It had been five days since they had put Nancy on that stage and gotten back on the trail. Barnaby lay under the
wagon on his bedroll. Barney felt so bad, he had hurt Bill badly, how could he make it right.
Mr. Chris had expressed his opinion of the little disappearing act. When Barney walked it to the telegram office, Mr.
Chris had seen no humor in Barnaby's explanation. When Barnaby had ended his explanation by saying" that's all
there is to it" Mr Chris had loudly declared,
"THAT'S not all there is to it" . Then without another word he grabbed
Barney by the arm, and sitting down, he pulled Barney over his knee and proceeded to spank the daylights out of
him. All the while declaring," if he was going to act like a child he would be treated like one!," The spanking in front
of Bill, Nancy, and the telegraph operator had been incredibly embarrassing. It had, however, served to clear the
slate between he and Mr. Chris.
Mr. Chris had given Nancy her just deserts and sent the new telegram to Mr. Styles explaining what they had done.
He had receive a new wire with instruction to put Her on the next stage. When Nancy had boarded the stage the
next morning she had hugged Mr Chris and thanked him for everything.
Bill had still not said more then two words
to Barney since. Barney would give anything to heal the riff between them. When the train made camp Friday, Barney tried to talk to Bill.
"Bill, can we talk" Barney ask shyly as he approached Bill at the fire.
"What About, snapped Bill coldly.
"Why your still angry with me?"
"I'm not angry!" Bill groused as he turned away to look into the flame.
"Bill I know what I did was very childish and caused a lot of pain and It was very selfish, I know that I have no
right to ask your forgiveness. But please Bill I'll do anything.! " as Barney finished his speech he used his shirt
sleeve to wipe away the tears. he stood trembling waiting for Bill"s response.
"Barney, I am so upset with you that every time I look at You it takes all my will power not to thrash the tar out of
"Then Bills, please, do it, please. I can't go on feeling that you can't stand me and you don't
want me Around." cried Barney. "That hurts far more than a whip'n ever could."
"Barney, you've already been punished it wouldn't be fair, go do your chores and give me time to think." Bill
mumbled. he sat with his head in his hands as Barney had walked away feeling no better then before.
Three days later things were no better. Barney had tried talking to Wooster, Duke, Coop, and Mr. Chris they had all
said the same "give it time it will work out you wait and see." that wasn't working Barney had to come up with
Then suddenly it came to him, acting like a child had gotten him into this, maybe it could get him out. He
began to devise his plan. Then at breakfast two days later, he got his chance he over over heard Mr. Chris send
Duke and Coop out on a scout trip. Mr. Chris and two riders were going into Fort Santo for supplies and they would
not be back until late. Leaving Bill and Wooster in charge of camp. Barney would make his move as soon as they all
First he pretended to throw a fit about being left behind. Then he stomped and sulked about doing a sloppy job of
his mornings work. Charlie got so frustrated that he threatened to whomp him with the stew pot. Then he
deliberately made a mess of loading the wagon so Charlie would chase him away. Barney stalked off shouting about
no one appreciating him and never letting him do anything important. As he shouted "I'll just leave" he kicked the
bench over and dropped his note. This had better work. Barney hid in the bushes and watched Charlie straighten
the wagon and camp sight. When Charlie found the note, Barney knew he could not back out now Charlie would for
sure give the note to Bill. He rode off not bothering to cover his trail.
Meanwhile, as Bill came in for something to eat Wooster gave him
I'm leaving I'm only a bother
Everyone treats me like I'm
Not smart enough to think
On my own. I'll prove you
All wrong. Bye not that anyone
Will miss me anyway.
Dadburnit Charlie," how long has he been gone?" Oh, about two hours I guess. He was here long enough to throw
a fit because Chris wouldn't let him go to town and make a big mess." ranted Charlie.
"I've had enough of that boy's stunts, when I get him found I'm going to give him a tanning he will never forget!" Bill
growled, Imagine running off again worrying folks. Does he think we have time to chase him down every time
things don't go his way?" Bill said as he ran his fingers through his hair, and placed the note in his pocket.
