M7FFA Entry

 

Buck Revealed


by SandyG


COMMENT: Buck has a little trouble with some women. Feedback welcome good or bad send my way ...thanks.




Buck stood before the mirror and admired himself. He had to admit he was one mighty handsome human being!! No wonder the women liked him. He placed his hat on his head and stepped outside, observed the morning with gusto and began making his way to the saloon. He was looking forward to the 4th of July celebration and big dance on Saturday night. Yes, he just knew he was going to have a fine time, he could feel it in his bones.

Buck's bones were wrong. If Buck had known what was in store for him he would have gone to the livery, saddled his horse and ridden for the border, pronto. But he didn't.

The single women in Four Corners were in a dither, the big 4th of July celebration was in two days and those without an escort were getting a little anxious. Unbeknownst to Buck, his name topped the list of escorts to the dance of three especially persuasive women in town. Each fine woman, had one thought and that was that they were going to the dance with Mr. Wilmington come hell or high water and that was that. It was to bad they had not known about each other and decided his fate over a friendly hand of poker or maybe just a friendly game of mumbly peg. It would have been in Buck's best interests if they had. But they didn't know of each other's plans thus the wheels were in set in motion for Buck to become the talk of the town and for awhile even of the territory.

Lulu O'Malley was just making her way down the boardwalk looking like she was scouting for game when she ran into her prey.....I mean Buck.

"Lulu." Buck touched the brim of his hat and dipped his head, then prepared to move around her when she mirrored his movements and blocked his path.

"Excuse me Lulu you seem to be blocking my way.........?"

"Well, for good reason Buck Wilmington."

"What reason is that?"

"I need to know why you haven't asked me to the dance yet?"

Buck grinned and looked Lulu in the eyes and said, "Well, Lulu I just haven't asked anyone yet. I'm still makn' up my mind."

Lulu had Irish red hair, an Irish name and an Irish temper to match. Buck had seen the temper portion of her Irish heritage in action a couple of times. And now he could see the tattletale signs of that temper beginning to appear on her face. Storm clouds were forming in her eyes, a frown was slipping down her forehead, and her lips were beginning to be pursed into a hard grim line. She was going to blow any minute now unless he relented and asked her to the dance. A quick evasive action like running for the saloon and out the back quickly ran through his mind but was dismissed as he was sure she and her four big brothers would eventually find him and he knew the meeting would not have a pleasant outcome for him. They were very protective of their only sister. No it was better to just go to the dance with her.

"Why Lulu I would love to take you to the dance. I'll meet you at the dance around 7:00, is that alright with you?"

Lulu smiled and nodded in agreement. That had been easier than she had imagined. She'd told her Pa she didn't need her brother's help in getting a date to the dance.

Lulu wasn't Buck's first choice to the dance but when it came right down to it he'd rather go to the dance with her than have to go see Nathan about some broken part of his anatomy later on because he hadn't taken her to the dance. Fear of pain was a great motivator.

Buck made his way into the saloon and ordered up some breakfast and was just finishing up when Anna Mae Adams peered over the batwing doors of the saloon and spotted Buck. Though she had never been in a saloon and was a little apprehensive about entering, she was at a fever pitch to get her date nailed down for the dance so she took a deep breath and proceeded on through the doors.

"Hello, Buck."

"Anna Mae, what are you doin' in here? Won't your Daddy be mad if he sees you in here?" Buck knew Anna Mae's Daddy to be a teetotaler and that he would not be overjoyed at seeing his daughter in a saloon.

"Now Buck, Daddy's down at the Mercantile getting some supplies and he'll be awhile, so there's no need to worry about him. I came to see you cuz I got somthn' to ask you." Anna Mae slid out a chair from the table and snuggled it up next to Buck's chair and sat down.

Buck took it as a bad sign of things to come when he felt the hair begin to rise on the back of his neck. He slid his chair away from Anna Mae's . Anna Mae followed, snuggling her chair once again next to his.

"Buck, don't be so skitterish I'm not going to bite you, I just want to ask you somthn'."

Buck looked at her warily. "Well go ahead and ask, I'm not stoppn' you."

"I just want to know what time you want to meet me at the dance?"

"Anna Mae I have a date for the dance."

"Well Buck I know it won't be to hard for you to just get rid of that date."

"How do you purpose I do that, Anna Mae?"

