The Ballad of Smoke and Roses

Arthur Ike Blair is a rancher; a cowboy for his father's ranch. Arthur is also the outcast of his step-family, for he is the legitimate and heir of his family ranch- thus making him favorable to his cold hearted father. But when he meets a pastor's daughter, little did he know that he would start a western legend of love, adventure, and a war between himself and the famous outlaws in the west...


1. Chapter One ~ The Wind of the Birds

Author's notes ~ Hi! This is my first story on movellas! I really love western movies and stories and I thought to myself that I needed to write my own western legend. This story is a mix of genres with elements of other stories that are not western stories. Anyway! I hope you like this story and please give me a comment if I should continue.
( Enjoy the music that I thought I should share )






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Chapter One
The Wind of the Birds


Birds... One of the last animals that are free in the western frontier of America. Most animals now these days are owned for business or personal use, but birds have no use for people... Well for some people... People kill birds for their feathers or their meat, but they are not own. But there was one young man who loved birds and would follow them where ever they take him. This young man's name was Arthur Ike Blair, a cattle herder for his family's ranch. He wasn't a strange young man but he loved interesting things that no one would take notice. He observed every surroundings and kept his feet on the path of safety and had his hands to himself. He was a gentleman, but he never swoon other young women- that wasn't his objective. His objective was to honor his family name and to please his father.
Arthur was the outcast of his family and barely anyone talked to him ( besides his little half-sister ). After Arthur's mother died from tuberculosis, his father married another woman that he met during his visit in Virginia City, Nevada. Arthur never knew why his father, John Carl Blair, married a rich widow named Bethany Victoria Cook (nee Waters). He figured that it might have been that he felt sorry for the widow or he thought that this would be the opportunity to marry into money. Arthur never knew... The only thing that he cared and missed the most was his mother. He was close to his mother, Martha Marian Blair (nee Adams); he looked very much like her and he had the same heart like his mother. Arthur never thought that his mother would die at the age thirty-eight when he was seventeen years old. 

His step-mother never took favor of him- along with his step siblings ( Daniel Andrew Cook and Jennifer Sarah Cook ). They barely talked to him and barely treated him like family, he guessed that they never liked him since he was his father first and legitimate child- thus making him the heir of the ranch.  Not only he had step-siblings, but he had to half-siblings from his step-mother and blood father. He had a half-brother named Fredrick Ethan Blair who was only two years old and a one year old half-sister named Annabelle Samantha Blair. Arthur loved children, young and small children- but he loved Annabelle the most.

Even though Annabelle was only a year old, she was always attached to Arthur for some reason. She was never attached to Jennifer nor Daniel for the matter- this confused many people why she favored Arthur the most. But it wasn't Arthur who drew her into life, Annabelle chose him as a well respected family member. Annabelle would always keep Arthur company when he felt alone. She would find him sitting on the porch and would sit next to him with a smile- and he would smile back. What about his father?... His father wasn't the type of father who would give his first child comfort nor give him advice when he needed it. John Carl Blair was a quiet and cold man, he never spoke his heart but his head and would only speak to Arthur when it was necessary. 

Arthur was actually scared of his father but he truly respected him and loved him. Arthur was never abused mentally or physically by John- but the reason why Arthur was scared of his father was his cold eyes and his big hands. His presence was almost inhuman- to Arthur he felt like a beast that was waiting to become wild and dangerous. Arthur knew that he never wanted his father to become wild and dangerous... He wondered how he became that way and why he never showed that much affection towards him....But one thing that Arthur didn't know about his father was that he truly did care and loved his first child.

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Arthur was laying on the Arizona ground, feeling the warm and comforting breeze on his face. Luckily it wasn't too hot or too cold in this time of year- it was winter time and that means the weather was perfect. Arthur never liked the heat of the summer sun or the dryness of the climate in Arizona. He wished he went up north and find snow that he always dreamed of. As he laid on the ground he pulled up a picture of his mother when she was young. He always thought of her each day and imagined that she was looking down upon him from heaven. He then spotted a white-tailed kite, it was one of his favorite birds and every single time he saw them- he was in awe about them. He stood up and saw the bird fly by, then this urge in Arthur's gut wanted him to follow it. 

