The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

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PatriciaG

 

Scott Lancer

 

Who Am I?

Murdoch sat behind his big desk working on the books. The Grandfather clock in the great room ticked, ticked, ticked loudly. It was the only sound in the room.

Johnny and Scott strolled together into the great room after eating breakfast. Murdoch called them over to his desk. “Johnny, I need you to ride out to the south range and oversee the hands moving the herd to the east range. Scott, I need you to go into Morro Coyo and Green River to check for mail. I also have some banking I want you to do while you’re there.”

“Oh, Murdoch, I can go into town for you. Send Scott to help move that herd.”

“Sorry, Johnny, you went last time. It is my time to go into town,” smiled Scott.

With the clip clop of a horse’s hooves, they all turned to look out the French doors.  

Sheriff Val Crawford rode up to the Lancer hacienda. He knocked on the wooden front door, interrupting the Lancer conversation.  Murdoch greeted him and invited him into the house. Johnny grumbled and Scott smiled, as the brothers passed the Sheriff and walked out to the barn ready to follow their father’s orders.  

“What brings you out here, Val? Is one of my boys in trouble again?”

“Nope, not this time. There’s a gunslinger askin’ around town about Johnny Madrid Lancer. Nobody’s talkin’, but you might wanna keep Johnny around the ranch for a few days, just in case.”

“That’s a good idea,” agreed Murdoch.

*****

Scott had completed the first leg of his journey. Morro Coy bank and mail … check. He made good time getting to Green River. First stop, post office. Since he was ahead of schedule, he decided to stop at the saloon for a quick drink. The bartender greeted him with “Hey, Scott, how are things out at Lancer?”  

“Good. Cannot complain. How about a beer for this dusty traveler?” The barkeep smiled and placed a beer down in front of Scott.

A big man wearing a gun tied to his thigh listened intently to the conversation. A buxom bar maid slid up to Scott. “Hi, Scott. When is Johnny coming back to town?” pouted the raven haired beauty.

Scott simply smiled and said, “I will pass along your interest when I see him this afternoon.” He finished his beer, tipped his hat to the lady, and walked out of the saloon.

His next stop was the bank. As he left the bank, the big man from the bar grabbed Scott and pulled him into the alley. Scotts tried to fight him off, but the man was too big and hit him over the head with the butt of his gun. The gunslinger dragged Scott to a waiting wagon, tied his hands and feet, and gagged him. Scott’s pistol was removed before a tarp was pulled over the unconscious man.  The big man drove cautiously out of the alley. He stopped by Scott’s horse, untied it from the railing and then tied it to the back of his wagon. An observant shop keeper was confused as he watched Scott’s horse being led off by the gunslinger, but didn’t stop him.

The gunslinger smiled at how easy it was to capture Scott Lancer.

“Johnny Madrid won’t get one over on old Jim Brown this time. He will pay for my sister’s death or his brother will.”

Brown drove his wagon to a line shack on Lancer’s land. By the time they reached it, Scott had regained consciousness. The gunslinger saw the questions in the oldest Lancer son’s eyes.

“All I want is for your brother to pay for what he done to my family. If he comes easy like, I’ll let ya go. If Madrid double crosses me, you and your brother will both die!” He dragged Scott out of the wagon and dropped him onto the porch of the shack. Scott watched as Brown shot a hole in his favorite hat. Then he tied the hat to Scott’s horse with the following note:

Johnny Madrid,

Meet me at the line shack in the north range by 8:00 tomorrow morning
or your brother will die. Come alone.

JBrown

Scott’s horse was sent home with a swift swat of its behind.

*****

Jelly grabbed Scott’s horse as it thundered into the courtyard. He untied the hat and held it up. He stuck his finger through the hole in the hat. Teresa saw Scott’s hat, screamed, and covered her face with her hands. Jelly found the note tied to the horn of the saddle. “Boss, you need to come out here!” Murdoch rushed out of the house to see his ward in tears and Jelly holding Scott’s hat with the note in his hand. Murdoch read it and sent Walt into town to bring Sheriff Val Crawford back out to the ranch.

