Thursday 1 Pets
Itinerant, John had never had a pet. Wyatt had his horse, Dick Naylor, always with him, transported on the railway when he did not ride himself, always carefully nourished, accommodated in every luxury he could provide. John, could not rely on himself even to be able and ready to keep a horse. Disease could prevent him. Circumstances could conspire to imprison or exile him at any time. John liked animals - rabbits, especially. A dog, a horse for companionship and warm fellow-feeling would have been a boon. He could never be sure of his ability to care for a pet.
Thursday 2 Home
Home was long ago and far away, before the war, trampled into the red earth of the north. Home was his mother and cool lemonade in the warm air as the sky turned turquoise and shadows stretched dark stripes across dark grass. Home was quiet work and pride, arms around him, words of praise when he merited them. Home was fingering his mother's small treasures, lingering on the Mattie's photo. Home was knowing that, always, there would be Hub, waiting excited for his arrival in the Big House in Fayetteville, as more than guest, as family - a brother. Home was watching from the porch as his cousins played their girl's games in white dresses. Did they wear white dresses? Somehow his memory has come interpret it so. Their nightgowns were white. He looks back. Pinafores. White starched lace, fancy-work to keep dresses clean outdoors.
Later school was almost home. It was a refuge while he dreamt and waited, where in the meantime he learned, hungry and diligent, straining forward. Even there were intrusions - the remnants of the war, the Major.
Dallas should have been home. He meant to have a dental practice there. In those days he could have sent for Mattie and Hub, established himself in practice with his cousin. As he left Georgia, these had been his intentions. He had not been well enough to maintain his profession. He had not been calm enough - not possessed enough faith in the world - to avoid being drawn into the violence and degeneracy of dusty cowtowns and saloons. Soon he was on the run from Texas (again.)
They had intended Tombstone to be a home. Look how well that had turned out.
After that, he never tried again. Home was Heaven. He was always just at the point of returning.