"Oh Buck, make up some story or somethn' it isn't hard to do. And before you say anything else I would like to remind you Daddy is still wantn' to know who ran through his prize watermelon patch and ruined his chances of a blue ribbon over at the county fair next month."

"Now, Anna Mae you know that wasn't done on purpose, and it wasn't my fault your Daddy came home early causin' me to hasten my departure like that from your lovely lips." Buck turned his head slightly and ran that sentence back through his mind and decided he had been around Ezra to long.

"I know that Buck, but I don't think Daddy would look upon the situation in the same way. You know he had his heart set on winning that blue ribbon and his mind is just as set on usin' his shotgun on the person who ran his horse through his melon patch. So if you prefer the buckshot I can arrange it but I'm sure you would have a much more pleasant time taking me to the dance than having Nathan pick buckshot out of your backside."

"Anna Mae that's blackmail!"

Anna Mae bobbed her head in agreement as she murmured, "Uh-huh."

"I'll meet you at 7:30 at the dance."

"I knew you'd see it my way Buck. We'll have such a good time." Anna Mae stood, uttered a pleasant good-bye and made her way out of the saloon.

Buck shook his head in disbelief . He couldn't tell Lulu he wasn't going with her. She'd have those brohters of hers on his trail in a flash. He would just have to take two women to the dance.

His day was deteriorating rapidly. It was only 10:00 am as Buck went to the bar and ordered a large beer.

The afternoon found Buck sitting in front of the jail thinking on the events of the morning and watching some of the men build the stage for Saturday when he looked across the street to see Emily Johnson engaged in a rather loud conversation with the McSwain twins, Abner and Elmer. Then he saw Emily point in his direction and motion for him to come to her.

Now Emily Johnson was one of the most beautiful women in Four Corners and Buck had always admired her but never'd had the opportunity to know her very well. He saw opportunity knock when she motioned to him and so moseyed on across the street to stand next to her.

"Can I be of some assistance Miss Johnson?" Buck said this while frowning and eyeing the twins up and down.

"Why yes you can Mr Wilmington. These boys won't leave me alone. They just keep pestering me to go with one of them to the dance on Saturday. I told them I was going with you but they don't believe me. Please tell them so they will go away!" Two large tears slid slowly down her cheeks.

Buck saw his chance to save the beautiful damsel in distress and loudly proclaimed that her statement was true. The twins mumbled something about the next dance, turned and walked away.

Emily turned toward Buck with a tear still in her eye and threw her arms around Buck thanking him profusely. She also asked him what time he would he meeting her at the dance?

Buck liked Emily hugging him very, very much and the only thoughts twirling around in his head were how good she felt pressed against his body and how good she smelled when he uttered the words " 8:00 o'clock would be fine."

"Thank you Buck, your such a dear. I'll be sure and be there waiting for you around 8 o'clock." Emily extracted herself from the embrace, straightened her hat and wiped a small tear from her cheek gave Buck a big smile, waved good bye, then turned and continued on her way.

Buck was left standing in somewhat of a daze. Then it hit him like a bolt of lightening as to what he had done and he let out a loud groan and threw his hat to the ground. Three women!!! What was he going to do? He needed pondern' time. He picked up his hat and headed toward the saloon.

If Buck would have followed Emily down the boardwalk he would have seen an interesting transaction take place between the McSwain twins and Emily. A transaction that involved the passing of $5.00 from Emily's cute handbag to each of the twins. He would have also heard Emily thank them for a job well done.

The next day Buck did not venture far from his room. When he did go out to eat he was on constant lookout for any women. If he spotted any woman coming toward him, whether old, young, fat, skinny, tall, or short he either crossed the street or turned and walked in the opposite direction. He could not take a chance of having to take yet another woman to the dance on Saturday.

Saturday morning was a bright and sunny day ......for some. For Buck it was a worrisome time, a time to panic, a time to get out of town? For all his pondern' yesterday and the day before he had not come up with any plan. The only plan he had was to keep the women apart. Lordy!! He could just imagine if they got together and found they were sharing him with two other women!!

He might as well head for Mexico if they found out. Lulu's brothers would beat him to a pulp, Ana Mae's father would fill him with buckshot, and he didn't know Emily well enough to know what she would do but he was sure she would think of something equally harmful.

