Letter from Sam
New Mexico Territory - 1875
“Susie, we got a letter from Sam,” Andrew Sheridan called down the hallway as he moved into the den. Within minutes his wife and three of their six children had joined him.
“How is he, dear?” Susan took hold of one arm.
“Is he coming home?” Angie grabbed his other one.
“Why don’t we read it and find out.” Dave tried to get the letter from his father.
“Anything the matter, Pa?” Ike asked, watching the action from the doorway.
Andrew waited until the chatter had died down and everyone was staring at him with bated breath before finally speaking. “He’s fine, he’s not coming home, he just wanted to let us know it might be awhile before his next letter and not to worry or try to contact him. Something to do with his new assignment.”
“That’s it? Nothing about the assignment?” cried Dave, this time successfully grabbing the letter.
“I hope it’s nothing too dangerous.” Susan squeezed her husband’s arm.
“Sam is the best ranger in Texas.” Angie gave a firm nod. “He can handle anything.”
“Except your crying.” Dave pinched his sister’s check.
“Or your gun I suppose.” She elbowed him in the ribs.
“At least I have a skill,” Dave shot back, a dark look on his face.
“All right, that’s enough you two.” Before either sibling could say another word, Ike ushered them out of the room.
Susan laid her head on Andrew’s shoulder as her two youngest children started arguing again. He patted her hand and chuckled. “You’d think they were still five years old.”
“They’ll always be my babies. Did Sam say anything at all about what he’s doing?”
“You know Sam, he said not to start worrying unless we don’t hear from him in a couple years. He could be dying and still think of a joke.”
“He’ll most likely die laughing,” Susan added with a smile. “At least he takes his job seriously.”
“He has to, chasing bandits is serious business.”
Susan thought about the day long ago when the two rangers had ridden onto their land, asking about a man they’d chased all the way from Texas. She’d had no idea how much of an impact they would have on her son. He hadn’t left the ranch specifically to join the rangers, but he’d just kept wandering further east. In the end the rangers had found him.
“He’ll be all right, won’t he Andrew?”
“Of course he will.”
“Well, I’ll pray a little extra hard for him tonight.”