Ah... now did you cheat and skip ahead to see how it ends? Ennis' final day before joining
Jack is covered in the previous chapter in the part entitled:
"Three Guys With Double-Barrel Shotguns."
What Of Bobby Twist, Jack Twist II, and a Famous Singer?
He’d inherited his late father’s good looks and was a spitting image of him minus the mustache; so much so that as he entered his late thirties, old business contacts when they saw him couldn’t help commenting on the resemblance.
When the old tire iron wasn’t mounted up on his office wall at Twist Farm Equipment & Supply, he traveled with it for years as a memento and a sick "good luck charm"; a souvenir of his barely remembered father. It’d give people pause when they’d find it going though airport checked luggage or some hotel maid would see it sitting on a dresser and call security on him.
Years later in 2004, an alert airport TSA agent noticed blood and hair on the carefully and unfortunately lovingly preserved tool.
A search warrant was obtained regarding the 21-year-old murder and a bunch of Crook County and Wyoming State Police cold-case detectives showed up at the Twist Ranch.
Ennis and Jack cooperated fully.
The detectives left with some of Jack Senior's clothes and possessions, saved by Ennis before the house was burned and the blood and hair on the tire iron turned out to be the elder Jack's when it was compared to Twist’s DNA.
As planned, the only fingerprints on it were Bobby Twist's.
By then Ennis had worn the old gold Rolex for so long, it never occurred to him to hide it anywhere but on his wrist, and fortunately the cops overlooked it because it hadn’t been listed as lost or stolen property.
The final blow to his case came when Bobby Twist’s grandmother Fayette Newsome died during the investigation and a journal was found.
She’d written that right after her grandson's 21st birthday, he began spending money wildly with no explanation of where he'd gotten it. She wrongly suspected Bobby of killing Jack for the large amount of cash that was missing when his estate was audited.
She’d never voiced her suspicions to the police, but the damning journal was immediately turned over to detectives who reopened the case immediately. They found that Bobby had foolishly spent his way through nearly everything he’d inherited from Jack, purchasing a mansion; fast cars, fast women, made lousy investments, and he owed a lot of the wrong people a lot of money in Las Vegas too.
It was no secret that he got deeper and deeper into financial trouble, despite what he’d inherited from his mother.
Possibly most damaging of all, Bobby matched exactly the description and police sketch of a young dark-haired man who accompanied a blond male suspect that had turned in Jack’s body at the Crook County Sheriff’s headquarters back in 1983 using phony identification… a Texas driver’s license with the name Bobby Bend provided by L.D., knowing it'd eventually falsely point the finger right at Bob Twist.
It was another aspect of Deke Newsome's long-range plan to have Kirk kill Cory. Baint had to vanish so that Bobby would be suspected in his place. Kirkwood mistakenly thought he and his best friend had been hired because of Kurt's skills, but actually it was because of 19-year-old Baint's resemblance to Twist's son. The fact that Jack Twist on that fatal day in Lightning Flat would be unable to keep his eyes off of the blond hunk in front of his father was just icing on the cake.
Bobby was only sixteen at the time, but later in court after so many years, the retired clerk's memory of a routine incident could be bent towards the unknown man possibly being that young.
Suspicions really ran wild when it’d been discovered that Bobby’d spared no expense hiring four different detectives to find another missing $250,000 after getting over his head at a couple of casinos in Reno Nevada. It came out in court that Jack's boy had pawned and later redeemed some of his father's more valuable personal possessions and mementos at a Las Vegas shop in order to partially pay gambling debts.
Ennis tried to contact Silas Caine about the suicide note that Martha had left him saying her husband had killed Jack, but the attorney had shredded it. He told Ennis it was only hearsay evidence, and wouldn’t be considered a deathbed confession since it didn’t come from John himself.
The prosecutor would cast damning suspicion with the irrefutable DNA and fingerprints, and Bobby was circumstantially convicted of killing of his father and sentenced to 50 years to life.
