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Uncle Fred Wife (standard:drama, 3514 words)
Author: stanley mcqueen kentucky backwoods writerAdded: Apr 04 2007Views/Reads: 2172/1523Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
backwoods old days themes
 



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against such a good fellow as he was while he was here among us all,. 
It was on the third day that paw and me and our friends and kinfolk all 
loaded Fred Coffin on the corn wagon and hauled him to our graveyard 
ridge where all folks from these part are laid . The pretty widow 
walked with paw leading her like someone that was blind and she was 
putting on like she was balling like a calf would to when its mammy 
come up missing, something about her mourning was not real like it 
showed to be put on ,somehow to me any how...if Fred was watching from 
heaven was he seeing these fake sobs and seeing her put on like she was 
mourning his passing.. There was a strange young handsome man that was 
among the Folks, nobody in the crowd new who he was and I knew I had 
not seen his face at least in these part s before, something was fishy 
in the river for sure, who was this strange handsome stranger that had 
come in our mists, this was a mystery but I was thinking that he had 
something to do with Martha.. Our burying  place lay just above our 
shack on the ridge that was too steep for corn growing, the burying 
yards belong to paw it was our land and our place bury  our dead 
kinfolks. The team pulled hard against the wagon that carried his 
coffin and folk followed walking slowly behind, it was a sad day for 
all the folks that love Fred those that had shared this neighborhood 
and these beautiful Kentucky ridges , I sure hated to see Fred lowered 
down in that old clay dirt knowing I would not see his face again on 
this side of glory, but I had heard him speak well about the lord God 
many of a time , and Fred was a honest soul and a hard working decent 
man... 

