Alias Smith and Jones Fun and Fanfiction
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Posts : 537
Join date : 2013-08-24
Location : London

Moonflowers Empty
PostSubject: Moonflowers   Moonflowers EmptySun Oct 25, 2015 9:59 am


“I won’t tell you again, Jed Curry.  Those are not your apples,” Mrs. Moon held the wriggling boy’s ear between her forefinger and thumb.  “You’ve been warned, now I’m telling your mother.”

She knocked briskly at the door.  “Mrs. Curry.  He’s been at it again.  I swear to you this boy needs to be in a reformatory.  He’s been at my apples again.”

“Oh, I am sorry,” apologetic blue eyes drifted over to her son.  “I’ll ensure that he is punished as soon as his father gets home.  I don’t know where gets it from.”

“Don’t you?” the woman sniffed.  “He’s no better than that father of his.  I’ve never seen him in church, and he is quick with a smart comment.  The last time I asked him if he thought it was disrespectful to go without a collar and tie on the Lord’s Day he gave me quite the mouthful.  I remember the days when men were respectful to a lady.”

“I’m sure he was just angry, Mrs. Moon.  He works very hard and Sunday is the only day he has to relax.”

“With tobacco and liquor?  I swear the man was intoxicated.  As I walked away I clearly heard him shout out, ‘Look out, boys.  It’s a grizzly.’”  Mrs. Moon tipped her nose in the air.  “He quite ruined that fur coat for me.  I haven’t worn it since.”

Mrs. Curry silently blinked away the amusement and composed herself before replying.  “I’m sure that Joseph didn’t mean you.  Nobody could mistake you for a bear, not ever.  You’re more like a cat.”

“What do you mean by that?”

The Irishwoman grinned.  “Figure it out for yourself.  Thanks for bringing my son home.  I’d deal with him now.”

Jed wriggled free from Mrs. Moon’s grasp and “I didn’t do nuthin’, Ma.  It was just the windfall.  The birds and worms got more than me.”  

Mrs. Curry rolled her eyes.  “Windfall?  Is this true?”
“So what?  It’s still theft.”  The matron pursed her lips.  “You’re not going to punish him?”

The Irishwoman folder her arms, her shoulders rising.  “Mrs. Moon.  Let’s get one thing straight.  When I say that I’m going to punish Jed, I mean it.  If you think I’m gonna give him a whoopin’ in front of you to satisfy some kind of perverted grudge you’ve got another thing comin’.”

The ice in the mother’s glare gave the busybody pause.  “I’m not asking you to do anything other than give me assurances.  I don’t want him getting off scott free.”

“Mrs. Moon.  My family is my business.  If you care to see my temper first-hand you are welcome to stick around,” Mrs. Curry gave a wry smile, “but I’m bettin’ you ain’t gonna like what happens if you do.”

The woman turned away from the door unable to hold the harsh glower of the angry mother.  “I must get going.  It’s clear to me that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree in this family.  That’s all I’ll say on the matter.”  She stomped off down the path, turning to deliver a parting shot and making a lie of her last statement.  “He’s going to be no better than his father, I can tell.  It’s because of rough men like him I daren’t come out of my door after dark!”  

“Yeah, well we just need a way to keep you in durin’ the day too!  I wouldn’t worry about the rough men.  They sure ain’t interested in you.  Not in the least,” barked Mrs. Curry.  She pointed at her son.  “You.  Get in here and stop laughing.  This isn’t funny.”

“I promise it were only windfall, Ma.  It was just gonna rot.”

She looked deeply into her son’s eyes.  “Yes.  I believe you.  I can always tell when you’re lying.  You have to understand that she is just plain mean.  She wouldn’t give anythin’ to the kids.  She’d rather see it wither on the ground than see a child have it.”

“I promise it was, Ma.  We was only eatin’ the good bits.”

“Dear Lord,” she rolled her eyes.  “Here we go again.  You’ll have the runs something terrible.  What have I told you about eatin’ stuff off the ground?”  Her eyes narrowed suspiciously.  “Where was Hannibal during all this?  He’s always around where there’s mischief to be had.”

“He ran,” pouted the boy, his tousled curls catching the light.  “He’s bigger’n me.”

“Yes...” mused his mother.  “That’s what you should have done.  Just because someone shouts at you with authority doesn’t mean they’re right.  What would have become of us in the old country if we’d stopped at every English voice?  I taught you better than that, Jed.  Sometimes it’s not about who’s right on paper, it’s more about who is right in the eyes of God.  As long as you were takin’ no more than the worms or the squirrels I can’t worry about it.”  Her eyes gleamed with serious intent, “but if you were takin’ them from the trees, that’s a whole other matter.”

“Worms and squirrels, definitely worms and squirrels, Ma,” squeaked the lad, desperate to avoid the sharper edge of his mother’s tongue.

“Fine.  I’ll go and see Hannibal and his mother.  I can’t see why you should be the only one to be punished.”


“Ma’am.”  Mrs. Moon looked down at little Hannibal Heyes and Jedidiah Curry standing on her doorstep, clutching their squashed hats to their chests in respect.  Jed nudged his cousin urging him to continue with his rehearsed speech.  “Our folks are very sorry about what we did and we’ve been sent to do some chores for you.  Ma says we’ve to tidy up your yard, sweep up all the leaves and make the place real tidy to say sorry.”

Her eyebrows shot up in surprise.  “Mrs. Curry knows about this?”

Jed nodded solemnly.   “It was her idea, Ma’am.  She said we caused mischief in your garden, so we need to put it right by goin’ back to the scene of the crime.  We’s here to do right and clean up all windfall, and we promise to give every single one to you.  We’ll sweep up the leaves too.”

Mrs. Smart tilted her nose a little higher.  “Mrs. Curry surprises me.  I suppose there can be some nobility in a woman of her class after all.”  She nodded, curtly.  “You may go ahead, and I hope this is a lesson to you all.”

“Yes’m,” the darker boy grinned.  “That’s what Mrs. Curry said.  ‘Everyone needs a lesson in manners and humility.’  Them were her very words.”    

“I believe my conversation with her had the effect I desired.  Tell her I said thank you.”

“We’ll tell her everything you said, Ma’am,” replied Hannibal.  “Every single word.”


The light was dimming and the rising moon was sailing towards the clouds by the time Mary Curry arrived in the family wagon to pick the boys up.  Her clear blue eyes scanned the trees, the carefully piled leaves, and the sack of windfall fruit propped up against the wall of Mrs. Smart’s little timber home.  She gave a nod of satisfaction.  “Looks good,” she announced.  “Did you tell her that I told you what to do?”

The boys nodded in unison.

“Great.  And did you do everything I told you to do?”

More nodding.

“Exactly as I told you to do it?”

“Yes, Ma.”  Jed grin grew wider.  “We did.  We planted them.  Hannibal made sure it was spelled right.”

Mrs. Curry started to chuckle, the mirth rolling around her petite frame, filling her pretty face with devilment.  “Good.  Maybe she’ll think twice before she insults this family again when the words ‘selfish witch’ come up, written in spring flowers.  I wonder how long it’ll take before anyone even tells her.”

“Won’t she see them for herself, Auntie Mary?” asked little Hannibal.

“She says she doesn’t go out after dark,” Mary Curry shrugged.  “You planted moonflowers, so they blossom in the moonbeams.  There won’t be much to see during the day.  She’ll only know if she has any friends.”  She watched the boys climb in the vehicle before giving the reins a shake to bid the horse into motion.  “I hope it’s there good and long before she finds out.  That’ll teach her to argue with an Irish woman.  Nobody blackens the name of my husband and child and walks away.  Nobody!”
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