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when he finally made his mind up to something,he went after it whole hog.Now he just had to
convince Tom. Tom heard him out and told Jessy to let him think on it
a spell.Frank had been good to him and leaving weren’t going to be no easy matter. As Tom was
washing up and putting up his gear he told Jessy to give him a week and he would give him
an answer one way or another.Jessy was dissapointed Tom didn’t get as fired up about it as he
was but agreed to wait for his answer. Tom went to Frank that
night after chow and explained the deal to him and asked his advice in the matter.Frank thought it
over for a few minutes with a serious look on his face.He stood to lose two of his best hands,and
hands like Tom and Jessy were hard to come by.He looked young Tom in the eye.”Son,I can’t tell
you what to do,that’s your decision.I will say this though,anything you and Jessy do will probably be
a success.Your both good men and have grit.I don’t know if I would trust the Comanche myself but if I
were your and Jessy’s age I would most likely give it a whirl.I wouldn’t hold a man back for wanting
to better himself and the two of you work hard and there ain’t no reason you shouldn’t have
something to show for it.If its what the two of you want to do then you have my blessing and if it don’t
pan out then the two of you can always come back here."
"Just some friendly advice from an old man who cut out on his own along time ago.Things
are never as simple as they seem though,you two watch each others back.The two of you get
together and let me know what you decide so I can hire on a few new hands if ya’ll decide to do
this thing.”Tom shook his hand and promised to let him know something after he talked with Jessy.
He walked out into the cool Texas night and headed to the bunkhouse to think it over and get some
sleep. Frank Gurn watched Tom go.Frank was getting older and the
grizzled grey hair above his steely blue eyes testified to that fact.Running a ranch the size of the
Triple T took a lot out of a man but it was worth it to Frank.The pot belly he had grown after forty
didn’t slow him down any but he knew his best days were behind him at sixty three.Part of him(the
younger man who longed to come back in him)wanted to ride out and seek adventure with his
two cowhands,but the older wiser part of him knew he had responsibilities here that required
his attention. He missed his younger
days when the world still seemed new and adventure lay at every turn instead of the daily grind of
decision making and playing mediator between the ever constant gripes of
thecowhands.He remembered full well the thrill of exploring the unknown and the excitement of not
knowing what the next day would bring sleeping under the majestic star blanketed
Texas sky.He sighed and went back to his well worn oak desk.
First thing after breakfast he went and found Jessy down by the horse corral and
told him,”I reckon we got to take some risk if we want anything out of this life so if you still want to do
it I’m with you partner!” Jessy grabbed him up in a bear hug and shook him.”We gonna have our
own ranch to run partner just you see!”Then throwing his well worn hat in the air he let out a loud
whoop.”Lets go tell Frank so he can cut us loose!” Side by side they walked to the ranch house.
Frank was doing figures and looked up as they
came in.”From that shit eating grin on Jessy’s face I guess he talked you into it Tom!If you boy’s will
give me till next Saturday,I’ll get some new hands and have the two of you some money ready! You
two will need all the help you can get."They shook hands and agreed to wait till Saturday."Are you
sure we won't put you in a bind"Tom asked."Naw,I'll just pick up a couple of cowboys from town to
cover ya'lls share of the work.Or maybe just one small girl!"Frank teased.Jessy rolled his eyes and
Tom flushed red.Frank laughed and told them to get out of there so he could get some work done.
They left the ranch
house,Tom scuffing dirt with his boot heel."Frank has sure been good to us Jessy,you think it's okay
to leave with all this work coming up?"Tom asked.Jessy grinned and grabbed Tom's hat throwing it
up in the air making him run to catch it."Don't you worry about Frank Gurn partner,if any man can
figure how to squeeze some extra work out of some hands it's him!Besides,you better start worrying
about our ranch and what we're going to call it!"Jessy laughed.Tom looked at his friend smiling with
that easy grin and his heart was lifted."The T and J ranch!"he said to Jessy.Jessy rolled his eyes
again,"The J and T more like it!Hell,I always have to pull your weight any way!"he said and punched
Tom's arm."I like that,the T and J it is!"
The week flew past and Saturday morning rolled around.Jessy was at the wood slatted
bunkhouse before daylight shaking Tom awake.”Get up partner,grab some coffee and grub,we got
to pack!” Tom rubbed his eyes then threw his pillow at Jessy.He let Jessy lead the way to the
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