*****

Johnny, hot, sweaty, and tired, dragged himself back to the house after being out on the range all day. He strolled into the kitchen for a cool drink.

“Hey, Teresa, do you have any lemonade?” Teresa nodded. Johnny noticed her eyes were red. “Are you okay? You look like you’ve been crying.”

“Oh, I’m fine. I’ve just been … peeling onions. Excuse me,” Teresa exclaimed as she ran out of the kitchen.

Johnny thought that Teresa was acting strange, but just brushed it off as he walked into the great room. “Hey, Murdoch, is Scott back yet? He owes me a chance to beat him again at chess.” Johnny laughed at his own joke.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, Scott is probably going to stay in town tonight,” answered Murdoch. Changing the subject, he asked, “So, how was the trail ride today? Any problems?” Before he answered, Johnny noticed Jelly sitting quietly in one of the chairs by the fire, and refusing to look up at him.

“No, no problems,” Johnny answered. “Why do I get the feeling something’s going on around here?” He glanced out the French doors and saw Scott’s horse tied to the railing. “If Scott’s staying in town, why’s his horse here? What are you trying to hide?”

Johnny turned around as Teresa, sniffling, came down the stairs. Jelly went over to comfort the crying girl.  

“Murdoch, has something happened to Scott? Tell me! Is he, is he … hurt?”

Jelly broke in first, “Boss, ya need to tell him.”

Murdoch stood, silently weighing whether to tell his youngest son anything, when Val Crawford arrived back at the ranch.

“Why is Val here again? Somebody, please tell me what’s going on!” Johnny exclaimed in frustration.

Murdoch showed the note to both Val and Johnny. Johnny wanted to ride out immediately, but the Sheriff put his hand on his friend’s shoulder and convinced him to stay so they could hatch out a plan.   
 
“Johnny, I’ll ride out to the shack by dawn. You leave by 7:00 and you can be there before 8:00. I’ll be hiding in that grove of trees, to the west of the cabin. You know, we can catch this man and get Scott back unharmed if we just stick to the plan.” Johnny reluctantly agreed to Val’s idea.

Very little sleep was had by any of the inhabitants of Lancer that night. Val took off long before first light. Johnny had a hard time waiting until his time to depart. He kept imaging what could be happening to his big brother. Again, he wished that his past hadn’t come back to endanger his family.

Long before the sun even started to come up, Scott, bound and gagged, was dragged out to a tree in front of the shack. “So Johnny can see his brother as he rides up”, thought the big man. The gunslinger went back into the shack and made some coffee, then sat down and watched out the window for Johnny Madrid. And waited.

Just before sunrise, Val arrived about a quarter mile from the line shack. The sheriff grabbed his rifle from his saddle, tied his horse to a bush, and walked the remaining distance to the trees on the front side of the cabin. As he sneaked up, he saw Scott already gagged and tied to a tree. The slim blonde’s head was already drooped, and his knees had buckled from exhaustion.  Val wondered how long Scott had been tied up there.

Jim Brown walked out of the shack with a rifle in his hand around an hour before his enemy was due to arrive. He decided to sit in a chair on the porch to wait for Johnny Madrid Lancer to try to rescue his brother.

Johnny didn’t keep the gunslinger waiting very long. The dark haired Lancer was shocked to see his brother’s limp body tied to a tree.

“Drop your gun, Madrid! I could kill your brother with one shot from here. If you come all peaceful like, I’ll leave your brother behind when we’re gone.”

Johnny carefully dropped his gun to the ground, because he knew Val had his back.

“Why are you doing this? Did I best you in a gun fight?” Johnny’s voice crackled with anger.

“You’re the reason my sister’s dead!  She loved you and you just walked away from her. She killed herself over you! She stopped eating and willed herself to die! You didn’t even look back when you left.”

Unfortunately, Johnny couldn’t even remember any woman named Brown, but he didn’t want to give the angry man any reason to shoot. “I’m so sorry about your sister,” Johnny began, but the gunslinger interrupted.