What had he done? Taking three women at once to the dance and all expecting him to pay attention to them, dance with them, talk to them, fetch them punch.....what was he going to do? A panic attack consumed Buck until he came to his senses and realized who he was. HE WAS BUCK WILMINGTON! There was no need to panic, surely he could manage three women. There was no need to panic or get out of town. He would look upon tonight as a challenge and if he survived he would have one hell of a story to tell in the saloon on Saturday nights.

The dance was in full swing on the main street of Four Corners. The band was on the stage playing like there was no tomorrow and the people were having a grand time. In the beginning even Buck was doing quite well considering all the moving back and forth between his dates he had to do.

He had managed to stash each one as far apart from each other as he could. Emily was at one end of the crowd, Lulu at the other end, and Anna Mae centered in the middle near the boardwalk. Buck was getting quite the workout dancing every dance and in between getting one of the ladies punch and food. As the evening wore on he became more and more exhausted moving back and forth between them all and he was running short on excuses as to why he had to keep disappearing. It was his slowness in getting back to Lulu that started his downfall.

Lulu had been waiting for Buck to get back with her plate of food and punch when she got tired of waiting and went on the prowl for him. When she spotted him holding hands with Anna Mae and then leading her to the dance floor Lulu's Irish temper begin to simmer. She stood rooted to the spot watching them dance. When the dance ended she watched Buck plant a quick peck on the cheek of Anna Mae, lead her to a spot near the boardwalk, and then begin to make his way to the other end of the crowd.

Lulu was never one to be shy. She walked up to Anna Mae and point blank asked her what she thought she was doing with her date? This led to quite a discussion between Anna Mae and Lulu. When the discussion ended they were both a little red in the face and they both immediately plunged into the crowd in search of Mr Wilmington.

They bared down on Buck's position with great determination but pulled up short when they saw him dancing up a storm with Emily. There are no words to describe the anger that welled up in those two women. They both looked as if they would explode. When the dance ended Anna Mae, being the calmest, physically held Lulu back from charging froward and giving Buck a roundhouse punch to the jaw.

They both stood and watched Buck give Emily a squeeze to the arm and brush his lips across her cheek before heading once again into the crowd. As soon as Buck disappeared Anna Mae and Lulu went right on over to Emily and begin to chat. Their chat lasted quite awhile and involved a great deal of planning and held the promise of great embarrassment to Mr Buck Wilmington.

In the meantime Buck had gone back to where he thought he had left Lulu and could not find her. Wasn't Lulu next on his list to see? Maybe it was Anna Mae he was supposed to dance with next? He was getting a little confused trying to keep all of them straight. He made his way back to where he had left Anna Mae and much to his surprise he saw not only Anna Mae but Lulu, and Emily too. Little prickles of fear shot up his spine and then through his entire body and he slowly started to back up into the crowd ready to bolt for safety.

"Now Buck we thought you'd be glad to see all of us together. Now come on over here and let us talk with you." Emily said this in the silkiest voice she could manage while Lulu and Anna Mae gave him their most winning smiles.

Buck narrowed his eyes and peered at them in the dim light to make sure they weren't packin' weapons and then scanned the area to make sure Lulu's brothers or Anna Mae's father were not standing nearby.

"Come on Buck, we want to buy you a drink and discuss our little problem. No one is mad, we just want to talk." This came from Lulu who gestured toward the saloon doors behind her.

"But you all don't drink. Why would you buy me a drink?"

"Now Buck we know you must be plumb wore out and mighty thirsty from all that shuffling you've been doing and thought you might enjoy a nice drink." Emily and Anna Mae nodded eagerly in agreement with what Lulu had said.

Buck made his way to Emily's side and followed the other two into the saloon to a table in the back. Once they were all settled in and had ordered a bottle of whiskey and three sarsaparillas Buck asked them for the third time if they were sure they weren't mad at him?

"Why no Buck we're not mad we just want you to have a good time. And when we get done here we'll just take turns dancing with you and fetchin' you food and we'll have a grand time." If Buck had looked a little closer he would have seen that Anna Mae's teeth were clinched and her hands formed into tiny tight fists when she said this.

Lulu filled his glass again with whiskey.

"Why you ladies are just plum so understandin' I can hardly believe it! You know I was just plain worried sick when I thought you might find out about each other. I even thought you might want to do me some harm if you all found out about each other."

