The Births, Lives, Times, Secrets and Deaths of Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist

Brokeback Mountain The Complete Novel 1943-2006 XXXVI

Chapter 36 ~ Seeds From 21 Years Ago

Locked Inside Of Your Secrets
It was a good truck.

It was a damned big truck and one that Ennis could only dream of owning until now. Since Jack’s death someone had carefully maintained it in top condition.

Ennis was impressed.

As he entered Brokeback Mountain National Forest, he couldn't stop looking over at the carefully packed container made of light blue porcelain with Jack in it. Someone had taken some gold paint and in fancy scrip had lettered Jack Edward Twist 1944-1983 across it.

Ennis spent the whole trip feeling its presence in the cab of the truck. It’d become such a distraction that he had to get out and place it carefully in the foot well of the back seat, encased in foam peanuts within a little cardboard box.

He hadn’t been up this road in over a year and upon nearing the end of it, he was surprised to find a new Park Service fire watchtower astride tall wood and steel stilts on the horizon with an enclosed lookout nest on the very top of it rising high over the pines. It looked to be located in the very place where he and Jack pitched their tent at the edge of Proulx River.

The dirt road leading to it had been paved in asphalt and the stretch to the water’s edge overlooking their beloved mountain was now a completely empty public parking lot, with a few coin-activated binoculars on elevated stands for people to look out over the vista to Brokeback's peaks.

A possessive feeling came over him, like he’d just caught someone trespassing on his land.

Within minutes he was standing alone at the base of the tall wooden support structure of the ranger’s tower. There was a patch of ground about 40-feet square of grass within where the support logs had been driven securely into the ground.

Ennis considered climbing the narrow zigzagged stairs to the top and scattering the ashes to the wind from its encircled and unoccupied balcony, but was too weary to attempt it.

He settled down beneath its sturdy framework on a perimeter bench facing away from the central plot of grass and decided that this was indeed exactly where their tent was last year, recalling how Jack said he’d picked it out special and considered it “his" place.

It had to be done here.

Maybe he’d save some back and scatter it up at the campsite where they made love that first time.

The forest service no longer allowed grazing since the area had become a state game preserve and wolves had been recently reintroduced onto the mountain, so it’d probably stay relatively undisturbed.

The wind picked up, sifting through the pines spreading their scent and memories of Jack echoing in his mind.

“You been a cheatin’ on me in Mexico, Jack Fuckin’ Twist?”
“…if I should come to know them… know them…”
“I wish I knew how to quit you… quit you… quit you...”
“…You count the damn few times we been together in twenty years… twenty years… years… years.”
”… so what we got now… now… is Brokeback Mountain… mountain… mountain… mountain…
"Get the fuck off a me… Jest leave me be!.. Jest leave me be… leave me be… leave me be…"

Up near the timberline where the snow began to touch the impossibly tall lodgepole firs, a bare treeless patch was evident even from this far away. Though the previous spring had brought new growth, it was obvious, even at this distance that it must’ve been where Newsome’s jet hit and burned before snowmelt snuffed out the flames.

Grudgingly he had to admit that this was an ideal place to put the lookout tower if they wanted a good vantage point to spot fires on the mountain.

Surveying the surroundings, he knew he had to hurry before someone came along. He didn’t know the legalities of spreading human ashes on public land but he didn’t want to risk it.

He gazed over at the Silverado... his Silverado. Every vehicle he'd ever owned had come to him through Jack's hands first. This time he didn't resent it... this time he understood.

Walking slowly and thoughtfully to Jack’s beloved truck, he opened the rear passenger door and picked up the box placing it carefully on the back seat.

Just as he was about to open the cardboard flaps to pull the container out his eye caught something. On the floor, just under the front seat was an audiocassette.

He frowned and picked it up, then flipped it over to reveal in large black hand-printed letters ENNIS.

He closed his eyes and his mind flashed back to the last day he saw Twist. This cassette had fallen out of his pocket onto the ground just as Jack had turned to leave.

