A Love Born From Steel

Chapter 10

Lureen drove down the drive and parked her car next to the house. She had been to Lazy L a few times to pick up Bobby. Usually he was waiting for her—sitting on the front porch and talking to Jack. Today, there was no sign of anyone but both trucks were parked in their usual spots so she figured they must be around, somewhere. As she got out of the car she saw Jack coming out of the front door, wiping his hands on the back of his pants. "Hi, Lureen," he called, giving her a wave.

"Hello, Jack," she replied. "Where's Bobby?"

"Ennis finally persuaded him that he was riding well enough that he could leave the ring and stop riding in a circle," he said with a smile. "They took a ride down to the river," he said as he pointed towards the trees. "Hopefully they'll be back soon," he added.

"Hopefully?" she asked, wondering why there would be any question about them returning.

"Ennis doesn't wear a watch and has no idea of time," he said. "He gets riding and hours can pass before he realizes it." He didn't say this with any sense of annoyance—just a simple statement. In fact, Lureen picked up on the affection in his voice as he said Ennis's name. Jack looked at Lureen, "Would ya like somethin' t'drink?" he asked. "We have iced tea and beer—no rum, I'm afraid."

"Iced tea would be fine, thanks," she replied.

Jack held the door open and motioned her into the house. "The kitchen's in the back," he said.

Lureen started walking, but stopped to look at the living room. "This looks so nice," she said. "Did ya say ya just painted this?"

"Yup, after we finished the house, Ennis got the idea t'strip the wallpaper. At first I thought he was nuts but now that it's done, I realize how crappy it looked before."

They walked through to the kitchen. Jack pulled a pitcher of iced tea out of the refrigerator, poured two tall glasses and handed one to Lureen. "Can I see the rest of the house?" she asked. "Have a little tour?"

"Sure," said Jack, "but there's not much t'see. It's pretty small but just fine for two of us." He pointed to the basement, explaining that's where the washer was, then they walked into the dining room. "We painted this room, too," he said, "and we're starting on the upstairs. Ennis's daughters are coming t'visit in two weeks and we hope t'have that finished by the time they arrive."

"Oh," she said. "He has daughters?"

Jack nodded. "Yup, two. Jenny and Alma. They're 10 and 12."

"Have you ever met them?" asked Lureen.

"For a second," said Jack, "but it wasn't really like meetin'—more like I've seen 'em. I'm lookin' forward t'gettin' t'know them, they seem like sweet girls." Lureen looked puzzled at this comment and Jack explained, "They've been sendin' Ennis lots of postcards, and he lets me read 'em."

Lureen smiled at this. "How long are they visitin' for?" she asked.

"A week," he said. "Their mama will be on her honeymoon. She's gettin' remarried on July 24th.

"She didn't waste any time, did she?" said Lureen, a sarcastic edge to her voice.

They continued walking through the house and up the stairs. Jack pointed out the little back bedroom, the guest room with twin beds, and the master bedroom. He didn't want to linger there too long but Lureen stopped at the door, looking at the double bed. She looked at Jack. "What's it like?" she asked, "Y'now, bein' with him?"

"Lureen, I think that's a little personal," said Jack, feeling a tad embarrassed.

"Yes, you're right…sorry," she said, "It's just I've never known anyone…"

Jack touched her elbow. "Let's go back down t'the porch and drink our tea, okay?" he said, wanting to get her away from looking at the bed and thinking about his sex life with Ennis. That really was a topic he did not care to discuss with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Lureen started to walk down the hall, then stopped and turned to Jack. "You look good, Jack," she said. "Rested. Have you lost some weight?"

Jack nodded. "I think so. There ain't a scale here, but my clothes fit different. It feels good t'be workin' outdoors again."

"You still drinkin'?" she asked.

"I'll have a beer with supper, and mebbe a glass of whiskey on the porch in the evenin', but it's not like May, if that's what yer askin'."

Lureen nodded. "That's what I meant. Y'know Jack," she continued, "I didn't know what was goin' on back then. I prob'ly shoulda done somethin', but I didn't know what t'do."

Jack looked at her. "I was goin' through a really bad time," he said. "I don't know what would've happened if things had worked out diff'rently…with Ennis, I mean."

"Are you okay now?" her voice reflecting genuine concern. "Do you need t'see a doctor or somethin'?"