“Shut up! Now, walk your horse over here so we can get out of …” Brown saw a glint from Val’s rifle shining in the sun. “You son-of-a …” he shouted as he raised his rifle in the direction of Scott’s limp body. Val fired his rifle just as the gunslinger fired his gun. Val’s shot rang true and Brown went down in a heap. Johnny turned to see Scott’s head jerk back and then fall forward. Then blood began to pour down his brother’s face.

“Noooooooo,” screamed Johnny, frozen in shock, unable to move. Val reached Scott and leaned in to listen for breath sounds.

“He’s alive, Johnny! You need to get him back to the ranch pronto. I’ll ride into town and get Doc Jenkins.”

Johnny cut his brother’s bonds and Scott collapsed to the ground. He leaped onto Barranca and Val passed Scott up to him. Riding double, the brothers high tailed it to the hacienda.

Lookouts on top of the house announced that a rider was coming. Ranch hands waited to help Scott off the horse, and then carried him up to the bedroom where Teresa and Jelly stood by with hot water and bandages. Given the situation, they knew to be prepared for injuries.

Scott remained unconscious while they cleaned and bandaged his head wound. The bullet left a deep graze in the side of Scott’s head, but it didn’t penetrate the skull. The doctor arrived very quickly, considering how far the ranch was from town. Johnny’s friend Val must have run his horse into the ground getting the doc out to Lancer so fast.

“Teresa and Jelly, you’re becoming very good at doctorin’ these boys. You two have had quite a bit of practice lately. Looks like you really didn’t need me much this time. All we can do is wait for him to wake up. I’ll hang around here a few days, just in case.”

Scott slept through the night, all the next day, and into the evening. While the doctor was checking out his wound the next evening, he told the Lancer men, “Why don’t you two take a break from sitting by Scott’s bedside? I’ll come get you when I’m finished.”

Johnny and Murdoch reluctantly left the room. As the doctor rebandaged the blond’s head, Scott blinked and slowly opened his eyes.

“Well, there you are. How are you feeling, son?”

Scott looked at Dr. Jenkins with confusion and with a croak whispered, “Water.” The doctor poured him a glass of water. He made sure that Scott didn’t drink too much right away. 

“Where, where am I? Who are you?” he managed to rasped out to the doc.

“You’re in your own bedroom at the ranch. You don’t remember who I am?” Scott very slowly shook his head.

“Well, you do know who you are?” Scott grimaced and again shook his head.

“Do you remember what happened to you?” Another slow shake of Scott’s head caused another grimace from the pain.

“Now, this could just be temporary. I’m sure your memory will return quickly. I’m Doctor Jenkins. I’ve been mending you for a while now, since you moved here from Boston. Do you remember growing up in Boston?” Yet another head shake.
 
“My head is really starting to hurt, and I’m growing tired. Could you give me something to make the pain go away?” Scott whispered, hoping the pain could be erased.

Just then the door opened, and Johnny peeked in. “Hey, Boston, good to see you awake. You had us all worried.”

Scott just looked at the man in the red shirt, unable to understand why he was in his room. “Boston.” Scott turned and looked at Doc Jenkins, “Is my name Boston?”

Johnny looked at Doctor Jenkins, unable to understand why his brother asked that question.

The doctor handed Scott the Laudanum and water mixture and helped him drink it.

“Why don’t you just close your eyes and get some rest. I’m going to go talk to your family. They’re waiting to hear the good news that you’re going to be just fine. Johnny, why don’t you come downstairs with me? Scott needs his rest.” The doctor smiled at Scott and ushered Johnny quickly out the door.

The country doctor barely got Johnny out the door before the young man started firing insistent questions at him. “What does he mean, ‘Is my name Boston’? What’s wrong with him, Doc?”

“Johnny, let’s go down and join the others. I’ll try to explain it to all of you at the same time.”

Johnny shrugged his tired shoulders, eagerly waiting for an explanation that would make sense of what his brother had just said.

*****

“What do you mean he doesn’t remember anything? My son has amnesia?!” Murdoch’s voice thundered in the great room.

Dr. Jenkins looked at the worried faces and tried to give them something positive to hang on to. “Look, Scott has had a serious head injury. His brain is having a hard time understanding what happened to him. At least he’s alive and will survive. It may take him some time to retrieve his memories … or he may never remember his past.” Teresa gasped at the doctor’s words.