In a daze he walked around the truck, got in on the driver’s side, slipped the key in the ignition, and pushed the cassette into its slot in the radio.

The final strains of a song called "King of the Road" were just dying and then silence. A moment later the next song came on with an acoustic guitar and then strings as a male duet began singing.

A horrible vision of Jack's bleeding body set ablaze laying face up in a field of wheat, arms outstretched like a scarecrow that had fallen over filled his mind. Within minutes the lyrics of the second verse destroyed him and then deep guilt crashed into him as he felt Jack’s tortured ghost questioning him while singing the third verse from the dead.

As his nose clogged, Ennis began sobbing acid tears with his head against the steering wheel. It was clear to him that these were songs that reminded Jack of his love, probably played while driving on long road trips.

[Click the middle of the player screen below and then follow the lyrics...]

Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing, hearing your voice
And the things that you said well they left me, left me no choice
And you told me we had the power
And you told me this was the hour
But you don't know how - if I could show you now.

Well I dreamed last night you were calling, calling my name
You were locked inside of your secrets, calling my name
And you told me lost was the key
And you told me how you longed to be free
But you don't know how - Oh let me show you now

Like a bird on a far distant mountain
Like a ship on an uncharted sea
You are lost in the arms that have found you
Don't be afraid - Love's plans are made
Oh don't be afraid

If there's a time and a place to begin love
It must be now
Let it go - set it free

Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing, hearing your voice
Why did you say those things that have left me, left me no choice
When you told me we had the power, why did you tell me now was the hour
But you don't know how - oh let me show you now

Like a bird over Brokeback Mountain
Like a ship on an uncharted sea
You are lost in the arms that have found you
Oh don't be afraid
Love's plans are made
Don't be afraid

If there's a time
And a place to begin love
It must be now
Let it go
Set it free
Oh I dreamed last night I was hearing – hearing your voice.

At the death of the final violin chord Ennis felt completely destroyed and turned off the key before the next song could torment him further.

For the first time in his life a simple song had made it clear just what he'd put Jack through for the last twenty long years and forced him to experience it first hand from Twist's tortured point of view.

...but he'd learned his lesson too late…

None Of Your Damned Business
The intercom chime went off on Silas Caine’s desk.

Mr. Caine, there’s a Private Detective Stone here from Texas to see you on an urgent matter.”

Silas’ eyebrows jumped in curious surprise “Send him in.”

Joanne opened the door for a tall middle-aged man, slender of build, wearing a white Stetson and ushered him into Caine's tasteful masculine wood-paneled tenth floor office in downtown Casper. After handshakes and the offer of a seat, she got him some coffee after he took the leather chair opposite her boss’ desk and then pulled the door closed as she exited.

Leaning back in his chair Silas asked his guest, “What brings you all the way up here to Wyoming from The Lone Star State Mr. Stone?”

"I’ve been hired by Bobby Twist to look into some financial matters concerning his father Jack Twist.”

Caine nodded, “Jack was my cousin.”

Stone replied, “Yes, I know. Mr. Caine, I’ll come right to the point. A rather considerable sum of money is missing from Mr. Twist’s estate and I’ve been retained to find it.”

Silas chuckled confidently, “I have no knowledge of Mr. Twist's personal matters and I’m confident neither John nor Martha Twist knew anything about them either; they were my clients by the way.”

The detective returned the attorney’s reply with a skeptical look and then said, “I understand your Aunt passed away just recently; my condolences,”

Caine nodded.

“You were her executor and I’m wondering who inherited the bulk of her estate… With all due respect.”

Silas knitted his fingers together in front of his face while resting his elbows on his desk and said, “With all due respect, sir, that’s none of your business. However, as you undoubtedly know already, my aunt committed suicide. Except for gifts to friends she left the bulk of her personal belongings to their church up in Rocky Point, there was nothing else. All of her real property, she chose to dispose of just before her untimely death.”