After the trial the two shirts that Ennis treasured were returned. It was proven that the blood was over forty years old and was Ennis' - not Jack’s.
Ennis was shocked at the news of the results of Bobby’s trial and equally stunned at the picture of Bobby that they’d printed in the paper.
On appeal of the conviction, more damning evidence was found with no one left living to refute it.
Documents were presented that L. D. Newsome had contacted Child Protective Services and told them that his son-in-law had repeatedly, savagely and sexually abused and tortured Bobby when he was a young boy.
The details of that trial were judged inadmissible by the court but the jury had already heard it, and it falsely left them with a strong motive for young Bobby to kill his father years later in his teens.
The absence of a body has been the basis of several more appeals but to this day Jack's son sits in a prison under an expanded life sentence for a murder he didn't commit hoping for another appeal that'll never come.
Bobby sold the business and spent nearly every last dime from his dead mother, grandmother and grandfather’s estate on expensive but ineffectual lawyers.
It was Newsome's cruel but effective method of getting rid of a bastard son of that faggot son-in-law of his, and a way of cutting all ties so his daughter could start over again.
Then they died in that plane crash; sealing Bobby’s fate.
Deke Newsome has looked up from Hell every day since and laughed his ass off…
Or What of Jack Twist II?
Friend, I know it’s an imposition but I could really use a big favor from you. JT’ll be home from UCLA on break and he’s going to be really torn up the first time home after both of his father’s deaths. I see you’re on tour through the northwest and I was hoping you could stop by and help us cheer him up - I’d owe you big time buddy.Steve Essex had moved into the main house of the Twist Ranch to assume full time control over the operations after the owners had died.
In 2002 Jack and Ennis had recruited the highly qualified veterinarian because he’d fled his job up in Montana after the local county child welfare threatened to take his young daughter because he lived with another man who was rumored to be gay.
Aguirre and del Mar moved Essex’s family to Lightning Flat to take over the day-to-day operation of their horse-breeding program a month later.
It was the best decision they’d ever made, because within months Steve had brought in all kinds of celebrities as customers, and Ennis and Jack specified in their updated will, that until JT graduated college, Essex would assume control of the ranch in the event of their deaths.
As the warm June sun rose across the pasture, Laura’s shadow traced her steps from the colt barn to the office around back in the main house.
JT had been home for two days and she figured she’d take him out to see a movie or something to take his mind off his fathers’ deaths six months ago today.
As she entered the book-lined air-conditioned room through the back door, Steve looked up from his desk computer and smiled, a phone cradled on his shoulder while he jotted down notes on a pad.
She used to tell him he reminded her of a 40-year-old Steve McQueen, especially the blue eyes.
He was busy ordering something from a supply house in Dallas, so she plopped herself down in Ennis’ old office chair and snapped on the computer.
While she waited, her eyes wandered to a photo of Dad, JT, Pop and herself. Young Jack had Ennis’ eyes and mouth, but he had the Aguirre nose, dark hair and chin. She’d often thought of having DNA testing done on her son to see whom the real father turned out to be, but the three of them wouldn’t hear of it, preferring not to know and by coincidence Ennis and Jack were both the same blood type.
Steve got off the phone and looked over at Laura.
She looked up towards the ceiling and asked him, "Is he?"
Laura moved to get up and Steve stopped her with a look. "Let him grieve," he said gently. "He’s got to work it out for himself."
Since coming home day-before-yesterday, JT had spent both nights sleeping upstairs in his fathers’ room, barely making a sound, only coming out for a snack or two, but keeping mostly to himself.
Laura tried to coax him once, but he wouldn’t’ go out to their graves…
...The clock radio said 9:14 AM when JT woke up.
He’d fallen asleep in his clothes again in his fathers’ giant bed that barely fit in the 18 x 20 room.
