“I’ve come to talk. I think
it’s time for it. We need to take a long hard look at some things.” Zona
threw her head back and her chin out as she spoke.
“Suits me.” John agreed. He
was as ready as she was to end this separation.
“The fact of the matter is
that I can’t stay out there on that place with the kids by myself any
longer. I’m not doin’ any good there, just holdin’ on to it is all. Your
son is plagued with terrible asthma attacks and it is almost more than I
can do to struggle with that and then have to take care of everything
“I know you think I haven’t
put some thought into things but I have.”
John spoke carefully to his
estranged wife. “They are tellin’ me there is a lot of good farming land
out around Guymon, Oklahoma. I believe, if we sell all this out here and
give that a try we’d be better off. The air is dry out there and old Doc
thinks that might help Lee’s asthma.” John characteristically was working
toward his goal for moving the family to another location.
“You do what has to be done
with paperwork and I’ll sign. I’m ready to give it up here. We got married
to be a family and I still want that,” Zona reasoned with her husband. She
reached up to touch his cheek with the flat of her hand and he pulled her
into an embrace. The men in the saloon yelled their characteristic,
yeee-hawwss and wobbled their beer steins on the tables, back and forth to
rattle a sound of agreement while they waved a fist in the air. Their
separation must have been discussed by the towns people already and this
reuniting was met with pleasure and gladness for the couple’s renewed
After John and Zona were
re-united she was ready to return to the wagon where her daughter was
waiting. She said her goodbyes to John. No sooner did she get up onto the
seat than an asthma attack struck. She climbed into the bed of the wagon,
and spoke to her daughter. “You will have to drive the oxen on home. If I
stay very still maybe, I can make it.”
‘The stress and the huge
amount of self-discipline Zona had taken on in order to communicate with
John must have brought the asthma attack on her. After crawling into the
box bed on the back she was almost unconscious but kept up her struggle to
breath. The girl held the reins to the oxen and they found their way back
to Otter Creek off the 4-D.’
“Mommy!” We’re home now.
You can get up.” Like her mother before her she had the courage to take
control and to go forward to do what was necessary at the time.
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