Friday, June 12, 2009
Tanya Hanson Writes About the Rules of the Road...stagecoach style
With the heroine of Marrying Minda arriving in a strange town by stagecoach to marry a mail-order husband, I couldn't resist posting "WELLS FARGO RULES FOR RIDING THE STAGECOACH"
Adherence to the Following Rules Will Insure a Pleasant Trip for All
Abstinence from liquor is requested, but if you must drink, share the bottle. To do otherwise makes you appear selfish and unneighborly.
If ladies are present, gentlemen are urged to forego smoking cigars and pipes as the odor of same is repugnant to the Gentle Sex. Chewing tobacco is permitted, but spit WITH the wind, not against it.
Gentlemen must refrain from the use of rough language in the presence of ladies and children.
Buffalo robes are provided for your comfort during cold weather. Hogging robes will not be tolerated and the offender will be made to ride with the driver.
Don't snore loudly while sleeping or use your fellow passenger's shoulder for a pillow; he or she may not understand and friction may result.
Firearms may be kept on your person for use in emergencies. Do not fire them for pleasure or shoot at wild animals as the sound riles the horses.
In the event of runaway horses, remain calm. Leaping from the coach in panic will leave you injured, at the mercy of the elements, hostile Indians and hungry wolves.
Forbidden topics of discussion are stagecoach robberies and Indian uprisings.
Gents guilty of unchivalrous behavior toward lady passengers will be put off the stage. It's a long walk back. A word to the wise is sufficient.
And if all that's not bad enough, MInda's wearing a linen duster over her clothes to hold off the grime of travel...because she's got her wedding gown on underneath!
I hope you'll do me the honor during "Cowboy Month" of checking out my story. Sign my guestbook at
www.tanyahanson.com for a name-draw for an autographed copy.
Here's a little excerpt.
Night fell soft and silent, and the snuffles of Norman Dale’s livestock comforted Brixton with memories of the trail. Lord, he couldn’t wait to get back.
Habit had him walk quiet as he could from the barn to the house. Even the tiniest noise sparked stampedes on the trail, so his footsteps were cautious wherever he went.
At the back porch, he set down Minda’s valises and paused to peek in the back window. Her lush curves swayed beneath the simple dress as she readied the children for bed, and he couldn’t fill his vision fast enough. The memory of her soft sweet cheek brushed his fingertips once more, and his heart raced and his groin throbbed. It was the heartbeat he didn’t like; a man desiring a beautiful woman was just what a man did. But a galloping heart might mean a man felt something deep inside.
Even worse, night after night alone on the trail, he’d keep seeing her shining hair sweep across little Ned’s shoulders while she kissed the top of the lad’s head. So he pulled out his flask and drank deeper. It was too much like having a family of his own, something he swore he never needed. Suddenly he missed his brother more than he’d missed anything.
Until this minute, he had never felt shy about coming through this door without a knock. His wife’s current disposition gave him pause, but he had goods to deliver and damn, the kids just might like one of his good-night songs. His tongue clicked. Truth to tell, his bride would think him nothing but a rowdy bridegroom wanting a tumble between the sheets. Already she’d tried to disgrace him by letting a room at the boardinghouse just for herself.
Another long hard swig consoled his throat as it emptied his flask. Damn woman.