Amarillo in the morning
Sitting at his usual table near the large paned window in the dining room of the Hawkings’ Rooms and Café located on one of the streets crisscrossing Main Street in downtown Amarillo Marshal Pappy Watson glanced up from the newspaper he held in his hand. A bemused expression filled his countenance.
“Wha.” He stopped.
Loretta Hawkings and Professor Hartford had their eyes fixed on him.
Through the pane behind Hartford a steady stream of buggies, horses, freight wagons and people were passing. Amarillo this time of morning was a real flurry of liveliness. Was good activity though Pappy thought. Meant folks was doing good and progress was being made. He kinda liked all the activity and everything. Wasn’t near as crowded as Houston. Now that place is just too much people and activity thought the tall Marshal.
Professor Hartford’s hoarse rasping chuckle at last penetrated the haze surrounding the thin frock coated lawman. Pappy’s breakfast lay untouched on the table. Loretta had carried them each a well filled, steaming dish filled with eggs, fried potatoes and thick steaks to the table close to thirty minutes ago. Hartford’s plate was empty. Pappy found himself facing both Professor Hartford and Loretta Hawkings’ amused, exasperated expressions.
“Might as well just ignore him Loretta,” Hartford’s tone was filled with good-humored mirth. “I figure you can bring him a fried boot and a pile of boiled rocks and he won’t know the difference.”
“Reckon so Professor,” Loretta Hawkings blue eyes twinkled. This wasn’t the first morning when Marshal Watson sat with his nose buried in something to read. Newspapers, books or a whole big bunch of papers scattered all over the tabletop was the usual for the Marshal. Wasn’t a wonder the man is so thin, Loretta mused. Not a meal passes but what he reads more’n he eats. The tall willowy redhead shook her head. Man is a caution. She grinned at Pappy with a mixture of maternal pique and good-humored jocularity showing on her countenance. Worse than a dad blamed kid.
“You fixin’ to eat that food settin’ there Marshal,” she said with exaggerated exasperation. “Or,” placing her hands on her hips Loretta assumed a ‘school marm’s’ stance, “you just going to let it sit there and get all cold and ugly before you get a bite of it in yore mouth.”
Gazing at Loretta for a long moment Pappy knew she was not really as tetchy as she was puttin’ on. Still he thought, Loretta did fix up a real nice breakfast for him each morning. Least he could do was eat it when she served it. Or pretty close to. Women don’t take too kindly to having their food ignored when they get it all served up and ready to eat. Pappy chuckled. He lay The Amarillo Daily Herald onto the empty chair beside him. Picking up his fork he speared a chunk of fried potato.
“I’m eating Loretta, I’m eating.” He spoke around the bite of potato.
Loretta refilled their cups with fresh hot coffee before moving off to another table where a somber couple sat munching their meal without speaking. A small buzz of conversation and the clatter of forks against crockery was about the only noise filling the chamber. Loretta gazed around the room with satisfaction filling her. Was like this near ever morning now. Quick as a table emptied it was filled by another bunch wanting to eat before they set out for the train station.
This morning breakfast group was always the best one of the day. Most of the folks staying here in the Hotel she and Elton had opened were those who came in on the train. Not many of them dawdled over their breakfast. Pappy Watson and Professor Hartford were their only permanent residents. Everyone else came and went on a regular basis. And when they were aiming to get on the train right after breakfast didn’t any of them waste time.
Elton had had real good ideas when he bought this big old building reflected Loretta. Loretta had looked at the run down structure and wondered if her husband had taken leave of his senses. But like always Elton looked at the pile of tumbling bricks and sagging floors with the farseeing eyes that she never seemed to have. My Land, she thought as she brushed a wisp of hair away from her face. It had taken them a heap of money, almost all they had in the bank, and a whole lot of time before Elton got the hotel done up just like he wanted. There were times when Loretta was not sure the project would ever be finished. Or that they would really be able to make a living from it. Just goes to show how wrong a body can be she mused. It was sure paying off nice now. This big old structure used to be a grocery store before the railroad decided to put their depot where it was. Here on the ground floor was where the storekeeper had his goods set out for sale. Upon on the second and third levels was the warehouse and way up on the fourth floor was the apartment the storekeeper and his family had lived in.