By the morning light streaming through the windows, he found himself surrounded by his own images on every wall. It was a testament to the strong love of both his doting dads that their room would be decorated like this.
Everywhere were baby pictures, school photos, images of him in uniform on all of his high school teams, photos of he and his girlfriend just before they left for the senior prom and of course his trophies.
Between the two dresser mirrors were the framed letter from UCLA accepting his application, paperwork from the International Olympic Committee, and a Joining Certificate from the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco from Jack and Ennis’ marriage.
His dads never got to see him transfer to WSU-Twist for his animal husbandry classes.
He bowed his head sadly, stripped, took a shower and shaved.
Returning to their bedroom, he put on fresh jeans from his still unpacked suitcase and a clean gray sweatshirt.
On the twin side-by-side dressers were photos of his fathers kissing, holding hands, posing in front of this or that prize-winning horse with all kinds of celebrities and politicians.
There was also a faded black and white snapshot of the elder Jack Twist from when he was a bull rider.
In a vertical column on the wall were attached six shiny silver and gold rodeo belt buckles all naming various championship events between 1962 and 1966 and JACK TWIST in big letters engraved on them. The bottommost one was beaten and battered but Ennis had lovingly polished the tarnish off of it to a mirror finish.
Young Jack pondered how sad it was that neither Jack Twist Sr. nor Ennis ever posed together for photos way back when, mostly because neither could think of a safe place to store them where their families wouldn’t find them. He was especially hit hard when the painting of the three of them was destroyed in the avalanche.
Uncle Kyle del Mar Jr. and Aunt Cornelia Denton had both disowned Ennis years ago after getting invitations to his queer wedding and name change. After the ranch became famous and financially successful, both tried to reestablish a relationship with their brother, but Ennis would hear nothing of it.
After discovering his aunt and uncle’s heartless letters as a kid, JT began secretly sending them both Christmas cards every year containing a group photo of everyone in the Twist extended family of over 40 people and kids, aerial photos of the ranch and the expressway sign… just to rub their noses in it.
JT became infuriated when K.E. even went so far as to try to have Ennis’ will discarded on the grounds that he was incompetent because of his homosexuality. Fortunately Silas Caine had an iron-clad will drawn up, including a video version of it.
The judge instantly laughed in K.E.’s face and threw the lawsuit out after reviewing how well the ranch had been run.
JT sat down sadly on the edge of the mattress and remembered crawling often into this very bed in the middle of the night between his two loving fathers during a scary lightning storm, or because he was lonely for them.
On the left dresser was a light cream-colored cowboy hat, old and battered. Dad had worn it ever since he could remember. He picked it up and noticed something tucked securely inside of it. With a trembling hand, he pulled out a frail and very old scrawled-on piece of paper in his dad's handwriting.
It was a list of his relatives from long, long ago.
Suddenly he was filled with a deep sorrow that he hadn't made the list, though he knew without doubt from his fathers, Jenny and Alma that he was a full-fledged member.
The wall to the left of the window was covered with tacked up engineering plans for rebuilding Lake Sage. JT had planned to come home over spring break to surprise his father with plans of taking engineering courses to help with his dream.
A tear dropped from his eye knowing that that fight was what they’d gone to the cabin to smooth over.
He smiled at the portable CD player next to the window directly under the big diagrams. He’d fought long and hard to drag both of his fathers into the 21st century and when they finally bought the thing Dad would only play Patsy Cline or Willie Nelson, and Pop favored Bob Dylan, The Beatles and the Doors.
He bent forward double and wept bitterly again at their loss. Unlike his fathers before him, he grew up allowed to express his emotions freely and without shame.
A Famous Singer Heals Wounds...
A grizzled old man with a couple of long braided salt and pepper pigtails flowing down his chest appeared in a careworn cowboy hat. He got out along with three other men. Probably some bigwig horse customer.
Steve came out to greet them and shook hands as JT turned back to study his dads’ music collection.