Jack smiled at her. "I'm okay now," he said. "Ennis is the medicine I need. But," he added, "Ennis and I have talked about it. I hope somethin' like that never happens again, but I understand now that it was a crisis. I think I learned from it. If it happened again, I'd get some help, not try t'drink the pain away. That's not the solution."

"All right, Jack," she said. "I do care about you, in spite of everything that's gone on."

"Thank you, Lureen," said Jack. "I appreciate that."

They walked back down the stairs and onto the porch. They could see Ennis and Bobby heading back, but they were still far down the road. Lureen started to walk off the porch when Jack said, "Sit for a minute, and finish yer tea. Ennis will make Bobby unsaddle Sioux, and then they'll need to brush the horses. It'll take a little while."

Lureen settled into one of the chairs and Jack sat in the chair next to her. "Y'know, Jack, this whole ridin' thing has worked out really well," she said. "It really bugged me, Bobby sayin' he was afraid of horses."

Jack laughed. "I know it bugged you, Lureen. I think it bothered you more 'n me."

"Well, for Pete's sake, I was the barrel racin' champion of Childress, Texas, the summer we met." She laughed as she said this, obviously poking fun at herself.

They watched Ennis and Bobby ride towards the stable, then Lureen turned to Jack. "Mebbe I could buy Bobby a horse. Y'know I had one growin' up."

"Where would ya keep 'im?" said Jack. "Yer parents got rid of their house with the stable."

Lureen considered. "Mebbe I could board 'im here. You've got room."

"We're only here for the summer, Lureen," said Jack. "I don't know what will happen come Labor Day."

Lureen looked across the fields, then turned back to Jack. "Have you ever thought about buyin' this place?" she asked.

Jack looked surprised. "Buyin' Lazy L?" he asked.

"Yeah," she replied. "Didn't you tell me that's the plan—the nephew wants to sell it eventually? That's why yer doin' all this paintin' and fixin' up?"

"Yeah," said Jack. "That's exactly what we're doin'."

"So," said Lureen, her practical business side coming through. "Why don't you buy it? It would make it a lot easier for the owner, I think—not havin' to go huntin' for a buyer, puttin' it up with a real estate agent and all that…" She paused. "Unless you don't want to be in Quanah, if you really want t'go back to Wyoming or somethin'."

"I've never really thought about it," said Jack. "But y'know, Lureen, that might be a good idea." He paused. "Quanah's okay, I like Texas. I'd need t'see what Ennis thinks 'bout that idea, though," he said. "He is far from his girls and I know he misses 'em."

"Well," said Lureen, "it's just a thought. You could board horses, give ridin' lessons. Hasn't Phyllis's son been comin' 'round?"

"Yup," said Jack. "Twice a week. And she's payin' good money," he added. "Not like you, gettin' the bargain of the century—free ridin' lessons." He said this last statement with a wink, and Lureen knew he was joking.

Lureen smiled. "I'd pay ya for boardin'," she said. "I wouldn't expect that for free."

Jack noticed that both their glasses were empty. "Would ya like some more iced tea?"

Lureen shook her head. "I see Bobby comin' out of the stable," she said. "We'll be gettin' goin' in a few minutes."

Jack picked up the glasses and took them into the house. When he came back out, Bobby was standing at the bottom of the porch steps, excitedly explaining to his mother how he and "Mr. Del Mar" had ridden all the way down the road to edge of the state park. "Mr. Del Mar told me there are ridin' trails in the park," Bobby said. "He said that mebbe next time we can take a real trail ride, not just ride on the farm."

"That sounds like fun, Bobby," said Lureen. She turned to Jack, "So, three days?" she said. "I think we have another appointment with the lawyers, don't we?" Jack nodded. He had noticed it on the calendar when he took the empty glasses into the kitchen. "You can pick up Bobby after that."

"Sounds good," said Jack. "Since it will be late in the day, mebbe he can stay for supper." He looked at Bobby. "Want t'go out for barbecue, buckaroo?" he asked.

"That would be great, Daddy," said Bobby, giving him a hug. "Tell Mr. Del Mar good bye for me."

"Will do," said Jack, hugging Bobby in return. "Lureen, see ya in a few days."

Lureen and Bobby walked over to the car. Lureen waved as she drove away, and Jack waved back in return. He then turned and walked down to the stable. Ennis was in the stall, finishing up with the curry comb on Twister. He smiled as Jack walked into the stable and stopped at the stall.