Silas stepped on a small button under his desk. Immediately the intercom buzzed and faithful Joanne said, “Sir, I have an important call on line two?”

“Thank you, Joanne.”

Standing, he extended his hand towards his guest and it was ignored as the detective stood.

Silas said, “I believe that concludes our business Mr. Stone; I’m a busy man.”

Stone asked, “Out of curiosity, what happened to the Twist Ranch?”

“Not that it’s any of your business, but Lightning Flat is a ghost town Mr. Stone. The ranch property is as worthless as every other piece of real estate around it, and in fact it has a negative value because it produces less than the taxes levied on it. I believe Mrs. Twist sold it to a family friend for the sum of one dollar.”

“Who was this friend?”

Silas chuckled, “With all due respect Mr. Stone; that’s none of your damned business.”

Caine walked to his door, opened it and gestured with his arm as if to usher him out.

Stone attempted an intimidating look that was wasted on Silas. “Through my investigations, I’ve discovered that Jack Twist bought a cashier’s check every few years for increasing amounts over and above $300,000, then he'd cash it back in a few weeks later. No one knows where it went or what it was for.”

“Mr. Stone, my clients were near destitute and had no cash reserves; nor did they have anything to do with their son personally or financially after his marriage in Texas. How he disposed of his father-in-law's slander suit settlement - yes; I know all about that - and it was his business Mr. Stone. He may have helped his folks out with their taxes, he could've gambled it all away in Nevada for all I know. What I do know was that he was free to dispose of it as he saw fit, and that if his parents saw any of it, it wasn't a substantial amount and was spent immediately.”

The detective replied, “I suspect, Mr. Caine, that Twist was hoarding cash somewhere other than a bank and occasionally he traded old currency for new to deflect suspicion if he should need to eventually spend old bills on something. I guess my next stop would be the IRS?”

“Well good luck with that… I'd check the tax laws contingent to cash damage settlements if I were you. In any case, I’m told he liked to dabble in the stock market and wasn’t very successful at it… Good day Mr. Stone.”

After the man left, Caine checked that he wasn’t listening at the outer door, gestured Joanne into his office and instructed, “Don’t file the Twist deed for at least six months; I'll let you know. I want to set up a few blind alleys to protect Ennis del Mar before he takes legal possession of it. I don't want some kid who already has more money than he knows what to do with trying to foul up Aunt Martha's last wishes…

Let The Circle Go Unbroken
Wiping away tears Ennis got out of the truck, walked around it and then opened the box's flaps with shaking hands. He carefully pulled the urn out and paced back to the spot in the exact middle of the grass directly beneath the lofty platform, surrounded by four outward-facing white-painted benches.

He closed his eyes and said the Lord’s Prayer.

It took him a second to figure out how to open it, but once he did, he stared fascinated at the sight of Jack’s remains. This amount of grit was all that remained of a full-grown man and his life.

Something was stealing his breath away as if Jack had come back from the dead and was sitting on his chest.

“You were locked inside of your secrets… calling my name…"

“…We could a had a good life together, a fuckin’ real good life…”

Nodding after deciding to save half for the spot where they made love the first time in the high pasture, he hesitated and pushed his hand into the ashes.

A roar filled his ears as his fingers touched something solid inside and he jerked his hand out, fascinated by the tan dusty grit that came out with it.

A tooth? A piece of bone?

Again he pushed his hand in and pulled out an inch-square flat piece of lead like the kind used to weigh down the bottoms of curtains with. It had a number stamped on it; a crematory serial number to keep track of the remains insuring against a mix up.

If there were any doubts that these really were Jack’s ashes they were gone now.

Carefully he began scattering, crying burning tears and sniffing to clear his sinuses.

A ghostly voice said "Son; don't you never do nothin' ta hurt yerself 'cause ya think I wouldn't love you no matter what... P-promise me boy? Promise me."

