A Fictional Story By Junior Johnson
It was a joyous homecoming at the Johnson household when Aiden and Dylan arrived. Because of Dylan’s brave and heroic efforts his brother was spared the hangman’s noose after being framed for a murder he didn’t commit. The real culprit was now behind bars and justice would soon be served.
Neighbors who’d heard the good news hurried to tell their mother that her boys were on their way home safely. Plans were underway for a big celebration and friends were helping prepare a big cookout in their honor.
The boy’s father, Daniel Johnson, had died three years earlier fighting for the Confederate Army at the Battle of Mansfield during the Civil War Red River Campaign.
It’d been a difficult time for the family. At the time of their father’s death, Aiden was only 14-years-old and Dylan had just turned eight. Trying to keep their small farm going had taken everything they could do just to make ends meet.
Things were beginning to look up after it was discovered that the railroad was looking at a portion of their property to run a rail line across. The money the family would receive would go a long way in providing security for their future.
Aiden had already made plans to purchase a small herd of cattle that could graze on a large field near their home. A nearby river would provide all the water needed for the animals.
This had been a dream of their father before the War and it looked like the boys were going to make his plans become a reality.
As the boys rode up to the house their mother rushed out to meet them with tears of joy in her eyes. Cheers rang out from friends and family who were gathered about. The smell of roasting beef over a fire filled the air. A long table was filled with cakes and pies, beans, fresh baked bread, and gallons of iced tea. It was a feast waiting to be devoured.
After hugs and kisses from their mother, Dylan and Aiden mingled with well-wishers. Dylan was the hero of the day. His bravery was that of a person beyond his tender years. He was touched by all the glory that was heaped upon him, yet was very modest and said he just wanted to help his big brother.
Reverend Cryer called everyone together to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for this Blessed day and the meal they were about to receive. The boy’s mother had an announcement. Two days before, she had met with officials of the railroad and had closed a deal which provided the family with financial security for the near future. It was a bittersweet feeling knowing that Aiden’s life was about to be unfairly taken.
Now with her two sons standing safely by her side she thanked God and her friends for all their support. It was time to enjoy the feast and rejoice. The future looked bright and promising.
As everyone began to enjoy their delicious meal the sound of approaching horses thundered in the distance. As the riders approached they were being led by the Sheriff. He hurriedly dismounted and searched for Mrs. Johnson. He had bad news for her.
Once he discovered that Dylan and Aiden were safe he told her that the evil Carpetbagger had killed a guard and escaped from the jail. His whereabouts weren’t known but he was heard saying that if he escaped he planned to find and kill both Dylan and Aiden.
The entire crowd was in shock. What a horrible turn of events. Only moments before everyone was overjoyed at the news of Aiden being spared, and the good fortune awaiting the family from the sale of property to the railroad. Now a new danger faced them all.
The boy’s mother rushed to them and clutched both to her tightly as she began to cry.
What were they going to do?
Stay tuned for more tales of Dylan and Aiden.