(Editor’s Note: This Episode was originally supposed to appear in December 2015—but due to circumstances beyond our control, had to be rescheduled until now)
PREVIOUSLY: “You must speak to Dalton alone without his father around, so that you may learn some depth—feelings, attitudes, etcetera,” Cujo instructed, “And I’ll just bet he carries a gun under his coat.”
“What about his girlfriend?” Sarah asked, “Should Chris pry?”
“Chris, ask him out to dinner—and extend the invitation to his young lady, and see if he goes for it.”
“Yes, but there are other questions I need to know before I can be sure he is me,” Chris replied, “I’ll talk to him at dinner, and I’ll soon know.”
Flashback—Episode 1—We find Chris, Dalton Shouse and his girlfriend Abigail… waiting to be seated for dinner, “Are you two related?”
“Are you two related?”
“If we are,” Chris grinned, “It must be distantly. My last name is the same as Dalton’s, but that must be a coincidence.”
“Abby is right,” Dalton was studying Chris’ face, “You do look familiar.”
“Yes, as do you, however, I do not believe we have ever met before.” Chris’s eyes did not betray anything.
“Be that as it may,” Sarah said, “Rumor has it around town you are a quick draw with a handgun, Dalton, is that true?”
Dalton looked a bit sheepish. “A banker is not supposed to have a reputation as a man of talents with a gun. Father does frown on it, however, I remember when I was about 10 the bank was robbed and my father was shot. He survived but I vowed that if it ever happened again I would be prepared. So, I saved enough money to get a gun and practiced until I was very proficient. If we were robbed again I will be prepared. So, having the information as a rumor does not bother me. If some would be robber hears of that rumor it might give them second thoughts, and maybe they would move on to another town.”
“That sounds like good common sense to me.” Sarah smiled, “Chris is pretty fast herself. I wonder who is the fastest. You are both left-handed it would be interesting to see.”
“Is that a challenge Miss Sarah?” The thought of a woman being able to beat him was ridiculous of course but he would humor them. “Tell you what tomorrow is Sunday so the bank is closed. How about we meet in the woods on the outskirts of town and do a little target practice.”
“Sure,” Chris replied, “That would be great fun. Are there any wedding bells in the future between you two? I don’t mean to pry but you do seem perfect for each other.”
Abigail blushed and replied, “Dalton spoke with my father last night and got permission to ask me. We have not set a date yet or really made an announcement so I hope you will keep it our little secret until such time as we make a formal announcement.”
Sarah and Chris both agreed and the rest of the dinner went very well with just chit-chat.
Upon parting, they agreed to meet in the woods after church.
To be CONCLUDED—MONDAY, 22 Feb 2016…