In his mind’s eye Jack appeared as he last saw him at the water’s edge. He kept scattering until he figured about half of its contents were on the ground and then he carefully screwed and clamped the top back on, cautiously putting it down on the first step of the stairs leading upward to the lookout platform high above.

He’d save some back to take home with him.

He thought of tasting the residue on his hand, to have Jack within him, but didn’t know if it’d be poisonous and he had something to live for now, his own ranch.

It was coming…

He could feel it, like vomit rising from his very soul instead of his stomach.

Oh I dreamed last night you were calling… calling my name...

He couldn’t stop it.

"Hey Ennis, you know someone name of Jack from Texas?"

He couldn’t stop it!

Running in panic, he got to the water’s edge and thrust his hand in to rinse it away but that didn’t help. Weakly he collapsed to his knees and bowed his head as incredibly intense sorrow washed over him.

It’s coming...

"I tell ya what Ennis …Sometimes I miss you so much, I can hardly stand it."

It’s coming!

Suddenly and uncontrolled, a horrendous and primal full-out scream escaped his throat, “JAAAAAAAAACK," and couldn’t stop until his lungs gave out with burning tears streaming down his face.

He desperately tried to catch his breath, but without warning another came as he cried out a second uncontrolled scream for his lost love as if he’d finally found a release of all the pent up grief and sorrow flowing from him like acid verbal vomit, and his sorrow in not finding the courage to tell Jack he loved him out loud, though he knew Jack needed to hear it.

His shame at believing that he loved Alma.

The hurt, the regrets and the things unsaid flowed out of him in those two screams, cleansing his soul.

As he collapsed back against one of the binocular platforms in exhaustion, unseen feet behind him pounded down the stairs from above and across the parking lot toward him.

Ennis kept his wet eyes tightly closed not caring who it was. Even as strong arms silently pulled him to his feet, cradling him to keep him from falling, he didn’t open them.

Blindly he was carefully helped to walk/stumble to the foot of the tower’s stairs by a gentle male voice who softly guided him, made him sit down on the bench and then rocked him to and fro in his arms carefully as more scalding tears gushed from Ennis’ eyes as if the hot lava flow would never stop.

Bowing his head, he looked and saw a neatly pressed forest ranger’s uniform. As he focused with his liquid encased eyes, a dark-haired man with concerned eyes maybe only a year or two younger than he, appeared in a tear-soaked blur.

With incredibly comforting arms, the stranger continued rocking him back and forth until del Mar quieted down.

Somewhere in the distance a horse sputtered.

Ennis thought that he was alone because no other vehicles were in the parking lot, he forgot about horses.

He tried to speak, to thank the comforting ranger but his throat was too sore and hoarse to utter a sound.

The fire warden was his height, maybe ten pounds lighter and solidly built. His hair was a shade longer than usual but that was the style nowadays. The brief glimpse of his badge said John or maybe Jack something but he still couldn’t focus enough to read it.

The man still wore a concerned and comforting expression and held Ennis’ head tenderly to his solid chest.

They sat there quietly for a minute or two and Ennis began feeling uncomfortable in a stranger’s arms.

In puzzlement the ranger asked, “How did you know my name sir?"

Completely lost, Ennis looked away towards the mountain peak in front of them and replied, “You... yer name?"

Still sitting beside him, the man answered, “You were calling to me just now, you screamed it out so loud I fell out of my chair up there."

Suddenly the ranger stood up from the bench with a shocked gasp from where they were sitting by the foot of the stairs.

Ennis looked up to find him clutching the fallen urn, gawking in near fascinated horror at the name printed on it.

He must’ve knocked it over rushing down the steps and now held it as if terrified of dropping it.

Getting his first good look at him, Ennis suddenly realized what the fire warden was holding and ferociously grabbed it away, backing up a few steps.

Incredibly the stranger was now the one hyperventilating.

Both at once realized they’d met the other but couldn’t figure out where.