He leafed through the CDs and popped in one at random and Patsy Cline began singing "Crazy."
A minute later there was a knock at the door and JT opened it to discover country-western singer Willie Nelson himself standing there, his hat respectfully in his hand.
Jack’s jaw dropped as Willie said in his famous Texas drawl, "I come up to pick up some horses I have here for a check-up. We bought 'em from your daddies 'n I figured I’d come up while I was here 'n pay my respects, if’n I'm not intrudin' ...May I come in?"
Young Twist just stood there surprised. In his childhood he’d met a lot of celebrities who bought and sold to his fathers, so he wasn’t all that awed... but still, this was Willie Nelson!
JT went over to switch the CD player off and Nelson protested, "No leave it on, just… turn it down a little bit," tossing his hat down onto the big bed.
Young Twist nodded and as he walked over to it, Nelson added proudly, "I wrote that song for her."
Jack looked back puzzled as Patsy sang the final "And I’m crazy for lovvvvvvvvin’… youuuuuuuuuuuuu."
As the final chords sounded, Willie smiled and said; "Now you can turn it off."
They both chuckled together.
In the silence the singer looked around the room and spied an old beaten and battered acoustic guitar on the wall. He walked over to the right side of the bed next to the window and asked, "May I?"
JT nodded and Willie pulled it down from its nail hanging by the shoulder strap.
It was one of Nelson’s favorites. In hushed reverence he sighed, "Good ole’ Trigger... My god the memories this thing brings back."
Ennis had bid $410,000 for it at a charity auction to benefit Farm Aid in 1995 and then gave it to Pop for his birthday. Jack would play it on special family occasions.
In black marker, Willie had written across the honey colored wood, "Ennis, please let your babies grow up to be cowboys!" and scrawled his signature.
He sat on the bed and strummed it a couple of times and his eyebrows jumped. "It’s still in tune!"
JT sat next to him and smiled, "Poppa Jack taught me how to tune his guitar before I knew more than a couple of sentences."
Burning tears welled up in his eyes.
Willie’s comforting arm went around his shoulders as Jack choked and sniffed to clear his sinuses, trying to apologize for the outburst and Willie softly saying there’s no shame in it.
When it subsided the singer stood up and frowned at something up on a little shelf next to where the guitar hung. Pulling it down, he asked, "What happened to this poor thing?"
JT looked up and grinned. "That was my father Jack Twist Sr.’s harmonica," he replied. "According to Dad it got stomped on by a horse a long time ago. Pop gave it to me for my 10th birthday."
Nelson looked at him skeptically and remarked with a grin, "Ya know, I think I right need a scorecard to keep a track of how many daddies ya got! ...In a way, I'm kinda jealous."
A truck horn blew outside and Willie grabbed his hat. Out of force of habit, he slung the familiar guitar backward over his shoulder and onto his back and nodded his head out the door, "Come on son; I wanna show ya somethin’."
As JT tossed the harmonica back on the bed, Willie corrected, "Naw, bring that with ya."
Outside next to the trailer two completely different horses stood side-by-side waiting to be loaded.
Willie led Jack up to a sleek black mare, her healthy coat shining in the sun like a polished jewel. Nelson pulled an apple out of his jacket pocket and fed it to her. To JT he said, "This here’s Chantal."
The mare nodded her head up and down recognizing her name and Willie have her an affectionate pat on the neck. "I was on business in Columbus Ohio one day 'n this stunningly beautiful woman walked up to a bank teller, so I sent my assistant over to see if he could find out her name.
She’ll never know I saw her 'n I’m damned sure ain't gonna forget her name. The moment I saw this horse, I had a name for her."
Dwarfing her to the left was a massive Clydesdale right out of a Budweiser Beer commercial.
Pointing up to him, Willie smiled, "This ol’ boy is named "Stoned," because ever' time I look at him, I think I’ve been smokin’ too much."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo of a powerful white horse running race sprints in a blur past the camera. Willie and a couple of men are looking at a stopwatch with impressed looks on their faces. "I bought him from your daddies last year 'n we’re hopin’ he takes the Triple Crown next year."