"Why Buck we would never harm you in any way." Emily's fingers were crossed beneath the table as she uttered these words.

As the hour wore on Buck's glass was never empty and his story telling never stopped. When the bottle was almost empty Buck begin to feel extremely sleepy and a little dizzy. He tried to stand but didn't have the strength and then he tried to focus on the three faces in front of him but saw only blurry images. His head fell to the table and he saw nothing but a blackness dotted with little pinpoints of light. Poor Buck.

"I thought that powder Inez gave you was supposed to work faster." Emily said this while repeatedly picking up Buck's hand and dropping it on the table. She was making sure he was out.

"I didn't want to give him to much and have him sleeping permanently so I just gave him a little with each drink. I still have some left over." Lulu tucked it away the extra knock out powder in her pocket.

Anna Mae scooted her chair out from the table and walked to the front of the saloon and saw that the crowd was breaking up and that the band had left the stage. A few more minutes and the crowd would be gone. She scanned the saloon until she spotted a chair with coasters and pushed it on over to where Buck lay.

With all three pulling and pushing they managed to get Buck into the chair and roll him to a back room in the saloon. Once there they prepared him for his stage debut.

Buck woke Sunday morning a little chilly, he groaned and without opening his eyes reached down to pull up a blanket. His hand flopped around blindly searching for the blanket. He finally got his eyelids open a tad more to search for the blanket when he realized he wasn't in his room or anyone else's room for that matter.

He swore he heard snickering and someone gasp.

His eyelids flew all the way open and he sat up with a start. He quickly looked around and discovered he was in the middle of the outdoors stage. Worst of all he found himself to be naked. Not only was he naked but he had red, white and blue splotches all over his body. He wet his finger with his tongue and ran it over a blue spot then licked his finger. Blueberry. He did the same with a red spot. Strawberry. He didn't have to taste a white spot to know that it was the whitewash left over from painting the stage.

He couldn't believe how down right mean those women had been!!

"You look awful patriotic this mornin' Buck." Josiah's observation was met with loud laughs from the small crowd that had gathered below the stage.

"Buck, did you know you're "Buck Naked"?" JD almost fell over from laughter at the play on words. The crowd got a good laugh out of the remark also.

Buck glared at JD and Josiah and made a mental note to think of some deed to vex them both with as soon as he got out of this mess.

"Were three ladies to much for you Buck?" More laughter followed JD's remark. Everyone in the crowd had something to add to these most humorous remarks.

"I'm sure you all find this most amusing but I could use a little help here so would someone lend me a coat or somethin' to wear until I can get my clothes back? JD? Josiah?"

"Now Buck you know my clothes are way to small for you. And the weather is a might nippy this mornin' so I know Josiah needs his coat." JD let out a laugh along with Josiah.

"You both will be sorry later on about not helpn' me!"

"You have to find us first Buck." Josiah slapped JD on the back as he said this and then they both doubled over with glee.

Buck was getting desperate. The crowd seemed to be getting bigger and the remarks more numerous and still no one had offered any clothing.

Ignoring the catcalls and whistles he finally belly crawled to the edge of the stage and ripped loose some red, white, and blue bunting from the front of the stage. He then wrapped it around him toga style and and walked off the stage and down the stairs toward his room.

After much cursing and many hours at the bathhouse Buck's natural skin color returned. Though it took many months, he even started talking to Lulu, Anna Mae, and Emily. And of course he did find JD and pay him and Josiah back for not helping him while he was naked and helpless on the stage. But that's another story. So truth be told Buck, largely due to his natural sunny disposition and good nature, fared pretty well considering his ordeal.

His name did become well known throughout Four Corners, and even the territory for awhile, due to the telling and retelling of the "Buck Naked" story. The story always brought laughter to those who heard it and started lively conversations especially when it came up for telling in mixed company as it always divided the listeners into two groups.

One group, mostly made up of men, would take Buck's side and say he didn't deserve the treatment he got from the women since he'd been tricked and threatened to date them in the first place.

Then there was the other side, mostly women, who argued that if Buck had stood up to Lulu's brothers, told the truth to Anna Mae's father and not thought of himself as such a savior to women and not asked Emily out when he already had two dates, he wouldn't have found himself naked in the middle of town on the 5th of July.

The debate still rages on to this day whenever "Buck Naked" is told.

the end





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