"Have a good ride, Mr. Del Mar?" he asked, with a grin.

Ennis laughed. "I swear, I wish he'd call me Ennis," he said. "I ain't ever thought of myself as mister t'anybody."

Jack smiled. "It's Lureen," he said, "and her Texas manners. More polite that way, she says." Jack leaned on the door of the stall. "Y'know, Ennis, I notice how ya make yerself scarce when Lureen's around."

"What?" said Ennis, his voice full of innocence. "I'm just down here doin' my work."

"Don't matter," said Jack. "Just want ya t'know I can tell what yer up to."

"Lureen notice?" asked Ennis.

"I think so, but she don't say nothin'." Jack paused, then because he felt like ribbing Ennis a little bit, said, "Y'know, En, she tried t'ask me 'bout my—our—sex life."

Ennis stopped brushing Twister and looked right at Jack. "Oh, sweet Jesus," he said, "are you fuckin' kiddin' me?"

Jack shook his head. "Nope. Totally serious."

"What the fuck did ya say?" said Ennis, actually looking a bit panic stricken.

"Calm down, cowboy," said Jack. "I changed the subject. It ain't none of her business and she knows it, but I think she is curious."

"Hmmph," said Ennis. "Let her read a book or somethin'." He paused, then looked at Jack. "Ya thought I was scarce before, now knowin' this, I'll never be able to look her in the eye. Shit!"

"Forget I said anythin', then," said Jack, with a laugh. "I have a feelin' she won't bring it up again. I think it was pretty clear that it was a topic that was off limits."

Ennis smiled at Jack, then looked back at Twister. "He looks pretty good, don't ya think?" Jack nodded and Ennis continued. "We had a good ride. Bobby's doin' okay. He's a nice kid."

"Well, Lureen sure appreciates this," said Jack.

Ennis came out of the stall, closing the door behind him. He put the brushes and curry comb away in the tack room, then came out and put his arm around Jack's shoulders. Jack looked at him. "Want t'go for a swim?" he asked. "We have time before I start cookin' supper."

"Sure," said Ennis. "But let's take the truck."

"You lazy fuck," said Jack, with an affectionate smile, as they walked out of the stable into the late afternoon sunlight.

Jack was standing at the stove, browning some ground beef in a skillet, when Ennis came up behind him, wrapping his arms around his waist and resting his chin on Jack's shoulder. Even without looking at him, Jack could tell Ennis had just taken a bath. He could feel his wet hair and he smelled clean and soapy—a natural fragrance that Jack loved.

"Whatchya cookin', cowboy?" asked Ennis.

"I'm makin' chili," said Jack, pointing to the open Joy of Cooking sitting on the counter. "I hope we like it. The recipe says it makes enough for 8 to 12 people."

Ennis whispered in Jack's ear. "I like chili. Y'know that." He looked over at the cans of tomatoes and kidney beans, the jar of chili powder—and noticed a box of spaghetti. "What's the spaghetti for?" he asked.

"I'm makin' that t'go with the chili," said Jack.

"Spaghetti with chili?" said Ennis. "What the fuck?"

Jack laughed. "The cookbook says that's how they eat it in Cincinnati. Chili on top of spaghetti, with grated cheese and chopped onions."

"We ain't in Cincinnati, Jack. We're in Texas. Ain't chili a religion down here? Not sure we should be eatin' it with spaghetti."

Jack turned and looked at Ennis, wrapping his arms around his neck. "Welcome to the cookin' world of Jack Twist," he said, "where people eat chili with spaghetti, and Jack's lover Ennis thinks it's wonderful."

"Jack fuckin' Twist," said Ennis, leaning in for a kiss.

The pulled apart and Jack turned back to the skillet. "Open those cans for me, will ya?" he said. "This needs to simmer for awhile." Ennis pulled the can opener out of the drawer and Jack poured the ingredients into the pan. He looked at the chili powder. "How hot d'ya like it?"

"Medium, I guess," said Ennis. "Not too hot."

Jack nodded. "That's the way I like it too." He finished stirring the mixture together, then wiped his hands on a towel. "Ya want a beer?" he said, turning to the refrigerator. Ennis nodded. Jack pulled out two beers, then took a can of peanuts from the shelf in the cabinet. "Let's go sit on the porch," he said. "I got somethin' I want t'talk t'ya about."

