This is where I begin my new life.
“Adobe Ridge,” called the conductor. “Adobe Ridge.”
Scattering a flock of squawking chickens from the track a final blaring blast of the locomotive whistle sounded. Gazing through the window opening Lizzie chuckled as she watched the agitated birds leaping and dashing away from the rails. Across the street a small frame building sat apart from the others.
Tia Lynda: Tamales proclaimed the bright hued sign over the door. Lizzie was not sure what the words meant. She noticed a smallish woman sweeping the veranda at the front of the building.
With its scattering of one, two and three story wood frame buildings bordered by sturdy plank lumber sidewalks and facing a dusty main street, every one who saw Adobe Ridge said the community was pretty typical of the ones found in this part of Texas. Typical was the word the conductor used when Lizzie asked about the town on the trip east from Ft. Stockton.
Lizzie Collins didn’t know for certain if that was true or not.
To date she had not seen many west Texas towns. The girl who had been born and grew up in verdant Missouri had little to go by when it came to knowing what was typical and what was not here in dusty West Texas.
As she sat gazing through the vacant rail carriage window opening toward the village stretching between the old stage station to the West and the newer rail depot down at the far East end of town; her apprehensive eyes took in the long dusty Main Street.
Here near the station the boulevard was bordered by a series of huge false fronted wood frame buildings facing the roadway. Lizzie noticed with interest that most of the structures became smaller the further they set west from the train station. The avenue itself was fairly wide and spacious. It was not paved.
Lizzie’s eyes swept along a nice wide board sidewalk fronting the street. She gazed for a long moment at the heavily used hitching rails lining the walkway. Incredible she mused. Here and there Lizzie noticed another smaller building might be seen constructed along a rutted, threadlike second avenue located behind the main thoroughfare.
Gathering her possessions Lizzie caught her breath as she waited for the train to come to a complete stop before preparing to leave the coach bringing her to the town where she was to change her life. Gone forever was the reality Lizzie knew: A life where her every move was orchestrated by others.
Here in Adobe Ridge was the existence she sought where she hoped she might have some control over what she was to do, and with whom. At least mused Lizzie, she expected her existence here in Adobe Ridge would bring her a measure of that control.
For a small minute Lizzie desperately hoped she was not jumping from the pan into the fire and would only be making the miserable life she was leaving behind seem better in comparison to the possible dreadful one she might well be facing.
Suddenly a bright smile lit the girls’ apprehensive expression. Sitting in the front window of one store Lizzie saw a white cat licking its paw. And there on the step leading up into the boarding house were two cats sunning themselves. A long eared hound lay on the boardwalk in front of the sheriff’s office. Well, she thought, this cannot be too bad a place if the folks have cats and dogs, chickens and everything. Yes, she mused, I believe I am going to like it here. I am.
Holding a mug of steaming black coffee Sheriff Higgins was grinning as he stood watching the passengers come straggling from the train that mid morning day in March. Was the usual group of oil field workers together with a spate of Pinkertons along with a well dressed hombre here and there.
One passenger in particular caught Higgins’ eye.
She was a real apprehensive looking young woman holding tight to a flowered tapestry valise.
The anxious lady was the last to step down from the train. Frightened mebbe, reckoned Higgins, but the sheriff noted that the young woman had a good determined glint in her eye as well. Higgins thought the worried young woman didn’t exactly look like a servant. Not that many folks here in ‘Dobe had servants anyways. And he chuckled. She sure wasn’t no oilfield hand. Maybe mused the thirty-six year old Higgins the lady had come to see about becoming the new school marm for the town. ‘Dobe didn’t have one yet. Had a real nice school building, but didn’t have a teacher. Eyeing the shirttail kids running by Ralph Higgins chuckled again. Town sure needed a school teacher in the worst way.
Stepping around the end of the carriage with her weighty flower strewn tote bag in her hands Lizzie Collins stood motionless on the platform for a long moment. She took a deep breath and then another. Now was the moment to make her way to the pile of baggage waiting for her. I’m here she thought while she gazed down the dusty street. I’m here.
The words Adobe Springs were lettered on the side of the depot. Lizzie took another deep breath. Thank goodness, she mused her momentary panic was almost gone.
This is where I begin my new life.
received message from fellow writer:
----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Nunes
To: m j hollingshead
Sent: Sunday, April 02, 2006 12:23 PM
Another great write, Molly! Is she there to become the new 'school 'marm', or do I have to wait for the next chapter? ;-)
Thanks for sharing!
Site: Molly Martin
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"Adobe Ridge .... part 4 ... Molly Writes"
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|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|A GREAT PLACE TO CUT IT OFF...LOTS OF 'FOOD FOR THOUGHT' IS GIVEN AND THE READER CAN TAKE IT IN WHATEVER DIRECTION THEY WANT TO. WELL DONE, MJ AND ENJOYED. THANKS FOR SHARING. LOVE, BLESSINGS AND FAITH...JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS|
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
|Another good chapter, Molly!!!!! I can't wait to read the next chapter!!!!!!
Sandie May Angel :o)
|Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
|Again this is an impressive write, keep it up and be blessed in the writing
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Excellent writing, Molly; brava! Very well done!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Lynda Sumners (Reader)
|Congratulations Molly. Another fantastic book on the way, (I hope). Looking forward to reading it when it's completed. The vernacular is entirely authentic, I know, that's where I'm from.|
|Reviewed by Constance Gotsch
|Good start, Molly. I like her. She's got spunk. Would like to see you make more of her need for freedom. That caught my attention and I wanted to know more of her feelings about why she was running away from whom ever was controlling her. Watch passive voice in spots. Now was the moment to..knocked some nice action flat. Watch repeitions of words in spots. But I'd love to see more!!|
|Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader)
|Good beginning. You set the story up with a little mystery as to why Lizzie is in Adobe Ridge and what could have brought her ther AND what plans does she have after arriving. You identified the sheriff right off, so he probably will play a major role. Yes, you have a good start. One thing, I wish you would put spaces between ALL of the paragraphs for half-blind old codgers like me. Thanks.|
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|lovely story molly...thanks for sharing!!
|Reviewed by E T Waldron
|Splendid story. I'll have to go back and read,I missed some;-)
You have superb descriptive powers Molly!