For the most part, I turn into a fumbling, tongue-tied buffoon around girls, or at least the ones featuring on Hawker’s Drift’s Young and Eligible list anyway.
To get me married is my Ma’s mission in life. I’m the only child, the heir apparent and she wants me wed to ensure another generation of luckless Hallows will be tied to farming this rich black earth. That was my destiny from the day I was born; to be a lord of the fields, the king of the cowsheds.
But it’s not what I want. And nor are the sensible, homely girls with broad hips and stout backs that Ma wants me to woo and wed. The kind of girls who’ll take to a life of reaping, sowing, milking and toiling from dawn to dusk. Even if I could think of some damn thing to say to them.
A girl walked into the saloon the other day looking for work. Monty offered her a job whoring, but she’s a nice girl, anyone could see that. Turned out she can sing, even on that rackety old piano in the saloon. Sung so well Monty had to give her a job. She said she’d teach me some of her songs as I kinda can hold a tune too, though nowhere near as good as she can.
I know Ma won’t approve, cause I don’t think this girl knows anything about farm life and she don’t approve of the saloon anyways, but I don’t care. The truth is I don’t want to spend the rest of my life toiling that earth the way my Pa did till his heart gave out and he died face down in the mud.
I can’t shake the thought of her my head. Cece Jones. Can’t think of nothing but kissing her or holding her or sitting and listening to that God-given voice of hers until my heart melts completely.
So, think I’m going to be spending more time around the saloon while she’s there. I want to find out more about her because she is as pretty as any picture I ever did see.
I just gotta figure out a way to make her fall for me like I think I’m falling for her.
That’s always the hard bit… ain’t it?