"If" Episode 2: A Timely Answer

Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Brothers and I'm making absolutely no money for this writing! I've also borrowed ideas from the movie "Glory" (think Denzel Washinton's character) and Days of Our Lives (waaaaaaaay back in 1990's when Kayla and Steve relived historic moments through a diary they read).

This is part two of "If We Had Never Met"

Time: February 2002

Setting: Belagio Check Out

Las Vegas, Nevada

"Sir, Sir?"

Lee and Amanda were locked in each others embrace and kissing one another with abandon.

Fortunately, the clerk was unable to get Lee's attention. :)

"Sir, here's your credit card back, sir."

Lee reached over to retreive his card without once looking at the clerk or seperating his lips from Amanda's.

"Ahh!" Amanda said as they finally broke for air. They both had the biggest smile on their face!

"Okay, my bride, we better head off to Green Valley now" Lee said as he enthusiastically scooped his arm around Amanda and gave her one more smooch for the road. They were halfway across the lobby when they heard...

"Stetson, paging Mr. Stetson. Mr. Lee Stetson, please pick up a red courtesy phone..."

Lee took Amanda's hand and led her to the nearby phone.

"Stetson here!" Lee said with joy in his voice.

"Well Lee, you sure sound happy! How are "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" these days?" Francine cattily inquired.

"Oh, we're not Scarecrow and Mrs. King anymore..."

"Oh, tire of her that soon Lee?", Francine enjoyed saying.

"No, Francine, I married her!" Lee enjoyed even more saying."We're now Stetson and Stetson. Or as Elaine likes to say, we're like Nick and Nora Charles from the Thin Man series..."

"Huh?...oh...So Elaine knows?" Francine mumbled.

"Yeah, Elaine came down for the wedding." Lee was really enjoying this!

Lee heard Francine collect herself on the other end of the phone, "So that means, you're on your honey.." she couldn't choke the word out.

"Yes," Lee smiled through the phone, "Amanda and I are on our honeymoon, Francine."

"Oh! Well, what I have to ask you can wait. Please come to the Q when you get back..." Francine was barely audible as she disconnected.

Lee chuckled as he hung up the phone.

"Hey Lee", Amanda said as she grabbed her arms around him, "How did they know we were here?"

"They have their ways..." Lee said with a wink as he squeezed Amanda in return.

"Oh!" Amanda said. They took off to put the rest of their bags in the rental car. "Lee?"

"Yes, Mrs. Stetson?"

Lee loved saying that!

Amanda looked up lovingly into Lee's eyes and smiled, "This is the best honeymoon I've ever had!"

"And it's only just beginning!" Lee smiled in return.

***

Lee and Amanda were now well on their...

...okay,

...almost...

well on their way toward Arizona.

Their destination: Green Valley, to visit Lee's Uncle Col. Clayton. After Green Valley, they would drive to California and visit Dottie and Captain Kurt at their quaint bed and breakfast.

Amanda was looking forward to spending intimate time with Lee and was thrilled to see this unique part of our fair country! Well,

...almost...

Just as they passed through yet another "one light" town and passed more miles and miles and miles and...miles of rocky earth, Amanda said, through her teeth, "Lee, I think we should turn around and go back and ask that gas station clerk where we are...this doesn't look like Flagstaff, Arizona...there are supposed to be mountains and this place is just flat, flat flat..."

"Amanda, I told you, I KNOW where we are going!" Lee crisply replied to his new bride.

Amanda glared at Lee and turned to look out the passenger side window. She said not another word but "humph'ed" and loudly crumpled, er, folded the map that she held in her hands.

Try as she may, Amanda could not get Lee to admit ...he... was lost.

Just then Lee saw the highway turn off he was looking for. "You see there Amanda? Here it is!"

More significantly, Lee did not tell her that he had passed this very spot three times already in the past hour. "Alright, here we go!"Lee continued.

Amanda sighed as they finally made their way in the right direction. Or was it the right direction...?

***

Lee kept driving through solitary and apparently, uninhabitited land. He was glad they had filled the rental car up with gas after their lunch in Bullhead City.

"Lee" Amanda broke the silence with her voice, "There's a sign up ahead."

As they passed the sign Amanda shouted "Hopi Indian Reservation! You drove us to the Hopi Indian Reservation! That's not really close to Flagstaff, we are miles out of the way..."

"A-man-da!" Lee said in a not so sweet tone. "I meant to come here!"