Ennis dimly remembered a church social picnic nine or ten years ago with Alma. They hadn’t seen each other in long years, and then only briefly, so it was natural that they didn’t recognize each other right away. He had long hair back then - the hippy!

Del Mar asked hesitantly, “Yer Joe Aguirre’s son Johnny… uh Jack! I met ya years ago."

He nodded still gasping for breath, then he asked in awe as tears welled up in his eyes, “You can’t be… You - just - can’t be Ennis del Mar?"

Still trying to recover from everything, Ennis only managed a nod.

The park ranger reached in his back pocket for his wallet and pulled out two pieces of carefully folded newsprint, pushing the much smaller of the two into Ennis’ hand.

Ennis frowned as he read Jack’s obituary, while Johnny explained he’d found it in his dead father’s desk.

Del Mar’s addled brain finally put the pieces together. Jack had said it was his second time on Brokeback.

Jack Aguirre was that first kid that Twist had spent the summer with up here tending sheep in 1962!

They sat down on the bench in silence.

Eventually Johnny pointed to their left at the mountain peaks and said, “That’s where it happened, that damned bastard."

Puzzled, Ennis followed his finger and nodded, “Newsome; Jack’s mother told me about him."

“The son-of-a-bitch tried to get my dad to testify against Jack at the trial."

Ennis was taken aback and asked, “What trial?"

Johnny-Jack handed him the other cut out article about Newsome’s death - the same one that John and Martha Twist read.

Del Mar realized that Johnny only had half the puzzle, but Ennis had it all now, explaining what Martha saw.

Aguirre nodded understanding, “So Newsome convinced everyone that Jack was a child molester and the four of them killed him."

Del Mar nodded, “She didn’t say whether she knew who the two hired hands were… I guess we’ll never know."

Little did he know that one was dead in an abandoned farm field in Lighting Flat, and the other had married his daughter last year.

Ennis handed the urn back over to Johnny, who turned it over and over in his hands and began to cry choking sobs at the useless waste of a man’s life.

Suddenly a thought came to Ennis out of the blue. He couldn’t explain it, because it wasn’t the way his mind worked… Maybe Jack? Before he knew it, he laid a comforting hand on Johnny’s shoulder and said tenderly, “Johnny, everyone in some time in their lives needs a hand to hold,” extending his he continued, “Here’s mine.”

For the next hour they comforted each other and the story came out of Aguirre as a 16 year old, who'd fastened his first adolescent crush on Jack Twist but the rodeo hero wouldn’t respond.

One night the teen tried to pull Twist’s clothes off and make love to him but Jack woke with a start and nearly beat the hell out of him.

From then on the shepherds slept separately, one in the camp tent and one in the pup tent with the sheep.

His father Joe found out about the arrangement but if he knew why, he never let on and through the years kept it up to cut down on predator loss.

The resulting daily sorrow and depression of seeing his first love every day and suffering from unrequited love was too much for him. Day after day, week after week of not be able to touch him and to know he didn't feel the same way towards him was more than young Johnny could bear.

The foolish teen almost succeeded at committing suicide that late July by jumping off of a cliff but only accomplished hurting himself badly instead. After all that time, Johnny still held resentment at his father for blaming Jack Twist for the incident.

Ennis told him about his long-term love affair with Twist and its aftermath.

He told him what Martha left to him in her will and what he was here to do. He also showed him the wedding ring from Jack’s marriage to Lureen on a chain around his neck, and Jack’s fancy Rolex that he wore.

As the afternoon wore on, without warning the two men’s souls gradually molded together and for the first time in his life Ennis allowed himself to openly… and joyfully fall in love.

That night they traveled up the mountain together... up to Pine Creek... and spread the rest of Jack’s ashes, saving back a small amount for themselves to take home.

Ennis fell apart in the tent that night because of the way he’d treated Jack and began weeping uncontrollably.