"Charlie I hope to be back before Mr. Chris, if not I'll catch up when I've got the boy."
Bill saddled up and rode toward town, he recognizes the prints of Barney's horse pretty clear. Barney was getting
board waiting to be found he decides that if no one came looking before dark he would follow the train for a few
days, just out of sight, he didn' t want to really get lost.
Just as it was starting to get dark he rode up on a pond. It was hot a quick swim
would feel mighty relaxing. It didn't take long to shuck everything but his drawers and wade into the water.
Barney was so busy watching a beaver family and swimming that he did not see or hear the horse riding up.
Seeing Barney swimming, carefree as a lark, Made Bill mad all over again.
"Causing all this worry, then swimming and playing without a care in the world, with no concern for others.
I'll give him a thing or two to think about" thought Bill as he reaches down and unfasten his belt.
As He walked over to the rock where Barney left his clothes. He pulled the belt from the loops of his jeans and
doubled it over as he sat down on the rock. He waited for the boy to come out of the water. He noticed Barney
coming toward him. Barney made it to the bushes and peeled off the wet clothes. Bill reaches from behind and
grabbed Barney's upper arm.
Without a word. The leather of the belt began to smack against the bare wet skin. It took about three smacks
for Barney to regain his wits and realize who had hold of him. He yelped and danced for all his worth, the belt
cracked again and again . The whole Ute nation could have heard him yell. If Barney had thought
this out, knowing that he was out to get just this kind of attention from Bill, he would have kept his clothes on.
Suddenly Barney realized that the belt had stopped. Bill spun Barney around to face him.
" Now you get your clothes on, then you've got some explaining to do young man,your way too old to be acting like
this running off every time you don't get your way." I would have thought that you would have learned your
lesson from the spanking that Mr. Chris gave you last week." Bill was so angry he just kept ranting.
"But I guess you're still just a little boy, you know between the fit throwing and the running off, and the way you
treated Wooster I ought to take you over my knee." As Barney watched the vain in Bill face rise he grinned and
giggled just a little."
" Young man I fail to see anything to laugh about" with that he pulled Barney over his knee and began
to lecture as he
whacked " we don't have time for little boys out here" whack whack, whack," it's about time you got that through
your head" whack, whack," if I didn't know better" whack, whack, "I'd think you were trying to" whack, then as he
raised his hand to bring it down again suddenly he understood. He grabbed Barney into a hug and soon they were
bawling I'm sorry's and crying. After several minutes both stepped back.
Barney began to explain." Bill I'm sorry but I figured that acting like a brat got me into this, maybe it would get me
out of it."
Bill lowered his head and spoke," Barn, you're not the only one to blame here. I was acting as childish as you in a
way we should have been able to settle this when we talked." " I guess I was as confused as you."
"Well, Bill I caused a lot of hurt and something needed to clear the air, I'm just glad I'm still young enough that an
old fashion trip to the woodshed can still settle the score. I needed your love and friendship." Bill hugged him
"It's getting late we better get back." Bill smiled.
They had reached the horses. Bill started to mount and then stopped. He looked over at Barney, he looked so
." Barney let's walk the horses for a while, I think you are probably too sore to sit a saddle just now." said Bill.
"It's getting so late Wooster and Mr. Chris will be worried. I'll be OK." answered Barney.
"Boy, you just do as you're told, or are you asking for another trip across my knee." snickered Bill
"No sir, I'm just trying not to worry anyone more." Barney twisted to move his backside out of Bill's reach.
"I think I can explain how this last little adventure was my fault you stop worrying." Bill said.
It was just before ten that night when Bill and Barney came riding into camp. Mr. Chris noticed that Barney was
standing in the stirrups. When he dismounted, he was walking a little stiff.
"Well it about time you two got back." said Mr. Chris.
"Well Chris, you let us get some of Wooster's stew and coffee and I'll tell you about mine and Barney's little
adventure." smiled as he shot a raised brow look at Barney. Barney stood listening to Bill tell the story. He smiled
and thought how glad he was to be back with his family, even if he would not be sitting for a while...