She settled into life the best she could,
wanted for nothing, but found her life boring.
Thankfully her pa wasn’t much around,
when he wasn’t at work, he was whoring.
Not many folks spoke kindly about him,
but he had money, and worse, he had guns.
The men also knew he’d sack anybody,
turn out folks with their wives and little ones.
And when she asked into the man Joe Fields,
she got little more than cold, frightened looks.
Most would not even speak of the bandit,
those that did just called him ‘killer,’ and ‘crook.’
She finally heard words from a drunk cowboy
who confirmed all that the bandit had claimed,
whispered, “Joe was just a hard-working type,
but he was stubborn, and so he got framed!”
One night when Arthur actually stayed in
she approached him, quite cautious and slow,
then asked, “Father, what happened with Joe Fields?
If I’m to stay here I think I should know.”
She wasn’t quite sure what she should expect,
Rennie knew he wasn’t a gentle man,
but she didn’t think he’d stare at his daughter
while tapping his pistol with his right hand.
He said, “Rennie, I think you’ve heard tall talk,
you need not trouble yourself with that mess.
Besides, it’s never a good idea for
a woman to ask about a man’s business.”
Rennie didn’t leave the house for two days,
the blatant threat was more than she could take.
Her dad was cruel…but to threaten his own?
It was enough to make any soul quake.
When she finally did emerge from there
she mounted a horse with a painted hide,
a neighbor asked where she might be going,
she laughed, “Oh I’m just taking hm for a ride.”
This continued, and people though it odd,
a woman riding off almost every morn,
but the whole town knew of her father’s ways,
and thought she did it to escape his scorn.
For most of a year it went on like this,
except in winter when she stayed inside,
outside the townsfolk hunted for Joe Fields,
but kept failing, no matter how hard they tried.
When the year was up, and Rennie got her cash,
she quickly moved out of her father’s place,
stayed in a boarding house while a new home
was built outside town at a rapid pace.
She was now richer than even her dad,
folks marveled that her home had three whole floors,
all the local men vied for Ronnie’s hand,
but their attention she roundly deplored.
Though rumors soon spread, a shadow was seen
slipping up to her back door on some nights,
she would laugh and say, "You are seeing ghosts,
Do tell me, have you been feeling all right?”
CONTINUE IN PART IV
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2020