The good rev read some pretty word from the Good Book and Fred was
lowered down into the yellow clay grave , men took there hat off when 
the coffin was placed in the grown, Then each person took up a shovel 
and began throwing shovels of dirt into the hole where Fred lay. It was 
no long till the hole become a mound and then each person placed a 
flower on the fresh filled grave, Maw sobs in tears her crying broke 
the silence, her love was for Fred was deep he was her Brother and I 
was sorry to see her weep so hard and take his death so grievous. 
Martha she tried to act out like a grieving widow and made out like she 
was so hurt but is was put on, and some folks was fooled by her 
actions, but not Maw and not me and not paw, after all the flowers was 
placed and then folks headed off the steep ridge and the team and wagon 
was headed off first , Martha said she was afraid to stay at the farm 
and Maw asked her to take a night or two with us , I think Maw done 
this to feel her out and maybe figure out what she was trying to do.  
It had been a long and sad summer day and every one of us took our beds 
pretty early, the three nights of setting up with Fred corpse had wore 
us all out from lack of sleep. My room faced the ridge graveyard and as 
I lay and looked out the window I could see the yellow clay fresh grave 
mound where Fred had just been planted today, then I thought of all the 
times me and him had fished in the paw paw river ,catching those big 
blue channel catfish , and I could see him smiling and bragging about 
the big one he has just caught , of course it was just the memories in 
my nogging for I new well we would never wet another fishing line 
together again. The night was clear and it being in mid summer warm , I 
must of drifted off to sleep after many  memories of past days working 
and hunting and fishing with Fred, Something woke me up in the wee 
hours of the morning, it was a board creaked, I never got up to see 
what is was and a few moments after I heard the front door of our shack 
gently close, who was going out of the shack at this hour? , and I 
somehow new that maw and paw never made a habit of going out after dark 
especially this late in the night. Then I decided to slip my trousers 
and shirt on and shoes and take see who was up and on the outside at 
this late night hour. The night was cooler and I slipped along being 
very quite making darn sure I was not seen. . the summer moon was 
shining bright making the night almost like day light, I went around 
the side of the house where my bed room was and then I seen a form 
going up the narrow wagon road that lead up the graveyard point. It was 
Martha she was heading toward the graveyard making her way slowly up 
the ridge toward the Graveyard., What in heavens name would she be 
going up there to the graveyard I was thinking ? I made up my mind to 
find out so I headed off and made a circle round that lead me into the 
woods and would not follow her on the wagon road supposing she might 
see be behind her, it was a short cut path that I had often used to 
visit the graveyard .. My way was just a might shorter than the wagon 
road, and she beat me to the graveyard. Question was what was she 
really doing? What would she be doing coming to the grave site at this 
wee hour of  morning?That question was soon answered as I watch her 
from the thicket from outside the graveyard I see a man walk from the 
shadows of the trees from the other side of the graveyard with the 
night being so bright and all I could make out who this man was, it was 
the tall dark handsome stranger that had attended Fred burial, he walks 
to where she is waiting, and then I could not hardly believe what my 
own eyes was seeing, he pulls the pretty Martha up near  him and they 
kiss in hot passion, right over my dead uncles grave I love you I hear 
her say to him , and he returns with the same words to her, then she 
tell him how she has missed him since she got married and that 
everything had went as planned, now we can be together she adds” I 
poisoned that rascal with rat poison she points at the fresh grave 
mound” now my love we can be together she remarks, and im going to sell 
the Farm and we can leave the county and get away from these dumb hill 
folks, just like we planed she muttered” something come over me a mad 
rage, and if I had toted my old pistol up here I would have shot the 
two lovers dead, she had killed my Uncle with Rat poison, just to get 
her hand on his farm and the money he had saved in the Muddy Fork bank 
township, I listen as they talked and kissed and embraced each other 
and they was saying all kinds of love jesters making me sick to my 
stomach, How could a heart be so wicked that they would kill someone to 
get his farm and money ,I wish Fred could see his widow here like I was 
seeing her in the bosom  of this tall man , maybe Fred spirit woke me 
up, so I could ketch them and avenge his death, as I listen on to their 
words I was careful not to make any noise that they might hear me, they 
kissed and kept kissing and then she said I better get back to the 
shack before maybe some of them wakes up maybe and sees me gone , we 
will meet here tomorrow  night she tell him , im going to stay with 
them for a few more days so they want suspect anything. That a good 
idea he said” same time and place she said and they kissed a long hot 
passion kiss and then he went back the way he come from and she slowly 
went back off the ridge and back down to the shack,. I waited a good 
spell before I went back off the ridge so she would go back to sleep 
and not hear me inter the house, she was not going to get away with 
killing my Good Uncle Fred I would see to that . Rage and anger filled 
my heart and sleep never come to me the whole rest of the night. I 
never told maw or paw a thing about what had happen last night , I made 
my mind up to ride into Muddy Fork and talk to the sheriff and tell him 
about this , I was going to keep them two from getting the farm and 
avenge the murder of my beloved Uncle Fred, Morning come and maw got up 
early and prepared breakfast .and she woke up pretty Martha to eat and 
I found myself setting eating breakfast with a pretty brown eyed 
killer. Evil was lurking inside my heart , should I kill the two of 
them tonight at their late night visit ? Or should I ride in to Muddy 
Fork and tell the sheriff about this , I desisted to do the latter, 
After doing the morning chores around the place I saddled my horse and 
rode into Muddy Fork, and went to the small sheriff building and told 
him of what I had heard and seen last night, he told me that the best 
thing to do was that him and me hide in the thicket and ketch them 
maybe they will discuss Fred death and if we both hear them I can 
charge the two with murder, sheriff black new I was no liar and that my 
words was true and he never, questioned my story. We agreed about our 
secret meeting and he said he would ride part way to our place and tie 
his horse a good ways for the graveyard point and walk in real late and 
I told him there about where I would be hiding , I was hopeing that our 
plan never failed , it would be a shame for them two to get away with 
killing such a person as my poor old humble Uncle Fred. I was sure 
hoping things worked out as me and the sheriff planned, it seemed like 
time had stopped today I was so anxious that night would come , and 
threw much waiting night fell again, it must of been about ten o clock 
when we all bedded down , and I would wait till the wee hours of the 
morning for any noise that I heard of her slipping out. It must of been 
about two thirty in the morning when I got a faint sound of her 
slipping out, I waited for her to get a far peace off before I got up . 
I had went to bed with my clothes on so I would not have to go to the 
trouble of dressing, I went off into the night and took the same route 
I had taken on the night before and sure enough and I found the sheriff 
right where I had told him to hide, Martha done as she had before 
waited at the grace mound by  uncle Fred grave , me and the sheriff was 
careful not to make a sound that would give our position away , then 
from the tree line on the other side of the graveyard come the tall 
handsome stranger , he walks up two her just like he did the night 
before and they start that love talk and embracing like to shakes 
wrapped around each other, it was sickening , after a long hard kiss 
between them when they had come up for air, the most beautiful words 
that could have stopped the silence of the night, these were the word 
from Pretty Martha lips , are you glad I poisoned that bastard she 
blurt, now we have each other and some money and the best farm in these 
parts she Bragg”then as a copperhead shake would strike a man Sheriff 
North shouted , don't run your both under arrest for murder, they froze 
like lighting had struck the two of them knowing they had been caught 
and heard, Sheriff north held his forty four pistol on the two and then 
put handcuffs on the handsome tall stranger and I and the sheriff 
followed them off the graveyard point, It will be a pleasure to .see 
you all hang by your necks till your both dead Sheriff North said” 
poisoning my good neighbor Fred whom I known many years and to think 
anyone could be so wicked and cruel is beyond my understanding, he 
adds” when we reach the shack sheriff held them at bay till I woke up 
Maw and Paw and they was astonished at what had happen and was much 
surprised at all this, and when mammy got to her senses she tried 
making lunges at the two of them and she went to shouting why did you 
have to kill my bother over and over she repeated, I helped the sheriff 
tote the two , into our township and they were lodged in our little 
county as was going back toward home there went to blowing calm like 
breeze , and I declare I would have swore I heard the voice of Uncle 
Fred in the breeze saying thanks son for what you have done to avenge 
my death,, Well things turned out as well as could be expected im 
thinking , Fred farm fell to mammy , and his saving when to the up keep 
of our graveyard where he now rest in peace, I shall miss his friendly 
face and his laughing and his bragging about catching bigger fish than 
mine, funny how things can turn out , if Fred had not of being taken in 
by this lovely woman he would still be alive , yes things want ever be 
the same around here without Uncle Fred, but well press on till we meet 
him again on the other side of Glory 


   


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