Amanda was speechless. "Oh, sure, you meant to come here!" she thought. Being the wise woman that she was, she held her tongue.

"Hey, there's a hogan up ahead, let's see if we can go ask for dir...I mean, see if we can find a place to get dinner..." Lee said as he parked the rental car in front of the abode.

Lee opened the car door for Amanda and they both made their way and entered the small earthen shelter.

"It sure is dark in here." Amanda said as their eyes adjusted to the dim light.

"What the!" Lee exclaimed. "There's a bunch of Indian artifacts in here...I don't get it..."

Something caught Amanda's eye. In one heap of artifacts, near the bottom, she noticed a small blue leather bound book. Embossed in the leather was the word "West". That had been her maiden name. Intrigued, Amanda slid the book out from underneath the other items without knocking anything over.

"Well, why don't you yell jinga!" said a snarly voice behind them. Before Lee could respond, he was knocked out from behind.

Amanda went to kick their attacker but he literally had the upper hand and knocked her out with a slap.

***

Lee and Amanda both 'came to' as their kidnapper, Dr. Frye, finished locking them up... in...seperate cells. Lee and Amanda stared at each other through the steel bars that seperated them. Lee laughed.

"Look,whoever you are, you can't lock us up in this old Western jail, this place has been here for , what, over a hundred years! We can break out, humph," Lee said as he tried to bust his way out, "With no, humph, problem! Ugh!"

"Alas my dear sir, you are the weakest link! I didn't earn a doctorate because I was stupid! No, I can't have anyone 'witness' my stealing, oh, let's make that 'borrowing' ancient Indian artifacts! Too bad I'm not a killer, that would be more merciful. No instead I'll let you starve to death. No one will ever find you here! This area is so isolated... Enjoy!" Dr. Frye said as he took off.

"Uh, Lee?" Amanda knew she better not say 'I told you so".

"Yes, Amanda" Lee replied with gritted teeth.

"What are we going to do?"Amanda said softly as she reached her arms toward Lee, through the bars that seperated them.

Lee asked, "Do you have your cell phone?"

Amanda timidly answered, "Uh, no Lee, I, uh...I left it in the car..."

Lee reached over through the bars to hold Amanda as best he could, "Oh, well then, I guess we'll sit down here and make our escape plan..."

Lee tried for hours to break through the sandstone walls or bust through the steel bars. "You know, they really don't make things like they used to! This place is better than Fort Knox!" Lee said as sat down in exasperation.

Putting his head in his hands Lee let out a deep sigh.

Several minutes passed...

Amanda looked around her cell. She couldn't find any elements to assist them in what was left of their escape plans. As she surveyed their situation, she noticed that blue book on the floor.

It was the same one that she had held in her hands when knocked unconscious. The book was some form of journal, a log of travel. Amanda thought "there's nothing else to do" and she enjoyed history and antiques so she decided to pick up the book and began to read silently.

several minutes passed...

"Oh!" Amanda said, head down reading the book.

Lee gave her an annoyed look but didn't say a word.

several more minutes passed...

"Hmmm" Amanda said while still engrossed in the book.

Lee thought "I hate when people do that. It's like they're begging you to ask 'what are you reading'".

"Ha, ha, ahhh!" Amanda mused. Lee couldn't take it anymore!.

"Alright Amanda I give! What are you reading?" Lee demanded.

"I thought you'd never ask", Amanda said with a wink and a mischevious smile.

Lee smiled back and shook his head, teasingly he said, "What have I got myself into...go ahead and read the book out loud..."

Amanda began, "Today is October 5th 1856...The sky is bright blue and it's a perfect day to start the trip East. Here in Flagstaff, the cattle rustle through the busy main street, toward the market. Cowhands direct them past the pedestrians on the street. I stand on the steps of my storefront and watch now, as a beautiful white woman and her two sons make their way, through the cattle, to my storefront, "West's Stagecoach and Travel"-it took so many years for me to get here.

She looks weary and is wearing the traditonal black veil and dark dress for mourning. I wonder if she is the one who's husband had been killed in a land dispute recently..."

****

"Sir", she began in a thick German accent, "I need passage back East for me and my two boys..."

"That will be 130 dollars", West said.

"That's outrageous! That's over a year's salary!" The white woman began.

West interupted, "Take it or leave it woman, this IS the only way back."

