just listen to this wonderful idea that has
just come to me. We can have some fun, make some money, and save you all the
trouble of hauling that hay.” He flashed that sly smile of his and said to
spill my idea. I said my grand thought was this, “We will advertise in the
Liberty Hill Leader for men and women to join in a grand cattle drive from here
to Lockhart. We will say this might be the last time you or your kids will ever
have the opportunity to be a part of a genuine old west cattle drive. You see
Elroy, we don’t have to haul all that hay…we will take the cows to the hay. We
will charge each rider about 4 or 5 Hundred dollars to participate in the
cattle drive. We will call it something like, ‘Lonesome Dove Two’. You can play
the part of Robert Duval as Gus, and I will be Tommy Lee Jones as Woodrow
Call.  I will invite Alice to come with
us and she can pick a part to play. I will call one of the TV stations to film
the adventure, and we will make some money there. We will promise not to have
any shootings, hangings, or anything that might be painful.  We will stage an Indian raid down about half
way. Or maybe we could have a bunch of cattle rustlers show up, and it will fun
for all. Don’t you think that would make a great time for all those part time

“I figure we need about 25 men and their horses to manage
those cows of yours. I bet Pete Kauffman and E. U. Johnson would like to be in
on the drive. We may even get Bob Rook and that Berry guy to join us.  And 25 times $500.00 comes to about 12 thousand
dollars. We can buy a lot of hay for that kind of money. The fact is there may
be some money left over for other necessities: like beer and hot gut sausages.

“Whoa, whoa, Baker. How do you think we can drive a hundred
head of cows all the way across Williamson, Travis, and Hays County without
getting into some big trouble?” “Well, we can drive east on Highway 29 to
Georgetown. That won’t take more than a couple of days. If we leave real early
in the morning, before the rush hour we ought to make it just fine. Then we
will be on the toll road 130 going south. The right of way is plenty wide and
the cattle can graze along on the trip. We may get our feet wet fording the
Colorado River and Onion Creek, but that is part of the experience. I am all
excited about it already, and I don’t even own a horse or saddle.”

Elroy just hung his head and laughed. “Baker, you must be
nuts. Or out of your head. Maybe both. Besides I have figured how to get that
hay up hear easier and cheaper. I already have 20 guys with pick-ups that will
drive down to Lockhart and bring back a couple round bales in their truck. A
few trips and the job is done. Then I will pay them off by taking them to
dinner at Dahlia’s.”

Well, there goes one more grand idea, and a chance for fame
and fortune down in flames.

Hollis Baker  13
January 2013

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