“Now, Teresa, let’s not dwell on what might happen. Let’s just help Scott get better.”

Murdoch turned away from his ward and faced the doctor. “What can we do to help my son get his memory back?”

Johnny’s thoughts were a jumble. Again my past has affected my brother. What if he never remembers his life before today? At least he won’t have nightmares about the Libby Prison. But he won’t know how close we have become. He won’t remember his time in Boston with his grandfather. Maybe that won’t be so bad either. I don’t know if I can be the cause of any more pain to my family based on my past.

While Johnny was lost in his own thoughts, the other men were deep in discussion about how to help Scott. Teresa quietly went up the stairs to see her blond brother for herself. She opened the door. She expected to see him sleeping, but Scott turned his head toward the door when he heard it opened. His gray-blue eyes looked directly at her, there were questions on his lips. She knew what the doctor said was true. He didn’t even know who she was, so she decided to introduce herself to him.

“Hi, Scott. Can I come in and sit with you for a while?” Teresa half expected him to ask her to leave, but Scott smiled at her and simply said, “Yes.” Teresa returned his smile.

“Do you want to ask me any questions, or would you just like me to tell you about your family?” Teresa noticed the stifled yawn. “Let me know if you’re getting tired. I can always come back again later.”

Scott nodded. “Why don’t you tell me about you and then my family.”

Teresa talked to Scott about her father and how he was killed trying to get back a stolen stallion, then about Murdoch and how he was like a father to her. She talked about Johnny and his mom, Maria, and that he was formerly “Johnny Madrid” a gunfighter. She even told him about Jelly and how he was a foster parent to seven boys before he came to the ranch and began collecting animals.

*****

The men downstairs finally noticed that Teresa was not in the great room with them. “I guess Teresa just couldn’t take this awful news,” Jelly grumbled.

“I think I should probably go up to check on my patient,” Doc proclaimed.

“Why don’t we all go see how Scott is doing,” Murdoch countered.

As the gentlemen approached the door, they heard talking. They stood at the door and listened to the conversation between Scott and Teresa. They heard him laugh as Teresa regaled him with stories about Dewdrop, Jelly’s prize-winning Sow and the white Braham bull.

“This has been very enlightening, but I’m starting to tire. Teresa, is it?” She nodded. “Could we continue this another time?” Teresa nodded again and tried to smile. She had mixed emotions. She was happy that Scott wanted to know about his family, but was discouraged that he didn’t even remember her name. She quietly blew out the lamp and almost bumped into the group of men who were staring quietly at her.

“Well, you weren’t doing anything to help Scott, so I thought I would just visit with him for a while.” Teresa turned, smiled and walk away feeling very proud of herself.

The three men watched Scott peacefully drift off to sleep.

*****

Scott slowly began to stir and blinked his eyes. He noticed a large man sitting in a chair drinking coffee and looking at him.

“You look like you slept well.” His blond son nodded, not sure who was talking to him.

“Do you know who I am?” Murdoch asked quietly.

Scott was beginning to tire of people who asked him that same question. If he knew who these people were, he would have greeted them by name. Again, Scott slowly shook his head and waited for the disappointment to register on the man’s face.

“Well, son, I’m your father, but you always call me Murdoch. We’ve only known each other for a short time. Your mother died when you were born. You were raised by your grandfather in Boston and only recently came to California to live here at Lancer. You came here to help me save the ranch.” That was a lot of information for the injured man to take in. Murdoch continued to talk to Scott, but he just listened, refrained from asking any questions, and accepted the information.

Finally, Scott spoke up. “I need a little time to process what you have told me. I think I would like to rest for a while. Do you mind if I had some time alone?”

“Scott, take all the time you need. I’ll be here for you. We all love you and just want you to get better.”

After Murdoch left, Scott looked around his bedroom. He saw nothing that would help him understand more about his identity.