He wasn't able to finish the word "back" when that saucy tart Fannie Mae Belle flounced up to his side.

"She's got more feathers than a peacock!" West thought, "She still looks like a saloon girl, no matter how hard she tries not to..."

"Well, hi there handsome", Fannie gushed. West knew Fannie Mae too well to fall for her womanly wiles.

"Heard that you'll be setting out East today! I've got a rich Uncle to go see back East. He's near death, and you know how I've been oh, so worried about him!", she said with an air of greed and manipulation.

West shrugged her off. He didn't like her company, at least not out of bed. But, he knew she had good money. This other woman with children however...

Ingrid wondered to herself if she could trust this Indian named 'West'.

"I don't mean to interupt", Ingrid said, "but I do need passage for me and my two boys,...One hundred dollars is all the money I have. We must go back to Connecticut to live with my father-in-law. Please,

we have no where else to go, my husband was kil-, is dead, please, can you show some mercy..."

She was practically begging West to take her money.

West stared ahead as he grabbed this woman's money. He didn't want to hear her prattle on and on and make a commotion, that was bad for business. He finally nodded and watched as this woman, unassisted, helped her two young sons into the stage coach.

Ingrid found the wooden seats hard and uncomfortable, but the coach would give them shelter and it beat walking. "Thank you Lord" she said as she and her boys said a prayer for safe travel.

They were waitng to depart when Bruce said, "Mom, I'm tired!"

"Yeah, Mom, I'm hungry!", little David chimed in.

Ingrid gathered her two sons Bruce and David to her side as Fannie entered the coach.

Fannie screamed "Brats! Agh! I am not riding all the way to Connecticut with these two brats!"

"My children are not brats, how dare you!" Ingrid retorted.

Fannie Mae gave her best 'air of superiority' act and said "Well, I have never..."

"And you never should!" replied Ingrid.

"Listen to your voice," Fannie Mae scoffed, "Why you're not even an American!"

Before Ingrid could react to Fannie's stinging comments, West stuck his head inside the coach and countered, "Neither are you Fannie! My people have been here before either of you!"

The white man could be so stupid, he thought to himself.

And with that they packed it up and headed out East...

******

Lee said, "Amanda, that sounds ...interesting...Ummm...", in a softer voice he continued,"What are you doing so far away?" He reached his arms through the bars, "How about coming over here and I'll give a repeat performance of last night's famous 'magic fingers'?"

"That back rub was sooooo great last night!" Amanda smiled. "Shame on you for tempting me like this. I think now I DO have the strength to break these bars of steel!", Amanda half-heartedly laughed as she leaned as best she could through the bars and gave Lee a smooch...

"Hey Sweetheart" Lee said as he pulled Amanda toward him. He was unable to reach her for a good passionate kiss. "I'm sorry about before," Lee said huskily in Amanda's ear.

"You are?" Amanda said softly, she was amazed!

"Well, you know I've been a bachelor a long time but I just want to tell you, I'm ...sorry and thanks for helping me navigate. I'm sorry I got upset."

"Ah," Amanda replied as she tightened her arms around Lee and the bars and gave him a squeeze, "I knew we'd eventually make up!"

"Oh no, that's still coming! Once we get out of here!" Lee teased. How he longed to overtake his wife with real kisses!

"Hmmmmmmm" Amanda replied. Yep, she thought, making up is going to be fun, I just hope we get a chance to do it.

As they sat there, Lee said, "Hey, it's going to be dark soon, how about reading more of that book..."

Amanda continued, "We have stopped now to give the horses a chance to rest..."

*******

West loosened up the reigns and allowed the horses a cool drink. They had been traveling alone for several hours now and were resting when Fannie yelled out, "Yoohoo! Look over here!"

Fannie was calling some man in the distance over. Fannie definitely had an affinity for men,

West marveled, who had she not been with in this territory?

As the distant man approached, Ingrid could see a darker man traveling close behind him. As they came closer, she noticed the shackles and chains around the darker man. He had no shoes on his feet and his shirt was spliced , where a whip had peirced his shirt and skin...

"Brother!" she cried out. Ingrid saw all men as created equal by God. All men were her brothers.

The approaching white man spewed out "German! Runaway slave lover!"

Ingrid knew it was useless to argue with this ignorant man. He couldn't receive correction. Not from a woman. Worse yet, one who had a German accent.

West spoke out, "What do you want, Creech?!"

tbc