It started with a twitch of his index finger and by the time his brain was
of his boredom, both arms and legs were twitchy. Three days of enforced
rest, itchiness, warm broth, a bossy sister, a guilty father, and an
brother was more than enough to redefine the word, bored. A great deal of
irritation sealed the deal and Johnny vowed that he would be downstairs
He had experienced too much free time to think and plan.
He waited until the last of them left, Theresa in a huff over his outright
refusal to down any more of her chicken broth. Listening, he could hear
rising voice reporting in to Murdoch and his rich tones soothing her
feathers and suggesting she work some in her garden. They all knew that it
would calm her down. Johnny marked his time until he heard three outside
open and shut. That was his cue to arise and he did. His first stop on his
journey to freedom was the mirror above his dresser. Looking at his image
didn't help his disposition and reinforced his need for revenge. His
handsome face was covered in welts and oatmeal paste. Gingerly he wet a
from his water bowl and wiped the mess off. That action started the
again, but he stayed his left hand from rubbing his face, knowing that
without action, the itch would recede.
He was weak and shaky from all that laying around, but if he moved slowly
figured he'd have time to accomplish his goals and still make it
The first stop would be his father's bedroom. If only he had something to
Murdoch experience his bee stings, but he would have to settle for some
type of revenge. Looking over the room he determined that he had to do
something to the old man within his present strength, which wasn't much.
went to grab the quilt on the bed, but thought differently about using his
hand. It was covered by more of the oatmeal paste and one of his socks. He
worked quietly and awkwardly until he had the sheets exposed and he
short-sheeting the bed. His mind was mulling over why it had been so
important that they went hunting for honey. Granted, it was Johnny
falling into the hive that resulted in all the stings, but couldn't the
use sugar instead in his coffee? With a final pat to the smooth quilt, he
proceeded to his brother's room.
Old Boston sure was neat. His older brother had everything in its rightful
place. The room was clean without a speck of dust. Johnny went to the
to look out, but he didn't like what he saw. There was no breeze, so no
of dust coming in if he opened the window wide. He stood still for the
thinking and the thought came into his mind like a wisp of fog. Going to
brother's dresser, he opened one drawer after the other and threw the
willy nilly throughout the room. Stepping back to observe his artistry, he
decided the room needed one more touch. Going back to the dresser, he
the man's latest bottle of smelly stuff from Boston and poured half the
into Scott's water bowl. The aroma was overpowering and Johnny, as quick
sore and itching body would allow, was out of there, closing the door
It was time to go on to Theresa's room. Of course he had to negotiate the
stairs first, since she insisted on residing on the first floor. He was
sweating by now and having second thoughts about refusing the broth. He
hungry and needed to replenish his body's energy. Sitting down on the top
he rested and planned his descent. Normally he would jump up on the
and slide down. Ruefully, he shook his head no. His body wasn't up to that
After careful consideration, he went down the steps, one at a time, on his
It was the safest way to go and still stay close to the ground. He counted
one and was thrilled when he reached the bottom step. Pulling himself up
latching onto the banister, he decided a short stop in the kitchen to
his energy was in order.
He was in luck. He could hear Maria out in the garden with Theresa. He
and eyed the honey jar sitting on the table, but went on to raid the
minutes, licking off the bread crumbs from his smoked, roast beef
was on his way to Theresa's room. Stopping short in the hallway, he headed
to the kitchen, got some supplies out of the pantry, grabbed the honey jar
the table and proceeded back to his bossy sister's bedroom. It was done in
frilly pink and Johnny found it distasteful to gaze upon. He poured a
honey from the sill of her opened window and into her chamber pot under
He took out a handful of the dried peas from the bag he had taken from the
pantry and scattered them on the floor, then he tossed a handful outside
window. He could hear Jelly's pet goose honking as she ambled over to
the bounty that had fallen from the room. Knowing how the goose would fly
through the window to continue her quest for food, Johnny carefully closed
door on his way out. It wouldn't do to have the bird loose in the
Johnny was tired, but satisfied with his completed journey of revenge. He
slowly walked back into the great room and looked up the stairs. No way
going to make it up those steps and his goal had been to go downstairs.
sofa at the end of the room was inviting him to enjoy its softness.
over and stretching out on it, he was asleep within minutes.
He came to with his brother softly calling his name. His eyes were dry and
gritty. He automatically raised his hand to rub at them and was surprised
he, in his adventure, had managed to take the sock off of it. He slowly
aware that he was in his bedroom and that his sibling was sitting in a
his bed. He went to say, "Hi." Nothing came out but a croak and
stood and got a glass of water. Gently, he raised Johnny's head and gave
sips of water until the dryness had left Johnny's parched throat.
Settling back into the pillows, Johnny looked around. "How did I get
"We got some of the hands to bring you up."
"From the downstairs sofa?"
"No, brother. From the corral where you got thrown breaking in that
stallion." Scott walked over to gaze out Johnny's window.
"You've been out of
your head for the last three days, talking about Murdoch's sheets, my
and Theresa's chamber pot."
With a startled look, Johnny demanded a mirror. Puzzled, Scott complied
Johnny's shaving mirror and swiftly covered his ears when Johnny looked at
own weltless face and let out with a loud, "Arrrrrrggghhhh! Not