*****

After one more day in bed, Dr. Jenkins proclaimed that Scott could get up and about, but no strenuous work. Jelly came upstairs to help him come down to the great room. By the time the two reached the couch, Scott was sweating and breathing heavily. Teresa brought him a glass of lemonade. Murdoch and Teresa sat down with Scott by the fire place. Johnny continued to avoid his brother by finding work to keep him away from the hacienda.  

Scott’s head injury continued to improve, but his memory did not. Murdoch decided to show the ledgers for the ranch to Scott. He hoped to jog some memories back to his son. The Bostonian may not remember his Harvard schooling, but his intelligence was still strong and made him capable of learning how to do the books for Murdoch again.

The next day, Scott decided to venture out to the stable. He noticed a horse, that snickered at him. He wondered if this was his horse. Suddenly the door opened, and Johnny entered in mid-sentence, “nothing frustrates me more than having to walk a perfectly good horse, just because it loses his …” Johnny looked up to see his brother standing in the barn.

“Hello, Johnny. I haven’t seen much of you lately.” Johnny stood and stared at his brother.  “You are Johnny, right?” Scott asked, unsure of why his brother looked at him like that. Scott already had a feeling that hewas avoiding him and could not understand why.

Johnny stood dumbfounded. He looked at his brother, at a loss for words.

“Yes, I’m Johnny. Uh, this is a big ranch with a lot of work to be done. I’ve been real busy. How’re you feeling?” he asked, hoping to deflect attention from himself.

“My headache has gone away and I am getting my strength back.”

This conversation felt strange and awkward, to Johnny. He wondered if they could ever get their friendship back to the way it was before.

“I’m glad that you’re feeling better. I just, uh, came in to trade out my horse. I need to get back out to work. So I’ll see you at dinner?” Scott smiled and watched Johnny leave. Scott wondered if he and Johnny had been close. He just couldn’t remember.

*****

One month later, when Scott had not regained any of his memory, Murdoch reluctantly mailed a letter to Harlan Garrett to inform him of his grandson’s injury and amnesia. During this time, Scott got reacquainted with his family and all the hands at the ranch. His family had continued to answer all his questions, holding nothing back. Even when the questions were asked about the scars on his back and body. His ranching abilities came back quickly, too. Scott finally decided it would be simplest to live in the present and leave the past behind.

Scott and Johnny fell back into the same easy friendship they had before the shooting.  A few weeks later, the brothers rode in off the range for a quick bite for lunch just as Jelly came back from town with a large crate in the back of the wagon.

“Hey, Scott, this here box was waitin’ for you at the stage depot. I think it’s from your grandpa.” Scott gave a surprised look at the box. “I’ll have a hand take it up to your room for ya.”

“Thanks, Jelly,” whispered Scott.

“Hey, Boston, do you want to go on up and open the box now?” Johnny suggested.
 
“No, I don’t think so. I can wait until later. Let’s get some lunch, I’m starved,” Scott answered his brother, trying to hide the nervousness in his voice.

Scott decided to open the crate before dinner, but he wanted Johnny to be by his side, in case he had any questions. After opening it, the blond saw a letter from his grandfather, and boxes of different sizes. The letter said that he hoped the items in the boxes would help trigger some memories, and that he knew some fine doctors in Boston that could help him regain his memory.

Johnny laughed and told Scott, “Your grandfather is always trying to get you to move back to Boston.”   

The first box Scott opened contained a small portrait of a woman. Johnny informed him that the picture was of his mother. The next box contained a top hat and tuxedo. “I don’t think I would get much use from these on the ranch.” Both brothers laughed at the fancy clothes in the box.

There were books, a stuffed horse, and a military sabre. The sabre impressed Johnny, though. The final box contained Scott’s Union Blues dress uniform. He fingered the material carefully, hoping it would trigger some sort of memory. Nothing. Scott appreciated what his grandfather tried to do by sending the crate, but nothing had changed.

Dinner with the family, followed by several games of checkers and chess with Johnny, made for a relaxing evening for Scott. Feeling very tired, he finally decided to turn in.