Quick as Elton learned the Rail Road was to come to town for certain he had set about trying to get the building. And he got it for a whole lot less than he had thought he might have to pay. Old man Harris was tired of the store business and had about let all of his inventory run out by the time Elton went to talk to him. He was happy to sell. Elton was happy to get the building. Loretta was a little worried for a while, but that soon passed.
Elton and his brothers worked long hours to get the hotel fixed up and ready to start taking in boarders. The big old warehouse area up on the third floor was where Loretta and Elton and the children now lived. At first Elton just got the second floor rooms ready and the lobby, kitchen and dining room down on the first floor.
Loretta set their furniture around in the big old space like it had walls, and they hung a quilt or two to give them a little privacy. Wasn’t too bad. The children thought it a read adventure. Today they had a real nice set of four big rooms with walls all in place and done up real nice. Loretta didn’t have no kitchen up there in their living quarters. She didn’t need one. What they was going to eat for their meals she prepared down here in the kitchen she used for her dining room. Elton had fixed up a dumb waiter going from the kitchen to the eating room they used up in their own residence. It was real nice and was an easy way to do. A good bit of the time Elton and the children came down to the kitchen for meals.
When everything else was all done Elton had few nice big rooms on that level framed in for what he called special guests.
He hadn’t known at the time that Professor Hartford and Marshal Watson was soon to become permanent special guests of the Board House. But they had. It was kinda nice having the Marshal living right there in the building. And professor Hartford and his gentlemanly ways was never a bit of a problem. There was still two more of those big rooms in case a special guest did arrive.
The whole second level Elton had sectioned off into smaller rooms and they was the ones that the folks from the train used the most. None of ‘em ever stayed more than a few days before they was back on the train and gone. At times both Elton and Loretta wondered what it must be like to just go off on the train like that.
Before long Loretta and Elton was taking in a lot more money than they ever thought they was going to with their venture. Was kinda nice.
Pappy and Hartford sat in silence for several moments as Pappy began making pretty good advances on the platter of fried potatoes, eggs and steak laying on the table in front of him.
Reader Reviews for
"Adobe Ridge ...... Part 3 ....... Molly Writes"
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Membership?
Click here to Join!
|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|STILL ENJOYING. I LIKE YOUR 'CRISP' STYLE. LOVE, BLESSINGS AND FAITH...JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS|
|Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
|Another excellent write, I look forward to reading more, and I pray you have a blessed Holiday Season
|Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain
Part 3 perfection ... a book coming soon??
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|You capture the imagination. Nicely done! Love and peace. Regis|
|Reviewed by Franz Kessler
|Captive description and atmosphere of old West Texas. In enjoyed the read. Reminds me a bit one of my favorite movies 'The last picture show.' Good job! Franz|
|Reviewed by Theresa Koch
|Molly your writing as always leaves me in awe!
Many Blessings for the coming year!
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
|Under the stroke of your keyboard, your story and characters had come to live, and the scenes just played itself in my head. Molly, you are one great writer!!
May Lu a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
|Reviewed by Sherry Russell BCBT BCETS
|Excellent! You certainly have a gift as a magical story teller.|
|Reviewed by Jaclynn Huntington
|A good tale indeed. Anxious to read more!
|Reviewed by E T Waldron
|Good golly Miss Molly this sounds great;-). Another book? You tell a good tale!|
|Reviewed by Fr. Kurt Messick
|Reviewed by Melissa Rives
|You sure do have a gift for storytelling!!!! Excellent!|
|Reviewed by Maria Osborne Perry
|Neato! I can see the beginning of another enthralling tale from one of my favorite writers!|