Lancre by Olley

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An episode tag for Chad

Word count: 590

“Murdoch, you ever hear of the feud that Chad sings about?”

Murdoch looked over to his youngest son half asleep on the couch a cushion under his injured leg.

“I cannot say I was aware of any feud, but I do remember my Grandfather talking of some members of our family going to France after the Scottish rebellion. Perhaps Lancre is a French version of our family name.”

Johnny sat up a frown on his face his voice harsh “French the same French who were in Mexico?”

“Ah, son the politics of Europe coming over to the new world is complicated.  Yes, the French were in Mexico, Canada and here in America.”

Murdoch walked over to the drinks cabinet and poured two glasses of his best scotch. The Pinkerton reports of their attempts to find his youngest son covered the years when Mexico fought the French and although there was no evidence in those reports Johnny’s reaction told him his son had experienced that war.

Johnny sipped the scotch, this was not the cheap whiskey he had drunk in his gunfighting past to deaden the pain of bullet wounds.  “So seems like some long lost French Lancer cousins washed up back there in the hill country and got themselves in a feud with the Burfords.”

Murdoch rubbed his hands around his drink. “Perhaps.”

“Perhaps Murdoch?”  Johnny looked up at his father.

“Chad and his sister saved your life son. Her death is a tragedy and I am prepared to give Chad the benefit of the doubt.”

“But?”  Johnny sat forward his drink ignored.

“Ah son the name Lancer is well known, we are the largest most powerful ranch in the San Joaquin, we have many friends but just as many enemies and those who are jealous of us. I just wonder why she and Chad had moved so far west in this feud of theirs.”

Johnny rocked back on the couch and closed his eyes. “I like Chad he seems like an innocent who was just going along with Callie.”

Murdoch nodded and waited knowing Johnny was giving thought to the concerns he had raised.

Johnny opened his eyes and sat forward “If someone for some reason pointed Callie towards us I’m reckoning Chad wasn’t aware of it. I want to give him a chance Murdoch.  The Mexican in me knows all about distant cousins French or not and he thinks he is family.”

Murdoch rose from his chair and went to sit next to Johnny. He patted his leg “You have a good heart son. But you must know you cannot rescue every stray, distant cousin or not.”

“We can offer Chad a home for as long as he needs one.”

“Yes Johnny we can do that, but he is not a child and this land is not what he was born to, he is not a Lancer like you or Scott.” Murdoch saw the emotion wash across Johnny’s face, the knowledge that his young son had longed for a home when he had become an orphan plain to him.

Murdoch watched as Johnny walked out, probably to find Chad. As a father, he now recognised Johnny Lancer had too generous a heart that was too easily broken, quite opposite the Madrid personality that was ruthless with enemies.  He helped himself to another drink and went to his desk he needed to compose a letter to his brother in Scotland asking for any information about ancestors who may have used the spelling of the family name as Lancre.

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~ end ~
November 2018

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