“No … Please, don’t hurt me any more … Oh, God! … Stop! … I can’t take it anymore.” Scott woke up from his nightmare screaming. He was drenched in sweat. Flashes of memories of being on horseback in the war, in a confederate prison, and the lash of the whip against his bare back were memories that he wished had never returned. Unable to go back to sleep, Scott shakily dressed and proceeded down to the kitchen. The house was still dark and quiet, so Scott decided to put some water on for coffee. He took the cup of coffee out to sit on the patio and watched the sun rise. As he re-entered the kitchen, he noticed that Maria had started to make breakfast.  

“Good morning, Senor Scott.” Maria smiled at him. She was happy to see him doing well.

“Morning, Maria,” Scott answered automatically.

As Scott finished his breakfast, Murdoch came in to eat his morning meal.
 
“Do you feel up to helping Johnny with the branding today?” asked the Lancer patriarch.

Scott considered how to answer his father’s question. Honestly, telling him about how tired he was from his sleepless night, or simply let his father hear what he wanted to hear.

“I can ride out with Johnny after he finishes eating his breakfast.”

*****

Johnny and Scott arrived at the east range together, long after the branding had already started. As they rode up, Johnny regaled his brother with tales of their adventures since coming to Lancer. Scott suddenly reigned his horse to a stop.

“What’s wrong, Boston? You look like you seen a ghost.”

“That smell! I remembered the smell of the fires, the smell of burning flesh at the prison camp, like the cow’s flesh when they were being branded. I can remember being in the war and having those same smells assault me. I remember the horrors of the war, Johnny!”

Johnny was glad that his brother had remembered something, but he was so sorry that Scott’s memories were from the war and not from being at Lancer.

“Brother, why don’t you head on back to the house?” Johnny suggested, seeing that his brother was visibly shaken. Scott agreed and felt relieved to go back to the hacienda.

*****

Teresa had a date on Saturday night! Steven Henderson invited her to a dance at their ranch. She was excited to wear her new party dress and the new perfume she bought in town. All the men were sitting in the great room when she descended the stairs. “How do I look, gentlemen?” Teresa twirled around to show off her dress.

“You look real pretty,” exclaimed Johnny with a big smile on his face. Scott agreed and went over to give her a hug. As the tall blond got close to her, he could smell her perfume and stopped dead in his tracks.

“Julie wore the same perfume when she came to visit with Grandfather,” Scott spoke in a monotone.

“Scott … did you just say you remembered your grandfather?" Teresa whispered.

The blond nodded.

“That’s wonderful! Have you had any other memories return to you?”

Scott nodded again.

“Earlier today, I remembered the being in the war, a few nights ago I had nightmares about it, too.” He reluctantly admitted.

“Hopefully you will have some pleasant memories soon, son,” Murdoch smiled at his oldest son. Scott hoped his father was right.

Unfortunately, Scott did not regain anymore memories … until …

*****

Scott soaked his tired body in the large bath tub in the bath house. He wanted to get the kinks out of his muscles and wash the dust and dirt out of his hair. A bar of soap slipped out of his hands and landed on the floor, but he wasn’t concerned because the hot water was so relaxing. When the water finally cooled off, Scott decided it was time to get out of the tub. As he stepped out of the tub, his left foot hit the floor and the right hit the bar of soap. Scott lost his balance and hit the back of his head on the hard floor. Unconsciousness overtook him quickly. An hour went by before Scott’s body was found on the floor by Murdoch, who quickly wrapped his son in a blanket.

“Johnny! Jelly! Come help me with Scott! He’s fallen in the bath house.” Murdoch bellowed. The three men carefully carried Scott’s limp body up to his room.

A vigil was held by Scott’s bedside by Murdoch and Johnny. They took turns waiting for him to regain consciousness. It was morning before Scott finally decided to open his eyes.

“How are you feeling, son?” Murdoch voice was shaken. He was worried that all the progress from the last few weeks could be gone.

“What happened to the man that grabbed me? Did Val kill him? I remember being tied to a tree and being shot …”

Johnny interrupted his brother, “Did you say you remembered when you got shot?”

Scott nodded with a slight smile on his face.  

Murdoch smiled knowing that his oldest son’s memories were coming back to him and he would be whole again.

 

 

~ end ~

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