They settled in the chairs on the porch. Ennis was barefoot, wearing shorts and a tee shirt. He stretched his long legs and put his feet up on the railing. He looked across the fields, then looked at Jack. "This is the life," he said, smiling.

Jack smiled back. "Ya like it here?" he asked.

"Yeah, y'know I do," said Ennis. "Why?"

"Well, when Lureen was here today, she suggested that mebbe we should think 'bout buyin' this place," said Jack.

Ennis took his feet off the railing, sat up straighter, and looked at Jack. "Buy it? Y'mean the Lazy L?"

Jack nodded. "Ya look as surprised as me," he said. "But after she suggested it, I got t'thinkin' and y'know, it might be a good idea."

Ennis looked across the field, then down towards the stable. Jack didn't say anything, just let Ennis absorb this thought for a few minutes.

"What about money, Jack?" he asked. "We'd need money t'buy this place and I ain't got much."

Jack nodded. "I have the money I saved, and I'll get some with the divorce."

Ennis looked at Jack with interest when he said this. Jack had not said much about the divorce negotiations and Ennis didn't feel like it was his place to pry. Jack continued, "One of the things I found out is that in Texas, ten is the magic number. Bein' married ten years changes things in terms of what I'm entitled to, as part of the settlement." Ennis raised his eyebrows at this bit of news. "That's why we've been havin' so many meetings with the lawyers," Jack continued. "Her lawyer is tryin' to wiggle out of the deal, my lawyer is tryin' t'get me everythin' he says I got comin' t'me. Lureen wants the house, so that means I get money. Neither of us own anything in the business—that's still all her daddy's, we're just employees—but we do own the house and have some money between us."

"Is it enough t'buy this place?" asked Ennis.

"Not t'buy, but enough for a down payment. Mebbe we could persuade Tom t'hold the mortgage…" Jack said, thinking. "We'd probably still need t'get a business loan," he continued, "to get the place up and running." He turned to Ennis. "What kind of farm d'ya think we should make it?" he asked.

Ennis laughed. "Well, Tom thinks ostriches are the wave of the future."

Jack laughed back, then said, "Seriously—what could we do?"

"Seriously?" said Ennis, "I'd do horses. Make this a horse farm."

"Horses?" said Jack, a little dubiously. "This ain't Kentucky."

"Not racehorses, ya dumbass," said Ennis. "Workin' horses. Do some breedin.' My ridin' lessons. Mebbe do some boardin'. Shit, mebbe even open a horse motel."

"Y'know, Lureen said the same thing…she even said somethin' 'bout buyin' Bobby a horse, boardin' it here."

"We do that," laughed Ennis, "she's payin' for it, not gettin' it free like Bobby's ridin' lessons."

Jack laughed back. "I already told her that, and she agreed." He paused. "Do ya think we could make money on a horse farm?"

"I think so," said Ennis. "One thing I've noticed, drivin' 'round, is that people are into crop farms here."

"I know," said Jack. "I sold them the equipment."

Ennis chuckled, then continued. "I haven't seen much in the way of cattle ranchin'—and if ya want t'do that seriously, ya need a diff''rnt layout than what we've got here." He paused. "I sure ain't interested in pigs or cows," he said, "and I really don't want t'grow anythin'—except hay." He pointed to the far field. "We could grow hay over there," he said. "Stop payin' so fuckin' much for it at the Agway." Jack nodded and Ennis continued. "I'd change this field," he said, pointing to the one next to the stable. "Put in a proper ridin' ring for the kids. Have grazin' fields that we could alternate."

"Ennis, ya sound like you've been thinkin' 'bout this for weeks," said Jack.

Ennis smiled at him. "I guess I have, but I didn't realize I was thinkin' 'bout it. Just everyday, doin' the work, it came to mind." Ennis paused for a minute, then said, "Y'know, Jack, I'd be far from my girls…"

Jack looked at him. "I thought of that, En, and if that's a deal killer, we can just stop right now. But mebbe we could talk about that…"

"Talk how?" said Ennis.

"Well, instead of weekends, think 'bout longer visits. Comin' for a few weeks, or mebbe a month in the summer. The week between Christmas and New Year's. Stuff like that. Would ya consider it?"

Ennis looked at Jack, turning the thought over in his mind. "Yeah, I'd think 'bout that. They're comin' for a week, soon—if that works, that might be the way t'do it."

