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Annawest's heart knew right away. "This is the one," it said.
"Don't you remember? "said her brain. "You can't have forgotten!"
"But he is perfect," said her heart. "Look what we have in common: the West, horses, the Navajo, book learning. And Snakeskin is a big rancher; a girl like me can't marry a poor puncher. Daddy and everybody else would throw a fit. And he smells so good. And he is so handsome."
"How quick come the reasons for approving what we like. End quote," said her brain.
"And he is brave," said her heart.
"Brave, brave," said her brain. "You know what happened to all the brave men Annawest fell for. She tends their graves. Do you want Annawest to go through that again?"
"No but...He's a peaceful man. He talks his way out of trouble."
"He was a bounty hunter; do you think his old enemies will listen?" replied her brain. "Will your father? You know your father's mind is beginning to go."
"No," said her heart.
"Yes," said her brain. Your father is very angry about this Snakeskin's new ways of ranching. Angry because Snakeskin's new ways are right and his old ways are wrong. Your father doesn't argue about the new ways any more. He goes and cleans his guns. There is a range war coming."
"Then," said her brain, "why have they both hired gunfighters?"
"Then Annawest can make Snakeskin give up his ranch and move east. Get a safe job in a department store. She can get him to do that."
"Snakeskin could never forgive Annawest for that. Or himself."
"What? Why..."
"Because he backed down. Don't pretend you don't know western men," said her brain. "Annawest should forget him. Go east. Marry a nice businessman. Have a dozen kids. She could come back and visit the family whenever She wanted."
"But he might marry! Annawest would have to see him in another woman's arms. This heart could not stand that! This heart would see him dead first. I would rather stop beating than see that."
"Annawest always listens to you and not me" said her brain, "but this time she will pay for it. Her young man could lose his life. Her father could lose his."
"Annawest has to stop it."
"I don't know but she will; even if it costs her own life," said her heart.

25 June
Buck Immov
Smashwords, Inc.

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