Arthur ran to his horse and jumped on it and rode off. He followed the bird for about two miles until he found himself in the middle of a herd of cattle, his own cattle. Arthur really wanted to see where that bird went off to, but he knew that his job came first. He sighed and started to herd his cattle to his family ranch. As he rode slowly with the cattle, Daniel appeared next to him. This was very unusual to Arthur, Daniel never herd any cattle before- it was usually wild horses that he and Arthur's father would tame. Arthur looked at Daniel before he would speak, "Why are you out here Daniel?"

Daniel looked at Arthur and huffed, "Pa wanted me to help ya out..." Arthur could tell that Daniel didn't want to come and help him. But the most strange thing was that his father told Daniel to help him out. His father rarely spoke of him to other people- especially to his step family. Arthur nodded and asked, "How's the horses?-" 

"Just shut up Arth and focus on the cattle..." Daniel huffed more with annoyance in his tone and he rode off to the other side of the cattle. Arthur sighed again and shook his head, he had a feeling that Daniel didn't want to talk to him and he knew that he should've remained quiet. He knew that this was one of the years to have the worst birthday ever... He just turned nineteen on December 15, 1879 and no one said 'happy birthday' to him. After his mother's death, his birthday was never remembered or mentioned in his household. But at that point, he didn't care- he knew that at some point no one was going to celebrate his birthday. 

As Arthur and Daniel arrived at the ranch, they fenced the cattle in and their work was done. Daniel went straight to the house and Arthur went to the barn and climbed to the roof and found himself looking up at the stars and moon. Back at the house, Daniel sat at the dinning room where his mother, sister, and his half siblings sat. Food was on the table where their servants and helpers set up for them. Bethany looked at her eldest son and spoke, "How was the herd?"

Daniel shrugged, "They were okay I guess..." He continued, "They weren't exciting like the horses and it sure was dull when Arthur was there..."  Jennifer chuckled and spoke, "It's always dull when Arthur is in the room-"

"Let's not talk about him, okay?" Bethany told both Daniel and Jennifer, "Even though he's family, we are not gonna talk about him at the dinner table..."

Daniel and Jennifer were quiet as they ate their beef-gravy dinner. Fredrick observed the quietness in the room and knew it wasn't right, he was only two but he knew what they were talking about. Annabelle ignored what they were talking about as she looked at the window- looking at the stars just like what Arthur was doing. Then, hard yet steady foot steps came in. Large hands took the chair and the strong figure sat down across the table from Bethany. John looked around the table noticing that his eldest son wasn't there eating with his family. 

"Where's Arthur?" His rough voice ran through the room. It was quiet for a minute until Bethany spoke, "I do not know, I haven't seen him since this morning..." John then looked at Daniel giving him a look of seriousness. Daniel stuttered, "He-He was with me... Af-After we fenced the cattle, he ran off..." 

John then knew where his eldest son was at and he stood up with a clean plate in his large hands. He started to serve the food on the once cleaned plate and walked out of the dinning room. Daniel and Jennifer both looked confused and they both looked at their mother. "He's gonna find him..." Bethany spoke, "He'll be right back....

John walked outside in the dark and found Arthur looking up at the stars on top of the roof. John sighed, remembering the times that his previous wife and Arthur climbing up to the roof tops and having Martha educate Arthur about the consolations. He could see the ghost of Martha laying next to Arthur and smiling down upon him. John did truly miss Martha and every single time that John looked upon Arthur, he could only see Martha's eyes in him... It was one of the reasons why John couldn't stay close to his son. "Arthur Blair!" John exclaimed to his son.

Arthur jumped and found himself looking at his father. "Come down!" John ordered Arthur. Arthur nodded and made his way down to the ground. He was shaking a bit, wondering if he was in trouble or if he did something wrong. As he came down he walked towards to father and stopped a meter away from him, "Yes, pa?..."

John walked slowly up to his son and handed him a plate of food, "If you want, you can come inside and eat or stay out here..." John then looked at the fenced in cattle and nodded, "You did well today... You'll be a fine man some day" He nodded towards his son and made his way back to the house. He then stopped not looking at Arthur, "Happy birthday, Arthur..." He then kept going to the house.

Arthur's eyes widen in shock, thinking that no one will remember... Save one.... Arthur gave his father a small smile and went back to the roof with his food looking at the stars and spotting Orion's belt...

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Arthur Blair, a man not forgotten...But carved a legend.... Next chapter coming soon

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