The two of them sat there for a few minutes, lost in their thoughts. Ennis pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit two, handing one to Jack. Jack took it absently, then stood up. "Lemme go check the chili," he said, "I'll be right back."

He went into the house and came back a few minutes later, carrying two fresh beers. "I wonder how we'd go 'bout this?" he said, sounding as if he was thinking out loud. "I guess we'd want t'talk t'Tom, don't ya think?"

Ennis nodded. "Yeah, even though I like t'talk t'Hal 'bout ev'rythin', he don't know nothin' 'bout the plan to sell the farm. I'm not quite sure what he thinks is goin' t'happen t'the place…it's a little sad, actually," he said, pausing, "losing a family farm after 100 years."

Jack looked at Ennis, nodding as he said this. "Mebbe Hal would be happy with the idea of us buyin' it…"

"I bet he would," said Ennis, "but Tom needs t'tell him, I think, not us."

Jack looked at the field. "If Tom sticks t'his usual schedule, he should be visitin' this weekend…and that means he'll be callin' in the next day or two. Mebbe we could mention the idea on the phone, so he can get used to it…then have a more detailed conversation in person."

Ennis nodded. "That works," he said. "He'd probably need t'talk to his sister, too."

As if on cue, they heard the phone ringing in the kitchen. Jack got up to walk inside but Ennis grabbed his wrist. "If it's Tom," he said, "don't say nothin'. I want t'sleep on this."

"Don't worry, bud," said Jack. "I need t'do some thinkin', too."

As it turned out, they didn't talk to Tom about their idea on the phone, but in keeping with the "no coincidences" philosophy, it was better the way it worked out.

Saturday evening found Jack, Ennis, and Tom sitting at the dining room table, a platter of grilled chicken, a casserole dish of baked beans, and a large tossed salad in front of them. "This looks great, guys," said Tom. "Thanks so much."

"Our pleasure," said Ennis, pointing to the platter. "Help yerself t'chicken."

Jack was serving himself a generous portion of beans, saying, "No more beans!" as he did so.

Tom looked puzzled. "No more beans?"

Ennis laughed. "That's his way of sayin' grace," he said. "Right, bud?"

Tom looked at them both. "I have the sense there is a story here…"

Jack smiled, as he served himself a chicken leg. "It comes from the summer we met. We ate a helluva lot of beans durin' our time up on the mountain."

Ennis continued the story. "Jack started bitchin' all the time, tellin' me 'No more beans!' but we didn't have anythin' else t'eat."

"Until you shot that elk," said Jack.

"Yeah, well you wanted t'kill a sheep, you dumbass," said Ennis, laughing at the memory. He turned to Tom. "We was bein' paid t'guard the sheep, not eat 'em."

"There was a thousand fuckin' sheep," Jack said. "Aguirre would never have known."

"Don't matter, I like elk better anyway," said Ennis. "Anyway, after all that, it turns out we both like beans…but every time we eat 'em Jack has t'say, 'No more beans!' like it's a prayer."

Tom laughed as he started eating. He took a bite, "Actually, these beans are good. Did you make them…I mean, are they homemade?"

"Nope, they're from a can," said Jack, "but they ain't those mushy beans in tomato sauce like everyone eats down here. These are from New England."

"New England?" said Tom. "Where'd you find them?"

"They sell 'em in the grocery store," said Jack, "but they're pushed way back on the shelf. I gotta hunt for 'em, but they're there."

"Hmmm," said Tom, "I might have to look for some back in Austin. What's the brand?"

"B & M," said Jack. "They're made in Portland, Maine. They make brown bread, too. It comes in a can, usually on the shelf next t'the beans."

"I like the kind with raisins," said Ennis. "It's good."

"Well, you learn something new everyday," said Tom. "I've never heard of brown bread."

"I hear tell," said Ennis, "that in New England they sell homemade beans in the bakeries on Friday and Saturday. Sort of a tradition up there."

"Someday mebbe we can take a trip there, bud," said Jack. "See for ourselves." They smiled at each other, thinking of their life together, getting to do things like take trips to New England to visit bakeries and buy homemade baked beans.

The three of them ate quietly for a few minutes, enjoying the food. Tom paused, then cleared his throat. "Can I ask you something?" he said. Jack and Ennis both nodded, wondering what was on his mind. "You been doing much thinking about what happens after this summer?"