Johnny comforted him tenderly and eventually they made love their first time on Brokeback Mountain. Both believed that Twist had guided them to each other from somewhere above.

From that moment forward Ennis stopped living by that phrase his mama taught him. Instead when he faced a problem with his "new" Jack, they worked on solving it together with love.

When they drove back down the mountain, he played the tape to Johnny.

Aguirre later found it in a record store, and when he gave it to Ennis, the horseman gasped at the title. It was a “solo/duet" album by the two Moody Blues lead singers Justin Hayward and John Lodge. The title of the album was “Blue Jays."

Lureen’s voice came back to haunt Ennis when she told him on the day he found out that Twist was dead that she thought that Brokeback Mountain was some pretend place where whiskey springs flowed and bluebirds sang.

Obviously Twist had played the song for her and she remembered it, but didn’t know why he liked the album so much.

Ennis left John Acquire to close up his affairs in preparation to moving north to the Twist Ranch with him to assist with Martha’s final wishes and to help him rebuild his life.

Letters From Two Graves
So deep in thought was he that he drove straight through Signal and headed north, cussed loudly at himself, then had to turn around and head back over to the bank.

The safe deposit box had been rented in such a way that both Jack and Ennis had access to it, even though it was solely in del Mar’s name.

Apparently Twist had requested that the bank mail del Mar’s key to Martha up in Lightning Flat in 1970 for safekeeping.

The contents were constantly being added to, and eventually it became so large that the assistant manager had to get help to bring the heavy metal strong box to a private booth set up in back next to the vault.

The bulky old brass container measured 12" wide, was 24" front to back, and was 8" thick. The associate inserted her key into the top of it, then showed Ennis how to put his key in too so that it could be opened.

Without another word, she and her assistant left him alone quietly closing the door behind themselves.

Ennis took a deep breath and prepared himself for Jack’s collected treasures that had been harvested for them to share.

Raising the hinged lid on the big metal box revealed some carefully folded writing paper, a torn and yellowed label from a can of Better Most pork and beans, and an unopened bottle of whiskey with a faded store receipt from 1967 taped to it. On the other side of the little slip of paper was written - “Do not open until we buy our new ranch."

Ennis smiled to himself, remembering he’d bought that bottle for Jack the night they reunited in Riverton so long ago but they’d never opened it.

A manila envelope contained photos and negatives of their camping trips together that Jack had somehow snapped without Ennis’ knowledge. Amongst them was not one single image of Jack. He laughed out loud at a shot of himself frantically chasing a cooking kettle floating downstream at the Proulx River campsite.

He put the collection away and dug further.

An old unused BOBBY KENNEDY FOR PRESIDENT bumper sticker came out next. Ennis just shook his puzzled head at it. He'd always figured Twist to be a Democrat but never really dwelled on it much. Picking up the faded paper banner revealed two identical string necktie clasps featuring big Kennedy half-dollars plated in gleaming silver. Beneath them was a matching unused belt buckle. Del Mar frowned thinking back and couldn't remember ever seeing Jack wearing one of them.

Ennis figured his lover probably didn't want to start a fight with him. He grinned and said out loud, "They's two things ya don't never talk about with friends son... politics 'n religion."

Del Mar choked back a sob as his eyes landed on an old beat up harmonica that brought tears running down his cheeks.

Next to it in unopened clear plastic envelopes were five more shiny belt buckles, but these were from his bull riding days. Another one lay out loose beside them and was careworn and beaten up, and Ennis recognized it as the one Jack wore on the mountain back all those years in 1963.

Next came a folded and stuffed regulation envelope. Inside was a "Paid Receipt" for Ennis' first black GMC pickup signed by his old and nearly forgotten friend Gene. The Indian would later sign another saying del Mar won it in a poker game.

Ennis had already figured that out long ago, though he sometimes still felt a touch of anger at being Jack's "charity case."