JT studied it and asked, "What’s his name?"
Willie grinned and replied, "Well I bought him on a whim, 'n my accountant pert near had a fit, 'n asked me what the hell fer; so we named him "Just Because."
From behind a curtain in the living room Steve and Laura watched her son wearing his father’s cowboy hat and laughing, and knew things would be better now.
An hour of leisurely walking and casual conversation down the tree-lined lane brought Nelson and young Twist up to the big granite head stone of JT's fathers’ graves about twenty feet out from two big cherry trees.
It stood three feet tall was a foot thick front to back and was five feet wide.
Pulling the guitar off his back, Willie set it gently down on the monument and asked, "Kinda an odd place to put a grave ain’t it?"
When he didn’t get an answer, Nelson turned to find JT’s face in pain.
Twist sniffed a few times and led him to the back of it. In the middle read "JACK EDWARD TWIST 1944-1983.
Resting his hand on the warm stone he explained, "According to dad, this was the exact spot where my "father" was murdered and they put this stone up originally as a memorial."
Willie swallowed hard, "Wow."
JT sat down with his back to the left edge of the head stone facing the lane. He crossed his legs and began pulling out little strands of grass amongst the tall wheat that surrounded it, playing with them, occasionally smelling one and then pulling out others.
With a weary groan Willie sat down beside him cross-legged and waited.
JT explained, "Jack Twist was Dad’s first lover, and Pop’s first teenaged crush. It was their last wish to be buried on this very spot."
Nelson Frowned, "Where’s papa Twist buried?"
JT wiped a tear and replied, "He was cremated before I was born and they both scattered his ashes up on Brokeback Mountain south of here."
Willie frowned and then understood. "Ya know... I know a lady friend writer that don't live too far from here 'n I bet if ya told her all this, it'd make a good short story for one of them New York magazines."
Jack probably hadn't heard him, as he seemed to be lost deep in a fond memory. "My fathers and I used to go camping up on the mountain a lot and we’d sit around singing songs and laughing.
Dad liked all your stuff, but Pop was partial to Bob Dylan."
The singer smiled as JT pulled out his "father’s" harmonica and began playing a Dylan tune that Willie had once performed in a movie not too long ago.
Willie reached up for his guitar and started strumming the tune along with him.
When the chorus ended, they began singing the first verse together.
"Heeeeeeee… was a friend of mine,
Heeeee… was a friend of mine,
Ever’ time I think of him,
I just can’t keep from crying,
'cause heeeeeeee was a friend of mine.
On the long walk back to the house Willie handed JT the guitar back and the young man wouldn't take it. "I'm pretty sure my dads would want you to have that back."
Nelson thought about that a moment, nodded, slung it back over his shoulder and shook his friend's hand. "Thank ya, J.T. I'll take real good care of it."
Young Twist shook his head no and corrected, "No more JT's Willie. I just decided; from this day forward I'll be known by everyone who meets me...
simply as Jack Twist...
All around them three spirits gathered together after a long separation...
...It was as if there were only the three of them on the mountain, indeed in the whole world, "their souls soaring joyously high in the brisk mountain air, looking down on the hawk’s back spreading it’s wings far beneath and the crawling lights of cars and trucks on the plain far below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours."...Annie Proulx - Brokeback Mountain
Well folks; That's the long 'n short of it... I truly hope you enjoyed the way I answered all the questions and tied the loose strings.
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Important notice about this novel: This adaptation of the original short story was
written by Vernon "Jet" Gardner © 2005-2012 and contains enhanced versions of all of the original's events written by Annie Proulx, Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana in red/black/green
All text in blue written by Vernon "Jet" Gardner published here ©2005-2013.
Reproduction in any form or use of unique characters is
forbidden without permission of the author.