The Need For A Father
"I can not think of any need
In childhood as strong as the
Need for a father's protection"
Murdoch Lancer, rancher, that's all he was. Sitting in the dark of his
spacious hacienda watching shadows of what might have been. He
was also a father. Father, you needed children to be a father. He
was a good friend, boss, businessman, but a father? He'd had that
taken away from him, twice.
Looking into the past served no purpose, it only brought the pain and
hate and anger into the present. He married, brought his Boston bred
wife to this wilderness. They would have thrived, been happy; fate
didn't see it that way. Men tried to take what was his, so he sent
her, Catherine, away to safety. They were expecting the first-born
child of their love. Fate once again put her hand down. Catherine died
away from the ranch she called home, giving birth to the first son of Lancer
Catherine Garrett Lancer's father the successful businessman from
Boston came to help. Help himself to his only child's son. Taking
what was Murdoch Lancer's legacy. Harlan Garrett took, with no
regard to the devastation to his son-in-law. The son, Scott Garrett
Lancer would be raised in the lap of Boston society, wanting for
nothing, educated in the best schools. He would replace an old man's
The loss was greater for the man Lancer. His heart was torn; no
more would he hold his love. Never to see the son he so desired.
Therefore, the big man sat alone. For almost three years, he bled,
labored to exhaustion and fought for every square inch of land and
cattle he owned. His need for a family began to grow in him.
Harlan Garrett was rich, had many lawyers and judges in his well-
lined pockets. Keeping the western barbarian away from his
grandson was easy. Guardianship would be tied up for years in the
Sitting back in his upholstered chair he watched the two-year-old
toddler stand on his own and walk towards him with small hands
outstretched. Nodding to the nanny, he watched as the child was
picked up and brought to him. Taking one small hand in his he
smiled, "That's a good boy. Go with nanny now." The older man
never saw or did not want to see the disappointment in the blue eyes
of the child.
Sitting back the old man smiled, Murdoch Lancer will never have his
son back. The man had taken his child, now he would take the lout
of a man's child. Revenge was a dish best served cold.
Boston and Morro Coyo, miles apart, days by travel, too expensive. One
day the rancher would travel east and bring his son home. One day,
closing his eyes he tried to sleep. Sleep would not come easily the big
house was silent and in that silence the house heard the weeping of a
To keep his ranch afloat the rancher left the running to his friend and
manager, Paul O'Brien, and worked as a sheriff. Bringing fugitives
to justice, sometimes he traveled south of the border... It was in the
little border town of Matamoras that he saw her.
Honey kissed skin, eyes that flashed like dark crystals. And
beautiful, the high cheek bones, fine delicate lines of her face.
Murdoch felt something in the pit of his stomach. He felt other
things, heart-mending things. Could he have a second chance, after
all what was life but a string of second chances? He courted her for
just a short time; he had taken liberties he never would have taken.
Maria astounded him and took his will away as well as his good
It was too late to turn back now. He stood before the priest and the
lovely Maria by his side, glowing in the joy of her husband... She put
a hand to her stomach, and smiled at the life growing out of their
wild love for each other. She would love him and her child.
Murdoch smiled as he watched her pat her stomach. A family at last.
When things had settled down, he would go to Boston and fight for
his first-born son. His children would grow up together at Lancer.
He could be a husband, a father, and a successful rancher. With the
love of his wife and children, he could rule the world. However, he
only wanted his little piece of the world. Here at Lancer in this
valley, he called home.
Paul could only stand by as his friend saddled the big gelding,
sadness, pain, fear etched on the face. "Murdoch, take however long to find Johnny."
Nodding once the big man mounted his horse, without a
backwards glance he headed south. He would not look in the
faces of his housekeeper, whose sad eyes mirrored his, or that
of the many men standing watching their patron ride off so
alone in his quest. He thought only of his young two-year-old
son. The memories came flooding in.
Murdoch stayed beside his beautiful wife as the pains forced
her to cry out. The housekeeper, Maria, wrung out a clothe to
apply to the fevered brow of her patrons wife. They were
worried, and the doctor sent for.
" Lo siento mi esposo." Murdoch kissed the damp forehead of
his young wife. " Silenco, mi amor. Here take my hand and
squeeze all you want." She gave him a smile like no other.
"I love you my husband, I only want you to have this hijo to
carry on your name." He placed his hand on the hard stomach
of his wife, "Come on little one. It's time to see your new
world. Your Papa and Momma are waiting." Another pain
and a scream as the child decided it was time.
The birth of a son to the patron was a glad day. Paul O'Brien
smiled. His friend had lost one son to a vengeful old man far
away but he now had a son to hold. He looked across the
room to the big man a small blanket wrapped bundle in his big
hands. The baby nestled in the security of those big, hard
working hands, but so gentle as he rocked the child.
Looking up Murdoch smiled at his friend. "There are no words
to describe how I feel Paul. He is perfect, and I am not saying
that because he's mine. Just look at him."
Paul came over to stand beside his friend looking down;
Murdoch opened the blanket, a head of black hair on top of a
round face, lips in a pout. Little hands began to thrash about
and the eyes opened, not really seeing anything, but
nonetheless staring at the face before him. What eyes they
were, the bluest Paul had ever seen. His breath caught in his
throat, his friend was right; the boy was perfect and
beautiful. If a boy child could be called beautiful, that would
be John Lancer.
Paul also knew a child of mixed heritage would have some bad
days ahead of him. Knowing Murdoch Lancer, those hurtful
days would be far and few.
Holding his one-year-old son in front of him in the saddle,
Murdoch smiled as the boy laughed at the herd of cattle
thundering before them. Maria had scolded him for taking the
child on his horse almost every time he rode out. The rancher
took the lighthearted bantering; he loved the feel of his son
close to him. The delight the small boy had of being on the
large horse, and the thrill of the world around him gave this
father such joy and fulfillment.
Thinking, would his older son, Scott, have been this way. He
didn't even know what the boy looked like. Would he have his
mothers' coloring, would he look anything like him?
Holding Johnny up he waved his one free arm, "All this for you
and your big brother, Scott. One day mi pequeno vaquero, your
brother will come home, and we three will ride as far as the
eye can see."
Johnny laughed and turned that oh so beautiful smile on him
, Murdoch's heart fluttered with joy. One day his two sons
will be beside him. Lancer will continue. Of that, he was
That one day would have to wait. Harlan Garrett stole the
eldest child, and then Maria, his wife, stole the second child.
Time and money was spent on trying to find his younger son.
One day in a dirty border town, Murdoch Lancer turned his
horse north. He would return home, to his valley. With a
saddened heart the big man bowed his head and swore to no
one, to everyone, to God himself, he would find his son, his
heart, and bring both his sons home to Lancer.
He would work hard, he would push himself to exhaustion, he
would bleed if he had to, to build his empire for his sons, and
the future generations of Lancers. One day he would have his
sons back, the three would ride across their land a man with
two sons, one light one dark. All would be good in his perfect
Sighing he kneed his horse north, to home.
Or The Beginning?
Jan 24, 2013