There were also Polaroids of what his blue and white truck looked like as if brand new, then there were shots of a big black man scrubbing the wax off with laundry detergent leaving the paint dull, next came photos of it up on blocks with no wheels, bumpers, and him and some friends removing the bed. Five or six images later was a shot of the truck parked out back of his and Alma's old apartment with a FOR SALE sign on it. The last item was the magazine ad neatly cut out from the back of Car Masters & Finders Magazine.

Ennis had always known after seeing the same ad, but tried not to believe it... now he had to.

A tear dropped from his eye as he muttered, "Jack Fuckin' Twist."

A crumpled piece of bank stationary held an unredeemed I.O.U. from Martha Twist to Jack for $200 in cash.

The bottom two thirds of the box contained something bulky enclosed in an oblong heavy dark green burlap bag.

After fondling the only nicked and tarnished buckle, with shaking hands he picked up the 4-year-old letter that Jack seemed to have rewritten every so often.

As he read it, he could feel Jack's eyes on him staring down from heaven, watching him ...loving him...

May 2nd, 1980
To my dear and only true love Ennis,

If you’re reading this, something must’ve happened to me, and my mama kept her promise to give you your key to this box.

I guess I can tell you now that I’ve loved you with all my heart since the day I set eyes on you. Over the years you’ve made it hard on me my friend - my love, but I never lost hope that someday we’d buy that ranch together and settle down like it was meant to be.

Since I’m no longer there, I’m leaving you a few things to remember me by.

My fucking father-in-law dragged me into court on a lie that nearly destroyed my reputation and I made him pay big time. I’ve also been saving up for our ranch someday but if you are reading this, then sadly I guess that someday will never come.

I’ve been salting money away a long time on hope, risking everything to take what was rightfully mine from that bastard, even if it meant embezzling it away from him. Rather than it getting all eat up with taxes I’ve put it away for us here a little at a time and now it’s all yours.

It sounds crazy to say this while I’m still breathing but if you’re laying eyes on these words I must be dead, so I’ll watch over you from paradise until you stop walking on this earth and join me in heaven or hell whichever the case may be.

Embrace who and what you are my love. If you find a good man don’t make the same mistake you made with me.

You made me fear that I'd lose you if I ever told you that I loved you. It caused more heartache than you could ever know. Tell him - tell him out loud damn it that you love him and that he means the whole world to you. That’s how I felt about you.

All my love for eternity,
I'll always wait here for you.
Through clogged sinuses and burning tears Ennis shook his head and declared, "Jack... oh Jack... I... I'm so sorry... sorry I couldn't tell you... Oh Jack... I... I... loved you so much..."

After a moment more of profound grief, he pulled the heavy sack out of the box, unzipped it and gasped in awe.

The large canvas bank bag contained the entire $250,000 settlement from L.D. Newsome in cash, plus an additional $105,900, all in hundred dollar bills that he’d stolen from the company over the last twenty years salting hundreds of dollars at a time from his monthly travel and expense accounts; first from his father-in-law and then from his wife.

Lureen Twist wasn't as good at the books as she thought she was.

As Ennis pulled the last bundle of cash out of the sack, he discovered another note on bank stationary in the very bottom of the big canvas bag, placed as if it were hidden so that even Jack wouldn’t notice it was there.
Ennis and Jack,
On our ranch are two cherry trees that Jack planted for me for Mother’s day when he was a boy. It would surely give me great pleasure if you would harvest seed from them and plant a grove of them somewhere on your new ranch for me. I wanted to do it many years ago, but my husband wouldn’t let me.
Martha Twist
Ennis closed his burning eyes and nodded his head in a silent promise, remembering her embrace that last time he saw her in his trailer.

Some time after Jack started this nest egg, Martha had been here, and though the Twist Ranch was in bad shape financially, with the exception of that $200 loan, she never once touched a penny of the money though she could have.

In a whisper Ennis said, “You were a great woman Martha Twist… A great mother.

Dear Friend, If you've enjoyed this chapter, please use
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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/
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.


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