Every time the stage hit a pot hole it would bounce the coach. But Cecily Corey never noticed. She had her head buried in a book. For hours she had read. Now she slowly closed the dime store novel and sighed.
The woman beside her smiled with amusement. “I’m assuming that the Texas Kid beat another opponent?”
Cecily smiled. “Oh Mama, he is so wonderful! Don’t you just love the West?”
“The West found in those Texas Kid novels? Or the real West right outside the window? The one that’s dusty and untamed...”
“That’s what the Texas Kid is. Untamed. Just waiting for a woman to-”
“Miss,” one of the two male passengers interrupted. “Who is this Texas kid?”
The older woman eyed the man leery. The two men had joined the stage at the last relay station. It appeared that they were traveling together. They had been polite but for some reason she just didn’t like them.
Cecily leaned forward with excitement, “He’s just the toughest hombre in the whole entire West!”
“Really, Cecily!” the older woman chided. “You’ll have to excuse my daughter. She loves these books.”
“This Texas Kid. He got a name?” the other cowboy asked.
The two men exchanged glances.
“You ever heard of him?” Cecily asked.
“Who hasn’t?” the older man asked, his eyes crinkling with laughter.
Mrs. Corey wasn’t sure if they were making fun or being serious. “Is there really a Jack Stede?”
“Ma’am,” one of the cowboys replied, “I spect there’s a little Jack Stede in everyone.”
“Of course The Texas Kid is in hiding. He doesn’t use his real name,” Cecily explained. “So you might know him and not realize that you know The Texas Kid.”
“Oh,” one of the cowboys stated. “How come he’s in hiding?”
“He’s put so many outlaws in jail that it’s not good for them to know where he is. Revenge.”
“Oh. A real tough lawman.”
“He’s not a lawman. Not like my Uncle Mort.”
“Your Uncle is a lawman?” the cowboy glanced at the other. “Where?”
“In Laramie. We’re going to visit him. It’s my birthday present. I turned sixteen. Do you know my Uncle Mort?”
“I’ve heard of Mort Corey,” the cowboy answered. “Sheriff Mort Corey out of Laramie. He’s got a reputation as being a tough Sheriff..”
“That’s my Uncle!” she said proudly. “Only no one is as tough as the Texas Kid.”
“Cecily, I think you’ve bothered these gentlemen enough.”
“Oh no bother, ma’am. Real interesting to hear about the Texas Kid. Who knows Jack Stede could be heading towards Laramie right now.”
“I know! Wouldn’t that be something to actually get to meet him?”
“You might be disappointed,” one of the cowboys replied.
“Oh no! The Texas Kid is a genuine hero. There’s none better than The Texas Kid.” Cecily replied with a grin. “Oh Mama, isn’t the West wonderful! The people are so friendly.”
The two men chuckled.