Friday, May 28, 2010

WHEN AMBER CRIED ENOUGH; by Marguerite Mohler Hanson; 1932; part 4

Drag told them, except about the kiss. "Now was I to know who she was? Not a yip out of her. She groaned a little when Dolly put that leverage on my elbows; that was all. I've read of ribs being cracked that way. I didn't know it was so easy.

"That's your trouble. There's a lot you don't know," raved Henry. Drag let him rave. He felt he had it coming, but he absolutely refused to go up and apologize.

"I can't do it," he declared miserably. "I'll do anything under the sun but that. I'm as sorry as all get out; but I can't tell her so. Anyhow, a fellow can't square himself for a thing like that by apologizing."

"At least it would help. You've go to do that or go jump into the silo. You're not fit to live if you don't do something."

"He might pay her doctor bill," Dolly offered hopefully. Henry moaned and even Drag smiled.

"Or he might give her the twin calves," she persisted defiantly. "Amber's crazy about those twins. She can't believe me when I tell her he will never sell them. She says those calves were born to be the start of the new Chapelle herd. She'd let Drag break her neck if he'd give her those two heifers."

"Give them; nonsense!" cried Mrs. Flemming, beginning to stack the dishes. "He might sell them to her, though."

"Watch me!" muttered the goaded owner of the calves, and flung out of the house. He wandered on down to the calf pen. Sell those babies! He'd as soon sell children of his own if he had any. He'd as soon sell the heart out of his body.

He leaned over the bars to scratch the little dished face of one of his darlings. Great of Amber to appreciate them, though. She sure was a wonderful girl. That kiss! How round and soft and supple she'd been! And he'd cracked a rib for her--two ribs! Dunce! Lout! Bum!

Early next morning Dolly rushed home from a before-breakfast visit up the hill. She caught the rest of the family still in the kitchen.

"Surely, Drag," Mrs. Flemming's exasperated voice was saying, "You weren't fool enough to give her those calves."

"I was," Drag admitted.

"It's an absolute insult," raved Henry. "Making a girl a present of two calves! Rough-housing her and sending her twin calves in payment! Great heavens!

"Listen folks," interrupted Dolly, "Amber's tickled to death about those heifers. She looked kind of funny at first, then she laughed till her ribs hurt, and then she cried. She's making Jason turn out old Spot to wet-nurse 'em. Old Spot's so big-hearted she'd wet-nurse a snake. Jason's scandalized. He thinks Drag's lost his mind to part with those calves.

"I know it," muttered Henry.

"Here's a note she sent to Drag."

The family peered eagerly over his shoulder as he opened it and read:

"Thanks for the calves. I love them dearly. But of course this is not enough.
Amber Chappelle