This lost scene switches to Justin's encounter with Randle Livingston, the slimy ranch owner and indulgent father. Does it go well? You be the judge.
Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home
Lost Scene #11
"Mr. Livingston, my name is Justin Carter, and I---"
"Carter, huh?" Randle Livingston lit a cigar and sat down, indicating Chad and Justin should do the same. He was a big man, a man who looked as though he ruled his ranch with an iron hand. He snapped his fingers and Mrs. Nelson appeared with coffee and cakes.
He eyed Justin. "You the same Carters who own a good chunk of the valley up around that new town the railroad started back in '72? Fresno, is it?" he asked, blowing out a casual puff of smoke.
"The same." Justin smiled and took a seat. He ignored Chad, who had no patience for small talk. "And Fresno isn't exactly new anymore. It's been almost eight years since the Central Pacific put the station there."
Livingston snorted and reached for his coffee. "Quite convenient for you folks, I imagine, with a train terminus practically in your backyard."
"Everyone in the valley benefits from the railroad, Mr. Livingston," Justin replied, still smiling. He shot a keep quiet look at his fidgeting brother.
"Sure," Mr. Livingston agreed, waving the subject to a close. "Well, what brings the important Carter family clear down here to our humble town of Livingstone Flats? Stock buying trip?"
"In a way," Justin said. "We'd like to buy a horse."
"A horse? Just one? What particular qualities are you looking for? I hear the Circle C ranch raises the finest horses in this part of California. What would you be looking for on my ranch?"
"One particular horse," Chad broke in. "A golden palomino you bought in town the other day. It's our horse and we want her back."
Livingston frowned. "Why would I buy a Carter horse in the town of Livingston Flats?"
"You bought it from the livery stable. The owner had acquired the horse under less than legal means, I'm afraid," Justin said, giving Chad a frown.
"I bought a horse in town last week, yes," Livingston admitted with nod. He leaned back in his overstuffed chair. "But I bought it in good faith from Jon March, the livery-owner. Someone had sold it to him, and he wanted to make a return on his investment. My daughter saw the horse and fell in love with it. She's been looking for just the right horse, and now she's found her."
The big man stood abruptly. "So I am sorry to say that the horse you're wanting to buy is simply not for sale."
Justin and Chad stood too.
"Mr. Livingston," Justin tried again. "I don't think you understand the situation. The horse was stolen. It belongs to our little sister, who has been missing for two weeks. We have had no news of her and we are very concerned. So naturally, when we came across a horse that matched our palomino's description, we hoped that not only could we retrieve Taffy, but perhaps learn some news regarding the whereabouts of our sister."
"I am sorry to hear about your missing sister, Mr. Carter, but I can tell you that I've heard nothing about lost girls, either here on the ranch or in town." He shrugged. "Besides, it's highly unlikely the horse you're looking for is the one I bought."
"May we see the horse?" Justin asked. "It would take only a moment to check the brand." He pulled out his pocketbook. "We're prepared to pay you well over what you paid for her."
"Put your money back, Mr. Carter. When it comes to my daughter, I care little about price." His look turned hard. "That's the way it is sometimes, gentlemen. There is no use seeing the horse, for I will not part with it." He gave them a small smile. "But I'm sure you can find another horse to keep your sister happy."
Chad stepped forward, red-faced. Justin put out his arm to warn him, but Chad pushed it aside. "Now see here, Livingston. This is not just any horse. It's a special horse. Andi's only a kid, and that horse means a lot to her. She may be lost or hurt somewhere, and when we find her, I want to be able to reunite her with---"
"That's enough, Mr. Carter," Livingston interrupted. He headed to the door. "Our visit is over. Go back to your ranch, and please do not disturb me anymore. I have many things to attend to." He opened the door. “Good day, sir.”
"Good day, Mr. Livingston," Justin replied stiffly, dragging Chad along with him. "You have not heard the end of this, I'm afraid."
"I would be a fool if I thought I had.” Livingston’s smile was grim. "You may be able to do what you like up north, but here I'm the boss. Remember that."
Chad kept his anger in check until they met Mitch and started down the driveway. "Now, Justin, what did that accomplish?" he burst out.
"Not much, that's true.” Justin turned to Mitch. "Did you find out anything?"
Mitch nodded. "Taffy’s here, all right. But I'm not happy about it. That girl of Livingston's has abused her. If I hadn't stepped in, she would have done it again."
"What?" Chad asked.
"You know Taffy," Mitch explained. "She's mighty particular about who she lets on her back. She's taken an active dislike for Felicity Livingston and throws her every chance she gets."
"Good for Taffy," Chad remarked, cheered at the thought.
"Actually, not so good, Chad," Mitch replied. "Every time she throws her, Taffy gets it with that riding crop the girl carries around."
Chad pulled his horse up. "That's it," he burst out. "I'm going back for our horse. Why I let you talk me into fooling around with talk, talk, talk is beyond me."
Justin grabbed Chad's reins before he could gallop head-on into trouble. "Horse-stealing is a hanging offense, brother, in case you forgot."
"I'm not stealing our horse!"
"I think Mr. Livingston would see it differently." Justin sighed. "This has got to be done right, Chad. We wouldn't get five miles before the sheriff and his posse came after us. I think---for now---we need to leave Taffy here." He gave Chad a firm look. "At least we know where she is."
"I think I convinced Felicity Livingston to make friends with Taffy for a few days before she tries riding her again," Mitch added. "It buys us a little time."
"Right." Justin nodded. "It's more important to find Andi. We can worry about Taffy later."
Chad’s look turned serious at once. "You're right, of course, Justin. I lost sight of that for a few minutes." He pulled his horse around. "All right. Where to now?"
"I'm for going back into Livingston Flats and getting the sheriff to post our "Missing" posters around town. Andi's got to be somewhere. At least we're on the right track."
"Sounds like a plan, Justin," Mitch agreed. "Let's get to it."
Go to Lost Scenes 12 and 13
Go to Lost Scenes 12 and 13