Jack paused and looked at Ennis. Ennis gave him a silent nod, as if to say, "It's okay." Jack spoke up, "As a matter of fact, Tom, we've been doin' some talkin'… we like it here. We like Quanah, like the Lazy L. So that gave us an idea…we wanted t'ask ya 'bout buyin' this place…if that's somethin' you'd consider."

Tom smiled at both of them. "I always say, great minds think alike. As a matter of fact, I was just talking with Darlene the other day about that very thing."

"Darlene?" said Jack, puzzled.

"My sister, who lives in Houston," said Tom.

Jack nodded, "Right. I forgot her name."

Tom continued, "I've been keeping her up-to-date on everything that's been going on. She's mentioned trying to get over here for a visit, meet you in person, spend some time with Uncle Hal, but it's hard to arrange. It's a long trip and she has two little kids, plus a busy job at the hospital." Jack and Ennis nodded, waiting for Tom to continue. "Anyway, as you know, our plan has been to sell this place. The idea came to Darlene and me that you might be interested in buying it."

"Well, the idea came t'us too," said Jack. "So mebbe it's meant t'be."

Tom smiled, "I won't tell you my philosophy again, but you're right, maybe it is meant to be."

The spent the rest of dinner talking about the particulars of what would be involved in an actual purchase. Jack and Tom did most of the talking, while Ennis took it all in. It sounded like many of the details that Ennis and Jack had discussed during the week were the same ideas that Tom had discussed with his sister. In a way, Ennis found the whole thing a little bit unbelievable—it was as if there was a giant jigsaw puzzle in the sky with the pieces were falling to the earth and magically falling into place.

Eventually, Ennis noticed that everyone had finished eating. He stood up and started clearing the plates and carried them into the kitchen. "You want some help, Ennis?" asked Tom.

Ennis shook his head. "No, you two keep talking. The rate you two are going, all the details will be worked out before bedtime," he said with a smile.

By the time Ennis had finished washing the dishes and putting them away, Jack and Tom had adjourned to the porch. Ennis joined them, carrying three glasses and a bottle of whiskey. "Want a drink, Tom?" he asked, pouring one for Jack, who did not need an invitation.

"Sure," said Tom, "and a smoke, too, if you've got one."

Ennis laughed. "You know I do," he said, handing Tom the pack along with a lighter.

Tom lit the cigarette and took a long drag. "I had a nice visit with Uncle Hal this afternoon," he said. "I'm glad I got here early, for a change, and had a chance to just sit with him."

Ennis nodded. "That's what I've been doin' more 'n more," he said. "Just sittin' or tellin' Hal stories. Talkin' seems to wear him out."

"You know, Ennis," said Tom, "he really appreciates that you make the effort to visit him every day. You wouldn't believe how much that means to him."

"No effort," said Ennis. "I enjoy our time together. He's a kind and gentle person. I've learned a lot from him."

Tom smiled. "He told me you guys had a special day on July 4th."

"What did he say?" asked Jack.

"He mentioned your rings—told me to notice them," said Tom. "Hal told me you bought them at a crafts fair?"

"That's right," said Jack. "Anyone that seen us, it looked like we were just buying two rings, but it was special t'us."

Tom smiled. "That's what Hal said. I think he was glad you shared that part of the day with him."

Eventually the conversation wound down. Ennis finished his drink and looked at the empty glass. Jack noticed. "Ya want some more, bud?" he asked.

"No," said Ennis. "I'm tired. I think I'm gonna go up t'bed."

"I'll be up in a minute," said Jack. He turned to Tom with the bottle. "A refill for you?"

"Just a splash," said Tom. "I'm going to go into the kitchen and use the phone," he said. "Call Janet and tell her good night." He smiled at Ennis and Jack. "Seeing you guys reminds me that I should tell my wife more often how much I love her, so I think I'll go do that now." Tom stood up and walked through the door. "Night, guys. See you in the morning."

Ennis smiled at Jack. "That's probably a good reminder," he said. "I love you, rodeo. See you upstairs."

Jack smiled back. "I love you too, cowboy." He paused, then added, "Don't fall asleep too fast. I think we got something t'celebrate."

"What's that?" said Ennis.

"Looks like we're buyin' ourselves a farm," said Jack, with a happy smile. "And I can hardly fuckin' believe it."